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Guyana Incident #51744

ABC Evening News for Monday, Nov 20, 1978
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(Studio) Known facts about incident in Guyana over wkend., in which Representative Leo Ryan, 2 NBC News people and others were killed or wounded, noted. Ryan's presence in Guyana reported to be for investigation of religious cult, Peoples Temple; Guyanan troops' discovery of mass suicide, include cult leader Jim Jones, upon arriving to rescue survivors of Ryan's party stated. Photo and map shown. Cult headquarters in Guyana said to be in Jonestown.
REPORTER: Frank Reynolds

(Georgetown, Guyana) Guyana government's report on mass suicide in Jonestown noted. [Guyanan information minister Shirley FIELD-RIDLEY - describes scene of suicide; says some victims have no visible signs of violence, others have what appear to be gunshot wounds.] Attorney Mark Lane's escape from ambush, after having sat in on discussion between Jones and Ryan, described. [LANE - outlines experience.] Ambush reported to have taken place at Port Kaituma airstrip; Guyanan government's statements that all dead and injured in ambush have been acctd. for mentioned. Autopsies on dead and other preparations for flying bodies from Georgetown back to United States outlined.
REPORTER: Bernard Shaw

(Studio) Report from witness in Guyana that many who died drank poison, while others were gunned down, noted. Attempts by relatives of cult members to get information about them from headquarters of Peoples Temple in San Francisco reported.
REPORTER: Max Robinson

(San Francisco, California) Relatives' attempts to get information on family members in Guyana from Peoples Temple described. [MAN - says relative got shot.] Police presence at temple headquarters and at Human Freedom Center, in Berkeley, noted; latter reported to be center of opposition to temple, where former members of cult reacted to tragedy. Warnings from former members of potential violence stated. [Wanda JOHNSON - says son is dead unless he got away from group. Reports it was planned that all mbrs. would gather in building children would be killed immediately.] Situation of unidentified man who is said to fear reprisal if ident., described; his report that wife took children and left for Guyana in August given. [2nd MAN - says government must go to Guyana and bring people out in order to save them. Asks why they can't stop cult leader if they stopped Hitler.]
REPORTER: Irv Chapman

(Studio) Army copters noted to be standing by at Fort Benning, Georgia, to be sent to Guyana along with United States Army medical support teams who will collect, identify, and bring out dead from Jonestown.
REPORTER: Frank Reynolds (WTVM newstape)

(DC) Details given about State Department task forces' work on Guyana situation. [MAN - talks to someone in Guyana via phone.] [Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John BUSHNELL - gives press briefing on location of Jonestown, in relation to Georgetown, situation there and Guyana's report that Jim Jones and family are among dead.] [2nd MAN - discusses information from Guyana.] [MAN - discusses funeral plans with telephone caller.] Questions about efficiency of United States government in situation, prior to disaster, reported to have begun.
REPORTER: Ted Koppel

(Studio) Upcoming reports outlined.
REPORTER: Frank Reynolds

Chapman, Irv;
Koppel, Ted;
Reynolds, Frank;
Robinson, Max;
Shaw, Bernard

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