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Utah Mom Pleads Guilty to Smothering 6 Newborns

Megan Huntsman faces life in prison

(Newser) - A Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage pleaded guilty to six counts of murder today. Megan Huntsman, 39, faces up to life in prison. She will be sentenced April 20. The deaths sent shockwaves through the quiet, mostly Mormon... More »

Utah Hunter Kills Famed 'Grand Canyon' Gray Wolf

Hunter said he thought endangered gray wolf was a coyote

(Newser) - Hundred of miles from its Wyoming home, "914F" wandered to the rocky North Rim of the Grand Canyon last fall—the first gray wolf spotted there in 70 years, the Arizona Republic notes—before heading into Utah, likely searching for food or a mate. But in December, the wolf'... More »

Utah Lawmakers Debate Sex With Unconscious People

Law also applies to spouses, committee member told

(Newser) - A Utah bill stating that unconscious people cannot consent to sex proved to be more controversial than expected when it came before a legislative committee earlier this week. Rep. Brian Greene wondered if it meant that somebody who had sex with an unconscious spouse could be charged with rape, saying... More »

The Creepy Ties Between This Killer, Dead Utah Family

Dan Lafferty says he and Kristi Strack fell in love

(Newser) - Cult leader and convicted killer Dan Lafferty didn't just develop a relationship with Utah couple Benjamin and Kristi Strack, found dead in September along with their three children. Lafferty—whose philosophy states the world is run by the devil and the apocalypse is imminent—says his ideology influenced their... More »

Utah Parents' Apocalyptic Beliefs Led to Kids' Murder

Stracks had spoken of impending doom, police say

(Newser) - Benjamin and Kristi Strack had spoken of escaping "impending doom," relatives told investigators after the Utah couple and their three children were found dead in September —but they thought they were talking about moving somewhere like Montana and living off the grid. Instead, the Stracks killed themselves... More »

Fugitive Who Escaped Jail 34 Years Ago Is Caught

Utah's Sam Gene Harris is being sent back to Mississippi

(Newser) - Police in Utah say they've arrested a man who escaped from a Mississippi jail 34 years ago. Authorities said today that 61-year-old Sam Gene Harris also escaped from jails in Oregon before landing in the small central Utah town of Wellington several years ago. Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood... More »

Boy, 3, Answers Mom's Phone in Stolen Car

Utah boy honked horn so cops could find vehicle

(Newser) - Elizabeth Barrios was separated from her 3-year-old son for 20 terrifying minutes after a thief stole her car while he was inside yesterday—but it could have been a lot longer if he hadn't known how to unlock her phone. The Ogden, Utah, woman left her car unlocked and... More »

Mom Who Inspired Sarah McLachlan Dead at 34

Kathy Taylor of Utah inspired Sarah McLachlan, others

(Newser) - Kathy Taylor, who inspired singer Sarah McLachlan and others, has died in Utah after a fight against cancer while pregnant with her sixth child. She was 34. Taylor died at her home in Bear River on New Year's Eve, four months after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form... More »

Guy Builds Snow Cave to Survive 2 Nights in Canyon

Lawrence Orduno also has frozen Gatorade, lighter to thank

(Newser) - Lawrence Orduno got separated from a friend while snowmobiling in a remote canyon in Utah Saturday, and then his snowmobile got stuck in the snow. But the 48-year-old managed to survive two nights on his own, he told the AP in an interview this week. First, he managed to find... More »

Rare Gray Wolf in Utah Shot by Mistake

Hunter says he thought it was a coyote

(Newser) - A hunter in Utah says he got a startling surprise this weekend after killing a coyote: The coyote turned out to be a gray wolf, a rarity in those parts. The hunter notified state wildlife authorities, who confirmed that he had indeed shot a 3-year-old female wolf near the city... More »

Girl Banned as Hospital Volunteer for Wearing Pants

Utah student Ellie Kaiser was told females can't wear pants at festive fundraiser

(Newser) - Ellie Kaiser was excited to volunteer for the Festival of Trees on Saturday to help raise money for the Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. The high school senior and National Honor Society student put on her most professional attire—a conservative-looking pantsuit she plans to wear to... More »

Troopers Drive Woman Across Utah to See Sick Son

Helen Smith, 87, got pulled over first

(Newser) - When 87-year-old Helen Smith of Nevada learned that her son was near death in a Utah hospital, she hopped in her car and began the 350-mile trip. The problem is that she buzzed by a Utah trooper en route, and he pulled her over to issue a warning, reports KUTV... More »

Dying Girl Flooded With Christmas Cards

Addie Fausett of Utah isn't expected to see another holiday

(Newser) - If doctors are correct that 6-year-old Addie Fausett of Utah won't live to see another Christmas, her family has arranged to make her last one memorable. When Addie, who stopped growing at age 3, said she wanted to have friends like her older sisters, her grandmother took to Facebook... More »

Cops Say Utah Girls Made Up Abduction Story

2 teens bought duct tape they were supposedly bound with: police

(Newser) - Two teen girls from Bountiful, Utah, who claimed to have been kidnapped at knifepoint, kept holed up all day in an SUV, and held overnight in September are now being accused of making the whole story up. The cops investigating the case say the girls appear to have used public... More »

Utah Cops Killed More People Than Gangs

5-year review finds only domestic violence has taken more lives in the state

(Newser) - Police watchdogs have their antennae up at the latest report coming out of Utah: A Salt Lake Tribune review that pored over 300 homicides in the state has found that the most killings there over the past five years weren't at the hands of child abusers, drug dealers, or... More »

Utah Aims to Bring Back Firing Squads

State wants backup method in case of drug shortages

(Newser) - Utah—the only state to have executed somebody by firing squad this century—is talking about bringing back the execution method it recently phased out. A bill to use firing squads when drugs for lethal injections can't be obtained sailed through a legislative committee and will be before the... More »

Woman Tried to Burn Down Ex's House—With Bacon

And her last name is 'Crispi'

(Newser) - What a waste of bacon: A Utah woman angry at her ex-boyfriend admitted to police that she put a pound of bacon on a cookie sheet on top of his gas stove back in March, turned the burner on "high," and left it there—allegedly in an attempt... More »

Cops: Game of Battleship Turned Criminal

Police say teen's cellphone-activated GPS saved her from drunken dad

(Newser) - GPS technology may have saved a Utah teen from major harm after a Battleship game gone wrong. Utah County police say a bunch of 911 calls came in Saturday night, but there was no response on the other end save for the sounds of a female arguing with a man,... More »

Cops: Dad Foils Abduction of 5-Year-Old Daughter

Troy Morley accused of trying to snatch the Utah girl from home

(Newser) - A parent is always listening, even in the wee hours of the morning. A 5-year-old girl in Sandy, Utah, can be thankful for her mom and dad's aural senses after they heard their front door open around 4:30am Friday; her father jumped out of bed and confronted a... More »

Family Thinks Parents Killed 3 Kids, Selves

Relatives say Benjamin and Kristi Strack of Utah had mental health, drug issues

(Newser) - Police suspect foul play and poisoning in the deaths of a Utah family of five, but they haven't laid out an official explanation of what they think transpired. Relatives, however, tell People that it's clear parents Benjamin and Kristi Strack poisoned their three children and then committed suicide.... More »

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