- Leo Ryan
name = Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr.
image_size = 250px
caption = January 1977 Congressional Photo
birth_date = birth date|1925|05|5
death_date = death date and age|1978|11|18|1925|05|5
Port Kaituma, Guyana
office = Mayor of
South San Francisco, California
term_start = 1962
term_end = 1962
South San Francisco, California
office2 = Member of the
California State Assemblyfor the 27th District
term_start2 = 1962
term_end2 = 1972
Glenn E. Coolidge
constituency2 = 27th District
office3 = Member of the
U.S. House of Representativesfor California's 11th congressional district
term_start3 = 1973
term_end3 = 1978
Paul N. McCloskey, Jr.
William H. Royer
constituency3 = 11th District
party = Democratic Party
children = 5
Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr. (May 5, 1925–November 18, 1978) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. He served as a U.S. Representative from the 11th Congressional District of
Californiafrom 1973 until he was murdered in Guyanaby members of the Peoples Templeshortly before the Jonestown Massacre.
Watts Riotsof 1965, then-Assemblyman Ryan took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, he experienced life as an inmate in Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman on the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform. During his time in Congress, Ryan traveled to Newfoundland to investigate the inhumane killing of seals.
Ryan was also famous for vocal criticism of the lack of
Congressional oversightof the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), and authored the Hughes-Ryan Amendment; the Amendment was dropped after his death. He was also an early critic of L. Ron Hubbardand his Scientologymovement and of the Unification Churchof Sun Myung Moon. On November 3, 1977, Ryan read into the United States Congressional Record a testimony by John Gordon Clarkabout the health hazards connected with destructive cults.cite conference | first = John Gordon | last = Clark, M.D. | authorlink = John Gordon Clark | coauthors = Hon. Leo J. Ryan of California | title = The Effects of Religious Cults on the Health and Welfare of Their Converts | booktitle = United States Congress| date = November 3, 1977 | location = Congressional Record | url = http://www.lermanet2.com/house/destructive.htm| id = | ]
Ryan is the first and only Congressman to be killed in the line of duty.cite book | last =Hatonn | first =Gyeorgos C. | coauthors =Translated by Dharma | title =The Dark Charade | publisher =Phoenix Source Distributors, Inc. | date =1991 | pages =90 | isbn =092235653X |quote=Ryan was recently awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor, and was the first Congress member to die in the line of duty.] cite news | last =Cuniberti | first =Betty | coauthors =Los Angeles Times News Service: Wire services | title =Daughter of Congressman Killed in Guyana Explains Why She Joined Commune of Controversial Indian Guru | work =The Record | page =A54 | publisher =Bergen Record Corp. | date =January 6, 1985 |quote=Six years later, 32-year-old Shannon Jo Ryan joined other family members in the White House Oval Office, where President Reagan presented them with Ryan's posthumous Congressional Gold Medal, honoring the only member of Congress ever killed in the line of duty.] cite news | last =Epstein | first =Edward | title =Lantos the master storyteller, communicator | work =
San Francisco Chronicle| date =January 1, 2007 | url =http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/01/MNGBDNB8MF1.DTL&type=printable | accessdate = 2008-09-02|quote=Ryan, the only member of Congress ever killed in the line of duty, was succeeded in a special election by a Republican, but Lantos won a Democratic primary in 1980, beat the GOP incumbent and has never looked back.] He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, in 1983.
Leo Ryan was born in
Lincoln, Nebraska.cite web | last = United States Congress | authorlink = Biographical Directory of the United States Congress | title = RYAN, Leo Joseph, (1925 - 1978) | work = | publisher = United States Congress | date =
url = http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=R000558| accessdate = 2007-01-24 ] Throughout his early life, his family moved frequently through
Illinois, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. He graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsinin 1943. [cite web | last = Campion Jesuit High School | authorlink = Campion High School | title = Campion Knights | date = | url = http://www.campion-knights.org/ | accessdate = 2007-01-24] [cite web
last = Campion Jesuit High School | authorlink = Campion High School | title = Campion Forever | work = | date = | url = http://www.campionforever.org/ | accessdate = 2007-01-24] He then received V-12 officer training at
Bates Collegeand served with the United States Navyfrom 1943 to 1946 as a submariner. [cite web | last = Campion Jesuit High School | authorlink = Campion High School | title = Campion Knights Notables | work = | date = | url = http://www.campion-knights.org/notables.html| accessdate = 2007-01-24]
Ryan graduated from Nebraska's
Creighton Universitywith an B.A. in 1949 and an M.S. in 1951. He taught History at Capuchino High School, and chaperoned the marching band in 1961 to Washington, D.C. to participate in President John F. Kennedy's inaugural parade. Ryan was inspired by Kennedy's call to service in his inaugural address, and decided to run for higher office.cite news| last = Simon | first = Mark | title = A Trip Into The Heart Of Darkness: Always larger than life, Leo Ryan courted danger. | work = San Francisco Chronicle| pages = A17 | date = December 10, 1998 | ] He served as a teacher, school administrator and South San Franciscocity councilman from 1956 to 1962.
tate of California
In 1962, Ryan was elected
mayorof South San Francisco. He served less than a year as Mayor, before taking a seat in the California State Assembly's 27th district, winning his assembly race by a margin of 20,000 votes. He had previously run for the State Assembly's 25th district in 1958, but lost to Republican Louis Francis. Ryan served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventionfrom 1964 to 1968, and he held his Assembly seat through 1972, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was successively elected three more times to the United States Congress.
U.S. Congresswoman and former California State Senator
Jackie Speierdescribed Ryan's style of investigation as "experiential legislating". After the Watts Riotsof 1965, Assemblyman Ryan went to the area and took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, using a pseudonym, Ryan had himself arrested, detained, and strip searched to investigate conditions in the California prison system. He stayed as an inmate for ten days in the Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman on the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform. [cite book | last = Wright | first = Erik Olin | title = The Politics of Punishment: A Critical Analysis of Prisons in America | publisher = Harper & Row | date = 1973 | pages = 266 | id = ] cite news| last = Haddock | first = Vicki | title = Jackie Speier -- moving on, moving up; Survivor of Jonestown ambush plans run for lieutenant governor. | work = San Francisco Chronicle| pages = D1 | date = November 16, 2003 | ]
As a California Assemblyman, Ryan also served as the Chairman of legislative subcommittee hearings, and presided over hearings involving his later successor as Congressman,
Tom Lantos. [cite book | last = Schwartzman| first = Edward | title = Political Campaign Craftsmanship: A Professional's Guide to Campaigning for Public Office| publisher = Transaction Publishers | date = 1989 | pages = 209 | id = ISBN 088738742X] Ryan pushed through important educational policies in California and authored what came to be known as the "Ryan Act", which established an independent regulatory commission to monitor educational credentialing in the state. [cite book | last = Gideonse | first = Hendrik D. | title = Teacher Education Policy: narratives, stories, and cases
publisher = SUNY Press | date = 1992 | pages = 49, 50, 65 | id = ISBN 0791410552]
United States Congress
During his time in Congress, Ryan went to Newfoundland with
James Jeffordsto investigate the inhumane killing of seals, [cite book | last = Wenzel | first = George W. | title = Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic| publisher = University of Toronto Press | date = 1991 | pages = 48 | id = ISBN 0802068901] [cite book | last = Hunter| first = Robert | title = Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement| publisher = Holt, Rinehart and Winston | date = 1979 | pages = 439, 441 | id = ISBN 0030437415] and he was famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversightof the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), authoring the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, [cite book | last = Olmsted | first = Kathryn S. | title = Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI| publisher = UNC Press | date = 1996 | pages = 45 | id = ISBN 0807845620] [cite book | last = Johns Hopkins University. School of Advanced International Studies | title = SAIS Review| date = 1989 | location = Original from the University of California | pages = 112 | id = ] which would have required extensive CIA notification of Congress about planned covert operations. [cite book | last = Ellis | first = W. Philip| coauthors = Barry M. Blechman | title = The Politics of National Security: Congress and U.S. Defense Policy| publisher = Oxford University Press | date = 1992 | pages = 146 | id = ISBN 0195077059] [cite book | last = Knott | first = Stephen F. | title = Secret and Sanctioned: covert operations and the American presidency| publisher = Oxford University Press| date = | pages = 176 | id = ISBN 0195100980] Congressman Ryan once told Richard Cheneythat leaking a state secret was an appropriate way for a member of Congress to block an "ill conceived operation". [cite book | last = Rozell | first = Mark J. | title = Executive Privilege: The Dilemma of Secrecy and Democratic Accountability| publisher = Johns Hopkins University Press | date = 1994 | pages = 52 | id = ISBN 0801849004] Shortly after his death, the Amendment was quietly dropped, contributing to the development of the Jonestown conspiracy theoryrelating to his death.
L. Ron Hubbard's Scientologymovement, and the Unification Churchof Sun Myung Moon. On November 3, 1977, Ryan read into the United States Congressional Record a testimony by John Gordon Clarkabout the health hazards connected with destructive cults. In this speech before Congress, Congressman Ryan noted that his greatest concern was: "for those young people who have been converted by these religious cults and for their parents, who have suffered the loss of their children." Congressman Ryan went on to note that a parent of one of these young people had first brought Dr. Gordon's testimony to his attention. In previous correspondence with this parent, Congressman Ryan thanked the parent for her "detailed letter regarding Scientology", and yet noted that "We haven't yet found a way to attack these jackals who feed on children and young adults who are too emotionally weak to stand by themselves when they reach the age of consent." [ [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1976_Congressman_Leo_Ryan_letter_to_Ida_Camburn 1976 Congressman Leo Ryan letter to Ida Camburn] , Congressman Leo J. Ryan, December 10, 1976., Congress of the United States, House of Representatives.]
Congressman Ryan supported
Patricia Hearst, and along with Senator S. I. Hayakawa, delivered Hearst's application for a presidential commutationto the Pardon Attorney. [cite book | last = Hearst | first = Patricia C. | authorlink = Patricia Hearst | coauthors = Alvin Moscow | title = Every Secret Thing | publisher = Doubleday Publishing | date = 1980 | pages = 440, 441 | id = ISBN 0385170564]
In 1978, reports regarding widespread abuse and
human rights violationsin Jonestownamong the Peoples Temple, led by cultleader Jim Jones, began to filter out of the organization's Guyanaenclaves. Ryan was friends with the father of former Temple Member Bob Houston, whose mutilated body was found near train tracks on October 5, 1976, three days after a taped telephone conversation with Houston's ex-wife in which leaving the Temple was discussed. [cite book | last = Reiterman | first = Tim | title = Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People | date = 1982 | pages = 299-300, 457 | isbn = 0-525-24136-1] Ryan's interest was further aroused by the custody battle between the leader of a "Concerned Relatives" group, Timothy Stoen, and Jones following a Congressional "white paper" written by Stoen detailing the events.cite book |author=Hall, John R. |title=Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History |publisher=Transaction Publishers |location=New Brunswick, New Jersey |year=1987 |isbn=0-88738-124-3 page 227] Reiterman, Tim, and John Jacobs. '. Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. page 458] Ryan was one of 91 Congressman to write Guyanese Prime Minister Forbes Burnhamon Stoen's behalf.Reiterman, Tim, and John Jacobs. '. Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. page 458]
After later reading an article in the "
San Francisco Examiner", Ryan declared his intention to go to Jonestown, an agricultural commune in Guyanawhere Jim Jones and roughly 1,000 Temple members resided. Ryan's choice was also influenced both by the Concerned Relatives group, which consisted primarily of Californians, as were most Temple members, and by his own characteristic distaste for social injustice. [cite book | last = McConnell | first = Malcolm| title = Stepping Over: personal encounters with young extremists | publisher = Reader's Digest Press | date = 1984 | pages = 67 | id = ISBN 0883491664] According to the " San Francisco Chronicle", while investigating the events, the United States Department of State"repeatedly stonewalled Ryan's attempts to find out what was going on in Jonestown", and told him that "everything was fine".Dubious The State Department characterized possible action by the United States government in Guyana against Jonestown as creating a potential "legal controversy", but Ryan at least partially rejected this viewpoint. [cite book | last = Dawson | first = Lorne L. | title = Cults and New Religious Movements: A Reader | publisher = Blackwell Publishing | date = 2003 | pages = 186, 200, 205 | id = ISBN 1405101814] In a later article in "The Chronicle", Ryan was described as having "bucked the local Democratic establishment and the Jimmy Carter administration's State Department" in order to prepare for his own investigation.
Travels to Jonestown
On November 1, 1978,
CongressmanLeo Ryan announced that he would visit Jonestown. [Rebecca Moore, [http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/Articles/print_cherrypie.htm "American as Cherry Pie"] , 2000, Jonestown Institute, San Diego State University] He did so as part of a government investigation and received permission and government funds to do so. He made the journey in his role as chairman of a congressional subcommittee with jurisdiction over U.S. citizens living in foreign countries. He asked the other members of his Bay Area congressional delegation to join him on the investigation to Jonestown, but they all declined his invitation. Ryan had also asked his friend Dan Quayleto accompany him — Quayle had served with Ryan on the Government Operations Committee — but Quayle was unable to go on the trip. [cite book | last = Quayle | first = Dan | authorlink = Dan Quayle | title = Standing Firm: A Vice-Presidential Memoir| publisher = Harpercollins | date = 1995 | pages = 176 | id = ISBN 0061093904]
While the party was initially planned to consist of only a few members of the Congressman's staff and press as part of the congressional delegation, once the media learned of the trip the entourage ballooned to include, among others, Concerned Relatives members. Congressman Ryan traveled to Jonestown with 17 Bay Area relatives of Peoples Temple members, several newspaper reporters and an NBC TV team.cite news| last = Zane | first = Maitland | title = Surviving the Heart of Darkness: Twenty years later, Jackie Speier remembers how her companions and rum helped her endure the night of the Jonestown massacre. | work =
San Francisco Chronicle| pages = 1 | date = November 13, 1998 | ] When the legal counsel for Jones attempted to impose several restrictive conditions on the visit, Ryan responded that he would be traveling to Jonestown whether Jones permitted it or not. Ryan's stated position was that a "settlement deep in the bush might be reasonably run on authoritarian lines". However, residents of the settlement must be allowed to come and go as they pleased. He further asserted that if the situation had become "a gulag", he would do everything he could to "free the captives".
On November 14, according to the
Foreign Affairs Committeereport,cite conference | last = United States House of Representatives | authorlink = United States House of Representatives | coauthors = Foreign Affairs Committee | title = Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee report on Ryan's assassination | booktitle = Report of a Staff Investigative Group to the Committee on Foreign Affairs | publisher = United States Congress | date = May 15, 1979 | url = http://www.rickross.com/reference/jonestown/jonestown2.html#back| id = | ] Ryan left Washington and arrived in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana located 150 miles away from Jonestown, with his congressional delegation of government officials, media representatives and some members of the "Concerned Relatives". [Reiterman, Tim and John Jacobs. "Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People". Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. p. 481.] Location map many | Guyana
pos=bottom | bg=yellow
lat=7.66 | long=-60.187
lat2=6.807 | long2=-58.159
lat3=7.84 | long3=-60.01
width=150 | float=right
caption=Jonestown, GuyanaThat night the delegation stayed at a local hotel where, despite confirmed reservations, most of the rooms had been cancelled and reassigned, leaving the delegation sleeping in the lobby. [Reiterman, Tim and John Jacobs. "Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People". Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. p. 482.] For three days, Ryan continued negotiation with Jones's legal counsel and held perfunctory meetings with embassy personnel and Guyanese officials. [Reiterman, Tim and John Jacobs. "Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People". Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. p. 482-4.] While in Georgetown, Ryan visited the Temple's Georgetown headquarters in the suburb of Lamaha Gardens. [Reiterman, Tim and John Jacobs. "Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People". Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. p. 484.] Ryan asked to speak to Jones by radio, but Sharon Amos, the highest-ranking Temple member present, told Ryan that he could not because his present visit was unscheduled. [Reiterman, Tim and John Jacobs. "Raven: The Untold Story of Reverend Jim Jones and His People". Dutton, 1982. ISBN 0-525-24136-1. p. 481.]
Finally, on November 17, Ryan aide
Jackie Speier(now a Congresswoman), the United States embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard Dwyer, a Guyanese Ministry of Information officer, nine reporters, and four concerned relative representatives of the delegation boarded a small plane for the flight to an airfield at Kaituma few miles outside of Jonestown.At first, only the Temple legal counsel was allowed off the plane, but eventually the entire entourage (including Gordon Lindsay, reporting for NBC) was allowed in. Initially, the welcome at Jonestown was warm,cite book | last = Chidester | first = David | title = Salvation and Suicide: Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and Jonestown| publisher = Indiana University Press | date = 2003 | pages = xvii, 11, 139, 151, 167, 168, 186 | id = ISBN 025321632X] but Temple member Vernon Gosney handed a note to NBC correspondent Don Harris which stated, "Please help me get out of Jonestown," listing himself and Temple member Monica Bagby. That night, the media and the delegation were returned to the airfield for accommodations following Jones's refusal to allow them to stay the night; the rest of the group remained.
The next morning, Ryan, Speier, and Dwyer all continued their interviews, and in the morning met a woman who secretly expressed her wish to leave Jonestown with her family and another family. Around 11:00 A.M. local time, the media and the delegation returned and took part in interviewing
Peoples Templemembers. Around 3:00 p.m., 14 Temple defectors, and Larry Layton posing as a defector, boarded a truck and were taken to the airstrip, with Ryan wishing to stay another night to assist any others that wished to leave. Shortly thereafter, a failed knife attack on Congressman Ryan occurred while he was arbitrating a family dispute on leaving. [cite book | last = Milhorn | first = H. Thomas | title = Crime: Computer Viruses to Twin Towers| publisher = Universal-Publishers.com | date = 2004 | pages = 392 | id = ISBN 1581124899] Against Ryan's protests, Deputy Chief of Mission Dwyer ordered Ryan to leave, but he promised to return later to address the dispute.The entire group left Jonestown and arrived at the Kaituma airstrip by 4:45 p.m. local time. Their exit transport plane did not arrive for another twenty minutes. The smaller six-seat Cessnawas just taxiing to the end of the runway when one of its occupants, Larry Layton, opened fire on those inside, wounding several. This could have been the cue for several other Peoples Temples members who had escorted the group out to open fire on the transport plane, killing Congressman Ryan, three journalists and a defecting Temple member, [cite book | last = Singer, Ph.D. | first = Margaret Thaler | authorlink = Margaret Singer | coauthors = Janja Lalich| title = | publisher = Jossey Bass| date = 1995 | pages = 28, 237. | id = ] while wounding nine others. The gunmen riddled Congressman Ryan's body with bullets before shooting him in the face at point blank range. [cite book | last = Snow | first = Robert L. | title = | publisher = Praeger/Greenwood | date = 2003 | pages = 36, 38, 166, 168 | id = ISBN 0275980529] The passengers on the Cessna subdued their attacker and the surviving people on both planes fled into nearby fields during and after the attack.
Following its takeoff, the Cessna radioed in a report of the attack, and the U.S. Ambassador,
John R. Burke, went to the residence of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham. It wasn't until the next morning that the Guyanese army, ordered to arrest Jones and disarm Jonestown, could cut through the jungle and reach the settlement. They discovered 909 of its inhabitants dead.
Conviction of Larry Layton
Larry Layton, brother of author and former Peoples Temple member
Deborah Layton, was convicted in 1986 of conspiracy in the murder of Leo Ryan. [Citation | last = Associated Press| author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Ex-Cult Member Convicted In Death of Rep. Leo Ryan : '78 Shooting Led to Jonestown Mass Suicide| newspaper = The Washington Post| pages = A5. | year = | date = December 2, 1986 | url =] Survivors of the Port Kaituma murders reportedly complained to Congressman Ryan when Layton boarded the truck that: "He's not one of us."cite book | last = Hatonn | first = Gyeorgos Ceres| coauthors = Translated by Dharma | title = The Dark Charade | publisher = Phoenix Source Distributors | date = 1991 | pages = 90, 95, 96, 117, 122, 132, 133, 140, 159, 160, 162. | id = ISBN 092235653X] Layton was the only former Peoples Temple member to be tried in the United States for criminal acts relating to the murders at Jonestown. [Citation | last = Drew | first = Bettina | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Indiana Jones's Temple of Doom| newspaper = The Nation| year = | date = February 1, 1999| url = http://www.thenation.com/doc/19990201/drew] [Citation | last = Associated Press| author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = LAYTON CONVICTED FOR ROLE IN 1978 JONESTOWN KILLING | newspaper = Boston Globe| year = | date = December 2, 1986 | url =] He was convicted on four different murder-related counts. [Citation | last = Staff | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = LAYTON GUILTY IN GUYANA SHOOTINGS | newspaper = Sacramento Bee| pages = A1. | year = | date = December 2, 1986 | url =]
On March 3, 1987, Layton was sentenced to concurrent sentences of life in prison for "aiding and abetting the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan", "conspiracy to murder an internationally protected person, Richard Dwyer, Deputy Chief of Mission for the United States in the Republic of Guyana", as well as fifteen years in prison on other related counts. [cite book | last = Bassiouni | first = M. Cherif| title = Legal Responses to International Terrorism: U.S. procedural aspects| publisher =Martinus Nijhoff Publishers | date = 1998 | pages = 169, 170 | id = ISBN 0898389313] At that time, he would become eligible for parole in five years.cite court |litigants= United States of America v. Laurence John LAYTON |vol= 666 F.Supp. 1369, No. CR-80-416 RFP. |reporter= U.S. |opinion=|pinpoint= |court= United States District Court, N.D. California. |date= June 3, 1987 |url=] On June 3, 1987, Layton's motion to set aside the conviction "on the ground that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel during his second trial" was denied by the United States District Court, of the Northern District of California.
After spending eighteen years in prison, Layton was released from custody in April 2002. [Citation | first = Frank | last = Bell | author-link = | first2 = | last2 = | author2-link = | editor- editor- editor2- editor2- contribution = | title = Larry Layton and Peoples Temple: Twenty-Five Years Later | year = 2003 | place = Department of Religious Studies at
San Diego State University| publisher = “Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple”| url = http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/PersonalReflections/bell.htm | id = ]
Leo Ryan's body was returned to the United States and interred at
Golden Gate National Cemeteryin San Bruno, California. The official Congressional Memorial Services for Ryan were compiled into a book: "Leo J. Ryan - Memorial Services - Held In The House Of Representatives & Senate Of The U. S., Together With Remarks". [cite book | last = Joint Committee On Printing| coauthors = United States Government Printing | title = Leo J. Ryan - Memorial Services - Held In The House Of Representatives & Senate Of The U. S., Together With Remarks | publisher = United States Congress| date = 1979 | location = Washington, D.C. | pages = 89 | id = ] Remembering the funeral of her brother held in the San Francisco area, Ryan's younger sister Shannon stated she was surprised both by the number of supporters that attended the funeral, and by the "outgrowth of real, honest sorrow".Citation | last = Sudol | first = Karen | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Keeping her brother's memory alive : Rep. Ryan's sister won't let people forget him or Jonestown | newspaper = Asbury Park Press| year =| date = November 24, 2004 | url = http://www.rickross.com/reference/jonestown/jonestown32.html|quote=Ryan is the only member of Congress to have been killed in the line of duty and was posthumously recognized in the 1980s with a congressional award presented by then-President Ronald Reagan.]
For his efforts, Ryan was posthumously awarded a
Congressional Gold Medalby the United States Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan.cite press release | title = Statement on Signing the Bill Authorizing a Congressional Gold Medal Honoring the Late Representative Leo J. Ryan | publisher = Ronald Reagan| date = November 18, 1983 | url = http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=40789| accessdate = 2007-01-24] [cite news| last = Trescott | first = Jacqueline | title = Leo Ryan honored. (with Medal of Honor) | work = The Washington Post| pages = v107 pC4 col 5 (10 col in) | date = November 30, 1984 | ] [cite news| last = Staff | title = Reagan to give medal for slain congressman. (Leo J. Ryan) | work = The New York Times| pages = pA25(L) col 2 (4 col in) | date = November 27, 1984 | ] He was the first, and currently only, member of Congress to have been killed in the line of duty.cite press release | title = Congressman Tom Lantos' Remarks on the 25th Anniversary of the Tragedy at Jonestown and the Death of Congressman Leo Ryan | publisher = Tom Lantos| date = 2003-11-17| url = http://lantos.house.gov/HoR/CA12/Newsroom/Press+Releases/2003/11-17-03+Congressman+Tom+Lantos+Remarks+on+the+25th+Anniversary+of+the+Tragedy+at+Jonestown+and+the.htm | accessdate = 2006-09-08|quote=Among the victims was Congressman Leo Ryan, the first Member of Congress ever killed in the line of duty. ( [http://web.archive.org/web/20060926010332/http://lantos.house.gov/HoR/CA12/Newsroom/Press+Releases/2003/11-17-03+Congressman+Tom+Lantos+Remarks+on+the+25th+Anniversary+of+the+Tragedy+at+Jonestown+and+the.htm archived page] , [http://congress.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r108:H17NO3-0055: alternate link] )] In President Reagan's remarks upon signing the bill awarding Congressman Ryan the Congressional Gold Medal, he stated: "It was typical of Leo Ryan's concern for his constituents that he would investigate personally the rumors of mistreatment in Jonestown that reportedly affected so many from his district." Ryan's daughters Erin and Patricia had helped to garner support for the Congressional Gold Medal, in time for the fifth anniversary of Ryan's death. [Citation | last = Herald Staff | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = PEOPLE UPDATE: PAT AND ERIN RYAN | newspaper = The Miami Herald| pages = 2A. | year = | date = July 11, 1983 | url =]
After his death, Ryan's daughter Shannon Jo changed her name to Jasmine and joined
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a cult. [Citation | last = Endicott | first = William | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Leo Ryan's Daughter Joins Cult : Shannon Jo Ryan Follows Religious Guru | newspaper = The Washington Post| pages = C1 | year = | date = January 12, 1981 | url = The daughter of the late Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.), who was killed in Jonestown, Guyana, two years ago by followers of cult leader Jim Jones, has become a devoted follower of a cult leader in India and has accepted him as "Bhagwan," or God.] [Citation | last = Staff. | author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Leo Ryan's Daughter Weds Guru Disciple | newspaper = The Washington Post| pages = D12. | year = | date = December 22, 1982 | url = RAJNEESHPURAM, Ore. (UPI) -- Shannon Ryan, the 30-year-old daughter of slain congressman Leo Ryan (D-Calif.) and a follower of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, will marry another disciple of the guru December 27, a spokeswoman for the sect said yesterday.] [Citation | last = Associated Press| author-link = | last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Dad would understand' why she lives with cult group. | newspaper = The Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, Ohio| pages = A6. | year = | date = November 20, 1984 | url = Although Rep. Leo Ryan was killed while investigating the religious cult run by the Rev. Jim Jonesat Jonestown, Guyana, his daughter says her father would understand why she now lives in a commune as the follower of an Indian guru. Shannon Ryan, 32, a follower of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is now known as Ma Amirith Pritam and lives with her husband, also a follower of the guru, at Rajneeshpuram in rural Oregon...] while her sister Patricia became president of the (OLD) Cult Awareness Network. [cite book | last = Tuman | first = Myron C. | title = Criticalthinking.Com: A Guide to Deep Thinking in a Shallow Age| publisher = Xlibris Corporation | date = 2002 | pages = 82 | id = ISBN 1401052290] Citation | last = Dearen | first = Jason | author-link =| last2 = | first2 = | author2-link = | title = Erin Ryan wants father to be appreciated| newspaper = Oakland Tribune| year = | date = November 18, 2003| url = http://www.rickross.com/reference/jonestown/jonestown25.html] Ryan's daughter Erin worked for the C.I.A. before eventually becoming an aide to her father's former aide Jackie Speier, who had in 1998 been elected to the California State Senate.
On the 25th anniversary of his death, a special memorial tribute was held in his honor in
Foster City, California. Ryan's family and friends, including Jackie Speier and Ryan's daughters, were in attendance. The "San Francisco Chronicle" reported that "Over and over today, people described a great man who continually exceeded his constituents' expectations." Near the end of the memorial service, parents of those who had died in Jonestown stood to honor and thank Congressman Ryan for giving his life while trying to save their children's. After the service ended, mounted police escorted the family and friends into Foster City's Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park. A wreath was laid next to a commemorative rock that honored Ryan. [cite news| last = Bay City News Report | title = Tribute to congressman Leo Ryan held in Foster City. | work = San Francisco Chronicle| language = English | date = November 18, 2003 | url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2003/11/18/ryan18.DTL| accessdate = 2007-01-24] The same year, Ryan's daughter Erin attended a memorial for those who died at Jonestown, at the Oakland, California Evergreen Cemetery. [Citation | last = Delevett| first = Peter | author-link = | last2 = | first2 =| author2-link = | title = Two children remember fathers' legacies 25 years after Jonestown. | newspaper = San Jose Mercury News| year =| date = November 15, 2003 | url =]
Leo J. Ryan Award
The Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation established the Leo J. Ryan Award in honor of the congressman. The Foundation was originally titled "Cult Info", and changed its name in honor of the congressman in 1999. It is based in
Bridgeport, Connecticut. [cite web | last = Apologetics Index | title = Cult Info | work = Apologetics research | date = | url = http://www.apologeticsindex.org/c154.html| accessdate = 2007-01-24] [cite web | last = Apologetics Index | title = Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation | work = Apologetics Research | date = | url = http://www.apologeticsindex.org/l00.html#leoryanf| accessdate = 2007-01-24] The first award was given in 1981.
Notable recipients include
Ronald Enroth, Ph.D., John Gordon Clark, M.D., Gabe Cazares, Robert Lifton, M.D., Louis Jolyon West, M.D., journalist Richard Behar, Congressman Ryan's daughter Patricia Ryan, Michael Langone, Ph.D., Flo Conway& Jim Siegelman, Bob Minton, and Rabbi Maurice Davis.
Portrayed in film
Congressman Leo Ryan has been portrayed in films about the Jonestown mass murder/suicide, including by actor
Gene Barryin the 1979 film "Guyana: Crime of the Century", [cite video | people = René Cardona Jr. | title = Guyana: Crime of the Century | medium = Film | publisher = Universal Pictures| date = 1979] and by Ned Beattyin the 1980 film, "". [cite video | people = William A. Graham | title = | medium = Film | publisher = CBS Television | date = 1980]
His assassination was also discussed in the 2006, "", [cite video | people = Stanley Nelson | title = | medium = Documentary | publisher = Firelight Media | date = October 20, 2006] and on
The History Channeldocumentaries: "Cults: Dangerous Devotion", [cite video | people = The History Channel| title = Decoding the Past: Cults: Dangerous Devotion: Scholars and survivors discuss the mystery of cults. | medium = Documentary | publisher = A&E Television Networks | date = 2006] and "Jonestown Paradise Lost". [cite video | people = The History Channel| title = Jonestown Paradise Lost: Congressman Leo Ryan's fatal journey into "Jonestown," a community carved out of the jungles of Guyana by followers of pastor Jim Jones.| medium = Documentary | publisher = A&E Television Networks | date = 2006]
Sourcecite web | last = Vassar | first = Alex | coauthors = Shane Meyers | title = Leo J. Ryan, Democratic | work = JoinCalifornia.com | date = 2007 | url = http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/603 | accessdate = 2007-01-25] ;1978 election for U.S. House of Representatives (CD 11)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 60.5%
*Dave Welch (R), 35.6%
*Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff (American Independent) 3.9%
;1976 election for U.S. House of Representatives (CD 11)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 61.1%
*Bob Jones (R), 35.4%
*Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff (American Independent) 3.5%
;1974 election for U.S. House of Representatives (CD 11)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 75.8%
*Brainard G. "Bee" Merdinger (R), 21.3%
*Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff (American Independent) 2.9%
;1972 election for U.S. House of Representatives (CD 11)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 60.4%
*Charles E. Chase (R), 37%
*Nicholas W. Kudrovzeff (American Independent) 2.6%;1970 Race for California State Assembly (AD 27)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 73.2%
*John R. Sherman (R), 23.1%
*John Lynch (American Independent) 3.8%
;1968 election for California State Assembly (AD 27)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 99.8%
*Will Slocum (I), 0.2%
;1966 election for California State Assembly (AD 27)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 56.9%
*Robert N. Miller (R), 43.1%
;1964 election for California State Assembly (AD 27)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 69%
*Andrew C. Byrd (R), 31%
;1962 election for California State Assembly (AD 27)
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 63.5%
*Andrew C. Byrd (R), 36.5%
;1958 election for California State Assembly (AD 25)
*Louis Francis (R), 50.6%
*Leo J. Ryan (D), 49.4%
*"", Paperback book,
Fearon Publishers, (1970)
*"Understanding California Government and Politics", 152 pages,
Fearon Publishers, (1966);Congressional reports
*"NATO, pressures from the southern tier": Report of a study mission to Europe, August 5-27, 1975, pursuant to H. Res. 315, 22 pages, Published by United States Government Print Office, (1975)
*"Vietnam and Korea: Human rights and U.S. assistance" : a study mission report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, 15 pages, Published by United States Government Print Office, (1975)
*"The United States oil shortage and the Arab-Israeli conflict": Report of a study mission to the Middle East from October 22 to November 3, 1973, 76 pages, Published by United States Government Print Office, (1973)
Leo J. Ryan Federal Building
List of assassinated American politicians
* [http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=R000558 Biography] , "
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress"
* [http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/groups/p/peoplestemple/jonestown_doc_1.htm Report to the committee on Foreign Affairs, May 1979] Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee report on Ryan's assassination, May 15, 1979
* [http://www.congressionalgoldmedal.com/LeoJRyan.htm Congressional Gold Medal] , Text of the act issuing the Congressional Gold Medal and an FBI report summary as well as an article on both Jones and his involvement and the investigation
* [http://www.xenutv.com/panels/cultinfo-2001-award.htm The Leo J. Ryan Award] , Presentation, 2001, awarded to
Bob Minton, introduced by Priscilla Coates
* [http://lantos.house.gov/HoR/CA12/Newsroom/Press+Releases/2003/11-17-03+Congressman+Tom+Lantos+Remarks+on+the+25th+Anniversary+of+the+Tragedy+at+Jonestown+and+the.htm On the 25th anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre and Ryan's assassination] , 2003, Press release from Rep. Tom Lantos, California 12th Congressional District
* [http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/603 JoinCalifornia] , Election History for the State of California
* [http://www.lermanet.com/house/destructive.htm Congressman Leo J Ryan Memorial Page] , hosted by
* [http://www.fostercity.org/Services/recreation/18.cfm?CFID=914737&CFTOKEN=78289253 Leo J Ryan Memorial park] in
Foster City, California
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