Manacled Mormon case

  (Redirected from Mormon sex in chains case)

The Manacled Mormon case,[6] also known as the Mormon sex in chains case, was a case of reputed sexual assault and kidnap by an American woman, Joyce McKinney, of a young American Mormon missionary, Kirk Anderson, in England in 1977. Because McKinney and her accomplice skipped bail and were not extradited from the United States, they were never tried for these specific crimes. According to Anderson, he had been abducted by McKinney from the steps of a church meetinghouse, chained to a bed and raped by her. Before the case could be tried, McKinney jumped bail and fled to the United States.

Manacled Mormon case
1984 mugshot taken of perpetrator Joyce McKinney when subsequently arrested in 1984 in Salt Lake City, Utah, on charges she again was stalking her 1977 victim, Anderson
Duration14–17 September 1977 (1977-09-14 – 1977-09-17)[1]
MotiveMcKinney's self-professed lovesickness or "all-consuming passion".[2]
OutcomeAnderson says he escaped by feigning to alleged captors that he would inform church authorities of his soon elopement with McKinney.
ArrestsMcKinney and alleged accomplice Keith May
Verdict(No trial on main charges)
ConvictionsMcKinney and May, in absentia, for skipping bail[3]
SentenceOne year's imprisonment if bail money (£1,000 each) not returned[3]
In April 1978, McKinney and May absconded on false passports. McKinney remains a fugitive from justice in the UK.[4] May died in 2004.[5]


A young Mormon missionary, Kirk Anderson, went missing on 14 September 1977, in Ewell, Surrey. He was allegedly abducted from the steps of a meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[7] by Keith May, 24, who had posed as an investigator into Mormonism, using a fake handgun and chloroform. Three days later, a freed Anderson made a report to the police that he had been abducted, driven to Devon, and imprisoned against his will, chained to a bed in a cottage, where Joyce Bernann McKinney (a former 1973 Miss Wyoming World; born August 6, 1949 as Joy McKinney)[8][9][10][11][12] had attempted to seduce and then raped him.

Police set up a sting operation by having Anderson set up a 21 September rendezvous with McKinney and May leading to the two suspects being arrested.

Judicial proceedingsEdit

On 19 September 1977, McKinney and her alleged conspirator Keith May were arrested and charged with kidnap and assault. They vigorously denied the charges. While being taken to Epsom for a court appearance, she held a notice up at the window of the police vehicle saying, "Kirk left with me willingly!"[13] At the committal hearing, McKinney stated of Anderson: "I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to."[14] Press reports and McKinney's solicitor refer to the size differential between McKinney, described as slightly built, and Anderson, described as substantially larger.[15][16] Under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 then in force in the United Kingdom, because of the victim's gender, there was no crime of rape committed, though indecent assault of a man did apply.[17]

McKinney and May jumped bail and absconded from the UK on 12 April 1978. Their trial for kidnap had been due to begin on 2 May.[18] A judge at London's Central Criminal Court in June 1978 sentenced McKinney and May in absentia to a year in prison for skipping bail (if their bail money, £1,000 each, was not repaid).[3] No extradition proceedings were instituted by Britain.

On 18 July 1979, May and McKinney were both arrested in the United States by the FBI on charges of making false statements in order to obtain passports.[19] They both received suspended sentences.[20]

Coverage in the mediaEdit

The coverage in British newspapers in the final months of 1977 was extensive.[7] Some newspapers sought to obtain "scoops" on the story, and to undermine each other as they managed to obtain and publish exclusive information. For example, the Daily Mirror researched McKinney's past and reported over several days that she had been a nude model. The Daily Mail attempted to devalue the Mirror's reports by advertising itself as "The paper without Joyce McKinney".[21]

Brian Whitaker has observed that the case provided "light relief" for the newspaper-reading public, from more serious stories about politicians.[21] Roger Wilkes states that the coverage of the case "cheered Britain up no end".[22]

A Church of Scotland working party on obscenity in 1979 observed the "gusto" with which newspapers covered and followed the case observing the coverage was accompanied by "the kind of illustration which a decade ago would have been under plain sealed cover".[23]

The coverage was extensive in part because the case was considered so anomalous, involving as it did the issue of rape of a man by a woman. Backhouse and Cohen reported in 1978 that many men, privately, expressed their disbelief of such a possibility.[24]

The case was documented in Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon,[25] a book by Anthony Delano in 1978, who based his work on assembled Daily Mirror coverage.[26]

Later developmentsEdit

In 1984 McKinney was again the subject of police action for allegedly stalking Anderson at his workplace, though he was now married with children.[27][28] Keith May, her conspirator, died in 2004.[29]

In 2008, a story about a woman named "Bernann McKinney" appeared in the media after the woman had her pet dog cloned in South Korea. Journalists tied the two incidents together in articles identifying facial similarity between "Bernann McKinney" and Joyce Bernann McKinney.[30] After initial denials[9][15][31] the International Herald Tribune and other publications carried an admission by McKinney that she was the person named in the 1977 case.[16]

The revival of interest in the story led the documentary filmmaker Errol Morris to produce a 2010 film, Tabloid, based on the media sensation surrounding the story.[32] The film gives extra details, from press reports of the day and from participants in the story, to the use of a (possibly fake) gun during Anderson's abduction, and Anderson being tied up during his alleged rape by McKinney.[33] The film also gave further details regarding McKinney's work as a call girl, earning funds for her team's international adventure by offering bondage and S&M services around the time she became obsessed with Anderson.

In January 2016, McKinney filed suit against Morris, claiming that she had been misrepresented in the film and that Morris and others related to the documentary's production had broken into her home, stolen personal items related to the case, and threatened the life of her service dog if McKinney did not sign release papers allowing them to use her footage for the film. Legal representatives for Morris stated that "evidence will show that [McKinney] willingly – in fact, eagerly – participated in the lengthy interview that is featured in the film."[34] Morris stated in an interview later that year that the charges had been dismissed as "frivolous".[35]

Anderson is now a real estate agent and shies away from publicity. McKinney is reported to now use a wheelchair for mobility. At one point she lived in Newland, in the western North Carolina mountains.[15][28] More recently, she has lived as a homeless person in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.

Vehicular manslaughter chargeEdit

In July 2019, The Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division (VTD) named McKinney as the person involved in a fatal hit and run that took the life of Gennady Bolotsky, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor.[36] The incident took place in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Valley Village on Monday, June 16, 2019, at around 5:40 A.M. Bolotsky was walking his dog at a crosswalk on Magnolia Boulevard and Wilkinson Avenue when he was struck by a white 2006 GMC pick-up truck. The incident was captured by surveillance video from a nearby business. Stills from this video were released by police, and locals identified the vehicle as that of a then-unidentified homeless woman who had been the subject of frequent police reports.[37] On June 21, 2019, investigators followed a lead that the suspected vehicle was parked in the city of Burbank near the Burbank Airport. Investigators located McKinney, who appeared to be living in the vehicle along with her three dogs.

During the investigation, detectives learned that McKinney had outstanding warrants for battery and public nuisance from an unrelated investigation. McKinney was taken into custody for her preexisting warrants and booked into Valley Jail Division in Van Nuys. McKinney's vehicle was impounded by VTD investigators and processed for evidence related to the fatal collision. On July 1, 2019, the VTD presented their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney and charged McKinney with assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, hit and run with injury, and vehicular manslaughter. A sentencing enhancement was proposed due to injury to a person over 70 years of age.[38] McKinney remained in custody on the previous warrants, under a combined bail of $137,500. If convicted, she faces up to a maximum of 11 years in state prison.[39]

McKinney was ordered to a psychiatric evaluation and, on July 11, 2019, she was sent to the Los Angeles Court division for mentally incompetent defendants.[40]


  1. ^ "Joyce McKinney and the battle of the tabloids". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ Sheridan, Peter (16 January 2016). "Return of Joyce, the kidnap beauty queen".
  3. ^ a b c "Joyce McKinney Ordered to Forfeit Bail". The Times. London. 21 June 1978. Retrieved 7 January 2020. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Brunton, Michael (11 August 2008). "Cloner Dogged by Sex Scandal". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  5. ^ Leonard, Tom (12 August 2011). "Joyce McKinney: 'Madam Mayhem' still loves Mormon missionary she kidnapped". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  6. ^ Greenslade, Roy (17 October 2013). "Judge finds for filmmaker in 'manacled Mormon' case". the Guardian.
  7. ^ a b Fernandes 1999, pp. 489
  8. ^ Dobner, Jennifer (10 August 2008). "Cloned-dog owner is '70s fugitive". The Associated Press. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b Bone & Kennedy 2008
  10. ^ "Corrections". St. Petersburg Times. 13 August 2008. pp. A.1.
  11. ^ "Setting it straight". The Sacramento Bee. 13 August 2008. pp. A2.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Barret, Frank. "Joyce McKinney". Jamd. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  14. ^ Cobain, Ian (8 August 2008). "Now she has her pit bull cloned. But once she manacled a Mormon for sex". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Gordon 2008
  16. ^ a b AP 2008
  17. ^ "Sexual Offences Act 1956 (c.69), section Intercourse by force, intimidation, etc". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  18. ^ Tendler, Stewart (18 April 1978). "Mormon case couple escape to Canada". The Times. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Beauty queen back in FBI's custody". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press. 20 July 1979. p. 4.
  20. ^ Brunton 2008
  21. ^ a b Whitaker 1981, pp. 39, 55
  22. ^ Wilkes 2002, pp. 286
  23. ^ CoSWP 1979, pp. 29
  24. ^ Backhouse & Cohen 1978, pp. 163
  25. ^ Fillion 1996, pp. 331
  26. ^ Woestendiek 2010
  27. ^ O'Neill 2008
  28. ^ a b Dobner 2008
  29. ^ Leonard, Tom (12 August 2011). "I still love my manacled Mormon: 'Madam Mayhem' Joyce McKinney who kidnapped missionary with mink-lined handcuffs is still defiant as film is made of her life". Daily Mail. London, UK.
  30. ^ Batty 2008
  31. ^ Peterkin 2008
  32. ^ "Scandal and Subjective Reality in Errol Morris's Tabloid".
  33. ^ "Why they're calling this snobby Titanic show 'Drownton Abbey'". Irish Independent. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  34. ^ Gardner, Eriq (15 January 2016). "Errol Morris Heads to Trial Against Irate Plaintiff at Center of 2011 Documentary 'Tabloid'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  35. ^ Brown, Phil (14 October 2016). "Errol Morris on The B-Side and His Donald Trump Short". Collider. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  36. ^ "Holocaust survivor killed in hit-and-run; witness walking by did not stop to help". WGN-TV. 22 June 2019.
  37. ^ Leonard, Eric. "Woman Charged in Hit-and-Run Killing of Holocaust Survivor in Valley Village". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  38. ^ Hardy, Jessica (16 October 2019). "Woman To Face Charges After Killing Holocaust Survive In Brutal Hit And Run [Video]". Lead Patriot. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  39. ^ Helsel, Phil. "Woman, 68, charged in hit-and-run death of Holocaust survivor". NBC News. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  40. ^ "Psychiatric evaluation ordered for woman suspected in Valley Village hit-and-run death of Holocaust survivor". Los Angeles Daily News. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2020.

Reference bibliographyEdit