Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tabloid: Joyce McKinney Still Besotted By The Mormon Missionary She Kidnapped In The United Kingdom In 1977

Joyce McKinney's back in the news, thanks to the release of a documentary called "Tabloid", which was reviewed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It's the story about how she kidnapped a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the United Kingdom in 1977 and held him hostage as a "love slave" for three days. And she's still "besotted" by him to this day, even though she's elderly, has a heart condition, crippled, and partially blind. The Daily Mail has the full story.

Summary: Joyce McKinney was 25 year old when she met Kirk Anderson, a hulking 19-year-old Mormon, in drama class at BYU-Provo. McKinney, reputed to have an I.Q. of 168, was a former Miss Wyoming beauty queen. They had a brief affair (she says she became pregnant but miscarried), and Anderson confessed to his bishop, who reportedly arranged for him to serve a full-time mission in England.

In those days, it was not uncommon for bishops and stake presidents to deal with "high-spirited" young elders who otherwise were fully active in the Church to recommend them for full-time missions in order to "reform" them. This practice ended in 2003 when President Gordon B. Hinckley decided to raise the bar, explaining that missionary work is not to be considered a mere rite of passage, and that if the lives of young elders needed reforming, that must happen well before they go.

Back to the story. Anderson's departure to England did not phase McKinney in the least; she was determined to have him nonetheless. So with the help of three confederates, she flew to England to kidnap him. Two of her cohorts backed off when they learned she had kidnapping on their mind, but Keith May posed as an "investigator" and using a fake gun, forced Anderson to go to a cottage where McKinney was waiting. There, he handcuffed Anderson to a bed where McKinney repeatedly raped him for three days, burning his temple garments in order to "rescue" Anderson from Mormonism. After promising to marry her and having his restraints loosened, Anderson freed himself and escaped.

McKinney and May were arrested three days later by police officers who pulled over their car in Devon. She was sent to Holloway prison to await trial for false imprisonment, but amid concerns over her deteriorating mental health, she was released on bail after three months. After a round of parties, McKinney and May disappeared, jumped bail while allegedly dressed as nuns, and escaping to Canada on false passports while pretending to be deaf-mute mime artists. The Brits were relieved to be rid of her and did not follow up.

But her ardour for Kirk Anderson had not cooled. In 1984, she was arrested for stalking him outside the office where he worked in Utah. Police reportedly found chains and handcuffs in the boot of her car, suggesting she was hoping to repeat her sexually motivated kidnapping. Anderson, currently a travel agent in Utah, did not want to speak to the media for this story. Likewise, the LDS Church also had no comment. Today, McKinney lives in California, with her physical faculties slowly dissipating, and very little productive activity to show for her life. No one knows how McKinney supports herself, given that there is no evidence she has ever had a job since the 1977 scandal. The handful of people who know her believe she survives off money that her elderly father gives her from his savings.

What a sad ending for Joyce McKinney. A commenter has informed me that there's a book about the case written by Anthony Delano, entitled "Joyce McKinney and the Case of the Manacled Mormon".


Anonymous said...

The REAL McKinney story:

Jack Mormon said...

Thanks for the link; I've now incorporated it into the post. Here's the embedded version of your link.

Anonymous said...