Idaho: Cult Mom Guilty of Her Children’s Murder and a Love Rival US News

A collage of Lori Vallow Daybell and her two children, Tylee Ryan and Joshua

Lori Vallow Daybell has messianic delusions as part of her belief in the ‘Church of the Firstborn’ (Image: AP)

“Cult Mom” ​​Lori Vallow Daybell has been found guilty of the first-degree murder of her youngest children, who she believed were “zombies”.

Vallow, described by prosecutors as a devious doomsday prophet, is charged along with partner Chad Daybell in the September 2019 apparently divinely inspired deaths of Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7.

A jury in Boise District Court, Idaho, returned their guilty verdict to the mother-of-three Friday morning after deliberating for seven hours.

Vallow was emotionless as the verdict was read – which included first-degree murder of her two children, conspiracy to commit the murders of Tylee, JJ and Tammy Daybell, and grand larceny.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has now requested that Vallow be extradited to Arizona on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of her former husband, Charles Vallow.

She will be sentenced at a later date in Fremont County. Chad is awaiting trial on the same murder charge.

Lori Vallow Daybell speaks with her attorneys before the jury's verdict is read Friday, May 12, 2023 at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho. The Idaho jury convicted Daybell of murder in the deaths of her two youngest children and a romantic rival, a verdict that marks the end of a three-year investigation that included bizarre claims about zombie children, apocalyptic prophecies and illicit affairs. (AP Photo/Kyle Green)

The mother-of-three was emotionless as the verdict was read (Image: AP)

Yesterday’s verdict was the culmination of years of topsy-turvy investigation that has horrified the US with its grisly and otherworldly revelations.

The jury heard that Vallow believed, among other things, that her loved ones were “zombies” and that her daughter’s body was “burned beyond recognition.”

Vallow’s defense team said her religious beliefs were skewed when she first met Chad, a doomsday novelist who fell for “weird” cult teachings, at a 2018 conference in Utah.

He and Vallow claimed that zombies, evil spirits, and other demonic forces were all around them. Prosecutors said people are either “dark” or “light” to them.

If this darkness simmered for too long, the person became a “zombie” and the only way to get them out of it was to kill them.

Four of the five people Vallow believed dead were later killed or shot at, according to Vallow’s former girlfriend, Melanie Gibb.


The deaths of Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow in Rexburg, Idaho shocked the nation (Image: AP)


JJ and Tylee’s mother was found in Hawaii with her new husband after lying to police about their children’s whereabouts (Image: AP)


Larry and Kay Woodcock, JJ’s grandparents, said the verdict brought them limited relief (Image: AP)

To Vallow, she was a goddess sent to bring about the biblical apocalypse, and Tylee and Joshua’s bodies had to be destroyed in order for them to ascend to heaven.

Charles, Vallow’s fourth husband, who was shot dead on July 11, 2019, was also a “zombie,” according to Vallow.

Vallow is said to have conspired to murder him with the help of her now-deceased brother Alex Cox, who mysteriously died three months after the children’s disappearance.

Vallow and Chad, both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, soon fell into shady cultic beliefs.

She moved her children to Rexburg, a Madison County town long known for its large Mormon population, to be closer to Chad.

But Gibb told investigators that the couple said they were part of the “Church of the Firstborn,” which reignited Mormons’ longstanding belief in the apocalypse.

Chad’s first wife, Tammy, died on October 19, 2019 – a month after Vallow’s children were seen alive and two before he married Vallow. Chad claimed Tammy died of natural causes, but an autopsy revealed she had suffocated.

Investigators search for human remains at Chad Daybell's residence on the 200 block of 1900 East in Salem, Idaho, in this aerial photo on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Authorities said they discovered human remains at Daybell's home while investigating the disappearance of his new wife's two children. According to the police in the small town of Rexburg, Daybell was arrested on Tuesday. He had recently married the children's mother, Lori Vallow Daybell, who has been accused of child molestation. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP)

The children’s remains were found in Chad Daybell’s apartment (Image: AP)

REXBURG, IDAHO - MAY 10: Children's toys are seen in the yard of the home where the murdered and bodies of JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan were found in 2020 on May 10, 2023 in Rexburg, Idaho. Lori Vallow Daybell faces murder, conspiracy and grand larceny charges in connection with the deaths of two of her children ??? Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow ??? and Tammy Daybell, the former wife of her husband Chad Daybell. (Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Vallow believed her children were “zombies” because the “darkness” had invaded their souls (Image: Getty Images North America)

Tylee and JJ disappeared in September 2019, their bodies were not found until June 2020 when their remains were unearthed at Chad’s property in Salem, Fremont County.

JJ, who was adopted and had special needs, was buried in a pet cemetery on the property. Tylee’s body was dismembered and burned in a fireplace, said Madison County Attorney Rob Wood.

“Tylee’s body was burned beyond recognition.” “Her body was dismembered in such a grotesque and extreme manner,” he said, adding that medical experts were unable to determine the cause of death.

“JJ Vallow’s voice was permanently silenced by a strip of duct tape over his mouth,” Wood said.

“A white plastic bag was placed over his head and taped from forehead to chin.”

Vallow’s only surviving child, Colby Ryan, accused his mother of killing his siblings during a recorded prison phone call, jurors heard.

Larry Woodcock, JJ’s grandfather, said, “It’s not the end.” In ninety days we’ll be in Fremont County.

“And I’ll be like, ‘Why, Lori? Why?’

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Justin Scaccy

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