‘The Colony’ revisits the 2019 cartel murder of 9 women, children in Mexico — KNPR

Sep 06, 2022 by joe schoenmann, Kristen DeSilva

Three years ago this November, nine women and children were murdered in northern Mexico.

It’s an area drug smugglers used to ferry illicit product into the United States. Members of a fundamentalist Mormon off-shoot had lived there for decades, they’d become successful farmers.

But even before members of the community were murdered in 2019, the history of that fundamentalist community had been tinged with controversy and struggles for power had led to dozens of murders. We’re not talking about 100 years ago. Some were as recent as the late 1980s.

Author Sally Denton, a descendant of polygamists, investigated the 2019 murders, leading her down a path that, at times, was familiar, but at others, pretty disturbing, and she found the need to explore Mormon history to help uncover what might have led to those murders.

The result is a fascinating and alarming book: The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land. Denton joined State of Nevada host Joe Schoenmann to discuss her book.

“It was so grisly,” Denton said.

The original reporting showed blond, blue-eyed, American-looking women and children, possible tourists. The story unfolded slowly, revealing them to be members of polygamist off-shoots LeBaron and La Mora, with roots in the area dating back to to 1890s.

Sally Denton Joins Coast to Coast AM

Polygamous Mormon Sect — Coast to Coast AM

Investigative journalist Sally Denton joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to discuss her book, The Colony, which tells the complex story of the LeBaron clan spanning the first polygamist emigrations to Mexico through the LeBarons’ internal blood feud in the 1970s, and an unforgettable account of sisterhood that can flourish in polygamist communities.

In 2019, a caravan of women and children was ambushed by masked gunmen on a stretch of road in northern Mexico controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. The attackers killed nine people and gravely injured five more. The victims were members of the LeBaron and La Mora communities – fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and settled in Mexico when their religion outlawed polygamy in the late 19th century.

Radio Free Galisteo

Sally Denton Discusses: THE COLONY: Faith and Blood in a Promised Lan

Radio Free Galisteo

Santa Fe -based Investigative journalist Sally Denton dives into the still-ongoing case of the murder of nine people – all members of the LeBarón and La Mora communities—fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the LDS Church and settled in Northern Mexico in the 19th century.  In a masterful work of history and a chilling, compulsive true crime narrative, she tells the story of a massacre which unfurls into the strange, violent history of the LeBaron clan in a land, and under circumstances much stranger than fiction.

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