Who is Lori Vallow? Relationship to Chad Daybell and the true story behind Netflix series Sins of Our Mother
Lori Vallow was known to friends and family as a devoted mother of three, a loving wife, and a woman of God.
But over the past three years, something went very wrong: Now Lori is in jail, waiting to stand trial for conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of her fourth husband, her fifth husband’s wife, and her two youngest children.
THe story sounds ripe for a Netflix true-crime docuseries, and so it’s fitting that that’s exactly what we’re getting this month when Sins of Our Mother comes to the streaming service.
Here is everything you need to know about it
What is Sins of Our Mother about?
Sins of Our Mother investigates the story of Lori Vallow, a mother who was reportedly indoctrinated by a cult leader and accused of murdering two of her children.
It’s still a court matter in the United States, where it’s gained a lot of attention.
Skye Borgman, who recently directed two other major real-life crime stories for the streaming service - Girl In The Picture and I Just Killed My Dad - is back behind the camera for the three-part documentary, which depicts the narrative mostly through the eyes of Vallow’s surviving son, Colby.
Who is Lori Vallow?
Vallow, born Lori Cox, grew up in San Bernardino, California, and married twice when she was young.
In her second marriage with William Lagioia in 1996 she had a son, Colby, who is interviewed throughout the documentary.
In 2001, Vallow married Joseph Anthony Ryan Jr., and Ryan adopted Colby as his own son - Tylee, Vallow and Ryan’s daughter, was born in 2002.
They divorced in 2005, and a year later she married Charles Vallow - together they adopted his grand-nephew Joshua Jaxon ‘J.J.’ Vallow.
Vallow was seen as a picture-perfect mother, but in 201 she reportedly began reading the literature of Christian preacher Chad Daybell, who claimed that the apocalypse was near and that humans could be graded on a light-dark spectrum.
‘Dark’ people were possessed by the devil, while the ‘light’ people were "followers of Jesus Christ."
The couple originally met in 2018 at a “Preparing The People” event in Arizona, where Daybell claimed to Vallow that they had been married seven times in previous lives.
She became estranged from her family a few months later in 2019.
What is she accused of?
At this point, Charles Vallow filed for divorce in February 2019, claiming Lori had threatened to have him killed and had taken large sums of money from their bank account.
He applied for an order of protection against Lori due to a “genuine fear for his life”; Alex Cox, Lori’s brother, murdered Charles five months later.
Cox claimed he was acting in self-defence after Charles struck him with a baseball bat - the police did not investigate further.
Then, in September 2019 Lori Vallow informed J.J.’s school that he would be homeschooled and withdrew him from education.
Daybell’s wife, Tammy, then died in strange circumstances the following month October; according to Daybell, she died of "natural causes" ten days after calling police and reporting that a masked intruder had attempted to shoot her.
There was no autopsy or post-mortem performed at the time, but her body was exhumed and examined, and the investigation was reopened - though the results of the autopsy were never made public.
Lori Vallow and Daybell fled to Hawaii two weeks later and married without sons J.J. or Tylee present.
When J.J.’s grandma raised the alarm that he hadn’t been seen in weeks, police were summoned to conduct a welfare check.
Lori Vallow told authorities he was visiting family in Arizona, but she packed up her and Daybell’s belongings and fled the next day, with the FBI on her tail.
They evaded authorities for the following three months, until a storage locker belonging to Lori Vallow’s storage locker was searched.
Children’s clothing, bikes and photographs were found inside it, and video footage showed Vallow and her brother moving goods in and out of the locker prior to Vallow’s escape.
Where are they now?
Vallow and Daybell were arrested in February 2020, and in June, a search of Daybell’s property turned up human remains buried in a pet cemetery that were eventually identified as J.J. and Tylee’s.
Vallow and Daybell were charged with the murders of Tamara, Tylee, and J.J. in March 2021; Vallow was additionalyl charged with conspiracy to murder her husband Charles in June 2021.
Vallow had previously been found incompetent to stand trial owing to mental health difficulties, but she has since been declared competent.
Vallow and Daybell have both pleaded not guilty, and their cases will be heard in January 2023.
When can I watch it?
Sins of Our Mother is available to stream on Netflix right now.