California Congresswoman Jackie Speier reflects on her near-death experience

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Congresswoman Jackie Speier at Skyline College Theater. Photo credit: Daniel Chee/The Skyline View

Forty years ago, Jackie Speier was legislative counsel to California Congressman Leo Ryan, and they went on a congressional fact-finding mission to Jonestown. They were investigating abuse claims against San Francisco cult leader Jim Jones. As Speier and Rep. Ryan were trying to board a plane to return to Washington DC, some of Jones’ men followed them and opened fire. Speier was shot five times on the tarmac. Now she’s written a book about her experience called “Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back.”