unidentified members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints arrive at the Tom Green County Courthouse, Monday, May 19, 2008, in San Angelo, Texas. The parents of the more than 400 children taken from a polygamist sect’s ranch on Monday began laying out their individual cases and learning what they must do to regain custody.
Photo by Brigitte Woosley via
When this picture was taken, the man in it had another 40 days to live…
This is Merril Jessop’s son William Sunderland Jessop and his first and legal wife Carlene Holm Steed.
The picture wasn’t taken by Brigitte Woosley, but by the Associated Press photographer Tony Gutierrez. Brigitte Woosley was the court sketch artist. She also took a sketch of Carlene on that day and in that dress, but misidentified her as “Caroline Jessop”, mishearing her name.
Here the sketch of Carlene Steed Jessop by Brigitte Woosley:
William was born on June 10, 1979 to Ruth Steed and Merril Jessop.
Carlene was born on January 10, 1981, daughter of Marie Louise Holm and Thomas Steed.
Ruth and Thomas Steed are siblings, they are both children of Newel Steed.
Carlene’s father Thomas Steed died when Carlene was 7 years old, on November 8, 1988. Five days (!!!) after Thomas’ death, his family, including his daughter Carlene, his baby daughter Tina Louise (born July 30, 1987), his and Marie Louise 6 other children and their pregnant (!!!) mother Marie Louise were reassigned to Joseph Steed (Thomas’ brother). Including the child by Thomas she was pregnant with when Thomas died, Marie Louise had 9 children with Thomas and then 7 with Joseph. So 16 children in total.
Several of Carlene and Tina’s sisters were married to geriatric rapist Rulon Jeffs and then passed on to pedobear Warren Jeffs himself: Rulon Jeffs married their sisters Alissa, Tamara and WinnieKloe. Warren Jeffs took all three (Alissa, Tamara and WinnieKloe) over and added Sharon Steed when she was 17 years old. Warren Jeffs later tired of WinnieKloe and left her very literally at the curb of the road- well, he asked one of his underlings to do that.
Cousins William and Carlene were married on February 13, 1999. Carlene was still 17 and William was 20.
Then the babies popped out: Lillian in November 2000, Vilate Marie in January 2002 and Wilson Josiah on January 12, 2004. By now Carlene had turned 23 years old less than 48 hours before and was already laboring for the 3rd time.
Exactly a week after giving birth to her 3rd child, on January 19, 2004, Carlene’s husband William, who was by now 24 years old, married Carlene’s 17 year old sister, thus his other cousin, Tina Louise Holm Steed.
Three month later, in April 2004, William had a severe car accident. The driver of the other car, Ana Maria Luna, a 53 year old woman, was killed.
This was already the second time in his short life that William survived a near fatal accident: When he was younger, he fell off scaffolding in a construction accident. William suffered brain damage in that accident and would continue having seizures for the rest of his life. These seizures would ultimately kill him.
Meanwhile, his second wife Tina became pregnant almost in the “heavenly session” in which William deflowered her - she gave birth to her first child when she was still 17 years old in November 2004. William and Tina’s first child is called Thomas Warren… to honor Tina and Carlene’s father Thomas and the prophet Warren Jeffs…
… who proceeded to throw their stepfather Joseph Steed out. Carlene and Tina’s mother was then reassigned to their father-in-law Merril Jessop. So their mother now was also their mother-in-law… Marie Louise Holm Steed Steed Jessop. Marie became one of 21 wives (that’s counting Carolyn, who had “EscapeD” by then) of Merril Jessop. This lot of 21 wives included underage teen bride Bonita Blackmore.
Back to Tina/Carlene/William: Carlene gave birth to William Sunderland jr. in August 2006.
Tina and William then had their second child (William’s 6th child), a daughter they called Tamara, in December 2007.
Four months later, in April 2008, the YFZ raid took place.
The picture above is from May 19, 2008.
One of William Sunderland Jessop’s sons, Wilson, showed signs of child sexual abuse when examined after the raid. William himself was ruled out and another man from the ranch who had had access to the son was deemed the most likely abuser.
On July 17 and 18, 2008 Stephanie Sinclair (another photographer I’d like to have a word with- in her case particularly ironic since she so meticulously records child sexual abuse and child brides when Muslim brown men do it… White privilege for the FLDS, I guess) visited the YFZ ranch and took pictures of some reunited families.
Here her pictures of William Sunderland Jessop’s wife and children:
On the left William and Carlene’s son Wilson Josiah, the woman in the pink dress is Carlene Holm Steed Steed Jessop Jessop herself, holding her and William’s son William Sunderland Jessop jr.
The girl with the milk bottle in the forefront of the picture is Natalie Keate, daughter of Rulon and Lorene Keate. Rulon is the brother of Allan Eugene Keate, who gave one girl away to be raped by Warren Jeffs (Veda Keate) and raped another himself (Merilyn Barlow Jeffs). When asked LIVE on TV about child marriages and sexual abuse of girls, Rulon and Lorene lied through their teeth and DENIED ACTUALLY HAVING A DAUGHTER. (What-the-actual-fuck) So yeah, the girl in the picture with the milk bottle is the niece of a guy in jail for child sexual assault- and according to her parents doesn’t exist. NEAT!
Carlene and William’s daughter Vilate Marie holds her half-sister/cousin Tamara “Tammy”, the daughter of Tina and William.
Only four days after these pictures were published by the New York Times, William Sunderland Jessop suffered the third severe accident of his young life - the one that would kill him.
What is clear about his death is this: William Sunderland Jessop died on July 31, 2008 and suffered horribly. He was scalded to death.
One version of his death: He suffered another seizure (remember the brain damage from the first severe accident) while operating a high pressure hose in the dairy part of the YFZ ranch. Someone with his condition should never have operated that equipment.
Another version of his death that has been discussed: The man who sexually abused William’s son killed him in the dairy.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, so I personally opt for version 1.
William Sunderland Jessop was buried at the YFZ ranch, where his body and grave lie abandoned - now property of the State of Texas. The FLDS did not arrange for any of the bodies at the YFZ graveyard to be transferred to Colorado City/Hildale…