Rebecca Musser

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Rebecca Musser (née Wall) is known for being a wife of the late Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Rulon Jeffs and for her escape, advocacy work and involvement in legal proceedings after leaving the FLDS.

Inside the FLDS[edit]

Musser was born into the FLDS faith and was raised in a polygamous family.[1] When she turned 19, she became the 19th bride of Rulon Jeffs after he received 'divine inspiration' that she was to be his new wife.[2] After years of sexual abuse by Jeffs, she finally escaped the compound after Jeffs passed away by scaling a wall that surrounded the house and slipping past Jeffs' armed guards.[3] In 2002 Jeffs died at the age 92. At the time of his death, Jeffs was married to 64 women.[3]

After Jeffs' death, Musser was told by Jeffs' son and new church leader Warren Jeffs that she needed to remarry. Shortly after this encounter, Musser fled the compound and lived with her brother in Oregon. [4]

In the media[edit]

Musser testified against FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs a total of 20 times and helped prosecutors to win 11 convictions against him. During one of the days testifying for the trial she showed up in a sleeveless red dress.[2] This was significant because the color red had previously been banned by Jeffs for all FLDS members.[5] The red dress also became significant again when Musser was writing her memoir.[1]

After testifying, Musser made headlines in the New York Daily News,[6] AOL,[7] and Marie Claire,[8] among others.

Musser is a member of SHEROES United, a non-profit organization that embraces female role models in communities. Musser is featured as a SHERO on their website with a biography focusing on life after leaving the FLDS.[9] She has also founded the non-profit organization ClaimRED, an organization dedicated to those who have become victims of human trafficking.[9]

In 2013 Musser wrote the memoir The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice along with author M. Bridget Cook.[1] The book received a positive welcome from The Today Show and was featured in their 'Today Books' section.[10] The book was also featured on NPR,[11] Secular News Daily,[12] and Publishers Weekly,[13] among other media outlets as well.

Family[edit]

Musser is the sister of Elissa Wall, author of the memoir Stolen Innocence, an account of her own escape from the FLDS. Musser is mentioned in the book, including her reaction to the fact that Wall had to marry her own cousin at age 14.[14]

She is the widow of deceased prophet Rulon Jeffs, making over 63 other women her sisters-in-law,[3] commonly referred to as "sister-wives" within polygamous communities.[15]

Being the wife of Rulon Jeffs, Musser was also a stepmother to Warren Jeffs. Their relationship was abusive because Warren threatened her life and tried to force her to remarry after the death of his father.[16]

She is one of 14 children that were born to her mother and one of 25 children born to her father.

After leaving the FLDS, Musser married Rulon Jeffs' grandson and had two children, son Kyle and daughter Natalia, before divorcing. [9][17] This meant that her former husband was her former step-grandson and her children are also her step-great-grandchildren.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Musser, Rebecca (2013). The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 1455527858. 
  2. ^ a b "'You will be destroyed in the flesh:' FLDS survivor Rebecca Musser describes how Warren Jeffs threatened her life if she refused sex with his 85-year-old father". Daily Mail. 2013-09-14. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  3. ^ a b c "'I was in a constant state of fear': Woman reveals 'seven years of sexual abuse' as young bride married to Warren Jeffs' 85-year-old sect leader FATHER". Daily Mail. 04/12/2013. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  4. ^ http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20739362,00.html
  5. ^ Weber, Paul J. (2013-09-14). "Warren Jeffs Trial: Polygamist Leader Ruled With Heavy Hand, Witnesses Say". Huffington Post. 
  6. ^ Mandell, Nina (2013-04-13). "Rebecca Musser, former polygamist sect wife, speaks out". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  7. ^ "Former Plural Wife of FLDS Prophet Speaks Out". AOL Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  8. ^ "How I Fled a Life of Polygamy". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  9. ^ a b c "Rebecca Musser". SHEROES United. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Author emancipates herself from a polygamous cult in 'The Witness Wore Red'". The Today Show. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  11. ^ Staff, NPR. "'The Witness Wore Red': A Polygamist's Wife Finds A New Life". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  12. ^ "Interview: Rebecca Musser, Author Of ‘The Witness Wore Red’". Secular Coalition For America. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  13. ^ "The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  14. ^ Wall, Elissa (2008). Stolen Innocence. William Morrow. ISBN 978-0-06-162801-6. 
  15. ^ Barney, Kevin. "Sister-Wives". By Common Consent. Retrieved 04/10/2007. 
  16. ^ "Testified Against FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs, Advocate for Victims of Human Trafficking". Hachette Speakers Bureau. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  17. ^ http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20739362,00.html