Posted on Leave a comment

Revenge for Haun’s Mill & Pratt’s Murder?

20 years before the Mountain Meadows Massacre, 17 Mormons were killed in Haun’s Mill, Missouri.  And just four months earlier, Parley P. Pratt, a beloved Mormon apostle was killed May 13, 1857 in Arkansas.  Just a few months after Pratt’s death, around 100 immigrants from Arkansas were killed.  Is it true that Mormons sought revenge for the Haun’s Mill and Pratt’s murder?  Barbara Jones Brown will answer that question.

Barbara: So I looked at that theory and all I can find is proximate cause, meaning, so okay, this happened in Arkansas, therefore these people were from Arkansas, therefore that must be the reason. But when I looked at it, I don’t think that was the motive. I think these other things that I’ve been talking about were the motive. Here are my reasons. Quite a lot of the perpetrators eventually come out and say why this happened as well as local people. They give a whole slew of motives and reasons for why this happened. Not one of them ever said that Parley P. Pratt’s murder was a motive.

GT: Hmm. That’s among the principal people that were involved.

Barbara: Yeah. Anyone. Anyone. You can’t find a single Mormon that ever said that.

GT: So, do you think that’s overplayed then?

Barbara: I do.

Were you surprised to hear Brown downplay Pratt and Haun’s Mill in the Mountain Meadows Massacre? Check out our conversation….

Barbara Jones Brown disputes the idea that Mountain Meadows was revenge for Haun's Mill or Parley Pratt's murder.
Barbara Jones Brown disputes the idea that Mountain Meadows was revenge for Haun’s Mill or Parley Pratt’s murder.

Don’t miss our other episodes about the massacre.

256: Utah War & Mountain Meadows Massacre (Jones-Brown)

194: What is the Dead Lee Scroll? (Mayfield)

193: John D. Lee’s Role in Mountain Meadows Massacre (Mayfield)

074: CSI: Mountain Meadows – Using DNA to Solve 2 Mysteries (Perego)



Posted on Leave a comment

Steve Mayfield: Crime Scene Photographer (Part 2)

In our next conversation with Steve Mayfield, we will learn more about his background.  It turns out he is a crime scene photographer, and we will briefly touch on some cases he has worked on.

I will say in the 25 years I worked with Salt Lake Police Department, I’ve been involved in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. I did some photography and work on that; Lori Hacking murder; the little girl that was kidnapped and killed Destiny Norton. One of the things I’ve done for about 11 years was to document the activities of the protesters at General Conference.

GT: Oh, Kate Kelly?

Steve: Yep. Just the street. Preachers and things like that.

GT: Oh, the street preachers.

Steve: Because of the lawsuits that these folks have had against the city and the police department, it became necessary for us to document their activities to show that as a city, as a police department, we’re following federal guidelines of free speech and city ordinances. They were taking pictures of us and we would take pictures of them. And for 11 years I did it every Conference. So I don’t know what went on inside Conference Center, but I was out there with all the various groups and things. It was important enough that when they had the federal lawsuit here, my photos went to the federal court and they also went to the appeals court in Denver. They used my photos and defending the city.

Check out our conversation!  Don’t forget our previous conversation with Steve on the Patty Hearst kidnapping!

Steve Mayfield works in the Crime Lab in the Salt Lake City Police Dept as a crime scene photographer.
Steve Mayfield works in the Crime Lab in the Salt Lake City Police Dept as a crime scene photographer.
Posted on Leave a comment

Critiquing the Gospel Topics Essays

Between 2013-2015, the LDS Church published a series of essays dealing with sensitive topics in the LDS Church.  They are known as the Gospel Topics Essays.  Dr. Newell Bringhurst and Dr. Matt Harris have produced an anthology that will be released later this summer critiquing these Gospel Topics Essays.  In our final conversation, Dr. Newell Bringhurst will tell us more about the work that he’s been putting together on these essays.

Newell:  We go through all 13 Gospel Topics Essays.  It’s composed of 13 chapters.  I probably should pull out my notes so I can remember the name of all the contributors.  We start with the Book of Mormon and look at the historicity of the Book of Mormon, critiquing that essay, critiquing the essay on DNA and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and of course the different accounts.  We critique the essay that was written on the various accounts of the First Vision, the historicity and authenticity of the Book of Abraham which is another very controversial topic.

We look at peace and violence along the Mormon frontier.  John Turner who did the biography on Brigham Young did the essay on that for us.  He is kind of a marquis figure.  He really did an outstanding job in looking at the whole issue of violence and how it involved the saints.  Although I think one of the strongest essays in there is Gary Bergera who presented at [Sunstone.]  He presented on Joseph Smith and his involvement with polygamy.  Of course, he has a much different spin on whether Joseph had sex with those other women.  {chuckles}

We’ll talk about the other authors as well!  Check out our conversation, and don’t forget to hear our other episodes on polygamy, blacks, and women in religion!  (A transcript of the entire interview will be available soon!)