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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 »

Cops: Utah Family's Bodies Were Posed After Death

Stracks appear to have been poisoned

(Newser) - Police believe the deaths of five members of a Utah family last month were "not accidental or natural in any way," according to newly released documents. Benjamin and Kristi Strack, their sons Benson, 14, and Zion, 11, and their 12-year-old daughter Emery were found dead in their Springville... More »

Oil-Rich Area Sees Spike in Baby Deaths

13 infant mortalities in Vernal, Utah, raise questions

(Newser) - Thirteen baby deaths in one part of Utah last year have some locals and scientists asking whether oil drilling is to blame, the Denver Post reports. Almost 12,000 gas and oil wells add to air pollution in Vernal, Utah—one of the nation's most energy-intensive areas—but many... More »

Kilns Recall 'Almost Criminal' US History

Utah's old charcoal kilns led to wide deforestation

(Newser) - In Utah's backcountry, you're liable to see wide stretches of open space populated by little more than old brick huts. Their purpose, once essential to the state's economic life, came to be considered "almost like a criminal activity," an expert tells the Deseret News . In... More »

'Something Chemical' May Have Killed Utah Family

Authorities say it could take more than a month for answers

(Newser) - There are still more questions than answers in the case of the family that died mysteriously Saturday in their home in Springville, Utah. "There was no blunt force trauma, no stab wounds, no gunshot wounds," a local police lieutenant tells KSL . "Nobody went in the house and... More »

Family of 5 Dies Mysteriously in Utah Home

Police find no signs of trauma

(Newser) - A tragedy—and a mystery—arose Saturday night in Utah, where a couple and three of their kids were found dead in their home. Benjamin and Kristi Strack, 37 and 36, respectively, and their sons Benson, 14, and Zion, 11, as well as their daughter Emery, 12, were found—all... More »

Elderly 'Nice Guy' Shot 4 Times Answering Door

72-year-old Utah man had no enemies, neighbor says

(Newser) - An elderly Utah man described as "too nice of a guy" answered a knock at his door Saturday night and was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant, KSL.com reports. His wife apparently saw the dark-clothed gunman running away when she hurried to her 72-year-old husband, whose name... More »

Ninja Sister-Wives Busted in Crazy Home Invasion

They were ultimately defeated by guy with a Samurai sword, natch

(Newser) - "I went to the bottom of the stairs and saw a couple of ninjas coming down." So begins the crazy tale out of Utah from Thursday night. As the Salt Lake Tribune tells it, two women—variously described as either sister wives or in a polygamous relationship with... More »

9-Year-Old on Go-Kart Foils Thief

Suspect allegedly stole bikes from garage, while owner worked 50 feet away

(Newser) - Nine-year-old Nicolas Ferran may have a future as a superhero. Last week in Utah, Nicolas alerted his father when a man allegedly stole two of his dad's expensive bikes (value: $11,000) from the open garage. "He just said, 'Hey Dad, is someone borrowing your bikes today?'... More »

Teacher Accidentally Shoots Own Leg at School

She was carrying a legal concealed weapon

(Newser) - A Utah elementary school teacher who was carrying a concealed firearm at school accidentally shot herself in the leg when the weapon discharged in a faculty bathroom before classes yesterday morning, officials said. The teacher at Westbrook Elementary School, in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, was injured when... More »

Cops: Suspect Ate Stolen Ring

Utah thief's accomplice nabbed with X-ray

(Newser) - They might have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those pesky X-rays: Police in Orem, Utah, who pulled over a man suspected of stealing a ring worth thousands of dollars last Friday eventually discovered it in his passenger's belly, reports the Deseret News . Bryan Ford, 30,... More »

Woman Molested Child ... When She Was a Man

Susan Elizabeth Rye pleads guilty to 1990 crime

(Newser) - Susan Elizabeth Rye was writing a book when she was arrested in Utah in January—"a fictional book about incest and the sexual abuse of children," says the Duchesne County prosecutor. Fast forward to yesterday, when Rye, 61, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual abuse for molesting... More »

SCOTUS Delays Benefits for Utah Gay Couples

High court says stay will hold until outcome of appeal

(Newser) - More than 1,000 same-sex married couples in Utah must wait longer for state benefits after the US Supreme Court granted the state a stay on an order requiring it to recognize the marriages. The high court issued the order this afternoon, saying the stay will remain in place pending... More »

Utah Busts 2 Ex-AGs on Bevy of Corruption Charges

John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff were subjects of lengthy bribery investigation

(Newser) - Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said two former Utah attorneys general, John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, were arrested today after a bribery probe that stemmed from their cozy relationships with several businessmen during their time in office. Swallow was booked on four felony charges, including receiving or soliciting... More »

Man Dies in Fire at Burning Man Knockoff

Police say it was suicide

(Newser) - Onlookers at a Utah Burning Man festival watched in horror Saturday as a man ran head-long into a ceremonial bonfire and never came back out, KUTV reports. It was about 11pm when Christopher Wallace, 30, broke through a barrier surrounding a burning three-story structure inspired by the book Where the ... More »

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