Pedophile preacher Tony Alamos dies in prison

He was once famously known for designing elaborately decorated jackets for superstars such as Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
By Cliff Mooneyham | May 09, 2017
One time Hollywood preacher Tony Alamo has died in prison at age 82.

Alamo, whose apocalyptic ministry grew into a multimillion-dollar network of businesses and property, was convicted in 2009 of sexually abusing young girls he considered wives.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Alamo died on Tuesday at a federal prison hospital in Butner, N.C.

He was once famously known for designing elaborately decorated jackets for superstars such as Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

The dishonored preacher was convicted in 2009 on charges that he took underage girls across state lines for sex. One of his victims was a 9-year-old girl.

The judge who sentenced him to the maximum 175 years in prison told him: "One day you will face a higher and a greater judge than me. May he have mercy on your soul."

Alamo started his preaching job along the California streets in the 1960s. He advocated a mixture of virulent anti-Catholicism and apocalyptic rhetoric.

He argued that God authorized polygamy, claimed that gays were Satan's tools, and believed girls were fit for marriage even at a young age.

"Consent is puberty," Alamo told the Associated Press in September 2008. On the same weekend, state and federal agents raided the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, located in the tiny Southwest Arkansas town of Fouke, to investigate possible child abuse and pornography.

In the ensuing trial, witnesses said Alamo made all the important decisions: who got married, what children were taught in school, who received clothes, who was allowed to eat.

The witnesses said Alamo began taking multiple wives in the early 1990s. His wives included a 15-year-old girl in 1994, followed by increasingly younger girls.

The controversial preacher was convicted after five women testified they were "married" to him in secret ceremonies at his home, and later taken outside Arkansas for sex.

One of the women was only eight when Alamo married her.

According to former followers, Alamo grew increasingly unhinged after his wife, Susan, succumbed to cancer in 1982.

Susan died while the couple ran their ministry near Fort Smith, northwestern Arkansas.

Her body was kept in a room at the ministry, and Alamo's followers kept a vigil, praying for months for a resurrection.

At its height, Alamo's ministry had thousands of members in the United States.

 

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