Netflix true crime miniseries “Murder Among the Mormons” dives into gripping tale of deception

Murder Among the Mormons is a Netflix original documentary series. The series follows the true story of Mark Hofmann, infamous for forgery and convicted of murder.

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“Murder Among the Mormons” is a Netflix original documentary series. The series follows the true story of Mark Hofmann, infamous for forgery and convicted of murder.

“Murder Among the Mormons” tells the gripping story of the bombings that occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah in October of 1985 involving members of the Mormon church. Netflix released this new docuseries on Mar. 3, and since then it has remained in the top 10 watched shows on the site. This limited series consists of three episodes, each around one hour in length. 

Throughout the three episodes, the series never felt boring or repetitive. There were constantly new, exciting and shocking additions to the story. The director used archived footage and images, old home videos, new interviews and reenactments in order to give as much detail to the story as possible while making it entertaining for the viewers.  

During the first episode, the audience briefly learns about the history of The Church of Latter Day Saints and the story of how Mormonism began with founder Joseph Smith. In order to understand the story, the director does a great job providing background information about the Mormon church for those who are not familiar. The series successfully provides just enough information for the audience to comprehend the story while making sure it isn’t overwhelming. 

The audience also learns about the story’s main character, Mark Hofmann. Hofmann is an interesting character, at first made out to seeming like an innocent Mormon man who got into the document dealing business after he found what appeared to be an important early document written and signed by Joseph Smith. However, as the episodes progress, we discover who he really is and how he deceived everyone he knew. 

The timeline of the show was easy to follow and executed very well. The first episode included background information about the Mormon church, the controversy involving the documents that Hofmann found and all three of the bombings that occurred. These documents were controversial because they contained information that challenged the truth of the origin of Mormonism. 

The first bomb killed Steve Christensen, a collector of Mormon documents. The second bomb killed the wife of Christensen’s former business associate. Finally, the third bomb injured Mark Hofmann. 

In the next episode, the director takes us back in time where Gerry D’Elia, the detective who worked on the case, gives insight on what occurred during and after the bombings. During the first episode and the first half of the second episode, the audience is made to believe that the president of the Mormon church was behind the bombings in order to hide the controversial documents that Hofmann had. However, we soon find out, after hours and hours of investigation, that these documents have actually been forged by Hofmann himself.

The last episode consists of a deep dive into Hofmann’s dark past. We also hear an interview Hofmann gave after he was convicted. We learn that although Hofmann was raised as a Mormon, he was actually an atheist who had been forging documents since he was 14. His motive was to convince people to leave the church, and the bombs were his attempt to throw people off and make them think he was innocent.    

Overall, “Murder Among the Mormons” was an interesting and entertaining docuseries. It successfully and concisely told the story of Mark Hofmann and his crimes. There was enough information for the viewers who had never heard of this story to get the whole picture without it being too long. The contrast between the old home videos of Hofmann sweetly interacting with his family and the cold and frightening interview he gave after he was convicted of his crimes really drives the point of this documentary and shows how Hofmann was able to deceive so many people.