– Author, Teacher, Poet - Books About Jonestown

Bay Area Jonestown book author discussion Mechanics Institute

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New Trailer: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown 

By Marianne Betterly

And Then They Were Gone tells the story of the teenagers who died at Jonestown. Co-authors Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral document the experience from the perspective of their perspective of the teachers who knew and loved the students.

The history this book (And Then They Were Gone) recounts is in the public domain. What it adds is humanity, bringing names and statistics to life. The writing is beautiful, passionate, yet objective. Overall, this is an excellent read.

Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards Program

Published in 2018, And Then They Were Gone is now available for purchase.  

It is also now available on Kindle Direct, and should be linked to the paperback soon!


Short Description

Praise For And Then They Were Gone

And Then They Were Gone provides fresh information about the teen members of Peoples’ Temple, filling a vast gap in our overall understanding of Jim Jones and his (Mostly) doomed followers. I’m grateful to the authors for these insights.

–Jeff Guinn, author of The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and People’s Temple.

Seen through the eyes of two of their high school teachers, this book is a work of love and fond memories. It is also a testament to how youth and innocence can be hijacked. The dead cannot speak, yet Bebelaar and Cabral have done just that. It was comforting to hear their voices once more.

–Deborah Layton, author of Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple

This book humanizes such a horrific tragedy by inviting readers to become well acquainted with these teenagers – so many of whom were killed in the mass murder-suicide. Before they were victims of a crazed religious leader, they were just kids – with the hopes and dreams common to children everywhere. By reading about them, we honor their memories.

–Julia Scheeres, author of A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown


The Tragedy of Jonestown, 40 years later

Forty years ago this week, more than 900 people died at Jonestown, a settlement in Guyana created by the Peoples Temple church. Until 9/11, it was the largest loss of U.S. civilian life in a deliberate act. Victims, many from the Bay Area, were drawn to Jonestown by leader Jim Jones and his promise of a utopian society with racial and gender equality . Forum talks about the Jonestown tragedy, new information about the event from FBI records and the profound impact the mass death had on the Bay Area.