Birthday: December 4, 1955
Age: 65 Years, 65 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Warren Steed Jeffs
Born in: San Francisco, California
Famous as: Former President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ
Height: 1.91 m
Spouse/Ex-: Annie Mae Blackmore, Merrianne Jessop, Millie Blackmore, Nolita Collen Blackmore
father: Rulon Jeffs
mother: Marilyn Steed
siblings: Blaine Balmforth Jeffs, Isaac Steed Jeffs, Leslie Balmforth Jeffs, Lyle Jeffs, Nephi Jeffs, Seth Jeffs, Ward Jeffs
children: Becky Jeffs, Rachel Jeffs, Roy Jeffs
U.S. State: California
City: San Francisco, California
Who is Warren Jeffs?
Warren Jeffs is the president of the ‘Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,’ also known as the ‘FLDS Church.’ The entire Christian community was perplexed after he was convicted of child molestation. After being held guilty on two counts of child sexual abuse, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011. Born and raised in California, US, Warren belonged to a polygamist sect. His father had about 80 children from around 50 women he had married. In 2002, Warren attained the position of the counselor to the church leader, after the death of his father. The first accusation against him surfaced in 2004, when his nephew Brent Jeffs stated that Warren had a sexual encounter with him when former was a minor. A few of his other nephews then came ahead with similar accusations, which were very serious in nature. In 2006, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) embarked on a manhunt for him, after he was accused of getting underage girls married to his disciples. In 2006, he was finally arrested, and in 2011, he was sentenced to a life in prison plus 20 years. In jail, he went on a number of hunger strikes, which, the authorities said, were for spiritual reasons. Presently, he is serving his prison term in Texas.
Childhood & Early Life
Warren Jeffs was born on December 4, 1955, to Rulon Jeffs and Marilyn Steed, in Sacramento, Texas, California. Warren grew up with a number of step-siblings and stepmothers. His father married 50 women and had at least 80 children. This was due to the practice of polygamy that was the norm at the ‘FLDS Church.’
The ‘FLDS’ follows Mormonism, but the mainstream ‘Mormon Church’ never recognized it. The ‘FLDS’ continued with the tradition of polygamy that the ‘Mormon Church’ had banned toward the late 19th century. Warren was his father’s 14th child and the only child to be born prematurely. According to Christian beliefs, this signified that Warren was a golden child.
Warren grew up in Salt Lake City. After completing his education, he served as the principal of the ‘Alta Academy,’ an ‘FLDS’ school in the same area. Apart from managing the operations of the school, he also managed the church. He was known to be a very strict and disciplined man when it came to rules within the school premises.
Rulon, Warren’s father, became the prophet of the ‘FLDS’ in 1986 and took over the church in its entirety, eliminating every other major position. This turned Rulon into an undisputed leader of the community. Warren soon followed in his footsteps and named himself as Rulon’s successor. Rulon suffered a serious stroke in early 90s, and Warren was quick to take the opportunity. He soon became the spokesperson of the ‘FLDS.’
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In 2002, his father passed away after fighting a long illness. Warren soon took over the duties of the prophet. It gave him supreme authority over the community and the employees of the organization.
In the initial years of his career, Warren tried to undo the mess that his father’s death had created. This involved adopting a few of his siblings and marrying some of his stepmothers. He also changed the headquarters of the ‘FLDS’ and moved it to West Texas, where he further established the ‘Yearning for Zion Ranch.’ There was no TV or internet for the followers at the headquarters.
His tenure was full of ruthless and controversial decisions that were made in the guise of managing the community. He fired many employees who questioned his authority, and even the ones loyal to him faced his wrath from time to time. They wore what Warren asked them to wear, and their children played with the toys that Warren suggested. Warren’s authority gave rise to a “mini fascist” regime.
Soon after his reign began, he faced a lot of legal issues. Cases were filed against Warren for misconduct and illegal firing of his employees without any solid reason. Worst of them all was his nephew’s charge against him, claiming that he was subjected to sexual assault by Warren in the 80s. As accusations against him kept accumulating, Warren disappeared.
Throughout 2005, the charges kept piling up. He was soon accused of sexual conduct with a minor. In 2006, he faced two charges of being an accomplice to rape, for his role in marrying off an underage girl to a man. The authorities were on a man-hunt, but the exact location of Warren could not be traced. The police and the ‘FBI’ searched various ‘FLDS’ compounds for months, before he was finally caught in Las Vegas.
At the time of his arrest, Warren had many cell phones, wigs, sunglasses, and a lot of cash. It was clear that he was changing appearances to hoodwink the law. He was soon arrested and presented for a trial.
Trial & Conviction
In 2007, Warren Jeffs was tried in Utah for being an accessory in rape. Despite this conviction being overturned, he could not shrug off a few of other allegations. Enough evidences of him engaging in marrying off underage girls were found. He himself had married two underage girls. One of those girls was 15 years old, while the other was just 12 years old. This was a federal crime in the state of Texas and translated to a heavy fine and imprisonment.
Later, most of the evidences came from Jeffs himself. Apparently, he would ask his wives to maintain journals and write about his activities. A tape, showing him sexually assaulting a girl, was played in court. One of his records that were played in court had him accepting the guilt on his part. He stated that if all his deeds were presented in front of the authorities, he would be hanged right away.
Further inspection in the case presented more shocking revelations. It turned out that Warren had illegally married about 70 women, and a third of them were underage girls.
Warren served as his own attorney in court and mounted a very weak defense. However, none of his defenses would have been of any use, as most charges against him were grave in nature and the evidences too were irrefutable.
He read Mormon guides in front of the court authorities during the hearing and sat in silence for long periods. In the end, the jury held him guilty and he was sentenced to a life in prison plus 20 more years. The sentence eliminated any possibility of him coming out of prison.
While in prison, Warren went on a few hunger strikes. He is currently serving his term at the ‘Louis C. Powledge Unit’ prison, in Texas. Despite his conviction, he still serves as the leader of the ‘FLDS’ and manages it from behind bars.
There is no actual count of Warren Jeffs’ total marriages, but it is said to be well beyond 70.
While in the prison, Jeffs proclaimed that the world was going to end before 2013 and asked his followers to be prepared for the apocalypse. Although the statement sounded funny to the jail authorities, his disciples actually believed him.