Preliminary Death Lists Show Few “Trauma” Victims

A preliminary examination of the bodies of those who died in Guyana on 18 November 1978 revealed that seven people exhibited “external evidence of physical trauma,” according to a document recently released by the State Department.

The findings of the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) contained in the State Department document appear to discredit rumors which have emerged over the years of multiple gunshot or knife-wound victims. AFIP did not offer any speculation on whether some people were forced to ingest the poison themselves or were injected with syringes, as others have maintained.

The seven identified bodies included: Patty Lou Parks, the only Peoples Temple member who was shot to death at the Port Kaituma airstrip during the attack on Rep. Leo Ryan’s party; Sharon Amos and two of her children, all of whom died due to knife wounds in Georgetown; Jim Jones and Ann Elizabeth Moore, the only two previously identified as those found in Jonestown with gunshot wounds; and an “unknown infant male” who suffered what was described as a “crush type skull fracture.”

There was no additional information on any of the seven, and no identification or additional details of the infant’s death were ever released. In addition, the AFIP report apparently neglected to include one other name, that of Liane Harris, who died of knife wounds along with her mother Sharon Amos and two siblings in Georgetown.

AFIP conducted the examinations at the request of the government of Guyana. While Guyana waived requirements for autopsies – and even formal identification – of all the dead before releasing the bodies to the United States, it did insist upon a determination of trauma.

The AFIP findings were included in a State Department document which also listed the seven bodies that the U.S. government selected for autopsies. The document was among nine records released to the editors of the jonestown report in response to a FOIA request for the agency’s preliminary listings of the Jonestown dead.

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on March 15th, 2014.
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