MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 23, 1978 (UPI) -- Attorney Mark Lane said People's Temple leader Jim Jones, who was among 408 cult members found dead in Guyana this week, personally ordered the murder of Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif.
Lane said Jones ordered a knife attack on Ryan - which he and another attorney foiled - and then set up the airstrip attack
"I knew about it but couldn't do anything to prevent it," Lane said upon his arrival home late yesterday.
Lane said Jones, whose body was found among the hundreds who drank a soft drink mixture laced with cyanide and painkillers, ordered a man Lane identified as Don Sly to kill Ryan.
Lane said the muscular Sly attempted to stab Ryan in the throat at Jonestown during the weekend, but he and another People's Temple attorney, Charles Garry, were able to grab his arm and ward off the attack.
"Jim Jones had ordered Don Sly to murder Congressman Leo Ryan," Lane said. "When that failed he (Jones) told me people would be killed at the airstrip. He had sent another group of people to kill the people at the airstrip. I knew about it but couldn't do anything to prevent it."