Utah Parents' Apocalyptic Beliefs Led to Kids' Murder

Stracks had spoken of impending doom, police say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2015 10:44 PM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2015 4:00 AM CST
'Apocalyptic Beliefs' Behind Utah Family Murder-Suicide
FILE - In this, Sept. 28, 2014, file photo, shows the home where five Utah family members found dead in their home, in Springville, Utah. Police say the deaths of five members of a Utah family whose bodies were found last month do not appear to be accidental or natural. Court documents obtained Wednesday...   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(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 and their three children with drug overdoses in what investigators have concluded was a murder-suicide inspired by the couple's apocalyptic beliefs, KSL.com reports. The bodies of the couple and children Benson, 14; Emery, 12; and Zion, 11, were found in the master bedroom of their Springville home by their 18-year-old son and Kristi Strack's mother.

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Investigators say the three children all drank a lethal drug cocktail from the same small pail. The deaths of their parents were ruled suicides while the deaths of the two youngest children were ruled homicides and the death of Benson was labeled undetermined, Fox 13 reports. The teenager left a note indicating that he "was aware that he may die, and was bequeathing his personal possessions to his friend," Springville's chief of police says. The chief says no other notes were found and there is no evidence that the children were forced to take the lethal combination of drugs—but also no evidence that they did so willingly. Investigators found that Kristi Strack had struck up a close friendship with notorious killer Dan Lafferty, but there was no sign his extremist Mormon beliefs were linked to the murder-suicide, the AP reports. (Read more Utah stories.)

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