Mystery of the Last Tape Reconsidered

by Kathy (Tropp) Barbour

It’s simple. One of the last alive, maybe Annie Moore, set a tape recorder running in an inconspicuous location in the radio room. This recorder contained Q 875, the mystery tape. It recorded the activities of the CIA team who did the cleanup at the site before any others arrived. Jim probably instructed this, but any number of people may have taken it upon themselves. It was meant to spark an inquiry and validate Jim’s contention that the community was under attack and died bravely and with dignity.

Jim knew the drill. He was expecting them.

How the tape survived its recovery and subsequent release, so that we can listen to it, no one knows. Just a slip, I guess. The CIA team wouldn’t have allowed it, so must have not known it was recording their voices.

(Kathy Barbour [Tropp] joined Peoples Temple in 1970 with her companion, Richard Tropp, and was living in the San Francisco Temple on November 18, 1978. The website for her recently-published book, Who Died? is here. Her other articles in this edition of the jonestown report are Channeling the Pioneers and Redefining Jonestown. Her earlier writings on this site can be found here. She can be reached at

Originally posted on October 27th, 2015.

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