The Warren Jeffs Photos – Time Bomb


What’s today, Wednesday? So it’s been five days since we first published the photos of Warren Jeffs and the 12-year-old girl. The photos, if legitimate, seem destined to become the poster image for the FLDS/child bride debate. But for whatever reason, the photos didn’t break into the spotlight immediately. Only today do they seem to be coming into the national conversation. Almost a week after their release are they popping up all over the Internet as news outlets and blogs “discover them.”

The delayed reaction is surprising from here in San Angelo. We hadn’t seen anything like these photographs released before and expected their release to go off like a bomb last week. We expected shows like Nancy Grace and CNN to pipe them into your homes nonstop all weekend long. And that was probably the hope of Child Protective Services (CPS).

But it didn’t happen. All was quiet over Memorial Day Weekend, and only a few outlets picked up on the photographs. But then The Smoking Gun put them online yesterday and everything kicked off from there. They are now spreading like a virus coming out of its incubation period.

One thing to note for all of you ethicists is that many news outlets are running the photographs with no attempt to conceal the identity of the girl, and some are even printing her name (which was handwritten on the sheet of photos). The Tribune decided to blur the girl’s face to protect her identity in case she is a victim of sexual abuse. Our policy is to not identify victims of sexual abuse.


I was in the hearing last Friday when the photos were first introduced into evidence. As the lawyers handed the three sheets of photographs showing Warren Jeffs holding and kissing two different young girls, I was craning my neck for a better view. The photos were released at the next break in testimony.

We were the only media outlet in the hearing that had two staffers. So while the reporters were stuck in the courtroom listening to testimony, I was able to wait in the clerk’s office for the first copies of the photos.

Once they were in my hand I calmly walked out and down the steps of the courthouse, trying to act normal as I went to my car to send the photos with my laptop. I didn’t want the masses of broadcast (TV) media outside to realize we had a scoop.

My call to the Tribune with news of the photographs came during the afternoon budget meeting and sent a buzz through the assembled editors. Again, I’m talking last Friday. That’s when we had it. Smoking gun or not, we were first.


  1. Once again, the age is ONLY an assumption. Just like all the 12 & 13 yr old mothers that are really 22, 27 etc. that CPS is STILL holding as minors. What you see is NOT always what it is. Living a sweet, clean, moral life, keeps a person from aging.
    Yes, everyone has THOSE pictures, but who has the REAL proof??? The legal documents???? Or do we NOT use those anymore???? We believe EVERYTHING that CPS wants us to??? Thats what it looks like for now.
    Sad, the world wants to point fingers at everyone else for wrongs, yet, they should be looking at themselves first. “Whom so ever is free from sin, let him cast the first stone.” Be careful how you judge, for God will judge you like wise.

  2. For the girls’ sakes, I hope they aren’t children but they look like children and Jeffs’ has a history of promoting child marriages. Not to mention bigamy.

  3. The girls look very young to me, and I find the photos of him kissing those little girls very troubling. One of the girls was identified in court by her brother, Dan Jessop, and she was 12 at the time she was photographed kissing Warren Jeffs. She is apparently currently 13 years old, and is in custody, at least until she returns home as a result of the vacating of Judge Walthers lower court order. I hope hope hope that these “facts” are in error and there is an explanation for these pics that we haven’t heard yet.

    It bothers me that the kiss was a mutual kiss; what 12-year-old would kiss an older man like that, even if she had a crush on him? And why/how in the world would Warren be attracted to a prepubescent child to kiss her the way he did in that picture? If it is true that the marriage was not consummated (as has been claimed), that is a blessing, but it still does not make that kiss right or acceptable, nor does it make a marriage sealing at that age acceptable. She is too young to make that kind of choice, and too young to be kissing a man. Further, why did the kiss need to happen at all?? If the marriage was never intended to be consummated until she was over, what was the point of a passionate kiss?

    I am glad to hear today that the FLDS released a statement pledging not to engage in underage marriages. Had they made that proclamation four years ago, maybe we would not be here today.

  4. Okay.. “ME” – are you kidding???

    ‘living a clean and moral life keeps you from aging’??? does that include growing as well???
    if that is the case, shouldn’t we all simply exist as eternal children, flopping around and living forever??
    i ask you to find 2 separate white women that come up to mr. jeff’s elbow that AREN’T minors?!
    you would be hard pressed, to say the least. obviously, you are either currently or aspiring to become involved with the flds, or another equivalent, OR perhaps you are simply a perverted old man who endorses the sexual exploitation and oppression of young girls. well, let me tell you something. the ‘rest of the world’, whom exist in a realm of reality might i add, would not have to point fingers if these people who live their lives more transparently. instead, they shield themselves from the ‘rest of the world’, limit outside associations and education, and rear ignorant generations of people who know of no other way to be and are so unfortunately unaware of how wrong their lifestyle truly is and what opportunities they have unknowingly sacrificed.. back here in the ‘real world’.

    in closure, “ME”, I think that you should be hunted down and exposed. i peg you at white, male, over 40, likely with a stock pile of child pornography, or perhaps a stable of child brides. i cannot believe that ANYONE would submit a comment in support of these pictures, but am not surprised that you would be so much of a coward to not even reveal your very obvious gender with an actual screen name.

  5. Mala, get your facts straight. Me??? Get a grip! Keep quoting the bible and twisting it to fit your needs and yes YE will be judged! (shakes her head in disgust)

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