ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 10, 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: 09Aug01

By Kent Larsen

NEWSFLASH: Indictment in 1974 Missionary Murders

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- A grand jury in Austin, Texas has indicted Robert Elmer Kleasen for the second time in the 1974 murder of LDS missionaries Mark Fischer and Gary Darley, 24 years after his first murder conviction for their deaths was overturned. Travis County Assistant District Attorney Claire Dawson Brown opened the case Wednesday and sought and obtained an indictment today. According to District Attorney Ronald Earl, advances in DNA analysis made it possible to connect Kleasen to the murders. The indictment means that Kleasen will likely be extradited to the US after he completes a sentence in England in November.

Kleasen allegedly murdered the two missionaries when they came to his 10-foot camper for a venison dinner in October 1974. The missionaries disappeared, leading police and local Church members to search for them for several days before investigators discovered evidence that they had been killed and probably dismembered by Kleasen. A jury took just 20 minutes to convict Kleasen of the murders in 1975, but an appeals court threw out the conviction in 1977 because crucial evidence was obtained illegally.

Kleasen then spent time in federal prison on firearms violations and moved to England a few years after he was released in 1988. He again caught public notice in 1999 when investigators discovered he had accumulated a cache of illegal firearms. Convicted in June 2000 of the weapons charges, Kleasen has since been serving a prison term there.

The murders of Elders Fischer and Darley were the subject of a book last year by Atlanta attorney Ken Driggs, who spent four years researching the story and Kleasen's subsequent movements.


Prosecutors revisit '74 missionary slayings
Austin TX American-Statesman 8Aug01 P2
By Jason Spencer: American-Statesman Staff

Man indicted for 1974 murders
Minneapolis MN Star-Tribune (AP) 8Aug01 P2
Associated Press

See also:

Evil Among Us
More about "Evil Among Us: The Texas Mormon Missionary Murders" by Ken Driggs at

Mormon News' Coverage of Robert Elmer Kleasen


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

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