I’m not quite sure how my fascination with polygamy began. It may have been a news report that sparked my curiosity, or perhaps it was an article in a magazine, or an interview on a talk show. However it started, I’m usually unable to pass up the chance to read the memoir of someone who chose to share their personal experiences of such a life.
The Polygamist’s Daughter is the memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious Ervil LeBaron. Ervil was the self-proclaimed “prophet” of the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God. As leader of this polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group, LeBaron ordered the murders of 25+ people, citing the doctrine of blood atonement as justification for killing rival leaders, members of his family, and followers. It began with the murder of brother Joel LeBaron in 1972, and finally ended seven years after his death with the “4 O’Clock Murders” in 1988—carried out by seven members of his family, who killed their targets at exactly 4pm.
Anna’s childhood was spent being moved from one location to another, often in the dead of night, in an effort to prevent the authorities from tracking down her father. Often separated from her mother and siblings, her childhood years were marked with uncertainty and fear, living in poverty and having very little contact with her father. When she was 13, Anna made the decision to leave the cult, and it changed her life forever—but it was not without long-term consequences.
LeBaron’s writing style is engaging, drawing you in without over-dramatizing even the most shocking events of her life. She tells her story in a straightforward manner that reflects not only the wisdom she’s gained over the years, but also the strength that came out of enduring hardship and devastation… culminating in a spiritual peace that was lacking when she was a child.
Definitely worth reading if this is a subject you’re curious about.
Author: Anna LeBaron
Title: The Polygamist’s Daughter
Published: March 21st, 2017 by Tyndale House
“My father had more than fifty children.”
So begins the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. With her father wanted by the FBI for killing anyone who tried to leave his cult—a radical branch of Mormonism—Anna and her siblings were constantly on the run with the other sister-wives. Often starving and always desperate, the children lived in terror. Even though there were dozens of them together, Anna always felt alone.
She escaped when she was thirteen . . . but the nightmare was far from over.
A shocking true story of murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is also the heart-cry of a fatherless girl and her search for love, faith, and a safe place to call home.
About the Author
One of more than fifty children of infamous, polygamist cult leader, Ervil LeBaron, Anna LeBaron endured abandonment, horrific living conditions, child labor, and sexual grooming. At age thirteen, she escaped the violent cult, gave her life to Christ, and sought healing. A gifted communicator and personal growth activist, she’s passionate about helping others walk in freedom. Anna lives in the DFW Metroplex and loves being Mom to her five grown children.
Author photo and bio via Goodreads.