Anyone who doesn't believe how a church can control a city should read this book. Church officials manipulated the trial in many ways to get the result they wanted. Mar 24, Jim Whitefield rated it it was amazing.
If this book had been fiction, I would have rated it one of the best crime thrillers I have ever read. This is not a boring work about a legal process; it is a fast paced, gritty, edge of seat thrill If this book had been fiction, I would have rated it one of the best crime thrillers I have ever read. This is not a boring work about a legal process; it is a fast paced, gritty, edge of seat thriller all the way.
It is a true story brilliantly formatted and sequenced to read like a novel. Underlying reasons for Hoffman blowing up two people and then almost killing himself when a third bomb exploded prematurely in his own car, were hinged in his numerous forgeries, most of which were purchased by the Mormon Church.
See a Problem?
Gordon Hinckley, Dallin Oaks and Hugh Pinnock managed to lie their way through police interviews and did everything they could to avoid Hinckley having to appear in court. Many of the law enforcement officers and prosecution staff owed more allegiance to the Church and what was best for it than to ensuring a solid conviction for Hoffman.
Ultimately, a deal was struck in order to avoid a final trial, but it seems such a thing in this case , could only have happened in Salt Lake City where the Church reigns supreme. Elsewhere, such a solid case would almost certainly have gone to trial and Hinckley would have been forced to testify. Nothing has changed in the Mormon Church. Naifeh and Smith have written an absolutely brilliant work; a real page turner.
The fact that the whole thing is actually true seems hard to believe sometimes, yet it is, and that is what makes this read so special. Everyone who loves crime thrillers and court cases will love this book. Five star stuff. Oct 28, JC rated it liked it Shelves: my-firsttime , , history , checked-out. This book is a bit disturbing and a little slanted I would say. There are some things that probably shouldn't have been published here view spoiler [say for example some of the exact wording from the pre temple ceremony hide spoiler ].
That being said, it's pretty crazy the extent to which Mark Hoffman went in order to make a few bucks and how blinding stupid people gave him money and took his word for things. I must say that it's great that Hoffman was willing to explain some of how thin This book is a bit disturbing and a little slanted I would say.
The Dark Past Of Mormon History: Violence, Polygamy, And Division
I must say that it's great that Hoffman was willing to explain some of how things happened and his motives, otherwise I'm sure there'd be a lot of questions as to what really happened. It's pretty disturbing. Even more disturbing is that Gordon B. Hinckley was nearly kicked out - not sure how close of course as this is a bit of speculation, but it would have been crazy since he went on to become the President of the Church.
I'm not sure what I think of these events, but obviously the church would want to keep his name out of it. Anyways, the biggest complaint, as I mentioned earlier is the temple ceremony. It didn't really add anything to the book and they could have just mentioned a couple of things that they used if they really needed. It's not like they didn't have enough content, so not really sure the point.
Apr 26, Ryan Crompton rated it really liked it. This book is a good but somewhat flawed account of the Hoffman killings that rocked Salt Lake in the mid's. Much like Jon Krakauer 20 years after "Mormon Murders" was written, Naifeh is a great author when he confines himself to facts in evidence but loses credibility when he speculates or otherwise exposes his coastal provincialism. There were two items in particular that bothered me -- the hearsay idea that Jerald Tanner's phone was bugged in the 70's the basis for this claim is Jerald's cl This book is a good but somewhat flawed account of the Hoffman killings that rocked Salt Lake in the mid's.
There were two items in particular that bothered me -- the hearsay idea that Jerald Tanner's phone was bugged in the 70's the basis for this claim is Jerald's claim that he heard voices on his line; nobody, even the most incompetent wiretapper, bugs phones like that , and the claim that confidential FBI files had landed on LDS church security desks this was passed along with absolutely no substantiation. The story itself is compelling enough without uncorroborated and technically impossible accusations. At times, the narrative suffers as a result of these sorts of issues.
- Theory and Practice in Ethnic Conflict Management: Theorizing Success and Failure;
- Measuring the Value of Information Technology;
- Comfort for the jews.
- The State of the Planet: Frontiers and Challenges in Geophysics;
They're minor, but they do add up. Elsewhere, the authors offhandedly insult hunters, gun show attendees, and LDS members in general. It's clear, to a large extent, that the authors are not as familiar with Utah or LDS culture in particular or fly-over culture in general as they probably should be. Outside of these quibbles, the book functions very well. There is a lot of back story to Hoffmann's forging as well as his fiscal shenanigans that ultimately led to the bombings.
The authors do particularly well covering the maze of bad accounting and the multiple storylines Hoffmann fed his investors. Elsewhere, they go to great lengths to cover the forensic details of the bombs in question. It's clear they undertook a substantial number of interviews in order to provide the level of detail they did. The authors offer a narrative around the Mormon power structures at the time, notably the triumvirate of Gordon Hinckley, Hugh Pinnock, and Dallin Oaks. Hinckley would ultimately ascend a decade after this book was written to the head of the LDS church, while Pinnock would lapse into relative obscurity.
Much of the detail around this narrative is second-hand or third-hand -- for example, meetings that were attended by Hoffman and Hinckley. Neither of them were interviewed for this book, so where do these details come from?
It's to the book's detriment that the most powerful figures --Hinckley, Hoffmann, Oaks, and Pinnock -- were not interviewed. The last and minor complaint I'd offer is that very little of Hoffmann's life prior to the bombings is delved into. His atheism and anger at the LDS church were in no small part per Hoffmann due to a misadventure with explosives when he was young -- and a similar misadventure would eventually bring him to justice.
Overall, this is a compelling and accessible read. As a former adherent to the religion under the microscope, I can empathize with both the authors' narrative as well as the typical LDS perspective. There are any number of books out there on the Hoffmann affair, but this is probably the best or second-best of them. Oct 11, Nancee rated it it was ok. I knew nothing about this story when I started.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book that introduced all the characters and set the stage. It was pretty informative and interesting.
BUY THE BOOK
I also enjoyed the last few chapters from the preliminary hearing forward that brought everything together. Theses sections were more of a factual summary with little personal interpretation. The book really fell apart in the middle.
The authors presented a confusing dump of details regarding various financial transactions that dragged on for more than half the book. I almost didn't finish. They were vague on some things that would have been helpful to know, but wasn't explained until the very end of the book. It wasn't an approach to create suspense, just a lack of clarification.
The worst part was their obvious biases against the Mormon church. Granted, there are a lot of questionable things in the church's history they brought up. I don't deny that there are some questionable things. My issue wasn't with the things they brought up, but their commentary regarding these issues.
'The Mormon Murders' -- the Mini-Series the Latter Day Saints Shut Down
They added so much of their own personal opinions to this section it took away from their alleged unbiased approach to the story. They don't leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions. They try and impose their preconceived notions into the story, some of which were completely inaccurate. It's too bad because that ruined the rest of the story for me. I had a hard time accepting the whole book as completely and factually accurate.
Instead, it just became a fictional novel based on a true story. Still, it was an interesting read and I learned a lot about this story. This is a really interesting book about crimes that somehow I had never heard of though, in my defense, the major ones happened 25 years ago and who knows what I was paying attention to in the world then I did have some trouble following events in the book, because there are dozens of main "players," numerous documents and several different locations to keep straight.
I didn't think these were handled very well, as the writing lacked some continuity and good transitions. At times it seemed This is a really interesting book about crimes that somehow I had never heard of though, in my defense, the major ones happened 25 years ago and who knows what I was paying attention to in the world then At times it seemed like some editor had just indiscriminately chopped things out without regard to flow, perhaps to try to shorten the book up it is quite long. Perhaps more interesting to me than the crimes documented in the book were the descriptions of the background and history of the Mormon Church and its hierarchy and inner workings.
I've been fascinated by these topics ever since reading Jon Krakauer's excellent book "Under The Banner Of Heaven" - fascinated in a "can't-look-away-from-the-accident" type of way. The more I find out about this sect, the more bizarre I think it is. Flame me if you must, but I don't mean for that statement to be offensive I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading true crime, or who is interested in the Mormon Church. I do not believe their attitude has changed.