Witness to Jonestown

Watch Witness to Jonestown

  • 2008
  • 1 Season
  • 7.8  (159)

Witness to Jonestown is a documentary series from MSNBC that premiered in 2008. The show delves deep into the history of the infamous Jonestown massacre, which occurred on November 18, 1978, in the remote jungle of Guyana, South America. The event was orchestrated by cult leader Jim Jones, who convinced more than 900 people to commit suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. The series features interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses to the tragedy, helping to paint a vivid and haunting picture of one of the most shocking mass killings in modern history.

The show is hosted by Terri Buford, a survivor of the massacre who lost dozens of family members and friends in the tragedy. Through her firsthand accounts, the viewer is taken on a journey through the rise and fall of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple. Buford speaks candidly about her experiences and the moments leading up to the mass suicide. Her testimony is supported by archival footage and photographs that help to provide context and visual evidence of the events that unfolded.

Another prominent figure in the show is Tim Carter, a former member of the Peoples Temple who was not present at Jonestown but lost his wife and son in the massacre. Carter provides insights into the inner workings of the cult and reveals how Jones was able to manipulate and control his followers to such an extreme extent. His recollections of his time with the group are both unsettling and illuminating, shedding light on the psychological tactics used by Jones to maintain his grip on his followers.

The series also features Bob Flick, a former NBC reporter who was one of the first journalists on the scene at Jonestown. Flick provides his own perspective on the massacre and recounts his harrowing experiences in the aftermath of the tragedy. The show uses Flick's archival footage and reporting to help tell the story of how the world first learned about the horrific events that took place in Guyana.

In addition to interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses, the show also features commentary from experts in the field of cult psychology and behavior. These experts help to provide context for the actions of Jones and his followers and discuss the broader societal and psychological factors that contribute to the formation of cults.

Overall, Witness to Jonestown is a powerful and compelling series that offers a chilling and sobering portrait of one of the most shocking events in modern history. The show is skillfully produced, utilizing a mix of archival footage, interviews, and expert commentary to tell a complete and nuanced story of the Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. For those interested in true crime, cults, and the darker aspects of human behavior, Witness to Jonestown is a must-watch.

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Witness to Jonestown
1. Witness to Jonestown
November 9, 2008
Rare footage shot inside the People's Temple gives an insider's look at the tragic Jonestown Massacre that occurred in Guyana in 1978. Interviews with survivors attempt to shed light on how and why 900 Americans would follow one man to their deaths.
  • Premiere Date
    November 9, 2008
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (159)