Chad Daybell was a former gravedigger who found a new life in writing apocalyptic novels based around LDS (Mormon) theology. He even started his own publishing company. As his writing grew more popular, Chad claims that the content of his books had come from prophetic visions. Once he met Lori, he considered her to be a goddess on a special mission on Earth. The couple threw themselves into their grandiose delusions on a dangerous path to murder and mayhem.
In an autobiography published in 2017, Chad Daybell claimed that he was living with one foot in the “spirit world.” He founded his own publishing company, Spring Creek Books with his wife Tammy Daybell, to publish his books. They also published LDS works from other authors. Chad’s work started deviating wildly from church teachings, however, and he has been excommunicated from the LDS church.
Two weeks before he married Lori Daybell on November 19, 2019, Chad’s wife Tammy Daybell died and he received a $430,000 life insurance settlement. At the time of their wedding, Lori Daybell’s children, 7-year-old J.J. and 16-year-old Tylee, had been missing for almost two months. Lori had told her friends that her children had become zombies and were possessed by evil spirits. They were found buried in shallow graves June 2020 on Chad Daybell’s property.
Before Chad Daybell lost his wife, Lori’s husband Charles Vallow had also met an untimely end. In July 2019 he was shot and killed by Lori’s brother Alex Cox, who says he shot Charles in self defense.
Lori had previously been married to a man named Joseph Anthony Ryan Jr, who died in 2018. He wasn’t found for days after he died, and it was assumed that he died of a heart attack. Joseph had also been attacked by Lori’s brother Alex before. Alex spent time in prison for tasering Joseph Ryan and threatening to kill him.
Will Lori and Chad Daybell go to trial?
Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, grand theft by deception, grand theft, and insurance fraud. Chad Daybell is also charged with the murder of his wife Tammy Daybell. His trial has been pushed back.
Lori was found not competent for trial, and she is currently committed at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She will be reevaluated after several months to see if she is still legally unfit to stand trial.