Celebrating 70 years of KTTV: Heaven's Gate

Marshall Applewhite looks into a video camera. His eyes piercing. His words short and to the point.

He says, "You're only chance to evacuate is to leave with us. Planet Earth is about to be recycled." His messages left on video-tapes discovered by law enforcement when called to a San Diego area mansion. Not far behind, KTTV's Reporter Al Naipo who shows viewers video of dead bodies laying across one bed after another. The bodies covered in purple shrouds. 39 people deceased including Marshall Applewhite. Al Naipo reported, "This is what Sheriffs Deputies walked into Wednesday afternoon. A mansion of mass suicide. Police released this haunting video of the purple cloth shrouded bodies of 39 mainly middle-aged men and women who allegedly killed themselves in upscale Rancho Sante Fe."

Check out the What The Hal Podcast where Hal Eisner talks with Dr. Carole Leiberman and KTTV Managing Editor Pete Wilgoren.

The news - and the images inside were disturbing. But, according to the group's website, which is still operating... it was the Earth that was disturbed. The way they put it, "The human "weeds" have taken over the garden and disturbed its usefulness beyond repair." Their earthling bodies were described as temporary vessels for their time on earth, but wouldn't be needed in the Kingdom level -- above human. And, making tapes for the public was a way to document their transformation for all mankind.

In this special KTTV70 story we look back at the San Diego County mass suicide that became known as Heaven's Gate.

Please visit our KTTV70 page to watch more stories featuring the 70-year history of FOX 11 KTTV in Los Angeles.