Condemned killer claims to be haunted by ‘ghosts’

Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 12:31:30-05

SALT LAKE CITY — New filings in federal court reveal more about the mental issues surrounding condemned killer Ron Lafferty.

The filing in U.S. District Court by Lafferty’s attorneys reveals he suffers from delusions, including claims that he is haunted by ghosts.

“Mr. Lafferty reported experiencing physical discomfort during the hearing, which he believed to be caused by Judge Hansen’s father’s ghost, and which compelled Mr. Lafferty to disrupt the proceedings,” attorneys wrote. “The ghost’s purpose in doing this was to express disappointment in how the judge was conducting Mr. Lafferty’s proceedings.”

Lafferty also believes a former attorney of his, who is now deceased, put a curse on him and “switched spirits” with a state psychologist who evaluated him.

The court papers said Lafferty also believed that another lawyer who once served on his legal team is the reincarnation of his sister from several hundred years ago in England.

“Mt. Lafferty believes that Ms. Moriarty came to be inhabited by the spirit of Linda Anderson, another former defense attorney who he believes is a malevolent entity and part of the conspiracy to have him executed,” the briefing states.

In the filing, Lafferty’s attorneys revealed there were more bizarre delusions, including “spirit surveillance” at the Utah State Prison.

“Mr. Lafferty believes that the Utah State Prison is occupied by spirit beings which are conducting surveillance on him for the LDS Church and for use against him in his legal proceedings,” attorneys wrote.  “Generally, Mr. Lafferty believes these spirits are inhabiting the bodies of guards and other prisoners.”

Attorneys attempt to explain some of the delusions and psychotic disorders, saying they stem from his attempt to hang himself inside his jail cell in 1984. They insist that it makes him incompetent to proceed in the court system as he fights execution.

The filing follows an October mental competency hearing where psychologists disagreed about whether or not Lafferty can face the death penalty. Lafferty, 71, was convicted of killing his sister-in-law, Brenda, and her baby daughter, Erica, claiming that God had told him to do it.

A federal judge has yet to rule on whether Lafferty’s case should be opened to the public, despite a request from news media outlets to unseal the file.