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Mary Stevens’ Murder: A Conversation with Roger Blomquist


On April 21, 1908, Joseph Stevens found the body of his eighteen-year-old sister in a side canyon of Orderville, Utah. The murder of Mary Stevens–and subsequent conviction of Alvin Heaton Jr.–stunned and divided the small community. We spoke with Roger Blomquist about the murder and its aftermath, as well as the process of investigating such a heart-breaking and little-recognized story.

Roger Blomquist received his PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and taught history at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. His South Pass historical fiction series will have a projected five volumes. For more information, go to In addition to writing and teaching history, he is an accomplished saddle maker.