|Mystery Solved: Lilly E. Gray, Victim of the Beast 666
by Richelle Hawks
(Copyright © 2009 by Richelle Hawks. All rights reserved.)
Mr. Moritz's legend begins with his life story (of sorts) and ends at his stone. But Lilly's legend begins with the stone, and ends with her life story-which is seen as an end in itself. As I read and ruminated on the whole thing, I began to become as interested in the legend and its dynamics as the underlying meaning of the stone itself.
I sent in a photo and short synopsis to Coast to Coast AM, and it was featured in the viewer submissions section for a couple days. I received so many responses in email and hits at the pathetic little yahoo blog I'd set up for comments and further information, that it was inaccessible for weeks.
The main comments I received had to do with various theories, several of which I had already postulated. The numerology factor (due to the issues with her birth and death dates, and discrepancies with other sources,) association with Aleister Crowley (known as The Beast 666) Satanic ritual abuse, religious persecution by Mormons, Highway 666 in Southern Utah, and spousal abuse. Usually, I was directed to "further information," only to find that I was being directed to my own articles and posts.
I also received testimonials of dubious scenarios by "psychics" and remote viewers, along with some nasty and unlikely warnings and admonishments from religious fanatics. I actually still receive such emails at the rate of about 3 per month, a full two and a half years after the picture was posted at Coast to Coast, and my articles were published in various forums and sites.
Ultimately, though, I received some helpful information from others who'd viewed a government document-Elmer Gray's Criminal Pardons Application-of which I had only seen a reference--at a Utah government site.
When I tried to locate the Criminal Pardons Application, it was not available for viewing online. I put in an online request to have it mailed, did not receive a reply, and contacted the historical society. I was told that it would be easier (or decided that it would be) easier to simply go in person to view the document rather than go through the red tape of having it sent.
I happened to be extremely busy with working and traveling at the time, and simply never got around to going in to view the document. By that time, I was burned out on the trivialities and hype of the whole thing anyway.
After going back to the gravestone, each time, I found litter near her stone: burnt out candles, beer cans, trash, and black crayons-I assume left by legend trippers and people making stone rubbings. I felt like the popularity of my article had generated perhaps too much interest in the stone. And, I was, despite my original intention, buying in to the end of the developing legend-"nothing more can be found." I was wrong.
Behold: Elmer L. Gray's Criminal Pardons Application is now available online via the Utah State Archives. What a character. Reading his answers in the form questionnaire, a definite sense of his personality can be detected, which includes sarcasm ("Woodrowe Lamb, a bum,") irony, and exaggeration. He seems quite eccentric, and probably more than a bit cantankerous.
In the document, he has typed a line that has an affinity with and shares a spirit with the one on Lilly's stone. On the line that asks for "Address of parents," Mr. Gray has written, "Booth dead. Died of grief when kidnapers murdered my Wife." Later, he refers to his arresting officers and prison officials as "Democrat officials," and "kidnapers."
So, whatever the real circumstances concerning these family deaths, it can be concluded that Elmer Gray blamed the law for the death of his previous wife and clearly considered her a victim. (Remember, Lilly was a subsequent wife-they married in 1950, three years after this document was filed.)
Elmer Gray's view of the government and law is clear-a criminal, evil organization hell-bent on kidnapping, imprisoning and murdering innocent citizens without cause or provocation.
With all the conspiracy, anti-government, sentiments of victimization within, it is difficult and perhaps foolish not to come to one conclusion-that Elmer L. Gray was responsible for placing the outrageous phrase, "Victim of the Beast 666" on his second wife Lilly's gravestone, and that it refers simply to the government, law enforcement and officials, with whom he likely tangled with his entire adult life*, and the dynamics and beliefs based on his experiences.
So, after reading the Criminal Pardons Application, and considering his references to victimhood and murder at the hands of the law; also that he was Lilly's only known survivor, who likely made all her funeral arrangements, including ordering her stone-what are the chances that the inscription has nothing to do with his extreme belief system?
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