Who was killed at the Port Kaituma airstrip on November 18? Who was wounded? Who were identified as the assailants?

Five people died in the Port Kaituma airstrip shootings. They were: Congressman Leo Ryan; photographer Greg Robinson of The San Francisco Examiner; cameraman Bob Brown and reporter Don Harris from NBC; and Temple defector Patricia Parks.

The most seriously wounded were Ryan’s Legislative Counsel Jackie Speier, Temple defectors Vernon Gosney and Monica Bagby; Anthony Katsaris of the Concerned Relatives; and NBC soundman Steve Sung.

Those who sustained less serious wounds included Tim Reiterman of The San Francisco Examiner; Ron Javers of The San Francisco Chronicle; Beverly Oliver of Concerned Relatives; and Richard Dwyer, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy.

While identification of the Temple assailants on the runway may never be known for certain, the names which the FBI listed in its indictment were: Wesley Karl Breidenbach; Ronnie Dennis; Stanley Gieg; Eddie James Hallmon; Ronald De Val James; Earnest Jones; Robert Kice, Thomas Kice; Anthony Simon; Ron Tally; Albert Touchette; and Joseph Wilson. All of these men – as well as Donald Sly, who attacked Congresman Ryan with a knife earlier that day in Jonestown and who was also listed as a defendant in the FBI’s investigation – died in Jonestown.

Only one assailant – Larry Layton, who posed as a defector and accompanied the Ryan party to the airstrip, boarded an aircraft with a loaded pistol, and shot and wounded Gosney and Bagby before being subdued – survived. Although he was acquitted of attempted murder in a Guyanese court, he was later convicted in U.S. federal court on conspiracy charges stemming from the shootings and served 18 years in prison.

Last modified on January 21st, 2017.
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