How many people died on November 18? How many survived?
The death toll included 304 children and minors under 18.
The list of people who died appears here.
The number of survivors depends upon one’s definition of “survivor.” Generally on this website, we identify survivors as members of Peoples Temple who were in (or near) Guyana on November 18 and who survived the deaths. That is not an attempt to minimize the anguish and struggles which Temple members in California felt upon hearing of the deaths in Guyana. Rather, that is a much larger, less quantifiable number beyond our abilities to determine.
With that in mind, we can identify about 87 Temple members who survived. They included:
• Hyacinth Thrash and Grover Cleveland Davis, two elderly residents in Jonestown who slept through the deaths;
• Stanley Clayton and Odell Rhodes, two young black men who (independently of each other) decided not to participate in the deaths;
• Tim Carter, Michael Carter, and Mike Prokes, who were dispatched by the Jonestown leadership to carry money to the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown (Prokes committed suicide four months later);
• 15 defectors who accompanied Leo Ryan's congressional party from Jonestown and who came under attack at the airstrip; and
• 11 Jonestown residents in a party led by Richard Clark who left the community on the morning of 18 November and walked to Matthews Ridge.
Most of the remaining survivors were Temple members in Georgetown. Some were part of the group’s logistical base in Guyana’s capital, some were in the city for business or medical reasons, and some were there to participate in a basketball tournament.
Finally, the list of survivors who were neither in Jonestown nor Georgetown include:
• Helen Swinney, Charlie Touchette, Richard Janaro, and Phil Blakey, who were on the Temple’s boat in the Caribbean;
• Joyce Parks, who was in Venezuela purchasing medical supplies for Jonestown; and
• Claire Janaro, who arrived on the evening of 18 November at the Georgetown airport en route to see her two children in Jonestown, and who heard about Leo Ryan’s assassination on her taxi ride into the city.
The complete list of people
who survived appears here.