ABC News will mark the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre with a two-hour documentary of the tragedy as part of its ‘Truth and Lies’ series.
On Nov. 18, 1978, 900 members of the Peoples Temple, followers of cult leader Jim Jones (pictured) at what was known as the Jonestown settlement in Guyana, drank a beverage laced with cyanide on Jones’ orders in what would become the largest murder-suicide in American history.
The Peoples Temple, founded by Jones in 1955, had moved from Indiana to San Francisco, and then finally to Guyana following allegations of abuse. On the day before the massacre, U.S. congressman Leo Ryan was murdered in Jonestown soon after arriving with a news crew to help members he thought might be held against their will.
Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost offers new insights into the tragedy, exploring lingering questions about Jones, his religious and social justice movement, and the deaths of his followers that day.
The special includes new interviews with Jones’ two surviving sons, former members, along with archival footage and recently declassified FBI documents pertaining to the case.
It is produced by ABC News, with David Sloan serving as senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is executive producer.
Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost airs Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
(Photo courtesy ABC News)