CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

The Letter podcast debuts second season on 1982 murders

Apr 16, 2024, 5:30 AM | Updated: 6:42 am

season 2 of the letter podcast features family of jordan rasmussen...

From left: The sister of Jordan Rasmussen, Leslie Rasmussen Moore, her husband, Dave Moore, and Ann Marie Rasmussen Herpich, Rasmussen's younger sister, embrace while remembering Jordan Rasmussen at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary in Millcreek on Sunday, March 5, 2023, the anniversary of the day he died in 1982. (Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

MILLCREEK, Utah — The Letter podcast rolls out its unexpected second season today, highlighting generational questions about trauma and forgiveness stemming from the 1982 murders of two young fathers.

Amy Donaldson, the host of “The Letter” podcast,  joins us live at 6:45!

 

The producers behind The Letter never intended to make a second season of their podcast. For one reason, we thought season 1 was unique. But a couple of months after publishing the podcast, we discovered a story that connects with the first season of The Letter. It also has a lot more to say about how we rebuild our lives in the wake of tragedy, and whether or not forgiveness belongs to all of us. 

murdered father jordan rasmussen eating dinner

Jordan Rasmussen visits his in-laws on the day his son was born in 1973. (Rasmussen family photo)

For example, if trauma can be passed down through generations, what about forgiveness? Season 2 of The Letter podcast is called “Ripple Effect,” because what these families learn is that even intensely personal decisions can echo through families, through communities, and even the lives of strangers. 

The Letter podcast follows two murders in 1982

It was a phone call late in a long, stressful day that changed Jordan Rasmussen’s plans for the morning of March 5, 1982.

And that change would cost him his life.

The call was from the man who managed a popular, high-end restaurant in one of Utah’s most picturesque canyons. Rasmussen served as the accountant for that restaurant – Log Haven – a massive log cabin that had become one of the most popular spots for wedding celebrations.

That phone call late in the afternoon on March 4th was a request from the 25-year-old manager, Michael Moore, to discuss some bookkeeping issues he’d discovered.

Rasmussen agreed to the meeting, but it was not something he was looking forward to according to his wife, DeAnn Rasmussen.

“We knew that there was discord at the office, at the company that he worked for,” she said.

Book cooking rumors at the restaurant 

Just a few months earlier, Jordan had pointed out a $30,000 shortfall to one of the partners.

“He was deep into their books, (and) noticed that there was some shady deals going on up at Log Haven,” she said. “(He) suspected that there was some embezzling money.”

In fact, rumors of theft and layoffs had swirled around the restaurant since the two men who owned it decided they could no longer work together. As they negotiated the end of their partnership, which included a number of financial ventures, speculation about what would happen to the staff ran rampant.

Rasmussen found himself caught in the middle.

Things had been so tense, that he made a joke before climbing into bed the night of March 4, which in retrospect, seems ominous.

He told his wife that if his car slid off the road in the canyon the next morning, it might not be an accident.

DeAnn dismissed it as a bit of dark humor. She said she never worried about him.

“(There was) nothing to worry about,” she said.

father and three children on christmas morning

One of the last photos taken of Jordan Rasmussen shows him enjoying Christmas morning 1981 with his three children, Lisa, 5, David, 8, and Chad, 1. (Rasmussen family photo)

A snowy Millcreek Canyon morning

Unworried may describe how Jordan Rasmussen felt when he turned onto Millcreek Canyon road and realized his sedan likely couldn’t make the three-mile drive up the narrow, snow-covered road to Log Haven. He pulled to the side of the road, and then noticed a familiar Jeep parked on the other side.

The driver made a U-turn and pulled off in front of Rasmussen’s car. The 32-year-old father of three turned off his vehicle and walked to the open window of the Jeep. He talked with the driver and then walked around the Jeep, opened the door, and climbed inside.

Maybe he was in a hurry and didn’t notice the bullet holes that marred the side of the Jeep – one on the hood, one just in the back of the front tire.

Where season 2 of The Letter podcast begins

Jordan Rasmussen was prepared for a tense, maybe even unpleasant, conversation once he arrived at Log Haven. After all, the business split was supposed to be finalized that very day. And after this meeting, he was heading to a Salt Lake City law office, where he’d talk with the new sole owner about taking over as the restaurant’s manager.

But as he settled into the passenger seat of that Jeep, he had no way of knowing that he was driving to his death. Nor that his murder would not be the only one that day.

And his family had no way of knowing that the devoted father and brother they’d dubbed ‘the gentle giant’ would be accused of being responsible for his own death. Because when police arrested someone for killing Jordan Rasmussen, the suspect said it was self-defense. And in doing so, he described a dishonest, devious and vicious person that none of them recognize.

Please listen and follow The Letter – Season 2: Ripple Effect wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Available April 16, with new episodes available every Tuesday.

You can also find episodes, pictures, and stories at theletterpodcast.com

Read or listen to more: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

chad daybell trial closing arguments...

Sam Herrera

Jury gets the case in the murder trial of Chad Daybell

The defense ended its closing arguments Wednesday afternoon. The jury took a short break ahead of the prosecution's rebuttal. 

1 hour ago

American Fork police respond to a injured young girl and adult male...

Peter Johnston

Young girl and adult man hit by car in American Fork

A young girl and an adult male were struck by a car car while riding a moped in American Fork are now recovering.

7 hours ago

A stone sign reading "Utah County Sheriff's Office" sits outside of the Utah County Jail....

Heather Peterson

Undercover at the Utah County Jail on new season of A&E show “60 Days In”

The Utah County Jail is the setting of the ninth season of the A&E show "60 Days In." The show sends volunteers undercover into prisons and jails across the country to expose any problems that might exist. 

8 hours ago

One person is in police custody after a fatal shooting in an industrial neighborhood at 3200 West D...

Simone Seikaly

Suspect in custody after fatal shooting in SLC

One person is in police custody after a fatal shooting on West Decade Drive Tuesday afternoon.

1 day ago

Human remains found in the Duck Creek Ridge area of Kane County are believed to be those of Courtne...

Simone Seikaly

Investigators say remains found of missing woman Courtney Townsend

An ATV rider told officials he found clothing near a road in the Duck Creek Ridge area. He was reportedly familiar with the Courtney Townsend case.

1 day ago

South Salt Lake Police have arrested a man who they say deliberately hit a police officer....

Peter Johnston

Police: man deliberately ran truck into officer weeks after death of Santaquin police Sgt.

Police said they arrested a man who they accuse of deliberately hitting an officer with his truck.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

The Letter podcast debuts second season on 1982 murders