Posts Tagged ‘Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’

Lyle Steed Jeffs Wanted by the FBI

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

This is not exactly breaking news, but I stumbled across it looking for something else, and it ties into previous posts on Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints head Warren Jeffs.

Last year, his son, Lyle Steed Jeffs, skipped town before trial for food stamp fraud. The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for him.

So if you see this guy around:

Contacting the FBI would be very much worth your time.

That Didn’t Take Long: Warren Jeffs Found Guilty

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

“A Texas jury convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs of child sexual assault on Thursday.” Which is to say, the same day the “defense” rested. It’s like that episode of Get Smart where 86 is on trail, and the jury comes back with a guilty verdict in less than 30 seconds. “They must have decided in the hallway.”

So, how’s that “I’ll be my own defense lawyer” thing working out for you, crazy pedophile polygamist guy?

Crime Blotter Update: Warren Jeffs Trial Nears End

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

You might remember my previous update on convicted polygamist Warren Jeffs, former president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jeffs is on trail for child sex abuse of one of his 12-year old “wives.” The defense has just recently rested in that trial. Will he be convicted? Well, since:

  • The prosecution played an audio sex tape of Jeffs have sex with said 12-year old while three of his other “wives” watched, and
  • Jeffs is acting as his own attorney (oooo, bad idea, space cadet, albeit not as bad as being a crazy pedophile cult leader);
  • Signs would point to Mr. Jeffs spending more time in correctional facilities in the near future. (Insert you own joke about the new “wives” he’ll meet there.)

    Tangential Crime Blotter: Sherry Black, Warren Jeffs, Robert Ben Rhoades

    Saturday, March 19th, 2011

    As far as I can tell, there’s been no real news in the Sherry Black murder case since it was featured on the America’s Most Wanted website in January. But in poking around, there is some news on some tangents of the story, and tangents of the tangents.

    I recently received a couple of comments on a previous post on the Sherry Black murder, including one claiming to be from Warren Jeffs, accused felon and President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this may come as a shock to some, but people aren’t always who they claim to be on the Internet. (I will now wait a moment for the incredulous outrage to die down.) As far as I can tell, Mr. Jeffs is currently held in lieu of bail at the Reagan County Jail in Big Lake, Texas awaiting trial. The possibility that he might be allowed Internet privileges while under heavy manners, and that he would use such privileges to post random, badly capitalized blog comments, seems…remote. Plus, the ip address of the poster ( points to Ogden, Utah, not Big Lake, Texas.

    Incidentally, Jeffs still seems reveared by the FLDS faithful, with thousands of letters and many visitors (up to the max of ten a day).

    Strangely enough, Jeffs isn’t the only famous (or infamous) prisoner currently awaiting trail at Big Lake. Accused serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades, who has been convicted of torturing, killing and raping women, and who has been accused of as many as 50 serial killings, is also held there. For comparison’s sake, 50 victims would put him up in Henry Lee Lucas territory, and more than John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy.

    Here’s some background on Rhodes, evidently written by someone who bought a pallet of true crime adjectives at Sam’s and wanted to use them up before the expiration date. There’s even a Utah angle here as well, since charges against Rhoades for the murder of Candace Walsh were dropped in 2006, mainly so Rhoades could be tried in Texas, where he would be subject to the death penalty.

    As shown in the Deseret News, he even looks like a serial killer.

    Sherry Black Murder Follow-Up #2

    Friday, December 10th, 2010

    This story by Paul Koepp of the Deseret News, unlike the one I linked to yesterday, seems competently written, and sheds light on a few items that were previously unclear, namely:

    1. Suspect Lorin Nielsen pleaded guilty in April 2009 to theft, a third-degree felony, and theft by deception, a second-degree felony.
    2. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which means he would have been out on of jail at the time of Black’s murder.
    3. “Nielsen was booked into Salt Lake County Jail on Monday for a violation of his probation in the theft case. Detectives, however, would not say whether he is being investigated in connection with the homicide.”
    4. He was a member of “the Kearns Town ICP gang.”

    Amazing how competent writing makes things so much clearer, isn’t it?

    I’m not going to pretend to be an Internet Columbo, able to ascertain Nielsen’s guilt or innocence from a handful of news articles. But if he did kill Sherry Black, he’s too stupid (not to mention too evil) to live. Gee, you don’t think police might be able to connect the murder of a central figure (albeit an inadvertent one) in your last crime? Not only did it not take Sherlock Holmes to crack that case, it didn’t even take his dim half-brother Hiram, who works the fryolater at the Hildale Dairy Queen…

    Follow-Up on the Murder of Bookstore Owner Sherry Black: Books and Mormons and Juggalos, Oh My

    Thursday, December 9th, 2010

    You may remember the post on the murder of bookseller Sherry Black I did last week. You may also remember the piece I did on Insane Clown Posse and their Juggalo followers a month or so ago. I never imagined the stories would intertwine, but police speculate that her murder may have something to do with the fact that Black unwittingly bought stolen books from 20-year-old Lorin Nielsen. Guess what band Nielsen was a fan of?

    The relevant section:

    In February of 2009, 20-year-old Lorin Nielsen was arrested and charged with stealing books from his father, a polygamous church president.

    He sold them to Sherry Black for $20,000.

    The books included a first-edition French Book of Mormon signed by John Taylor with a message to Parley P. Pratt.

    For those without any particular knowledge of the history of Mormonism, both of those were big wheels in the early LDS. Pratt was a member of the first “Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” and Taylor was with founder Joseph Smith the night he was killed by a mob in a jail in Carthage, Illinois on June 27, 1844.

    In total, the books were worth an estimated $45,000.

    When the father confronted Nielsen about the theft, the report states Nielsen warned him that “if he got police involved he will set off a chain of events he’s not going to like because he is a member of a gang.”

    Police reports state Nielsen was affiliated with an Insane Clown Posse, or Juggalos gang and had access to guns.

    I’m inferring from the above that Lorin Nielson’s father is Wendell Nielsen, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Nielsen took over from convicted felon Warren Jeffs. (Recently Jeffs’ rape conviction was overturned, but he’s now facing sexual assault charges in Texas. It was big news in when Jeffs’ bigamist compound in Texas was raided by police. I must admit that my tolerance for polygamy as an “alternate life style” pretty much evaporates when you start marrying 12-year-olds. )

    Never mind the fact that Juggalos are a “gang” in about the same sense that Deadheads or Parrotheads are a gang. Or that my (admittedly facile) understanding of Utah law is that it is not much more difficult to obtain “access to guns” if you’re not a felon than Texas. However, if this is the same Lorin Nielson, he probably is a felon (it says he was found guilty of theft and theft by deception, the date is about right, and the amount involved would certainly be enough to earn a felony conviction (assuming it wasn’t pleaded down), but because Utah is a closed records state, you can’t be sure that’s the case).

    I mentioned before that bookstores are rarely robbed, because there are usually much richer targets available. Plus books are next to impossible to fence, because collectors are too small a community, word of stolen goods gets out really fast, and it’s almost impossible to find a place to sell anything worth stealing. But some of that early Mormon stuff goes for insane amounts of money. This case reminded me that fake documents were at the heart of the “White Salamander Murders” case. (Short version: A guy named Mark Hoffman was selling fake Joseph Smith documents that undermined official Mormon dogma to church leaders desperate to keep them off the market, then he went all mad bomber in an attempt to cover his tracks.)

    So police believe, what? An insane Juggalo killed Black because they were pissed off because she cooperated with the police? Honestly I think there’s more wackiness in the FLDS side of story than the Juggalo side…