In the summer of 1984, Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, were brutally murdered by Brenda's in-laws, Dan and Ron Lafferty. As of today, the double homicide remains one of the most gruesome crimes in the history of Utah.
Now that the once-publicized murders and criminal trial is strolling back into the spotlight due to FX on Hulu's upcoming miniseries, Under the Banner of Heaven, a newfound curiosity about the morbid case presents several questions.
So, with that being said, where is Dan Lafferty now? Keep reading to uncover all of the known details, including the current whereabouts of his older brother and accomplice, Ron Lafferty.
Where is Dan Lafferty now?
After Dan and his brother were charged for the murders of their sister-in-law, Brenda, and her infant daughter, Erica, Dan claimed he was responsible for both homicides.
As as result, the brothers stood separate trials, and according to The Cinemaholic, the jury found Dan guilty of two counts of first-degree murder after he chose to "represent himself with access to a standby counsel." Ron, on the other hand, was found guilty of capital murder in 1985 and was sentenced to death.
Additionally, Dan was sentenced to serve two life sentences concurrently, without the possibility of parole. Since 1985, he has been detained in the maximum-security wing of the Utah State Prison.
However, Dan told Deseret News in 2004 that he doesn't think he will die in prison; instead, "he believes the walls will crumble and he will emerge as the biblical prophet Elijah, announcing the second coming of Christ," the outlet reported.
Dan also recalled the tragic murders of his sister-in-law and niece, revealing that they never once haunted him.
"I don't blame anyone for not understanding it," he stated. "But if you had done it, it wouldn't haunt you either. It was a strange phenomenon." Regarding the upsetting murder of his 15-month-old niece, Dan said although it "probably should draw more sympathy [from him] than it does," he refuses to let it in.
Ron Lafferty died of natural causes in 2019.
In 1985, Ron Lafferty was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders; nearly 34 years later, the federal court rejected his appeal and began inching closer to his execution, which he elected to be done by firing squad. However, the execution was never fulfilled because in November 2019, Fox 13 reported that Ron had died of natural causes on death row.
At the time of Ron's death, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes stated, via Fox 13, that "the State of Utah has labored for decades to provide justice for Brenda and Erica Lafferty, who were brutally murdered by Ron and Dan Lafferty."
Though he noted the tragedy of "the wheels of justice" turning slowly in this case, Sean concluded, "Mr. Lafferty is facing his Maker, perhaps ultimate justice will be realized and there will finally be some closure for the family of the victims."
The two-episode premiere Under the Banner of Heaven hits Hulu on Thursday, April 28, 2022.