JONESTOWN SURVIVOR Interviewed on Channel 10

I was interviewed by Michael Chen of Channel 10 News this week.

Channel 10 News with Michael Chen 9/18/14
SAN DIEGO – Two more sets of family members have been tracked down after a stunning discovery of the cremated remains of nine Jonestown Massacre victims.

Some 35 years after the tragedy that captured a world’s attention, the emotions have barely faded for Laura Johnston Kohl, who survived because she wasn’t living at the main encampment.

“I do get emotional. Some call it PTSD – ‘Peoples Temple Stress Disorder,'” said Johnston Kohl.

More than 900 members of the Peoples Temple, led by American preacher Jim Jones, died in a night of mass suicide and murder in Guyana.

For Johnston Kohl, the faces of some of those killed are dominating her thoughts after the cremains of nine victims were recently discovered inside marked containers in a bank-owned funeral home in Delaware.

It’s unclear how they ended up there, but authorities identified them and have been leaning on Johnston Kohl and the San Diego-based The Jonestown Institute to reunite the remains with family members.

Rebecca Moore, who lost two sisters and a nephew at Jonestown, co-founded the group.

“I think it’s a feeling of bring people back home. My own motivation is to treat the dead with respect,” said Moore.

The group has compiled the data onto a website, including a list of those killed, with birthdates, family and other information.

Investigators credit the group with helping them track down family members for seven of the remains, including two sets of loved ones on Thursday. Johnston Kohl tracked down several of the family that were found early, after she sent out emails, made phone calls and tapped into her network of survivors and loved ones.

“We are all family. I think all of this is very important as members of my family come back and are given their [peace],” said Johnston Kohl.

The latest family members to be tracked down were those of Irene Mason and Katherine Domineck.

Two sets of cremains remain unclaimed.

After 30 days, they will be buried at an Oakland cemetery with other unclaimed remains from Jonestown.

Both Johnston Kohl and Moore have written books on Jonestown.
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