ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended March 26, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 30Mar00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Ex-Detective Throws Book At Polygamy
Salt Lake Tribune 24Mar00 A5
By Greg Burton: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- John R. Llewellyn, a retired sheriff's detective, father and storyteller, has written, "Murder of a Prophet: The Dark Side of Utah Polygamy." This fictionalized drama of doomsday polygamists has angered some of the region's polygamists. Leaders in Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, areas where a large tenet of plural marriages prevail, are banning the book.

The story is a chronicle of a violent plot to unite all polygamists and topple the Mormon Church. It has drawn praise for its true-to-life-portrayal of the social fabric of Utah's religious subculture. Llewellyn has drawn on his 66-year-old life experience brimming with the miscellany of crime and impropriety in Utah. He is the character in many of the tales he tells, stories he has drawn on from his days as a sheriff's detective and some on his own life's experience.

Before retiring from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office in 1982, Llewellyn was a Mormon convert living a secret plural life with two women. Eventually, he was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "I retired to save the sheriff's office and my family the emarrassment," he says today. "I'm at a point now where testosterone is not running through my body. Back then, though, to have more than one woman want to be married to you, that was a heck of an ego builder."

Llewellyn was a county gumshoe for 28 years, assigned to Utah's first unit for sex crimes investigations. It was called the "Morals Squad," when the unit began fielding calls about Utah's polygamists in the 1970's. In 1976, Llewellyn began compiling a profile of Ervil Morel LeBaron, a radical polygamist. He had a cult called, The Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God. A year later, LeBaron ordered the murder of rival polygamist Rulon Allred of Murray in a plot that targeted the leaders of the Kingston clan.

During this time, Llewellyn was not a polygamist and not a very devout Mormon. "I was a bohemian, and a damn good one, just like most cops," he said. "But along the way I became infatuated with the polygamist lifestyle."

Today, Llewellyn is the father of 13 children and says he has a platonic relationship with two women. He is a friend to many of Utah's independent polygamous families and a foe to most of the state's organized groups. He is also working as an investigator in lawsuits against the Apostolic United Brethren and the The True and Living Church in Manti.

"These polygamist cults have every angle for a good writer....conflict, crime, subterfuge," Llewellyn said. "And while I have many friends who are polygamists, this book might be a warning to other people from going into polygamy. I would tell my own children not to, but they may anyway."


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Murder of a Prophet More about "Murder of a Prophet: The Dark Side of Utah Polygamy" at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information