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Emily Dickinson Forgery (Part 12 of 13)

The Emily Dickinson forgery was briefly touched on in the Netflix documentary.  It turns out that Brent Ashworth played a critical role in identifying that forgery.

GT:  So, basically what you’re telling me is Mark offered that back to you in 1984, I believe it was.

Brent:  He offered it to me in ’84. He knew that was my favorite poet. That was manufactured for me, I’m just sure.

GT:  Okay.

Brent:  Nobody else knew about it. It ends up, 13 years later.

GT:  But you read it and said..

Brent:  I told Mark, it’s horrible. I said, “It looks like her writing to me.”  I didn’t question the fact that she’d written it, but I didn’t want it. I’m not going to spend $10,000 for a poem that I think’s the worst one she’d ever written. I didn’t know Hofmann had written it. Now, it makes perfect sense because of Hofmann’s ideology, “God doesn’t care about us, so we don’t care about him.” That’s kind of [Mark’s attitude,] which is not the way Latter-day Saint people that love Emily Dickinson know about her writing.

GT:  Right. So, essentially, he sold it to somebody else.  It floated around the US and then ends up in the Sotheby’s catalog.

Brent:  What happened was that Shannon Flynn had taken it down to Todd Axelrod for Mark [Hofmann].  Todd Axelrod was this dealer down in Nevada.  There used to be autograph stores in about six big malls around the country. There was one that I visited years ago in the Galleria Mall in Dallas, Texas. There was one, as I recall, in Florida. There was one in Philadelphia.  There were six big malls around the country. Todd began in Las Vegas at the Showplace Mall, right on the strip. That’s where his first store was. That’s where Shannon Flynn took that and a few other things to him, before the Hofmann bombings and all that. It’s interesting, so you might ask Shannon about it sometime. He carried that stuff down there.

Find out how in our next conversation with Brent!  Do you think Axelrod sold it without disclosing that it was affiliated with Mark Hofmann?

Brent Ashworth recognized the Emily Dickinson poem as a Hofmann forgery, offered to him in the 1980s.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Brent!

511:  Hofmann’s Court Mistake

510:  Tragedy Before Hofmann Trial

509:  Catching More Hofmann Forgeries

508:  Brent Called Salamander Letter Fake

507:  Hofmann’s Motive Against Church

506:  Why 3rd Bomb wasn’t Suicide Attempt

505: McLellin Collection Offers

504: Lucy Mack Smith Forgery

503: Mark’s Unknown Half Million$ Deal

502: Hiding from Hofmann

501: Meeting Serial Killers

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Hofmann’s Court Mistake (Part 11 of 13)

Brent Ashworth tells about his testimony at the preliminary hearing to decide whether Mark Hofmann should be bound over for trial.  Was it effective testimony?  I’ll let you decide.

Brent:  I wasn’t saying anything nice about him. I asked Bob Stott, afterwards I said, “Bob, how come they didn’t call me back?” I said, “I would have called me back and tried to…” He said, “Look, you were throwing javelins,” is the way he put it, “at his client for two solid hours. You knew way too much.” He said, “He’s not going to ever call you back.  Don’t worry about it.”

We will also talk about a tactical mistake made by Mark Hofmann’s defense team, which caused Mark to decide to plead guilty rather than risk a jury trial.

Brent:  Hofmann’s attorney asked to meet with the judge in chambers and Stott met with him, the two lead [lawyers.] And Yengich says, “My client is really still suffering from his wounds.” His knee and his fingers have been blown [off.] He was being pushed in there every day by his dad and his wife in a wheelchair. And he said, “I am unable to adequately visit with him because of the pain and suffering.” He says, “It would really benefit if we had one week off from this [court.] If we could ask for a week off, [it would really help.] Judge Grant told me, “By this point, I wouldn’t get to give him a day off.”

But he said, “It struck me that maybe I should because I might get reversed when I got further up the chain. So I gave him a week off:. And he said, “What really griped me is when he came back a week later and says I need one more week.” And he says, “I was really [angry.] I didn’t want to.”

But he finally decided to give him the second week. We gave him the week. He says “Do you know Brent? Something funny happened. The one thing that I didn’t have before he got those two weeks off, is I knew he’s a bad guy. But I didn’t have a motive for him to kill Steve and Kathy. I didn’t have any motive for murder there. And that’s why I was questioning whether to turn it over or not. You know, at that point, I knew he was a bad guy. I didn’t like him, but he said, a killer they didn’t make him out to be.

And so, I was wondering, and we gave him the two weeks. He says, “When we came back, that’s when they had Throckmorton. And they found the forgeries. He says you might not have known the sequence of that. But he says that came about during that two weeks that Hofmann had his two weeks off. He says they nailed his butt to the wall while he was gone is when they found the cracking in the ink. And they found the forgeries.

GT:  So was that kind of a mistake by the defense then to ask for the two weeks off?

Brent:  Oh, yeah, it was a big mistake.

Check out our conversation….

Mark Hofmann’s defense team made a tactical mistake by asking for more time, allowing the prosecutors time to find the forgeries.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Brent!

 

 

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Tragedy Before Hofmann Trial (Part 10 of 13)

After the bombings, Brent Ashworth left town to avoid becoming a target.  To his dismay, his 7-year-old son was involved in a serious accident and died just days before the Hofmann trial.  Brent shares the details of this tragic loss.

Brent:  We had a rule in our house, at the time, that the kids were never allowed on bikes on Sunday. Anyway, we went out on Saturday and the next day, the kids were on bikes. My youngest brother wouldn’t have known that. [My brother Kip and his wife] were staying with our kids, during that time, a couple of days that we were gone.  The only hour that they were not there, hour and a half or so, was during the time this accident took place. They had to go down. Their church assignment was to feed the missionaries at the MTC. So, they went down to do their church calling. They left our 12-year-old daughter, Amy Jo, in charge for an hour and a half. Well, boys, you know, the cat’s away… They got on their bikes. At the time, we had these five little boys and two sons born after that. We had nine children all together, two daughters. ..So, the boys are on bikes and we had given John a new little blue bike for his birthday. Sam grabbed it.  Our house overlooks the Provo Temple.  It was up in Oak Hills area and the road feeds down about a football length from our home into a more major road going down this way. The boys were racing to the corner to see who could outrace each other. Our son, Sam, who had just turned seven, grabbed his big brother John’s bike. He said, “I’ll beat you to the corner, John.”

Brent: Well, he’d taken his big brother’s bike and so John and the other boys were behind him, chasing him down to the corner. Three teenagers in a car, a Camaro, were coming down the feeder road and they’d been up on the hill. It was Sunday. They’d been up on the hill drinking beer and shooting. They’re all 19 years old, should have been on missions but they weren’t ready to go on missions. When they saw our son, the kid in the back seat said that the kid that was driving…decided he could beat the kid and he pushed on the gas and my son hit the windshield and flew over the car into the end of the concrete into this blacktop.  They lost control of the car and ended up upside down in the neighbor’s front lawn, going down the hill. It’s a wonder they weren’t badly hurt, the three of them.  They crawled out of the car and the car was badly damaged. It had the trunk broken open and there were beer cans and ammo and guns laying all over the front lawn.  They got out okay. Our son, looking at him, it looked like he was dead, initially.  He had flown over the car and into the street. Our daughter, Amy, could hear the commotion.  She ran out there and saw her brother lying in the street.  She was, of course, really crying and everything, really bad.

Brent discusses the trying months in which is son hovered between life and death, losing him just days before Brent and his wife were set to testify in the Hofmann trial.  Do you think Brent’s son was a third Hofmann victim?  Check out our conversation….

Tragedy struck the Ashworth household when a drunk driver struck 7-year-old Sam, who died just days before Brent & his wife had to testify at the Hofmann trial.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Brent!

509:  Catching More Hofmann Forgeries

508:  Brent Called Salamander Letter Fake

507:  Hofmann’s Motive Against Church

506:  Why 3rd Bomb wasn’t Suicide Attempt

505: McLellin Collection Offers

504: Lucy Mack Smith Forgery

503: Mark’s Unknown Half Million$ Deal

502: Hiding from Hofmann

501: Meeting Serial Killers