Idaho mom Lori Vallow Daybell sentenced in deaths of 2 children and her romantic rival

Vallow sentenced to life in prison without parole in murders of 2 of her children, her husband's first wife

Fox News/August 1, 2023

By Audrey Conklin

Convicted killer Lori Vallow in a Monday statement expressed her belief that two of her children, Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow, and her husband's first wife, Tammy Daybell – all of whom were murdered in 2019 – are "happy and busy" in the "spirit world."

Vallow, 50, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday for murdering Tylee and J.J. in September 2019 and conspiring to murder Tammy in October 2019.

"I have had many communications with Jesus Christ, savior of this world, and our heavenly parents. I have had many angelic visitors have come and communicated with me and even manifested themselves to me because of these communications," Vallow told an Idaho courtroom on Monday during her sentencing hearing. "I know for a fact that my children are happy and busy in the spirit world. Because of my communications with my friend, Tammy Daybell, I know that she is also very happy and extremely busy."

She added that she has "always mourned the loss" of her "loved ones" and has "lost many in this mortal world" with whom she believes she is still in communication in the spirit world.

Lori Vallow was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday in the murders of her two youngest children and a romantic rival in a case that included bizarre claims that her son and daughter were zombies and that she was a goddess sent to usher in the apocalypse. (Tony Blakeslee /

A February psychiatric diagnosis revealed that Vallow suffers from a "delusional disorder" mixed with "hyper-religiosity" and a "continuous and unspecified personality disorder" with narcissistic features, according to District Judge Steven Boyce on Monday.

Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, who is also charged with murder and conspiracy to murder, met in 2018 at the Preparing a People conference. They bonded over their apocalyptic religious beliefs and shared the idea that they had been married in a past life, FOX 10 Phoenix first reported.

They referred to each other as biblical figures and discussed their beliefs that people can have light or dark spirits – some so dark that they could be considered zombies who needed to be removed from Earth, prosecutors said, according to FOX 10.

Tylee and J.J. went missing from their home in Idaho in September 2019, and the couple did nothing to try and find them. The next month, Tammy Daybell died of asphyxiation by homicide, though her death was initially determined to be natural.

While J.J. and Tylee were missing, and directly after Tammy's death, Vallow and Daybell married in Hawaii in November of that year.

Investigators found the children's bodies in shallow graves on Chad Daybell's Rexburg, Idaho, property in June 2020, months after they disappeared. The 16-year-old's remains were burned while the 7-year-old was bound in duct tape.

Vallow is also charged with conspiring to murder her ex-husband, Charles Vallow, in Arizona in 2019 prior to her kids' disappearances and deaths.

In her statement to the court Monday, Vallow said she "died in the hospital" while she was in labor with her daughter, Tylee. Doctors revived her, at which point she began seeing spirits.

"One of the times that Tylee came to me as a spirit after she died … she said to me, ‘Stop worrying, Mom. We are fine.’ She knows how I worry and how I miss her," Vallow said. "The first time J.J. visited after he passed away, he put his arm around me, and he said to me, 'You didn't do anything wrong, Mom. I love you. And I know you loved me every minute of my life.' J.J – Joshua Jackson – was an adult spirit, and he was very, very tall when he put his arm around me. He is busy. He is engaged. He has jobs that he does there. And he is happy where he is."

Finally, Vallow said Tammy Daybell has visited her and brought her "peace and comfort."

Boyce, who oversaw weeks of testimony in her trial this year, sentenced Vallow to life in prison without parole for five counts, including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He also sentenced the so-called "Doomsday mom" to 20 years for grand theft after she tried to steal her children's Social Security benefits after killing them, allegedly with help from Chad Daybell.

Prior to his decision, Boyce said Vallow has proven that she feels no remorse for her crimes.

"I don't think, to this day, you have any remorse for the effort and heartache you caused," Boyce told Vallow in court on Monday. "Others looked for your children when you knew where they were and knew they were dead. They were found dead, burned, mutilated and dismembered and buried like animals. After you knew they were dead, you collected public-funded assistance payments meant for them, and that was blood money you kept for yourself."

He continued, "[T]he most shocking thing, really, I can imagine is that a mother killed her own children, and you simply have no remorse for it. Even sitting here today, there is no remorse for what you did after all of this evidence through trial. You haven't shown any remorse. You haven't said you're sorry. You haven't done anything to seek leniency from this court."

Chad Daybell has yet to face trial for his charges in connection with the murders of Tylee, J.J. and Tammy Daybell.

He and Vallow were indicted in late May 2021 on multiple counts each of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, grand theft by deception and first-degree murder related to the deaths of Tylee, J.J. and Tammy Daybell, officials announced at the time.

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