Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jonestown Survivor wins Californian election

SAN FRANCISCO, USA (Reuters): Democrat Jackie Speier, a former US congressional aide who was attacked during a 1978 visit to the Guyana cult compound of Rev.

Jim Jones, was elected on Tuesday to finish the term of the late Tom Lantos, a California lawmaker who died of cancer in February.

Speier, 57, won 78 percent of the vote in the special election in the US congressional district that stretches from South San Francisco to Palo Alto, election officials reported. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger with Jackie Speier

Speier was shot five times and left for dead after the attack by followers of Jones at an airstrip in Jonestown, Guyana, while accompanying her boss, US Representative Leo Ryan, who was killed in the raid.

Ryan and Speier were investigating allegations that members of his San Francisco-area district who had joined Jones' doomsday cult, the Peoples Temple, had been kidnapped and taken to his jungle compound known as Jonestown.

The shooting touched off the mass suicide by more than 900 cult members at the compound who, according to news reports at the time, drank Kool-Aid laced with cyanide and sedatives.

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