Easier Address Highlights Website Changes
The website "Alternative Considerations of Jonestown
and Peoples Temple" continues to grow and improve. The most exciting
development this year was adoption of an easy-to-remember virtual URL.
jonestown.sdsu.edu replaces the previous lengthy and cumbersome
address, although your computer bookmarks to the previous address will
still bring you to the site.
The principal additions to the site included creation of a Primary Sources
page, a list of Unclaimed Property available to heirs of Jonestown decedents,
and a notice of those who died in Jonestown prior to 18 November 1978.
The Primary Sources pages (http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/PrimarySources/primary_resources.htm)
includes important documents in the history of the Peoples Temple. A
letter from the "Gang of Eight" -- an early and searing statement that
eight young defectors wrote in 1973 -- currently appears on the site.
Jim Jones' document "The Letter Killeth" -- an undated, 24-page booklet
which Jones prepared to denigrate the Bible's legitimacy through its
errors and inconsistencies -- will be uploaded shortly. We have plans
to add similar documents during 2003.
The site also recently added a short list of the six people who died
in Jonestown prior to 18 November 1978. Coupled with other lists at
we have now accounted for more than 900 people who died that day, and
about 120 people -- in Jonestown, Port Kaituma and Georgetown -- who
survived the deaths. These lists were completely updated and revamped,
thanks in part to documents we have received through the lawsuit McGehee
et al. v. Justice Department, and thanks in part to numerous former
members, survivors and relatives who have contacted the website with
additions and corrections. We continue to seek additional refinements
to the list, and invite whatever information you have.
Finally at that location on the site is a list of individual Temple
members who may themselves -- or through their heirs -- be eligible
to recover property held in escrow by the California State Controller's
Office. This listing of Unclaimed Property was sent to us by one of
our readers. Although the list is incomplete, it would be worthwhile
for relatives to check the site in order to access the Unclaimed Property
Department through the California Secretary of State. See http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/WhoDied/unclaimed.htm.
Tape summaries and transcripts continued to be uploaded onto the site.
About 100 such items are currently available for researchers and family
members to access at http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/Tapes/tapes.htm.
In addition, by using the site's search function -- the first button
on the contents page -- you can identify individuals and subjects throughout
the site, especially in the tapes and transcripts.
Efforts to make the site user-friendly, more accessible, and more comprehensive
will continue in anticipation of a wave of interest coinciding with
the 25th anniversary of the Jonestown deaths.