Under The Banner Of Heaven Episode 5 True Story: What Really Happened

WARNING: This article contains sexual assault discussion and spoilers for Episode 5 of Under the Banner of Heaven.

Under the banner of heaven Episode 5, “One Mighty and Strong” contains several pivotal plot moments – with many of the most heartbreaking revelations coming from real-life history. As the FX series on Hulu moves closer to uncovering the truth behind Ron (Sam Worthington) and Dan (Wyatt Russell)’s growing fanaticism and excommunications from the LDS Church, the series moves away from Brenda’s experiences in order to to further explore the religious doctrines that inspired his murder. While the scenes from the interview with fictional detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) Under the banner of heavenThe characters in are not always accurate, the majority of events depicted in flashbacks, and details of detectives’ discoveries are true.


Under the banner of heaven episode 5 tells the true story of the hunt for Dan and Ron Lafferty, with detectives Pyre and Taba (Gil Birmingham) interviewing real-life characters Bishop Low, Bernard Brady and Allen Lafferty for clues about the “School of the Prophets.” The episode kicks off with Detective Pyre questioning Bishop Low about Ron and Dan’s excommunications, which kicks off Under the banner of heaven in a series of flashbacks that depict Dan claiming he will marry his stepdaughters and Ron physically and verbally abusing his wife, Dianna. Under the banner of heaven Episode 5 also sees Detective Taba and Andrew Garfield’s character search the Lafferty brothers’ house called “the farmwhere they find three teenage girls and a letter from Ron listing those who will be killed by “blood atonement.”

Related: Under The Banner Of Heaven Episode 4 True Story: What Really Happened

With Under the banner of heavenAs detectives get closer to tracking down Dan and Ron, the truth behind why Brenda Lafferty was murdered will finally be revealed. However, before that happens, the series explores the disturbing behaviors of the Lafferty brothers and their fundamentalist Mormon cohorts. From polygamy and abuse to murder, Under the banner of heaven The true story of episode 5 has many parallels between the series and real life events. Here is a breakdown of this Under the banner of heaven episode 5 corrects or changes the true story of Brenda Lafferty’s murder.

Did Dan try to marry Mathilde’s daughters?


By exposing the details of Dan’s religious extremism, Under the banner of heaven episode 5 features a flashback of Dan telling Matilda that he intends to take his 14 and 12 year old daughters as wives. This disturbing detail is absolutely true, even if it was even worse in real life. Like Under the banner of heaven hints, the real Dan Lafferty had sexually assaulted his eldest stepdaughter on several occasions, who was the first person he wanted to take as a second wife. Of course, Matilda was upset by this proposal, which she and the LDS Church refused to allow. Under the banner of heavenThe true story of also omits that Matilda and Dan had several other children they conceived together, but it seems that he only intended to marry his two stepdaughters from Matilda’s previous marriage.

Were both Ron and Dan excommunicated from the LDS Church?

UTBOH Ron excommunicated

Like Under the banner of heaven episode 5 depicts, Ron and Dan were excommunicated from the LDS Church prior to Brenda’s murder. Dan was the first to be excommunicated when it was revealed he wanted to marry his 14-year-old stepdaughter as a second wife. Ron then followed his brother in being excommunicated from the Mormon Church, which was based on his extremist views, abuse of his wife, and support for polygamy. Under the banner of heaven also gets the real story in terms of Richard Stowe – who was on the murder list – presiding over Ron’s church court.

Didn’t Emma Hale love Brigham Young?

UTBOH Emma Hale

One of the most significant flashbacks in Mormon history from Under the banner of heaven Episode 5 looks at the antagonism between Brigham Young and Joseph Smith’s wife, Emma Hale. The series suggests that Brigham Young and John Taylor may have played a role in setting up Joseph Smith’s disappearance when they coerce a follower into giving Joseph a fake message from Emma, ​​which is based on a historic Mormon rumor that has never been proven. On the other hand, Under the banner of heavenThe depiction of Brigham Young and Emma Hale disliking each other is based on truth.

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Emma Hale was a notable critic of the LDS Church’s growing interest in polygamy, as she generally dismissed the idea that her husband, Joseph Smith, had taken many other wives or supported the practice (which contradicts the true Smith’s story accepted by the LDS Church). Brigham Young, one of the most prominent leaders of the LDS Church at the time, was a strong believer in polygamy and publicly called Hale a liar when she claimed her husband did not subscribe to or teach polygamy. doctrine of polygamy. Young would also go on to claim that Hale had attempted to murder Joseph Smith twice, which deepened their animosity towards each other. Also, Emma Hale believed that her son Joseph Smith III was her husband’s rightful successor after his death due to the doctrine of lineal succession. However, Brigham Young was given the job, Hale then parting ways with his role in the LDS Church.

Was Bernard Brady in the school of the prophets?

UTBOH Taba & Pyre Detectives

Under the banner of heaven Episode 5 introduces Bernard Brady, one of Ron and Dan Lafferty’s true colleagues from the Mormon fundamentalist group School of the Prophets. While Under the banner of heaven‘s Bernard Brady plays down his role in the cult, he was really a member of the group alongside several of the Lafferty brothers – not just Ron and Dan. However, it seems that the real Bernard Brady did not hide his fundamentalist convictions from his wife as in Under the banner of heaven, as she would also have subscribed to these extreme opinions. Brady was one of the original six leaders of the mysterious Prophet Onias School of Prophets, which is how he met Under the banner of heavenfrom the real Lafferty family. Dan and Ron’s real brother, Watson, was the first sibling to join the cult, with the first two soon following suit as full members of the extremist group.

The detail in Under the banner of heaven episode 5 about Bernard Brady writing an affidavit is also true in real history. Brady had read the letter Ron wrote about the revelation of the Blood Atonement and was scared, so he wrote an affidavit in order to protect himself from association with Ron’s actions. Like Under the banner of heaven shows, Brady never came to the police with this information in real life, and only confessed to the affidavit when authorities searched her home and found her.

Did Ron deliberately let his father die?

Ammon at UTBOH

Towards the end of Under the banner of heaven episode 5, Sam Worthington’s character goes to visit his mother and father, where Ammon is seen on his deathbed. The Lafferty family patriarch admits he needs a doctor due to his illness, but Ron refuses, recalling how Ammon always refused medical treatment for himself or any of his children throughout their life. It is then hinted that Ammon died because Ron refused to find him a doctor. While this Under the banner of heaven The story is not entirely true, it is based on the fact that Ammon was adamantly opposed to medical treatment or doctors.

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In real life, Ammon was dying of diabetes, but never sought or received treatment because he only believed in prayer and homeopathic remedies. What really happened was that his sons refused medical treatment on his behalf, but it’s unclear if it was primarily Ron’s decision to deny his father’s wishes. Under the banner of heavenThe real character of also views Ammon as a hypocrite because he refused treatment for his children until one of the children’s appendix burst and death was imminent, based on a true story from the past of the Lafferty family.

Under Heaven’s Banner: The Murder of Joseph Smith Explained

UTBOH Joseph Smith

Under the banner of heaven Episode 5 also includes the true story of Joseph Smith’s murder, although it delves into a few rumors that have not been confirmed to be the truth. Joseph Smith did surrender, and was then taken to Carthage Jail with his brother, Hyrum, where a mob attacked and killed them. As illustrated, the official LDS Church supports the very detailed account in which Hyrum was shot in the face and shouted “i am a dead man” before dying. Even Under the banner of heavendetail of Joseph Smith jumping out of the window and saying “Oh Lord, my God” while being shot was true. John Taylor was also shot in the attack, with common belief later suggesting that his pocket watch saved his life, although some historians believe it cracked when he fell, and not because she was shot. Under the banner of heaven episode 5 is also faithful to the true story when it shows the aftermath of Joseph Smith’s murder where Brigham Young and Emma Hale disagree on his rightful successor.

Next: What Under The Banner Of Heaven’s Title Dan’s Death Means

New episodes of Under the Banner of Heaven release Thursdays on Hulu.

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