Real life or fiction? You decide…

This story is just so sad it makes me want to shake someone. Stormy is eying me right now with fear in his eyes. I will not shake the dog. I will not shake the dog.

A young Mormon mother was gunned down in the parking lot of her LDS Wardhouse in front of her family and ward members. The shooter was her husband. Apparently, he was having an affair, and she requested a separation, alimony and child support, and their house and furnishings.

“My neighbors and my ecclesiastical leader returned calls to me during a recent vacation and told me that my husband’s mistress was sleeping over at our house, parking her car outside and neither of them making an effort to hide it,” stated court documents filed in 4th District Court.

Her husband apparently did not feel that she had a RIGHT to kick him out, take their things, and move on. So he killed her.

Witnesses told police that David Ragsdale shot his wife multiple times in the head, back and torso. He was arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder, a potential capital offense. David Ragsdale has not yet been charged with his wife’s murder.

To all those who claim my books weren’t realistic, here is a perfect example of how WRONG you are.

I know not all Mormons act this way. But many do. And the reasons behind their actions are the fascination for me.

Condolences to the family of the slain woman. Godspeed.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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28 Responses to Real life or fiction? You decide…

  1. azteclady says:

    Dear God in Heaven… The poor children! I’m feeling sick.


  2. Natalie says:

    I should clarify that her children were NOT present. It was her mother. Not that that makes it any better.


  3. Erin says:

    Those poor children. Not only have they lost their mother, but probably their father too. Not that he is apparently mentally stable enough to parent them. I will never understand what drives people to commit murder. There is recovery from divorce, and paying child support and alimony isn’t the end of the world. I can only hope the children have a big extended family that will love and support them through this. I also hope the court system convicts David Ragsdale of killing his wife.


  4. azteclady says:

    I meant that they are now, for all intents and purposes, doubly orphaned, Natalie. And I can’t think of her mother, witnessing her murder. Dear God.


  5. Natalie says:

    Yes, you are right, azteclady. So sad.


  6. Tracy says:

    Is this considered a blood atonement?

    Just wondering.


  7. Natalie says:

    Erin, I totally agree. I know there has to be MORE to this story, and we aren’t hearing it yet.

    And Azteclady, I knew you weren’t thinking the kids were there. I just wanted to make sure I clarified it.

    Tracy, I’m not sure of the events of the case, so I can’t say. Am waiting for more information.


  8. Cele says:

    Wow, the selfrighteous in all their indignant glory can do what ever they want. The gall of her to ask him to leave.

    What an incredibly sad set of events.


  9. Mike Tea says:

    This is truly tragic in every sense of the word.

    The Mormons have taken a faith that declares, love your neoghbours; love your enemies; love your wife; suffer the children to come to me; greater love hath no man…, and rewritten it to say, “One day your going to be a god, so you’d better start practicing now!”

    You don’t have to be a prophet to know what the consequences might be.


  10. Kitty says:

    Wow! I can’t believe that he has not been charged yet, talk about a “smoking gun.”
    I hope you will keep on top of this story for your readers who do not live in Utah. Extremely sad story.


  11. Tracy says:


    I’m assuming, and I know I should never assume, but he was arrested over the weekend, so he will probably be arraigned on Monday.


  12. Tracy says:

    Never mind, I went back and read the article again, and he was arrested earlier in the month.

    Sheesh, either justice moves at a snails pace, or TPTB might possibly try to spin the story and claim it was all her fault. I hope not, but I have seen stranger things.


  13. azteclady says:

    Did some Googling and found only one other article on this (Deseret Morning News,5143,695247065,00.html )and I already see the spin:

    “At the time of the shooting, (David) Ragsdale was under the influence of antidepressant medications, a testosterone medication and sleep aids, a Lehi police officer testified at Ragsdale’s bail hearing.”
    Implication: it wasn’t his fault!!! it was the drugs! which he was taking because SHE left HIM!!!


  14. Natalie says:

    It seems to be not receiving the media attention it DESERVES. Why? Why is this not national news? I don’t understand.


  15. Cele says:

    It seems all too often it is the victim that becomes the one at blame. And she gave her had herself sealed to him for eternity. Whoa, wouldn’t be my choice.


  16. Alicia says:

    i stumbled upon this website by mistake, let me tell…a big mistake! but to clarify for all you people out there…her husband was NOT a member of the church. He was NOT a mormon and did not believe the things we believe. so to say that this is how “MORMONS” act is ridiculous.


  17. azteclady says:

    Poor Alicia! So helpless! Please, dear, don’t sully your mind with this blog. Go on to holier places. Thank you.

    But I’m curious, where your information comes from that David Ragsdale is not mormon? I couldn’t find that little tidbit anywhere. Of course, I found very little information to begin with–which I think it’s frankly weird. It seems that I can read about all sort of less heinous happenings from Alaska to the Florida Keys without looking for them–but when it’s mormonland, not a peep in the national news. Amazing, to say the least.


  18. dpc says:

    “I know not all Mormons act this way. But many do. And the reasons behind their actions are the fascination for me.”

    By saying that many Mormons ‘act this way’, are you implying that Mormons have a greater overall tendency to murder others? That there is a higher incidence of domestic violence involving murder in relationships between Mormons? That Mormons who are divorcing are more likely to murder their spouse because of the teachings of the Mormon church? I’m sure that you have the statistics to back this up.

    Based on your tenuous logic, I guess I could say the same thing about Unitarian Universalists based on this story out of Largo, Florida,

    where a member of that church killed his own two kids, his ex-wife and her roommate before killing himself. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened had they not have belonged to that church. (Even though the UU church has got to be one of the most socially aware, peaceful organizations that I have ever encountered).

    Or could it be the fact that domestic violence occurs regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, class, etc. I think you do a great disservice to the cause of ending domestic violence when you blame a particular religion and not look at the real causes of domestic violence.


  19. Alicia says:

    off-topic: omg that’s creepy, I thought I was the only Alicia here o.O
    on-topic: That is so sad, I feel bad for the (remaining) family. Things like that just shouldn’t be happening anymore.


  20. Tracy says:

    To the first Alicia, the one that made a mistake, in letting her virgin eyes see this nest of sin and depravity.

    I didn’t realize Mormon’s made mistakes. I thought you were perfect in every way.

    Oh, and would you answer azteclady’s question? Or are we too lowly of creatures for you to sully your eyes on again?


  21. Gail Garner says:

    Here is another one, though much older. He is still awaiting trial. It has been postponed twice.

    This is the backstory because I know this family….He strangled his wife too death after she caught him raping one of her daughters. (This was his 2nd chance, the 2nd daughter and the 2nd time she had caught him in the act in less than 2 years. Why would she stay with him after the first offense? jeesshhh….and she still referred to him as “a blessing”….SICK!!!)



  22. Tracy says:

    So Gail Garner , it’s all her fault?

    The spinning in here is making me dizzy.


  23. azteclady says:

    Lemme see if I got this one right.

    When a mormon husband kills his wife it’s either because he’s under stress/taking medication, or because she provoked him somehow?

    It can’t be because he’s a poor excuse for a human being?


  24. Natalie says:

    DPC, I’m not IMPLYING anything.

    You wrote:
    By saying that many Mormons ‘act this way’, are you implying that Mormons have a greater overall tendency to murder others?

    Nope. Never said that. Just said that it DOES happen in the Mormon religion, like any other religion. You can twist all you like, but it won’t change my words.


  25. Georgia says:

    I have just two words to say. MARK HACKING.


  26. dpc says:


    Just said that it DOES happen in the Mormon religion, like any other religion

    I don’t disagree that domestic violence afflicts people of all races, religions, ethnicities and class, Mormons included. I don’t think that anyone seriously disputes that. But that does not appear to be what you were saying.

    You said, and I quote:

    I know not all Mormons act this way. But many do

    You used this to explain why your novels portray realistic situations. To be fair, I have not had an opportunity to read your novels, so I cannot comment on their contents, save for the few editorials that I have seen. To my mind, however, the term many conjures up an image of not a few or something that is a common occurrence. Specifically, you are contrasting all with many. That implies a majority. Consider the following sentence: Not all Democrats vote for the Democratic candidate for President, but many do. This sentence certainly implies a majority of Democrats vote for the Democratic candidate. And it is structurally identical to the one you wrote. And you weren’t just talking about domestic violence, but murder. So, unless I am wrong, you are very much implying that Mormons have a greater overall tendency to murder others, in the context of domestic violence.

    And what does Mormonism have to do with the domestic violence any way? I don’t see the link that you are trying to make. If there had been some kind of cover-up or the bishop had been told by the husband that he was going to shoot her the next Sunday and he did nothing, you might have a point.

    I think you do a disservice to those caught in an abusive relationship by changing the focus away from the actions of the perpetrator to his religious beliefs. Men don’t shoot their wives because they are Mexican or African-American or Jewish or short or tall or anything like that. Domestic violence is about control and power and the sooner that women realize that they have the power to walk away from these losers and that they deserve much better, the better it will be for all of us.


  27. Natalie says:

    Hi DPC,

    I think you are hanging too much emphasis on one word–that word being “many.” However, reading your comments, I understand your point. Perhaps many is the wrong word. How about “some?” Will that work better?

    As for this:

    “Men don’t shoot their wives because they are Mexican or African-American or Jewish or short or tall or anything like that. Domestic violence is about control and power and the sooner that women realize that they have the power to walk away from these losers and that they deserve much better, the better it will be for all of us.”

    I could have said that MYSELF, DPC, and I say it repeatedly throughout this blog. However, I write about life in Utah. So, it just comes to reason that THOSE are the cases that get spotlighted. I’m not dwelling on the fact that this was a case that took place in a Mormon Church parking lot,. I did not lambaste Mormonism or Mormon authorities.

    I do, however, know that MANY of these cases happen because of the patriarchal fundamental beliefs. Does it happen elsewhere? Yup.

    In the Kristy Ragsdale case, there is too little information yet to know exactly what caused the series of events that led to her horrifying and brutal death.

    We do know she was a believing Mormon, and she was shot dead in the parking lot of her beloved Church by a man who was supposed to love her more than anyone else.

    That we know. And that’s what I wrote.

    The ONLY disservice I would doing to Kristy’s memory would be to place the blame on HER, as a victim. That happens a LOT. In the Mormon culture, it happens even more than in other cultures (although of course NOT ALL cultures, because we certainly can’t top those Muslim Honor Killings or the like…).

    Only in understand the WHY of certain crimes do we ever have a hope of stopping that. And me? I’m all about the why….


  28. Glo says:

    So many people think that when a women has been in a vilent relationship and she has been victomized that she should just get up and walk out. they make it seem so easy and expose their ignorence of what is happening sicologically to the women or girl. As has already been stated domestic vilence is about control. He has controll over her. she can’t leave because she has given him control. Now the truth would be that she can leave, there are people and friends and shelters that she can go to, but her truth says She can’t leave. victoms of domestic vilence usally start to belive that it is their fault, that there is no way out.

    and sadly lets face it how many victoms of domestic vilence Leave only to have their husbend’s or boyfriends come after them and kill them.

    even if a women stays in a horible situation that does not make her less of a victom, it almost makes her more of a victom, she has not just been phisically destroyed, but also mentally and emotionaly.


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