The Mormon Murders was first published in 1988 and I found it on the shelves of my local library. I was horrified but also intrigued by the true crime story of Mark Hofman who is still serving a sentence for manslaughter in the US. The subtitle of the book is A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit and Death. The subtitle isn't lying; The Mormon Murders has it all. Mark Hofman is a young, Mormon rare documents dealer, specializing in those that interest the Mormon Church (Latter Day Saints). He lives with his wife and children in Salt Lake City, the urban centre of the Mormon faith. On Oct. 15, 1985, a pipe bomb packed with nails explodes, killing Steve Christensen, a local businessman. Two hours later, Cathy Sheets, mother and grandmother, is killed by a similar explosion in a quiet Salt Lake City Suburb. The next day, Mark Hofman barely escapes the same fate as a pipe bomb goes off in his car. He is rushed to hospital.
Then the twisted tale starts. The police, FBI, and the Church are interested in what happened. All three victims are members of the Mormon Church. Some police officers, FBI agents, and lawyers in the District Attorney's Office also belong to the Latter Day Saints faith. All kinds of obstacles face the investigators. The Church officials have a vested interest in keeping certain historical events Church secrets.
Mark Hofman trained himself to be a master forger and took advantage of his Mormon connections to sell the Church and true believer "original" documents. Some, supposedly authored by Joseph Smith, the founder, himself. The Church cannot let certain damaging documents become public. Amazingly Mark Hofman finds these and sells them to the Church to be locked away in the Vault. When Hofman gets too greedy, the whole scheme starts to unravel.
If you are looking for a fascinating read and would like a true story for a change, The Mormon Murders does it in spades.
Below is a picture of one of Hofman's forgeries- The Anton Transcript.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.