Authorities Raid Polygamist Compound in West Texas
"This is the United States," Schleicher County Justice of the Peace James Doyle told me two years ago when I was reporting onpolygamy in West Texas
. "And I don't kick in your door and you don't kick in mine and we don't kick in theirs. They're citizens of the United States and we've got to have a probable cause."
The citizens he was referring to were members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who’d built a temple in the West Texas brush near Eldorado. Polygamy was common within this breakaway Mormon sect, and with Prophet Warren Jeffs still on the loose, there were fears of all hell doing exactly what hell is known to do.
Jeffs has since been captured, and authorities finally got their probable cause last week when a girl called and said she was only 15 when she'd been married to and impregnated by a 50 year old. The SWAT team suited up, and more than 200 women and children were removed from the compound for questioning, although the girl who phoned authorities still has not been identified.
Battle of the Piney Woods: SFA vs. SHSU
TicketsSat., Oct. 1, 3:00pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTSA Roadrunners Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 15, 6:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
We should have more updates on the situation develops, and I’ll definitely let you know if any of my old contacts sends info my way, although they’re probably getting deluged by the storm of media rolling into the rural county.
For background reading, be sure to check out “Big Love, Texas-Style,” not to mention John Dougherty’s excellent coverage of the sect for our sister paper in Phoenix. And don’t skip the archives of The Eldorado Success. The site might not be pretty, but Editor Randy Mankin and his small staff have been covering the compound from the get-go. – Keith Plocek
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.