Lori Vallow could explode at any moment.
The petite blonde admitted this during her campaign for the Mrs. Texas crown in 2004.
“It’s very important to me to be a good mother and to be a good wife and worker,” Lori said at the time. “And having all of these things together isn’t easy,” she added with a chuckle. “I’m basically a ticking time bomb.”
The haunting pageant footage can be seen in the Netflix documentary Sins of Our Mother, out Wednesday.
The film follows Lori, 49, aka “Doomsday Mom,” going from doting Mormon housewife to accused murderer of multiple victims, including her two youngest children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua Jackson “JJ” Vallow, 7. The children were last seen together smiling for photos in Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019.
She and her husband Chad Daybell, 54, who owned the home in Rexburg, Ida, where the bodies of Tylee and JJ were discovered on June 9, 2020 after a statewide search, will appear in court together on January 9, 2023 for their murders stand. Prosecutors want the death penalty.
“It’s not even human to take your own two children who you should really love and care for and what to do [my mom] did,” admits Colby Ryan, Lori’s only surviving son, in the three-part documentary directed by Skye Borgman, made famous by The Girl in the Picture and Kidnapped in Plain Sight.
“It breaks me in a way you’ve never felt,” says Ryan, 26. (He’s had his own unrelated disputes with the law. Earlier this month, he was arrested on two counts of sexual assault in Arizona. The charges against him have since been dismissed unscathed, meaning authorities may resubmit them at a later date.)
Lori’s life first took a dark turn when she married her third husband, Joseph Ryan, in 2001. They welcomed Tylee in September of the following year. By this point, she had already been married and divorced twice, once to her high school sweetheart in 1992 and then to Colby’s birth father in 1995.
Lori eventually discovered that Joseph had sexually assaulted Colby, who was then 8 years old. So in 2006 she moved from Austin, Tex. with her children to start a new life in Chandler, Arizona. (Joseph Ryan died of natural causes in 2018.)
There she met Charles Vallow, a handsome and “financially secure” father of two sons from a previous marriage. She quickly adopted him as husband #4.
He and Lori adopted JJ in 2013. The light-eyed Towhead was Charles’ sister Kay Woodcock’s biological grandson. She and her husband Larry asked the couple to help raise the autistic boy after their son, JJ’s father, proved ill-equipped for the job.
“I just loved him so much,” Ryan says in the document. “And JJ loved Tylee.”
After the toddler was welcomed into their flock, the seemingly idyllic family, which Lori made sure were active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS, relocated to Kauai, Hawaii.
“It was paradise,” says Ryan. “It was like a payoff for all of that [bad] things that have ever happened.”
But darkness quickly clouded their sun-drenched escape.
“When Lori and I were alone … she complained about Charles,” says ex-girlfriend April Raymond. “[She] really wanted a spiritual dynamo in a partner. And Charles, she felt, was holding her back. Her beliefs became more and more extreme.”
Lori’s religious beliefs became even more bizarre after she met Mormon author Chad Daybell, now 54. The first two crossed paths at an LDS meeting called “Preparing of People” shortly after she and Charles returned to Arizona in 2018. By then their marriage was on the rocks.
But during her first conversation with Chad, a father of five who has been married to his wife Tammy for nearly two decades, Lori became smitten. Chad told her that they were married several times in previous lives.
He claimed to have gained supernatural abilities after suffering two near-death encounters in the 1980s. And these spiritual powers allowed him to see into the future and prophesy the end of the world, which he said was scheduled for July 22, 2020.
“Chad’s vision was that there would be an apocalypse [and only the] The just would survive,” explains forensic psychologist John Matthias in the film. “And that there are 144,000 elect who would be saved…until the New Jerusalem was established and [they’d] continue the work of God into eternity.”
Chad also announced that God had chosen Rexburg, Ida., as His apocalyptic holy land and claimed to have the power to detect “dark spirits” in others – namely JJ and Tylee.
He claimed that the demonic forces would take over their bodies and turn them into zombies that would have to be killed. He also thought that Charles was overtaken by a demon. Lori’s brother Alex Cox eventually shot and killed him.
Police officers in Chandler, Arizona, where the shooting took place, believed it was an act of self-defense. No arrests or convictions were made.
After his death, Lori tries to collect Charles’ $1 million life insurance policy. But he had previously removed her as a beneficiary and left her nothing.
However, three months later, in October 2019, Chad’s wife, Tammy, mysteriously died. This time, Chad and Lori were able to collect their $430,000 life insurance policy. They flew to Kauai and got married. As a token of their love, Lori bought herself a sterling silver ring on Amazon using Charles’s account and credit card information. She made the purchase a few days before Tammy’s death.
However, Lori’s children were not present at the wedding.
In fact, neither Tylee nor JJ had been seen by anyone for weeks.
Kay left Lori voicemails asking to speak to the child.
“Lori, please let us know that JJ is okay,” the grandmother pleads on the film’s tape. “We must see him.”
Their requests went unanswered. So Kay contacted authorities in Idaho, where Lori and Chad had relocated after being hitchhiked, for help.
When Rexburg detectives arrived at Lori’s home to do a social check, she said JJ was on his way to visit a friend in Arizona.
Then Lori and Chad fled to Kauai.
With no word from JJ in over two months, Kay and Larry offered a $20,000 reward for their help in finding him and Tylee. Billboards and flyers covered with children’s faces made national headlines.
In January 2020, an Idaho judge gave Lori, who was still in Hawaii with Chad, five days to introduce her children to the public. She missed the deadline and was sent to an Idaho jail.
“The first time she called from prison she said, ‘The kids are fine,'” recalls her mother Janis. “She said, ‘You know what kind of mom I am. I would never hurt the kids.’”
In June of that year, officers exhumed the bodies of Tylee and JJ from Chad’s backyard.
“These beautiful, talented, loving and generous children had so much to offer and experience. I can’t think of her without crying,” Janis sobbed in the document.
Lori and Chad were both charged with the murder and conspiracy to murder Tylee, JJ and Tammy. They are due to appear in court in January.
“We have to live with what happened. But am I going to focus on her death or am I going to focus on her memories?” said Colby. “[My mom is] will not define anything else.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/13/new-documentary-examines-doomsday-mom-lori-vallow/ New documentary explores ‘Doomsday Mom’ Lori Vallow