Mountain Meadows Massacre affidavit linked to forger Mark Hofmann

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SALT LAKE CITY -- State forensics investigators say a document at the center of much research into the Mountain Meadows Massacre is a fake created by convicted forger Mark Hofmann.

The Deseret News reports Hofmann forged an affidavit that was purported to be a 1924 statement from William Edwards, saying he was at the massacre back on September 11, 1857.

Edwards was 15 years old when 120 men, women and children -- members of an Arkansas wagon train headed to California -- were brutally murdered in Mountain Meadows, Utah. Latter-day Saints, members of southern Utah militias and a few Pauite Indians killed them.

In the affidavit, Edwards claims the emigrants were not dead yet when he arrived and that John D. Lee was planning the massacre.

Now, state forensics experts believe Hofmann forged the document and the notary seal on it.

The Deseret News reports the affidavit was part of a collection of documents acquired in 1983 by the Utah Division of State History.

The affidavit's origin was investigated after someone brought to light that it had been acquired through Mark Hofmann.

Hofmann killed two people with homemade bombs 25 years ago in order to cover up evidence of a forgery spree. All together, Hofmann is believed to have sold hundreds of forgeries for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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