Utah Doomsday Preppers Kidnapping Case: An Update

A few months ago, we tracked the bizarre story of two doomsday preppers who had taken six children, only to be captured a short time later. Further evidence has become public, shedding new light on these two self-proclaimed members of The Knights of the Crystal Blade.

When we last reported on this story, John Alvin Coltharp and Samuel Shaffer had been arrested and charged for their roles in the kidnapping incident involving their own children. It was revealed that the two doomsday preppers had been part of an offshoot of Mormonism called The Knights of the Crystal Blade.

See previous story: Kidnapped Girls Rescued From Doomsday Preppers

Doomsday Preppers Take Their Children

The two men believed that the end of the world was coming and “rescued” what family they cared for. That included Coltharp’s two sons and two daughters and Shaffer’s two daughters.

They headed to a compound, made up of shipping containers, in Lund, in Iron County, Utah.

On December 1, Coltharp was arrested at the home of his parents.

He wouldn’t give up the location of Shaffer and the six children, but police got a tip from elsewhere about the compound. Coltharp’s sons were found there, but Shaffer and the four girls had left. An Amber Alert was issued, specifically for Coltharp’s daughters who were reported as missing by their mother.

Shaffer was captured. He told police where to find the four missing girls. Two had been hidden in water barrels south of Coltharp’s property. Two were in an abandoned mobile home. All received emergency medical care when they were found.

Child Marriage, Demons & the End of the World

While we know that Coltharp’s children were kidnapped, we did not know the purpose until now. Shaffer allegedly told investigators after his arrest that he and Coltharp had married one of each other’s young daughters, age seven and eight.

Apparently, John Coltharp wasn’t just interested in his daughters’ well-being. He allegedly had been planning on murdering one of his sons.

Coltharp is said to have believed his son William was possessed by a demon and that killing him would release it. The soul of Coltharp’s son was to then teach his mother the gospel as The Knights of the Crystal Blade understood it.

Trial to Come for Coltharp & Shaffer

One might think that, with such overwhelming evidence against them, Coltharp and Shaffer would make plea deals. Or perhaps, one of them would turn on the other.

However, both men are pleading not guilty to all of the charges against them, including kidnapping, sexual abuse, and child bigamy. Coltharp also has an additional charge to answer to, sodomy of a child, stemming from a separate incident going back to August 1, 2017.

As of this writing, no trial date has been set and no lawyers for the defense have been assigned or recognized.