Obsession. Seduction. Manipulation. The Curious Case of Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon Case

1h 1m | Feb 13, 2023

In this week’s episode of Housewives of True Crime, Tabitha and Gretchen talk about a case that is as unbelievable as it is insane. You have got to listen to this one because you simply cannot make this stuff up. Today, the focus is on Joyce McKinney, a former Miss World USA participant and her life of obsession, seduction, and manipulation.

Born in 1949 in North Carolina, Joyce was a pageant girl growing up and went on to be a contestant at Miss World 1973. She was very attractive and was said to be the complete package with the full blond beauty queen bombshell look, a great smile and bubbly personality, and an IQ of 168 to go with it (so she claims).

At 26, Joyce moved to Salt Lake City where she met Kirk, a Morman, who she fell in love with instantly. However, Kirk’s mother doesn’t approve of her not being Mormon. Joyce too is not impressed with Kirk’s mother and fat shames her. 

“So basically, why I am explaining all of this is so you get a feel for this beautiful, eccentric, self-centered, total bitch that is Joyce McKinney.” – Gretchen (16:52)

When Kirk goes away for missionary work, she doesn’t reveal his whereabouts to Joyce. That’s when Joyce’s obsession goes into overdrive. She hires a private investigator who successfully locates Kirk in England. She also meets Keith who advises her to hire a pilot and a bodyguard to fly to the UK, rescue Kirk and bring him back. 

She does exactly that and flies to England where finds Kirk and sends Keith to the Church to bring him out to meet with her. She then takes Kirk to a cottage and seduces him for 3 days. Meanwhile, the church, worried that Kirk has suddenly gone missing, contacts local authorities and news outlets. When Kirk returns to the church, he changes his story, and says that he was tied up, seduced and raped for 3 days by Joyce. Both Joyce and Keith are arrested soon after and the media crowns Kirk, the Manacled Mormon.

“Oh, he popped it up huh, after you tie him up” – Tabitha (26:26) 

“Joyce also doesn’t believe raping a man is possible. She says you can’t put a marshmallow in a parking meter.” – Gretchen (26:38)

This became mainstream news and lots of reporters and people turned up at Joyce’s bail hearing making her a celebrity in an instant. Joyce, being extremely resourceful, manages to get fake travel documents for both her and Keith and get stateside. This outrages the British media who in turn dig into her past and track down a man called Steve who eagerly spills the beans of Joyce’s other embarrassing secrets.

Joyce’s obsession with Kirk doesn’t end as she is arrested again in 1984 at Salt Lake City airport where Kirk works. After that incident, she lives quietly but becomes very paranoid of reporters trespassing on her property. She gets mauled by her guard dog and after that takes a liking to another dog, Booger who stays loyal to her until his death. Joyce takes that loss to heart and instead of losing Booger, flies to South Korea to get him cloned and comes back with 5 clones and moves to California.

Joyce is arrested again in 2019 for a fatal hit and run of a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor. She is deemed unfit to stand trial and is sent to a mental hospital where she is today.

In This Episode:

  • (01:04) – Gretchen and Tab start off by talking about cocktails and crystal lights.
  • (03:28) – Tabitha on taking notes unknowingly on the shared notepad.
  • (04:38) – Tabitha talks about her experience at a fancy spa. 
  • (05:56) – Gretchen on back to driving her car and met Greg from the car dealership. 
  • (08:21) – Introducing this week’s case from Alison Russel.
  • (08:50) – Joyce McKenny – A quick introduction 
  • (10:02) – Gretchen outlines Joyce’s upbringing and early life 
  • (10:35) – Tabitha and Gretchen talk about IQs 
  • (11:19) – On Joyce moving to Salt Lake City in 1975 at age 26. 
  • (13:05) – Joyce’s dream comes true as she meets Kurk who drove a corvette.
  • (14:10) – Joyce meets Kirk’s mother, first impressions and fat shaming.
  • (16:02) – Tabitha and Gretchen talk about Donne and Marie Osmond’s appearance on the Joy Behar show. 
  • (17:10) – Kirk going on missionary work.
  • (17:40) – Joyce hires a private investigator in California.
  • (18:03) – Joyce meeting Keith, an architect who had it bad for Joyce.
  • (18:25) – Discovering Kirk’s whereabouts and deciding to fly to England with a pilot and bodyguard.
  • (19:20) – How Joyce recruited the pilot and why he got onboard.
  • (22:42) – Finding Kirk and the pilot’s apprehensions.
  • (23:55) – Keith meets Kirk, and he reunites with Joyce.
  • (24:43) – Joyce takes Kirk to a cottage to seduce him.
  • (25:51) – Tying up Kirk with handcuffs and ropes and making sweet love.
  • (26:49) – Dancing at Hard Rock Café and Kirk discovering news about his kidnapping.
  • (28:12) – Kirk goes back to Mormon church and changes his story, says he was kidnapped, strapped to bed, and raped for 3 days.
  • (28:32) – Kirk makes news and becomes the Manacled Moron.
  • (29:44) – Joyces reaction to the news.
  • (30:04) – Joyce and Keith getting arrested after a setup.
  • (30:45) – Joyce holding up a sign that catches media attention.
  • (31:10) – On Joyce writing two letters and hiding within her.
  • (33:00) – Joyce facing the media at her bail hearing and becoming a celebrity.
  • (34:35) – On Joyce walking the red carpet and being photographed with John Travolta and Joan Collins.
  • (35:41) – Joyce getting travel visas for herself and Kirk using fake birth certificates to fly back to the US.
  • (37:18) – Media looking into Joyce’s past and finding Steve.
  • (38:18) – Steve spilling the tea on Joyce; free magazines.
  • (40:51) – Putting a listening device in Joyce’s dog’s collar.
  • (42:25) – Joyce learning of the Real McKinney story and almost committing suicide.
  • (43:25) – Joyce fleeing the hotel after meeting her parents and biting her father.
  • (44:00) – Joyce gets arrested in Salt Lake City in 1984 where Kirk worked.
  • (45:25) – Tabitha and Gretchen on Joyce fat shaming Kirk’s wife and making fun of Kirk’s job.
  • (47:00) – Joyce being paranoid afterwards and getting mauled by her dog.
  • (48:00) – Joyce loses her dog Booger and flies to South Korea to get him cloned.
  • (49:43) – A documentary on Joyce’s life came out in 2010.
  • (51:09) – Discussing Keith, Steve, and Kirk and their whereabouts. 
  • (52:34) – Joyce suing the makers of the documentary and being delusional.
  • (54:20) – Gretchen views on how Joyce is portrayed in the documentary.
  • (54:50) – Burglarizing charges against Joyce in November 2004.
  • (55:39) – Joyce moves to California with her 5 cloned dogs.
  • (56:11) – Tabitha and Gretchen talk about the condition of the cloned dogs.
  • (57:02) – Joyces arrested again in 2019 in the fatal hit and run of a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor.
  • (58:20) – Current location of Joyce at the mental hospital.
  • (59:10) – Tabitha and Gretchen talk about a new movie being made on Joyce’s life.

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