The ‘Cult Mom’ Lori Vallow Daybel Faces Multiple Life Sentences for the Murder of Her 2 Children and Husband’s First Wife

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Source: DENNIS FUJIMOTO/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

On July 31, 2023, Lori Vallow Daybell, often referred to as the ‘Cult Mom’, was sentenced to multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of her two children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow and Tylee Ryan, and the conspiracy to commit murder of her husband’s previous wife, Tammy Daybell.

The Verdict and Sentencing

The Ada County Courthouse in Boise, Idaho, was the venue where the final chapter of this chilling saga unfolded. Following a trial that gripped the nation, Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted of her crimes in May 2023. Judge Steven W. Boyce, presiding over the case, ordered that she serve consecutive life sentences for the individual murder charges.

During her sentencing, Vallow Daybell addressed the court, claiming that a near-death experience allowed her to communicate with the “spirit world.” She insisted that her children and Tammy Daybell were happy in heaven and that accidental deaths, suicides, and fatal side effects from medications were the true causes of their demise.

The Investigation and Trial

The case first drew national attention when Vallow Daybell’s children, 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, disappeared nearly four years ago. Authorities began the search for Tylee and Joshua in November 2019, after several family members expressed concern about not having seen or spoken to the children since September.

During the investigation, Vallow Daybell and her current husband, Chad Daybell, lied to authorities about the children’s whereabouts and failed to comply with court orders to produce the children physically. The remains of the children were discovered in June 2020 on property owned by Chad Daybell in Fremont County, Idaho.

In a shocking twist, it was also revealed that Tammy Daybell, Chad’s first wife, was initially believed to have died of natural causes in October 2019. However, her body was later exhumed, and an autopsy revealed that her death was, in fact, a homicide.

The ‘Cult Mom’ and Her Beliefs

Lori Vallow Daybell and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, were known for their obsession with doomsday prophecies and belief that people could become “zombies” possessed by evil spirits. The couple met at the Preparing a People conference in 2018, where they bonded over their apocalyptic religious beliefs, believing that they had been married in a past life.

During the trial, Vallow Daybell’s mental health came under scrutiny. Her last mental health evaluation revealed that she suffered from “hyper religiosity” and “unspecified personality disorder with histrionic and narcissistic features,” according to Judge Boyce. She also refused to comply with court-ordered screening that may have mitigated her sentencing.

Reactions and Impact Statements

Several impact statements were read during the sentencing. Among them was a statement from Kay Woodcock, JJ’s biological grandmother, who referred to Lori Vallow Daybell as a “monster.” Colby Ryan, Vallow Daybell’s adult son, shared that his mother’s actions have deprived him of sharing his life with the people he loved the most.

Vallow Daybell’s sentencing marks a pivotal point in a case that has captivated the nation and the world. However, the story is not over, as Chad Daybell, a self-published author known for his doomsday-focused fiction, is still awaiting trial on the same murder charges.

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