Wednesday, May 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

3 decades later, remains of Jonestown bodies found

By
From page A7 | August 08, 2014 |

DOVER, Del. — More than 35 years after the infamous suicide-murder of some 900 people — many forced to drink a cyanide-laced grape punch — in Jonestown, Guyana, the cremated remains of nine of the victims were found in a dilapidated former funeral home in Delaware, officials said Thursday.

The grisly discovery brought back memories of a tragedy that killed hundreds of children and a U.S. congressman and horrified Americans.

The remains were clearly marked, with the names of the deceased included on death certificates, authorities said. But Kimberly Chandler, spokeswoman for the Delaware Division of Forensic Science, declined to release the names of the nine people to The Associated Press. Chandler said officials were working to notify relatives.

She said the agency found the remains last week on a site visit prompted by a call from the property’s current owner — a bank, according to Dover police. Officials found 38 containers of remains, 33 of which were marked and identified. Chandler said the containers spanned a period from about 1970 to the 1990s and included remains from Jonestown, established by Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones.

“It’s simply a case of unclaimed cremains at a closed funeral home,” Chandler said, adding that there is no reason to believe the five unmarked containers contain remains of more Jonestown victims.

Jones established the Peoples Temple in San Francisco in the early 1970s. He founded a free health clinic and a drug rehabilitation program, emerging as a political force. But allegations of wrongdoing mounted, and Jones moved the settlement to Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. Hundreds of followers moved there.

On Nov. 18, 1978, on a remote jungle airstrip, gunmen from the group ambushed and killed U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan of California, three newsmen and a defector from the group. All were visiting Jonestown on a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of abuses of members.

Jones then orchestrated a ritual of mass murder and suicide at the temple’s nearby agricultural commune, ordering followers to drink cyanide-laced grape punch. Most complied, although survivors described some people being shot, injected with poison, or forced to drink the deadly beverage when they tried to resist.

After the deaths, bodies of 911 massacre victims were brought to Dover Air Force Base, home to the U.S. military’s largest mortuary. Many of the bodies were decomposed and could not be identified. Several cemeteries refused to take them until the Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California, stepped forward in 1979 and accepted 409 bodies. The remaining victims were cremated or buried in family cemeteries.

On Thursday, the dilapidated former funeral home in Dover had a padlock on the double front doors. The building showed few signs of its former use, although a floral design was etched in glass panes at the entrance. Dead vines hung from the building’s white plaster walls, and cracked windows were repaired with blue tape. Torn carpet and damaged title could be seen inside. The grass was overgrown, and out back, beer and soda cans, broken cinder blocks and empty cigarette packs littered the ground.

Funeral director Edward G. Minus Sr., 74, of Dover died in 2012, according to an obituary. The bank then took over the building. Kent County real estate records show the 54-year-old, single-story building is owned by Sunningdale Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Eastern Savings Bank in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

A spokeswoman for Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations at the military base didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Dover Police Cpl. Mark Hoffman said police assume the military contracted with the funeral home to handle the remains.

Survivor Yulanda Williams, 58, called the discovery of the remains another bizarre turn of events.

“It’s just so sad, for me as a survivor,” said Williams, now a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. “You consistently wind up finding yourself trying to heal but having your wounds opened up again when new information is given.”

Williams spent a decade with the temple, including three months in Jonestown. She left with her 8-month old daughter before the massacre.

“This is just another example of how these victims were further victimized,” she said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Cinco de Mayo event brings communities together

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Western Railway Museum plans special events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Kozak to take command of 349th AMW

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Solano events will mark National Day of Prayer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Solano marks Mental Health Month during May

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Supervisors grant approval for internship program

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
 
2 hurt in Fairfield freeway crash

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 22 Comments

 
Vacaville police announce training at outlet stores

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A6

Doctor to discuss diabetes risks during free talk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

 
Frazier sets community coffee with new chief

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

 
Caltrans announces work on Highway 160

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Caltrans outlines work on Highway 29

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Comedies, dramas, documentaries hit screens this weekend

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: May 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: May 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Author, evangelist to address Writers Resource group

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10

CHP officer has close call with vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
 
.

US / World

Obama picks Dunford as new Joint Chiefs chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
60 bodies recovered in Nepal valley hit by quake, mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Nigerian troops who fled Boko Haram now have them on the run

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Two decades after ‘Black Hawk Down,’ Kerry visits Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Doubts raised about Islamic State’s claim in Texas attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Forest Service chief expects busy firefighting season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Van Gogh work fetches over $66 million at New York auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Senate adopts GOP budget targeting ‘Obamacare’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
US reprimands agents after man forgotten in San Diego cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Huckabee, the other man from Hope, opens 2016 bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Girl shoots self with father’s gun

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

FAA gives OK for farmers to utilize drones

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Today in history: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: May 6, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Case of date rape from 30 years ago preys on husband’s mind

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
Horoscope: May 6, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Weeknight vegetarian: Peel a plaintain, elevate a taco

By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

 
Feeling peckish for pesto? Don’t limit yourself to basil!

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Miley Cyrus on Bruce Jenner, pink armpits, her new charity

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Singer Chris Brown’s battery case in Las Vegas dropped

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Bono and U2 set as sole guests on Friday’s ‘Tonight Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Conley comes back, leads Grizzlies past Warriors 97-90

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vacaville grad Hekking signs with Chargers as free agent

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep badminton: Rodriguez gets MEL win over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep boys volleyball: VCS falls to Golden Sierra in finale

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Armijo boys tennis team falls 5-4 in playoffs to defending champs

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep swimming: Rodriguez boys win MEL title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armijo opens playoffs with 6-0 win behind Nadia Martinez hat trick

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ryan Vogelsong pitches surging Giants to 6-0 win over Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Local Report: Rodriguez boys swim to MEL title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Chavez shines in A’s 2-1 victory over Twins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders to cut ties with James Jones, Miles Burris

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders cut ties with 8 players

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics release outfielder Cody Ross after short stint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
San Jose beats Houston 1-0 in Dominic Kinnear’s return

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

With Wall out, Hawks beat Wizards 106-90 to even series 1-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Suit filed against Pacquiao for not disclosing injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Manny Ramirez Jr vows to make own baseball name for himself

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Derby winner nears return to track for Preakness prep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NCAA’s new head of officials ready to make tough calls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Raiders fullback Marv Hubbard dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers Bruce Miller charged with vandalism, not domestic case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo, alleging fraud by employees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

William Fay Carbine Sr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Walter Jeter Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lois G. Johnston (Lieb) (Bayard)

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6