Dec 18, 78 • 1915 • Georgetown-State • 4349

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1274 of the FBI’s RYMUR release.]

UNCLASSIFIED

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

0 181915Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8493
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4349
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CARR (BEIKMAN, CHARLES) (PEOPLE TEMPLE)
SUBJ: W/W ARRESTS: CHARLES EDWARD BEIKMAN – STEPHAN JONES CONFESSES TO AMOS MURDERS DURING BEIKMAN HEARING
REF: GEORGETOWN 4242

1. PRELIMINARY HEARING INTO THE ALLEGED MURDERS OF LINDA SHARON HARRIS (A.K.A. SHARON AMOS) AND HER THREE CHILDREN WAS RESUMED TODAY (DEC 16). SESSION SCHEDULED FOR DEC 15 WAS CANCELED TO ALLOW SENIOR DEFENSE COUNSEL TO HEAR ARGUMENTS IN THE PRELIMINARY INQUIRY REGARDING THE MURDERS OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN AND FOUR OTHER PERSONS. (DEFENSE COUNSEL REX MCKAY IS ALSO DEFENSE COUNSEL FOR LARRY LAYTON, WHO IS ACCUSED IN THE PORT KAITUMA KILLINGS.)

2. AT TODAY’S HEARING, STEPHAN JONES, SON OF THE LATE REV. JIM JONES CONFESSED TO KILLING SHARON AMOS AND HER THREE CHILDREN. JONES WAS RESPONDING TO A QUESTION PUT TO HIM BY PROSECUTING COUNSEL CARLTON WEITHERS, ASKING IF HE, JONES, CONSPIRED IN THE KILLINGS. JONES THEN CALMLY STATED, “I KILLED THESE PEOPLE AND AM TRYING TO PUT IT OFF ON CHUCK (CHARLES) BEIKMAN.” WEITHERS ANNOUNCED IN COURT THIS AFTERNOON THAT THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (DPP) WOULD CONSIDER IF JONES SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH THE MURDERS. AFTER COURT WAS ADJOURNED, WEITHERS ADDED THAT

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGETOWN 4349 181944Z

THE DECISION ON WHETHER TO CHARGE JONES WOULD BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW IN COURT. IF JONES IS CHARGED, HE AND BEIKMAN MAY STAND TOGETHER AS ACCUSED AND IN THAT CASE THE INQUIRY WILL HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN.

3. MAGISTRATE CHRISTIAN TODAY ALSO RULED THAT A SECOND STATEMENT REGARDING THE AMOS KILLINGS MADE BY BEIKMAN, ON NOV 23, WAS INADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE. CHRISTIAN AGREED WITH MCKAY THAT THE STATEMENT HAD NOT BEEN MADE FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY.

4. AS STATED ABOVE, THE INQUIRY IS SCHEDULED TO RESUME TOMORROW MORNING.

BURKE [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]

Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Last modified on July 4th, 2022.
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