Miss Ella Knight asserts that blood atonement still exists in Utah at the turn of the 20th century.

Oct 4, 1902
News (traditional)
Democrat and Chronicle
Scribed Verbatim

"Blood Atonement," Democrat and Chronicle, October 4, 1902, 1

Democrat and Chronicle
Democrat and Chronicle, Ella Knight
Reading Public

New York, Oct. 3.—Those who believe that William Hooper Young killed Mrs. Pulitzer to carry out the doctrine of "blood atonement" according to the Mormon faith, will be convinced by the stories told by Miss Ella Knight, of Clyde, N. Y., just returned from Utah. Young and pretty Miss Knight went to Salt Lake City, where she is advertised as an elocutionist. Her real motive in going among the Mormons was to do missionary work among the women, seeking to win them away from the polygamous faith of Brigham Young. The pretty woman is a zealous member of the Women's Home Missionary Society. Miss Knight spent several years among the Mormons. She was among them when Roberts, the Mormon, was fighting for a seat in Congress. When he was defeated Miss Knight said that a Mormon elder said to her: "I tell you, Miss Knight, the United States government shall suffer for Mr. Robert's defeat, for we shall avenge it by the shedding of blood."

To a reporter Miss Knight said: "To one who has lived in Utah there can be no doubt that the doctrine of blood atonement still exists. All wrongs are to be weighed by the shedding of blood. A deserter from the church can only atone for his sin by the giving up of his life's blood. The 'destroying angel' who kills the sinner is absolved from all sin. It is a fact that there is a coterie of 'destroying angels' set apart by the church to do this work of assassination.

"Naturally the most degenerate and desperate creatures that the church can command are the ones chosen for the purpose. In the case of Young, who has himself been a backslider—then presuming that he sought again to enter the fold—his quickest and surest method to full restoration among the faithful would be to do the work of a 'destroying angel' with some other backsliders. This is no exaggeration of the workings of this ghastly feature of a strange and cruel faith."

Copyright © B. H. Roberts Foundation
The B. H. Roberts Foundation is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.