Willie Jessop has new role in FLDS church

ABC 4 News/June 6, 2008

Colorado City, Arizona - Since the raid by Texas authorities on the FLDS ranch, Willie Jessop has become the voice of the FLDS people. It's assumed that Jessop is a leader, perhaps Warren Jeff's right hand man.

Jessop is Jeff's body guard.

"Willie was always the strong-arm man. He was the guy who would show up just to intimidate people," said Sam Brower, a private investigator.

He is useful to FLDS leaders.

"They put him up front because he is the type that will say or do anything," said Brower.

Ross Chatwin was one of the few who faced Jessop and refused to back down.

"When Willie gets up there and says 'Well I don't know of any underage marriages...' Then that's a big lie," said Chatwin.

Around Colorado City, people call him "Willie the Enforcer" or "Willie the Thug." There was a time when Jessop wasn't so welcoming to the media.

"He does the dirty work. He's the hatchet man," said Brower.

When he's not in Texas, Jessop has a house in Hildale and a ranch in the canyon gap.

At last count, Jessop had two wives, but with all of the new cabins at the ranch, it is speculated that he might have a few more.

"His role now is to put somebody out there, keep talking to the media and the public while the church leaders vanish," said Brower.

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