Letter from Leslie Wagner-Wilson

My name is Leslie Wagner –Wilson and I am a Survivor of Jonestown. I escaped the morning of the massacre with my three year old son I was twenty two years old; left behind was my husband, Joe Wilson; mother, Inez Wagner; my sister, Michelle Wagner-Fitch; my brother, Mark Wagner (16); my niece Dawnyelle Fitch and my nephew Daron Davis (2). Also perished were my in-laws; Maureen Fitch, Don Fitch, Betty Jean Fitch, Raymond Fitch and Thomas Fitch- a total of eleven relatives and a host of people I knew and loved since the age of 13. I did not know the morning I kissed my mom, was the last day I would see her alive.

I am so grateful for Evergreen Cemetery for being the only cemetery in the United States for allowing our loved ones a final resting place. We have waited almost thirty three years to have more than a headstone to visit. This beautiful personal tribute of love gives me and my children a beautiful place to visit our family; to be able to lay flowers, to congregate with others to remember, to run our fingers over their names engraved in stone as they are engraved in our hearts, is healing.  Never did I understand families of loved ones whose bodies were not found – closure was stolen. This Wall represents closure and it is inclusive as are. My healing has taken place because I forgave Jim Jones and myself for surviving. This is a tribute to not just those who passed, but for those of us who lived. I am living their love and not their death.

I will be traveling to attend the Memorial Service on May 29, 2011, from Southern California. My daughter Monique Inez will be traveling from New York City and my son Demetrius from Sacramento.

Warm regards and appreciation.
Leslie Wagner-Wilson (Cathey)