Cults, notorious for their charismatic leaders and unconventional beliefs, often leave a trail of devastation in their wake. An illustrative example is the Ervil LeBaron-established Church of the Lamb of God, which is marked by its radical doctrines and propensity for violence, as explored in ‘Daughters of the Cult.’ Following his demise in prison, this group was actually fractured into three distinct factions. One of these was briefly led by Ervil’s son William Heber LeBaron and based in Mexico, only to again gain notoriety for its brutal activities and criminal exploits, shedding light on the grim aftermath of captivating leadership within such enigmatic organizations.
Heber LeBaron Founded the Kingdom of God
William Heber LeBaron, one of the 50+ children of Ervil LeBaron, the founder of The Church of the Lamb of God, grew up within a fundamentalist Mormon polygamous group. Infamously marked by internal violence, the group orchestrated numerous murders, both within their ranks and against rival factions. Ervil’s imprisonment for the murder of another cult leader, Rulon Allred, culminated in his death in 1981. While incarcerated, he authored ‘The Book of the New Covenants,’ which served as a guiding scripture for his followers, albeit containing violent and depraved ideologies. Particularly notable within the text was the “hit list,” a compilation of individuals he wished to see dead.
Heber LeBaron, much like many of his siblings, experienced a childhood marked by constant relocation before he ultimately settled in Mexico. In the documentary, his siblings and his half-siblings said that he was a rather quiet child who did not get up to much mischief. However, things changed when he came into possession of ‘The Book of the New Covenants’ at the age of 20 upon his father’s death. Growing up within the confines of the cult, Heber, devoid of perspectives beyond the teachings of the self-proclaimed “Prophet” Ervil, embraced the book as his life’s singular purpose. Despite senior members distancing themselves from the book’s teachings owing to its extremities, Heber as well as some of Ervil’s other children considered them traitors, and the former ultimately became the leader of their own faction, Kingdom of God (KOG). The primary objective of this group was to carry out the hit list outlined by his father, Ervil, solidifying Heber’s commitment to the cult’s violent legacy.
Heber led his Kingdom of God group with notorious affiliations, aligning closely with the mafia and encouraging his followers to engage in theft and various criminal activities. There was a kind of lawlessness that prevailed throughout the group under his leadership, with brothers marrying their stepsisters and half-sisters, murder, and no reign on any behavior. He was thus eventually asked to step down, leading to his younger half-brother Aaron coming into power. Alongside six family members, who were also part of the Kingdom of God, Aaron traveled to Utah to meet their father’s once right-hand man Dan Jordan in 1987. He was Ervil’s former confidant who had not embraced the teachings of ‘The Book of the New Covenants.’ Jordan, driven by a desire for free labor, accepted them once they claimed they needed help, but during a deer-hunting family camping trip, he was fatally shot. It was later revealed that Aaron had planned the entire shooting and Heber had lied low in the woods and fired the gun.
The mounting dread surrounding Heber reached its peak with the infamous 4 o’clock murders: on June 27, 1988, precisely at 4 p.m. This victims here were Ervil’s former followers, including Duane Chynoweth and his 8-year-old daughter Jennifer, Eddie Marston (Ervil’s stepson), and Mark Chynoweth, a devout follower who had distanced himself from the group. All of them received calls summoning them to various obscure locations under the pretense of work. Upon arrival, they were each confronted by different individuals disguised in a uniform blue suit, hat, and glasses, only to be fatally shot. Heber was the one who had fired the shot at Mark while the entire plan was spearheaded by Aaron who was himself in Mexico.
Heber LeBaron is in Prison Now
Nearly a decade elapsed before individuals from the cult began to speak out about Heber LeBaron’s complicity in the murders and other criminal activities. The breakthrough in prosecuting him came when his younger half-brother, Richard LeBaron, and younger half-sister, Cynthia LeBaron, decided to testify against him in exchange for their protection. This testimony provided law enforcement with the evidence needed to build a case against him. Subsequently, he was tried alongside two other members of his group and was ultimately found guilty in participating in the four murders that occurred in 1988. He’d shot Mark.
Therefore, in May 1993, Heber was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole along with Patricia LeBaron and Douglas Lee Barlow. Reports indicate he has since left behind his past, embraced Christianity, plus expressed remorse for his actions within the cult. Nevertheless, today, it appears as if Heber remains incarcerated in a US federal prison, serving his term.