Deadly Vows: The True Story of a Zealous Preacher, A Polygamous Union and a Savage Murder

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Overview


Sean Goff was a dynamic Pentecostal minister who was already running his own church by the age of twenty-two. He had wed a pliable teenager and bent her to his will, eventually convincing her to agree to his secretly taking a second wife named Joy. Although at first the clandestine arrangement worked well, problems soon began to surface.

Leif Wright, Sean’s friend and co-worker, confronted Sean about his hidden polygamous lifestyle, which ...

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Deadly Vows: The True Story of a Zealous Preacher, A Polygamous Union and a Savage Murder

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Overview


Sean Goff was a dynamic Pentecostal minister who was already running his own church by the age of twenty-two. He had wed a pliable teenager and bent her to his will, eventually convincing her to agree to his secretly taking a second wife named Joy. Although at first the clandestine arrangement worked well, problems soon began to surface.

Leif Wright, Sean’s friend and co-worker, confronted Sean about his hidden polygamous lifestyle, which threatened to scandalize their employer, a world-famous televangelist.

Sean’s foray into polygamy led to his association with an online community where he earned respect by dispensing advice to other evangelical polygamists. He derided divorce as the sign of a weak man who didn’t know how to lead his women. It was especially troublesome to Sean when Joy hinted that she wasn’t happy and wanted to have a meaningful career. Then Joy suddenly disappeared, although friends continued to receive her e-mails. The messages seemed strange, and some wondered whether she was really traveling around Europe.

Leif Wright takes his readers into the mind of a ruthless, controlling killer in this straight-from-the-headlines true crime saga, leaving us all to question just how well any of us really knows our neighbors, friends and spouses.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/28/2013
Journalist Wright is far from a dispassionate reporter of this sordid murder story; he was close friends with the killer, Pentecostal minister Sean Goff, and even feels some responsibility for the fatal stabbing of Joy Risker, having had extensive discussions with Goff about how one could plan a perfect crime. Wright and Goff used television shows about forensics as a guide for a movie script about a murderer who could stay ahead of the police by knowing how not to leave incriminating clues, but Goff, who believed in polygamy, used the concept to kill Risker, the woman he married while still married to his first wife. When her friends became suspicious of the e-mails Goff sent under Risker’s name, the scheme fell apart. To an outsider, the story is far less interesting than to Wright, who also offers details of his friendship with Goff that will be tedious to many. The prologue, in which what will prove to be Risker’s corpse is found in the Arizona desert, is repeated, word-for-word, in the 18th chapter. Wright’s decision to thank Goff in the acknowledgments will strike many readers as bizarre. Agent: Sharlene Martin, Martin Literary Management. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882824543
  • Publisher: New Horizon Press
  • Publication date: 1/14/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,000,233
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Leif M. Wright is a winner of numerous Associated Press journalism awards and recipient of the prestigious Best of Gannett Award for the investigative series "Shout at the Devil." A former crime reporter and managing editor of the Muskogee Daily Phoenix (a former Gannett newspaper), he is currently owner and publisher of MuskogeeNOW.com an online newspaper. He is an accomplished ghostwriter of dozens of books. He lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma, with his wife and two children.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2014

    A great read into the truth

    This book reads well. It keeps you wanting more information as you delve into the history behind the criminal. No dead pets..no real warning.....at least until you read the hindsight provided by the author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    This book is what true crime books are truly lacking. The author

    This book is what true crime books are truly lacking. The author doesn't just tell us about how the crime was committed, he delves into WHY it was committed. It's an amazing journey through the mind of a killer who wraps himself in religion and ultimately allows that religion to lead him to taking multiple wives, killing one and mutilating her so he doesn't get caught.
    So often, I'm left understanding what happened in an infamous crime, but I'm still not sure what could possibly motivate someone to commit such heinous acts. In this book, however, I got a thorough understanding of what motivated Sean Goff to kill his wife.
    The facts of the case are still there, including a lot of information from the trial, and a good character study of the victim, but the value of this book is more in understanding how an ostensibly good person could somehow become a calculated, cold-blooded killer and no one around him seem to notice until it's too late.
    You should read this book with that in mind, because it can provide a tremendous amount of insight in that way.

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