Nov 22, 78 • 1750 • Georgetown-State • 3868

[Editor’s notes: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 236 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03868_d.html.

[The cable includes one major misidentification. It describes “a young woman identified as [Jim Jones’] wife [who] had part of their head blown off by a gunshot wound.” Instead, the woman was Annie Moore, Jim Jones’ nurse.]

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ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 SCS-06 H-01 FBIE-00 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 DODE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00 ICAE-00 INRE-00 PA-01 TRSE-00 MCT-02 CA-01 SY-05 SYE-00 USSS-00 AID-05 SS-15 JUSE-00 L-03 AS-02 ISO-00 /063 W
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P 221750Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8140
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 3868
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN LEO) GY
SUBJECT: MEDICAL FINDINGS OF INVESTIGATION AT JONESTOWN

THERE FOLLOWS REPORT BY TWO MEDICAL OFFICERS WHO VISITED JONESTOWN NOVEMBER 21, 1978:

QUOTE: SUBJECT: MEDICAL FINDINGS OF INVESTIGATION OF BODIES AND DRUGS AT JONESTOWN, GUYANA, ON NOVEMBER 21, 1978. OUR FINDINGS AFTER APPROXIMATELY 5 HOURS OF INVESTIGATIONS AT JONESTOWN TODAY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. BODIES ARE EXTREMELY DECOMPOSED AND IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY BY VISUAL RECOGNITION.

2. LACERATIONS OF LIPS AND TONGUE AND BLOOD FLOWING FROM THE MOUTH ARE EVIDENT.

3. NO EVIDENCE OF STRUGGLES OR VIOLENCE OBSERVED AT SCENE EXCEPT AS INDICATED IN PARA 4.

4. MR. JONES APPARENTLY DIED FROM A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT

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WOUND. A YOUNG WOMAN IDENTIFIED AS HIS WIFE HAD PART OF HER HEAD BLOWN OFF BY A GUNSHOT WOUND.

5. A NUMBER OF BOTTLES OF POTASSIUM CYANIDE AND CHLORAL HYDRATE AND KOOL AID PACKETS WERE NOTED NEAR A LARGE MIXING CONTAINER. ALTHOUGH CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CONTAINER CONTENTS OR OF STOMACH CONTENTS WAS NOT PERFORMED, THE FINDINGS OF THE APPARENTLY CONVULSING INDIVIDUALS IS CONSISTENT WITH POISONING BY THESE AGENTS.

6. MANY USED SYRINGES WERE OBSERVED AT THE SCENE.

7. AN EXTREMELY LARGE SUPPLY OF OTHER DRUGS WERE FOUND AT THE SCENE OF MIXING AND IN 3 OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE PREMISES. THE DRUGS INCLUDED LARGE SUPPLIES OF VALIUM, DEMEROL, THORAZINE, OTHER PSYCHOTROPHIC DRUGS, ETC. ETC. THE SUPPLY OF DRUGS AVAILABLE APPEARED TO BE FAR IN EXCESS OF NORMAL NEEDS OF A POPULATION THE SIZE OF JONESTOWN.

8. ESTIMATION OF NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS IS APPROXIMATELY 600. THIS NUMBER IS ARRIVED AT BY COUNTING 40 BUILDINGS WITH APPROXIMATELY 15 BEDS EACH.

9. TWO HOSPITAL UNITS CONTAINING APPROXIMATELY 12 BEDS EACH WERE NOTED. APPROXIMATELY 6 DEAD INDIVIDUALS WERE OBSERVED IN EACH OF THESE UNITS. MEDICAL EQUIPMENT INCLUDED A PORTABLE X-RAY, EKG MACHINE, DEFIBRILLATOR, AUTOCLAVE, AND MINIMAL EQUIPMENT FOR URINALYSIS, HEMATOLOGY, AND CHEMISTRY. CONCLUSION: INDIVIDUALS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MR. AN MRS. JONES DIED BY CYANIDE AND CHLORAL HYDRATE

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POISONING BY SUICIDE. IDENTIFICATION (FURTHER) CAN ONLY BE MADE BY DENTAL RECORDS. RECOMMENDATIONS: WE RECOMMEND THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS BE BURIED AT JONESTOWN AND NOT BE REMOVED. NO HEALTH PROBLEM WAS APPARENT AND THEY SHOULD POSE NO POTENTIAL HEALTH PROBLEM TO THE GUYANESE.

/S/ BRUCE J. POITRAST AND /S/LYNN CROOK, M.D., PH.D. LTC USAF MCFS CLINICAL PATHOLOGIST, ASST. DIRECTOR HEMATOLOGY, MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF S. CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF LABORATORY MEDICINE UNQUOTE

BURKE [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

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Originally posted on March 2nd, 2020.

Last modified on June 25th, 2022.
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