- NAME: Jim Jones
- OCCUPATION: Cult Leader
- BIRTH DATE: May 13, 1931
- DEATH DATE: November 18, 1978
- Did You Know?: Jim Jones and his wife Marceline were the first white couple to adopt a black child in Indiana in 1961.
- EDUCATION: Indiana University, Butler University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Crete, Indiana
- PLACE OF DEATH: Jonestown, Guyana
- Full Name: James Warren Jones
- AKA: Jim Jones
- AKA: James Jones
Best Known For
Jim Jones was best known as the cult leader of the Peoples Temple who led more than 900 followers in a mass suicide via cyanide-laced punch known as the Jonestown Massacre.
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Cyanide and Valium were mixed into a batch of powdered drink mix to make a toxic punch, and cups of this lethal beverage were distributed to the members. The first to die were the children and those who refused to drink were forced to by armed guards. In all, more than 900 people died at Jonestown—276 of them were children.
Jones, on the other hand, chose a different way out. Surrounded by his inner circle,
he either shot himself or was shot in the head. He was later found on the floor of the Jonestown pavilion, the camp's main gathering area, with his wife Marceline, nurse Annie Moore, and other top group members.
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Combine a charismatic personality with fringe beliefs and an appetite for violence, and you get some of history's most notorious cult leaders. Charles Manson terrorized frightened Americans in the late 1960s, convincing his followers to commit heinous murders in his name. David Koresh led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, leading to a standoff with the federal government in 1993 that resulted in the death of Koresh and 75 of his believers. Learn about these leaders, and many more, who inspired hundreds to follow their unconventional philosophies—often with tragic results.
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