Dec 12, 78 • 1905 • Georgetown-State • 4240

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04240_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04240 121930Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SCS-06 CA-01 SS-15 SSO-00 PA-01 NSCE-00 /039 W
——————109830 121934Z /43

O 121905Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8433
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4240

E.O. 12065: 12/12/84 (BURKE, JOHN R.) OR-M
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJ: INOCULATION MARKS ON SOME OF THE VICTIMS AT JONESTOWN.

1. EMBASSY UNDERSTANDS THAT NEW YORK TIMES DEC. 12 IS CARRYING AN ARTICLE TO THE EFFECT THAT AS MANY AS 70 OF THE VICTIMS AT JONESTOWN HAD INOCULATION MARKS ON THEIR BODIES. EMMBASSY HAS NOT YET SEEN THE ARTICLE; HOWEVER, NICHOLAS HORROCK OF THE NEW YORK TIMES HAS INFORMED EMBASSY OFFICER THAT STORY WOULD BE CARRIED AND THAT SOURCE OF STORY IS GUYANESE. IMPLICATION APPEARS TO BE THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS REVEALING INOCULATION MARKS MAY BE CLASSED AS MURDER VICTIMS RATHER THAN SUICIDE.

2. EMBASSY IS FRANKLY PUZZLED S TO THE SOURCE OF THE HORRICK ARTICLE. UP UNTIL NOW THE OFFICIAL PATHOLOGIST OF THE GOG HAS STEADFASTLY AVOIDED MAKING ANY PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE AUTOPSY FINDINGS HE MADE IN JONESTOWN. HE HAS, HOWEVER, SHARED WITH AN AMERICAN PHYSICIAN SERVING ON THE STAFF AT USAID GEORGETOWN INFORMATION THAT HE DID PERFORM “SUPERFICIAL AUTOPSIES” ON SEVERAL OF THE JONESTOWN VICTIMS, BUT HE HAS NEVER USED THE FUGURE 70 IN SUCH CONVERSATIONS. HE NOTES THAT SEVERAL OF THE BODIES WHICH HE EXAMINED APPEARED TO HAVE NEEDLE MARKS IN ADDITION TO INDICATIONS OF POISON TAKEN INTERNALLY. HE IS OF THE OPINION THEREFORE THAT SUCH INDIVIDUALS COULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN INOCULATIONS AS A FORM OF “COUP DE GRACE,”

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PARTICULARLY IF THEY WERE SUFFERING THE MORE VIOLENT CONVULSIONS COMMON TO CYANIDE POISONING. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE, HE ADMITS, THAT SUCH INOCULATIOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN FORCIBLY, BUT HE IS INCLINED TO DOWNGRADE THIS POSSIBILITY GIVEN THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT INDIVIDUALS WERE SHOT WHILE ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE THE FINAL MURDER/SUICIDE CERMONY. HE HYPOTESIZES THAT IF FORCED INOCULATIONS WERE GOING ON MANY OF THE INHABITANTS OF JONESTOWN, PARTICULARLY THOSE ON THE OUTER PERIMETER OF THE CROWD, WOULD HAVE ATTEMPTED TO ESCAPE FROM THE COMMUNITY RATHER THAN SUBMIT TO SUCH INOCULATION.

3. THE GOG PATHOLOGIST HAS INFORMED THE EMBASSY THAT HE WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO BE PUT IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE CHIEF PATHOLOGISTS AT DOVER AND THE AF INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY SO THAT HE MIGHT SHARE WITH THOSE OFFICERS HIS FINDINGS AND SO THAT WHATEVER PUBLIC STATEMENTS ARE MADE BY EITHER GOVERNMENT ON THE QUESTION OF PROBABLE CAUSE OF DEATH COULD BE BASED ON THE BEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO BOTH SIDES.

4. THE CHIEF PATHOLOGIST FOR THE GOG IS DR. C. L. MOOTOO. ANY MESSAGE FOR HIM CAN BE PASSED EXPEDITOUSLY THROUGH THE EMBASSY. THROUGHOUT THIS ENTIRE AFFAIR, WHICH INCLUDES, OF COURSE, THE ASSASSINATION OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN, DR. MOOTOO HAS BEEN MOST COOPERATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL IN HIS DEALINGS WITH THE EMBASSY.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 24th, 2020.

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