7 episodes

On Nov. 18, 1978, more than 900 Americans died in Jonestown, Guyana. Some committed suicide. More were murdered. And until 9/11, it was the largest single mass killing of American citizens. U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan was assassinated as he tried to rescue Jonestown residents desperate for freedom.

In CQ Roll Call's new podcast, we investigate Jonestown through the prism of congressional oversight, telling a story of corruption, international intrigue, race and betrayal.

Oversight. How can the lessons of the past inform decisions of today?

Oversight: Jonestown CQ Roll Call

    • History
    • 4.8, 218 Ratings

On Nov. 18, 1978, more than 900 Americans died in Jonestown, Guyana. Some committed suicide. More were murdered. And until 9/11, it was the largest single mass killing of American citizens. U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan was assassinated as he tried to rescue Jonestown residents desperate for freedom.

In CQ Roll Call's new podcast, we investigate Jonestown through the prism of congressional oversight, telling a story of corruption, international intrigue, race and betrayal.

Oversight. How can the lessons of the past inform decisions of today?

    Epilogue: Shattered Lives

    Epilogue: Shattered Lives

    Betrayal — it's the tie that binds everyone who was touched by Jim Jones' evil ways. In this final episode of Oversight: Jonestown, we take you into the lives of survivors and victims' families who were shunned, humiliated and then blamed in the days, months and years following Jonestown. What happened to their lives? And what happened to their children's lives?

    • 26 min
    Who's to Blame?

    Who's to Blame?

    Listen as we detail how nearly every government agency that came into contact with Jim Jones dodged responsibility for the tragedy. We bring you the facts of how investigation and oversight at all levels failed the American public and the more than 900 dead Peoples Temple members, which included 304 murdered children.

    • 34 min
    Final Warnings

    Final Warnings

    In the waning months of Jonestown, the only primary American officials in touch with the Rev*.* Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple were U.S. diplomats at the tiny embassy in Georgetown, Guyana. We tell you about a 6-year-old boy who became central to Jones and to the existence of the commune, a flirtation with the KGB and the Soviet Union and preparations for mass murder and suicide. How much did embassy officials know? We ask: Were American diplomats negligent? You decide.

    • 36 min
    The Cover Up

    The Cover Up

    In this episode, we reveal how the FBI refused to investigate Jim Jones, how the San Francisco district attorney was involved with the Peoples Temple and how a mole was working for both Jones and the DA.

    • 19 min
    Descent Into Madness

    Descent Into Madness

    Oversight: Jonestown takes a step back to the mid-1970s, a time of tumult, to explain how the Rev. Jim Jones went from Midwest preacher to messiah to maniac. It's the story of how he became a master of exploitation. He used the Black Power movement against the African-American community, politicians' own votes against them — and abuse and coercion against his own flock. 

    • 30 min
    24 Hours

    24 Hours

    In this first episode of Oversight: Jonestown, we take you deep into the Guyanese jungle, behind the harrowing scenes of the last 24 hours of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Collective. We have new information and a new understanding of how one man — the Rev. Jim Jones — orchestrated the deaths of 917 people, including Congressman Leo Ryan.

    For more: http://www.rollcall.com/Jonestown and http://www.rollcall.com/podcasts

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
218 Ratings

218 Ratings

EMacrock ,

Fantastic and very well researched and narration is engaging through out.

Fantastic job, as someone who thought they knew just about everything their was to know about the event both before, and during Jonestown; I was so pleasantly surprised to find out I barely knew the tip of the iceberg of this story. So much research, this podcast is really, really fascinating, and if your someone like I was; who though they knew all their was to know about this historical event and tragedy, think again. Lot of stuff I had no idea about in this podcast. You won’t be disappointed!

Tlckgram ,

Straightforward Review

This was a really straightforward discussion of the Jonestown tragedy without the typical sensationalism associated with what happened. It did a good job of delving into how this happened and not just the final hours of its members.

Mattful ,

Dumping ground

I wish the podcast brought out more deep questions like: Jonestown (supposedly) was the original testing ground for AIDS transmission (that’s why Jim decided who slept together) and a dumping site for a witness/witnesses to the MLK assassination (sent sometime in October of ‘78). Debbie Blakey’s (Layton) father, Laurence, was possibly responsible for much of the establishment of Jonestown.

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