A new documentary, “Murder Among the Mormons,” has become a big hit this month on Netflix.
It recounts the 1980s story of document forger Mark Hofmann, who tried to upset the traditional historical narrative regarding the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by producing fake artifacts.
When he got entangled by his own financial double-dealing, Hofmann attempted to cover up his counterfeiting by setting off separate bombs that killed one of his clients, Steve Christensen, and Kathy Sheets, the wife of Christensen’s former business partner. He then injured himself in a third blast.
The three-part series offers not only a riveting whodunit dissection of deadly crimes but also a fascinating exploration of Mormon history.
On this week’s podcast, co-director Jared Hess, of “Napoleon Dynamite” fame, discusses the documentary, the haunting footage the filmmakers found, the phony discoveries Hofmann pulled off (including the big one he was plotting to peddle before his crimes unraveled), the callous calculations revealed in the mind of this killer, and the lessons Latter-day Saints and their leaders can take away from the whole sad saga.
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