9:30am PT by Jackie Strause
Netflix Sets 'Murder Among the Mormons' Docuseries on 1985 Utah Bombings (Exclusive)
Netflix is adding another true-crime docuseries to its roster with a modern-day exploration on the Mormon murder mystery of 1985.
Murder Among the Mormons, a three-part documentary, will revisit the trio of bombings in Salt Lake City in 1985 that shocked the local Mormon community and threatened the historical foundations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is a BBC Studios Production and releases on the streaming giant March 3.
Directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom (An Honest Liar) — who were both raised in the Mormon faith — and executive produced by prolific true-crime filmmaker Joe Berlinger, Murder Among the Mormons is being billed as the first comprehensive look at one of the most shocking crimes to have taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all.
"For a generation of those raised in the Mormon faith, ourselves included, the story of the 1985 bombings in Salt Lake City will forever be a part of the mythology of the culture," said Hess and Measom in a joint statement. "It was a tragic and complex episode in Utah’s recent history, two innocent people lost their lives and countless others were deceived."
The directors added, "However, most people in the community prefer not to talk about it. The allure and infamy of the story — the bombings, the Salamander Letter, Mark Hofmann — seem more relevant today than ever and we wanted to be able to share this remarkable tale from the perspective of those who actually lived it.”
The synopsis from Netflix sets the scene back to Salt Lake City in 1985, when a series of pipe bombs killed two people and severely injured another, jolting the epicenter of the LDS Church. The murders sent further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries were found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, Hofmann, who was a renowned collector of rare documents including the infamous White Salamander Letter — an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of Mormonism. As Hofmann fights for his life, the synopsis reads, investigators race to uncover the truth.
Ryan O’Dowd, senior vp of entertainment development at BBC Studios, said of partnering with Netflix on the project: "For the first time in more than three decades, Murder Among the Mormons illuminates a dark chapter when a series of deadly pipe bombs had a profound impact on an entire community of faith. As documentary storytellers, we are passionate about exploring the untold stories behind epic events."
Murder Among the Mormons is exec produced by Hess, Measom, Berlinger and O'Dowd; with Jannat Gargi producing.