MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS is a new Netflix docu-series in the True Crime subgenre. I was not familiar with this case from the mid-1980s but it made an impact. Just three episodes, each under one hour, make it a quick watch. Read our Murder Among the Mormons series review here!
MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS is a new Netflix true-crime documentary series. Joe Berlinger is an executive producer and he has brought both great and not-so-great docu-series to Netflix. Fortunately, this one turned out to be one of the better.
Another true-crime Joe Berlinger docu-series: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
I was in no way familiar with this case about the 1985 bombings in Salt Lake City. I have watched various documentaries about the Mormon faith in the past though. Very early on, I did have an idea where it would be headed, but I suppose that’s fine since this is, after all, a true crime and not a fiction series. And I won’t spoil it for you in case you’re not in the know either.
Continue reading our Murder Among the Mormons series review below and find all three episodes on Netflix now.
Lots of footage and first-hand accounts
What really works for Murder Among the Mormons, is the fact that there is so much real news footage from when the case happened. We’re in the mid-1980s and since this true-crime shocked the world of Mormons (and most everyone else), it made the evening news a lot.
Also, for this Netflix docu-series, so many of the people who worked the case, are back for interviews. That means you’ll see footage from when the case took place and watch fresh interviews with them as they think back on it. This was what the docu-series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel was missing for the most part.
Where Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel only had interviews with very few of the people who actually took part in the real-life story featured in the docu-series, Murder Among the Mormons has interviews with just about all the involved parties. That makes one hell of a difference when you’re watching a documentary where facts are paramount!
I especially have to highlight Shannon Flynn who is also in the trailer. He looks like a very stylish senior now and is a real character – both back in the 1980s and now. Also, he seems quite honest – even if it does tend to be in roundabout ways as not to implicate himself too much. Shannon Flynn is definitely the kind of storyteller that makes a documentary memorable!
Episode 3 is a real whirlwind
There is a definite fact-based approach to this Netflix docu-series. This should always be a given for documentaries, but it’s also something most viewers have come to realize is not always the case. In episode 3 of Murder Among the Mormons, everything is laid out in the open and we hear audio from the actual confession.
Let me tell you, that part is often bone-chilling!
And while I loathe all the violence (and killing) done by the perpetrator, I was impressed by the dive into this person’s backstory. Not often do you get to truly understand what makes them tick. However, in this case, you actually do.
Obviously, I wasn’t impressed with the criminal mastermind in terms of the murders. That part is just a straight-up selfish act that showed a grotesque lack of empathy! I know, I’m talking in code almost, but you’ll see when you get to episode three.
Also, I am admittedly no fan of religion – any religion. Particularly not when it’s used to oppress people. Fortunately, religion is not actually the point of this docu-series. The Mormon faith is not attacked in this documentary. Rather it simply serves as the backdrop. This is surprisingly important since it could have muddied the story and focus otherwise.
Watch the Murder Among the Mormons docu-series on Netflix
While Joe Berlinger is executive producing this Netflix docu-series, the episodes are directed by Jared Hess and Tyler Measom. If these names sound familiar, it could be because Jared Hess is the director and co-writer of the iconic Napoleon Dynamite movie from 2004. Tyler Meason has already directed several documentaries and produced even more.
As a director, Measom co-directed Sons of Perdition (2010) which is about teens leaving the Mormon faith – definitely worth checking out as well – and An Honest Liar (2014). Both directors were themselves raised in the Mormon faith which means they did actually live with the 1985 bombings in Salt Lake City, as an important moment in their lives.
As already mentioned, I was not familiar with this true-crime prior to watching this docu-series. However, it certainly made an impact and will stay with me now that I’ve watched this. And really, with just three episodes under one hour, it makes for a very quick watch.
Murder Among the Mormons is out on Netflix from March 3, 2021.
Salt Lake City, 1985. A series of pipe bombs kills two people and severely injures another, jolting the epicenter of the LDS Church. The murders send further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries are found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, Mark Hofmann, 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, investigators race to uncover the truth. Directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom (An Honest Liar), MURDER AMONG THE MORMONS is the first comprehensive look at one of the most shocking crimes to have ever taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all.