The Lawfare Podcast: Leah Sottile on ‘When the Moon Turns to Blood’

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 5:01 AM

In February 2020, police in the town of Rexburg, Idaho, uncovered evidence of what seemed like an unthinkable crime: two children murdered by one of their parents. The investigation that followed revealed not only more possible murders but also two alleged perpetrators possessed of a radical belief system that both justified their use of violence and shared common threads with the beliefs of numerous other members of their community.

In her new book, “When the Moon Turns to Blood,” independent journalist Leah Sottile documents how this grizzly murder has its roots in religious and political movements that started more than a century earlier, and how it may have lessons to teach us on the unique forms of extremism that are well established in the American west and are beginning to play a more influential role on the national scene.