Utah Family Confirmed Dead From Disturbing Mass Drug Overdose

By McCarton Ackerman 01/29/15

A family of five was found dead from a lethal combination of drugs allegedly over fears of the impending apocalypse.

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Police in a small Utah town have confirmed that a family found dead in their home last fall died from drug overdoses, including three of their four children.

Benjamin and Kristi Strack and three of their four children, ages 11, 12 and 14, were found dead in a bedroom in their home in Springville, Utah. All five of them were in a bed, with the kids tucked into the covers around their parents.

Springville Police Chief J. Scott Finlayson confirmed that all five people died from drug toxicity from either methadone, heroin or a combination of drugs. Authorities also determined that the parents committed suicide and the youngest two children were homicide victims, although there were no signs of a struggle. It’s unclear how the 14-year-old died.

It was also confirmed that the methadone used in the deaths was prescribed to Kristi. Both she and Benjamin had a history of legal problems stemming from their addiction and had gone through court-ordered drug treatment several years ago.

Community members have been left to ponder whether the mass death had anything to do with Kristi and Benjamin’s concerns about escaping “impending doom” and evil in the world. Finlayson said that they were both concerned “about a pending apocalypse.”

Investigators also found letters between Kristi and Dan Lafferty, who is serving a life sentence for his role in the double murder of his brother’s wife and 15-year-old daughter. Lafferty, a member of an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, claimed to have been given a religious revelation that justified the murders due to his resistance against polygamy. The couple were intrigued by the case and struck up a friendship with Lafferty, but hadn’t talked to him since 2008.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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