"Mark Hofmann is the bad guy in this tragedy - not the Mormon Church. The church is a victim," says television producer James Keach.
Keach and executive producer Zev Braun will begin filming an $8 million four-hour miniseries for CBS television in Salt Lake City in mid-January. While they have purchased the rights to "Mormon Murders" for $100,000, they call the book "sensationalized" and will not keep to Naifeh and Smith's theme of a Mormon Church cover-up."We bought a pig in a poke," Braun told the Deseret News. "The book hadn't been written when we purchased the rights. We thought it would be a documentary-type of book. We don't endorse what the book is saying. Without disavowing the book completely, I'll say we're using it as one of many sources. We have studiously avoided any wild speculation or character assassination," said Braun. I don't believe in taking the reputations of real people and twisting the facts.
For Naifeh and Smith to suggest the church's culpability in the two murders is not acceptable "by any stretch of the imagination," Braun said.
"Nobody wants to indict the church. It's a sad story about a guy who duped a lot of people, some who happened to be members of the Mormon Church," said Keach.