It may appear like the chances of being surrounded by psychopathic people with dark, violent instincts lying beneath their skin are slim, but they aren’t. After all, the most terrifying criminals frequently hide in plain sight by conducting relatively regular lives, only to reveal their true nature when confronted with unique opportunities. And that’s exactly what ‘American Monster: Band of Brothers’ investigates by investigating Brenda Wright Lafferty’s infamous 1984 homicide. So, if you want to know everything there is to know about this subject, we’ve got you covered.

Brenda Lafferty

Brenda Lafferty

Brenda Lafferty’s Cause of Death

Brenda Wright Lafferty was not just a broadcast journalism major at Brigham Young University when she died at the age of 24, but she was also a happily married mother. Her and her husband, Allen Lafferty, had welcomed a beautiful baby girl called Erica into their lives only 15 months before, but the toddler, too, died. According to sources, the couple was devoted to their family as well as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, completely unaware that radical attitudes within the latter would have an impact on the females’ lives.

On July 24, 1984, an unconcerned Allen arrived home from work in the peaceful hamlet of American Fork, Utah, to discover his wife in a pool of blood in the kitchen and their daughter propped up in her cot. The officials had no choice but to launch an investigation into the double murder because both of their throats had been cut open in such a terrible manner. That’s when it was discovered that the ambitious young woman had been battered and strangled with a vacuum cleaner string before her throat and Erica’s were cut.

Brenda Lafferty was Murdered

Brenda and Erica Lane Lafferty were murdered by Allen’s brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who were fueled by fundamentalism, delusions of grandeur, and a childhood filled with violence. The Laffertys were once regarded as pillars of the local Mormon society due to their ostensibly strong family values, but things were different behind closed doors. In other words, as children, the [eight] siblings — Ron being the oldest, Dan being the youngest, and Allen being the youngest — were subjected to cruelty by their father, which led them along their chosen road.

Ron and Dan, in particular, grew enamoured with the concept of polygamy as a religious value, and the other Lafferty brothers fell under their influence. According to records, Allen was also beginning to follow in their footsteps, which is when his dedicated wife decided to fight the idea for herself and their family. She may have even influenced Ron’s wife to take their six children and leave him for good after she refused to let him take on another partner, according to the elder brothers.

According to court filings, Ron had a “revelation” from God telling him to “remove” Brenda and Erica as a self-proclaimed prophet. He enlisted the services of Dan and a couple of getaway drivers, and they arrived at Brenda and Allen’s duplex with a slew of knives, a sawed-off shotgun, and ammunition on Pioneer Day 1984. Ron had planned everything meticulously and allegedly didn’t mind harming the 15-month-old because he imagined she “would grow up to be just as wicked as her mother.”

What happened to Dan Lafferty?

Despite the fact that the senseless double murder was largely orchestrated by Ron Lafferty, Dan claimed responsibility for the deaths. As a result, they were both tried separately, and a jury convicted Dan guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and four other felony offences after he represented himself with the help of a standby lawyer.

Dan Lafferty

Dan Lafferty

He was then sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole, to be served concurrently – he was spared the death penalty due to a lone juror holdout. Dan’s conviction was maintained by the Utah Supreme Court on appeal, which means he will spend the rest of his natural life behind prison. He is currently housed in Utah State Prison’s maximum-security facility.