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80 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put the book down
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...
Published on July 27, 2005 by Philip J. Bohlken

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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but not really "sensational."
I found the book to be enjoyable for the most part, but some sections dragged out a bit and most of the characters were rather two dimensional. The research and interviews conducted by the authors were comprehensive and reflect effective investigative journalism. Although I don't disagree with many of the assessments the authors make regarding the Church of LDS, their...
Published on August 7, 2005 by T. E. Brown


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80 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put the book down, July 27, 2005
By 
Philip J. Bohlken (Vancouver, Washington) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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the story could never have happened were it not for persistent fear of the Mormon Church leadership that early Mormon historical documents could discredit the Church in the eyes of the faithful if they were to be found and made public.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. Evidence that Hofmann had killed two people was overwhelming, but the entire legal system began rapidly to lose interest in prosecuting him when it became known that the Mormon Church wanted no part of the publicity that would be generated by all of the disclosures coming out in a trial. Gordon B. Hinckley, then not yet the head of the Mormon Church, simply told the lead detective he was not interested in testifying about his involvement in purchasing documents from Mark Hofmann, and he eventually got away with it! As intriguing as Mark Hofmann's tortured plots are, the glimpses into the Mormon Church and its influence over the media and the legal system in Salt Lake City are equally fascinating.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best true crime books ever written, September 9, 2007
This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ FOR TRUE CRIME FANS, May 26, 2005
By 
P. A. Lavins (Washington, D. C.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Account of Mormon Mark Hoffman Forgeries and Murders, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: The Mormon Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try to just read a little of this and stop..., February 11, 2012
By 
Lavender1 (Watsonville, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mormon Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mormon Murders, a great read, December 1, 2012
This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book, December 29, 2006
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This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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."

The reason the Mormon Church did not want the press, is because Hoffman dealt with the top leadership of the Mormon Church. He was on a first name basis and could get in to see them any time. To admit that they had dealt with him and purchased documents from him would be admitting that their much vaunted "power of discernment" did not exist. If it had existed, they would not have purchased the documents and would have known he was a forger. While Gordon B. Hinckley was not the official head of the Mormon Church, however one of the people over him had advanced senility and the other had suffered a massive stroke. He was essentially in charge and he had been dealing directly with Mark Hoffman.

Because of the influence of the Mormon Church, and the desire of the Mormon Church to end any media involvement, the prosecutor took a solid murder one case and bargained it to one Murder two guilty plea with a sentencing of Manslaughter. Mark Hoffman got 5 to life for premeditated murder. This was the same sentence that another Utah man recieved for robbing a fast food restaurant. The two men entered prison at the same time. The prosecution's evidence was overwhelming that he was guilty.

Anyone who wants to understand the inner workings and power that is wielded by the "Brethren" should read this book. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Reading, May 29, 2006
This review is from: The Mormon Murders (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you are interested in the Mormon Church., January 10, 2012
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This review is from: The Mormon Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
Very insightful - strips away the mystery about a lot of what goes on at/in the church. This is a factual account of Mark Hofmann and his dealings with the inner workings of the religion.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best true crime book that I ever read., June 6, 2011
This review is from: The Mormon Murders (Mass Market Paperback)
The book is a very thorouh research that explore the life of a cold blooded murderer Mark Hofmann. They unmasked the Myths of the Mormon Church and the false prophets of this Church, as Joseph Smith Jr. (the founder), Brigham Young and Gordon Hinckley. I recommend this book to both mormon and non mormon, to understand the "ideosincrazy" of the mormon people and the inhabitants of Utah. As you read the book, you will find how the LDS Church operates as a cult and how they run the state of Utah, and how the prosecutor Bob Stott protects Gordon Hinckley's dark side. The part of the book that explore the fights between prosecutors and police during the investigation process is simply brilliant.
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The Mormon Murders
The Mormon Murders by Gregory White Smith (Mass Market Paperback - April 5, 2005)
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