I was going to spend today finishing up my latest travel series, but I’ve found that it’s best to give people a slight break between posts. People seem to like my regular blog posts more than my travel posts, anyway, unless they happen to be about certain topics. So here’s today’s second provocative blog post…
Some readers may remember that years ago, I reviewed a book entitled Joyce McKinney and the Case of the Manacled Mormon. I originally wrote my review of that book back in 2010, which was during a time when I was reading a lot of books about Mormonism and writing a lot of book reviews. Joyce McKinney was also the subject of a documentary called Tabloid, which documented her very bizarre life, which started as a beauty queen in North Carolina who eventually converted to Mormonism.
Back in the late 1970s, Joyce Bernann McKinney, then known as Joy, moved to Utah to study theater at Brigham Young University. While she was there, she had a fling with a young Mormon man named Kirk Anderson, who was about to go on his mission. McKinney became obsessed with Anderson and eventually followed him to his mission in England. With the help of a man she’d hired, McKinney kidnapped Anderson, chained him to a bed, and repeatedly raped him in an attempt to get pregnant. Anderson was eventually able to escape and McKinney fled England before she could be put in prison for the year to which she was sentenced. I happened to be living in England when this was going on, but I was much too young to know about this story.
McKinney was also reportedly obsessed with Wayne Osmond. She tried many times to get access to him. Fortunately, Mother Osmond was on the case and put the kibosh on McKinney’s attempts to get her hooks in Osmond.
Fast forward to 2008. A woman calling herself Bernann McKinney was in the news for cloning her pit bull, Booger. She paid thousands of dollars in Seoul, South Korea, to get a little of five cloned puppies. It turned out Bernann McKinney and Joy McKinney are one and the same people.
Joyce McKinney is in the news yet again, for another bizarre and ultimately sad reason. On June 21st of this year, McKinney, who is now 68 years old, homeless, and has been living in her car in Southern California, was arrested in the death of Gennady Bolotsky on June 17th. Bolotsky, who was a 91 year old Holocaust survivor and immigrant from Ukraine, had been walking his dog when McKinney hit him with her roach infested 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck. Bolotsky died, and now McKinney is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run, and vehicular manslaughter. People in her neighborhood had called about her repeatedly, because she had a bad habit of defecating on the sidewalk in front of their businesses and in the street.
I became aware of this latest story when a Facebook friend, Mike Norton, who is known for publishing videos of the LDS church’s “secret temple rituals” posted it. He claims McKinney had been harassing him, but it looks like she may now go to prison. McKinney also tried to sue Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris for “portraying her as a prostitute” in the documentary, Tabloid. She reportedly attended the movie in disguise, then would jump up at the end proclaiming, “I’m Joyce McKinney!”
I have no doubt in my mind that Joyce McKinney suffers from mental illness. It’s crazy that she was never held accountable for what she did to Kirk Anderson. On the other hand, I must admit she’s a fascinating character. My review of Delano’s book about her case made a whopping $54 of income share on Epinions.com in just one month. To put this in perspective, Epinions’ income share for book reviews at that time usually amounted to pennies. $54 was a HUGE amount of money to make for a single book review, particularly in just 30 days. Most reviews never came close to making that much in the entire 11 years I wrote on the site. I do admit to missing Epinions, if only because it was fun getting paid for writing my opinions, even if the site itself was wonky and dysfunctional.
Anyway… I hope Joyce McKinney gets justice or, at least some much needed help. She now refers to the LDS church as a “cult”. I can’t disagree with her assessment of the church as a cult, although it obviously attracted her, back in the day. And as I have observed before, Mormonism seems to attract the weird. If you weren’t born into it, you’ll probably join because you’re troubled, unhappy, or looking for help. Joyce McKinney obviously needs assistance.