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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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Product Description

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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Shame on you Mormon Church! Feb. 2 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read this book a number of times and each time it is so clear that the LDS church is nothing more than a fraternity type organization that wants to increase membership to increase income, and in order to carry this out, must silence critics where possible and hide damaging documents that weaken the "faith" of their members. The Hofmann incident is a classic example of how desperate Hinckley and the rest of the "big boys" were to sweep everything under the carpet. The interview in Time Magazine with Hinckley further supports this idea. When asked pointedly if men can become gods, Hinckley didn't have the nerve to admit that this was taught by the Mormons, obviously because this is such a non-Christian and ridiculous lie perpetrated by Satan himself. But that is exactly what Lorenzo Snow's quote teaches - "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become". Gordon B. Hinckley, I hope you are reading this because you are a coward and a dishonest person to be furthering the heretical lies of your organization when so many people around the world are trusting in your so-called "authority".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly detailed case superbly presented Aug. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Each time I read this book (by my count, an even half-dozen to date), I marvel at the talent of these writers for turning an overwhelming volume of dry and complex research into a clear, compelling page-turner with more twists and turns than a mountain road. Aside from the crash course in history and culture of Latter Day Saints, I'm constantly intrigued by the detailed backgrounds provided for the antique document market, the business of printing and forgeries and the saint (no pun intended)-like patience of police investigators. All this, fleshed out with the strongly-drawn personalities involved, raises the normally lurid "true-crime" genre from the sensationalistic gutter and places it squarely into journalism -- definitely a new standard. There are a number of books published on this topic, and I've read most of them. This is the most comprehensive, the least "slanted", and certainly the most fascinating. I've got two copies -- one to read and re-read, and one to loan!
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book names names and places and supports itself from an outside perspective in a very objective and informative manner. The scenario and politics of this mover and shaker conservative and very powerful organization is accurately portrayed in a bone chilling portrayal which enlightens the unaware reader as to the endless means man will go to to establish power and wealth--even to the ends of murder and self-conviction that the action is the Lord's will. I found the twists and exposures of this book a real page-turner and recognizing several of the persons described therein, found it amazingly accurate. An excellent and gutsy read for those within and without the organization of the Church. It has apparently been blackballed in this state. I have not been able to find it in any bookstore nor library. I purchased my copy in Chicago. There is apparently such thing in Utah as the Separation of Church and State.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A story inhabited by caricatures
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. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by Beverly Hines
1.0 out of 5 stars Less Than A Star, Really....
To be quite honest, this book stinks. At first, the book does grasp you and you feel like "This is a really good book, nothing bad about it. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by "rknuthjr"
3.0 out of 5 stars The tales of Hoffman
This book details the history of Mark Hoffman, one of the most controversial figures in modern day Mormonism. This was the first book that I had read on Hoffman. Read more
Published on April 29 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A vicious attack on Mormonism
At first sight, this appears to be an engrossing true-crime narrative. But it soon becomes evident that the real agenda of the authors is to use the crime case as an excuse for... Read more
Published on April 12 2004 by "sfoster29"
4.0 out of 5 stars criticisms below are quite telling
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Cloak and Dagger, history, money, greed, go figure
A very intreresting tale. mysterious documents located and sold to the Mormon Church so it can attemp to conceal it's past. Read more
Published on July 19 2000 by K. Johnson
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable, Misleading, and Sensationalistic
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. Read more
Published on April 9 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Cover Up Revealed with Zeal
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.... Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2000 by James R. Callahan
2.0 out of 5 stars Sensationalist tripe with a few interesting points
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. Read more
Published on Oct. 16 1999 by Mark Lee
1.0 out of 5 stars Glossy, but not well-researched and many inaccuracies.
I was involved in the events described in this book and was interviewed by one of the authors several times as he "researched" this tragedy. Read more
Published on March 21 1999
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