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Mormon Murders [Mass Market Paperback]

Steven Naifeh
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 13 1989 Onyx
In October 1985, three pipe bombs shattered the suburban calm of Salt Lake City, Utah. Two people, a young businessman and a grandmother, were killed and one young man wounded. All three were Mormons, and when investigators began sifting through the evidence, an amazing story emerged that shocked the world and shook the foundations of the Mormon Church! A complex tale of God and greed that has been sold to CBS-TV as a four-hour miniseries. (Nonfiction)

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From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying Jan. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A friend who had picked this book up (used) but hadn't read it gave it to me. After I read it I told him about it--and he wanted it back!
I won't recap the other reviews (so do check them out at this site. Suffice it to say that immediately after reading it I went on line to do some research and was told by several "recovering Mormons" (their term) that it was entirely accurate and, if anything, understated the power and goals of the LDS church.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A story inhabited by caricatures July 13 2004
Format:Hardcover
The authors do a good job of pulling together massive amounts of information from the trial and interviews, into an easy-to-follow, suspenseful read. I had no problem following the events.
However, I did have a hard time buying into the representations of the different real-live people that the authors describe. In my opinion, it is one thing for an author to struggle with the creation of a believable multi-dimensional character that he is creating out of thin air. However, it is another thing that these authors had a hard time describing the multi-dimensional facets of the real-live people they are writing about. Unfortunately, this is a book of 'flat' people...people with no depth. It is that very depth of character that would have added so much more to this story. There is undoubtedly room for more compassion to be felt for many of the people who were active players in this event...Mark, his victims, family members, even the people from the LDS authority that were involved. However, the inability of the authors to really put a 'human' face on even some of the victims, a face that would elicit recognition and compassion in me, significantly impaired and dulled my ability to be fully emotionally involved in this experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars criticisms below are quite telling Jan. 12 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i thoroughly enjoyed this book, read it straight through. it gives lots of good information on early church history and beliefs, which are often denied or ignored by the current church, but which came back to haunt it with the hoffman forgeries. this history is told in an engaging, quick-paced manner. while i would've loved footnotes, that's not really the province of true crime paperbacks........ this book will give you many such thoughts to consider.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
A very intreresting tale. mysterious documents located and sold to the Mormon Church so it can attemp to conceal it's past. I learned more about the Mormon Church, and the more I learned the frightened I've become. This is a great book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening May 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was a young girl living in Ogden, Utah when these murders occurred. I read this book shortly after its publication, and found it very enlightening and true to form. It was a terrifying mystery when the events occurred, and the media never fully explained the behind-the-scenes facts surrounding the bombings. I feel this book was very objective about the Mormon religeon and its reaction to the events surrounding the bombings and forgeries. The book is a fascinating account of the greed and murders, and anyone remembering the events will find this an eye-opener. For those who aren't familiar with the history, it's a wonderfully written, insightful book that you'll find difficult to put down.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable, Misleading, and Sensationalistic April 10 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I followed the Hofmann case extremely closely, and know many ofthe principal figures in it -- including two of the detectives whowere at the precise center of the investigation. This book is not reliable. Nonetheless, this book should be taken with not merely a grain but several pounds of salt. Richard Turley's "Victims" (published by the University of Illinois Press) would be a useful corrective, if anybody out there is really interested in a balanced view that dispenses with yellow journalistic bias.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cover Up Revealed with Zeal Feb. 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was fortunate enought to have received this book when it was in print. I certainly hope that it gets re-printed soon. Can't imagine why it's not in print, unless.... Anyway, the authors have documented a very detailed investigation of a sordid piece of the Mormon church history. Bravo. The crime was bad enough, but the subsequent cover-up by the "high holy ones" at the Church was worse.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
As an interested student the Hoffman forgeries, I'd not recommend this book. The writers' agenda keeps showing and gets in the way of the tale. Of interest, though, is the cops' story which is told better in this book than many of the other accounts. As a person who lived through many of the events in the book and personally knew both police and LDS church security personnel, I know that this work has many inaccuracies.
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