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Richard E. Turley Jr.

Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case

Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case

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Three pipe bombs exploded in Salt Lake County in 1985, killing two and wounding the assailant. Behind the murders lay a vast forgery scheme aimed at dozens of other victims, most prominently the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mark Hofmann, a master forger, went to prison for the murders. He had bilked the church, document dealers, and collectors of hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years while attempting to alter Mormon history. Other false documents of Americana created by him still circulate today.

The crimes garnered intense media interest, spawning books, TV and radio programs, and myriad newspaper and magazine articles. Victims is a thoughtful corrective to the more sensationalized accounts. More important, Richard E. Turley Jr. adds substantially to the record with previously unavailable church documentation and exclusive interviews with church officials, giving this book greater depth and resonance. He also goes beyond the Hofmann case, illustrating how forgeries have hampered the church's efforts to document its own history.

Victims includes a complete appendix of every known document the church acquired from Hofmann, reviews of trial transcripts and police reports, as well as dozens of photographs, some never before published.

"An interesting, fast-paced, well-written account of an important event not only in the history of Mormonism but the history of the acquisition of documents in archives anywhere. Turley focuses on a particular aspect of the Hofmann affair--the church connection--and that, in doing so, he had access to materials that were unavailable to any of the other authors. This book adds to and corrects the historical record."—Jan Shipps, author of Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition

Updated, refreshed, and republished in this 2019 Anvil & Cross release. Now the subject of a major Netflix documentary by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) titled Murder Among the Mormons.

Listen to an interview with author Richard E. Turley Jr. from LDS Living:


  • 527 pages
  • paperback
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