FX on Hulu’s crime series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ revolves around the investigation of the murders of Brenda Lafferty and her daughter Erica Lafferty. Detectives Jeb Pyre and Bill Taba set out to solve the double homicide case and start their investigation by interrogating Brenda’s husband and Erica’s father, Allen Lafferty. Pyre questions Allen, only for the latter to reveal the terrifying dimensions of their faith. Allen’s grief of witnessing the deaths of his wife and child, while dealing with the suspicions of the police, is moving. Affected by Allen’s life, we have found whether the character is based on a real person. Let us share the answer!
Is Allen Lafferty Based on a Real Person?
Yes, Allen Lafferty is based on a real person. Allen was born as the youngest child of Watson Lafferty Sr. and Claudine Lafferty. As the show depicts, the Lafferty family was extremely pious. From his teenage years, Allen worked as a tile setter. He met Brenda when the latter was a broadcast journalism student at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. According to Jon Krakauer’s ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ the source text of the show, Allen and Brenda both attended an LDS student congregation.
On April 22, 1982, Allen married Brenda at the Salt Lake Temple. On April 28, 1983, Erica, Allen and Brenda’s daughter, was born. The family settled in American Fork. Ron and Dan, Allen’s brothers, weren’t on good terms with Brenda. Ron believed that Brenda encouraged his wife to divorce him. She also stopped Allen from joining the School of the Prophets with his brothers. On July 24, 1984, Allen left for work in the early morning. When he returned, he encountered the dead bodies of his wife and daughter. He was taken into custody by the American Fork police on suspicion of the murders. According to Krakauer’s book, Allen suspected his eldest brother Ron of being the murderer.
Ron and Dan Lafferty were subsequently arrested and individually tried. It was later revealed that Ron strangled Brenda and slit her throat whereas Dan slit the throat of Erica, believing that they are asked by God to kill them. Apparently, Allen knew about Ron’s claim that he was asked by God to kill Brenda and Erica. “He’s [Allen] the one who let her [Brenda] down. He should have taken care of her that day. I have a hard time not thinking he knew something,” Betty McEntire, Brenda’s sister, told Deseret News. Allen was the first witness in Ron’s trial.
As of 2004, Allen had never talked about the murders of Brenda and Erica to Dan. “Allen once asked my mom why I wouldn’t repent. There’s some things you can’t repent for. I’m sure Allen thought I was talking about an unpardonable sin. What I meant is, you don’t repent for things that aren’t wrong,” Dan told Deseret News for the same feature.
Where is Allen Lafferty Now?
After the death of Brenda and Erica, Allen (seemingly) eventually started a new family with his new partner. As of 2015, the couple was settled in Saratoga Springs, Utah. As per sources, Allen became a lifestyle coach, mentor, and motivational speaker. Before 2015, Allen was in Los Angeles, rumored to be working for a Hollywood production company. Eventually, he decided to return to his family in Utah after leaving his vocation in LA. The couple seemingly is devoted to the LDS Church. In 2015, Allen talked about regularly going to the temple, especially when facing challenges personally or as a family with his partner.
Read More: Where Was Under the Banner of Heaven Filmed?