LDS Series Tells Story Of Slain Mother, Baby Buried In Twin Falls
A true crime series starring Andrew Garfield on HULU and FX tells the unimaginable story of the investigation that led to the capture of two men who murdered a Utah woman and her infant daughter nearly 40 years ago. Both men, who were members of a privately formed, extreme alliance steeped in Mormon teachings, ultimately received prison sentences for their heinous crimes.
I've been a fan of non-fiction novelist Jon Krakauer for decades. I own four of his books, including the one that was adapted into a series and released for streaming earlier in 2022. Under the Banner of Heaven tells both the stories of the rise of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the nineteenth century and the murder investigation of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her daughter in July of 1984.
I read Under the Banner of Heaven in 2019 and found the book to be a great, but sobering read. I read it mainly to educate myself on how the LDS church formed its roots with the teachings of Joseph Smith, who wrote and published The Book of Mormon in 1830. I don't take part in any religious studies or abide by any specific faith movement, but found the read to be a fascinating break from the Krakauer novels dealing with human triumph and adversity that I'm accustomed to reading.
Krakauer's books, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, are the types of stories that got me reading his work. Under the Banner of Heaven was more or less stepping out of my literary comfort zone.
I just finished the series based on the novel Tuesday night on HULU. There are seven episodes in this one-and-done series. While many in the LDS community may disagree with Krakauer's accounts of how the religion was formed, the parts dealing with the investigation and subsequent convictions of brothers and self-professed prophets, Ron and Dan Lafferty, appear to be accurately portrayed in the show.
Brenda Wright Lafferty grew up with her two siblings in Kimberly and Twin Falls, Idaho. She placed second in the 1980 Miss Twin Falls Pageant, and along with her daughter, Erica, is buried at the Sunset Memorial Park Cemetary in Twin Falls.