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The True-Crime Docuseries That Everyone's Binging On Netflix

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when society developed a fascination with true crime stories. Much like with horror stories, many people like to be scared in a controlled setting where they ultimately know they're safe. There's also the inherent draw of witnessing pure evil; when you're watching a fictitious horror movie, it's easy to say, "Well, demons aren't real, so I'm safe." With true crime, you're forced to reckon with the knowledge that something sinister could be lurking in your own neighborhood. 

While podcasts have certainly cornered a section of the market, Netflix has dived headfirst into its own trove of hidden gem true crime stories. Most recently, the streaming platform has found great success with Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which primarily centers on the disappearance of Elisa Lam, as well as the revival of Unsolved Mysteries. Now, Netflix offers a terrifying story much of the population may have forgotten about with Murder Among the Mormons

The three-episode docuseries explores a string of bombings that took place in 1985 in Salt Lake City, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. At the center of these attacks was a man by the name of Mark Hofmann, who was also an accomplished forger responsible for faking documents related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Violence, faith, and deception all intersect in this tale that's been glossed over for the last few decades but is finally getting its day in the sun.

Murder Among the Mormons tells a sensational story in a compact package

Murder Among the Mormons is directed and produced by Tyler Measom, who directed the documentary An Honest Liar, and Jared Hess, who directed the very-much-not-a-documentary Napoleon Dynamite. Both men were raised in the Mormon church. In a joint statement, they declared, "For a generation of those raised in the Mormon faith, ourselves included, the story of the 1985 bombings in Salt Lake City will forever be a part of the mythology of the culture" (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

Unlike a lot of other true crime stories out there, the crux of this series isn't centered on discovering who was behind the attacks; the audience learns early on how it was Mark Hofmann, but the story then dives into the dark truths he held within the church for so many years, most notably with the forgery of the Salamander Letter. This forged document contained a story concerning Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon faith, and many followers considered it to be canon within their faith. Discovering the paper was a fake forced individuals to confront how not every facet of their faith may be legitimate. 

Richard Roeper of The Chicago Sun-Times praised the series, stating, "Murder Among the Mormons is an invaluable, extensive and journalistically sound record of events that will fascinate those of us who have forgotten all but the basic details and a generation of viewers that likely have never heard of this story." Regardless of your connection to the Mormon religion, this show could rock anyone of faith to their core, and potentially make you question who's really behind the centerpieces of the knowledge some folks hold dear.

Murder Among the Mormons has already shot up Netflix's Top Ten, so join the conversation by watching all three episodes as soon as possible.