Meet Dan Lafferty, best known for killing his brother Allan Lafferty’s wife and 15-month-old daughter in 1984. Learn about his wife, daughter, his age, and his current whereabouts below.
Keep reading to learn more.
Who Is Dan Lafferty?
Dan Lafferty is one of the six sons born to Watson Leroy Lafferty and Claudine Jones Lafferty. His parents married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on June 6, 1940. Dan was born into a famous Mormon family in Utah with strong morals.
His father was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada and later moved to Utah. Watson worked as a Chiropractor but was also a strict disciplinarian who occasionally aimed his quiet fury at his wife and pets. He killed the family dog with a baseball bat after a fight with his wife. Their father had planted the seeds of paranoia, rebellion, and fanaticism. He instilled in his sons a skepticism of traditional medicine and the federal government.
He died on 10 September 1983 at the age of 68 because of diabetes.
Allen’s mother Claudine was the 10th of 11 children born to Calvin Sparks and Christina Elizabeth Peterson Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah. She worked as a cosmetologist for over 70 years making many life-long friends.
Claudine served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Jr. Sunday School Coordinator, Relief Society President, and many other callings including the secretary in her ward Young Women Presidency at age 84 and in the Relief Society Presidency in her 90’s.
Claudine died on 28 January 2016 at the age of 96. At the time of her death, she had 60 grandchildren, 156 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Dan Lafferty’s Story
Dan and Ron were close growing up. They were known for their short tempers and willingness to back each other in a fight. He protested against Polygamy was disavowed by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah more than a century ago, but some church offshoots continue to practice it and call themselves “fundamentalist Mormons.”
Two brothers started following in their father’s footsteps. Instead of buying baby food, Dan chewed food into a mush and then spit it into the mouths of his children. He later refused to pay taxes or obey traffic laws, believing he was above the laws of man.
Dan was against this and his brother Allen Lafferty married his sister-in-law Brenda who was raised in a Utah family that belonged to the mainstream church. Dan and Ron never approved of Allen’s marriage with Brenda from the very start.
In 1982, the LDS Church excommunicated Dan for trying to take his 14-year-old stepdaughter as a second wife. Around the same time, Dan and Ron began spending more time together, who believed the mainstream church should have never abandoned polygamy. Eventually, he influenced his brother Ron to adopt the belief.
Dan told his brothers they were the true leaders of God’s church, and they believed him — letting their beards and hair grow long like Biblical prophets. The six boys were now spending more time with their brothers — railing against the LDS Church and the U.S. government — than they were with their own wives and children.
Dan then joined the renegade polygamist cult known as the ‘School of Prophets,’ and ditched his clean-shaven and well-groomed appearance in favor of long hair and an unruly beard.
After Ron’s divorce and Brenda not letting Allen join the cult filled them with anger and on 24 July 1984, Dan and Ron set out to fulfill the revelation which Ron wrote, as he believed that he was the voice of God. Dan, as a hand of God, killed his sister-in-law Brenda and her infant daughter Erica by slitting their throats after beating Brenda unconscious, wrapping a vacuum cord around her neck until she went limp.
Where Is Dan Lafferty Today? Is He Still Alive?
Dan said proudly, “I held Brenda’s hair and did it pretty much the way they did it in the scriptures. Then I walked into Erica’s room. I talked to her for a minute, I said, ‘I’m not sure why I’m supposed to do this, but I guess God wants you home.'”
“I like to think she didn’t suffer,” he says. “It probably should draw more sympathy than it does. But I don’t let it.”
Dan doesn’t think he will die in prison; he believes the walls will crumble and he will emerge as the biblical prophet Elijah, announcing the second coming of Christ. “I don’t feel comfortable saying I know I’m Elijah,” he says. “But I’d be pretty surprised if I’m not.”
While in Utah County Jail, Ron tried to kill Dan when they were first arrested so Dan labeled his brother “a child of the devil”.
“You could say I’m patiently waiting to see if I’m Elijah,” Dan told with the shackles tight around his wrists. “I could be wrong, maybe it’s all just a comfortable illusion.”
He is still alive in the Draper facility and was sentenced to life.
Dan Lafferty Wife
Dan Lafferty married his wife Matilda who he met when he came to Scotland for a missionary trip. They reportedly married in her country. Matilda was a divorced mother of two daughters who agreed with Dan that God wanted her to marry him and move to America.
As stated, Dan had plans of marrying Matilda’s oldest daughter from previous marriage but abandoned the plan and married a Romanian immigrant named Ann Randak, who took care of some of Robert Redford’s horses on a ranch up Spanish Fork Canyon in the mountains east of the Dream Mine.
Ann and Dan had met when he’d borrowed a horse from her to ride in a local parade.
She wasn’t LDS [Church of Later Day Saints], Dan said, “but she was open to new experiences. Becoming my plural wife was her idea.” Ann, he adds, “was a lovely girl. I called her my gypsy bride”.
Dan reportedly supported his family primarily by running a small sandwich business out of their home. Every morning, Dan, Matilda, and the older children would rise before dawn to prepare and wrap stacks of “all-natural” vegetarian sandwiches, which Dan would then sell to other chiropractic students during the lunch hour.
However, the Board of Health closed the place down for not following regulations. They claimed Dan needed a license and that he wasn’t paying the required taxes. Later, he trained to become a chiropractor and started working in the family business.
Dan Lafferty Daughter
Dan Lafferty’s daughter Rebecca Lafferty had publicly spoken about the crime her dad and her uncle had committed. By the time she was an adult, Rebecca realized she had to stop owning her father’s crime. On the day her father and uncle committed the murder, Rebecca was seven years old.
Police pounded on the door of the Salem, Utah, home she occupied with her mother, who had recently divorced Dan, and four younger siblings. “It was late at night, and my mom sounded panicky,” says Rebecca, now 44 years old. “She was like, ‘Hurry, get some clothes and put them in a bag.’ I remember just scrambling, like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then we rode in a cop car to another city, where we stayed with one of my mom’s girlfriends”.
Rebecca decided that to heal, she needed to sort out her feelings for her father. Before reading Jon Krakauer’s 2003 book, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, she’d known only the bare outlines of the crime. While she was reading, she says, “I couldn’t breathe. Being a mother [of three children], [I was] thinking of my little baby, thinking of Brenda wanting to protect her baby.”
When Rebecca was younger, everyone knew who she was. She became the “baby killer’s” daughter, as a junior high schoolmate called her one day. “I stood up, walked to the back of the bus, and I really let it out on this girl,” Rebecca shared with Marie Claire. “I remember smacking her, and rage came over me.”
She added, “I was so tired of all the hurt and the pain and the shame and whatever else I was carrying, so I took it out on that poor girl”.
How Old Is Dan Lafferty?
Dan Lafferty is at least 73 years old as of 2022.
Is Dan Lafferty Living In Utah Now?
Dan Lafferty is incarcerated in Utah State Prison.
Does Dan Lafferty Have An Instagram?
No, Dan Lafferty is not on Instagram.
Who Played Dan Lafferty On Hulu’s Under The Banner Of Heaven?
Actor Wyatt Russell played the role of Dan Lafferty in Hulu’s Under The Banner of Heaven.