A new true crime podcast series, Deliver Us From Ervil, is set to be launched from the UK podcast studio Novel.
In the new investigative series, host Jesse Hyde (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic, GQ) descends into the Mexican desert to unearth a murderous tale of Biblical proportions, as a town once founded as a religious safe haven turns into the birthplace of a cold-blooded cult.
As he plunges into cartel country, Hyde reveals the story of Colonia LeBaron, a town that quickly spun from its vision of a utopian Mormon community into a brutal legacy of belief, familial betrayal, and cult-driven crime.
Hyde collects extraordinary, never-before-heard accounts from former cult followers, alongside their victims and the cops, journalists, and prosecutors who tried to chase them down — including previously unheard interviews with the cult’s most shocking assassin: leader Ervil LeBaron’s teenage wife.
Colonia LeBaron was first formed as a sanctuary for Mormon fundamentalists, a Zion for those who wished to continue the practice of polygamy. Organised by Joel LeBaron — a self-proclaimed prophet — the community believed itself to be the next Kingdom Of God on Earth. But as Joel’s following grew, so did the wrath of his co-leader and younger brother Ervil, the brother who would ultimately betray him in cold blood.
Following Ervil’s ascent to power, the story rapidly escalates as the cult evolves into a sophisticated and ruthless organised crime family, stealing cars for the Mexican mafia and smuggling drugs across the border into the US. But while working alongside the Mexican mafia, the cult leaders enact a series of ever-more elaborate assassinations, following a blueprint their father Ervil laid out in his religious opus, The Book of the New Covenants.
Told through powerful first-person reporting from the 1950s to the present day, Deliver Us From Ervil places its host at the centre of the story. Along the way, Hyde speaks directly to those carrying out these killings, the remaining LeBarons, the relatives of their many victims, and the law enforcement officers who’ve spent decades attempting to halt the decades-long cycle of violence passed down from Ervil to his children.
Deliver Us From Ervil officially launches with its first two episodes on 4 May, with new episodes released every Wednesday on all podcast platforms.
This is the third podcast to be released as part of the Novel and iHeartMedia deal, which was announced in 2021. The partnership will involve the release of eleven new investigative series over three years, with a focus on stranger-than-fiction stories.