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The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land

The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land

by Sally Denton
The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land

The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land

by Sally Denton


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“In The Colony, Sally Denton tracks the convoluted path of the LeBarons, who created a generational context for murder culminating in the deaths of three plural wives (one of them my cousin) and six children in Sonora, Mexico. This slice of modern history—November 2019—simulates a Wild West that should have ended with the nineteenth century, yet was resuscitated by a cadre of fundamentalists who make being right a matter of life and death . . . Denton’s no-nonsense voice and transparent prose render a profound sense of this drought-ridden, machismo-infested land where terrified children and overworked women are slaughtered.”
—Dorothy Allred Solomon, author of In My Father's House: A Memoir of Polygamy

“The Colony is one of the most gripping and disturbing true stories I’ve ever come across. It opens with the horrific massacre of Fundamentalist Mormon women and children in 2019 in northern Mexico, initially thought to be the work of cartel gunmen who mistook their SUVs for those of a rival gang. But the true story is far more complex . . . This is far more than the usual true crime book; it is a deep historical exploration of evil. I could not put The Colony down.”
—Douglas Preston, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Lost City of the Monkey God

“The story told in The Colony, of the murder of the Mormon Fundamentalist women and children in Mexico in 2019, is as disturbing as it is riveting. Reading this mesmerizing account of a tragedy that has never been fully explained, I felt I was in the hands of a master storyteller. Sally Denton’s deep knowledge of her subject, whether it be the complexities of polygamy or the power of the Mexican cartels, allows her to approach the horrifying crimes with a singular historical understanding and empathy. An important book, and a deeply satisfying one.”
—Judith Freeman, author of MacArthur Park

“Sally Denton brings all her skills as an investigative journalist and American historian to this tale of murder, religion, guns, water rights, drugs and deviant cults. A great read and an important piece of U.S.-Mexico border literature.”
—Nina Burleigh, author of The Trump Women: Part of the Deal

“Every once in a while, there comes a shocking event that briefly makes international headlines and then vanishes, only to be picked up by a dogged sleuth who finds and tells the real story—a much more bizarre and fascinating one—buried beneath. In The Colony, Sally Denton burrows into a big, complicated tragedy that crosses borders and cultural divides, and she does so with imagination, resourcefulness, and investigative zeal.”
—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West

“In a story as American as it is Mexican, as riveting as it is horrifying, intrepid investigator Sally Denton explores the deeper history of a spectacular and terrible moment. Opening with the shocking murders of three Fundamentalist Mormon housewives and their children on a dirt road in Sonora, Denton reveals a tangled web of cult murder, sex trafficking, water wars and blood feuds, bound by political corruption and calculation on both sides of the border. Spellbinding and bone-chilling.”
—Virginia Scharff, Distinguished Professor, University of New Mexico and Chair of Western History, Autry Museum

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631498077
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 06/28/2022
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 31,842
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sally Denton is the author of eight books, including bestseller The Bluegrass Conspiracy, and the coauthor of a classic account of Las Vegas, The Money and the Power. She lives in Nevada.

Table of Contents

Prologue She Was the Whitest 1

Chapter 1 "We're Not Radical Cultists" 19

Chapter 2 The Englishman and the Danish Girl 43

Chapter 3 Mountain Meadows Dogs 61

Chapter 4 Zion in a Dry Place 75

Chapter 5 "Am I About to Have a Cain in My Family?" 93

Chapter 6 Saint Benji and the Vanguard 116

Chapter 7 NXIVM: Ignite the Heart 134

Chapter 8 "Water Flows Uphill to Money" 154

Chapter 9 "Innocence Is Shattered" 166

Chapter 10 "An Eden in Contention" 185

Epilogue Sisterhood 203

Acknowledgments 207

Notes 211

Works Cited 241

Index 257

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