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Who are Warren Jeffs' wives? Where the Keep Sweet church leader's partners are now

Everything you need to know about Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs' wives.

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey
Netflix
Published: Friday, 10th June 2022 at 12:26 pm
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Netflix is adding another true-crime documentary to its library, this time looking at Warren Jeffs - the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church).

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FLDS is a polygamous denomination and in 2011, Warren was convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault for sex with a 15-year-old he had married and aggravated sexual assault against a child who he married at age 12.

During his leadership at the church, Warren is believed to have had 78 wives at the same time under the sect's rules. According to church records reported by NPR in 2011, only 54 of these wives were over the age of 17.

So, who were Jeffs' wives?

As Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey comes to Netflix, here's everything you need to know about Warren Jeffs' wives.

Who are Warren Jeffs' wives?

The exact number of wives Warren had is disputed, but all accounts put him to have around 75 to 80 wives.

Before Warren was the leader of FLDS, the church was run by his father Rulon Jeffs. Rulon became the leader in 1986, changing the entire structure of the community and eliminating the council in order to become the single leader. Per a 2005 NPR report, Rulon was claimed to have had roughly 75 wives and 65 children, including Warren, who later became his successor.

Warren Jeffs
Warren Jeffs Getty Images

After Rulon died in 2002, Warren was given the official titles of “President and Prophet, Seer and Revelator”, as well as “President of the Priesthood” in the FLDS.

Warren advised his father’s widowers to carry on as if he were still living and married all but two of them, according to Newsweek - one of whom refused to marry again and had been barred from doing so, and another who reportedly abandoned the compound where they lived.

Naomi Jessop was said to be one of the first of Rulon’s wives to accept Warren as her husband, and according to the Daily Mail was considered one of his "favourite wives", travelling to different parts of the country with him. Her sister Merianne (who was just 12 at the time of marrying) was also one of Warren's wives.

In addition to his father's wives, Warren had several other spouses and is said to have fathered more than 50 children according to widespread reports.

In 2007, Warren was tried and convicted on two counts of being an accomplice to rape. During this trial, one of his wives, Margaret Thomas, and several other members of his religious sect, were called by the defence team.

Warren Jeffs wife Margaret Thomas
Warren Jeffs' wife Margaret Thomas Getty Images

That conviction was eventually overturned by the Utah Supreme Court on the grounds of erroneous jury instructions.

Other known wives include Annie Mae, Alyshia Rae, Nolita Colleen, and Millie Blackmore (via VICE), who are all part of the polygamous Blackmore family in Canada, whose were taken at various times from Canada to the US to get married to Warren. Millie was just 13 when she married Warren, who was 48 at the time. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Nolita and Alyshia were just 12.

Where are Warren Jeffs' wives now?

While some of Warren's wives distanced themselves after his sentencing to life plus 20 years, some have stood by him.

After his imprisonment, his 65th wife, Brielle Decker (born Lynette Warner), who had fled after being forced to marry him at the age of 18, was given the keys to his 3-acre property in Colorado City, Arizona.

She then went on to establish The Dream Center, a global non-profit sanctuary organisation. She now devotes her time to helping those in need.

Brielle changed her name from Lynette when she escaped and met Krystyn Decker and the Sound Choices Coalition, a group dedicated to helping women recover from and escape polygamy.

"I was just a little girl, but he acted weird. People from ever since I could remember told me, 'You're going to marry Warren Jeffs,'" she told Fox 10 Phoenix about her marriage to Warren.

Mildred “Millie” Blackmore, who married Warren in 2004 when she was 13 years old, is said to have fled to another polygamist compound in Canada after Warren was imprisoned. According to her brother Brandon S. Blackmore, she remains Warren's loyalist.

Other former brides have stayed at the FLDS compound, including two who were caught in 2016 attempting to smuggle contraband to him while visiting the Texas prison where he is currently incarcerated,

Around the same time, the Associated Press reports that another one of his wives was denied entrance after a metal detector picked up on something hidden in her hair, although she left the facility before prison officials could work out what it was.

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Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is available on Netflix from Wednesday 8th June. Check out more of our Entertainment and Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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