A Jonestown Inventory

On November 25, 1978, one week after the mass deaths in Jonestown – and a day after the last of the remains had been removed – Victor Dikeos, a State Department official acting as the Deputy Chief of Mission while Richard Dwyer recovered from his wounds – walked through the deserted community with a tape recorder to describe what he saw. “[T]his is not meant to be a complete inventory,” he noted in the opening paragraph of his transcript, but it “does touch on those major items which I located, and other items which had apparent intrinsic value.”

Despite its professed limitations, it remains the single most complete description of the Jonestown community.

This document comes from the records of independent researcher Brian Csuk, who obtained it from the State Department in response to a the Freedom of Information Act request. His website on primary government sources related to Peoples Temple where the document originally appeared went offline in 1998.

A Jonestown Inventory, November 25, 1978