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Guyana Incident #255612

CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Nov 22, 1978
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(Studio) Guyana officials' arrest of 3 Americans and chging. of one, Larry Layton, in attack on American investigative group in Guyana on Saturday noted. That attack reported to have triggered mass murder/suicide by cult followers of Reverend Jim Jones. Possible number of Peoples' Temple members who escaped into jungle while poisoned drink was being given to others stated; United States military copters' efforts to find survivors described. Army personnel arrival in Jonestown to clean up disaster mentioned.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Georgetown, Guyana) Conditions at Jonestown, where Guyana government reports disease has begun to spread from corpses, noted. Details given about speculation on escape of some cultists into jungle; possible number of escapees from disaster and potential for their survival discussed. Cyanide poisoning of cult victims mentioned. Films shown. Preparations for removal of bodies from Jonestown by United States Army mortuary teams stated; plans outlined; Spectators' gathering in Georgetown for court hearing in which Layton was chgd. with taking part in shooting at airstrip, where Representative Leo Ryan and 4 other Americans died, cited. Layton noted accused of starting shooting that preceded mass deaths of Jim Jones and followers.
REPORTER: John Sheahan

(Studio) 1st flights returning bodies of Jonestown victims reported scheduled for early Thanksgiving morning. Report concerns type of persons that join cults.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(San Francisco, California) Cult defectors' descriptions of Larry Layton given; photograph of Layton shown. [Former cultist Grace STOEN - describes Layton's advocacy of murder.] Peoples Temple member Tim Carter noted arrested in Guyana; his childhood in Idaho and his father's comments about son mentioned. Photo of Carter shown. Background of cultist Michael Prokes given; film of him shown. Prokes' service as spokesperson for Jim Jones in San Francisco and his arrest in Guyana reported Claims by young Tommy Kice's mother that he was drugged and hidden away when he wanted to leave Jonestown stated; mother's defection cited. [Defector Wanda JOHNSON - describes Jones' treatment of son; doesn't know if he's alive or dead.] Neva Sly reported to have sent son, Mark Andrew, to Jonestown when she still admired the cult; he is said to have been reported as among dead. [SLY - says son begged to be allowed out of church, that he hated Guyana and would never willingly have committed suicide. Was too brainwashed at time to allow him to get out of cult.] Other cases of Guyana cultists and their defector relatives given include that of Lilly Victor, whose family is in Los Angeles, Elbie Reeves of Chicago and Touchette family. [Defector Aline VICTOR - is bitter because nothing was done about cult; felt something wrong from beginning.] [Reeves' niece and defector Willie TYSON - talks of aunt's reasons for joining People's Temple.] [Micke TOUCHETTE - has imagined family dead in Guyana, as have other defectors. Says people can't run away from reality.] Description of Jim Jones given by his attorney Charles Garry, as members of San Francisco section of cult listened, quoted.
REPORTER: Harold Dow

(Studio) Details given about preparations of cyanide-poisoned drink given to cultists; drink reported prepared by 30-yr.-old doctor
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(Irvine, California) Background report on Peoples Temple physician at Jonestown, Dr. Lawrence Schacht. His degree noted to come from University of California at Irvine, south of Los Angeles. Med. school dean's report that Schacht had spent 1st 2 years of medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico, allegedly financed by Peoples Temple, stated. [University of California, Irvine, spokesperson Dr. Stanley VAN DEN NOORT - says it was known that Schacht was deeply religious and wanted to do mission work in South American after finishing school.] Schacht's move to San Francisco for internship mentioned, where only indication of affiliation with Peoples Temple is reported to have been character reference given him by cult member [San Francisco General Hospital spokesperson Dr. Brent BLUE - says Schacht had no real connection with hospital except work there.] Schacht's disappearance from job and colleagues' later discovery that he had gone to South American reported Photo shown.
REPORTER: Miriam Bjierre

(Studio) Schacht reported identified among dead.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

Reporter(s):
Bjierre, Miriam;
Cronkite, Walter;
Dow, Harold;
Sheahan, John
Duration:
00:08:40

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