Transcribe your podcast

What makes killers kill? From Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney, the HBO original documentary, Crazy Not Insane, is a provocative look at the minds of violent people, including serial killer Ted Bundy, through a fascinating profile of psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otniel Lewis, who has dedicated her career to the study of murderers. The film looks beyond the grisly details of homicides into the hearts and minds of the killers themselves. Stream Crazy, not insane. An HBO original documentary, November 18th on HBO Max.


I just kept going into the jungle, I could see bodies all over. Well, you're running. They're still shooting. I'm still hearing shots.


They had identified people they wanted to kill. We were on top of a powder keg.


It's almost impossible to fathom, even now, more than 900 Americans dead in the jungle at Jonestown. It was something out of a horror movie.


You're telling me this man said, drink this poison and they drank it? That's right. We take you inside the mission that exposed that dangerous truth. I'm thinking, oh, my God, it's terrible. Everything we feared is true.


The only video camera there to capture it all belonged to NBC News.


He said, I can never put this camera down. Rare pictures and powerful details from those who survived the shooting point blank. My whole shirt was just dripping with red blood. All of a sudden I was hit.


I thought, oh, my God, this is in a riveting look at the story that still haunts the world. The enormity of it all in the insanity still comes up that you just can't push it down.


I'm Lester Holt and this is Dateline. Here's Josh Mankiewicz with Jonestown. An American tragedy. It is a moment frozen in time. A group of journalists posed on a jungle airstrip in South America one day later, three of these men and the U.S. congressmen they were traveling with would be murdered by members of an American cult a few miles away.


Hundreds of members of that cult would also perish in an orgy of mass murder and suicide.


Good evening. And one of the strangest cases of mass suicide and murder ever recorded.


The government of Guyana said today this is the story behind the story of an American tragedy called Jonestown as it was recorded and reported by the journalists of NBC News.


We do have a particular interest in it. To NBC News. Men were shot to death there.


Our story begins in San Francisco in the mid 70s, where a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones was making a name for himself and attracting a particular flock.


He considered himself a socialist and San Francisco as a very liberal community.


Tim Grinderman was a young wire service reporter at the time. He was perceived as an activist preacher, somebody who practice what he preached, somebody who brought in poor people and helped poor people.


Jones had migrated to California from the Midwest in the 60s, preaching a gospel of racial harmony and communal living in San Francisco. His people's temple ran elderly homes, offered drug counseling and fed the poor. Jones was a darling of Democrats. Politicians like Mayor George Moscone and Governor Jerry Brown courted him. But the Reverend Jim Jones was also controversial. He claimed to be Christ reincarnated, a socialist God who could heal the sick, make the blind see and the lame walk again.


Jones had established a reputation as a faith healer, as someone who could remove cancers from people's bodies. And much of this was, of course, fakery.


But it did bring people through the door while researching a story about Jones for the San Francisco Examiner and says he met with former followers who told him Hair-Raising stories about Jones that differed from the public image, stories of disciplinary beatings and public humiliations.


And one occasion that was described, he had a woman in the inner circle disrobe in front of everybody so that they could make fun of her body. This was also disciplined, teaching somebody a lesson. Yeah, basically do away with your ego. Identify with the group, the group alone, Jones had to have known if reporters were closing in trouble, wasn't far behind. So in the summer of 77, shortly before press reports critical of the People's Temple were to be published, Jim Jones left town.


He resurfaced thousands of miles away at a jungle compound the temple had established in Guyana, a small country on the northeastern edge of South America.


Why Guyana, of all places? Well, for one reason. I as an English speaking country, and it's small enough and poor enough that the temples financial resources would buy it. Welcome.


Over the next few months, Jones brought roughly a thousand of his followers there, but a sweet liberation break.


In promotional films, Jones portrayed his Jonestown settlement with noodles.


Jamming noodles couldn't go through all the Kool-Aid as a tropical paradise. American magic, nothing like the AP and the new settlers urged family and friends to join them there.


It'll be nice when things get worked around that you can come down and share our freedom.


Complete freedom here in the Promised Land was almost like the Guyana move abruptly divided many families.


Jones's followers gave up property and paychecks to the temple, and, according to former Memphis, Jones demanded that those moving to Jonestown surrender their passports. Families brought their concerns to Bay Area Congressman Leo Ryan.


Complaints from constituents prompted him to form a fact finding mission to find out whether the people who were living in Jonestown, including the children, were free to leave or not. And Congressman Ryan went down there to see what was really true.


Exactly. And you went with it? Exactly. I essentially invited myself along.


It was shortly before the 1978 midterm elections that NBC News assigned correspondent Dan Harris and a camera crew to accompany Ryan to Guyana was at first impressed me in meeting the NBC crew was that they were all experienced.


Some had covered wars with little time to prepare and just dove into the Jonestown story. He interviewed Temple's supporters, critics and high profile defectors like Gracetown.


But you have to understand, my ignorance is so great at this point. I'm doing research at the same time we're doing the taping, which is a tough way to operate, but there just wasn't enough time to do the homework. Well, I just want to tell you one thing. You will never meet up with another man like Jim Jones. I'm telling you the truth with grim foreshadowing.


Debbie Layton Blaikie, a defector, told Harris that Jones sometimes ordered his followers in Guyana to drink from a VAT that supposedly contained poison.


Everyone stood in line, went up and drank this red, you know, was kind of tasted like that's just that thing the little children drink. But you have to put a lot of sugar in that for good without sugar. That's what it was. I don't know. But, you know, it had a horrible taste initialing you could to think, well, maybe there is something in that. He said it will take forty five minutes and he assigned several people to faint to pretend they were dead.


What would you say with anything between 11 and 12 hundred people? You're telling me this man took eleven hundred people and gathered them together? Oh, he does every day. And he said drink this poison. Yeah. And they drank it. That's right. You drank it.


Just before leaving for Guyana, cameraman Bob Brown called his wife Connie and said this about his latest assignment.


He says, you know, if these people, these people are very strange, but if half of what they're saying is true. This is a terrible story. It's incredible. When we come back, the first look inside Jonestown. We see people all lined up in the big pavilion when we met him the first day there. He struck me as just evil personified. I'm thinking, oh, my God, it's true. Everything we feared is true. When Dateline continues.


When NBC's news crew packed for the trip to Guyana in November 1978, this is what they carried, 70 pounds of camera gear at the time. That was state of the art and boxes full of clunky 20 minute videotapes soundtrack. Steve Sung did much of the heavy lifting.


I had to carry the tape that it weighs about, oh, 35, 40 pound, maybe 35 pounds. And that's no remote control. It just video feed directly into machines. So you've got to be connected to the cameraman at an all time.


Eight journalists would enter Jonestown with Congressman Ryan, half of them from NBC News cameraman Bob Brown had worked for all three networks covering riots, shootouts and war.


I'll tell you what Bob told my brother before we went to Vietnam.


Brown's wife, Connie Nick said to him, how can you go into a war zone without a gun? And Bob said, Well, first off, I figure if it's that bad, there'll be guns lying around.


But if I don't have a gun, I can assure you I'm going to get the picture of the son of a bitch who shoots me like Brown.


Correspondent Don Harris had covered riots at home and war in Vietnam.


Sixteen's or old and battered, but they say they have enough ammunition.


I always said it's going to be OK. You know, I'll be fine.


Shirley Oliver heard a lot of that during her 20 year marriage to Don.


I tried not to worry too much. He was in Vietnam for five weeks on the front line and they called him Mr. Lucky because he always came back.


Leading the NBC team was veteran field producer Bob Flik.


He was a big, tall, strong, full of a man, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Ron Javas, or a T-shirt that said God rides a Harley and had a big white golf cap.


And we bonded right away along with Javas and writer and where Washington Post reporter Charles Krauss and San Francisco Examiner photographer Greg Robinson, he says, I got it.


It looks like I'm going to South America. I'm going to do an assignment there.


Greg's sister, Andrea Robinson, I said, Are you serious? It's incredible. We were both so excited.


It took 26 hours for the Ryan entourage to travel from San Francisco to Georgetown, Guyana, but once their Jim Jones refused to let them visit his compound.


I still hope we can work out something between Mr. Jones.


For three days, they waited. While the congressman negotiated with temple lawyers, NBC correspondent Don Harris interviewed concerned relatives like Jim Cobb.


What are you doing out here? I'm here essentially to try to see my relatives. I have a mother, three sisters and a brother that I haven't seen, my sisters and brothers.


And about four years now, 28 year old Jackie Speer was Congressman Ryan's legislative aide. She'd helped arrange the Jonestown trip and knew enough to be afraid of you.


I was concerned about making that trip. Temple defector she'd interviewed had told her Jonestown was a virtual prison camp, a place where members were brainwashed, armed and willing to kill for Jim Jones.


I was in the process of purchasing a condo, my first home in Arlington, Virginia, and I literally made the contract contingent on my surviving the trip, almost like you had some ohman.


Almost like I had a premonition about it.


It was Friday, November 17th, 1978, when Jim Jones finally agreed to see the Ryan group. So far, so good. After landing in Port Kaituma, a small village a few miles from Jonestown, the Ryan group was taken the rest of the way in the back of a temple dump truck. It was after dark by the time the reporters finally arrived in Jonestown, too dark to see anything except with Jim Jones wanted them to see.


We see people all lined up in the big pavilion. They were welcome to come in. They start with the music singing like a welcoming party for us.


So at that point, it's kind of what you thought. It's everybody's happy.


You can see the videotape. The people are happy. They were welcome. Just come in. They had some very good musicians down there who did some really good music. Washington Post reporter Charles Krauss.


But I also noticed that there were people who were like comatose, who were. You know, clapping, but without any kind of nothing related to the music, that's a pretty clear sign that everything maybe isn't as it seems.


That's right.


Presiding over all of it was Jim Jones when we met him the first day there in Jonestown.


He struck me as just evil personified and we were almost sure that he was on drugs.


And at one point, he had asked his wife, Marceline, to give me a pill and she was over her take. No, no pills.


In the spirit of the moment, Congressman Ryan took to the stage and complimented his hosts, who I can tell you right now, having a few conversations I had with some of the folks here already and feeling that whatever the comments are, there are some people here who believe that this is the best thing that ever happened in their whole life.


And then everybody cheers, and the sense you get is, well, everything's fine. Well, it was almost manic cheering almost to the point that it made you a little uncomfortable.


It was during that raucous applause that someone passed a note to NBC correspondent Don Harris.


The note signed by two people read simply, please help us get out of Jonestown.


Don brings this note over to us and says. You might want to see this, and Ryan looks at it and hands it to me and I'm thinking, oh my God, it's true, everything we feared is true.


Don Harris's son, Jeff Humphrey, was 17 when his father went to Guyana. He believes he knows exactly how his father responded to that note.


Well, this is my dad's NBC News notebook. It says it's Jonestown on the front of it. He was trying to write this note to somebody without anybody else knowing about it. And it says, finally me tomorrow, whether you find me or not, I'll help. Coming up.


Word started to get out that people were leaving division in the compound. Danger was just ahead. Suddenly the life was around my neck.


When Dateline continues, we get support from Etsy. I love the holidays. And while I've made my peace with the fact that they're going to look a little different this year, I'm still very excited to get my loved ones. Some incredible gifts from Etsy. Etsy is perfect for sourcing gifts you can't find anywhere else, from creative handmade pieces to one of a kind vintage to things that are personalized just for the people on your list. I found some of my most treasured items on Etsy.


And in a world of mass production, it's nice to give my friends and family things that really hold meaning. My husband and I are proud cat parents and I found a seller that has gorgeous custom pet portraits I know he'll love and PO are going to look great hanging above our fireplace this holiday season. Shop Etsy to gift like you mean it. Go to Etsy, dotcom gifts to shop meaningful gifts for the people you love this holiday season. That's Etsy et s y dotcom gifts.


I'm sure you've got a lot going on right now, to say the least. And if you need someone to talk to, I recommend checking out. Better help. Better help is not a crisis line. It's not self-help. It's professional counseling done securely online. You can log into your account any time. Send a message to your counselor and you'll get timely and thoughtful responses because you're doing all this online, you won't ever have to wait in a waiting room.


Instead, you're scheduling weekly video or phone sessions with your counselor. They also know that you might not click with someone right away. And that's OK. Better help makes it easy and free to change counselors if you need to. To get ten percent off your first month visit, better help dotcoms. DL, NBC join over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional at better HELOC. Dotcom slash Dell NBC better help dot com slash DL NBC.


After the show was over that first night, Jones insisted the reporter's return to Port Kaituma, where he'd arranged for them to sleep in a local bar.


So we ended up sleeping on the floor.


There would be little rest on the NBC crew had a nightcap at the bar.


Tim Reitman and the other print reporters were approached by a local constable who wanted to talk about Jonestown.


He said that on multiple occasions there were people who were evacuated from Jonestown and flown out of Port Kaituma after receiving injuries, and he felt that some of them had been beaten. And he described a pit in a pit, a deep hole in the ground that people couldn't climb out of. You'd be placed in it for punishment.


The next morning, the print reporters told Don Harris about the pit and Harris showed them the note he'd gotten the night before.


And he kind of rolled down his combat boot that he had on and in. There was a white tablet note about that big. It said, please help us get out of Jonestown.


By the time the newsmen passed through the temple gates later that morning, they were no longer a collection of rivals. They were a team. I think I said let's just each of us fan out and each reporter get as much stuff as you can get, and then we'll get together again and we'll share it all. Everybody said, absolutely.


But Temple monitors shadowed their every step, making it impossible for reporters to speak privately with Jonestown residents like Maria Katsaros. Are you happy here? Yes, I'm very happy. You know that your father and your brother are convinced that you're not. Well, I'm very happy here, I don't know what else I can do to convince them. Her brother Anthony, who flew in with the Orion group, wasn't so sure. It's hard for me to know what to think, for me to be satisfied.


I'd have to see it somewhere else. We're just a news team. We don't care one way or the other. Are you happy here? Oh, I never been any happier in my life. Her son, Jim Cobb was skeptical. Are you satisfied that they are not under duress at this moment, that they're that they can talk to you? That's right. And, you know, they can't they they they can't talk to them right now. Sarah.


Back at the main pavilion, however, other residents were stepping forward to tell Jackie Spear that they wanted out of Jonestown on an old friend apart. And what is your pleasure? What is your wish to them?


Go back to go back to where it started to get out that people were leaving and then more people wanted to leave. Congressman Ryan said he was willing to take anyone who wanted to leave. And though Jim Jones pleaded with the defectors to stay, their minds were made up.


Running short on time, Harris and the NBC crew set up to tape their interview with Jim Jones last night, someone came and passed me this note. That's so we're talking about who actually be Sunu Johnstown's is about. That's why we're only was Sonny. He's the one that I'm just talking about. Yeah, it was this this is a man who wants a little son here. Does it concern you, though, that this man, for whatever reason and one of the people in your group, people make claims in a lie, the lie?


What can I do about you people don't leave us. I just beg you, please leave us.


And then all of a sudden the skies just turn dark and just dump this torrential rain. And it was almost like some sort of evil omen sign from above struck everybody that way. I was just so, so eerie.


When the rain let up, the mood turned ugly as families divided over whether to stay or go.


As Congressman Ryan stayed behind to take care of some last minute logistics, a dump truck loaded with reporters and defectors pulled away for the trip to the airstrip. And then a shout went up from the people behind us and you could hear this, wow, what are they doing?


You know?


And Leo Ryan came out of the pavilion heading towards us. His shirt was all bloody.


The congressman had been attacked by a temple member who'd held a knife to Ryan's throat. The congressman was unharmed, but in the struggle over the knife, his attacker was cut.


Ryan was clearly shaken as he climbed into the truck for the trip to the airstrip where get our airstrip, we unloaded, get ready because the plane hasn't there yet.


So press people decide to have a press conference with congressman.


Suddenly, the knife was around my neck and I was in danger.


After his interview with the congressman, Don Harris seemed to sense trouble coming.


And Harris, to push against me, say, get a weisheit, go away. There must be trouble. OK, you guys get ready.


Three men who Harris knew to be close to Jim Jones suddenly approach as if looking for someone after conferring briefly, Son says the man waved away bystanders and walked toward a red tractor that had just pulled up. Don Harris knew something was going on.


Yes. Don Harris. No, exactly. There's something going on. Coming up. Gunshots on the airstrip, we dive on the ground, they were shooting point blank, my whole shirt was just dripping with red blood.


I was playing dead and all of a sudden I was hit. When Dateline continues. The reporters had their story in less than 24 hours, they'd interviewed Jim Jones, witnessed more than a dozen defections and an assassination attempt on a U.S. congressman.


I think I may put on the tape just that I told you so, everybody. As NBC cameraman Bob Brown rolled tape, two planes were being prepared for takeoff and then suddenly gunshots.


Only this snippet of that moment remains with dive on the ground, both of us, because we're really connected to each other with that cable, with the cable we like, marriage cannot be separate.


I saw Ryan running under the plane. I followed suit and I hid behind one of the wheels.


Pop, pop, up, up, up, up, up. And I had never heard a gunshot before in my life. Bob Brown was shooting at a truck with fire, gunfire go off. And next thing, he got shot in the leg. He said, ouch. I said, don't get up. He did. And that's why he drew attention. They blew his head off.


Next shot, Bob Brown was dead. True to his word, Brown, it seemed, did get a shot of the man who killed it a few feet away, Steve Sung was still tethered to Brown's camera.


They hit my shoulder, the big sky mom and I carried a heavy case, another SUV, the big leather strap that saved my life.


I felt myself get shot in the left arm and wrist.


When you get hit with a rifle bullet, it knocked me on my ass.


Neither Javas nor Reitman's stayed down for long. Both sprinted for cover in the jungle.


And while you're running, they're still shooting. I'm still hearing shots. My whole shirt was just dripping with red blood on the airstrip.


The killing continued.


I was playing dead and all of a sudden I was hit and I thought, oh, my God, this is it. I'm dying nearby, Congressman Ryan was down, severely wounded.


They were shooting point blank at us there on the ground. That's when you were hit and that's when I was hit. But. Right. And that's when the congresswoman was killed.


I was told Ryan was shot dozens of times. I was told he was shot 45 times. So they had identified people they wanted to kill.


Congressman Leo Ryan dead nearby.


Another target, NBC correspondent Don Harris, also murdered across the airstrip, a temple gunman who pretended to be a defector opened fire, wounding two passengers on the smaller plane. When his gun jammed, the other passengers disarmed him. The attack had lasted only a couple of minutes and then silence, the reporters who'd made it into the jungle slowly crept back toward the airstrip and there was the happiest site I ever seen.


There was Bob Flick, those big white hat and his God rides a Harley White T-shirt. Bob is going around kneeling down from one person to the next.


I worked my way out to the plane and Greg Robinson was near the gangway. He was dead. And Congressman Ryan, he was dead. Bob Brown was a short distance away and he was dead. Don Harris was nearby to and near the gangway. Patricia Parks, who was one of the defectors, died five dead, 10 wounded shortly after the shooting stopped.


The Guyanese pilots left in the only plane that could still fly, leaving the wounded to fend for themselves. I should have died on that airstrip.


I should have, but it was not part of the plan. I mean, my whole right side of my leg was blown up except for the femoral artery. Had the femoral artery been severed, I would have died in 90 seconds. You had to be wondering whether you were going to bleed to death. I think it was a Tim rhythm and he used a tee shirt to tie it to what he called the word tourniquet. It took it to so stop the bleeding case.


He's helped me save me that way.


Bob Flick came a number of times during the night and brought me guy in his room to take, which was the closest thing the medicine they had. Right. And I was forever grateful to him for doing that.


While the rest of the survivors waited for help in a rum shop near the airstrip.


Some of the Jonestown defectors darkly speculated about what might be happening in Jonestown at that very moment.


Someone was saying, and I remember this, you know, they're killing a man.


They're killing all the babies. Coming up, a journey back to Jonestown, the world was about to learn the unimaginable truth. It was something out of a horror movie when Dateline continues. As most of us have found out, the hard way getting into debt is easy and getting out is hard, especially if your credit score isn't great. Thankfully, now there's upstart dotcom, the revolutionary lending platform that knows you're more than just your credit score and offer smarter interest rates to help you pay off high interest credit card debt.


Upstart makes it fast, simple and easy to check your rate. Since it's just a soft pull, it won't affect your credit score. The hard pull happens if you accept your rate the best part. Once the loan is approved and accepted, most people get their funds the very next business day. Free yourself from the burden of high interest credit card debt by consolidating everything into one monthly payment with upstart sehbai. Upstart is top ranked in their category with a four point nine out of five rating on trust pilot and hurried upstart dotcom slash NBC News to find out how low your upstart rate is.


Checking your rate only takes a few minutes. That's upstart dotcom slash NBC News.


On Sunday morning, November 19th, roughly 16 hours after the airstrip shootings, two small planes arrived in Port Kaituma to evacuate the survivors back to Georgetown for medical treatment. Just beyond the jungle horizon, a killing field was waiting to be discovered. But for Tim Rider, all that mattered in that moment was documenting the scene in front of them.


I couldn't find my small compact camera, so I went to Greg Robinson's bag. I found one that had some film left in it.


And I took I took a picture. It's a photo, you see, of the plane with the bodies around it. On the flight out of Port Kaituma, Ron Javor sat next to NBC producer Bob Flic Bob was holding that blue NBC minicamp to his chest.


He wasn't saying anything. He looked like hell. He was, you know, just sweating. And and I said, Bob, you put the camera down. Now, he just looked at me and said. I can never put this camera down the streaming tiers within hours of the airstrip ambush, NBC said fresh correspondents and crews to Guyana.


I had to pick up that video and put that video on television.


Former NBC correspondent Fred Francis. How could this possibly happen? This is this is not a war zone. This is in the middle of a jungle where there are mostly Americans around you.


In Georgetown the next morning, Flic recounted the slaughter of the night before.


There were many shots, and every time somebody would fall down wounded, they would walk over and shoot him in the head with a shotgun.


As Bob Flic boarded his flight home, the story that had left him so shaken exploded in a new, unthinkable horror. It's a nightmare. According to temple members who'd escaped from Jonestown overnight, Jim Jones had ordered his followers to swallow a fruit flavored drink laced with cyanide.


When you run where people are already dying. Yeah, when I ran, yeah.


I remember days earlier in San Francisco, defector Debbie Layton Blaikie had described something that now sounded like a rehearsal.


You're telling me this man said drink this poison? Yeah. And they drank it. That's right.


According to Jonestown escapee Odell Rhodes, anyone who resisted was forced to take the poison.


That was a little girl named Julie Rennolds that was being forced to take it. She was about 13, I guess, and the woman who supervised her on one of the nurses were actually forcing her to take it because she kept spitting it out and they were forcing her to take it. Fred Francis knew he had to get to Jonestown, nobody would fly me to Jonestown, and then I found the airplane with the bullet holes in it and I negotiated a price of ten thousand dollars with the pilot to fly me out there.


And part of that fee was to the ground staff of that airport that nobody else should fly out of there after us.


So you're protecting your exclusive.


I spent eight thousand dollars on a pilot in 2000 dollars to close the airport to any other pilots. Works for me.


Once he landed at Port Kaituma, Francis says he and his crew hitched a ride to Jonestown on an American army helicopter.


When we started rotating in a helicopter, the Army helicopter over Jonestown, we could see. This massive quilt, we had no idea what we were looking at, and as the helicopter made another pass and we got closer, the stench came up even with the rotor wash into the plane. And then we realized what we were looking at were hundreds of bodies down below us lying on top of one another.


It was something out of a horror movie. We couldn't tell whether they were men and women or children until we got on the ground. And that's when we had to use the perfume and the scarves.


This is the way Fred Francis reported that story in 1978 when the poison was being passed out. Men were around this auditoria, Mary here with crossbows. They were acting as guards. If anyone tried to leave, these were you.


I remember walking through Jonestown and being stunned, being emotionally blasted stays with you. The kids, you know, adults, adults are going to do what they want. But children, they took three hundred and four kids and killed them. Coming up, one more unbelievable discovery, the madness of it all captured on tape. They'll talk to some of our children who we cannot have this. It still comes up and you just can't push it down.


When Dateline continues. It was a gruesome crime scene. Hundreds of bodies stacked three and four deep in places pungent in the stifling heat. The government of Guyana told the United States late in the day that it wants the bodies of the victims returned to the United States for burial.


It would take weeks for American soldiers to recover all of those bodies and ship them home. In the end, 909 bodies were found at Jonestown. Investigators determined Jim Jones and his nurse died of gunshot wounds, likely self-inflicted. All the rest, it seemed, either drank the poison or had it injected.


And it wasn't a painless death.


Former NBC correspondent Fred Francis, some of those who escaped talked about how the people were withering in and around the pavilion, how it took some of them many minutes to die and in the five dead from the airstrip ambush and four more from another location.


And the total death tally was 918. It was while combing the compound for clues that investigators made another discovery. Jim Jones had actually recorded Jones town's final death scene.


How very much I tried my best to give you a good life, recorded shortly after the murders of Congressman Ryan and four others at the airstrip.


Jones tells his followers that suicide is their only option now.


The congressman is dead. Please get it. The medication is simple.


According to Jones, the Guyanese army or GDF would soon be arriving to destroy their paradise.


Please get in before it's too late to be here. I tell you. Get moving and get moving. Get moving. Don't be afraid to die. If you're 50 people land out here, they'll take care of our children. You don't torture people. They'll take our seniors. We cannot have this.


According to eyewitnesses, the children were the first to die.


That the VAT, the VAT that with the Greens, the English made here. So they come again.


Just before the tape ran out, Jones can still be heard pleading for obedience, rationalizing madness.


We didn't commit to it. We commit an act of revolutionary suicide, protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.


Among the dead, Maria Katsaros and Jim Cobb's mother, brother and three sisters.


Today, this mass grave in Oakland is the final resting spot for more than 400 of Jonestown dead for the survivors, Jonestown became a life defining event.


After nearly dying on that airstrip, Jackie Speier is following in Congressman Leo Ryan's footsteps.


He was a great mentor, a great mentor. I learned a great deal from. Yeah, and you have a seat now and now I'm serving in his seat. It is. It is bittersweet, obviously, the reporters who survived the air strip ambush all wrote books about it. After Jonestown, Bob Flick left TV news and had a second career with Entertainment Tonight, he died in 2015. Steve Seung became an editor and occasionally worked on stories for Dateline.


Steve's retired now Fred Francis. NBC News Fred Francis went on to have many big assignments in his 40 year career at NBC News. But he says Jonestown is the one story he just can't shake.


This one always seems to poke at me every now and again the enormity of it all, you know, in the insanity of the insanity of it and that smell, even though I couldn't resurrect it, it's with me all the time. I mean, it was so powerful.


The dead remain ageless in the minds of those they left behind, Bob Brown's widow, Connie Brown Henderson Bob has now been dead longer than he than he was alive, but he sure packed a lot into 36 years.


Photographer Greg Robinson, who took many of the iconic Jonestown pictures, was only 27 when he was murdered.


CBS this late later, it still comes up and you just can't push it down. It's so bizarre.


His sister Andrea still struggles with his loss and the thoughts of what might have been.


We both had plans to have our lives together. All those dreams were just shattered.


Don Harris left behind a trunk full of memories for his family. Among the most prized is this letter from one of the airstrip survivors.


And he wrote this letter to my mom. Even at the very end, he my dad took the time to help me. As I lay crouched behind the wheel of the airplane, Don told me, don't move, don't make a sound, just be still and pretend like your dad. I can't understand why I'm alive one more time. He said, I can understand while I'm alive and such a fine man like your husband isn't. It's been more than four decades, but like much of what happened at Jonestown, it's a question with no answer.


Hi, I'm John Thrasher, and I'm Daryn Kagan, and we're the hosts of Oxygen's True Crime podcast, Martinis and Murder. Are you like us and always looking for a new true crime podcast, a bench? Well, you're in luck. Martinis and murder is a perfect blend of true crime.


Good laughs and of course, delicious drinks that you're going to want to enjoy while listening to the show from high profile cases everyone has heard of to tiny, lesser known ones that have gone under the radar. We are breaking down all the details of a new case every week.


And not only that, we're interviewing some of the biggest names in the true crime world, people like Nancy Grace, Paul Holes, and, of course, the king of true crime himself, Keith Morrison. So what are you waiting for? Come have a drink with us.


Yeah, come join us, download and subscribe to martinis and murder wherever you listen to podcasts.