A recent State Department release of 862 passport photo pages will greatly help to verify and correct this website’s listing of who died in Jonestown.
Responding to a request which the editors of the jonestown report filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the State Department said it located 923 passport photo pages of the people who died in Jonestown and Georgetown, Guyana on 18 November 1978. The letter accompanying the release said that 56 pages were being withheld under the FOIA privacy exemption – presumably the pages of the survivors’ passports – and that five other pages were being “forwarded to other agencies” for review.
The photo pages include identifying information for each passport holder, including full name, date and place of birth, and hair and eye color. Each page also shows a photograph – mostly of poor quality – and the signature of the passport holder.
The State Department letter noted that the original passports could not be located, and that the release consisted of copies of copies of the photo pages, thereby accounting for the poor quality of most photos.
Nevertheless, the information from the passport is invaluable for purposes of adding and correcting information on the death list. We will also make copies of individual passport pages available on request.