Ruby Jessop recently escaped from a breakaway Mormon sect known as the FLDS. The group openly practices polygamy, and are controlled and ruled by their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.
Jessop was forced to marry a cousin when she was fourteen years old. She was able to escape along with her six children. Gary Tuchman tells her story.
We have been coming to the twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona for many years covering stories about the thousands of devoted followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who live, govern and police the towns. Also known as the FLDS, members of the breakaway Mormon sect openly practice polygamy.
Each time we come here, we are noticed the minute we drive into either town. These are not the kind of towns where outsiders would have a reason or need to stop. There aren't any shops, restaurants or businesses that cater to the outside world. So the minute an outsider does arrive, they are noticed and met with skepticism. Children ride horses and are dressed like everyone else, in traditional FLDS clothing. They are controlled and ruled by their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs. You don’t see children playing with toys or riding bikes. They are usually found working on homes or in fields with their parents. FULL POST
Authorities are concerned polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs believes the world will end before 2013. The jailed FLDS prophet controls his followers from behind bars, and could be delivering a dangerous doomsday message. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
Read more about what law enforcement is monitoring in the FLDS communities.
Officials in Texas filed suit to seize the compound where the followers of imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs live. KTVK investigative reporter Michael Watkiss has been covering the polygamous sect for years. He reports from the Utah-Arizona border.
What everyone’s talking about:
Since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his vice presidential pick on Saturday, the country’s been learning more about Rep. Paul Ryan. He has already hit the campaign trail on his own starting in Iowa, and political pundits are debating The Ryan Factor – how he’ll transform Romney’s campaign. CNN’s Tom Foreman takes a look at Ryan’s personal life, including his exercise obsession, and that one time he drove the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. John King, Gloria Borger and Ron Brownstein discuss the changing nature of the Romney ticket and what voters in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin may do in November.
It seems that Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the polygamist FLDS sect who was convicted for sexually assaulting underage girls, is still firmly in control of his followers. The police force in Colorado City, Arizona is no exception. The complaints against them have led federal authorities to take action to protect non-FLDS residents. CNN’s Gary Tuchman reports.
The polygamous community in Colorado City, Arizona is controlled in almost every way by the FLDS church. Even the local police put the interests of their imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs, above the law.
Citizens outside of the religious group say they're victims of intimidation and cruel vandalism, which includes the torture of helpless animals. The police have done nothing to help.
A recent effort by Arizona legislators to shut down the police department was not successful. The state's Attorney General took action and is using about half a million dollars to provide patrols in the area. The new county sheriffs are trying to enforce the law and make change in a town resistant to outsiders.
Michael Watkiss and CNN's Gary Tuchman say polygamist leader Warren Jeffs still controls his followers from behind bars.
An agent working for U.S. and Saudi intelligence agencies infiltrated al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and helped foil a plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airplane, sources told CNN on Monday. The agent left Yemen with the explosive device, which is now being analyzed by the FBI. One source told CNN the device was designed to be worn in clothing. Anderson spoke to our panel of security experts who said the operation was “brilliant,” but also discussed the risks in exposing it.
Critics say police in Colorado City, Arizona, ignore laws and remain loyal to jailed polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs.
The Arizona Senate passed legislation that would abolish the police department there and end corruption, but it failed to pass in the House. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
As you drive into Colorado City, Arizona you can't help but feel blown away by the picturesque scenery. The mountain range is so beautiful; it's a shame that very few people have seen the area that is only a few hours from Las Vegas. It's no secret that visitors aren't welcome here.
Gary Tuchman and I have been coming to the FLDS town for several years to report on their leader and convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs. We’ve done stories on the way he runs the polygamous sect in the area also known as Short Creek. Journalists who have worked out there know there are challenges to covering stories in the area. The minute anyone from the media arrives, text messages are sent around the community alerting everyone not to talk with them.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with AC361°