‘Murder Among the Mormons’ is a Netflix docuseries that delves deep into the life and crimes of Mark Hofmann, a convicted killer who used his intelligence to try and crumble the very foundations of Mormonism. Unluckily, as his web of lies went too far, he got tangled up in it himself and had to resort to bombing to buy some time. The infamous October 1985 Salt Lake City, Utah, explosions are what led to Mark’s downfall. All this is profiled in the three-part docuseries. But we’ll be honest, the one person who captured our attention the most was actually Ken Sanders.
Who is Ken Sanders?
Ken Sanders is a Rare Book and Document Dealer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He describes this town as a very conservative community that has long since been the Mormons’ home. But despite all that goes around, his true love has always been the written word. As Ken implied at the start of ‘Murder Among the Mormons,’ religious documents are a treasure. “What I love the most about treasure stories, they’re always about lost treasures, you know?” he said. “Whether we’re looking for Atlantis or the Titanic or whatever, there’s a lot of treasures out there.”
“But the thing is,” Ken continued, “treasure stories always have the same ending. The treasure is temporarily found. But then, some calamity happens, and the treasure is lost again.” This statement set the tone for the entire series. Being in the same field as Mark Hofmann, Ken had a few meetings and dealings with him. Yet, he could have never imagined that Mark was not only a fraud but also a cold-blooded killer. Since then, Ken has been featured in many television and radio shows to talk about him, including A&E’s ‘City Confidential: Mark Hofmann.’
Where is Ken Sanders Now?
Ken Sanders has been in the rare book and document business in Utah since the 1970s. First, he established the Dream Garden Press, but then he spread his wings and founded a book store by the name of Ken Sanders Rare Books – located at 268 South 200 East in Salt Lake City. This antiquarian shop, operational since 1997, carries used, rare, and collectible titles and maps, plus holds a few art and literary events. As per the store’s Twitter account, they also purchase and appraise books, which is an area that Ken has been engaging in for over three decades.
Elaborating on the points above, Ken Sanders Rare Books specializes in keeping records relating to Utah and the Mormons, western and Native Americana, along with information on world exploration. Most importantly, though, Ken and his store are known for hosting the largest ever poetry reading in the State of Utah. Furthermore, Ken Sanders is the co-host of KCPWO’s ‘Poetry is Wanted Here’ radio show and was honored by the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award in 2005 for his extensive contribution to the arts community. Ken’s bibliophilia can never be contained.
Having spent so many years in this industry, it is no surprise that some of the pieces written by Ken have been published in OP and Firsts Magazine or that he has been the subject of a few reports in The Deseret News, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the San Francisco Magazine. As a current member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, where he served on its Board of Governors for six years, and a full-time bookseller, Ken Sanders seems to be perfectly content with his life.
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