Jonestown revisited 30 years later

11/18/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

Thirty years ago today, more than 900 members of what was known as the Peoples Temple died from apparent cyanide poisoning in an event termed a "revolutionary suicide" by the Rev. Jim Jones in the South American nation of Guyana.

The event became known simply as “Jonestown,” and it was a horrific incident that is still unsettling three decades later.

The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at a nearby airstrip. The victims included Congressman Leo Ryan, the first and only Congressman murdered in the line of duty in the history of the United States.

Also shot and wounded was San Francisco Examiner reporter Tim Reiterman. He recovered and wrote the definitive book about Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple called, Raven: The Untold Story of the Reverend Jim Jones and His People. Originally published in 1982, it has been re-issued in paperback.

WMNF spoke last week with Tim Reiterman. In the first of a two-part interview, we began by asking Reiterman about how some perceived Jones and the Peoples Temple to be the dark side of the revolutionary fervor in the U.S. of the 1960s and 70s.

Please join us tomorrow night for the second half of this interview.

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