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Jonestown Death Tape (and pictorial)

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Published on Apr 16, 2011

This was used for a class project and it's the audio recording leading up to the Jamestown Massacre and numerous FBI and State Dept. photographs of the aftermath.

This is not a documentary rip, it's the actual recording that came from FBI.gov that I obtained during my research for this project via a Freedom of Information Act request. I ran it through the audio editor 'Pro Tools' in an effort to clean it up a bit, but it was pretty much a lost cause. You can pick up more of the nuanced and ambient sounds if you have a good pair of headphones (and a strong stomach).

The FBI has since removed most of the case documents involving Jonestown from their online database. Though this is not surprising considering it's a nearly 40 year old case that only resulted in one prosecution. All the other suspects were dead. Contrary to conventional belief, there were people tied to Jonestown who did not die that day, but the Feds either did not have enough evidence to prosecute them or they were just pawns in Jim Jones' sick game like everyone else. They were just fortunate enough to not be there that day. Larry Lawton was the sole co-conspirator that the feds got charges to stick on. He was sent to prison in 1986.

It is possible to obtain the original copies of case documents from the FBI if you are so inclined, but trust me when I tell you that it is a very depressing case to analyze, and none of it will ever be able to answer the question "why"? It's all just documenting everything and picking up the pieces.

My hope is that a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again.

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