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Bombs in Salt Lake: Introduction to Mark Hofmann

In 1985, three bombs in Salt Lake went off in two days.  It was the work of Mark Hofmann, a master forger and now a bomber.  He killed two people and injured himself in these bomb blasts.  Curt Bench was actually a good friend of Mark Hofmann at the time as well as one of the victims killed, Steve Christensen.  Curt gives us his firsthand account of how he learned about this, and especially how he was introduced to Mark Hofmann.

Curt:  Well I tell people I didn’t know him well as well as I wish I had, as I should have.  When you said we were good friends, we were friends, but we did a lot of business together.  He kind of established himself as a, I guess today what would we say?  [He was] kind of a rock star.  He had made some amazing discoveries of Mormon documents, the Anthon Transcript and things like that that got him a lot of attention.

I met him.  I was in the same business, although we hadn’t really done documents very much, maybe once in a while but we did a lot of rare books, other collectibles and so I was kind of excited to meet Mark Hofmann who had gotten all this attention and had established himself as an expert in documents as well as other things, rare books, and things.  So it made sense for me to get to know him and to do business with him and we did a lot of business over the next few years.

Hoffman didn’t deal in just Mormon documents.

We had a Daniel Boone document {early American frontiersman}.  I’m just trying to think of some things that weren’t just in the Mormon field.  Some things were books but quite often they were documents and so this was my big foray into that field.  I was a relative novice when it came to Mormon manuscripts and documents and so I kind of let him guide me in a lot cases.  When he would—he wasn’t dramatic at all and didn’t seem like he was trying to sell you.  He wasn’t a used car salesman type at all.  He was quiet and introspective but he made a big deal about things, but often he would say, “It’s a nice item.”

Were any of the items caught early?  Check the podcast to find out.  (You may also be interested in our interviews with Shannon Flynn who talks about Mark’s teenage forgeries!)  What do you think about this tragic story?

Curt Bench, Owner of Benchmark Books and witness of Hofmann Bombings and forgeries

Bombs in Salt Lake: Introduction to Mark Hofmann

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  1. […] forget to check out (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and […]

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