Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Army Capt. John Moscatelli,

November 27, 1978, The Daily Iowan, Jonestown clean-up ends,

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (UPI) U.S. troops burned their possibly contaminated uniforms Sunday and prepared to go home after retrieving the bodies of 909 victims of a macabre death communion rite at the Peoples Temple camp in Jonestown.

"We are burning uniforms, boots, gloves, tents ,used to hold body bags, anything that has come into contact with body fluids and body remains," said Army Capt. John Moscatelli, information officer for the 200-man task force. 

Moscatelli said the soldiers who spent four days picking up the rotting, bloated corpses strewn about the Rev. Jim Jones's commune ---now a ghost town except for Guyanese police trying to avert looting ---will go home today.

The FBI in Washington said late Sunday it had received a handwritten note allegedly found on the body of Jones. The note was turned over Friday afternoon to the agency by a U.S. Air Force officer who took part in the airlift of bodies, including that of Jones, to the mortuary at Dover AFB, Del.

An FBI official said the note had not yet been closely examined to determine its origin, and "We don't know If it is his handwriting." The official refused to disclose what it said.

An Air Force C·14l jet transport left Georgetown early Sunday carrying the last 183 Jonestown bodies in 83 aluminum airtight boxes to Dover AIr Force Base in Delaware, where the job of identifying the remains has only begun.

"That means there were a helluva lot of children In the last shipment," one U.S. officer said. Most of the children's bodies in Jonestown were found last because they were hidden under their parents' bodies.

It Picking up the bodies of the children was the one thing that really got to me.

I'll remember that forever," said an exhausted graves registration soldier at Georgetown airport, where the U.S. task force set up temporary headquarters.

Moscatelli said the U.S. troops handled 914 bodies - 909 victims of the mass suicide in Jonestown; a cult member and her three children allegedly killed In Georgetown by another cult member; and the remains of a cult defector shot dead In the Port Kaituma massacre that triggered the mass suicides. 

He said 913 bodies were sent to Dover --- one of the Jonestown victims was a Guyanese named Jim Gill - but authorities in Dover said they received only 912 bodies. The final toll will not be certain until the remains are reexamined.

Left in Georgetown were 87 cult members---39 who survived the Jonestown suicides by escaping into the jungle; 45 others, under house arrest, who were in Georgetown during the suicides; and three jailed by Guyanan police. 

November 22, 1978, The Daily Register, page A1, Still seeking missing Americans,

GEORGETOWN. Guyana (AP) - American military forces were preparing the decaying bodies of the 405 Jonestown suicides today for transfer to the United States The US. Air Force said the first planeloads should arrive in Delaware on Thanksgiving Day.

The search continued for hundreds of Americans believed to have fled from the mass suicide-by-poison which the Rev. Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple led Saturday at Jonestown, his cult's Jungle settlement in northwest Guyana.

About 40 survivors were reported to have turned up. Because of uncertainty about the number in the settlement at the time, estimates of the missing ranged from 200 lo 700

Meanwhile, the FBI announced in Washington Tuesday night that it had opened an investigation of the slaying of Calif Rep. Leo Ryan by the Peoples Temple cult at a Jonestown airstrip. The agency said it was doing so under the congressional assassinations law, which makes it a federal crime to kill a congressman, and said the investigation was being conducted in the United States and in Guyana The Peoples Temple has its headquarters in San Francisco.

Defectors from the death-marred Peoples Temple claimed that hit squads are scattered around the United Stales hoping to murder those who broke away Irom the cult

"I know there are 200 people that Jones set up to stay alive and to assassinate us." Wanda Johnson, a former believer in the Jones movement, said in Berkeley, Calif.

In addition to the hit squads. Mrs Johnson said. Jones "set aside money, that if the assassination squads did not accomplish their mission, the Mafia was to be contacted and contracts were to be taken on our lives.

The FBI in San Francisco confirmed that its agents were investigating rumors that members of the Peoples Temple in California planned to kidnap or assassinate high-ranking US officials and others to avenge Jones

In New York a spokesman (or Bantam Books Inc. said it would issue its 64lh "instant" book the week of Dec 3 entitled. "The Suicide Cult The Untold Story of the Peoples Temple Seel
and The Massacre in Guyana."

Police Commissioner Lloyd A Barker said the teams

See Guyana, page 1


searching tor the fleeing cultists had gone to friendly Indian villages in the area, but there was no report from them yet. The Guyana government also asked the United States for helicopter loudspeakers to fly over the jungle and broadcast that it was safe to come out.

Guyana officials said they had arrested three prime suspects in the killing of Ryan and his companions. hey were identified as Michael Prokes. 31, a former Stockton, Calif.. television reported; Tim Carter, 30, a former U.S. Marine from Garden City, Idaho, and Larry Layton, 32, whose hometown was not known.

Twenty cargo planes left the United States late Tuesday for Georgetown, the Air Force reported. A spokesman at McGuire Air Force Base, in New Jersey, said the first planeloads of bodies were expected Thursday at the Dover, Del. Air Force Base


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