Who Died in Jonestown Before 18 November 1978?

The Jonestown community experienced several deaths before the murder/suicides of 918 people on November 18, 1978. Eight people died of natural causes in Jonestown between August 1977 and November 1978. They were not insignificant events, either: Lynetta Jones, the mother of Jim, in December 1977; Lisa Layton, the mother of Debby Layton Blakey (who defected the previous May) and Larry Layton (who was arrested and tried for his participation in the Port Kaituma airstrip shootings), about three weeks before Ryan’s arrival; and the death in early October 1978 of Pickards Norris, whose calls out to Jesus on his deathbed – as indicated here – served only to provide ammunition to Jim Jones’ assertion of his own divinity.

  1. ANDERSON, Vivian Ida, 69 (1/1/1909 – 09/09/1978)
  2. BUTLER, Chlotile, 78 (3/10/1900 – 6/10/1978)
  3. COBB, Marshawn, infant (5/7/1978 – 5/20/1978)
  4. GRIFFITH, Emmett Alexander, Sr. 66 (4/13/1911 – 11/5/1977)
  5. JONES, Lynetta 75 (4/16/1902 – 12/09/1977)
  6. LAYTON, Lisa 63 (7/14/1915 – 10/30/1978)
  7. NORRIS, Plickards C. 72 (10/31/1905 -10/6/1978)
  8. Memory MURPHY, Lela Loenma 79 (7/17/1897 – 3/30/1978)
Last modified on May 4th, 2017.
Skip to main content