An Open Letter

by Liz Shaules

Dear family and friends of the Jonestown and Peoples Temple community,

You may or may not know who I am, but over the years I have come to know you as a community. My name is Liz Shaules, and I am the behind-the-scenes webmaster for the “Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple” website. Since 2002, I have been responsible for adapting each piece of content for the web. This means that I have had the privilege of going through each article and photo you have contributed to the site. From Don Beck, to Laura Kohl, to Tim Carter, and so many, many more, you all feel like old friends to me.

During my years of working with the site, there has been one specific project that has stuck with me: the Who Died? database list. The project was my first major programming endeavor. The goal was to simply set up a place where people could go to remember loved ones. What I didn’t count on as I reviewed each individual photo for placement on the site was realizing how each one was a unique individual. Prior to that point the work simply helped me make ends meet at the end of the month. After that project, it was really about contributing to an amazing community of people who had loved and lost together.

After 12 years, I felt like it was high time I submitted something to the jonestown report. Even though you may not have realized it, I wanted to thank you for all your love, wisdom and courage. It’s made an incredible impact on my life.


Originally posted on October 13th, 2013.

Last modified on October 18th, 2018.
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