Warren Jeffs' Jane Doe
Jane Doe is big news today. She's the gal, now 20, who's pointing the finger in what's sure to be the most significant polygamist prosecution case in a generation. Prosecutors in Washington County, Utah allege that polyg pope Warren Jeffs, head of the FLDS, arranged a marriage between Jane Doe and her cousin John Doe, when she was 14 and he was 19. But what newspapers won't tell you is Jane Doe's actual name, which is all over court documents. Jane Doe's name is Elissa Wall. Her cousin, the man she was allegedly forced to marry in Caliente, Nevada in 2001, is named Alan Steed. This is common knowledge among journos, and among many members of the LDS and FLDS.
The names of rape victims are normally withheld by newspapers, but this is not a normal rape case. Wall was not hauled off into the bushes by an unknown assailant. She was enslaved in a culture of systemic abuse, one that hides under the veil of the Mormon legacy. Clarity is needed now, as the light of modernity is shone beneath the rock of medieval secrecy and silence that is the FLDS polygamist cult.
Wall is an adult, was recently remarried, and has given birth of late. She is a grown woman in every sense of the word. There's no reason to hide her name. The FLDS knows who she is, as she's already appeared in court to face Jeffs. The lawyers know her, obviously, as does every reporter in St. George, UT. And chances are very good that once the trial's over, Wall will end up being roped into an on-camera interview by 20/20 or some other news organization. So why not publish her name now?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.