Seventeen-year-old Deborah Layton was among the more than 1,000
moved to Jones' Guyana
jungle compound. Layton fled
and went public with her story.
(Vincent Maggiora / The Chronicle)
San Mateo congressman Leo Ryan went to Jonestown in Nov. 1978 to
that the jungle
colony was run by a madman. Ryan
was accompanied by reporters
and relatives of Jonestown residents.
Ehmer / The Chronicle)
S.F. Examiner photographer Greg Robinson was among the
who went on the fact-finding
mission with Leo Ryan.
(Ron Javers / The Chronicle)
This photo by Greg Robinson, later slain at the Guyana
airstrip, shows Jim Jones (center)
the Parks family
tell him they want to leave Jonestown.
(Greg Robinson / SF Examiner
/ Bancroft Library)
On Nov. 18, 1978, Leo Ryan and his delegation were about to leave
Guyana when they were ambushed at an airstrip by Jonestown gunmen.
Ryan, a member of the Parks family, S.F. Examiner photographer Greg
Robinson, and two NBC reporters were killed. Tim Reiterman of the
S.F. Examiner, who was wounded in the attack, took this photo with
(Tim Reiterman / SF Examiner / Bancroft Library)
NBC reporter Don Harris (left) and S.F. Examiner photographer
Greg Robinson (right) were
by NBC cameraman Robert Brown just
minutes before all three were killed.
(NBC / Chronicle File 1978)
Leo Ryan's 28-year-old aide, Jackie Speier, was shot and wounded.
"I was lying on
the ground by one
of the plane's wheels, pretending
to be dead," she recalled
in a 1988 interview with the Chronicle.
Press File Photo)
The killings at the airport were begun by Larry Layton, in the
unbuttoned shirt, above. Though Layton was known to be a Jones
loyalist, he insisted on joining Ryan and his group shortly before
they headed to the airstrip, saying he wanted to return to the U.S.
as well. Once inside the plane, he produced a gun and started
shooting. He was joined moments later by members of Jones' Red
Brigade security team. Of all the gunmen, only Layton was convicted
for the murders.