Perspectives on Carolyn Layton

Carolyn as baby Carolyn as teen Carolyn Carolyn

With the possible exception of Marceline Jones – and, of course, the notable exception of Jim Jones – the member of the Jonestown leadership group about whom this website receives the most inquiries is Carolyn Moore Layton. She is known by many of her relationships – longtime lover of Jim Jones, mother of Jones’ child Jim Jon (Kimo) Prokes, sister of Annie Moore, former wife of Larry Layton, former sister-in-law of Debby Layton – as well as the sometimes-mysterious roles she played within the Peoples Temple hierarchy.

For these reasons, we’ve asked several people who knew Carolyn best – and, in the case of Rikke Wettendorff, someone who has carefully studied her – to offer their perspectives on Carolyn.

It should be noted that Carolyn is the sister and sister-in-law of the managers of this website and editors of the jonestown report, Rebecca Moore – who also wrote a piece for this section – and Fielding M. McGehee III, respectively.

1. Carolyn Moore: A Father’s Biography, by John V Moore
2. Carolyn’s Other Letters, by Rebecca Moore
3. Carolyn Layton: Jonestown’s American Gothic, by Laura Johnston Kohl
4. Carolyn Layton: The Grey Eminence, by Mike Cartmell
5. My Brother’s Mother, by Stephan Jones
6. Carolyn Layton was a mother too, by Rikke Wettendorff

In 2018, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, an Australian writer, published Beautiful Revolutionary, a novel largely drawn upon the life of Carolyn Layton. News about the publication – including a number of reviews which consider the interpretation of Carolyn for a general audience – appears here. Laura has also contributed two short stories – early character sketches and deleted passages – about Evelyn, the central character of her novel. They are Born Again (2016) and The Homewrecker (2018).

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on October 24th, 2018.
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