Header Image Source: Photo by Yon Montoto on Unsplash
1. Mountain Meadows Massacre site, southern Utah, Len Wilcox / Alamy Stock Photo
2. Brigham Young as photographed by Charles William Carter, Hi-Story / Alamy Stock Photo
3. John D. Lee pre-execution photo, Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo
"The massacre, in 1857, was one of the most explosive episodes in the history of the American West—not only were 120 men, women and children killed, but the United States and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost went to war. The denouement of the so-called Utah War set Utah on the path to statehood and the Mormons on a long and fitful accommodation to secular authority, but the Mountain Meadows Massacre remained a focus of suspicion and resentment for decades. The church issued a statement on the role its members played in the killings in 2007, and opened its archives to three scholars—Richard E. Turley Jr., a Latter-day Saint historian, and Brigham Young University professors Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard—for their book, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, published in 2008. But in the aftermath of the massacre, only one participant was brought to trial, and that was John D. Lee..."
Source: “The Aftermath of Mountain Meadows” by Gilbert King (Smithsonian Magazine) 2012
1. Nicole van den Hurk
2. Andy van den Hurk - from Andy's Twitter
"[Nicole van den Hurk was born] on July 4th, 1980 to her mother Angelika Tegtmeier and an unknown man in Germany, Nicole would never grow up with her birth father. Actually, at the time that she was born, her mother wasn’t completely sure who had fathered her. She decided to have a blood test done when Nicole was one year old, which identified a married man that lived in the same community. While his name would be added to her birth certificate, he wasn’t really involved in any capacity in Nicole’s life.
Angelika would raise Nicole as a single mother for the first few years until she met a Dutchman name Ad Van Den Hurk. The couple would get married and move to the Netherlands, where he would raise Nicole like his own child. Unfortunately, the marriage was very short-lived, and when Nicole was 9 years old, her mother and stepfather divorced. It’s unclear to me exactly what Angelika’s living situation was, but for some reason, this man was awarded custody of Nicole. It is rare for a judge to award custody to a non-biological male who is divorcing the child’s biological mother.
Now living with her stepfather in the Netherlands, a new stepmother named Jolanda would eventually come along, as well as some new stepsiblings. I couldn’t find any indication that her life growing up was anything other than typical.
That is until 1995. For Nicole, it was the worst kind of year a person could experience. In April of 1995, her mother, who she had become somewhat estranged from, had taken her own life. This would have been really difficult for Nicole, who was now 15 years old and could have really used her mother’s presence in her life.
And then, later that fall, Nicole would vanish. The date was October 6th, 1995 and Nicole went to visit her grandmother earlier in the day before heading over to work her part-time shift at a bakery. She took off on her bicycle from her grandmother’s home, but she would never make it to work. Her boss tried to call her at home, but she wasn’t there. When her parents learned that Nicole had never made it to work, they phone the police immediately. At around 6 pm, the local police force launched a small search of the neighborhood. It didn’t take them too long to make a shocking discovery - Nicole’s bicycle was partially submerged in the river. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Nicole nearby, and no other clues were found that might point to what happened to her..."
Source: “Her Brother Falsely Confessed to Have DNA Tested: The Murder of Nicole van den Hurk” by Nik (NewsBreak)