A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though there are explosions and flashier plot drivers in this series, the real shocks are delivered through careful investigation and examination of documents. Learning how they're forged (**SPOILER**) are the most fascinating parts of the show, and it's satisfying that even a "rock star" forger had his secrets revealed.
Positive Role Models
Both the Mormon leadership and the man who sought to dupe them (and get rich in the process) come off badly here. The methodic work of investigators and forensics specialists is impressive, as is the willingness of people who were ensnared in Hofmann's crimes to honestly explore their involvement.
Violence & Scariness
As suggested in the title, murders are at the center of this docuseries. We see the gruesome aftermath of the bombings, partially glimpse at least one dead body, and see that Mark Hofmann's fingers were partially blown off.
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Products & Purchases
Hofmann is depicted as obsessed with making as much money as possible and keeping his lavish lifestyle afloat.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Descriptions of drinking excursions illustrate how Mark Hofmann and some of his associates were living in ways inconsistent with their Mormon faith. The prosecutor mentions a few times that he was a heavy drinker.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Murder Among the Mormons is a limited docuseries about the 1985 bombing homicides in Salt Lake City, the investigation into the murders, the complicated life of the murderer, and his relationship to the Mormon church. Police and news footage from the time show a dead body and bloody scenes from the explosions that took two lives and injured many others, including the show's central character, rare-documents dealer Mark Hofmann. Re-creations are shown throughout the series to depict events in Hofmann's life, including his alcohol drinking (verboten for practicing Mormons), how the bombs were built, and other period details.
Is It Any Good?
Even though the murderer here isn't much of a mystery, his motivations, methods, and the details of his deception are fascinating and unfold at a quick, addictive pace. Once viewers get to the end of this twisty true crime story, they'll wonder how 35 years passed before it made it to the screen. Co-directors Jared Hess (who grew up Mormon and is best known for Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom bring a deep understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, how the documents that drive the story affected the church leadership, and why a dealer in historical documents would be considered a rock star.
Some of the real-life participants in the story are downright cinematic, particularly bow-tied Shannon Flynn, who had a passion for Uzis in his younger days, and prosecutor Gerry D'Elia, a skier and drinker whose team cracked the case. Equally visual are aspects of the Mormon origin story, much of which is likely unknown to many viewers, and the documents that could have undermined the faith.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.