In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones committed mass suicide in Guyana. In his new book, The Road to Jonestown, journalist Jeff Guinn details how Jones captivated so many. - From NPR.org
A number of Jonestown residents sought to return to the U.S.
Jones made the decision that there must be one last great gesture so that his name would live in history ...
If Leo Ryan, the congressman, had not come to Jonestown there still would've been some event at this point that would've triggered Jones' order to everyone to commit a "revolutionary act," as he called it.
First of all, not everybody in Jonestown that day did agree to die, to drink the poison.
All of a sudden they start to stumble and they think that maybe these revolutionaries placed logs on the ground to trip them up, and now they're going to start shooting from ambush — and then a couple of the soldiers look down and they can see through the fog and they start screaming, because there are bodies everywhere, almost more than they can count, and they're so horrified.