Murder is nothing new to one-time followers of the late polygamist and self-proclaimed prophet Ervil LeBaron - a man who routinely used murder as a tool of religious persuasion.
Counting the four murders in Texas on Monday of people whose families had once been intimately tied to LeBaron, at least 18 one-time followers of LeBaron have been killed or have mysteriously disappeared in the past 20 years.LeBaron's followers have been blamed for the murder of at least five additional outsiders, including three self-proclaimed prophets who were rivals of LeBaron.
Lawmen say they expect even more killing in the future. To understand why, the following is a list of murders and disappearances of LeBaron followers:
MAURO GUTTIEREZ, Jan. 1, 1966 - The first case of violence befalling an associate of LeBaron occurred when Guttierez, a missionary for a church then headed by Joel LeBaron with assistance by his brother Ervil, was shot 15 times by ambushers outside a bar in Babicora, Mexico.
Time magazine reported that residents said the shooting likely resulted from local contempt of Guttierez's polygamist lifestyle.
However, Bill Tucker, an official at that time of the LeBarons' Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, was quoted as saying hired assassins shot Guttierez because he was too successful in converting local residents to the LeBarons' church.
JOHN BUTCHEREIT, October 1966 - The 60-year-old member of the LeBarons' church was shot to death at his shack on the outskirts of Colonia LeBaron, Mexico. He had openly criticized both Joel and Ervil LeBaron and had reportedly been contemptuous of native Mexicans in the area.
The murder was never officially solved, and several theories surfaced about it at the time. One was that the fiance of a Mexican secretary that Butchereit had just hired had become jealous and shot him. Others say the fiance shot him out of spite after Butchereit refused to let him borrow his car.
JOEL LEBARON, Aug. 20, 1972 - After a bitter religious split with his brother Ervil, Joel was shot to death in Ensenada, Mexico. His then-14-year-old son Ivan later testified that he saw Daniel Ben Jordan and Gamaliel Rios, followers of Ervil, flee from the house after the shooting.
Ivan said he was outside and heard someone yell, "Kill him!" Two shots were fired, one hitting Joel in the throat and the other in the brain. The two assailants then ran from the house, but Jordan slowed down when he saw a crowd gathering and coolly strode to his nearby station wagon and drove away, according to the book "Prophet of Blood," by Ben Bradlee Jr. and Dale Van Atta.
Jordan was eventually extradited from the United States to Mexico for the crime. But he was released without standing trial because of reluctance of some witnesses to testify against him.
MORONE MENDEZ & EDMUNDO AGUILAR, Dec. 26, 1974 - The two, ages 16 and 24, were killed in a raid on Los Molinos, Mexico, by followers of Ervil LeBaron. Los Molinos residents had refused the leadership of Ervil and instead followed his brother Verlan, who had taken over the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times after Joel LeBaron's death.
The attackers threw fire bombs at homes in the town, and shot residents as they fled or tried to fight the flames. Thirteen others were wounded.
After Mendez was shot in the legs and cried for an aunt, one of the attackers came up and shot him point blank with a shotgun. Aguilar was awakened when a fire bomb landed on his bed. When he stood up, he was shot by a shotgun blast through the window. Both lived for a day or so. Residents said small earthquakes hit when each of them died.
The main purpose of the attack was supposedly to murder Verlan LeBaron, who was out of town. Ervil LeBaron was put on trial for the raid, but a Mexican judge dismissed his case for lack of evidence.
When 16 witnesses to the raid gathered outside a courthouse in Ensenada a month after the raid, they were approached by Raul Rios, a follower of Ervil. He had a shotgun, but as he went to fire it, he tripped. The shot went into the sidewalk with some pellets ricocheting into the crowd.
A second attempt to shoot the gun failed and Rios threw it to the ground and ran, chased by one of the witnesses. Rios pulled a handgun but ran into a telephone pole just as he tried to shoot while running backward. Police finally caught up with him, and he served five months in jail.
NAOMI ZARATE CHYNOWETH, January 1975 - About the same time the Los Molinos witnesses were being shot at, Chynoweth - a one-time follower who had vocally opposed Ervil LeBaron's leadership and threatened to turn him over to police - was driven into the Mexican desert by one of Ervil's wives, Vonda White, and was never seen again.
According to "Prophet of Blood" by Bradlee and Van Atta, White told a friend that she shot Chynoweth several times near Ensenada on orders from Ervil. She supposedly put the body in her car trunk and buried it in a nearby hill.
Ervil supposedly told White, "You don't know how pleased the Lord is that that traitor is dead." The book said an unnamed plural wife of Dan Jordan also disappeared about the same time, and was supposedly kidnapped by two of Ervil's wives.
ROBERT H. SIMONS, April 25, 1975 - Simons, a polygamist who lived in Grantsville, Tooele County, claimed to be a prophet and openly challenged the power and authority of Ervil LeBaron.
The day of his death, he was led by an incognito follower of Ervil LeBaron into the desert near Price where he was told an Indian chief wanted to hear his message.
But two other followers of Ervil - the same Eddie Marston and Mark Chenowyth who were killed in Texas on Monday - were waiting, according to Bradlee and Van Atta.
They shot him to death and buried him nearby. The body was found years later during the investigation into the murder of Rulon Allred. The man who led Simons to his death took police to the site.
DEAN VEST, June 16, 1975 - The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Vest was once a bodyguard of Ervil LeBaron. But at the time of his death, Vest was thinking of leaving the group and was considered a traitor by LeBaron.
He was shot three times in the head by Vonda White at her home near San Diego, supposedly on orders from Ervil. One shot to the head after Vest was already dead may have been a ritualistic coup de grace for a "blood atonement," a murder to pay for someone's sins.
Ervil supposedly told White again that she "was an elected" lady after she committed the murder.
REBECCA LEBARON CHYNOWETH, April 1977 - She was a daughter of Ervil LeBaron and was three months pregnant at the time she was supposedly strangled near Dallas on her father's orders, according to "Prophet of Blood."
Ervil supposedly ordered her murder because "she hollered a lot," complained too much and had threatened to inform police about the group unless she was reunited with a son, whom the group had left in Denver. She was supposedly buried in a remote area, and her body was not recovered.
RULON ALLRED, May 10, 1977 - Allred, a polygamist and leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, was a rival of Ervil LeBaron. Allred, a naturopathic doctor, was shot seven times by two women at his Murray office.
Ervil LeBaron was convicted of ordering the murder and was sent to the Utah State Prison, where he died in 1981.
Ramona Marston, one of Dan Jordan's wives, was charged with being one of the shooters - but she jumped bail and was never tried on the charges, although she later pleaded guilty to bail-jumping charges.
One of the main purposes of Allred's murder was supposedly to allow three of Ervil's followers - including the same Eddie Marston who was killed Monday - to gun down Verlan LeBaron, Ervil's brother and rival, when he attended the funeral. Ervil's followers backed out of that murder attempt when they saw heavy police protection at the funeral.
Ironically, Verlan LeBaron - who had escaped at least three murder attempts by Ervil's followers - was involved in a head-on car crash near Mexico City on the same day in 1981 that Ervil died in prison. Verlan died a few days later from injuries.
NUMEROUS DISAPPEARANCES, after 1981 - Although they cannot provide many details or dates, local law officials said at least five former followers of Ervil LeBaron - not counting three others to be discussed below - have disappeared since Ervil LeBaron died in prison.
Gamaliel Rios, the man who supposedly helped Dan Jordan murder Joel LeBaron, was supposedly killed in a gunbattle in Mexico, as was Raul Rios - the man who supposedly shot at witnesses to the Los Molinos raid. Local law officials said they have been told two Rios women have also apparently disappeared mysteriously, as has Lorna Chynoweth LeBaron, one of Ervil LeBaron's wives.
ARTURO LEBARON, Dec. 17, 1983 - A son of Ervil LeBaron, Arturo supposedly became the "One Mighty and Strong" at his father's death. Mormon splinter groups often teach that a man with that title will someday come to reform the mainstream LDS Church.
Ervil had supposedly given joint control of his church to Arturo and Leo P. Evoniuk, who had met Ervil and was converted by him when they were both in jail in Mexico.
Followers claim that after a religious dispute, Evoniuk or his followers murdered Arturo on a remote ranch near Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. Utah law officials have said that Mexican authorities treated the death as if it had resulted from a duel for honor, and did not investigate or confirm it.
However, local officials such as Dick Forbes, investigator for the Salt Lake County attorney's office, said they have talked to enough people who have details about the shooting that they believe he is dead.
Evoniuk, in interviews with the Deseret News, said he had nothing to do with Arturo LeBaron's disappearance. He claimed enemies were trying to set him up and make it appear as though he and his followers had killed him.
LEO P. EVONIUK, May 27, 1987 - Evoniuk, who once followed Ervil LeBaron but started his own church sometime after Ervil's death, went to a business meeting near Santa Cruz, Calif., and never returned.
At the meeting site, police found a large amount of blood, a partial denture and numerous 9mm gun shell casings. Police were unable to verify whether the blood and denture belonged to Evoniuk because they could not find dental or blood-type records for him.
Former Santa Cruz Sheriff's Detective Lloyd Gray said Evoniuk is either dead or used an elaborate scheme to fake his death. One of Evoniuk's one-time religious associates, Dan Jordan, once faked his death in such a manner in Mexico. The FBI believed he was dead until he was found in a raid to arrest other suspects in the murder of Rulon Allred.
DANIEL BEN JORDAN, Oct. 19, 1987 - He was shot several times at close range while camping in Sanpete County. One shot to the head may have again been ritualistic symbolizing he was killed in a "blood atonement."
After his funeral in Colorado the following week, Aaron LeBaron - one of Ervil's sons - was arrested for "menacing" Jordan's family after he allegedly brandished weapons and claimed revelations granting him life-and-death authority over the family. The charges were later dropped.
Aaron had moved in with the Jordan family two months prior to Jordan's death claiming he was afraid of other siblings. He was in the campground near Manti when Jordan was shot.
The FBI, Utah Organized Crime and Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Sanpete County Sheriff's Office are also looking for two more of Ervil's sons for questioning about Jordan's death.
WILL MORE KILLING OCCUR? - Four did Monday. And investigators have said privately that history suggests that more murder attempts will likely be made and say odds are that most violence will be confined to one-time followers of Ervil LeBaron.
Officials say the people most at risk from murderers still at large are those who lead churches of their own but have some claim of religious authority with roots reaching back to Ervil LeBaron or his father, Dayer LeBaron.
Lawmen have said in the past that they were looking for two of Ervil's sons, Heber and Andrew, for questioning in the Jordan murder - and had said they heard they were holed up somewhere in Texas. After the murders Monday, lawmen likely want to talk to them even more.
Tom Green, an independent polygamist and a historian of polygamy, said a list of such people would include Ross Wesley LeBaron, a brother of Ervil who lives in West Valley City, and another brother, Alma LeBaron, who lives in Mexico.
Others would include Sigfried Widmar, who apparently took over leadership of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times after Verlan LeBaron's death and lives in Colonia LeBaron, Mexico; and Joel LeBaron Jr., who has some followers of his own also in Colonia LeBaron.
Also, Green said such a list may include Fernando Castro, a pastor in Los Molinos, Mexico, and Ossmen Jones, another polygamist leader.
Of note, polygamists in Colonia LeBaron, Mexico, say they have been told of a "hit list" in the past month with three names - Ross Wesley LeBaron, Alma LeBaron and Fred Collier, who apparently makes his priesthood claims based on LeBaron authority. Ironically, they say the name of the Chenowyths and Marston who were killed Monday were not on that list.