In the years prior to the tragedy, Jones had
obtained a jeweler's license that allowed him to purchase
cyanide, used to clean gold. The temple took in a half-pound of the
poison each month.
Also found at the compound were large quantities of potassium
Adults drank from cups. Those who refused were forced or shot.
Syringes were used
to spray the poisonous fluid down the throats of babies.
(UPI/ San Francisco Chronicle File 1978)
The next day, Guyanese forces sent to Jonestown found the
compound carpeted with bodies.
More than 900 members of the Peoples Temple died in Jim Jones' "revolutionary
Many victims were found with their arms wrapped around each other.
The cult leader known as "Father" used this chair as his throne.
He died from
a bullet to the head
by an unknown hand. He was 47.
(AP, Frank Johnston / The Chronicle, File 1978)
Enormous stashes of medical equipment and drugs were discovered
of Jim Jones' bedroom and throughout
(AP / The Chronicle, File 1978)
Guyana forces also found weapons at the Peoples Temple mission
(UPI / The Chronicle, File 1978)
About 870 passports were found by the first
searchers to arrive on the scene. The difference
their number and the number of victims can largely be accounted for
by the several
children born at the compound.
Hyacinth Thrash (right), shown in 1983, was the only person found
Others members had fled into the jungles.
by Robert Coalson, courtesy of Marian Towne)
More than 400 Jonestown victims are buried at Evergreen Cemetery
(Mark Costantini, 2003 / The Chronicle)