Mormons Posthumously Baptize Notorious Killers

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Killers: Bundy (top left), Dahmer, Gein, Gacy (bottom left), Bishop, McVeigh

Mass murderers and serial killers are among the millions of deceased who have been posthumously baptized in temples owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). These names include the modern-day dictators and mass murderers — Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong. Other multiple murderers have been posthumously baptized in Mormon temples, like prolific serial killer, Ted Bundy.

Bundy, who was once a Mormon, is one of the most infamous serial killers in U.S. history. His primary occupation in life was the murder and mutilation of young women. He also engaged in necrophilia, which is a sexual attraction to corpses. Bundy destroyed many innocent lives — and his victims may have numbered over 100. Nevertheless, Ted Bundy was baptized by proxy on May 28, 2008, in the Jordan River, Utah, (LDS) Temple.

According to Mormon theology, Ted Bundy can now accept or reject his Mormon rebaptism to improve his status in the hereafter. On Jan. 23, 1989, in an interview he gave just hours before his execution, recorded on video and titled Fatal Addiction, Bundy had difficulty coming to terms with his murderous history and impending execution. Bundy was a cold-blooded killer who expressed no feelings of remorse for his crimes.

While they were alive, serial killers, such as Ted Bundy, lived to destroy lives. Evidently, some Mormons think that after death and Mormon temple rituals — as if by some magical transformation — depraved killers, like Bundy, can potentially embrace and perpetually live in the presence of God. Otherwise, why perform “saving” rites for dead murderers?

LDS temple rituals are performed by living church members as proxies for the deceased. “Temple work” for the dead includes: baptism, confirmation, priesthood ordination (for males), initiatory and endowment ceremonies, sealing to spouse, and sealing of children to parents. Mormons believe these “ordinances” offer salvation to (non-LDS) deceased.

The LDS Church usually blames its errant membership and the high volume of temple submissions for the questionable names that are processed in LDS temples, which would include the names of “celebrity killers.” However, baptizing deceased murderers on a routine basis downplays the seriousness of murder, cheapens life, and creates the illusion that even the worst criminals can easily be absolved of the consequences of their crimes against humanity. Proxy rituals for such destructive individuals are entirely unwarranted.

Mormons may insist that God will be the final judge, but what fair-minded person would baptize Adolf Hitler or Ted Bundy, or, for that matter, any of the 9/11 hijackers who perpetrated a devastating, deadly assault on the United States, crashing airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, causing the deaths of thousands of people? Most of the names of the 19 Arab suicide terrorists, who were intent on destroying American symbols and inflicting mass casualties on 9/11, were submitted into the LDS temple system for temple work. This is not a reverential memorial to the victims who died in one of the most cataclysmic events in world history.

Conversely, and, ostensibly, with little or no regard for the murder victims, the names of many American-born killers have appeared in LDS temple files. In addition to Ted Bundy, here are five examples of other well-known U.S. killers of modern times, whose names have been taken from the lists of the posthumously baptized.

Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer (1960-1994) was a depraved serial killer and sex offender from Milwaukee, Wisc., who confessed to the murders of 17 men and boys from 1978-1991. Dahmer is infamous for the grisly way he killed his victims. His gruesome methods of murder included drugging, rape, torture, strangulation, bludgeoning, stabbing, mutilation, necrophilia, dismemberment, and cannibalism. Dahmer was arrested by police in 1991. At his trial in 1992, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms, for a total of 957 years in prison. On Nov. 28, 1994, Dahmer was beaten to death in prison by a fellow inmate. It is not known if Mormons have performed proxy temple rituals on Jeffrey Dahmer’s behalf. He is listed in LDS temple files, but details of any LDS temple ordinances that may be attached to his entry are flagged as not available.

Edward Theodore Gein (1906-1984) was a deranged murderer and grave robber from Vernon County, Wisc. America has never seen his equal in the field of mental aberration, which included necrophilia, cannibalism, and death fetishism, along with murder and grave robbing. Gein’s crimes, which he committed around his hometown of Plainfield, Wisc., garnered widespread notoriety in the 1950s, after authorities discovered he had exhumed decaying bodies from local graveyards and decorated his home with parts of the corpses stolen from graves. While Gein was only convicted of two murders, the actual number is believed to be much higher. Gein was declared mentally incompetent and unfit to stand trial at the time of his arrest in 1957. He was committed to a state hospital for the rest of his life. In 1968, Gein’s doctors determined he was sane enough to stand trial. Gein was found guilty of first-degree murder, but was judged to be legally insane. He spent the rest of his life in a mental institution in Madison, Wisc., where he died of cancer-related causes on July 26, 1984, aged 78. Edward Theodore Gein was posthumously baptized on April 10, 2009, in the Palmyra, N.Y., (LDS) Temple. He was confirmed in the Medford, Ore., (LDS) Temple on April 17, 2009. Additional proxy rites were performed for Gein in the Newport Beach, Calif., (LDS) Temple in May 2009. Ed Gein was known as “The Butcher of Plainfield.” He is listed by that name on notes attached to his LDS record that includes the details of his temple ordinances.

John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994) was a notorious serial killer from Chicago, Ill., who had an insatiable lust for rape and murder. Gacy’s brutal methods of murder involved drugging, handcuffing, torture, sexual assault, stabbing, suffocation, and strangulation. He killed 33 boys and young men, the majority of whom he buried in a crawl space under the floor of his home. Gacy’s murder trial began in February 1980 in Chicago. In March 1980, the jury found him guilty of murdering 33 people between 1972 and his arrest in 1978. Gacy was convicted of all 33 deaths and sentenced to die. He was put to death by lethal injection on May 10, 1994, at Stateville Correctional Center, Ill. Listed as John Gacy — John Wayne Gacy was posthumously baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS Church in the Twin Falls, Idaho, (LDS) Temple on Sept. 26, 2008. An initiatory ritual was done on Gacy’s behalf in the same LDS temple on October 9, 2008, and an endowment ritual has been reserved for him. A duplicate LDS temple record for Gacy, listing him as John Wayne Gacy Jr., shows a baptism and confirmation are in progress, and initiatory and endowment rituals are on hold.

Arthur Gary Bishop (1951-1988) was an excommunicated Mormon from Hinckley, Utah, who was executed by lethal injection on June 10, 1988, at the Utah State Prison, for five counts of capital murder, five counts of aggravated kidnapping, and one count of sexually abusing a minor. Bishop was a child molester and child killer. He molested boys for many years without being caught. In 1983, Bishop confessed to the murders of five young boys for sexual motives. He led police to three skeletons near Cedar Fort, Utah, and two more corpses near Big Cottonwood Creek. On Jan. 22, 2000, in the Billings, Mont., (LDS) Temple, Arthur Gary Bishop became a rebaptized Mormon by proxy. Other posthumous rituals were done for him in the same LDS temple in 2000 and 2001.

Timothy James McVeigh (1968-2001) was an anti-government activist and mass murderer from Pendleton, N.Y. In June 1997, McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to death by a Denver jury for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which was largely demolished by the explosion of a homemade truck bomb. The bombing, which occurred on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people — including 19 children — and injured hundreds more. It was the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil, until the 9/11 attacks. McVeigh took pride in being the man responsible for the bombing. He showed no remorse for the 168 deaths, and he referred to the 19 children he murdered as “collateral damage.” McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. On Sept. 26, 2008, Timothy McVeigh was posthumously baptized and confirmed in the Twin Falls, Idaho, (LDS) Temple. On Oct. 9, 2008, in the same LDS temple, an initiatory rite was performed on his behalf, followed by an endowment ceremony the next day. On Sept. 26, 2008, Timothy McVeigh was posthumously baptized and confirmed in the Twin Falls, Idaho, (LDS) Temple. On Oct. 9, 2008, in the same LDS temple, an initiatory rite was performed on his behalf, followed by an endowment ceremony the next day.

The LDS Church claims to be the one and only divinely mandated church on Earth — a wholesome, family-oriented religion. Yet, the ghoulish Mormon practice of baptizing mass murderers and psycho killers presents an ungodly and debased standard. When Mormons think they have the power to offer salvation to mass murderers and serial killers, essentially, they are attempting to assign redemption to a dark and unholy place.

Helen Radkey is a Salt Lake City–based researcher into the practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose groundbreaking research showing that the church was continuing to posthumously baptize victims of the Holocaust sparked outrage in recent years. Her most recent article for Pensito Review was The Mormon Church & Polygamy: A Double Standard?, which was published in June.

© Copyright 2009, Helen Radkey — Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

21 Comments

  • Larry
    August 28, 2009 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Have they gotten around to baptizing Adam and Eve yet?

  • August 29, 2009 - 4:53 am | Permalink

    I am a demolition contractor and was asked to look at a significant demolition project at a Mormon Temple in Atlanta. They had to have a special ceremony to make it safe for us heathens to enter. One of the weirdest areas in the building was the room where they baptise the dead. The baptismal was a huge sunken pool with twelve ox head sculptures surrounding it. There was a viewing area behind a big glass wall for select elders of the church to view the baptisms.
    A proxy was used and would enter into the sunken pool and be baptised for some dead person as these elders would watch them. The regular congregation is not allowed in this area. Very creepy stuff.
    At one point our escort told us how fortunate we were to see the inside of the temple as outsiders are not allowed in. Outside of the weird baptismal room it was an ordinary church like building with a lot of offices. That and a bunch of Mormon zombies wandering the halls. Our escort gave us a running summary of Mormon beliefs and history as well. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.
    I din’t get the job as I priced it very high for the “creep” factor. No big loss….
    Mormonism. Like a religion only stranger.

  • August 29, 2009 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Don, that’s a really good story. I didn’t know they used proxies for the baptism but since it’s all make-believe anyway, why not? Anyone who says Mormonism isn’t a cult doesn’t know anything about Mormonism. Sorry you didn’t get the job, but I hear they’re not just crazy, they’re cheap.

  • Jean
    August 30, 2009 - 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Larry didn’t you know that Adam was baptized by the hand of God and Adam and Eve were married by God? LOL. Don’t know if that was before she got knocked up after eating the fruit or if it was a shot gun wedding.

    Larry I am an ex-Mormon as of the last three years and I before that I was working at the temple. It is not THAT creepy; come on. The congregation is not a normal congregation in the temple; the people who are in the baptistry are there only to do baptisms for the dead. Okay I agree that that is creepy especially when you know that they could be baptizing mass murderers. I’m not okay with any of that; just explaining. Their is no congregation as such but those who accompany the people going to do proxy baptisms are most certainly allowed to watch.
    In other parts of the temple other weird stuff is happening. One group might be receiving washings and anointings (all things required by the dead) and others might be watching the movie and doing the dumb hand gestures and stuff. Then there are sealing rooms where couples can have their marriages sealed for eternity or have children sealed to them for eternity. It is all stupid, I realized that after 39 years of extreme activity in the church, but it is not that creepy. It is just dumb and certainly the work being done for dead criminals etc. is insulting to say the least.

  • eqwinter
    August 31, 2009 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Where did you get your information? At what OFFICIAL Mormon source can one find these names?

  • joesdaughter
    September 7, 2009 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

    The practice of necro-dunking is insulting and arrogant. Honorable people are also ‘baptized’. You see, you cannot get into even the lowest kingdom of heaven unless you are Mormon – you have not proven yourself to be worthy. Do I have that right, Jean? My good, decent, hard working committed to their Catholic faith parents, were baptized by an LDS convert relative. It should be no big deal- I should ignore the Magical Thinking.
    But the underlying notion that my parents did not live a life worthy of reward is an outrage.

  • Logan
    September 30, 2009 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Trish, you obviously never been to any mormon services. You cant just assume it is a cult. I thought the same thing until i actually gave it a chance and stopped assuming. So until you stop making assumption, you will never really know.

  • Logan
    September 30, 2009 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Jean, its funny cause you are totally denying the holy ghost…….kinda abig sin! you know exactly what im talking about their big boy!

  • mrs. smith
    October 23, 2009 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    “There was a viewing area behind a big glass wall for select elders of the church to view the baptisms.
    A proxy was used and would enter into the sunken pool and be baptised for some dead person as these elders would watch them. The regular congregation is not allowed in this area.”

    This is very untrue. Any member of the church with a temple recomemend can be here and do the baptisms, men and women all the way day to teens when they turn 14 years old can go.

    I have done baptisms for the dead myself, and it is not creepy at all. It is a service we feel, and these people have every right to reject it as well. Also, I don’t know if these serial killers have had their work done, however, if they had, then they it would not give them any great standing in heaven. They will be punished for their crimes one way or another, whether they choose to accept or deny the blessings.

    Youhave to remember that these awful men, were also brothers, sons, nephews, grandchildren, uncles… the sealing done in the temple binds families together, so we look at it as a family perspective more than anything.

  • Stephen Eiting
    October 27, 2009 - 7:43 am | Permalink

    Because is these baptisms, i have left the church. why should i strive for greatmess in my church when these killers get baptised …FOR MURDER?

  • Elle
    April 6, 2010 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    To be honest the baptizing the dead disturbs me. They have baptized mass murderers and also POPE JOHN PAUL II (i am pretty sure he had no problem finding Jesus) , who knows my grandmother could have been baptized. I don’t want to die and be baptized into the mormon church, I was baptized as a baby and if I wanted to be a mormon I would have converted. I have nothing against the religion, a religion is a religion believe what you want to believe, but the baptizing of the dead scares me.

  • Ruth Whitlock
    April 13, 2010 - 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I find it very strange that these muderers have been baptized after they are dead because live murderers can not be baptized in the Mormon church. They consider it the unforgivable sin. I knew a man once who had served his sentance for murder, was very repentant, and wanted to be baptized in the Mormon church. They denied him baptism. So this is indeed VERY strange!

  • Tina
    October 23, 2010 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    We do NOT go to heaven by our deeds but by faith and the grace of God (John 3:16). The deed of baptising mass murderers, who have no regard for man and God, does nothing…. nothing but make the water dirty.

  • Holly
    November 8, 2010 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    but judge not lest ye be judged…they beleive that everyone must be baptized to be saved and from there it’s up to god and that person …. why is the who an issue…

  • kyle ransom
    January 16, 2011 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    you have to remember folks all this is going on for one reason..its about M O N E Y.our church is all about money for 15 men at the head

  • kyle ransom
    January 16, 2011 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    we will do any thing for money…remember the danites they are our killing arm dont mess with the mormans you think ted bundy was bad you aint seen knother till you see a morman bishop with 2 sawed off shot guns in his hands u gonna dye

  • August 3, 2011 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Why do some religions believe that if you ACCEPT Jesus Christ as your PERSONAL SAVIOR you will be SAVED – EVEN if you are a horrible mortal throughout your life and you ACCEPT him on your death bed YOU WILL BE SAVED – how is THIS different than what Mormons do –

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  • Bring M Young
    July 3, 2012 - 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Mormonism is like a boss mon!

  • Bring M Young
    July 3, 2012 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I recently gave my heart to Elohim, the Mormon Jesus and Joesph Smith. I then felt a strong burning in my bosom. But it turned out to be just a $5 Doritos Taco Box meal I’d consumed churning in me belly. Dangnabit!

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