Monday, Ron Lafferty -- one of Utah County's most notorious killers -- died of natural causes at the Utah State Prison. Lafferty, who was convicted of killing his sister-in-law Brenda and her infant daughter, Erica, in 1984.
Lafferty is one of the most infamous killers in the state. His case drew attention nationwide.
These 12 people committed some of the most gruesome, horrific murders in the county.
Ron Lafferty was convicted by juries in 1988 and 1996 of slaying his sister-in-law and her 1-year-old daughter in Highland in 1984. He was sentenced to death by firing squad after the second conviction.
Lafferty and his brother Dan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the same murders, claimed they were following a revelation from God when they slashed the throats of the wife and daughter of their brother Allen. Brenda Lafferty was 24. Her daughter Erica was 15 months old.
The men, who with other brothers had established their own small cult, cited divine revelation for the slashing deaths, but prosecutors said Ron Lafferty was mad at the woman for helping his wife as she was divorcing him.
Lafferty is one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the state, according to the Associated Press.
"His case become well-known around the country when it was included in Jon Krakauer’s 2003 book about radical offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Lafferty died of natural causes on Monday.
Dan Lafferty is serving two life sentences in Utah State Prison; he avoided the death penalty by one vote. The brothers have maintained for 20 years that Ron Lafferty received a revelation telling him to kill his brother Allen's wife and child, so they did.
On July 24, 1984, both men went into Allen and Brenda Lafferty's home in American Fork and sliced Brenda Lafferty's throat and her child's throat with a boning knife. Dan Lafferty admitted to doing the actual killing.
According to an Associated Press report, Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah in 1977 for the shooting death two years earlier of Provo motel clerk Bennie Bushnell. Gilmore also was charged with capital murder -- though never tried -- in the killing of Brigham Young University law student Max Jensen, a part-time Orem gas station attendant, the night before the Bushnell murder.
Gilmore was the first person executed after a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976 after a 10-year moratorium. Gilmore's story was the subject of the Norman Mailer book, "The Executioner's Song," which was later made into a movie starring Tommy Lee Jones as Gilmore.
In 1988 the New York Times reported on the execution of Arthur Bishop, who was found guilty for the sex-related murders of five boys in 1984. It was reported that those slain were Alonzo Daniels, 4; Kim Peterson, 11; Danny Davis, 4; Troy Ward, 6, and Graeme Cunningham, 13.
The buried remains of three boys were found in Cedar Fort after Bishop lead authorities to where the victims could be recovered.
Bishop, a religious former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was found guilty of all five murders, as well as five kidnapping charges, two counts of forceful sexual assault, and one count of sexual abuse of a minor.
Police also discovered Bishop had molested many other young boys in the Salt Lake City area.
A gruesome local crime story came to its conclusion in April 2015 when Megan Huntsman, of Pleasant Grove, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for killing six of her newborn babies.
Attorneys doubt she’ll ever get out of prison.
One year earlier, in April 2014, police found six infant bodies in shoe boxes in Huntsman’s garage. Huntsman was addicted to drugs on and off over the decade she had the babies.
"I know I didn't feel strong enough to be a mother to those tiny babies, and in some small way I wanted to help them avoid the terrible life I would have given them," said Anthony Howell, Huntsman's lawyer, reading from a letter she wrote. Huntsman said she couldn't explain the deaths to herself.
Police found the bodies wrapped in cloth, put in plastic bags and packed into boxes, left behind after Huntsman moved out. She thought about moving the bodies, but she said she couldn't think of a way to do it without getting caught, said Prosecutor Jeff Buhman.
Ted Bundy was accepted at the University of Utah Law School in August 1974 and converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while living here.
On Oct. 31, 1974, Bundy kidnapped, raped and killed 17-year-old Laura Ann Aime in Lehi after she left a cafe. Her body was found in American Fork Canyon on Thanksgiving Day.
Bundy confessed to her murder before his execution.
Bundy is one of the most known serial killers in the U.S. and confessed to at least 30 homicides.
Darrell Devere Poulson
Darrell Devere Poulson, 23, was convicted of murder in the first degree in the District Court of Utah, Utah County, and sentenced to death.
On Sept. 16, 1961, 11-year old Karen Mechling was employed as a baby sitter in the home of a neighbor in the town of American Fork, according to Justia. The next day her body was found in weeds behind that home. The girl had been raped and beaten to death. Shortly after, Poulson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada upon another charge, and returned to Provo, whereupon he told authorities he had committed the Mechling murder and gave details as to how it was done.
Martin MacNeill was incarcerated at the state facility from September 2014 until his death by suicide in April 2017, after he was sentenced for first-degree murder and second-degree obstruction of justice. In November 2013, a jury convicted him of drugging his wife, Michele, and leaving her to drown in a bathtub on April 11, 2007.
In a separate case, a jury convicted MacNeill in July 2014 on second-degree forcible sex abuse for a May 2007 incident involving his adult daughter.
The death of Michele MacNeill drew nationwide attention and was featured on “Dateline NBC.” Martin MacNeill practiced psychiatry while Michele MacNeill cared for their four minor daughters.
In March 2007, Martin MacNeill gave Michele MacNeill the gift of a facelift. This gift came sometime after she confronted him about having an affair with Gypsy Willis. Following Michele MacNeill's surgery, she was prescribed medications at Martin MacNeill's request; Percocet, Ambien, Valium and Phenergen were found in her system.
Prosecutors argued that Martin MacNeill acted so he could maintain his relationship with Willis, who he subsequently married.
Louis Darrell Kinyon
Louis Darrell Kinyon pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors to the Feb. 2, 2004, shooting of his supervisor Kent Neil Griffith, 46, in a fit of rage at their workplace in Pleasant Grove.
One of Kinyon's defense attorneys, Fred Metos, commented that in his 30 years of practicing law, he had never seen the victim's family members extend a hand of forgiveness as the Griffiths had to his client.
M'lissa Griffith, Kent's widow, reached out in a conciliatory and loving way to Kinyon's family and even Kinyon himself -- even though she said there was no way to express the pain and anguish her family had been through.
Jennete Killpack, of Springville, was convicted in 2005 of killing her 4-year-old adopted daughter by forcing the girl to drink excessive amounts of water, and sentenced in 2006 to one to 15 years in prison. Sometimes described as "water intoxication," the incident, which happened in 2002, caused the Cassandra Killpack's brain to swell and her lungs to fill with liquid. She eventually passed out, then died. Prosecutors said Jennete Killpack was punishing the girl for sneaking some Kool-Aid.
The incident led to the mother's conviction by a jury of child abuse homicide in October 2005. Killpack's husband, Richard, was acquitted of the same charge.
Six years after being sentenced to prison, Killpack was let out on parole.
The case drew national attention because of the controversial forms of child discipline connected to the girl's death, including water satiation punishments and holding therapy. After attorneys on both sides of the case and the Killpacks appeared on national TV shows, a judge restricted attorneys from speaking to the media or the public about the case.
Timmy Brent Olsen
Timmy Olsen, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Kiplyn Davis case in 2011, saying he had watched someone else kill the Spanish Fork girl by hitting her in the head with a rock, then helped hide her body in 1995.
During his federal trial in 2006, multiple people testified that Olsen had admitted to raping, killing and burying the girl in Spanish Fork Canyon, according to an Associated Press article from 2006.
The family had their hopes brought up several times over the years that her body had been found. Richard Davis said Olsen took law enforcement to a place where he said the body was buried up Spanish Fork Canyon. Despite an extensive search, no body was located.
Eryk Drej was sentenced in 2010 for shooting his brother in the chest, killing him in 2005. Police reports state Drej shot his brother, Lukasz, because he believed Lukasz was going to kill a woman and sell her organs on the black market.
Prosecutors determined Drej suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and he rotated through the Utah County Jail and the Utah State Hospital for five years before being sentenced to spend up to 15 years in the Utah State Prison.
In a parole hearing in 2018, Drej chose to talk about furnishing prison cells with bidets, blaming his poor memory on a head injury and refusing to take his anti-psychotic medications.
Drej will have another parole hearing in April 2024. Should he not be released on parole at that time, his sentence term expires Oct. 20, 2025.