How does Cyanide affect the body?- Short Amounts-cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excreted in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B12
Large Amounts-the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning.
Why? Jim Jones had become extremely paranoid and when some news cast came in to potentially get word out and take survivors, that's when he ordered the mass suicide. How were they caught? They were never officially caught because they all killed themselves and Jim Jones was either shot by his loyalist or shot himself in the head, it was left uncleared.