Daughter Of Rep. Leo Ryan, Congressman Killed In 1978 The recent attack on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords brought back a flood of memories for Erin Ryan. Her father, the late California Rep. Leo Ryan, was killed in Guyana in 1978 while investigating the Jim Jones religious settlement.

Rep. Leo Ryan's Daughter Recalls His 1978 Murder

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Time again for StoryCorps. The shooting rampage in Tucson that targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords brought back painful memories for Erin Ryan. She's the youngest daughter of the late Leo Ryan. He was the California Congressman who traveled to Guyana in 1978 to investigate the settlement in Jonestown, which was built by cult leader Jim Jones. When Congressman Ryan tried to bring cult members back to the U.S. he was gunned down. Eric Ryan remembers it wasn't the first time her father took risks in search of answers.

ERIN RYAN: I've always said to myself that I was lucky that he was my dad, and I was lucky to have had him for the years that I had him. And that's what you have to hold onto.


MONTAGNE: Erin Ryan for StoryCorps in Washington, D.C. She's now a lawyer who works for the Congresswoman who holds her father's old seat. Her recording will be archived at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. And you can subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org.

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