Annie Moore’s Last Letter

Annie Moore, nursing school graduation, 1975
Annie Moore, nursing school graduation, 1975

Two people in Jonestown died of gunshot wounds, according to the most credible evidence we have. They were Jim Jones and Ann Moore. In addition to the gunshot wound, there is evidence that Ann took the cyanide that claimed the lives of 907 others at the jungle community. She was found in Jim Jones’ cabin, along with a number of other members of the Jonestown leadership circle. Her body blocked the doorway, making it difficult for the people who discovered the bodies to enter the cabin. For those reasons — among others — we believe Ann Elizabeth Moore was among the last to die in Jonestown.

The gun that killed her was near her body. Close to that was a suicide note, which she wrote and signed. Some analysts believe she began the note before the arrival of Congressman Leo Ryan on Friday, 17 November, but others — including the editors of this website — believe she wrote it on 18 November, perhaps as the suicides were going on at the pavilion. One reason for this belief is that she used the past tense to describe Jonestown.

Annie Moore’s Last Letter, November 18, 1978, RYMUR 89-4286-1894, pp. 365-366
Spanish translation, by Luis Ángel González Rocha 

Ann Moore’s letter to the world has been published in three other places: A Sympathetic History of Jonestown: The Moore Family Involvement in the Peoples Temple, by Rebecca Moore (Lewiston, N.Y.: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1985); The Jonestown Letters: Correspondence of the Moore Family 1970–1985, by Rebecca Moore (Lewiston, N.Y.: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1986); and Letters of the Century: America 1900-1999, edited by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler (New York, N.Y.: The Dial Press, 1999).