By Vickie Speek
Anti-Polygamy Activists Using Genealogy Software to Build Cases
SALT LAKE CITY -- By the time 17-year-old Jolene Palmer escaped from the
polygamous clan she was raised in, her father had three wives and her
grandfather had wed her stepmother. Palmer is now one of many former
polygamy members charting their tangled family trees for the anti-polygamy
group Tapestry Against Polygamy and the anti-child abuse group For Kids' Sake.
They are trying to build family trees for members of the Fundamentalist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in the twin cities of
Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., hoping to use the information to
help law enforcement fight crime.
Ron Barton, a special investigator in Utah's Attorney General's office
charged with investigating polygamous groups, said that information could be
useful when it comes to prosecuting alleged crimes such as incest and child
abuse in those secretive societies.
Anti-polygamy advocates hope to expand their research to include other
families who make up the estimated 35,000 polygamists living across the West.
Tangled family trees could help prosecute polygamists, group says
(Phoenix) AZ Republic (AP) 25Apr01 N5