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CSI: Carthage Jail (Part 4 of 9)

Not many people know that Joseph Smith not only had a pistol in the Carthage Jail.  Did you know he fired at the mob?  Some critics say this is evidence that Joseph didn’t go like a lamb to the slaughter.  Is that fair?  Dr. Casey Griffiths, author of 50 Relics of the Restoration, will show us the gun the Joseph likely used, and push back against some of the critics.  We’ll also talk about a crime scene investigation to see if a bullet hit John Taylor’s watch!

Casey:  Honestly, John Taylor’s descendants believe, sincerely, and John Taylor believed sincerely that what happened was after Joseph Smith fires the gun, Joseph Smith said, “Hold them off, as long as you can, Brother Taylor.”  John Taylor ran to the window, and on the way there he is shot in the leg.  It produces an involuntary reaction that causes him to fall forward. At that point, John thought he was going to fall out the window, but he says he was forced back into the room. What John Taylor believed had happened was that a bullet had hit his pocket watch, and forced him back into the room. Now, that may have been what happened. If that is what happened, though, it was miraculous, because we did, the Church History scene did a similar Mythbusters sort of challenge all night.  They took a similar watch and fired a similar caliber bullet, and the watch just blew apart.

GT:  Oh, really?

Casey:  Yeah. To watch that we have right now shows forcible damage, like it was hit by something. The gears in the watch have been driven forward through the watch face. But it hit into something really hard. So, what some people think happened, and again, nothing is settled here, is that when John was shot, he fell and hit into the window sill so hard, that he shattered the watch. Now, to John, it’s all confusion and gunfire and he wasn’t lying when he said he thought that the bullet hit. In fact, when we went back and we investigated a little bit, we found out that the way John Taylor told the story was–he’s so badly shot up when it’s over, he doesn’t know what happens.  Willard Richards goes and gets the doctor and John Taylor has to spend two weeks convalescing in the town where Joseph Smith was killed. I mean, that’s part of the story that we don’t bring up is that John Taylor has to stay in Carthage for two weeks after the martyrdom.

Check out our conversation….

Dr Griffiths discusses pistol smuggled to Joseph Smith, and Mythbusters-type investigation to see if John Taylor’s watch could stop a bullet.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Casey!

521: Swimsuits, Gold Medals, & Blacks

520: Recycling Hofmann Forgeries

519: Mormon Interfaith Council

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*Apology to Dorie (Part 13 of 13)

There are many people who wondered how Mark Hofmann hid his secret life of forgeries from his own wife Dorie.  Brent Ashworth was among those.  In our final conversation with Brent, he tells how he came to realize Dorie was duped like everyone else, and how he apologized to Dorie for his beliefs about her.

Brent:  I always thought Mark was using his wife, that she was in on some of this, because she was so near to it. I was kind of taking it out mentally on his wife, on Dorie for those years. Finally, it dawned on me. It takes me a little while. But finally, it dawned on me that she was just as much in the dark as the rest of us were, even though she was right next to him, and that I’d been kind of blaming her or I shouldn’t have blamed her for any part in it. I felt guilty. I thought, “I need to go apologize to Dorie.” So, it was 1990, it was 3 years after Hofmann’s gone to the slammer. I went up to her house and it was the same door.  She was behind the screen [door,] and I think she was a little surprised to see me.

Remember, to check out our conversation, you need to sign up for our free newsletter.  If you’re not already signed up, go to https://GospelTangents.com/newsletter to hear the final part of our conversation with Brent Ashworth.

By the way, if you would like to visit Brent’s “museum”, here is how you can set up an appointment.

Brent loves visitors. Just give him a call so you can check out his amazing collection!

 

Brent Ashworth gave an apology to Dorie for believing she was involved in Mark Hofmann’s crimes.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Brent!

512:  Emily Dickinson Forgery

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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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