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George J. Throckmorton criminal investigation files, 1980-1990

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2408 Series 1
Series 1, “Criminal Investigation,” includes three sub-series. Sub-Series 1, “Case Files,” documents Mr. Throckmorton’s investigation of suspected Hofmann forgeries. Sub-Series 2, “Investigative Research / Notes” contains materials related to Mr. Throckmorton’s investigation of Mark Hofmann. Documentary materials include an audio tape of Mr. Throckmorton’s initial forensic examination of the Hofmann forgeries; materials and documentation relating to Mr. Throckmorton’s forensic testing of papers and inks; and photocopies of known Joseph Smith, Jr., handwriting samples. Sub-Series 3, “Printing Plates,” includes printing plates created and used by Mr. Throckmorton to duplicate the forgery process.

Dates

  • Other: 1980-1990

Conditions Governing Access

Closed to research until December 31, 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the George J. Throckmorton papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the Special Collections Board of Curators.

Extent

1 Cubic Feet (approxiamtely 3 boxes)

Biographical History

Utah police investigator and forensic examiner.

In March 1967, Mr. Throckmorton joined the Ogden City Police Department, Ogden, Utah. As a member of the department’s regular patrol division, he developed an interest in forensic science. To further develop his knowledge, Mr. Throckmorton enrolled in several home study courses offered through the Institute of Applied Science in Chicago, Illinois.

After a year and a half with the Ogden Police Department, Mr. Throckmorton filled a vacancy in the department’s crime laboratory. While working in the Ogden City Crime Laboratory and taking night classes at Weber State College, he decided to attend school fulltime. He left the Ogden Police Department and concentrated on his studies at Weber State. Before completing a degree, he was offered a teaching position at the Institute of Applied Science. Accepting the position, he moved his family to Chicago, where he specialized in fingerprint and handwriting analysis. After nine months at the Institute, the Throckmorton family returned to Utah. Mr. Throckmorton was again hired by the Ogden Police Department crime laboratory. By the fall of October 1970 he was filling the role of document and handwriting examiner for the Weber County area.

While continuing to work fulltime for the Ogden Police Department, Mr. Throckmorton again enrolled at Weber State College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminalistics in 1975. During his tenure with the Ogden Police Department, Mr. Throckmorton also took specialized handwriting identification courses from the United States Secret Service.

Desiring further education, Mr. Throckmorton left the Ogden Police Department for a second time and moved to Washington State, where he attended the Washington State University's graduate program in Police Administration with an emphasis in criminalistics. Upon receiving his master’s degree in 1976, Mr. Throckmorton relocated his family to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he found employment with the state crime laboratory as a questioned document examiner. While with the state crime laboratory, Mr. Throckmorton proved himself to be a capable examiner and was assigned the additional duty of laboratory supervisor.

Later Mr. Throckmorton was transferred to the State Attorney General’s office, where he took part in white-collar crime investigations. In 1985, during Mr. Throckmorton's tenure with the attorney general’s office, two bomb slayings in Salt Lake City, a document known as the Salamander Letter, and the name Mark Hofmann captured the public’s attention.

Mr. Throckmorton’s investigative experience in document examination led him to question the validity of the media’s many statements regarding the authenticity of the Salamander Letter. Further research into the matter led Mr. Throckmorton to contact the county attorney’s office and alert them to the possibility of Mr. Hofmann’s involvement in forgeries. The county attorney’s investigative team found merit in Mr. Throckmorton’s observations and requested that he be temporarily assigned to the Hofmann investigation. This temporary assignment resulted in his spending the next sixteen months deeply immersed in document analysis.

Together with the help of his colleague, William J. Flynn, Mr. Throckmorton developed new paper and ink testing techniques that ultimately exposed Hofmann as a master forger and provided the prosecution with a solid motive for the bombing murders. Since the Mark Hofmann investigation ended in 1987, Mr. Throckmorton has assisted in many major criminal investigations in Utah, including the Lafferty case and the Troy Kell case.

From January 1994 to July 1995, Mr. Throckmorton directed the Weber State University crime laboratory. Mr. Throckmorton has, for sixteen years, been active in the Southwest Association of Forensic Document Examiners. In addition to his term as President, he has also served on the executive board of directors for the association. Mr. Throckmorton is also a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Currently Mr. Throckmorton is Director of the Salt Lake City Police Department Crime Laboratory.

Born May 26, 1943, George J. Throckmorton was raised in South Salt Lake, Utah. Mr. Throckmorton married Caroline Gallucci on November 22, 1966. Together they have raised four children.

Arrangement note

The collection consist of three series: 1. George J. Throckmorton case files, 1980-1990; 2. George J. Throckmorton investigative research and notes, 1985-1987; and 3. George J. Throckmorton: Mark Hofmann printing plates files, undated.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository
Other Finding Aids File-level inventory available online. http://files.lib.byu.edu/ead/XML/MSS2408.xml

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States