The LeBaron massacre – where three mothers and six children were killed – looks less like an accidental killing – of women and children caught in a crossfire of rival drug gangs – and more like targeted murder.
Reportedly, there were three SUV’s – where the woman and children were killed – one of them 10 miles distant from the others – which suggests this was no accident, not a case of mistaken identity.
The killing of women and children could be interpreted as the most ruthless message: ‘We will stop at nothing. Your entire clan will be exterminated.”
The LeBaron clan are not passive players in their north Mexican world. They are a white, polygamous Mormon group – some of them old-style Mormons right out of the days of Brigham Young. But they are not members, however, of the Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The LeBarons have straddled the US and Mexico for decades, gaining dual citizenship – often arranging for babies to be born in the USA – and, at least in the past, in order to reap advantages of polygamy, pedophilia, land ownership, etc..
In the past, the LeBarons were not above killing people – including mothers and children.
It is curious, the media, in painting them as victims [and the murder of children certainly aligns with victimization] have failed to record the bloody history of the LeBaron clan.
The recent murders of the women and children may be related to Mexico’s drug trafficking and the LeBaron’s desire to defend themselves and not obey the demands of the drug lords who rule the area.
It may also be related to the fight over control of water or other territorial issues.
They are not likely related to Nxivm
There are those – and quite a few of them – who are coming to me and saying that Nxivm or certain family members of Nxivm members – had a hand in the killing of the LeBaron women and children.
I don’t think this is true and I will take a moment to explain why.
It is true that 11 LeBaron clan teenage girls from Chihuahua came to Clifton Park, NY, [near Albany] in 2016, and, after being exposed to Nxivm’s leader, Keith Raniere, the girls left suddenly and went home. None of the LeBaron girls who came to Clifton Park were among the slain.
Rosa Laura Junco, a wealthy Nxivm member, invited the LeBaron girls to Clifton Park and it was established at the criminal trial of Raniere that she was working to find virgin girls for her leader. In the end, Rosa Laura offered her own teenage daughter to him.
Rosa Laura’s father is Alejandro Junco, the most powerful newspaper publisher in Mexico.
This does not suggest any tie to the Junco family to the slain Lebarons. Again, none of the children slain were among the LeBaron girls brought to Clifton Park to be with Raniere.
In addition, Alejandro Junco was eager to get Rosa Laura out of Nxivm. She did not get out until after the arrest of Raniere.
It seems improbable that Alejandro Junco would sponsor a massacre of LeBaron mothers and children in some effort to cover-up, or send a signal to the LeBaron clan about keeping silent concerning his daughter’s role in the suspected pedophilia between Raniere and the LeBaron girls.
To repeat: The children who were murdered were not the same LeBaron girls that went to be tutored and groomed and possibly sexually assaulted by Raniere.
In addition, Junco had a better target for assassination: For about six months before Raniere was arrested [March 26, 2018], Junco was trying to get his daughter to leave Nxivm. He took some extraordinary [and legal] measures to get her to leave.
Among these was that he seems to have hired detectives to locate the whereabouts of Raniere after he fled the USA; they found him in San Pedro Garza Garcia [near Monterrey.] Instead of having Raniere killed, Junco informed Frank Report, through one of our mutual contacts.
This is how I broke the story of Raniere fleeing to Mexico: Keith Raniere has fled the United States; may be seeking to avoid imminent arrest in NY!
The FBI soon went down to Monterrey seeking to speak with Raniere, who then fled to Puerto Vallarta. I also broke the story of his being in hiding there.
Junco obviously did not murder Raniere, and yet for possibly less money than he spent to locate Raniere – in bloody Mexico, he could have had him assassinated.
If Junco did not kill the LeBaron women and children, could it have been another father of Nxivm members, Carlos Salinas?
The former Mexican president and reputed head of the drug cartels – the boss of bosses – is one of, if not the most, feared and hated man in Mexico.
His son, Emiliano Salinas was the Mexican leader of Nxivm. Sources say Carlos was not pleased about his son’s participation in Nxivm but was never overly anxious about getting his son [and daughter Cecilia] out until after the branding story made national news in Mexico and Emiliano was being lambasted in the press.
Sources told Frank Report that Emiliano was on a short list of potential candidates to run for president of Mexico representing his father’s political party, Partido Revolucionario Institucional, [PRI]- something Raniere keenly supported.
When the branding story broke, it dashed Emiliano’s viability for a run for the presidency of Mexico. Frank Report personally worked with dozens of members of Mexican media to provide them with information about the branding and Emiliano’s role in it – well before Raniere’s arrest.
Emiliano, with his TV actress wife, Ludwika Paleta, might have otherwise made an attractive first couple. Branding women became the death knell of Emiliano’s incipient candidacy.
After the branding story broke nationally in Mexico, Carlos Salinas seems to have put his foot down demanding his son and daughter quit the cult. When Raniere fled to Mexico, he tried to see Emiliano, who avoided him – even telling the press he was occupied with family affairs.
Carlos Salinas, if he is anywhere near true to his reputation as a murderer, could have silenced Raniere forever quite easily in Mexico.
Instead, it was arranged – possibly by Junco and/or Salinas [who did meet at least once over the Raniere matter] – to get Raniere arrested by Mexican federal police and deported to the USA.
The record fast deportation [less than one day] may have been the work of one or both of these two powerful and wealthy fathers – who both had a similar interest – the protection of their children from the taint of Raniere.
But they did not kill him.
So why would they kill women and children in the LeBaron family who are at best remotely related to Nxivm?
That is not to rule out Carlos Salinas being involved in the LeBaron massacre, unrelated to Nxivm. He may be behind the assassins’ plan to target women and children of the clan – over drugs, money, control of the region or other disputed concerns.
That leaves Raniere, and his devotees, the Seagram’s heiresses, Clare and Sara Bronfman, and any other remaining, loyal Nxivm members.
Raniere was convicted and in federal detention. It is hard to imagine him putting a hit on anyone right now. Clare Bronfman is under home arrest awaiting sentencing for her conviction. Sara Bronfman fled the US and is living in France. It is hard to see how they could have had a role in the killings.
In 2009, Raniere said he had people killed for his beliefs and I think it’s true. I also think his murder victims were women.
But why would Raniere or anyone in Nxivm order a murder of LeBaron women and children?
I can see no reason and this budding, unsubstantiated conspiracy theory ought to be laid to rest at once, in my opinion.
Who killed them and what was the motive?
Our frequent commenter, AnonyMaker, has made an important comment about the LeBaron massacre.
He said, “This seems almost certainly to have to do with the unfortunately brutal realities of Mexican drug gang operations, whether a case of mistaken identity as has been suggested, or retribution against the LeBarons for opposing crime and cartels…
“It’s also been reported that a woman driving one of the vehicles… was perhaps the most prominent anti-crime activist in the family – and also involved in the water disputes.
“…. the water disputes… apparently involve accusations that the LeBarons have been illegally drilling hundreds of wells on their properties – presumably impacting the availability of water for others (such activity can cause others’ wells to run dry, or even impact surface water if placed close to rivers.”
Another one of our commenters, Shivani, added this to our study of the massacre:
“The LeBaron family… is a big group, about three thousand, and not at all ‘unknown’ where they have been living, since the 1950’s – that is, this particular LeBaron group, and they have more than one settlement.
“Their settlements really contain different branches of ‘philosophy’ and lifestyles… Their unity is not as unified as is presented. Some LeBarons are not into polygamy, some are. Some are anti-drug, and frankly, some are dealers who work for or ‘with’ cartels. Most of their more current divisions stem from power-move murders within their own family cult itself when two brothers in charge broke from each other, and one killed the other eventually (like carrying out a very planned hit.) It has only gotten crazier over the years but they try to appear unified to outsiders, regardless of what goes on among them.
“The blonde woman [Rhonita Miller] who was incinerated along with four of her children has three children who were not with her. Only 30, she already had seven children. Rhonita was born with the surname LeBaron. She was the one of the 3 mothers killed who was the most involved in community activism. One of her most known fights had been ongoing, about water rights. Rhonita was not quietly off on a ranch living invisibly. She was a lively outgoing community presence.
“Rhonita’s was the first vehicle to be shot into, by a group of armed men, igniting the gas tank. Another woman killed, the woman with the darkest hair, was said to have died when she got out of her vehicle, waving her arms and begging the shooters to stop attacking. It was one of her sons who hid his wounded siblings and made the walk alone, for help. But also Mormon men working outdoors saw fire in the distance and then more fire and were on their way to investigate…
“There are tougher members of the LeBaron group, who appear to live a grittier, more hoodlum kind of lifestyle, going back at least 3 to 4 generations, and there are more insular members of this cult, who live mostly farming and keeping a lot to themselves.
“The family members who have spoken, and I have found 3, two men and one woman, all say that they are well-known presences in their area and have been, for several generations. They are certain that Rhonita was targeted, that there was no mistaken identity or accidental crossfire situation at all.
“…. There is deep pain and bitterness about how many [LeBaron’s] have been killed or otherwise harassed, going back many, many years.
“But the underbelly is their own, some of it murderous, infighting among familial offshoots. Some have embraced a criminal kind of way of life. Some have not. A few will discuss these divisions openly and some definitely do not want to talk about it.
“I do think, very much, that massacre began and was motivated by vengeance directed at Maria Rhonita. We do know that there has been at least one arrest of a suspected drug cartel leader, related to this slaughter.”
Water at Root of Massacre?
In 2012, a dispute over water between the LeBaron clan and neighboring Mexican farmers became violent. Members of the LeBaron family shot at a group of 500 people who wanted to destroy what they claimed were “illegal wells” drilled on the LeBaron ranch.
The LeBaron’s were prepared to kill those farmers – and they kept them at bay and kept their illegally gotten water.
In May 2018 “El Barzon” a Mexican NGO who claim to fight for the defense of the land accused the LeBaron family of violating a 1957 agreement by drilling hundreds of illegal wells in the municipalities of Namiquipa, Riva Palacio, Buenaventura, and Ahumada.
A History of the Violence
There is obviously no justification for killing children, and usually not adults, but it is possible the LeBaron’s may have continued their longstanding violent ways up to the present – and experienced retaliation.
They are fighting for water – and willing to shoot those affected by their water drilling – and evidently winning that battle – possibly parching out people whose families have lived in the region longer than the LeBarons
A history of how the LeBarons got started in northern Mexico might give readers a clue of their violent origins.
The Church of the Firstborn, or the “LeBaron order” split from the Mormon Church in the United States because they refused to abandon polygamy, a requirement in 1886 for the state of Utah to be recognized as part of the USA.
The Lebarons went to La Mora, in Chihuahua, Mexico, led by patriarch Alma Dayer LeBaron Sr., the common ancestor of the LeBaron clan.
Alma was ordained by Benjamin F. Johnson, who had received priesthood authorities from Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Alma was excommunicated in 1924 for continuing to practice polygamy, which the Utah Mormon’s officially disavowed in 1890.
Alma had five sons, Alma Jr, Benjamin, Ervil, Ross and Joel.
The sons disputed over who was the greatest spiritually.
In 1955, Ross LeBaron claimed he had been assigned by God to prepare the way for the One Mighty and Strong, who would be “an Indian prophet”.
In 1956, Ervil LeBaron published a booklet titled “Priesthood Expounded”, which became a bible for the LeBaron order.
Brother Joel claimed he was personally visited by 19 prophets, including Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and the founder of the Mormon church Joseph Smith.
In 1957, Ben LeBaron wrote he had received the power of the “One Mighty and Strong of Joseph Smith’s 1832 prophecy” and consequently he was meant to redeem The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from spiritual bondage – including by restoring polygamy.
Joel and Ross both claimed special “Firstborn order” priesthood lines of authority as coming from their father, Alma.
This created a family feud
In 1972, the brothers had a feud over leadership of the “Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Time”. Ervil started his own, “Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God”.
Ervil also ordered the murder of his brother Joel.
In 1974, Ervil was tried and convicted in Mexico for Joel’s murder. His conviction was overturned on a technicality; with allegations that he bribed his way out of Mexican prison.
In 1975, Ervil ordered the killing of Bob Simons, a polygamist who sought to minister to Native Americans in the area.
In 1977, Ervil ordered the killing of Rulon C. Allred, leader of the “Apostolic United Brethren” another Mormon sect. Ervil LeBaron’s 13th wife, Rena Chynoweth carried out the murder with Ervil’s stepdaughter, Ramona Marston.
In 1977, Ervil LeBaron ordered the murder of his own 17-year-old daughter Rebecca, who was pregnant with her second child. She had wanted to leave the group.
On June 1, 1979, Ervil LeBaron was arrested by police in Mexico and [like Raniere] extradited to the United States, where he was convicted of Allred’s death. In 1980, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. He died a year later in prison. He was 56.
In 2009, the LeBaron family engaged in a war against drug dealers in Chihuahua.
On May 2, Erick Le Baron, 17, grandson of Joel LeBaron [and Meredith Romney, a relative of Mitt Romney. The Romney’s polygamist clan live in Colonia LeBaron] were kidnapped and held in a cave. The ransom for Romney was paid. The ransom for Erick – $1 million – was not.
The LeBaron clan [some say they were advised by Raniere] announced they would not pay any ransom. Erick was nevertheless released by his captors on May 10.
On July 6, 2009, Erick’s brother, Benjamin, and another Lebaron clan member, Luis Widmar Stubbs, were kidnapped and murdered on the streets of “Colonia LeBaron” by hitmen who left a message alongside the victims’ bodies stating that the crime was in retaliation for Benjamin’s activism against the cartels.
This may or may not have been the true reason for the killings.
Raniere, in defense of his comment on a video that he has “had people killed for his beliefs and for theirs” claimed that the people killed for his beliefs were Ben LeBaron and Luis Stubbs – because he had advised the LeBaron’s not to pay ransom and to continue to fight the drug barons.
The problem with Raniere’s claim is that while Ben and Stubbs were killed on July 6, 2009, Raniere made his “I’ve had people killed for my beliefs” statement [on video] in April 2009, about three months before the killings; the two men were still alive.
After Ben and Stubbs were killed, the LeBarons prepared to fight the armed cartel members with armed resistance.
Although gun ownership is illegal for most Mexican citizens, the LeBarons worked out special arrangements with local officials that allow them to have an ample armament to defend their communities and at times become aggressive. The LeBaron clan is known as armed and dangerous, and men and even women who will stand up to drug barons and farmers who want water.
Some of the LeBaron clan deal drugs themselves, and their dual citizenship is helpful in this endeavor.
Of course, not all the LeBaron clan are descendants of the murderous Ervil [there were four other brothers] and reportedly the victims of the recent massacre were not members of Ervil’s Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God.
Why the women and children were murdered remains a mystery.
But the most likely scenario is this was no accident.