Our onetime colleague Lisa Davis (one of our personal faves) showed up at the Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe last night to read from her newly published book, "The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church " a chilling expose of a Mormon pedophile and how his church enabled him to do his evil thing for decades.
Davis, a mother of two who now lives in the Bay Area, described to a rapt audience how she came to write about the late Frank Curtis, a monster whose (almost) unspeakable deeds continued for decades despite the knowledge of many leaders inside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The book, which we started to read after last night's event (it begins up in Yavapai County), has a chilling premise and is replete with badly damaged sex abuse victims, a church unwilling to protect its most vulnerable members, and a protracted legal battle that ended with one of the victims winning a $3 million out-of-court settlement.
Davis did a fine job during her talk of painting Brother Curtis as an engaging Santa Claus-like character who groomed untold number of victims in the time-tested style of a "classic" pedophile.
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She described some of her laborious research methods, which included poring over ancient census reports (at one point, she tried to link Curtis to Al Capone, and found that the pair once had lived five blocks from each other). BTW, old-school journos like Davis consider such reporting activities to be as satisfying as, well, let's keep this one clean.
We remember Lisa Davis as a dogged reporter with a well-honed dry sense of humor and upbeat attitude about life and her work. Wish that she had stuck around here at Phoenix New Times awhile longer.
We are proud of Davis for this hard-earned accomplishment, and wish her the best as the book, published by Simon & Schuster, hits the marketplace.