Warren Jeffs’ Polygamist Compound Now a Bed and BreakfastBy: Sean Patterson - July 31, 2014
A compound built for an infamous polygamous religious sect has now become a holiday destination for travelers looking to explore the state parks of Arizona and Utah. America’s Most Wanted Suites is now open for business, offering guests the opportunity to explore the renovated compound where Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) leader Warren Jeffs was to have lived, had he not been convicted of child rape and sentenced to life in a different type of compound.
According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, the property in Hildale, Utah is now owned by Willie Jessop, who bought the compound in April of last year for $3.6 million. Jessop is a former prosecutor who once prosecuted a case against Jeffs.
Jessop has renovated the property, installing 14 separate rooms for guests. As shown on the America’s Most Wanted Suites website, the rooms include big screen TVs and access to breakfast.
Jeffs gained notoriety in 2005 when he was placed on the FBI’s most wanted fugitive list and featured on the popular TV show America’s Most Wanted, inspiring the name of the new bed and breakfast. Jeffs was caught in 2006 and was convicted of being an accomplice to rape in Utah in 2007 for helping to arrange the marriages of underage girls. The state of Texas was next to prosecute Jeffs, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for two counts of sexual assault of a child.
According to the Tribune, the Hildale compound was built in 2010 and 2011 under the assumption that Jeffs would be acquitted. Hildale and its neighboring towns in both Utah and Arizona have large communities affiliated with the FLDS religion.
Though Jeffs conviction has affected the FLDS in the Hildale area, the communities surrounding the bed and breakfast are still very much steeped in the FLDS religious tradition. The town governments of Hildale and Colorado City are currently involved in a discrimination lawsuit alleging civil rights violations against citizens not affiliated with the FLDS.
According to the Tribune, an FLDS High School reunion held at the America’s Most Wanted Suites earlier this month was interrupted by Hildale and Colorado City authorities over a noise complaint. Mohave County, Arizona and Washington County, Utah sheriff’s deputies also reportedly arrived on the scene.
Image via the Texas Department of Criminal Justice