Salamander: the story of the Mormon forgery murders : with a new afterword

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Signature Books, 1989 - Religion - 570 pages
Drawing from thousands of pages of police reports, court documents, interviews, letters, and diaries, Sillitoe's and Roberts's narrative cuts through the complexities of this famous crime investigation to deliver a gripping, Capote-esque tale. They embrace the details, then lay them out systematically as seen through the eyes of the detectives, victims, and the perpetrator. The darkest secrets unravel gradually, allowing the reader fleeting glimpses of the infamous salamander as it ducks in and out of its fabricator's head.

What was the "salamander letter" and why were so many people determined to possess -- and to conceal -- it? Why was this one of the most unusual cases in American forensic history?

A skilled con artist by anyone's assessment, Mark Hofmann eluded exposure by police and document authenticators -- the FBI, Library of Congress, the LDS church historical department, and polygraph experts -- until George Throckmorton discovered the tell-tale microscopic alligatoring that was characteristic,of the forgeries. What ensued was a suspense-ridden cat-and-mouse game between seasoned prosecutors and a clever, homicidal criminal. In the end, this story verifies the saying that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

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About the author (1989)

Sillitoe is a journalist (Deseret News, Utah Holiday).

Roberts an award-winning architect and Utah Advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.