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The Mormon Murders Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312934106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312934101
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.2 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cast of characters worthy of the best whodunits."-Houston Chronicle

"Captivating...a fascinating account."-Columbus Dispatch

"Engrossing...a big, absorbing true-crime saga!"-Booklist

"Gripping...a first-class piece of reporting."-Greenwich Times

"The authors' combination of law and journalism provides an excellent foundation for understanding this twisting and legally complex story."-Rocky Mountain News

"Fascinating, sensational revelations...well-researched."-Times Tribune

"A most controversial and rewarding account."-San Francisco Record

"Intriguing...fascinating reading...takes a huge cast of characters and breathes life into them."
-Ogden Standard-Examiner

From the Back Cover

"A FIRST-RATE TRUE CRIME THRILLER AND DETECTIVE STORY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER...THE KIND OF BOOK YOU GRAB EAGERLY AND CAN'T PUT DOWN."
-Detroit Free Press

On October 15, 1985, two pipe bombs shook the calm of Salt Lake City, Utah, killing two people. The only link-both victims belonged to the Mormon Church. The next day, a third bomb was detonated in the parked car of church-going family man, Mark Hoffman. Incredibly, he survived. It wasn't until authorities questioned the strangely evasive Hoffman that another, more shocking link between the victims emerged...

It was the appearance of an alleged historic document that challenged the very bedrock of Mormon teaching, questioned the legitimacy of its founder, and threatened to disillusion millions of its faithful-unless the Mormon hierarchy buried the evidence.

Drawing on exclusive interviews, The Mormon Murders reconstructs a secret conspiracy of God, greed, and murder that would expose one of the most ingenious con men in the annals of crime-and shake the very foundation of a multibillion-dollar empire to its core.

"SENSATIONAL!
-Washington Post

"A REMARKABLE STORY."
-The New York Times

Customer Reviews

I thought it was very well written.
Tickle Me
Nevertheless, if you are a fan of true crime stories, this book is a must read.
Victoria Shephard
I like to know exactly who said what & when but that's not this book's style.
drawesome

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Bohlken on July 27, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book holds the reader's attention in the same way a Tom Clancy novel holds one's attention, but this book tells the true story of three bombings in squeaky clean Salt Lake City in 1985 that resulted in two fatalities. "The Mormon Documents Murders" would have been a more accurate title, though.

The story has at least two levels. The first is that of Mark Hofmann, who made a regular habit of 'unearthing' long-missing documents from early Mormon history. He is the same Mark Hofmann, who as a boy showed a friend how he could make an ordinary silver dime into a rare coin by changing the mint mark with his home electroplating setup. There is enough suspense in the Hofmann subplot to make this book well worth reading.

But, the Hofmann portion of the story could never have happened were it not for persistent fear of the Mormon Church leadership that early Mormon historical documents could discredit the Church in the eyes of the faithful if they were to be found and made public. Hofmann played on this fear by claiming to have located various documents and offering them to the Church leadership at huge sums before someone hostile to the Church might acquire them and publish their contents. The Church leadership sought to get the documents by arranging their purchase through third parties who would then donate them to the Church so that the Church could plausibly deny it possessed the documents. These documents would then be placed into The Vault where they would never again see the light of day.

If this sounds like too much conspiracy theory to spin, the reader should wait until he or she gets to the portion of the book dealing with the investigation and trial of Mark Hofmann.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Rail on September 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very detailed story of the infamous Mormon Murders case, wherein a fraudulent dealer in rare documents decided to kill off everyone who might reveal his deceptions.

Delves deeply into the daily routine and hierarchy of the Mormon Church. Does not whitewash anything. Also highlights the mountain of evidence against the murderer. Blends the elements of the criminal case with the culture that surrounds it.

This book will shock people and educate them as well.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Lavins on May 26, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Any reader who appreciates the genre of true crime books will want to add this book to their collection. This well-researched book is skillful in telling a murder tale without revealing all of the minute details too soon and lessening your reading enjoyment. Although the murder and trial were recent national events that were chronicled in the media, the story was a new one for me and this enhanced my appreciation of the well laid out drama.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kay Burningham on August 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding true crime account of former missionary, Mark Hoffman's extensive document forgeries, which fooled even the very elite in the LDS Church hierarchy. Naifeh and White suggest the ecclesiogenic neuroses exhibited by the Mormon characters, while maintaining a fast-paced story line. Two other accounts of the Hoffman crimes (which eventually includes murder) were written by members of the Chruch and are superficial treatments of the devious and murderous Hoffman tale. Neither of them are as well written, nor as accurately detailed, as the Naifeh/White Smith account. This book makes clear the interplay and corruption that is sometimes seen between the LDS Church hierarchy and Utah government, in this case, even the judicial system.

Kay Burningham, author of "An American Fraud: One Lawyer's Case against Mormonism."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lavender1 on February 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
What an astounding story. Some people might criticize this book for being too long winded or biased against the Mormon church, but I can not imagine anyone could be less than intrigued by this true tale. Bombings, murder, deception by powerful religious leaders, manipulation of the judiciary, back door deals, suppression of the press, forgeries of historical documents--who wouldn't find this fascinating?

Along the way the reader gets a look behind the Mormon curtain. It doesn't make for a very comforting bedtime story in the current political climate.

This is a five star story told in a four star manner. It is too detailed for my taste. But let's not quibble too much--just pick It up, then see if you can stop reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Thomas Jr. on December 1, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Mormon Murders is a great read. It is long, 515 pages, but never tedious. Greed, forgery, deceit, and death. Naifeh and Smith provide an interesting true crime book.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Layman on May 29, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is certainly true that fact is sometimes stranger than fiction. This was my first foray into the true crime genre, and now I'm hooked! Contrary to the opinions of a couple of other reviewers, I felt this book was an unbiased and well-written account of frightening events of which most of us Mormons are unaware. If you're only interested in Mormon-faith-promoting material, I wouldn't recommend this book. If you're interested in truth, this book is excellent reading.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James I. Huston on December 29, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two themes are very evident in this book. The first is a story of a very clever forger who knew the weaknesses of his customers. When he could no longer cover his forgeries, he murdered two people before accidentally setting off one of his bombs and being injured. That, by its self in an interesting story.

The second part of the story is the Theocracy of Utah and the political power of the dominant religion there. A few people sincerely tried to get the evidence and prosecute the crime. Others on the case drug their feet and presented every possible obstacle. The Mormon Church made it very clear they did not want media attention and did not want to testify. Gordon B. Hinckley went so far as to say that they just wanted the matter dropped. The FBI agent leading that part of the investigation was Mormon, some of the police investigators were Mormon, the Prosecuting Attorney was Mormon, the Sheriff was Mormon and the Federal Attorney was Mormon. They all took orders from the Mormon Church. Here is a quote from the book:

If the Church didn't want the truth out, then neither, it appeared did Brent Ward. If the Church didn't want this case in the headlines, didn't want to get itself involved in the legal process, who was Brent Ward to put it there? As for his sworn duty to uphold the law, well there were laws and there were laws. As one investigator on the case saw it: "Brent Ward's motives are above the law. Do you think a good Mormon in the U.S. Attorney's office is going to hesitate for one minute deciding to do what's correct for the law or what's best for the Church? This guy was on his way to being a GOD(emphasis in original). Next to that, US attorney looks pretty insignificant.
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