Murder Among the Mormons (2021)

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8.0 Overall Score

Nicely timed documentary that provides a mystery and answers


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Who is telling the truth?

Explosions rock two locations in Salt Lake City on October 15, 1985.  In the aftermath, two people are left dead.  The next day a third bomb explodes injuring Mark Hofmann, and the police and detectives in Salt Lake City fear there is a serial killer targeting people around the city.  The connection between the victims is a cache of documents that could change the entire teachings and foundations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Who is behind the bombings and why are the bombings happening?  The truth will destroy families and friendships.

Murder Among the Mormons is a Netflix true-crime documentary series.  The series follows a series of explosions that occurred from October 15, 1985-October 16, 1985 in Salt Lake City and the events that led up to the murders and followed it.  The three episode series was released on March 3, 2021 to positive reviews.

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Salt Lake City bombing…and the explosive shock

I like true-crime, and it is even better if the true crime story is something I know nothing about.  The explosions and much of the doctrine explored in Murder Among the Mormons is unfamiliar to me and therefor the series was a bit more fun than some of the other criminal stories.  If you don’t know anything about the crime, a ******spoiler alert****** should be noted because it is better to go into the story a bit blind.

The story unfolds like many of these stories.  The first episode has the mystery…who did this?  What was the motive?  Could even the church be involved?  The second episode reveals the truth and the third episode explains the how, why, and how it affected those involved.  It is a classic set-up, but it is a set-up that works.  It doesn’t overextend the series, and it doesn’t short it either.  It is about the perfect length.

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A lucky survivor…or something worse?

The content of the story is pretty fantastic.  You have a man in Mark Hofmann who seems to have fooled everyone including the FBI and lie-detector tests.  The interviews with him in the third episode paint a chilling picture of the man who doesn’t seem to have any remorse…and as a result comes off as a sociopath.  When asked directly about his feeling of guilt for the people he killed (which he said he didn’t care who he killed young or old…one murder was literally a distraction), Mark reveals that he simply helped them transcend to the next level…but he had also previously admitted that he was an atheist so he was literally killing without remorse.

The crime results to one of the greatest forgery cases around.  The forgeries were so great that even experts at the FBI were fooled.  Hofmann had trained himself to beat a polygraph over the years, and the crime is also a crime of power.  He liked the idea that he was smarter than the people buying his forged documents.  He was making a fool of them and liked it.

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Master forger?

Murder Among the Mormons was an interesting documentary because the crime can pretty much be traced and his confession really goes to Mark’s motivation.  You are presented a man who has always plays these psychological games and enjoyed his intelligence…but even some of the cleverest guys mess up and get caught.  Mark’s once smart and logical actions began to take more illogical motives…there didn’t seem to be anyway for Mark to get away with the bombings.  That however is the criminal mind and trying to apply logic to illogical actions isn’t always helpful…but I do feel true crime can help you understand that even the most normal people can have a hidden side that you may never suspect.

Murder Among the Mormons—Complete Episode Guide

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“Episode 1”

Episode 1 Release Date:  03/03/21

The selling of documents which could lead to information about the formation of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints has put the church in a damage control.  If aspects of the documents are real, the documents could change the whole course of the church, and if they are fake, is someone trying to slander the church?  When a series of explosions hit Salt Lake City beginning on October 15, 1985, the target of the bombings are related to the documents…who is the bomber?

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“Episode 2”

Episode 2 Release Date:  03/03/21

Steven Christensen and Kathy Sheets are dead and Mark Hofmann has been severely wounded in the bombing of his car.  Mark Hofmann’s ability to unearth hidden letters and documents is revealed as Hofmann’s past is explored.  Shannon Flynn becomes under suspicion due to his connections to Mark and his ties to the documents…but Mark’s own involvement becomes questioned when an odd letterman’s jacket is identified.  When the FBI gets involved in the case, more questions are raised about the Salamander Letter.

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“Episode 3”

Episode 3 Release Date:  03/03/21

Mark Hofmann has admitted to murder and the forgery of the documents he has been selling.  With a confession, Mark agrees to tell his story, and how he committed fraud that could even fool the FBI.  As the truth about Mark comes out, his friends and family react to the shocking revelations.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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