Who was in the group that left Jonestown to go on a “picnic” the morning of November 18th?

Richard Clark devised a plan to escape Jonestown months before the arrival of Leo Ryan, and together with his partner, Diane Louie, put together a group of people who wanted to leave. The original plan was to leave the evening of November 17th, but on that day, Richard postponed its implementation until the following morning. It would be easier to get out then, he reasoned, because there would be so many distractions with Rep. Leo Ryan’s presence. He got word to the group that they would pretend to go on a picnic.

The group included Leslie Wagner-Wilson, but because she was married to Joe Wilson – one of Jim Jones’ most trust lieutenants in Jonestown – she had to be voted in by the rest of the group. She also did not know who else would be going until the morning of November 18.

There were nine people who left Jonestown: Richard Clark, Diane Louie, Leslie Wagner-Wilson and her three-year-son Jakari, and Julius and Sandra Evans with their three daughters. They were met later on in the jungle by two additional men – Johnny Franklin and Robert Paul – to bring the total count in the group to 11.

(Leslie Wagner-Wilson provided the answer to this question, and the editors of this site gratefully acknowledge her assistance. More information about her experiences in Jonestown can be found at her Slavery of Faith website.)

Last modified on October 10th, 2013.
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