#1 is such a tragedy, R.I.P. to the 276 children that lost their lives...

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15. The Vampire Clan

16-year-old Rod Ferrell was obsessed with dark subjects, specifically vampires. Nothing out of the ordinary for your everyday gothic teenager. Ferrell took things to a whole new level, though, by declaring that he was literally a 500 year old vampire by the name of Vesago. Ferrell spent some time living in Eustis, Florida. This is where he met Heather Wendorf at school. Wendorf was drawn to Ferrell and had a fascination for the vampire clan that he claimed to lead back home in Kentucky. Wendorf and Ferrell performed rituals in which they would drink each other’s blood. After Ferrell moved back to Kentucky, Wendorf told him that she was miserable at home, to which Ferrel came up with a plan to get Wendorf away from her so-called miserable home life. On November 25, 1996, Ferrell and his vampire clan, which consisted of Scott Anderson and two teenage girls, drove to Wendorf’s home in Florida. The two girls took Wendorf to see her, at the time boyfriend, to say goodbye. During that time Ferrell and Anderson walked into the house, with a crowbar and beat Wendorfs father, 49-year-old Richard, to death as he lay asleep on the couch. The two claimed that they had no plan to hurt Wednorfs mother, 54-year-old Ruth. However, she threw hot coffee onto Ferrel, which angered him and caused him to beat the unarmed woman to death. He then proceeded to carve his symbol, a V, into Richard’s body before stealing his car to meet up with the girls. Heather’s sister found the bodies when she returned home from work that night. The vampire clan drove to New Orleans after the vicious murders but they quickly ran out of money. When one of the girls called her mother to ask for cash, the police quickly tracked down the clan. Everyone involved confessed to the crimes, aside from Wendorf. Ferrell was given a death sentence, making him the youngest person on death row at the time, but his sentence was later reduced to life in prison. Heather Wendorf was acquitted of involvement in the crimes after a grand jury found she did not know what Ferrell intended to do.

14. Black Jesus

Stephen Tari began studying to be a Lutheran Minister before eventually abandoning that calling, however, it’s unclear whether he chose to leave the school of if he was kicked out. He traveled deep into the mountains of New Guinea, where he started his own religion, and began referring to himself as “Black Jesus”. The cult managed to grow to a massive 6,000 members. Despite the controversial use of what were referred to as flower girls, but what were actually specially chosen young girls who served as types of sex slaves to Tari and other cult leaders. Tari claimed to have about 430 of them at one time. In October 2006, Tari and other leading members of his cult were involved in a ceremony. 13-year-old Rita Herman, whose mother had offered her to the cult for use, became the star of the ceremony. Tari raped Rita before stabbing her to death. Tari and Rita’s mother also allegedly ate Rita’s flesh and drank her blood. A year later in October 2007, a set of villagers decided that they had had enough of the cults strange ways. They attack Tari, beat him and carried him out of the jungle, tied to a log, before that handed him to the police. Tari was convicted of four counts of rape, but was never charged with murder. However, on March 21, 2013 Tari and roughly 49 other inmates escaped from the prison they were in. Five months later of the same year, in August, Tari was hiding in a small village named Gal. There he apparently murdered a five-year-old girl and attempted to kill a teenage girl. This time, the villagers had a different plan to finally rid themselves of Tari. On August 29th, they attacked Tari and a 15-year-old follower of his. They hacked and slashed at him, castrated him, and then buried him in a pit in the jungle.

13. Carny Cult

William Anthony Ault was working with a U.S travelling carnival in 1991. He came to find that his coworkers Jimmy Penick, Mark Goodwin and brothers Keith and David Lawrence were involved in a satanic cult, and he immediately wanted in. The cult, however, rejected him and Ault turned to blackmail. He knew about the murder of an 18-year-old boy in Georgia that was committed by Penick and Keith Lawrence earlier that year. Ault swore he was going to report the murder to the police if they did not let him in the cult. However, the members had a different plan for Ault. On September 25, 1991, after the carnival closed for the night, the five men were driven to a secluded area and Ault was asked to lie on a makeshift altar. The four cult members tied and gagged him. Keith Lawrence spoke a prayer to Satan, then Penick picked up a knife and cut Ault from his neck to his stomach. The men then took turns cutting his stomach, abdomen, chest to make an inverted cross. Penick then asked Ault if he was ready to die, he slit his throat without answer. They then cut off Ault’s heads and hands, burned them, and threw the remainder of the body in an open field. They took what money Ault had on him, and went to a local Arbys. Mark Goodwins father called in a tip to the police and the cult was arrested shortly after. Penick was given a 60-year sentence, Keith Lawrence was given 20 years, and David Lawrence and Goodwin were both given eight years. When asked about their Satanic connections, Keith Lawrence said that Satanism was “like a drug: You get high, and once you’re over it, you’ve got to inject even more than the first time.”

12. The Ripper Crew

There was a string of rapes and murders in the City of Chicago that sparked in May 1981. It all began with the disappearance of 28-year-old Linda Sutton. 10 days after she went missing she was found raped and stabbed to death. Her left breast had been cut off. All 18 victims that followed her had their left breast removed. It was later found that the series of crimes were being acted out by a group of four young men, that became referred to as The Ripper Crew or the Chicago Rippers. The cult-like gang was led by a former John Wayne Gacy employee named Robin Gecht. The other three members were Edward Spreitzer and a set of brothers, Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis. The crew would travel around the city in a van and lure or kidnap women. They took every victim back to Gechts apartment where they would sacrifice them by raping them, removing the left breast using piano wire, and then finish the task of killing them outright. They would all allegedly masturbate onto the breast before cutting it up and eating it. All of this was done while Gecht read out loud from the Satanic bible. The group kidnapped a prostitute named Beverley Washington, before their string of crimes came to an end. The crew raped her, stabbed her, removed her breast, and dumped her body by railroad tracks. Washington somehow survived the attack and gave the police a description of the four men, as well as their van. Three of the members confessed to their crimes, except for their leader, Robing Gecht. As a result of this, he was not charged with murder but was given 120 years in prison for his attack on Washington. Thomas Kokoraleis was given 70 years, while Edward Spreitzer and Andrew Kokoraleis were given death sentences. Spreitzer had his sentence commuted to life, while Andrew Kokoraleis was executed on March 17, 1999.

11. The Russian Teen Satanic Cult

In the small Russian town of Yaroslavl, a group of teenagers started sacrificing small animals to Satan. This tiny cult was led by Nikolai Ogolobyak, in the mid 2000’s. Things began to escalate quickly after one member claimed that his life got better and better each time he prayed to Satan. By June 2008 the cult had about either members, all aged 17 to 19. The members told their parents they were going to a music festival, but instead over the course of two nights the cult lured four younger teens to a local forest. In this dark forest they got the younger teens forcibly drunk, and then brutally attacked them. The members claimed that each person was stabbed 666 times, that they all partook in cannibalistic acts, and then dismembered the bodies and threw them into a pit with Satanic markings on it. About two months later, the bodies of the victims were discovered by local police. Six cult members were charged for the crimes. Ogolobyak, the popular leader, got the longest sentence of 20 years. A seventh member was deemed unfit for trial. He instead was sent in for psychiatric treatment.

10. The Order of the Solar Temple

What started as nothing more than a small New Religious Movement that was founded in Geneva in 1984, became a symbol of mass murder-suicide of its 74 members over the span of three years in the late 90’s. The cult was founded by Luc Jouret and Joseph Di Mambro. The headquarters was later moved to Zurich, where a leadership council of 33 members presided, and regional lodges were set up to perform initiation ceremonies and other rites in Switzerland, Canada, and elsewhere. In October 1994 a member’s three month old son was stabbed repeatedly with a wooden stake at the instruction of Joseph Di Mambro. Di Mambro forced this because he identified the baby as the Antichrist described in the Bible. He believed that the Antichrist was born into the order to prevent Di Mambro from succeeding in his spiritual aim. A few days later the cult had a ceremonial last supper before committing mass suicide. 15 inner circle members committed suicide with poison, 30 were killed by bullets or smothering, and 8 others were killed by other causes. In Switzerland, many of the victims were found in a secret underground chapel lined with mirrors and other items of Templar symbolism. The bodies were dressed in the order's ceremonial robes and were in a circle, feet together, heads outward, most with plastic bags tied over their heads; they had each been shot in the head. Specialists say that the plastic bags were used to symbolize the environmental downfall of the world that was being brought on by citizens and big companies. Other victims were found in three ski chalets; several dead children were lying together. The tragedy was discovered when officers rushed to the sites to fight the fires that had been ignited by remote-control devices. Farewell letters left by the believers stated that they believed they were leaving to escape the "hypocrisies and oppression of this world." Another incident related to the OTS took place in December 1995, when 16 bodies were discovered in a star-formation in the Vercors mountains of France. It was found later that two of them shot the others and then committed suicide by firearm and immolation. In the late 1990’s, Michel Tabachnik, an internationally known musician was arrested. He was allegedly one of the cult leaders. He was convicted with the charge of "participation in a criminal organization" and murder. His case was later appealed and he was set free.

9. The Order Of Nine Angles

Sometimes referred to as ONA or O9A, this cult represents Satanism to an extreme level. This cult first attracted attention in the 80’s and 90’s after being featured in a book. ONA originally arose in the United Kingdom but has spread to certain parts of North and South America, as well as some European countries. The ONA has its own, interpretation of Satanism that describes it as a personal journey that you must make on your own to grow and become closer to Satan. The ONA is said to still be a practicing cult today, and was even recently featured in a Vice special. It’s alleged that the ONA encourages murder, incest, criminal activity, human sacrifice, rape, and other heinous acts. Perhaps the key element that makes this cult so dangerous is that they have steered away from the common belief of using willing human sacrifices and instead use unwilling victims. Another satanic cult known as The Temple of Set, have even gone to the extent of banning its members from association with the Order of Nine Angles due to the latter’s views on, and avocation of, human sacrifice. Many Satanist groups believe ONA to be a dangerous, violent thirsty group that is giving Satanism a bad name.

8. Superior Universal Alignment Cult

Starting in 1989, in the town of Altamira, Brazil, young boys began to go missing. The disappearances continued for the next four years, and it is estimated that 19 boys disappeared. The boys were all aged 15 or younger, they were castrated with medical expertise and then left to die in the jungle. Only six bodies were ever found, and another five boys were lucky enough to escape the jungle to go to the police. There was no action by the law until 2003. Then they were finally able to set charges against the Superior Universal Alignment cult. This cult was led by a woman in her 70’s named Valentina de Andrade. Other cult members included a doctor, businessman, and a policeman. They had all used their high status to avoid conviction for some time. After they were finally charged, the three men were given sentences which ranged from 32 to 77 years. Yet, surprisingly, Valentina de Andrade was acquitted of the murders. The cult believed that children born after 1981 were evil and needed to be exterminated. They also believed the world was going to end and that a spaceship would soon arrive to take them to another planet.

7. Heaven’s Gate

A UFO cult group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles, led to yet another cult related mass-suicide. In mid-March of 1997, Applewhite recorded himself talking about mass suicide and stated that “it was the only way to evacuate this Earth.” Applewhite claimed that a spaceship was trailing comet Hale-Bopp that would take them all to another level of existence if they killed themselves. About 38 of his followers committed suicide so that their souls could board the apparent space craft. This and other UFO-related beliefs held by the group have led some observers to characterize the group as a type of UFO religion. In October 1996 before their deaths, the group purchased alien abduction insurance to cover up to 50 members at a cost of 10,000 dollars. The 38 members plus Applewhite had been living in a rented building located in a gated community of upscale homes in the San Diego area. The members took phenobarbital mixed with apple sauce, washed down with vodka. Additionally, they secured plastic bags around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their own bunk beds, faces and torsos covered by a square, purple cloth. Each member carried a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets—said to be for interplanetary toll. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes, and armband patches reading "Heaven's Gate Away Team" (one of many instances of the group's use of the Star Trek fictional universe's nomenclature). The adherents, between the ages of 26 and 72, are believed to have died in three groups over three successive days, with remaining participants cleaning up after each prior group's deaths. Fifteen members died on March 24, fifteen more on March 25, and nine on March 26. Leader Applewhite was the third to last member to die; two women remained after him and were the only ones found without bags over their heads. Among the dead was Thomas Nichols, brother of the actress Nichelle Nichols, who is best known for her role as Uhura in the original Star Trek television series. Only one of the group's members, Rio DiAngelo/Richard Ford, did not kill himself. He videotaped the mansion in Rancho Santa Fe; however, the tape was not shown to police until 2002, five years after the event. However, the tapes of Applewhite are accessible on Youtube.

6. The Santa Muerte Cult

In Mexican culture, Santa Muerte, or Saint of Death, is the personification of death and helps people on their journey into the afterlife. She is often depicted as skeleton in a vibrant gown and is used to remind people of their mortality and of loved ones that they have lost. Those that worship her bring offerings of candy, breads, incense, and other goodies to her statue. However, there was one small cult in Sonora Province that took things above and beyond as far as offerings go. In July 2010, a 10-year-old boy named Martin Rios disappeared. Shortly thereafter 10-year-old Jesus Martinez also went missing. Both boys were known for often visiting Jesus’s grandmothers house. The police had already suspected Silvia Meraz because of the parade of people visiting her home. They thought that’ she may have been running a ***** house. When a 55-year-old woman disappeared the police finally searched the property. It was not long into the search before the police discovered the bodies of the two missing boys. On under the floorboards and one buried in the backyard. The missing 55-year-old woman was also found a different location. However, all 3 had been murdered by a Santa Muerte cult led by the 44-year-old Silvia. The cult consisted of 8 members and they were all relatives of Silvia. They were all arrested and charged for the murders. The victims’ wrists and throats were slashed on an altar, at night before candles. Their blood was drained and collected in bowls before being poured around the altar in a sacrifice to Saint Death.

5. The Manson Family

This mid-sized cult that arose in the California desert in the late 1960s. Charles Mansion, the infamous leader of the Manson Family cult believed in a race war that he referred to as Helter Skelter, taken from the popular Beatles song. Manson believed that the numerous murders he and his followers committed would help to precipitate that war. Though there were many small scale crimes committed by the Manson family, there are 4 crimes that have been highlighted in their background. The Crowe Shooting: In June 1969, Manson was telling the Family they might have to show the black community how to be the ones that initiate Helter Skelter, as this was the supposed plan. Manson gave the task to a member of The Family, by the name of Charles Watson. Watson defrauded a drug dealer named Bernard Crowe. Crowe responded by threatening to wipe out the Manson Family. Manson countered on July 1, 1969, by shooting Crowe at his Hollywood apartment. Hinman Murder: In July 1969, Manson sent 3 of the family members to a acquaintance Gary Hinmans’ house, in an attempt to receive money from him that Manson believe he inherited. The three members held Hinman hostage for two days, during this time Manson showed up with a sword to slash his ear. After that, a member stabbed Hinman to death, allegedly on Manson's instruction. Before leaving the Topanga Canyon residence, one of the members used Hinman's blood to write "Political piggy" on the wall and to draw a panther paw, a Black Panther symbol. The Tate Murder: Perhaps the notorious of all of the Mansion murders, on the night of August8, 1969, Manson instructed a few family members to go to the Tate home, where a former acquaintance of theirs once lived. He gave explicit instructions to “totally destroy everyone there as gruesome as possible”. Four of Charles Manson's followers, Charles "Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian murdered everyone in the home that night in a bloody mess of pure evil. Sharon Tate, the homeowner, was several months pregnant when the Manson family took her life, as well as the life of her unborn child, in cold blood. Tate allegedly begged the killers to spare the life of her unborn child, and they only responded that they did not care about her or her baby. On the front door of the home, the word PIG was written in Sharon Tate’s blood. An obvious reference to the white establishment that Charles Manson clearly thought was represented by Sharon Tate. LaBiancas’ Murders: The night directly following the Tate murders, Charles Manson himself, Tex Watson as well as Krenewenkel, and Leslie Van Houten, went to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and tie them up with buckskin thongs. Leno was found with 12 knife wounds and 14 additional wounds caused by a large fork. The word "war" was carved into his flesh with a knife. When police arrived, the fork was found still sticking out from his throat. Rosemary was found in her bedroom with a bloody pillowcase pulled over her head and a lamp cord tied around her throat. She was stabbed a total of 41 times in the area of the back and rear. The words “death to pigs” and “rise” were written on the walls in the blood of these victims. Charles Manson was finally arrested on October 12, 1969 at the Barker Ranch. The second of the Manson Family ranches. The state of California ironically abolished the death penalty just before the Manson trials began, and therefore Charles Manson, and the 4 family members were spared such a pentalty. The murderers are still rotting in jail to this day, with Manson spending his time at Corcoran State prison just north of Los Angeles.

4. The Fall Rivers Cult

This cult operated in Massachusetts in the late ’70s, and was led by 25-year-old Carl Drew. Drew was a pimp who used Satanism to terrify the prostitutes who worked for him. He claimed to be the son of Satan himself. The cult may have had up to 10 members, all of them associated with the Fall River sex trade. Between 1979 and 1980 the group held numerous ceremonies deep in the local woods. During these séances, it has been reported that Drew would speak in a different voice and a different language, in an almost inhuman way. The rituals started out with nothing more than sex and drugs, however things took a wicked turned when Drew declared that they needed to perform human sacrifice, to please his father, Satan. The cults first victim was a 19-year-old prostitute named Donna Levesque. Her hands were bound behind her and her head was beaten with a large rock. The cult dumped Donna’s body under the bleachers of a local high school. She was found on October 13th, 1979. The second murder that was linked to the cult was that of Barbara Raposa. Although, there is no accurate date for the crime, her body was found in November 1979. She was found on a pile of stones that resembled a makeshift altar. Her hands were bound and her skull had been crushed. 22-year-old Karen Marsden was the cults third victim, killed in February of 1980. Marsden had been there the night of Levesque’s murder, and had been scared into going to the police. After that her head was beaten in with a rock, and Drew broke her neck with his bare hands. A devoted cult member, Robin Murphy, reported that Drew handed her a knife and forced her to slit Marsden’s throat. Drew then cut an X into Marsdens’ chest and used her blood to mark an X on Murphy’s forehead. After this ordeal, Drew began kicking and pulling at Marsden’s head until it came off of her body. After Marsden’s death the cult was arrested. Two members, including Carl Drew, were given life sentences. Robin Murphy testified against the rest of the cult members and was given a lighter sentence. The judge also allowed her to apply for parole after 20 years. In 2004, Murphy was released, but was caught violating her parole and sent back to prison a year later. In March 2012, Murphy recanted her statement while applying for another parole. She claimed to have lied about the whole thing. However, many who worked on the investigation believe she was actually one of the masterminds of the crimes.

3. Jeffrey Lundgren’s Farm Cult

Jeffery Lundgren had a simple beginning as a minister with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or RLDS for short. Which was a relatively large off-branch of the mainstream Latter-day Saint organization that are also referred to as Mormons. Lundgren became a lay minister with the Church in 1984 and he quickly attracted followers. However, he soon began to worry the leaders of the church with his strange actions and habits. Lundgren claimed to have discovered a better way to interpret the scripture, and his radical views forced the officials to remove him from the church. After the tragic blow of losing his spot in the church, Lundgren moved his wife and their four kids onto a farm her rented in Ohio. He began a cult that featured about 20 people, and Lundgren was the ruler of them all. His followers were forced to give him their paychecks and participate in mandatory weapons training, for some unknown reason. To keep his power strong, Lundgren listened in on phone calls and would not allow cult members to talk to one another. Lundgren soon took things to a new level and told the women of the cult that they could reach salvation through sexual acts. He convinced them to dance naked for hours while he masturbated. The Avery family, Dennis and Cheryl had been strongly opposed to the RLDS’s 1984 decision to allow women to become ministers. Lundgren’s ways intrigued them so much that they quit their jobs, sold their home, and moved to Ohio. The Avery’s were not in there very long, however, before they realized they were unhappy and they planned to leave the cult. Lundgren had an idea this was going to happen and immediately told his followers that they needed to perform a sacrifice soon. In August 1989, Lundgren took Dennis Avery into town where he forced him to buy two handguns and a carbine. The next day he had the Avery’s visit the farm for dinner. After the meal, Lundgren and another cult member named Ron Luff lured them to the barn. It’s reported that while in the barn Luff ran a chainsaw to mask the sound of gunshots. Two days after the murders, the cult fled the farm. The bodies weren’t found until early January. By this time the cult had already fallen apart. However, Lundgren and 13 member of the cult were eventually caught and charged with the Avery murders. Lundgren told jurors at his trial that he was a prophet of God and “not worthy of the death penalty.” The jurors disagreed and sentenced him to death. As a last desperate resort, Lundgren pled with the jury, claiming he was too fat to be executed. In a last-ditch appeal, Lundgren claimed he was too fat to be executed. He was executed by lethal injection on October 24, 2006.

2. Children of Thunder

Brothers Taylor, formally named Glenn, and Justin Helzer were part of a Mormon family. The pair stayed very active in their church for most of their lives. They both completed two years of missionary work. Taylor began to dislike religious life as he aged into his twenties, however, and was eventually kicked out of the church for drinking, doing drugs, and having premarital sexual affairs. Just before Taylors expulsion from the school, he and his brother had met Dawn Godman, in 1999 at a Mormon Murder Mystery. Dawn began dating Justin, even though she seemed to be obsessed with Taylor. Shortly after meeting the young girl A short time later, Taylor started claiming God was speaking to him and would shush people in order to hear what the Lord was saying. Taylor started making claims that God gave him a new plan for a religious movement. Taylor needed to raise money for this newfound religious movement, so he started pimping out woman and selling drugs to get the money up. However, when that plan failed him, he resorted to theft. At the time, Justin was a stockbroker and Taylor asked him for a list of targets. To aide in his theft venture, Taylor began dating 22-year-old Selina Bishop in the spring of 2000. Taylor lied to Bishop and told her that his name was Jordan and that he was unable to give out a last name for “personal” reasons. He also wouldn’t tell her where he lived and wouldn’t meet her friends and family. The only person to see him with Selina was her mother, who happened upon them twice. In July 2000 the now named Children of Thunder went to the home of an 85-year-old man named Ivan Stineman and his wife Annette. The couple had been married for 55 years and had been clients of Justin’s. The cult forced the Stinemans to drink Rohypnol before taking them to the brothers house and making them write out two checks, totaling out to 100,000 dollars. Dawn Godman, went to the bank in a horrible disguise of a wheelchair and giant cowboy hat, and attempted to deposit the money into an account Taylor had created. The bank was very suspicious though and Dawn left with no money, and no checks. Meanwhile, at the brothers’ house, the elderly couple was not dying from the Rohypnol and the brothers had to find another way to kill them. Justin slammed Ivan’s head into the bathroom floor until he died, and Taylor slit Annette’s throat. They then dismembered the bodies with an electric saw and prayed over them. The next victim of the Children of Thunder was Selina. Taylor brought her to the house and invited her to lie on the floor for a massage. Justin then entered the room and beat her in the head with a hammer. They brought her upstairs to dismember her but found she was still alive, so Taylor slit her throat and they proceeded to cut her body up. They stuffed the parts of all three victims into gym bags and threw them into a river. Two days after the murder, Taylor realized that Selina’s mother might be able to tie him to her, so he went to her apartment and shot her and a friend while they were sleeping in bed. It didn’t take long for the 5 victims to be reported missing, and the trio was quickly arrested. Godman testified against the evil brothers and Justin was given life in prison without parole. Taylor, was given the death penalty. In 2010, Taylor attempted suicide with pens and pencils, by shoving them into his eye sockets. He only ended up blinding himself. 3 years later Taylor was more successful when he hung himself with his bedsheets.

1. The People’s Temple

Often shortened to just People’s Temple, this cult began in 1955 by founder Jim Jones, and by the 70’s the cult had a following that included over a dozen locations in California including its headquarters in San Francisco. Jones was an ordained Christian pastor, who had professed atheism. In 1974 Jones convinced most of his followers to move to Guyana, in South America. The community created on this property was called the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, or informally, "Jonestown". It had as few as 50 residents in early 1977. However, Jonestown grew to have about 900 members by 1978. Jones promised those that moved there, they would be in complete paradise, and away from the wickedness of the outside world. On November 17, 1978, Leo Ryan, a Congressman from the San Francisco area investigating claims of abuse within the Peoples Temple, visited Jonestown. During this visit, many cult members expressed that they wanted to leave but feared the consequences. The congressman agreed to help a few people flee the cult town. They headed for the airport but were intercepted by Temple security guards who opened fire on the group, killing Congressman Ryan, three journalists, and one of the Temple defectors. As Jones feared this would lead to a loss of followers, or a possible consequence from the law he ordered his congregation to drink a concoction of cyanide-laced, grape-flavored Flavor Aid. This mass suicide totaled in 918 deaths, 276 of which were children.