devil in ohio

Netflix’s latest true crime drama is about *another* evil US cult

Devil in Ohio is based on true events, and drops today

Netflix loves a horrifying cult story – and Devil in Ohio is no different.

The limited series, which comes out today (2nd September), stars Emily Deschanel and Sam Jaeger. It tells the story of a woman based in a fictional US town, who allows a teen cult escapee to come and stay with her, thinking it would make her better. But, as it turns out, she couldn’t be more wrong.

While the story itself is fiction, the writer, Daria Polatin, says it’s based on a true crime case in Ohio. According to Stylist, she said: “The bones of the story are true and happened, and I wanted to take that as a jumping off point.”

So, which true crime is Devil in Ohio based on? And was it as sinister as the show?

Devil in Ohio is based on a terrifying Christian cult


Photo via Netflix

Jeffrey Lundgren was a cult leader based in and around Ohio in the 1980s. At first, he ran the Reorganised Church of Latter-Day Saints (RLDS). After he was excommunicated in 1988, he formed a smaller cult from other members of the RLDS, moving most of his loyal followers into his family home. The five people who refused to move in, however, were accused by Lundgren of committing a sin. This was Dennis Avery and his family.

When Dennis decided he didn’t want to give Lundgren any of his money, like the other followers had, this upset the leader further. He started telling his followers that if they wanted to get to heaven, they had to sacrifice a family of five – and they chose the Averys.

Each member of the family was shot and killed by the cult – and Lundgren was sentenced to death for his crimes in 1990.

Watch the trailer for Devil in Ohio here:

Devil in Ohio is available to stream on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image via Netflix.