Obituaries 2021

The following people with connections to Peoples Temple have died since October 2020.

Don Beck was a member of Peoples Temple for ten years. He directed the Peoples Temple children’s choir during its Redwood Valley years and made several trips to Guyana during its pioneer days. Beginning about 20 years after the tragedy, shortly after this site went online, he became one of its most dedicated researchers, transcribing Edith Roller journals, reviewing and analyzing Jonestown records released through the Freedom of Information Act, and compiling them for the first section of documents on the Jonestown Research page. He also contributed numerous articles and remembrances. Most of those writings may be found here. Don died on July 9, 2021, following a lengthy illness. He was 78.

Vernon Gosney, who left Jonestown with Congressman Leo Ryan on November 18, 1978, and was seriously wounded during the shootings at the Port Kaituma airstrip, died on January 31, 2021, due to complications of heart bypass surgery. His writings for this website may be found here.

Jack Palladino, a private investigator who conducted a seven-year investigation of the Jonestown tragedy, died on February 1, 2021. His obituary also appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Patricia Lynch, a producer for NBC who always believed she was pushed aside in deference to Don Harris to accompany Leo Ryan on his trip to Guyana – and who also insisted there were hours of tape which the network released in the trip’s aftermath – died on February 18, 2021. Her collection of articles for this site is here.

In addition, we learned this year of another death from 2020

Rabbi Malcolm Sparer, who worked with Donneter Lane, Rev. John Lane and Father John O’Connor on the Guyana Emergency Relief Committee to return almost 500 bodies from Dover, Delaware to California six months after the deaths in Jonestown, died on April 1, 2020.