Tuesday’s hearing in West Jordan Criminal Court was hardly noticed. It was an ordinary procedural matter to schedule future hearings. The circumstances of the case, however, are anything but ordinary.
It was the latest in an ongoing case that dates back more than five years and involves some of the strangest circumstances prosecutors have ever seen. A man, already in prison for rape, now faces new charges, in connection with what prosecutors say is a scheme to commit murder.
“Our office has been involved in multiple prosecutions of him,” says Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. “And we have a third prosecution, and the third prosecution relates back to some of his prior issues with the criminal justice system.”
Court documents tell the story, at least from the authorities’ point of view. A man, who goes by the name Kain Blackwing, was convicted in 2014 on eleven counts of rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sexual assault. Prosecutors say that while they were putting together the rape case against him, Blackwing was ordering — from his jail cell — his concubine wife and girlfriend to murder his victims.
“He spoke in encoded messages to these two individuals,” said Gill.
Detectives broke the code, and as soon as prosecutors won convictions on the sex crimes, they put together a new case.
The two individuals were 22-year-old Raven Blackwing and 19-year-old Tylynn Southwick. They were arrested in September 2014, in connection with a break-in at a home, of a 14-year-old girl he was accused of raping. Later on, she became one of two victims, who would testify against him.
“They were supposed to suffocate them, and then also inject heroin in them, to make it look like an overdose,” Gill said.
The women were immediately dubbed the “polygamist ninjas” because of the outfits they were wearing when they broke into the house and attempted the attack. Authorities said their ninja costumes were influenced by the man who reportedly ordered them to kill the teenaged girls he had raped.
“He holds himself out to be a martial arts, sort of quasi guru, kind of person,” Gill said. “He has individuals who are loyal to him.”