skip to main contentThe University of Texas at Austin
Photojournalism and the American Presidency - Reading America's Photos
Photojournalism and the American Presidency - Reading America's Photos
AboutPresidentsPhotojournalistsCenter for American HistoryViewing ToolsLearning Tools
"Jonestown" Transcript
David Hume Kennerly:

Jonestown—we managed to get into Jonestown—we heard about it and were in Florida and flew to Guyana. When I first heard Guyana I thought it was in Africa, I swear to god, I had no idea—former British colony, kind of the northern part of South America. But we got into Jonestown and it's just one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen. I mean, the final total were 938 dead people there. They call it mass suicide, but it was really mass murder. A lot of the kids were murdered. Followers of a cultist by the name of James Jones and it was such a remote place. It was out in the middle of nowhere. The nearest airstrip was twelve miles from the actual little village that he'd established. And it's hard to conceive of why anybody would do that. And I think to this day, it is just one of the stories that truly gave me nightmares.

Back to the previous page.

 
audio clipJonestown
The Briscoe Center for American History