A weird mixture of Netflix’s true-crime rip-off and homicide documentaries, Homicide Among the many Mormons takes on the weird and tragic case of the 1985 Salt Lake Metropolis bombings. Earlier than he confessed to planting home made explosive gadgets and forging historic papers, Mark Hofmann was a revered determine within the Mormon neighborhood. His specialty was discovering non secular paperwork — or so the world believed. The grasp forger took excessive measures to hide his crimes when his net of lies caught as much as him. Within the technique of his cover-up, Hofmann killed two individuals with bombs and severely injured himself when a bomb went off in his personal automobile. Not lengthy after the explosions, he pleaded responsible, and he stays incarcerated to today.
On the peak of his scamming profession within the ’80s, Hofmann used elaborate strategies to make his cast paperwork seem genuine. He was particularly taken with creating controversial papers that undermined the historical past of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka the Mormon Church. His most infamous forgery was that of the “white salamander” letter, which posited that Mormonism founder Joseph Smith had not seen an angel, however a white salamander that led him to the golden plates that fashioned the idea of the religion. Shortly earlier than the bombings, Hofmann additionally supposedly found the fictional McLellin collection, which contained a doc that will contradict canonical Mormon historical past.
The McLellin assortment was nowhere to be discovered. Doc collector and monetary advisor Steven Christensen pressed Hofmann for the paperwork to authenticate them, however they have been but to be cast. Nervous about being uncovered as a fraud, Hofmann took drastic measures. Christensen died on Oct. 15, 1985, in his workplace in downtown Salt Lake Metropolis when somebody delivered a package deal to him with an explosive system. On the identical day, Kathy Sheets, the spouse of Christensen’s former employer Gary Sheets, died at her house when she opened a parcel and a bomb detonated — the bomb on the Sheets house was speculated to link Gary’s failed business to Christensen’s death. A day later, a bomb went off in Hofmann’s personal automobile and severely injured him. As Hofmann grew to become the primary suspect within the case, investigators quickly uncovered his forgeries and linked them with the bombings.
Hofmann pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of theft by deception. He was sentenced to life in jail. In 1988, his spouse, Doralee Olds, filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable variations.” A month later, Hofmann tried to take his own life by overdosing on drugs — he survived the try, but it surely left tissue injury to his proper arm and forging hand. The identical 12 months, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole acquired a four-page letter from Hofmann titled “A Summary of My Crimes,” through which he defined that his worry of being uncovered as a fraud was so nice that he opted to take human life.
Hofmann, presently 66 years previous, spent almost three a long time within the Utah State Jail, a maximum-security facility. He was moved to the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison in December 2015.