The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice
Rebecca Musser, M. Bridget Cook
Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family's polygamous lifestyle from the "dangerous" outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren's father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.
The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca's subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life.
THE WITNESS WORE RED is a gripping account of one woman's struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.
family, until we realized why: the missing person reports! “They’ll do anything to keep Sherrie and Ally from police and media, won’t they?” I said to my sisters. “Otherwise, they’ll have to admit they’ve not complied with a missing person report for three years!” We cried for all of these women, yet we were genuinely grateful to Texas for following through where Utah and Arizona hadn’t had the guts. Ben, however, was livid with me. “Why don’t you let it go?” he asked. “That part of our lives
air. Obviously most had made their way here onto the YFZ, but some were still unaccounted for. They might have been holed up in houses of hiding across the country, still awaiting the commands Warren still issued from prison. But I knew that other Mormon extremists had used Blood Atonement to excuse the ritual killings of family members, like Ervil LeBaron of the LeBaron family, who had continued to issue death sentences from behind prison walls. I had never been inclined to blow things out of
to the human drama unfolding before their eyes—and helped wherever you could to bring truth and compassion. I would not be the advocate I am today without the professional support and coaching of powerful, inspiring mentors who helped me to heal myself before reaching out to serve others: my special Idaho counselors—you know who you are; Dr. Larry Beall; Dave Blanchard, Og Mandino Group; Mike Johnstone; Michael Ken; Tiffany Berg; Carrie Purser; Kevin and Sherry Hall; Pat and Jack Lawson; Greg
with a message of the truthfulness of the gospel. This visitation would begin the restoration of the gospel on the earth. Later Joseph received a visitation from John the Baptist, who conferred upon him the authority to baptize; and one from Peter, James, and John, who conferred upon him the authority to organize the Church in 1830. In the early 1830s, Joseph quietly instituted the principle of polygamy, although it would not be publicly discussed and upheld until 1852. After Joseph and his
Everywhere we went, people pointed at us, took pictures, or followed us in menacing-looking vehicles. The God Squad had expanded its fleet since we’d been here last. Finally we made it to Ben’s house, where we greeted his parents and many of his younger siblings. We noticed the God Squad stayed nearby. At four months, Kyle’s eyes remained as startlingly big and blue as they had at birth. As Ben’s parents held him and played with him, they were entranced. “I can’t believe how absolutely perfect