01x01 - When God Was Love

Episode transcripts for the TV show "Under the Banner of Heaven". Aired: April 28, 2022.
Mini-series inspired by the true crime bestseller by Jon Krakauer, follows the events that led to the 1984 m*rder of Brenda Wright Lafferty and her baby daughter in a suburb in the Salt Lake Valley.
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01x01 - When God Was Love

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[soft dramatic music]

♪ ♪

[insects chirring]

[bird calling]

♪ ♪

[bird calling]

[Deniece Williams'
"Let's Hear It for the Boy"
playing over speakers]

♪ ♪

♪ My baby, he don't ♪

ANNIE: Dad! Come on!
JEB: Yeah?

ANNIE: Lasso me!
JEB: [laughs]


- I-I gotta mow the lawn,

ANNIE: You said that
an hour ago.

[exhales sharply]

Oh, the sad face, huh?

Yeah, every time.

Works every time.

You're a smart girl,
I'll give you that.

Ah, let's see.

♪ ♪

DENIECE: ♪ 'Cause every
time he pulls me near ♪

- [shrieks]
JEB: [laughs]

[dramatic music]

All right.
Oh, she's wild.

All right, totem pole, Annie.

Got her.

I got her.
I got me a calf.

I got me a little calf.


♪ ♪

Totem pole, totem pole!


♪ ♪

You guys
wanna braid grass?

My friend knows how.


[phone rings faintly]


- Huh?

- [whispering] I gotta go in.
REBECCA: It's the station.

ANNIE: Mm...blech!
JEB: Pfft!


Take care of my hat.


- It sounded urgent.
JEB: All right.

What about the fireworks?

REBECCA: They do fireworks
every year on Pioneer Day,

so we'll just see 'em
next year.

JEB: Slow down.
Slow down. Slow down.

Annie, he's on the phone.

ANNIE: Why do you have
to go to work?

- REBECCA: Annie, I said--
- Listen to your mom.

REBECCA: I said out
of your costume and into--

- Give me the address there?

Yeah, I'll be right there.

Where's Mom?

- Asleep still.
Do you want me to...

- JEB: Uh...
- Wake her up?

- [whispering] I'll grab her.
- Okay.




We--we have to do evening
prayer fast tonight, Mom.

I've been called in to work.

- JOSIE: Oh.
- It's all right.


Remember the church?

Okay, let's open the doors.
JEB: Hey, Annie?

There are all the people.

It's time.

[indistinct chatter]

Let's see here.

Can I do it tonight?


But we don't need
a wish list, Caroline.

- That's not what--
- Dear heavenly Father,

please bless the missionaries
serving around the world

and our prophet,
President Kimball.

And keep Grandpa in heaven

from being lonely
until we get there.

JOSIE: Your grandfather's
not in heaven, dear.

He's in the bathroom.

CAROLINE: And thank you
for helping Dad fix my bike.

And for our birthdays,

may I please have
an Easy-Bake Oven

and the skates
I wanted for Christmas

- but didn't get?
- Caroline. Caroline, enough.

Close your eyes.

Heavenly Father,

and to help fix
what we find broken.

And please take care
of my family while I'm away.

They are my love
and my life for all eternity.

In the name
of Jesus Christ, amen.


Good job, honey.

Okay, come on.
Are we doing bedtime stories?



[whispering] It's all right.


[uneasy music]

[indistinct chatter]

♪ ♪

[siren wailing]

♪ ♪

A stretch,

and a fastball
misses high and away.

Ball four.
[continues indistinctly]

[somber music]

♪ ♪

[sportscaster continues

♪ ♪

[sportscaster continues

♪ ♪

[hinges creaking]

♪ ♪

[gagging softly]

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

[baby babbles]

♪ ♪




♪ ♪


[siren wails]

All right,
we need to stand up.

Come on.

And I need you to get Morris
to bring the print kit

and, um, a video camera.

I need you both to record every
single corner in that house.

- I don't think
I can go back in.

Gather yourself.

For their sake.

Come on.

[tense music]

Stay right there.
Stay right there!

Hands up!
[person screams]

Hands in the air!

♪ ♪

Don't move!

Stay right there, right now!

♪ ♪

[dark music]

♪ ♪

[gags softly]

♪ ♪

So he's covered in blood

and was hiding
in a neighbor's house.

JEB: His own phone line
was cut, so he said

he was using his neighbor's
line to call .

Just find me next of kin
of the deceased, please.

OFFICER: He's yours now.
JEB: Thank you.

Hey, you going
back to the house?

OFFICER: Yeah, right away.
JEB: Great.

OFFICER: Did we, uh,
interrupt your date

with Sister Moonshine,

- The kid's a Lafferty, as in--



BILL: Evening, sir.
JEB: [clears throat]

Female's .
The child is months.

Suspect's the husband
from a big LDS family,

as in...highly regarded.


Identify a motive,
turn it into a confession,

we wrap it up.

- How about I take the lead
with him,

Mormon to Mormon?

He's all yours.

Need a minute?

Right behind ya.

[crying softly]

Allen, it's Officer Pyre.

[door clicks shut]

Gonna take the cuffs off,

if that's all right with you.

Thank you.

That one too.

[crying softly]

All right.

This is my partner,
uh, Detective Taba.

You know, we just gotta ask you

just a couple more questions,
if that's all right.

Okay, great.

When's the last time you saw
your wife and daughter alive?

- I-I-I-I didn't do this.

You shared that.

Now, c-can you tell me
when you saw them last?


yeah, uh...this morning

before the sun came up.

- Okay, great.
ALLEN: Before I left for work.

- And what kind
of work do you do?

- Uh, I work in, um,

uh, tiling.

JEB: Can I give your boss
a ring

just to get the time

- I-I work for myself.

Ah. Okay, I see.

You know what, son?

You could just make this
real simple.

JEB: It's all right, Allen.
You know, people work alone.

- People work alone.
- Sure.

JEB: Right. Um...

so where was the--
this job of yours?

- Um, up I- to--to Sandy.

JEB: Great.
You got an address?

- I-I don't know.

[sniffles] I can't--I can't--

I can't--I can't think straight
right now.


Can I change my clothes,



- No.
Sorry, not--not quite yet.

- Please--please find
the rest of my family.

M-my brothers
and their wives and kids.

- Why would I have
to find them all?

- I-if there's someone
out hunting my family

then, you know,

they could--they could
be in trouble too.

JEB: Give us addresses.

We'll do safety checks
right now.

ALLEN: I don't know
their addresses.

JEB: You don't know
where your own brothers live?

- [sniffles]
No, they moved.

Sam moved.

Uh, Robin moved.

I'm--I'm not--I'm not lying
to you, sir, please.

- And who'd want
to hunt them down?

Well, um...

For the past year or--
or more, um...

Men--peculiar men--

were taken with my family.

They--they had, uh,
beards, long beards.

- JEB: Like vagrants?
- [sighs] You know how often

the old "vagrants k*lled
my wife" story pans out, Allen?

- Not--not vagrants.

Like...Bible or--or...

Book of Mormon prophets.

Please help me find
the rest of my family.

[crickets chirping]

[eerie music]


The only number
he knew by heart

was for his eldest brother,

but no one's picking up.

- Well, it is well past
Mormon bedtime.

- No, no, we'd pick up,
especially after : p.m.

Oh, sorry.

Ron isn't the kind
to let his phone just ring,

so let's--let's get officers
to his house

once you get an address,

and the same goes
for the rest of his family.

- Got it, sir.
JEB: Thank you.

We are not falling for

the "bearded strangers" story,
are we?

JEB: I don't doubt
you saw plenty of beards

when you were in Vegas,

but here the church
vigorously discourages them,

so it could be meaningful.

Were--were these outsiders,
and if so, from where?

- What it means is that
he's trying to distract us

with his clean shave.

When a wife shows up d*ad,

who's always
suspect number one?

The husband.
And why?

Because it's always him.
We both g*dd*mn know that.

Language, please.


Look, everything I see here
points to guilt.

And no offense to your
secret LDS handshakes,

but it looks to me
that he prefers my company

to Mormon to Mormon.

Give me ten minutes
alone with him.

I'll get a confession.

JEB: I was in their family's
ward for a time.

[lively music playing,
indistinct chatter]

None of this makes sense.

BILL: No, I'll make it
quick and painless.



Did you see
your brother Ron today?


No, I...haven't seen Ron for--

for a-about a year.


He's not answering his phone,

but I can send some officers
to his home

if you remember his address.

I think he moved, too,

since I saw him last.

Mm. Listen.

I was married
to a beautiful woman once too.

She broke my heart wide open.
She cheated on me.

Some nights, I just wanted
to wring her neck

for all the pain she caused.

Was your wife seeing someone?

Or was it you...

That had someone on the side?

Listen, my partner's not here.

Your bishop's not here.

It's just us guys.

Are you LDS, sir?

No, never was.

Is that a problem?

- If you wanna find
who's responsible for this,

look to them...

the Mormons, their saints.

- Aren't you and your wife

We were.

She was still...

Seven days a week.

[tense music]

♪ ♪

JEB: Thou shalt love thy wife
with all thy heart

and shall cleave
unto her and none else.

Doctrine and Covenants : .

Allen, did you love your wife
with all your heart?

- What are you doing?
JEB: Shh, shh.

- ALLEN: Yes.
- Did you kneel together

in the temple
and make covenants together?

Do you still have
a temple recommend?

Simple questions, Allen.
These are simple questions.

It's not admissible.

- I don't care
that it's not admissible.

Thank you.

Hands on the table.

♪ ♪

If you've turned your back
on heavenly Father,

I'm confident that forensics
will have proved your guilt

by tomorrow morning.

I met with her in the temple.

I brought her to church
with my family.

You look at these as signs
of innocence, but they aren't.

- Did you break
your covenant...

so she threatened to leave you?

Is that what happened?

I can imagine the fights.

That why you k*lled her?

[huffs] No.

JEB: Or did she turn away
from the Gospel too?

No, it's the opposite.

Her testimony was unbreakable.

The perfect Mormon girl.

♪ Some say love ♪

♪ It is a river ♪

She was perfect.

♪ That drowns ♪

♪ The tender reef ♪

♪ Some say love ♪

♪ It is a razor ♪

♪ That leaves ♪

♪ Your soul to bleed ♪

♪ Some say love ♪

♪ It is a hunger ♪

♪ An endless ♪

♪ Aching need ♪

♪ I say love ♪

♪ It is a flower ♪

♪ And you ♪

♪ Its only seed ♪


It--it's a good thing
I didn't win.

[upbeat music playing
over radio]

As runner-up, I still get $ .

That's only $ less
than the winner.

And I don't have
to stay in Twin Falls

for grocery store openings
like she does.

- JIM: [chuckles]
- I'm a free woman.

- Well, good--
good for you, honey.

That's good.

BRENDA: And if I'm going
to give myself

the best chance
of getting on TV, I mean...

I need to be in a big city.

Well, you know, Princess,

New York and Chicago
aren't half as nice

as in the movies say.

Just be patient, okay?

The Lord has a divine plan
for all His daughters, right?

Well, of course His plan

isn't for me to move
to Chicago or New York

with all the rats and,
like, Democrats and crazies.

- [chuckles]
BRENDA: I'll go to a big city

- with values.
- That's good.

- Salt Lake City.
JIM: Well, we're not gonna

want you to go anywhere
until you finish school.

- I think our Savior
would much prefer me

to finish school at BYU.

I mean, their broadcast
journalism department

is respected all over.

- Why don't we think on it,

Pray on it?

Make sure this isn't
a real big reaction

to a tough little day, huh?

- Every time I have an idea,
it's too much or too far.

Yeah, that's right.

[both chuckle]

I'm going to Salt Lake City.

I'm going
to Brigham Young University.

And I'm going to be
on television.

- Hey, kids, who wants
Brenda's room if she leaves?

- Me! Me!
BROTHER: Oh, I do! I do!

[indistinct chatter]

Who gets the big room?

SISTER: No, I do!

Thanks, Dad.

[soft music]

♪ ♪

She came here to Utah

to help build up Zion.

♪ ♪

Now I think
I'm responsible for this.

Responsible for what?

Reeling her in.

Keeping her in it.

I bet you think your testimony
is bulletproof,

that you know our history,

the Gospel,

all our...truth.

Let me tell you this.

If you feel certain,

that certain...

[dark music]

You don't know a thing, sir.

My only regret

is that I didn't
drive her out of Zion

to save her from our people.

To get her as far away
from all of this as I could.

♪ ♪


Could be one person.
Could be more.

Salt Lake's labs
should know by morning.

JEB: I just wanna know
who opened that nursery door,

did what they did
to that baby girl.

If it's Allen, we charge him,
get him to Draper

and in front of a f*ring squad.
[knock at door]

- I've only found two numbers
for his five brothers.

One's out of service,
and the other just rings.

Ron's last known address
is empty.

The realtor says it's been
up for sale nearly a year.

- The victim's father's here.
I'll go ahead and notify him.

No, we're not doing that yet.

- That's what we do.
JEB: It's not what we do here.

First we locate the rest
of Allen's family

so I got every question
at the ready.

Small town. Let's go.

Shut the door, please.
BILL: [sighs]

[phone rings]

She--she had a nightmare.

Took me an hour
to get her to stop screaming.

- [sucks teeth]

I'm sorry, honey.

- I-I think it might be time.
JEB: No, no.

I don't wanna put her
on medications.

You know
what they'll do to her.

Okay. Yeah.

I know this is hard,

but I think
this is a-a test for us.

- Hey,
the girls' party tomorrow,

um, do you think you--
JEB: Yeah, of course.

You know I'm gonna be there.

You can't flip an upside-down
cake to save your life.

heavenly Father knows.

and it's gonna end up
on your feet.

- Thank you.

JEB: It's gonna end up
on your shoes.

So I'm gonna be there.

[both chuckle]

Honey, I need your help.

Um, remember the Laffertys?

Dad was a chiropractor

and his son was Ron,
Lafferty Construction?

REBECCA: Yeah, yeah.
Uh, Ron and Dianna?

Yeah, right. So, um...

Um, so we--we have
two deceased.

- Oh, my gosh.
Are you at the ER?

JEB: No. It wasn't
an accident, sweetie.

Oh. Um...

Just wondering, do we have

any of the addresses, uh,
for any of the Laffertys,

maybe from an old church
directory or something?

- Yeah.
I'll check--I'll check for you.

- Thanks.
And, um, I love you.

- Um, I love you.
JEB: Okay. Bye.


[exhales heavily]

[door clicks open]

No forced entry.

There's no items
of value taken.

Except for the two lives.

JEB: Just...invading
Old Testament prophets.

If you're innocent,

just give us something.

Give us a name,
give us an affair,

a grudge, anyone who had
their eyes on her--



They all wanted her to--

They all wanted
to find fault in her

or for her to save them...

Sometimes both at once.

[mellow guitar music]

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

[no audible dialogue]

ALLEN: I just gotta
get this thing away.

My dad can't stand it.
BRENDA: No, no, no.

Don't you dare leave me here.

Uh, all right.

Just, less is more when
it comes to talking, all right?

What do you mean?

- Huh?

BRENDA: Hi there.

Mom, uh, Dad, this is Brenda.

AMMON: Well, it's a pleasure
to meet you finally.

Took him long enough
to get up the nerve.


- He's never brought
a girl home before.

- AMMON: Never.
- Really?

- The one and only.
AMMON: Mm-hmm.

And this
is my one and only, Doreen.

- I'm Ammon.
- Hi.

- I know. I know.
I've heard so much about you.

- Oh! All the way up in Idaho?
- And from Allen.

- Oh, gossip
is the devil's playground.

Well, I heard you--

you left college in Idaho
with no degree to speak of.

Oh, well, um, sir,

President Kimball said,
"Stand ye in holy places"...

Yes, he did.

while they threw up
from all the booze

in the Idaho school, so...

[chuckles nervously]

BYU is a far better fit

for those who wanna live
Gospel standards.

It is, indeed.

- How high can
your standards be

if you're hanging around
with the runt?


ALLEN: This is, uh,
my brother Sam. Brenda.

Jacob, Robin, come say hello.

- ALLEN: This is Brenda.
- Uh, this is my wife, Sara.

- Hi.
- Our kids--where are ya?

Junior, Joseph, Jared, Jenny.

- Great to meet you
Jacob, Jared,

Joseph, Junior, and Jenny.

- Wow.

Allen, I believe you now.

He just kept going on
about how pretty you are,

and I didn't believe him,
but now I do.

- Hi.
ROBIN: Sorry, I'm Robin.

This is my wife, Lynn...

- Hi.

- And our brood--
or some of it, anyway.

- Hi. Hi!
And you must be Jacob.

Yeah. [chuckles]

- Oh, gosh.
Is that everybody?

SAM: No, it's a regular
Lafferty factory around here.

I can't even keep up.
AMMON: Samuel.

You have a barbecue to mind.

Don't forget that.

Hey, Samuel?

I'll just be here
with the runt of the bunch

till you're all done
cooking my dinner.

[scattered chuckles]

Are all Idaho girls like you?

Oh, no, sir. [giggles]

The rest are sweet,

and properly pretty, sir.

Well, you are plenty pretty.

[clears throat]

Smell that?
Smells like dinner.

Hope you're hungry.

- Please, join us.
BRENDA: Oh, okay.

- Welcome.
ALLEN: I got to, uh...

Allen. Oh.


Are you all just gonna
stare at me

like I'm some kind
of space alien?


- Yes?


[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- Wait, how could you tell
that she was attracted to Ron?

- Everybody was always
attracted to Ron.

BILL: Must have made you
jealous, though.


I was used to it.

She and I, we didn't
have secrets back then.

But it wasn't just Ron

who couldn't keep his eyes
off her.


Who else?

Well, there was my brother Dan.

- It was making a home
in your hair.

Oh, gosh. Sorry.

- No, don't be sorry.
They're good luck.

Thank you for bringing her
to us, Brenda.

- I brought you, um, lemonade.
- Oh!

- Unless you don't like
fancy lemonade.

- I didn't even ask you.
- No, no, no, I do.

This is my wife, Matilda.

- These are our girls.
- I'm Matilda. He's Dan.

These are our girls,
my girls, our--

- well, our girls.
- Our--our girls.


- But it was--you know,
it was playful, innocuous.

He was just teasing me,
I suppose, and, um...

- Can I ask you a question?
MATILDA: Oh, gosh.

Oh, yeah. Sure.

- Um, do you all abide by the--
the Word of Wisdom at BYU?

The reason I ask is 'cause
I've met a few BYU girls,

and I'm not so sure
that they were obedient

to heavenly Father when
the professors weren't looking.

- Oh, well, we don't smoke
or drink coffee

or anything horrible like that.

- I'm sure that's all you mean.
- Oh, don't be so sure.

He's a right queerhawk.

- You pervert!
- I mean Pepsi-Cola.

I mean, the caffeine,
the sugar,

that'll k*ll a cute little
BYU thing very quickly.

What's important
is--is--is natural energy.

Fresh lawn clippings--

if--if you extract
this down to a juice, okay,

it is like drinking
heavenly Father's love.

- I-I can't tell
if you're kidding.

- [laughter]
- Me neither.

But I drink it anyway,
don't I?

It turns my pee green.

- [laughs]
[knock at on door]

Oh. Hello.

Sister Lafferty.

They've come for me.

Please, w-will you help me?

- Well, you know
I don't actually live here.

I need your family's help.

[soft dramatic music]

Gosh, well, um...

okay, just come in.

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

[people cheering]

[indistinct chatter]

DIANNA: I'm so sorry.
I just let somebody in.

It's really bad.
RON: It's okay. It's okay.

I-I'll take care of it.
Make sure they sit next to us.


Hey, Brenda.

I-I got us good chairs.
You--you ready?

- Brenda, why don't you
come over here and we can, uh--

we can, uh, sit together.

We can get to know each other.
ALLEN: No, Dan. Dan, no.

- We split couples up sometimes
to sit together, Allen.

- Brenda, I'm Dianna,
Ron's wife.

We've saved two seats
for you over here.

You don't mind, do you, Dan?
Of course not.

- DAN: Of course not, Dianna.
- You want the chair?

DAN: Yes, I'll have the chair.
BRENDA: So nice to meet you!

DIANNA: Have you met everyone?
BRENDA: Uh, gosh.

I think so.
DIANNA: It's impossible.

There's so many people,
and just when you think

you've got them all,
there's more.

Honestly, I'm not--
ALLEN: Uh, let me get that.

Oh, sorry.


RON: Welcome to Utah,
Miss Potato Head.

- You're from Idaho, right?

- BRENDA: Are you poking fun?
- Here, take that for me.

Just a little bit, okay?

- Well, you'd be surprised
how much math and science

goes into a good potato,

- Really? How much?
- I-I don't know.

'cause for your information,
I'm not going into soil science

like my very smart father.
RON: Okay.

- Yeah, I'm going
into television.

RON: By the way you look,

you must be an actress.

- Oh, gosh. No. No.
- No?

- No, I, um--I-I read the news.

How exciting.

- Well, I-I'd like to
one day.

Till I start a family,
of course, and, you know,

then I'll take a little break.

Nothing wrong with having
it all, now, is there?

- Don't listen to him.
He's just teasing.

He's just in construction.

He started the best
construction company in Utah.

- Of course.
I'm sorry.

- Actually, we saw your
new place, uh, on the way here.

- What'd you think?
- Yeah, it's great. Isn't it?

- Oh, yeah.

- Uh, Ron, uh, sits
on the city council.

Uh, he's the first counselor
in his bishopric, and...

- Keep going. You're making me
sound impressive.


- Uh, Brenda's Potato Head dad
is a bishop.

Is that right?

Oh, yeah, well,

he's not on any city council

and doesn't build fourplexes,

How do you make time
for it all and family?

- Oh, there's plenty of time

You know,
eternity lasts forever.

- Oh, my gosh.
You sound just like my dad.

- I gotta--I'm--I'm gonna
be back in a minute.

- All right.
- Okay? Sorry.

He's cute, isn't he?

- [laughs]
- I have the oldest,

and you grab the youngest,

and then we can compare notes.

- I hear you met our Allen
in--oh, sorry.

I hate it when I do that.

Um, I hear you met
our Allen in--in church.

- BRENDA: Oh, yeah, yeah.
- I met my Dan in church, too,

when he was on his mission
in Scotland.

- Oh! Oh, I didn't think
you're allowed

to marry your missionary.


- I think I need
some lemonade.



- Mm.
- Oh.

You two, he was your--


Oh. [laughs]

- But me and Dan
did no such thing.

My girls
have a-a different daddy,

and Dan gave me
a second sh*t at life,

saved me from all my shame.

ALLEN: No shame in divorce
if he divorced a Catholic,

right, Matilda?

- [laughs] Well, Dan actually
fancied my sister first,

not me.

He even gave her the holy dunk.

Who knows what else
he gave her?

No, no.

Sorry, I shouldn't
have said that.

Um, who knows
what they got up to?

Just prayers, lots of prayers.

- ALLEN: Could I--
- Yes.

DIANNA: Don't worry.
You're the star here tonight.

Enjoy every moment.

Matilda just gets excited.

[both chuckle]

How are you?

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- Here's the roast.
- Ah.

Thank you.
It's ready.

♪ ♪

Oh. Suppertime.


Whoo! Wow.

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

Everything okay?

Thank you.

Don't you look a dream?


RON: Yeah!
[laughter and applause]

And as much as we'd all
love to, uh--

well, to make a late night
of it, we cannot.

We have been called to service

for our brother.

Now, yes, our old neighbor
and I have had our feuds,

earthly and spiritual.

With no family left
to call on,

he's come asking for
forgiveness and deliverance.

And I told him forgiveness
is not mine to give...

but deliverance, well...

We are Laffertys.

And much of his land
remains filled with stones,

but he's been notified

or the federal government will
take what is rightfully his

to build a highway.

Yes, the Lord's saints
may disagree with one another,

but when we are att*cked
by outsiders,

do we allow our brothers
to be eaten alive?




- The Lord's elect
must never allow anyone

to take
what is rightfully ours.

- So two days, then, sir, to--

to clear
all the rest of his land.

No, Robin, one day.

As we do not labor on Sundays,

all of it tomorrow.

There's a reason
families miles round

have heard the Lafferty name.

Because together...

We can do anything.


- Robin,
you'll say the blessing.

Yes, sir.

[sighs, laughs]

Our dear heavenly Father,
we thank Thee.

We thank Thee
for this glorious day,

for this--this opportunity
to serve our fellow man

in his hour of need.

She saw herself as just--

you know,
as faithful as they come.

And in Idaho,
in her family, maybe, but--

but in Utah, in ours...

ROBIN: If we put our faith
in each other and in Thee,

we ask Thee that Thou may be
with us with Thy Holy Spirit

and make our labor light.

ALLEN: It was my father
who caught it first.

You know, the fact that she

didn't see the rules
like he did...

as unbending.

He judged her for that.

- How would you
have preferred her?

Hey, listen, listen.

My--my opinions
did not get us here.

Why don't you tell me?

LDS women are--are...

taught to--to be obedient,

to serve their husband,

to obey.

And okay,
Brenda wasn't that.

Did that make her
deserving of this?

And--and my baby girl?



- Then you might not be
as good a Mormon as you think.

ALLEN: Good Mormons, we--

they like to think of
themselves as one big family,

that together,
we can do anything.

But aren't we also taught
there can only be

one prophet, one leader?

[indistinct chatter]

Come on, drink. Drink!

Come on, it's hot out here.

[laughter, indistinct chatter]

[light music]

All right, listen up.

"When the brethren
show a unity of purpose,

"our labor, our toil,
and anxiety are diminished.

Our yoke is made easy
and our burden light."

- Listen, drink up.
Listen, everybody.

No one is allowed to pee until
we've cleared the entire field.

You hear me?
Not a soul.

Not even you, little one.

Oh, come on, now!

[indistinct chatter]

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

♪ ♪

Got all day. Come on!

♪ ♪

Come on.

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

What is she doing?

I got one!

CHILD: Big one!
RON: All right!

CHILD: Big one!
[people cheering]

♪ ♪

[indistinct chatter]

♪ ♪

[urine trickling]


- Allen, I just wanna say
you did a great job today

driving the tractor.

ALLEN: What the heck? Dan!

It's not funny.

I am so proud...

Of my family today.

Look at what you have done.




Now I feel
I can share our news.

Your mother and I have
been called by the prophet...

On a senior mission.

[scattered laughter]

It is a great honor.

But we've never left you

or our business unattended,

let alone for two years.

And, boys...[clears throat]

Unattended property
can grow busy with weeds.

No matter how pretty
our property may be,

our property must be
vigilantly maintained.

And with challenging
economic conditions,

it is not an ideal time.

Someone must stand in my shoes
while we're away.

I prayed for wisdom,

and the Holy Spirit answered.

Dan has never been
singularly focused on anything.


But he's graduated
from chiropractic school now.

He is my eldest son
to follow in my footsteps.

I'm moved by that.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

We will all put our faith

in Dan...

To head our family
and our family business

in my absence.

Robin, you will be

Dan's right hand.

- Yes, sir.
Yes, sir.

Jacob, Sam...

I want to see
our home in better condition

than how I leave it.


And, Allen...

You seem to have
your hands quite full.

Keep working on that.

Yes, sir.

♪ ♪


Dan, you say the prayer.

- Dear heavenly Father,
I'd like to thank Thee

for having faith in me

and for choosing me.

I'd like to ask for--
for guidance

while our parents are away.

ALLEN: And I mean, as much
as they had their eyes on her,

she had hers on us.

♪ ♪

Thank you.

It's you.

You're the fulfillment
of heavenly Father's promise...

That He would send
one mighty and strong

to set things in order.

I mean, he sent me
six mighty and strong, but...

[whispering] You're my one.

- You'll lead this family one--
- Shh.

- So don't let
your father sway you

from that righteous calling.

It's yours.


- [knock at door]
- Yeah.

- Sir, your wife
gave me an address.

- JEB: Whose?
- Robin Lafferty's, sir.

I'll check it out.

- May your heavenly Father
be with him.

[singer vocalizing]

- So when you stopped
going to church,

is that about the time
you stopped seeing

your family and your brothers?

I mean...

Yeah, that sounds about right.

You ever miss the church?


Which parts?

What we learned as boys...

Our larger LDS family...

The idea that we had
each other's backs.

And most of all, uh,
what I miss...

are the days when I

still believed
our God was love.

"If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask of God,
and it shall be given Him."

And when Joseph
asked about his salvation...

Two personages

whose brightness
defy description

stood above me.

So I asked...

which church is true?

And the Lord said..."None."

ALLEN: Joseph Smith,
at only years old,

set forth to create
his one true church.


What drove him?

It was love.

A light filled my room.

A messenger told me
God has a work for me,

that there's a book
buried in the ground

where the fullness
of His Gospel

is written on golden plates.

- And the Holy Spirit told him
to marry Emma,

that with her love,

God would share
His most sacred truths.

If our God is love...

Then He fills my heart...
with you.

That is the church I miss.

[alarm beeping]

ALLEN: But that's not where
our history ends, is it?


Mountain Meadows, .

Do you know what Major Carlton
found there?

What was ordered done
to those innocent Gentiles

and their children
in the name of God?

[alarm beeping]

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

I asked you a question.
JEB: Uh, that's enough.

You're just throwing up dust,

I don't need to hear
any more stories.

- I wish they'd...
- Hey--

- Ask her bishop, but he--

he probably
doesn't know either.

♪ ♪

They've hidden our truth

with their
secret combinations.

If you really still believe
your God is love,

then you don't know
who you are...brother.

This faith...our faith,

breeds dangerous men.

♪ ♪

- [phone rings]
- [clears throat]

This is Jeb.
BILL: Yeah, just checking.

Well, good Mormons
don't leave for Disneyland

with a f*re burning
in their backyard,

food left to rot
in the kitchen trash.

- This is starting
to feel bigger

than a domestic to me, Bill.

You know, that house is only
minutes away from Allen's.

No doubt the rest of his kin
are just as close.

- Listen,
don't complicate things

before we have hard evidence.

I'll dust for prints,
see if your suspect there

was even in this house


You need to trust me on this.

I've walked this road before.


See you soon.

[dark music]

♪ ♪

[line rings]


Mr. Wright?

Detective Taba
from East Rockwell, Utah.

I'm so sorry to notify you
of this, sir.

But we found your daughter

and her child
earlier this evening.

- Hey, just got off the phone
with Kimberly, Idaho Police.

You notify the victim's father
without my go-ahead?

BILL: How many homicides
have you processed before?

I've seen more
than I can count.

And I thought it was high time
that we start following

a normal order of operations.

- I was waiting till I had
every question at the ready

so I didn't have
to call him twice.

I asked you to knock on doors
and find me Laffertys

and that's all.

- There's ten new Laffertys
at every split

- of their damn family tree.
- Welcome to Mormondom!

You're not in Vegas
anymore, pal,

and you are not in charge here.

- Detective,
I'm well aware of my skin.

It's darker
than most in this valley.

- What?
BILL: And I'm very well aware

that's not smiled upon
in a % LDS town.

- JEB: Oh, come on.
- But I know cases like this

a hell of a lot better
than you do.

- Right now,
we have four prints,

and we have one suspect
in custody.

Four partial handprints.

I could make four partials
with my two hands,

and so could your boy in there.

- And it's a lot easier
with four hands.

Fair enough,

but we only have officers,

and most of them have never
even seen a d*ad body.

So before I wasted
one more of your men

on wake-up calls in a town
that's asleep by : ,

I thought it was smart
to talk to one actual source.

And guess what.

You're welcome.

- Your father-in-law
just told us

that Brenda took her sister
out for ice cream

a few months back
and that she said

that she was afraid of you
because you...

b*at on her.

So who am I supposed
to believe,

her bishop dad or you
and your tales of romance?

- Well, I-I did not
b*at on her.

- Of course you didn't.
So her father is lying?

That's not what I'm saying.

Uh, we got in--in one fight...

and I regret that.

But I can say that I'm not
the first man in history

to not be well-liked
by his father-in-law.

Isaac Hale...

He was Emma's father.

He thought Joseph
was a con man.

Allen, what are you doing?

- So when Joseph
asked Emma to marry him...

EMMA: Tell me,
who is the higher power,

my father or God?

- If Joseph had put
her father's words above God's,

would you have
your one true church?


When I met my wife,
my testimony was strong.

So I refused to let
her father's opinion sway me.

That does not make me a k*ller.

- Yeah, well, cutting the cord
off your vacuum cleaner

and tying it
around your wife's neck

before you sliced her throat

and beheaded your own
-month-old daughter

does, you f*cking
piece of shit.



In the few instances
we've had an innocent man,

an actual innocent man,
sat where you are,

they've been jumping
up and down.

They've been naming people.

Instead you sit there and you
tell us that you're concerned

about your brothers

who couldn't keep their eyes
off of her,

and your father
thought she was no good.

And you know what?
If I were you, I would--

I would rather find
that kind of family d*ad

rather than safe and sound.

Did you harm your brothers
tonight too, Allen?

No, I did not.

And I will say it
until you hear me.

Men with beards
corrupted my family.

And every second
you waste in here with me,

your--your Holy Spirit
is out there

persuading more men of God
to spill more blood!

Sit down!

And I'm sorry...


If you insist
on believing in a Mormon God,

then go.

Go and pray to Him,

like Joseph taught you to.

Ask Him for wisdom.

♪ ♪

[knock at door]

Oh, I'm sorry.

I was, uh, just putting
the APB out,

missing persons,
on Robin and his family.

Should I put one out
for bearded vagrants as well?

- Yeah.
- All right.

BILL: Autopsies are scheduled
for : a.m.

Blood and prints
should be ready by then too.

Keep pushing the kid or wait?

Uh, you know, out in Florida,

Henry Lee Lucas
claimed he k*lled people

once he started
telling the truth,

all satanic ritual slaughter.


Where'd you go on your mission?


BILL: Well, maybe Denver
gets the stray satanist

but not Salt Lake City suburbs.


Two years ago,
a man named Arthur Bishop,

he lures five boys
away from their families

right here in Utah.

And out
where my folks' farm is,

young girl was kidnapped.

Found her body in a stream,
and a week later,

someone had left black roses
on her grave

with a letter
with an inverted cross.

Devil worship, satanic panic,
whatever you wanna call it,

Allen has already admitted that
he's lost his faith, and, um--

Well, if a lack of LDS faith

gets a man convicted,

whole lot of people
heading to Draper prison,

me included.
JEB: I'm not saying that.

I'm saying leaving the church,

that would have created
a lot of grief in his family.

They would have put
a lot of pressure on him to...

return, to--

to save themselves
the humiliation

of a wayward son.

- [chuckles]
Good thing I voted for Nixon.

But what if--what if--

what if he cracked?

He cracked
under all their pressure

and he k*lled his whole family,

he saved his wife and daughter
for last,

and he walks
across the street,

lets someone know
his deed was done?

They wanna be caught, right?

The credit, the attention,
sociopath handbook .

We deal in what is, not ifs.

Let's say you're right.

If we don't charge him
in the next hours,

he can walk
just right out of here.

And when the chief comes back--

- Well, the chief's not
due back from Yellowstone

for another week, so...

Listen, things like this,

they don't stay under wraps
for very long.

If this kid's family
is as well-liked as you say,

when the chief, the DA,
or the press gets wind of it,

they're gonna demand answers
and a suspect.

And if you don't wanna look
like a couple of screwups,

you wanna keep panic
from ripping through this town,

we need a suspect.


BILL: It's eating you alive,
isn't it?


BILL: All you gotta do
is ask nice, Jeb.

"Can I have some fries, Bill?"


Bill, those things
are gonna k*ll you.

Well, let's die happy.


It's our little secret.

You're a bad influence, Bill.

- [sighs] Thank you.
JEB: [chuckles]


[tense music]

♪ ♪

Detective Taba.

MANAGER: I'm looking at him
now in my lot.

Oh, he fits the APB
I heard off my scanner.

- Does he have a beard?

And black, like soot,
on his hands.

What's your location?

♪ ♪

Sorry to disturb you.

Detective Taba
from East Rockwell Police.

Is it just you and your kids
alone here, ma'am?

- LYNN: Is there a problem?
- No husband?

- We had an electrical problem
at home.

- Excuse me.
LYNN: Hey.

Come here. Come here, guys.

You're okay.
I got you.

Out the back. Go! Go, go!

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

Stop right there!

Hands on your head!
[person praying indistinctly]

Put your hands
on your head right now!

[praying continues]

Don't be stupid.
Put your hands on your head.

And show these men

that they are not in line
with Thy Gospel.

Show these men that they are
the wickedness of the state.

Put your hands on your head,

or I will kick
the shit out of you.

- In Jesus Christ's name,
we pray.


State your name.

My name is Robin Lafferty.

♪ ♪

Officer Denney,

escort our new friend
to my car.


You once went to church
with these boys.

They may know your face,
your family.

Go home.
Make sure they're safe.

I'll handle this from here.

[breathing heavily]

- Jeb.
- Hey!

JOSIE: Oh! Oh!
JEB: sh**t.

- I'm so sorry.
- No.

Hi, Mom. Hi.

JOSIE: Just wanted to be
a nice surprise.

It was a lovely surprise.

- [chuckles]
Oh, my sweetheart.

- Sit down.
I'll get you some milk.

Sit down.

Sit down, he tells me.


Oh, nothing's right.

It's all so broken.

JEB: Remember what you told
us all about, uh,

the broken things in life?

How they're all just tests
for the next?


- Yes.
JEB: You do?

- Mm-hmm.

And that you said, um,

in heaven,

everything's gonna be perfect,

our bodies...and our minds,

and we're gonna get to be
with our whole family

and with Dad,
all together for eternity.


He's gone, isn't he?

Your dad?

Yeah, Mom.

I'm sorry.
He d*ed ten years ago.

I wanna be with him,

and--and I wanna go now, Jeb,

where things are right.

[dramatic music]

[shower running]

♪ ♪

electric guitar riff]

♪ ♪

JOSEPH: "For behold,

"I have refined thee.

I have chosen thee."

- I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

Ah, this case...

What if it's not
just a husband

whose heart
turned against his wife?

JOSEPH: "I have chosen thee
in the furnace of affliction."

♪ ♪

EMMA: "For behold,
I have refined thee.

"I have chosen thee

in the furnace of affliction."

♪ ♪

- What if it's not
some outside evil,

some outside force...

That's found its way here?

♪ ♪

What if tonight
is just the first edge

of a bone that's--

♪ ♪

That's finally working its way
out of our own desert's floor?

♪ ♪

Backup. Backup.

Calling County for backup.

One of the suspects

used a term:

blood atonement.

It all sounds pretty crazy

if you ask me.

But he didn't ask you.

An evil presence

is in his family.

And this isn't

the m*rder w*apon.

It's a thr*at.

You leave the things

you do not understand

on a shelf.

Is the multiple wives thing

mandatory cause...

If you want to get to the

celestial kingdom it is.

Don't you ever come back!

You're not safe here.

I'm going to put an end

to this wickedness.

A wrong turn here

and a lot more people die.
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