FX on Hulu’s Under the Banner of Heaven tells the true story of the murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and her 15-month-old daughter Erica by brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty (Sam Worthington and Wyatt Russell, respectively) in American Fork, Utah. The series concluded Thursday, June 2, with Episode 7, “Blood Atonement.” The finale sees Andrew Garfield‘s Detective Jeb Pyre and Gil Birmingham‘s Detective Bill Taba finally locate and arrest the brothers on the run in Reno. Both had been excommunicated from the mainstream Latter-Day Saints Church and had begun subscribing to the fundamentalist beliefs of an offshoot of Mormonism, the School of the Prophets, with Ron claiming he had received a revelation from God telling him to “remove” Brenda and Erica, and spill their blood. The episode ends before revealing what lay ahead for the various members of the Lafferty clan.
Here’s what has transpired for each of the brothers Lafferty since that fateful evening in July 1984.
Ron Lafferty (Sam Worthington)
Following his arrest, Ron Lafferty would attempt to kill his brother Dan while they shared a cell. He also unsuccessfully attempted suicide while in prison, and would end up being tried three times for the murders. His first conviction resulted in a guilty verdict, and he was sentenced to death. However, following an appeal, he was found incompetent to have stood trial and was sent to the Utah State Hospital for mental health treatment. Three years later, a court found Ron’s competency “restored,” and he was tried again, receiving another guilty verdict and death sentence. Lafferty’s case would wind its way through courts of appeal for decades until 2019, when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear his case. Ron then elected to be put to death by firing squad, but died of natural causes in November of that year before the sentence could be carried out.
Dan Lafferty (Wyatt Russell)
Electing to represent himself at trial, Dan Lafferty took only 13 minutes to attempt to make his case. He was found guilty and sentenced to two life sentences to be served concurrently, without the chance for parole. He would appeal his conviction to the Utah Supreme Court, which upheld the jury’s verdict. He is currently incarcerated in the Utah State Prison’s maximum security wing, and has never expressed remorse for the killings, saying at trial, “I’m not ashamed about what happened…it was just a matter of business.”
Allen Lafferty (Billy Howle)
The youngest of the brothers, Allen was initially a person of interest in the slaying of his wife and daughter. However, he soon explained the fundamentalist beliefs of his brothers and led the police to pursue Ron and Dan Lafferty. Allen testified that he was aware of Ron’s revelation regarding Brenda and Erica, and that he stood up to his brother; unfortunately, he was unable to protect them. Allen has remarried and as of 2015 was living in Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Samuel Lafferty (Rory Culkin)
Samuel Lafferty is based on real-life brother Watson Lafferty, Jr. He also participated in the School of the Prophets, actually introducing Dan to the school’s self-appointed leader, Onias. However, following the murders, he fled Utah and the Mormon Church for nearly 25 years. In 2014, he spoke to Salt Lake City Weekly about growing up in an abusive household under the thumb of his father, Watson Lafferty, Sr.
Robin Lafferty (Seth Numrich)
Robin Lafferty is based on real-life brother Mark Lafferty, who was the closest to Ron. Once the brothers were fully invested in the School of the Prophets, Mark was fully bought in, and believed in Ron’s revelations. Before the murders of Brenda and Erica, Ron and Dan picked up weapons from Mark’s home; following the slaughter, he was in contact with the police, warning them that local church leaders might be future victims. He currently lives in Utah with his wife, Lanna.
Jacob Lafferty (Taylor St. Pierre)
A sixth brother, Tim Lafferty, is the basis for the character of Jacob Lafferty (Taylor St. Pierre). However, very little is known about him, other than he was a participant in the School of the Prophets.