Joe Mazor’s Criminal Record

One of the reasons that members of Peoples Temple were suspicious of Joe Mazor was that he had a license as a private investigator, even though he had a criminal record, a factor which usually disqualified an applicant. While Mazor himself may have bragged about the distinction, it also appeared to be evidence of darker forces behind him, at least as far as the Temple was concerned.

In the course of its research, the Temple obtained a number of documents related to Mazor’s criminal record, showing a history principally of writing bad checks and parole violations. In addition to the rap sheet itself, the Temple obtained numerous public record court filings reflecting his various petitions for release, writs of habeas corpus, and probation reports. The Temple also summarized – or at least retyped – the material for its own purposes.

On January 1, 1978, Laurie Efrein, a Temple member who remained in San Francisco, wrote to California Governor Jerry Brown to express the group’s concerns. While that letter is missing, the California Department of Consumer Affairs referred to it in its reply of January 27, 1978, in which it defended its decision to grant the license to Mazor.

Joe Mazor Petition for Habeas Corpus (1971), RYMUR 89-4286-S-1-c-3a – c-11x

Joe Mazor Criminal Record, 1957-1970
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Probation Officer report on Joe Mazor, June 8, 1965
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Letter to Laurie Efrein from Bureau of Collection and Investigative Services, January 27, 1978
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Originally posted on January 27th, 2020.

Last modified on April 22nd, 2021.
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