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Slayings of 3 Americans in Mexico prompt arrests of fugitive US polygamist and others

Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Photos released by the Chihuahua state attorney general's office, which were apparently taken as Black was being arrested, show a man identified as the polygamist: a baldish, bespectacled figure in a sleeveless T-shirt. A rectangular strip covers his eyes in the photos, as is customary in Mexican mug shots distributed to the press.

Black, who also goes by the name Larry William Black, entered Mexico illegally and lived with members of his commune on the five properties that he had purchased within or in the vicinity of Mennonite settlements, Mexican prosecutors said.

Among other things, the attorney general said, investigators are trying to determine how Black had access to funds to buy land and other assets during his time in Mexico.

Mexican authorities also seized a dozen vehicles at Black's compound, with both Mexican and U.S. license plates. Chihuahua shares a long border with Texas and New Mexico.

A U.S. federal complaint against Black alleges he entered Mexico in 2003 to avoid prosecution in Arizona on the sexual misconduct charges.

Arizona news reports at the time indicated that Black viewed himself as a "prophet" or "archangel."

Black, a former resident of Colorado City, Ariz., was described as estranged from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon splinter sect that endorses a form of polygamy.

(Cecilia Sanchez of the Times' Mexico City bureau contributed to this report.)

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