What is known about the tape that was recorded the day after the deaths in Jonestown?

A tape designated by the FBI as Q 875 was found along with the hundreds of others at Jonestown. It consists of four broadcast news stories recorded off the air on November 19, 1978, all concerning the deaths of Congressman Leo Ryan and members of his party “last night” at the Port Kaituma airstrip in Guyana.

Because this is the only tape recovered from Jonestown which was made after the deaths, it has been the subject of much interest and discussion, and has served as a point of departure for several alternative theories about Jonestown’s end. This site has devoted a page of commentary to the tape, including several articles exploring these theories. The debate over Q 875 has lessened considerably, however, since Joel Thomas analyzed the tape in 2008 in what he described as an “audio autopsy,” and concluded that the tape was likely made in Port Kaituma by Guyana Defense Force troops who secured the Jonestown site later that day.

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