Linda Buhler Sillitoe

Linda Buhler Sillitoe, born July 31, 1948, was an American journalist, poet, novelist and historian. Her journalistic coverage about Mark Hofmann and the "Mormon forgery murders" gained her national recognition, leading to her book, Salamander, coauthored with Allen Roberts. Salamander examined Hofmann's creation of an industry for forged LDS Church documents, as well as the 1985 bombing murders of a document collector and his employee, and the following police investigation, arrest and conviction of Hofmann. Hofmann's documents, initially seen by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as undermining its early history, were revealed as forgeries by the murder investigation. Sillitoe’s later published works included fiction and poetry.

Sillitoe was born and raised in Salt Lake City, one of eight children born to Robert E and Phyllis Liddle Buhler. A graduate from the University of Utah, she married John Sillito (spelling difference intentional) in 1968 and had three children.

A staff writer for the Deseret News and news feature editor for Utah Holiday magazine, Sillitoe also produced articles that appeared in the New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, City Weekly, Utah Business, Sunstone and The Salt Lake City Observer. Throughout her life, Sillitoe was a noted feminist and LDS voice whose work often focused on multicultural issue, co-producing a PBS-affiliated documentary "Native and American" for which she won an award from the Utah Navajo Development Council in 1986 "for her interest and sensitivity in reporting problems facing the Utah Navajo People." She also won awards from the Utah chapter of the  Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press. Sillitoe also received three Pulitzer-Prize nominations for her journalism on life in Salt Lake County.

Sillitoe taught classes in writing at the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College and Weber State University, where she also worked as public outreach coordinator of Weber State University’s Stewart Library.

While born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Sillitoe's feminist beliefs and journalistic work tested her faith in the LDS Church, eventually leading to her decision to leave the church. In the early 1990s, Sillitoe had her name removed from the church member rolls.

After a long battle with chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), Sillitoe died on April 7, 2010, at the age of 61, of an aortic dissection.

Work

Bibliography

  • Sideways to the Sun, 1987 (novel)
  • Salamander: Story of Mormon Forgery Murders, with Allen D. Roberts, editions published in 1988, 1989, 2006 (non-fiction)
  • Windows on the Sea and Other Stories, 1989 (fiction)
  • Banking on the Hemingways: Three Generations of Banking in Utah and Idaho, 1992 (non-fiction)
  • Crazy for Living: Poems, 1993 (poetry)
  • Secrets Keep, 1996 (novel)
  • Friendly Fire: The ACLU in Utah, 1996 (non-fiction)
  • Welcoming the World: A History of Salt Lake County, 1996 (non-fiction)
  • The Thieves Of Summer, 2014 (fiction)
  • Owning the Moon, 2017 (poetry)
  • Twist of Plot, 2019 (fiction)
  • One Voice Risingwith Clifford Duncan and George Janacek, 2020 (biography)