In a search for safety from arrest, in 1872 Lee moved to a remote crossing of the Colorado River, where he established Lee's Ferry, a vital link connecting southern Utah with Mormon settlements in northeastern Arizona.
Lee was arrested in November 1874, and was tried and convicted of murder at Mountain Meadows. He was taken to the massacre site, where he was executed by a firing squad on 23 March 1877. His body was buried in the Panguitch cemetery. On 20 April 1961 Lee was restored to membership in the Mormon Church.
See: John D. Lee, Confessions St. Louis, (1877); and Juanita Brooks, John D. Lee: Zealot, Pioneer Builder, Scapegoat (1962).
Jay M. Haymond