April is here, and Easter is upon us once again. I hope you all spend time this weekend rejoicing in the wonderful knowledge that Christ has conquered death, and through Him, we have eternal life.
Well, by the end of this weekend, I will finish the last page of my Snake Oil manuscript, and then I will send it to my editor for revisions. Look out for chapter one of the book a few weeks before publishing.
A while ago, I learned that the very best business practice is keeping your word. By giving someone your promise, you are transferring trust, honesty, and credibility to your transactions. I think most people would agree with that philosophy—except for Mark Hoffman.
At the age of 14, Hoffman took his first missions trip to Bristol, England, as a Mormon. While there, he developed an interest in searching for rare Mormon documents in antiquities shops. As he grew older, Mark focused his search on historical documents associated with the inception of Mormonism. By this time, Hoffman had become an atheist, but the lust for admiration from the Mormon community consumed him.
Hoffman offered to sell some of his items to collectors when word spread of his rare memorabilia. One of the first documents, called “The Salamander letter,” he forged. The authentication of his letter from antiquity dealers bolstered his ego and spurred him onto more elaborate forgeries.
Years later, Hoffman bragged of an entire collection of journals and letters from Mormonism’s founding fathers. With the help of a banker, who put up the collateral for the purchase, Hoffman set the sale at six figures. All seem “a go” until the buyers demanded delivery sooner than had expected, which proved to be a more arduous task than predicted.
Mark panicked and decided to do away with those who could expose him as a swindler. Thus, he built three bombs. One killed a business companion, the second killed a partner’s wife (in error), and the third went off while Hoffman handled the box.
At the same time, Hoffman recovered from his injuries, the investigation into the motive for the bombings began. After all the usual avenues returned no evidence, the investigation turned to the victims and the sale of Hoffman’s collection.
However, the forensic examination of the items proved more challenging than imagined. The forged documents displayed a high level of expertise that the papers fooled several antiquities’ experts. Yet, in time, they had enough proof to convict Hoffman of forgery. In 1985, Hoffman pled guilty to the bombings that killed two people.
Mark Hoffman proved that his ego was worth more to him than his word.
Well, friends, there is your interesting crime story for the month. I hope you enjoy them.
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Until next month,