Update: Who Is The Alleged Book Of Mormon Thief?

Who Is The Alleged Book Of Mormon Thief?

Photo via Mormon Chronicle

Remember earlier this month when a first-edition Book Of Mormon was stolen and you guys were debating whether it was ethical to steal a holy book in order to protect it from a scissor-happy owner? Yeah. Never mind that. It's a moot point because a man has been arrested for the theft and his intentions don't exactly appear noble.

The FBI and U.S. Marshal's Service searched a Washington, D.C., apartment on Tuesday night and recovered the rare 1830 book. Jay Linford was arrested.

What is interesting but not being reported is what the alleged book thief does for a living. Five-minutes of Googling and LinkedIn stalking reveals that Linford works as the marketing manager for Experience Press, which is "dedicated to producing collectible reprints of first editions of historically significant books using antique printing equipment and 19th century-type materials and techniques." He notes on his profile that the Book Of Mormon is one of the first three titles on their production schedule. Uh-huh.

For $1,000 a pop you can pre-order a Book Of Mormon 1830 replica from Linford's company. Experience Press notes that "Through exhaustive research" [ahem] "and examination of extant original copies" [oh, really?] "much has been learned regarding the mode of set-up, the compositions of the original paper and ink, original collation, sewing format, type of leather, and much more. Because of this, Experience Press™ is able to produce an authentic and meticulously detailed work of art."

The company also actually links to the website of the stolen book's rightful owner on its "interesting links" page. Interesting links indeed.

Now, to cover LitReactor's ass: It is possible this is all some ridiculously enormous coincidence involving a Mormon guy from the same city with the same name who also used to live in Utah and happens to deal in first-edition Book of Mormon replica. So I am not saying that he or his company are guilty of anything. I'm just saying...

Photo via Mormon Chronicle

Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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M.E.Prince's picture
M.E.Prince from Georgia is reading A Stir of Echoes June 13, 2012 - 7:08am

That realization makes this a lot more interesting. Now I want to see the story of how Linford lost a fortune to the mob, and his only chance of paying them back was to charge crazy money for Book of Mormon replicas. All that stood in his way was getting his hands on the last remaining copy before its rightful owner finished destroying it. So he goes in, Garrett-style, and steals the book from a fire-proof safe with no one the wiser.

Okay, I embellished, but it could be a really entertaining game/book/movie.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer June 13, 2012 - 8:16am

The story is much more awesome than I could have hoped. I was expecting someone who just didn't want to see the thing cut up.

Species84's picture
Species84 from Fluidic space is reading UNIX a standard operating system (1985) by Austen & Thomassen June 14, 2012 - 8:21am

Only in America............

From greed to theft and back to greed again.

To bad the book wasn't stolen (captured?) by some radical mormon faction, to me that would have been way more interesting, nevertheless, thanx for this update!  :)


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timbrin's picture
timbrin December 6, 2012 - 10:12pm

A believes has been under arrest for the theft of a first-edition Book of Mormon. His online outlines raise some interesting questions about his intentions.


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