Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, 2003, Excerpts
After tying the vacuum cord around Brenda’s neck, Dan says, “I went into the front room and picked up the knife, then I walked sown the hall, being led by the spirit, because I didn’t know the layout of the house, or which room was the baby’s. The first door I opened was where the baby was. She was standing there in the corner of her crib. I walked in. I closed the door behind me for privacy. I think the baby thought I was her father.”
“I spoke to her for a minute. I told her, ‘I’m not sure what this is all about, but apparently it’s God’s will that you leave this world; perhaps we can talk about it later.’ And then I set my hand on her head, put the knife under her chin like this, and I just…” Pausing in his monologue, Lafferty uses his hands to manner-of-factly demonstrate how he pulled the razor-sharp butcher’s knife so forcefully across Erica’s neck that he very nearly decapitated her; afterward, all that held the baby’s head to her tiny body were a few thin shreds of skin and tendon.
“I closed my eyes,” he continues, “so I didn’t see what I was doing. I didn’t hear anything.” Lafferty shares the details of Erica’s murder in a preternaturally serene voice, as if he were recounting a trip to a hardware store. “Then I walked down the hall into the bathroom and washed the blood off my knife. Ad when the knife was clean I walked into the kitchen and stood over Brenda. Straddling her, I untied the cord and took it off her neck. I grabbed her by the hair, placed the knife against the side of her neck, and drew it across her throat. I could hear the blade cut through trachea, and feel it hit the bone of her spinal column. Then I walked back into the bathroom and washed off the knife a second time.”
With the murders of Brenda and Erica, the first half of the revelation had been fulfilled.