Is Dianna Lafferty Based on a Real Person? Where is She Now?

In FX on Hulu’s crime series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ Allen Lafferty’s brother Ron Lafferty shares his life with Dianna. With their children, Ron and Dianna lead a contented life, until Dan’s fundamentalist beliefs start to make their presence known in their married life. Dianna starts to get scared of the Lafferty brothers’ unlawful actions and even writes a letter that changes the fate of the family.

As the fourth episode of the show centers around Dianna’s concerns, one must be eager to know whether the character has a real-life counterpart. Let us share everything you need to know about the character’s origin and the letter Dianna writes! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Dianna Lafferty Based on a Real Person?

Yes, Dianna Lafferty is based on a real person. Dianna met Ron while the latter was on a mission in Florida. According to the eponymous book by Jon Krakauer — the source material of the show — they got married by the end of the mission and Ron brought Dianna to Utah. They went on to have six children. The couple was settled in a community named Highland, north of American Fork, where Allen and Brenda Lafferty lived with their daughter Erica. As per a close friend of Dianna, the couple’s married life was filled with happiness.

However, the dynamics of Dianna and Ron’s life together changed when the former started to get attracted to Dan’s fundamentalist beliefs. Jon Krakauer, in his eponymous book, wrote that Dan eventually converted Ron into a “fire-breathing Mormon fundamentalist.” The apparent conversion changed Ron severely as he started to stand against traffic laws. Dianna became startled when Ron started to consider polygamy and having “plural lives” a part of LDS beliefs.

Dianna reached out to Brenda and the leaders of her LDS community for help. As per the source material of the show, Ron quit his job and became an abusive husband to Dianna, leading her to start divorce proceedings to separate from her husband. While Dianna was going through the divorce procedures, Brenda, Richard Stowe, and Chloe Low extended their support to her. Krakauer’s book states that Stowe, the then-president of the LDS Highland Stake, helped Dianna financially for her survival until her divorce from Ron was finalized.

Chloe, on the other hand, opened the doors of her house for Dianna and her children to stay occasionally when her life became increasingly difficult. It might not be a coincidence that the three of them became the ones targeted, along with Brenda’s daughter Erica, when Ron started to believe that God asked him to kill the “obstacles” on God’s path. Dianna’s divorce from Ron was finalized in the autumn of 1983. Her departure from Ron’s life infuriated him and was followed by the murders of Brenda and Erica in the next year.

What is Dianna’s Letter to Prophet About?

In the fourth episode of ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ Ron comes to know that Dianna had written a letter to Prophet Kimball. Detectives Jeb Pyre and Bill Taba come across the same while they make sure that the Lows are safe. Dianna’s letter is about the unlawful actions the Lafferty Brothers, especially Dan, have been practicing. In the show, Dan believes that the rules made by men do not apply to a pious Mormon like him, who decides to follow only the rules of the Heavenly Father. It doesn’t take long for Ron to follow the same beliefs.

Image Credit: Michelle Faye/FX

Dianna’s letter infuriates Ron as he thinks that his wife is coming in the way of the rules of the Heavenly Father. Even though neither Krakauer’s book nor any other reports state that Dianna had written a similar letter to Prophet Kimball in real life, the book does give an insight into the unlawful practices mentioned. As per the book, Ron even stopped using his driver’s license and removed the license plates of his vehicle to not follow the traffic laws, as mentioned in the letter in the show.

Where is Dianna Lafferty Now?

Dianna Lafferty, after finalizing her divorce from Ron in the autumn of 1983, moved to Florida with her six children. As per reports, she testified to a Utah County prosecutor when Ron was getting tried for the murders of Brenda and Erica. According to sources, she had never met Ron again after her move from Utah to Florida. Some of Ron and Dianna’s children had apologized to Brenda’s family for their father’s action after the murders. Currently, Dianna has chosen to keep her life private, most likely due to the notoriety her ex-husband garnered after the murders.

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