View Full Version : CA - Jonestown Mass Grave of 409 People - Could it Hold People Missing from 70's?

04-24-2007, 10:44 AM
the hellish nightmare of Jonestown was remembered in the USA.
At 11 am on Tuesday November 18, at the Evergreen Cemetery, in Oakland, California, a special Memorial Service marked the 25th Anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy. Former members of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, some who had managed to escape the jungle compound before the suicide murders occurred, relatives of victims, and others gathered to remember, and to question how it could have happened. They gathered at the mass grave of some 409 of the unclaimed or unidentified Jonestown victims – including many children (some 227 children, including babies, died at Jonestown) – who were buried together at the Oakland Cemetery.

04-24-2007, 01:27 PM
I've wondered about Jonestown in regards to missing persons too. It saddens me that the overhwhelming majority of children who were murdered at Jonestown were unidentified and unclaimed :(.

04-24-2007, 09:57 PM
It would probably be a massive undertaking, but I wonder whether DNA testing could be done. Seems it might clear up many missing persons cases. I never realized that so many were unidentified...

04-25-2007, 04:48 AM
Was it because the childrens' whole families died with them or do you mean that Jones had parentless kids at that horrible place?

04-25-2007, 08:50 AM
I suspect that it's mostly due to whole families dying with them. Or that extended families (grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc) didn't know of the childrens' existence, so didn't know they had perished, kwim?

04-25-2007, 09:07 AM
No I have found lots of information about them taking in FOSTER KIDS, and getting kids from slum areas to "give them a better life" At lot of this was just to get the kids welfare checks to support the church and alot of the kids were there by court order here is some of what I have found....

He began building the People's Temple communal facilities and, without any trained medical personnel or the usual licensing, was able to run a nursing home. During this time Jones allegedly adopted 150 foster children, most of whom were sent to the People's Temple by court order.
Possibly as many as 150 foster children have been alleged to have died in Jonestown during the mass suicide/murder ritual of last November. Senator Alan Cranston's Subcommittee on Child and Human Development is conducting an investigation of these charges with the assistance of the GAO. Preliminary indications are that 12 California foster children may be identified as having died. Greatly complicating the identification process is the fact that neither dental nor fingerprint records exist on most of the children. At this writing, it is hoped that the GAO investigators may be able to provide at least a preliminary report of their findings to Senator Cranston's subcommittee by the end of May 1979 for a hearing that will be held in Los Angeles.
The Staff Investigative Group was informed by State Department witnesses that the U.S. Embassy in Guyana was never asked by California welfare officials to check on the welfare and whereabouts of California foster children reportedly living in Jonestown. The U.S. Embassy, however, was aware that some foster children may have been living there and asked the Department of State to determine whether it was legal for such wards of the State to leave the United States. One Department witness stated that he queried appropriate California authorities and was told that court permission was required to take them out of the State. This same official also discerned some reluctance on the part of these authorities to talk about the subject.

04-25-2007, 09:13 AM
Was it because the childrens' whole families died with them or do you mean that Jones had parentless kids at that horrible place?

Did Peoples Temple commit welfare fraud, especially with the foster children under its care?


According to the GAO, of the 294 children under age 18 who died in Guyana, 17 had been in foster care prior to their move to Guyana. However, only one child was in active foster care at the time of emigration, and that child survived the mass deaths.

For anyone interested in Jim Jones and The People's Temple I would highly recomend that you spend some time reading at this web site. Very informative reading.


04-25-2007, 09:45 AM
BThe facts about
the children of Jonestown

287 children died in the Jonestown massacre.
According to the Guyanese court which had jurisdiction in the matter, all but three of the deaths in Jonestown were ruled to be the result of murder, not suicide. Source: The New York Times, 12/12/78
In spite of this fact, the US news media persists in erroneously calling these deaths a "mass suicide."
Many of the children who died in Jonestown were wards of the State of California who had been turned over to Jim Jones and other Temple members by California judges.
It was illegal for these children to be removed from California yet, according to the House Foreign Affairs Committee which investigated the matter, no California official ever requested a check into the welfare or whereabouts of these children.
While in San Francisco, Jim Jones was engaged in a wide ranging criminal enterprise which included welfare fraud, election fraud, child abuse, and extortion.

As a reward for services rendered, and at the insistence of Willie Brown, Mayor George Moscone made Jim Jones chairman of San Francisco's Housing Commission, a position which gave him great power over the lives of many of the city's most vulnerable residents.

Unanswered questions:

Why did city and state officials protect Jim Jones while he was operating a blatantly criminal enterprise in San Francisco?
Why did not one city or state official look into the removal from the state of over 200 children from California's care in clear violation of child welfare laws.
Why were California judges so readily willing to grant custody of children under state care to the People's Temple and to even find in favor of the Temple in custody cases involving the children's own biological parents?
Has anything really changed in the way the United States in general, and California in particular, looks after the well being of children who, through no fault of their own, are without reliable guardians?

ut disturbing reports continued to surround Jones, and soon came to the attention of congressional members like Leo Ryan. Stories of beatings, kidnapping, sexual abuse and mysterious deaths leaked out in the press.[
in 1965. Guarded by dogs, electric fences and guard towers, he set up Happy Havens Rest Home.[98] Despite a lack of trained personnel, or proper licensing, Jones drew in many people at the camp. He had elderly, prisoners, people from psychiatric institutions, and 150 foster children, often transferred to care at Happy Havens by court orders.

04-25-2007, 09:47 AM
Children, surrendered to communal care, addressed Jones as "Dad" and were only allowed to see their real parents briefly at night. Jones was called "Father" or "Dad" by the adults as well.[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown#_note-3) Up to $65,000 in monthly welfare payments to Jonestown residents were appropriated by Jones, whose own wealth was estimated to be at least $26 million.[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown#_note-4)

Local Guyanese, including a police official, related stories about harsh beatings and a "torture hole," a well into which Jones had "misbehaving" children thrown in the middle of the night. Jones had terrified the children by making them believe there was a monster living at the bottom of the well, which was in fact Jones' henchmen who pulled and tugged the children's legs as they descended into the well.[specify (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Specificity)]

04-25-2007, 10:54 AM
Jones convinced his congregation that their children would
have a richer life experience living apart from their
parents. Families were disbanded and a the children, who
were now eligible for welfare assistance, were placed in
Temple foster homes. The children's welfare support checks
were signed over to the Temple and provided a substantial
portion of Jones' government subsidy. The Temple welfare
activities were not restricted to simple fraud; many Black
children were taken from the ghettos of San Francisco and
Oakland using tactics that bordered on kidnapping.

04-25-2007, 12:30 PM
It would probably be a massive undertaking, but I wonder whether DNA testing could be done. Seems it might clear up many missing persons cases. I never realized that so many were unidentified...

The people were fingerprinted upon entering Guyana. After the mass suicide/murder when the bodies arrived back in the US an attempt was made by the FBI to fingerprint them. I don't think that they were all fingerprinted due to the advanced stage of decomposition but somewhere there is a file with the one's who were.

I never realized that there were so many unidentified either. Amazing.

04-25-2007, 01:21 PM
This page contains information The Rick A. Ross Institute has
gathered about Jonestown.


Lots of good reading at the above site.

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