Steve Christensen was killed on October 15, 1985 when he picked up a package outside his office. It was a pipe bomb and it blew up with a bunch of concrete nails killing him instantly. It was a horrible scene. Curt Bench describes how he found out about it driving to work and that he immediately called his friend Mark Hofmann to warn him about a bomber out there.
A few hours later Kathy Sheets also picked up another bomb from Mark Hofmann and she was killed instantly. Her husband, Gary Sheets had been partners with Steve Christensen. Many wondered if this was a financial deal. Was it a mafia plot, or was it something to do with Mormon documents? Both men had experience with those. Let’s listen in as Curt Bench tells us about how the news unfolded to him.
Curt: I talked to Mark on the phone, the day of the bombings.
GT: Oh really.
Curt: Several times, probably six or seven times. I called first to warn him about the bombings, well bombing at that point because there was already a lot on the news. I was actually driving to work that morning and they said there was a bomb that had gone off in the Judge Building. It was just a few blocks from where I worked. They even as I recall gave the office number and it said a businessman had been killed. I only knew one person in the Judge Building and that was Steve Christensen, so as soon as I got to my office at work I looked up in my directory and pulled up his name and there was that office number at the Judge Building and I was just sick physically. I mean it was just horrible.
I got the answering machine and I said Mark, this is Curt. This is an emergency. Please call me back immediately, as soon as you get this.
A short time later he called, and just kind of light-heartedly said, Curt this is Mark. You said it was an emergency but then everything’s an emergency with you, just making a joke. Then I told him what had happened, that Steve Christensen had been killed and there was a sharp intake of breath, “What?” like he was genuinely shocked. I told him everything I’d heard. It was as if he’d never heard a thing. I warned him and told him to get his family out of the house, to get into hiding, whatever because we didn’t know what was going on.
GT: I know originally it seems like because Steve was a financial thing, there was a lot of people thought it must have had something to do with his finances, but you originally thought it had something to do with…
Curt interrupts: Well I didn’t know. Nobody knew.
GT: Oh ok.
Curt: And that very day there was speculation about, did it have something to do with Mormon documents, because Steve had been in the news. I’m trying to remember about the news part. Certainly it was known he had been involved in trying to get the Salamander Letter.
GT: So you made the connection that you thought it could have been?
Curt: Well it could have been. Yeah there was speculation early on about was this business related, because there were angry investors with the Sheets company, CFS.
What are your reactions to the bombings? Do you remember them?