Meet Ron Lafferty, who executed his brother Allen Lafferty’s wife Brenda Lafferty and her daughter Erica Lafferty in 1984. The grisly murder is now the series portrayed on the series titled Hulu/Disney+ series Under the Banner of Heaven.
Below, you’ll learn about his parents, daughter, wife, and his story. So keep reading starting with!
Who Is Ron Lafferty?
Ronald “Ron” Lafferty was the oldest son of eight children born to Watson Leroy Lafferty and Claudine Jones Lafferty. His parents married on 6 June 1940 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Ron came from a prominent Utah Mormon family known for their strong values.
Watson Leroy Lafferty
By profession, Watson was a Doctor of a chiropractor. He was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada to Charles Lafferty and Myrtle Louise Lafferty. He attended Canadian schools and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He had attended the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Saint Ambrose College in Iowa.
Moreover, he graduated from the Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport in 1956. He practiced as a chiropractor for 16 years in Payson. Later, in 1972, he moved to Provo, Utah.
Watson was 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.
Watson also went to extremes with his religious convictions, telling one of his sons that if he unintentionally wounded himself in the stomach with an arrow, he would have to suffer till the next morning for breaking the Sabbath.
He died on 10 September 1983 at the age of 68 because of diabetes.
Claudine Jones Lafferty
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 attended South High School and Ex-cel-cis Beauty School graduating in 1937. 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.
Ron Lafferty’s Upbringing
Ron and his brother Dan became best friends and were known for their short tempers and willingness to back each other in a fight. As he grew up to be a man, they followed the path laid out by their father. 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.”
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. Ron was very adamant about his approval of Allen’s marriage with Brenda from the very start. Ron had gone through the motions of a successful young church member for years: he served a church mission in Florida, then returned to Utah to marry, have children, and find work.
He also served on voluntary councils for his congregation and the community.
But in 1982, Ron began spending more time with his brother Dan, who believed the mainstream church should have never abandoned polygamy. Eventually, Ron adopted his brother’s belief, and the two were excommunicated from the faith in 1983.
Ron 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.
The six brothers were now spending more time with their brothers, who were raging against the LDS Church and the United States government, than with their own wives and children.
How Did Ron Lafferty Die?
Ron Lafferty died of natural causes at the Draper facility in November 2019, according to prison officials. He was on death row for 34 years but the execution date had not been set. His attorney Therese Michelle Day shared that her client was mentally ill and believed his incarceration was the result of a conspiracy between the state, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and “unseen spiritual forces,” including the spirit of the trial judge’s deceased father.
“Through it all Mr. Lafferty, himself, never believed that he was mentally ill or incompetent,” Day said. “One expert said that if he was guilty of faking anything, he was guilty of pretending to be normal when he was not. Mr. Lafferty, like other mentally ill prisoners, was not treated for his mental illness as he should have been.”
Ron Lafferty had chosen to die by firing squad.
What Was Ron Lafferty Age At The Time Of His Death?
At the time of his death, Ron Lafferty was 78 years old.
Ron Lafferty Wife
Ron Lafferty was reportedly married to his ex-wife Diana with whom he reportedly had six children.
Diana divorced Ron in 1984 and relocated to Florida with their children after he wanted to engage in polygamy. The divorce began his steady descent into madness. He spent his days and nights penning what he hoped would one day be read as scripture in an ancient Orem home the brothers dubbed “the farm.”
His anguish over his wife’s departure turned to rage, which he directed at three people: Chloe Low, a former LDS Relief Society president who had supported his wife during the divorce; Richard Stowe, the Highland LDS Stake president who presided over his ex-communication; and Brenda Wright Lafferty, his youngest brother Allen’s strong-willed wife.
Allen’s wife Brenda, a former beauty queen and a college graduate, confidently spoke about issues others would sit quietly about. She told Ron and Dan that she didn’t believe they were prophets. Ron’s rage escalated when Brenda prevented Allen from joining the School of the Prophets with his brothers. First, she had driven away from his wife, now she was splitting up the brothers.
In March 1984, Ron recorded on a yellow legal pad what would come to be known as “the removal revelation.” He later shared it with the School of the Prophets, to the alarm of its members.
“Thus saith the Lord unto my servants the prophets,” Ron wrote. “It is my will and commandment that ye remove the following individuals in order that my work might go forward. For they have truly become obstacles in my path and I will not allow my work to be stopped. First thy brother’s wife Brenda and her baby, then Chloe Low and then Richard Stowe. And it is my will that they be removed in rapid succession.”
Ron and Dan set out on the afternoon of July 24, 1984, to carry out the reveal. They drove to Allen and Brenda’s American Fork duplex in a damaged green station wagon, carrying a sawed-off shotgun, a.30-30 Winchester, a.270 deer rifle, and two pearl-handled knives. They only used knives.
Ron Lafferty Daughter
There is no information on Ron Lafferty’s daughter. However, his brother Dan’s daughter Rebecca Lafferty has spoken to True Crime Daily. She told that my uncle (Ron) was the voice of God and my dad was the hand of God. However, a few of his sons apologized for their father’s wrongdoing.
Where Was Ron Lafferty Born?
Ron Laffterty was born in Utah.
Who Played Ron Lafferty On Hulu’s Under The Banner Of Heaven?
Actor Sam Worthington played Ron Lafferty on Hulu’s Under The Banner of Heaven.