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The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This brillianty reported, unforgettable true story reveals how one of the most monstrous sexual criminals in the history of the Mormon church, a Sunday school teacher named Frank Curtis, preyed on his victims even as he was protected by the church elders who knew of his behavior. Photos.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Scribner (first published March 1st 2011)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mormon
This book reads like a detective novel, in excellent journalistic style. It reminds me of a “Long Read” from the BBC or the Guardian - i didn’t linger, savoring a delicious turn of phrase, or unique metaphor - i plowed right on through. This is the story of the attorneys and the families who tried to fight against the huge, secret, monolith that is the Mormon church. Just realized how much Temple Square in Salt Lake, and the many buildings housing the finances and secrets of the Church are like ...more
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lezlee Hays
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a practicing active member of the Mormon church I read this with a fair amount of trepidation. I was concerned that Davis may not have done a fair job representing the church's position in relation to this story, but I was still very interested in reading this because the law suit was pretty significant in terms of establishing a precendence for liability in these types of situations. Althought there were several nuances of church doctrine I felt Davis got wrong, or at least slightly mis-repr ...more
Paul Pessolano
Apr 21, 2011 rated it liked it
"The Sins of Brother Curtis" is better defined by its sub-title, "A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church."

Frank Curtis grew up in Chicago and was supposedly a minor player in Al Capone's mob. He was always telling people that he had done things that he was ashamed of, but never elaborated as to what those things were.

In his later life, Frank became attached to the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He became involved with young men while serving as a
Aug 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a pretty decent book written by a journalist in journalistic style. The style was very reminiscent of Ann Rule. It is concerned with the appalling sexual abuse of scores of children by Brother Frank Curtis, a former convict who had spent most of his youth and adult life incarcerated. Very early on in his criminal career, a psychologist hired by the courts in the 30s picked up his propensity for young boys and predicted that he would become a serial predator. And he did. What was tragic ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
A really interesting story on many levels-- it is mostly the tale of trying to legally force the Mormon church to take responsibility for continuing to put a known pedophile in leadership positions over young boys. Frank Curtis abused scores of boys for many years, he would "repent" essentially absolving him of his sin and be given another "calling from god" to lead the boy scouts or a primary group of boys. He was seen as a kindly old grandfatherly type and people would take him into their home ...more
Anne Levitsky
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book, the story of a child molester that was protected by the Mormon church, was very slow and bogged down with extensive legal details. I had to skim over most of it just to get through it. I wanted to hear a narrative of the victims experiences not what lawyers came and went and this motion and that motion that was filed. Really poor editing and a missed opportunity to shine a light on this great injustice. I gave it two stars because at least the idea behind the book was good and there w ...more
Kris Irvin
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book was very well written and engaging. I wish it had turned out better for those who were involved. A sad story all around.
Aug 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A riveting book about how a group of lawyers went up against the Mormon church to make the church accountable for sexual molestations that happened as a result of the church knowingly keeping pedophiles in its ranks without informing the rest of the local congregation and allowing the known pedophile to keep having positions where he is in contact with young children.

Frank Curtis was an elderly gentleman when he joined the church. However unlike the grandfatherly image he portrayed, he was actua
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
First published on my blog:

This title delves into the story behind Tim Kosnoff, a Seattle, WA, attorney who initiates a years-long lawsuit against the Mormon Church after being approached by a young man named Jeremiah Scott.

When Jeremiah was young, he had been repeatedly molested by a Mormon Church elder. The church "bishop" had been notified, but nothing was done. In uncovering the truth behind Jeremiah's molestation by Brother Frank Curtis, Kosnoff and
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
The whole time I was reading it, I was wishing it was written by Erik Larson. Lisa Davis is primarily journalist and staff writer for Village Voice Media. I'm not at all saying that she isn't a good writer, I just don't think her voice is strong enough to take on the Mormon church and their hiding of phedofiles. Sometimes the book is just a hurling of cold hard facts and then all of a sudden Davis throws in paragraphs where she tells us how people are feeling. That change in tone is jarring and ...more
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I could not put this book down! I haven't read many books centering on legal cases or on child molestation for that matter, but this one was really interesting (albeit hard to read about the horrific crimes of Frank Curtis). Not only was Brother Curtis a terrible abuser of children, but the sins of his brethren for not acting responsibly towards his actions is unbelievable. Why anyone would protect their religion over the safety of their children and their ward's children is beyond me. This is a ...more
Sarah Phoenix
Mar 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Another in the long line of expose of organized religion and its abuse of children. This book shows how clergy covered up the systematic abuse of young men by a man who was constantly placed in a position to do so. A little over full of legal language and maneuvering which made it drag in places. I am making a commitment to myself to never read another book like this again. I just can't stand any more of this and I am afraid that it will push me over the edge. We all know this happens and we all ...more
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
I give this five stars not for the writing but for the content. Everyone should know about this. Every Mormon should know that their church not only permits child abuse, but covers it up, protects abusers and does everything within it's power to avoid taking responsibility for its actions. I was made aware of events like this six monthes ago and it spurred my decision to end my involvement with the Mormon church. There is no excuse, and I'm so glad this story is being told.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
What a mind-numbingly, boring book. Such a chore to finish, I was forced to skim large portions of it. Read more like a term paper or thesis than anything else. Only positive I can derive from the experience is that I'm confident that I too may be published one fine day (if this tome was worthy)! Ha!
Channin Murphy
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found the book to be informative and well written. It definitely shines a bright light on the hidden world of sexual abuse within the LDS. Sickening that these people are still getting away with this.
What was interesting to me was the description of how this case against the LDS Church wound its way through the legal system. Tortuous, to say the least.
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great legal drama, especially the first amendment obstacles the lawyers faced while building a case against the Mormon Church.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Like it as an eye opener, otherwise very tragic.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I was glad to finish this book. I found it interesting, but got bogged down in it a bit.
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Excellent take on the problems with the religious structures response to predatory sexual abuse. It is not a problem just with the Catholic faith
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book...very interesting and thought provoking.
Tom Mueller
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An expose on the length the Mormon Church - and other religious institutions - go to in their attempt to cover up child abuse.
Very thoroughly researched, over a ten year period.
Dawnetta Farlow
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Feb 18, 2015
john hughes
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Aug 20, 2017
Karen Erickson
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Jan 23, 2012
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Dec 11, 2011
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Nov 10, 2014
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Nov 06, 2014
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May 09, 2018
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Lisa Davis is a former staff writer for Village Voice Media in San Francisco (SF Weekly) and Phoenix (New Times). Her work has won numerous national awards, including the George S. Polk Award. She lives in Northern California and teaches journalism at Santa Clara University.