Incident Reports

The following list is a compilation of incidents of vandalism or violence against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint members, homes, meetinghouses, and temples. The list will occasionally include incidents in which media, political, or entertainment personalities make anti-Mormon statements that might correlate with spikes in or foment intolerance against Mormons. This is a work in progress and is by no means complete. If you know of incidents which I have not included or hear about any new incidents, please report them to spamlds@yahoo.com. I'll add them to the chronological list. When possible, please include the date, location, and the source of the information. If the info comes from the web, please include the URL.


20 June 1996

Five LDS chapels in Sandy, Utah spray-painted by vandals.


27 May 2001

Sandy, Utah
Vandals broke into and damaged a LDS meetinghouse causing over $100,000 in damage. Police said it was the worst case they had ever seen. Vandals smashed light fixtures, glass, sprayed fire extinguishers, and damaged every faucet and toilet, causing flooding throughout the building.


26 April 2002

Magna, Utah meetinghouse vandalized. Window broken, cleaning materials spilled out around the building. 


24 February 2003

Vandals in Orem deface LDS meetinghouse.


31 December 2004

Sandy, Utah meetinghouse. "Numerous obscenities and derogatory remarks aimed at homosexuals, blacks and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were spray-painted over the majority of the church's outside walls. There was no vandalism inside the church."


4 January 2006

Elder Morgan Young, a Mormon missionary murdered in Chesapeake, Virginia


8 November 2006

LDS church in Canyon Rim attacked with graffiti, Molotov cocktail.


24 April 2007


Two teens plead guilty to arson in blaze of Sugar House LDS meetinghouse.  Incident occurred 6 November 2006, 


http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_5737686


19 November 2007

Mormon meetinghouse burned down by arsonist.  Here's the story about the building being rebuilt.


5 April 2008

Mormon missionary assaulted in Mesa, Arizona


22 April 2008

LDS family's home sprayed with anti-Mormon grafitti


2 May 2008

LDS missionary assaulted in Richmond, Virginia, leaving him with a broken jaw.


14 August 2008

Cottonwood, Arizona meetinghouse vandalized. Break-in, spray-painted walls and furniture, destroyed artwork on walls, damaged computers in clerk offices, discharged fire extinguishers.


10 September 2008

Arson suspected in fire at the St. Paul Temple (which is actually in Oakdale, Minnesota.)


17 October 2008

Mormon elders attacked in Australia. One of them was hospitalized for multiple stab wounds.


5 November 2008

The Meridian web site (www.ldsmag.com) was brought down by a distributed denial of service attack. Meridian often ran articles supporting California Proposition 8.

7 November 2008

A LDS meetinghouse in Orangevale, California was spray-painted with "No on 8" and "hypocrites."


8 November 2008

LDS meetinghouse in Saint Louis Obispo defaced along with several other Christian churches.


10 November 2008

Five LDS meetinghouses in Layton, Utah had their windows shot out with a BB gun. A crowd of 400 protested in front of the Oakland Temple.


12 November 2008

2500 protesters at the Los Angeles Temple. Some Hispanic women who tried to remove the desecrating signs from the temple grounds were beaten by a mob.
LDS meetinghouse in Sacramento was spray-painted with "No on 8."





A Book of Mormon was set afire on the doorstep of a Mormon meetinghouse in Arapahoe, Colorado


14 November 2008

Envelopes containing suspicious white powder were received at the Salt Lake and Los Angeles temples of the Church, forcing the sacred edifices to be closed, evacuated, and decontaminated. The FBI was involved with the investigation. It was presumed to be related to the recent Proposition 8 passage.

19 November 2008

A Syracuse, NY LDS Seminary building was evacuated and police responded with HAZMAT teams in response to a report of a suspicious package received at the building. Police reacted strongly due to earlier reports in the week of white powder in suspicious packages in Utah and California.


19 November 2008

South Park creators announce "Mormon Musical," which ridicules latter-day saints.

29 November 2008
Protesters harassed visitors at the Mesa Arizona Temple's annual Christmas decoration lighting.


1 Feb 2009

LDS meetinghouse windows broken, "significantly damaged."  Two arrested.


17 February 2009

LDS and Presbyterian churches vandalized in Oregon


2 April 2009

Anti-Mormon protesters disrupt the Mesa Temple Easter Pageant


22 April 2008

The Victoria Advocate, reported the vandalism of a Mormon family's home.


15 May 2009

Suspicious fire in Centerville burns LDS meetinghouse.


17 June 2009 
17 June 2009 

Las Vegas police investigated a religious-based threat made against local family. The incident included a threatening message written on a driveway, a bomb threat, and anti-Mormon grafitti painted on a street nearby. Police put a nearby school on lockdown while they made their investigation. 


11 August 2009 

A LDS meetinghouse in Grand Junction, Colorado was vandalized. No apparent anti-Mormon motive.


24 July 2009

LDS chapel in Medford, Camden County, New Jersey was vandalized by a retired police officer who, in the throes of an psychological episode, was turned down for a job by an LDS church member. According to the Courier Post Online, former police Sgt. Kurt Levins:

"...With a black permanent marker, the 54-year-old defamed an oil painting of Jesus coming out of the heavens, boldly writing a message from 'Lucifer.'"
"Levins -- later determined to be psychotic -- continued down the hall of the red brick church into the chapel room. He defamed a mahogany pulpit on the altar, etching into it a threatening message to Mormon legend Porter Rockwell. Then, he fired nine shots into the back paneling of the altar and left."
http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20110220/NEWS01/102200344/Church-break-in-miraculously-under-wraps
Amazingly, this story was kept out of the press by request of the police department and cooperation from local Mormon leaders.  Levin, who faced up to 10 years incarceration for the charges, received probation with conditions that he be periodically tested to ensure he remained on his medications and prohibits him from owning firearms. 

14 August 2009 

Cottonwood, Arizona LDS church vandalized


4 September 2009

Missionaries in Guyana arrested on immigration charges.  Political motives were suspected because the LDS members were predominantly represented in the opposition party.


6 October 2009

Two apparently drunk men broke and stole a 30-pound replica of the Book of Mormon off a statue on Temple Square.


9 October 2009

Two teens arrested for vandalism of a meetinghouse in Alvin, Texas


12 October 2009

Five LDS meetinghouses in Utah had windows broken, rocks with message "Stop spreading your lies, pagans."


16 November 2009

Authorities are investigating a case of vandalism of Mormon headstones in a historical cemetery in a Wyoming ghost town.


28 November 2009

Two men shot at a Church dance in Ontario, California. According to the linked source, The men were
"attending a dance at the church when a fight broke out and an unknown number of suspects opened fired outside. Police did not know whether the two men were targeted or were hit randomly. No one has been arrested and the motive for the shooting is under investigation.

This one may not be related to anti-Mormonism, but I've learned not to discount it because investigations often turn up surprising facts or sometimes individual incidents are part of a string of related events.


January 2010

An LDS family in the vicinity of Sacramento, California (Natomas) had their car vandalized with anti-Mormon messages


18 January 2010

A suspicious package was left in the parking lot of an LDS meetinghouse in Menifee, California (between L.A. and San Diego). A police hazardous response team investigated and found a rock wrapped up in a package to appear like an explosive device. Police consider it a malicious prank.


27 January 2010
Man arrested in a month-long hate-crime spree that defaced several churches with anti-Christian and anti-Semitic grafitti. The individual is also a suspect in the setting of a fire at a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Snoqualmie, Washington. The arrested man's family claim the suspect is mentally ill.

19 April 2010

Two LDS meetinghouses in Idaho Falls, Idaho were damaged by rocks thrown through plate glass windows on doors and classrooms. The rocks had anti-Mormon slogans like "Read the Bible," "Joseph Smith was a liar," and "Mormonism is false" written on them.




May 17 2010

Police are seeking a man who tried to set fire to the Los Angeles Temple.  According to a KTKA report, the suspect entered the Church property around 10:30 a.m. carrying combustible material in backpack.  The man was monitored on security cameras. He was unable to get inside the locked doors, but a few hours later a suspicious fire broke out in a garden are on the temple grounds.  A picture and description of the suspect is found at the link below:


29 August 2010

A Mormon bishop, Clay Sannar, was fatally shot in a Church in Visalia, California on Sunday after services. The suspect, whose name has not been released, entered the Church asking to speak to a Church leader. The suspect shot Bishop Sannar in the foot and dragged him into the foyer and then shot the Bishop in the face, according to witnesses. The suspect, who was not a member of the Church, was found by police and killed after an exchange of gunfire. Police have not established a motive in the killing. Bishop Sannar leaves behind a wife and six sons. Please pray for the Sannar family in this time of grief and bereavement.
See links below for details:


Visalia shooter was a former member who turned anti-Mormon.  Stanislaus county court shows in 2000, Ward and his wife both attempted suicide, suffocated their pets, and wrote anti-gay and anti Mormon slurs on their apartment walls. Two years later Ward's mother called police saying her son was acting crazy and threatening to kill people. Then in 2004, ward was arrested for making death threats against a Mormon Church leader and police saying “I'm gonna kill that police chief and lots of cops.”


8 September 2010

A West Linn, Oregon police spokesman asked for the public's help to find he vandals who spray-painted anti-Mormon slurs at a new meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sgt. Neil Hennelly said a church maintenance supervisor found graffiti on Aug. 29 against "Mormans." Hennelly says church officials told him they suffered vandalism "10 or 12" times while the meeting house was under construction but never reported it to police.

The slurs were accompanied by a spray-painted image of a bong-style marijuana pipe. The police spokesman noted there were long, contentious discussions over city planning and zoning issues. Anti-Mormons organized to block the construction of the building and held it up in the zoning board.  The Church announced its intent to build on the property in 2002.  After a court battle that included two trips to the Oregon Supreme Court,  they returned to West Linn officials in late 2005 with a plan that added land and agreed to add trees and a 6-foot-high brick wall to help muffle noise.





16 October 2010


A LDS meetinghouse in Mukilteo, Washinton was destroyed by a fire. Investigators have determined that the cause was arson. The local authorities and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are investigating the incident.


Update 20 November 2010:


Investigators determine that a Molotov cocktail was the cause of ignition of the fire.




http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/theblotter/2013477978_police_molotov_cocktail_ignite.html

23 October 2010


Pleasant Grove, Utah LDS church was vandalized and burned by a group of teenagers.  Three boys and one girl, ages 13-14 were seen by witnesses and charged by police.


http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/article_7fdb350f-49a2-5b2e-8278-af6d1a5df814.html

30 October 2010
Two LDS meetinghouses burned in Salt Lake City, believed to be arson.  The chapels torched were located at 2702 South Main and 3219 S. 300 East.  Individuals with information are asked to call the South Salt Lake Police at 801-840-4000.


http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700077570/Two-LDS-meetinghouses-burn-in-South-Salt-Lake.html?pg=1


Update: On 26 July 2011, Patrick Ehat pleaded guilty to charges of arson.  The arsonist was sentenced to probation, restitution, and completing a mental health program.  The offender apparently suffers from mental illness, was estranged from his family.  He was formerly a missionary for the Church before he was excommunicated.  Ehat admitted to police investigators that he had a grudge against the Church since his excommunication--that would qualify this as an anti-Mormon church burning.


http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705388202/Arsonist-who-caused-400K-damage-to-2-Mormon-meetinghouses-gets-probation.html


http://www.fox13now.com/news/local/kstu-suspect-arrest-in-alleged-church-fires,0,5806771.story

21 December 2010
Mark Eric Bayne, 36, of Salt Lake City, threatened to kill Mormons on his Facebook page, resulting in his arrest.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Bayne used his Facebook page" to post a status update on Nov. 26 that referred to Mormons as the 'worst form of humanity' and made threats to 'take at least thirty of their women and children [at the cost of each man] EVER DAY,' the complaint states.  The message continues on to label “primary targets,” whose identities have been redacted from the complaint."

The SLTrib web site reports  that Bayne "appeared before U.S. Magistrate Sam Alba on Friday and will next appear in court on Tuesday. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted of the charge. Bayne is being held in the Davis County Jail under the custody of U.S. Marshals until his detention hearing next week."



2 February 2011
A LDS meetinghouse was vandalized in Rancho Palos Verdes, authorities reported Tuesday.  This is the third in a series of vandalism/graffiti incidents against non-mainstream Christian churches in the area.  Two other churches vandalized were a Jehovah's Witness kingdom hall and a Seventh-Day Adventist church.


14 March 2011

Two Mormon churches in Jacksonville, Florida were defaced.  According to the article:

"Richard Lee Settle was arrested after his Visa debit card was discovered at the site of one of the desecrations. At the Mormon church at 5100 Firestone Road, there were three scrolls spray-painted in red, blue and black paint and a “suspicious package,” containing tobacco products and the debit card, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported. Graffiti around the building included a Star of David, a question mark, a plus sign, a multiplication sign, the word “dragon,” and a reference to a Biblical verse."

A second LDS church at another location was defaced in the exact same manner.  According to the source:

"Investigators reported that Settle has been known to target Jewish facilities, Mormon facilities and federal government buildings for about 15 years and has done so in a similar fashion, usually identifying himself as the culprit."


18 March 2011
An LDS meetinghouse was vandalized in Orland, California.  Police say it appears to be the work of juveniles and is probably not a hate crime.  Approximately $600 in damages resulted from the vandals discharging a fire extinguisher and trying to start a fire with some religious pamphlets.


Source: http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_17642600

13 May 2011

Police are investigating the seventh incident, yes SEVENTH, incident of vandalism at the Richlands, Washington temple siince January of this year.  According to the KVEW-TV web site, "Five of the incidents have involved someone throwing rocks or bricks through glass windows or doors.Two of the incidents have involved tires being slashed on vehicles parked at the temple."


Source: http://www.kvewtv.com/article/2011/may/13/richland-police-investigate-vandalism-lds-temple/ 

20 July 2011

LDS meetinghouse in Cookeville, Tennessee was vandalized with Christian religious graffiti.  A cross was painted on the side of the building with the words "Amen" and "Why? Because he first loved us."  Police are investigating the vandalism.  Members are concerned because of the clear religious overtones of the graffiti.  



26 July 2011

LDS meetinghouse vandalized in Missoula, Montana vandalized.  A high school across the street was apparently the primary target, but the LDS meetinghouse had some windows broken.  This was probably not related to anti-Mormonism, but we record all instances of vandalism in case a pattern emerges.  


3 December 2011

Graffiti at a Mormon meetinghouse in Rowland Heights, California is being investigated at a hate crime . Authorities have not yet released any information about the nature of the crime at this time.  


15 December 2011

"Police and fire crews are investigating an arson-caused fire that heavily damaged an LDS Church stake house" in Santaquin, Utah.  


Update from 7 March 2012: One of the two teens involved, an unnamed 16 year-old, pleaded guilty to arson in court.  A second suspect, age 17,  will stand trial shortly.

Sources: 

Update #2:

22 March 2012 - The second suspect in the arson incident pleaded guilty to charges.


23 December 2011

LDS meetinghouse in Pocatello, Idaho vandalized.  Police noticed lights on in the building around 6:30 a.m. and investigated, finding a 22 year-old male inside trashing the building.  The man claimed at first to be a custodian, but was later found to have no association with the Church.  The man was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.



4 February 2012


LDS meetinghouse, two homes, and several cars were vandalized in Fruitland, Davis County, Utah. The meetinghouse was sprayed with graffiti that read "Psalms 144:1."  The verse says, "Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight."  One of the homes was sprayed with "Jesus loves me" and the third with unspecified vulgarity.  Police believe this isn't a hate crime, but the work of juveniles.



14 March 2012

Mormon missionaries' car torched in St. George, Utah in incident of arson.




14 June 2012

Riverside County (California) sheriff’s deputies have arrested two men and two boys suspected of vandalizing a Mormon church Thursday, June 14, in Jurupa Valley.

Diego Desantiago and Enrique Gomez, both 18 and of Jurupa Valley, were arrested for investigation of burglary, committing a hate crime and conspiracy, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20120620-jurupa-valley-4-suspects-arrested-in-church-vandalism.ece

Follow-up,  31 December 2012:

Four police investigators are being awarded the Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate by the Anti-Defamation League for their work in rapidly solving and making arrests for the 14 June 2012 incident.




29 June 2012

Tolleson, Arizona meetinghouse fire determined to be a case of arson.





3 July 2012

LDS meetinghouse in Cedar City, Utah the target of vandalism.

http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20120703/NEWS01/307030001/Vandals-tear-up-inside-LDS-church?nclick_check=1




7 October 2012

Soda bottle bombs found at a Hagerstown, Maryland LDS chapel.  Police investigated report of 13 soda bottle bombs, described as "chemical-reaction devices."  The bottles contained hydrochloric acid and aluminum foil.  Ten of the items had exploded and the remainder were secured by the fire department.  A neighbor notified police when the devices were spotted.

http://articles.herald-mail.com/2012-10-07/news/34310133_1_soda-bottle-bombs-hydrochloric-acid-church-of-jesus-christ


12 November 2012

Teen jailed for causing $40,000 damages to LDS chapel.  According to The Frontiersman:

“Multiple computers throughout the building were destroyed, door handles knocked off many of the doors damaging the door and handle in the process, bathroom mirrors destroyed, electronic components for the building systems destroyed, pictures destroyed, damage to the pulpit, damage (to the church’s organ),” Peters wrote. “The clean up alone for the fire extinguisher mess cost $14,000 because of the powder getting into the ventilation system. That needed to be done twice.”
http://www.frontiersman.com/news/teen-jailed-for-causing-damage-to-lds-ward-building/article_040f911c-2d51-11e2-8b5e-0019bb2963f4.html



6 May 2013

State and federal authorities investigated a fire at a Mormon meetinghouse in Ogden, Utah.  Cause of the fire was a Molotov cocktail incendiary device thrown into the building.  Damage was limited to the kitchen area of the building where the device had been thrown in a window.  The ATF and FBI are investigating.




13 May 2013

Three teens were arrested for torching a LDS chapel in Magna, Utah.  Damage has been estimated at $500,000. No motives were given for the arson.



28 May 2013

Mormon and Catholic churches were threatened by a self-proclaimed "jihadist" in Fort Collins, Colorado.  According to KDVR.com's web site:

“Specific threats” were made against both Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Catholic church, Sgt. Paul Wood said. The suspect, a white male in his early 30s with brown hair and green eyes, has had previous run-ins with police, including one incident in which he claimed to be an arch angel from the Bible.

The man has been known to wear t-shirts around his face to hide his appearance, police said. He has also been seen driving a white Honda coupe spray painted with anti-government and anti-religion slogans.

Police asked anyone who sees the suspect to contact law enforcement.



Coincidentally, the groundbreaking for the Fort Collins temple is scheduled for August 24th.  The temple has been opposed by anti-Mormons in the area.  See the following link for details.



19 Aug 2013

A Bozeman, Montana LDS meetinghouse was vandalized.  The suspect(s) broke a window, bypassing a locked door, and spray-painted the word "sheep" throughout the interior of the building. Authorities say that there may be a link to vandalism of nearby Baptist and Catholic churches in the area a month ago.

http://www.kpax.com/news/mormon-church-in-bozeman-vandalized/#_



7 Nov 2013

Three Chubbock, Idaho LDS meetinghouses were vandalized with anti-Mormon epithets.  Police are investigating the incident, which is similar to another instance of vandalism several months ago.

http://www.kpvi.com/content/news/local/story/Police-Vandalism-Technically-a-Hate-Crime-Still/FFZIy63vP0OOx7zuNICZqQ.cspx



25 Feb 2014

Police arrested two men and charged them with burglarizing a Mormon meetinghouse in Schoharie, New York on 1/27/2014.  One suspect wore a devil mask to hide his identity during the crime.  





Next???





4 comments:

  1. It looks like it has been escalating in the last three years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There was a real spike in 2007-2008, probably due to four factors:

    1. Romney's prominence in the GOP primaries.
    2. The use of anti-Mormonism to defeat Romney.
    3. The distribution of more than 30,000 anti-Mormon videos by a Mesa, Arizona.
    4. Backlash from Proposition 8.

    Things have died down a little since 2008, but we expect to see another surge in 2012 if Romney gets the nomination.

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_5737686

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anti Mormonism is like the Nazi propaganda. I'm a Jewish Ashkenazi convert to Mormon and I love the Gospel! This is the Lord's Church. We should fight legally against such hate monging

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading and commenting!