"Angels" of death?

Reading the thread about Mormon weddings got me to thinking about another legend ascribed to the Mormons. Supposedly in the 19th century, the Mormon church would assassinate anyone who defected from the community. IIRC, this was even part of the plot of a Sherlock Holmes story. Any basis in fact?

You’re referring to the practice known as blood atonement. Here are two articles discussing it:

Blood Atonement in the Mormon Church

The Mormon Church’s explanation

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Sherlock Holmes NOVEL. The first, as a matter of fact.


The Mormon sections are considered a mistake by modern critics. Conan Doyle was seeking “Western color” and left his main men in the lurch for much too long while he went prancing around in Utah.

Sir A. went on to get it right in THE SIGN OF FOUR and THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES.


So how outrageous does a Mormon Urban Legend have to be before it can be rejected out of hand?

p.s. The “Mormon Church’s explanation” thread is an explanation by members of the church, not the church itself. There’s an important difference. The church has made no official statement.

If man was meant to fly faster than the speed of sound he would have been born with 50,000 pounds of thrust.


I agree with your post from a literary standpoint, but

I’m getting a mental image of ol’ Sherlock, in his wool cape and deerstalker’s hat and pipe skipping around in the middle of the desert … :o Too weird.

Never attribute to malice anything that can be attributed to stupidity.
– Unknown

Eeeek! Sorry to DO that to you, Cat!

What I meant was that ACD dumped a big ol’ Utah flashback right in the middle of the novel.

Skim it quick and get back to London, where de game, she is afoot.