The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death

Steven W. Naifeh, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (458p) ISBN 978-1-55584-064-8
As part of a scathing depiction of a deceitful, materialistic Mormon Church, lawyers Naifeh and Smith (co-editors of the biennial directory The Best Lawyers in America , etc.) point out that the 1985 Salt Lake City scandals and bombings that convulsed the community had a precedent in certain dubious practices of the church's prophet and founder Joseph Smith. The suspenseful plot, involving a series of murders and a large cast of Mormons and police investigators, centers on the purchase and suppression by church officials of authentic and forged documents that cast doubts on basic tenets of their faith and attested to the cover-up of Smith's unsavory past. Under the threat of blackmail, the church bought many of these documents from the dealer-bomber Mark Hofmann; according to the authors, Hoffmann, after confessing the murders and forgeries, was allowed, thanks to the church's political influence, to plea bargain the murder indictment into a manslaughter charge thereby sparing the church an embarrassing trial that could have revealed its complicity. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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