In the sixth episode of FX on Hulu’s crime series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven,’ detectives Pyre and Bill investigate Ron and Dan’s involvement in Brenda and Erica Lafferty’s murders. After speaking to Bishop Low, the detectives realize that the murders could be related to Dianna’s divorce from Ron since Brenda was one of the people who helped her obtain the same.
Pyre meets Brenda’s father, Jim, and sister, Betty, to talk about Brenda. Betty hands over a set of letters written by her sister to Pyre to solve the murders. Intrigued by Betty, we have taken a look at the character’s real-life connections. Here’s what we found!
Is Betty Really Brenda Lafferty’s Sister?
Yes, Betty is really Brenda Lafferty’s sister. Betty grew up with five sisters, including Brenda, and a brother in the city of Kimberly, Idaho. As per Jon Krakauer’s eponymous book, the source material of the show, Betty considered Brenda her “best friend.” She was in Argentina on a mission when Brenda started dating Allen Lafferty. Brenda wrote about her life every week to Betty at the time. “When Allen first became part of our family, there was this instant attachment. We all liked him. He was like a wonderful big brother to us,” Betty told Krakauer for his book.
Betty was a major presence in Brenda’s life even after the latter’s marriage with Allen. According to Betty, Brenda sought her and another sister Sharon’s help to know whether Allen was getting involved with his brothers at the School of the Prophets. “Around this time my little sister, Sharon, and I went to visit Brenda and Allen. While we were there, Brenda made sure that whenever Allen went anywhere, either Sharon or I went with him,” Betty told Krakauer. “Then when we’d get home she’d question us about where he went, and who he talked to,” she added.
As per Betty, before Brenda died in 1984, she expressed her wish to leave Allen and restart her life with their grandparents in Montana. Without knowing that Allen was reportedly beating her sister, Betty urged Brenda to continue her life with Allen. “But you can’t! You’re married now. If things are bad, you just need to work them out!” Betty told Brenda at the time, as per Krakauer’s book.
Betty saw her sister Brenda alive for the last time on July 19, 1984, five days before the murders of Brenda and Erica. She went to her sister and brother-in-law’s home at American Fork to look after Erica when the couple went out. Betty was preparing for her marriage and expected to talk about the same to her sister once the couple came home. “But when they [Brenda and Allen] got home from dinner it was obvious she and Allen had had a fight. I could tell she had been crying. I was really disappointed, but I knew that I should leave,” she told Krakauer. “That was the last time I ever saw my sister,” she added.
Betty believes that Brenda and Erica wouldn’t have got murdered if Allen informed his wife about Ron’s revelation. “If he [Allen] had told Brenda about Ron’s revelation, she would have been out of there in a minute, and she’d still be alive today. But Brenda didn’t know anything about it,” she told Krakauer.
Where is Betty Now?
Betty seemingly currently lives in the city of St. George in Utah with her husband. The pair are proud parents to three children. Betty has chosen to keep her life private with minimal interaction with the media. In 2019, she talked to ABC4 in the wake of the 35th death anniversary of Brenda and Erica. “We just celebrated the 35th anniversary of Brenda and Erica’s passing. It just seems like nothing was ever going to happen and I still wonder if it will even be in my lifetime,” Betty told ABC4.