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George J. Throckmorton papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2408

Scope and Contents

Contains case files, research materials, and photographs relating to the Mark Hofmann criminal investigation. Additional materials include oral histories, legal materials, book manuscripts, and related ephemera.


  • 1985-2001


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.

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.


9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Contains case files, research materials, and photographs relating to the Mark Hofmann criminal investigation. Additional materials include oral histories, legal materials, book manuscripts, and related ephemera.


Series and Sub-Series typically follow a numerical order (i.e. Box 1, Folder 1). However, to meet preservation requirements, audiotapes, photographs, and ephemeral items are housed in separate archival containers. To accurately represent their location in the papers, and to preserve the original order of these historical materials, all audiotapes, photographs, and ephemeral items are listed in the appropriate collection series or sub-subseries. This means that, on occasion, Box and Folder numbers will not appear in numerical sequence.

The collection consist of four series: 1. George J. Throckmorton criminal investigation files, 1980-1990; 2. George J. Throckmorton homicide trial files, 1985-1987; 3. George J. Throckmorton writings, recollections, interviews, and correspondence, 1985-2001; and 4. George J. Throckmorton photographs, slides, and negatives, 1985-1987.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Gift of Mr. George J. Throckmorton

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Mr. George J. Throckmorton.


Utah and American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; John M. Murphy & Benjamin J. Bahlmann; June 2003.

Register of the George J. Throckmorton papers
John M. Murphy & Benjamin J. Bahlmann
June 2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States