At the age of 28, Jackie Speier was an aide to Congressman Leo Ryan when he went to Guyana to investigate Jim Jones. He was assassinated. She was shot five times and left for dead on an airstrip.
She survived ten surgeries as well as death threats and began getting elected to public office. When she was 43 and pregnant, her husband was killed in an automobile accident.
In April 2008, Spiers was elected to Congressman Ryan’s old seat in the House of Representatives.