The Mormon Cult
**Names changed to protect the innocent**
This isn’t so much about the Mormons or their religion as to a connection I had to a murder that took place in Kirtland, Ohio in April, 1989. At the time I was working in the storeroom at the factory where my duties consisted of handing out parts and daily supplies to the workers and maintenance men in the plant. My boss was one **James Derolt, a very nice guy who had just got hired in the last year as the 2nd shift maintenance supervisor. He was always very pleasant and tried hard to do his job efficiently
In April of 1989, James started to seem disassociated with the job, acted rather tense and curt with the employees and also me, I thought it was strange for him to be acting so out of character. One of the longtime electricians who worked there on 2nd shift was friendly with James and hung out with him during the evening and at break times. I asked the electrician what the problem was with James and he told me it was family problems.
Later on that month James took off for a week and then returned in the same sort of mood, even quieter and more distant than usual. In a few weeks he again took time off work and was gone even longer. I figured it was none of my business so I left it alone and later James quit the job to go somewhere else. I even was transferred from that job in 1990.
Always a library reader, I took my daughter to the library almost every week for ‘story time’, and also picked up books to read at home. Over the years I have probably read close to 2000 books from various libraries. One of the genres of books that fascinate me are the true crime books, ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘In Cold Blood’ and that sort of reading. I noticed one time a book called ‘Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood-Atonement Killings’ (Click here for Wiki description of details), so I picked it up.
This book is about the killing of a family in Kirtland, Ohio by a group of individuals led by Jeffery Lundgren, an excommunicated Mormon who at one time was located in the Nauvoo area. He left and recruited disenchanted Mormons to join his group and pretty much developed a cult in his own right. It is a very interesting story of a man who basically took over these folks lives and commanded that they do as he told them. And they did, no questions asked, up to killing an entire five member family cold bloodily on that April night. In the book it relates how they left Ohio and traveled to West Virginia, and cut all communication with their families and friends. One of the hard core members was a young man named **Daniel Derolt, when I read that it all fell into place. Later in the book it tells how Daniel’s father had gone to West Virginia in April of 1989 to search for his son, found him living in the woods with the crazy cultists and tried to talk sense into his son to return to Nauvoo. Daniel refused, and later on a former member told the police about the killings and where to find the bodies.
It wasn’t long before the police caught up to the Lundgren cult and arrested the bunch. Jeffery was sentenced to death and executed in 2006 in Ohio. James Derolt’s son, Daniel was sentenced to 50 years and is still incarcerated.