Lori Vallow claims ‘no one was murdered’ as she breaks silence in bizarre sentencing statement

Vallow claimed that ‘no one was murdered in this case’ – including her murdered children Tylee Ryan and JJ Vallow and ‘her friend’ Tammy Daybell

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 01 August 2023 04:34 BST
Lori Vallow gives court statement as she faces life in prison

A sobbing Lori Vallow shockingly claimed that “no one was murdered” as she broke her silence for the first time over the horrific murders of her two children and her lover’s wife in a chilling statement at sentencing.

In the bizarre remarks, the so-called “cult mom” read out a Bible quote, spoke of visiting “heaven” and continued to channel her doomsday cult beliefs while claiming “I have had many communications with Jesus Christ”.

While her victims’ loved ones were forced to listen in horror, she claimed that she had communicated with her murdered children Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow as well as “her friend” Tammy Daybell from beyond the grave – and that they are “very happy”.

“Jesus Christ knows the truth. Jesus Christ knows no one was murdered in this case. Accidental deaths happened. Suicides happened. Fatal side effects of medications happened,” she said.

She claimed that she has had “many communications” from people in heaven and that “because of these communications I know for a fact that my children are happy” and busy in heaven.

The 50-year-old convicted killer appeared in Fremont County Courthouse in Idaho on Monday morning to be sentenced for the murders of her two youngest children Tylee, 16, and JJ, 7, and conspiracy to murder her new husband Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy.

Sitting slouched cross-legged at the defence table, Vallow kept her head down and refused to look her victims’ devastated family members in the eyes as they gave heartwrenching impact statements to the court and as prosecutors asked that she spent the rest of her life behind bars with no chance of parole.

In a defence statement, Vallow’s attorney John Thomas asked the judge to give her “hope” that the “most hated woman in America” could one day be free from prison.

Following the statements, Vallow was asked if she had anything to say.

In a bombshell move, she chose to address the court – giving her first comments ever about the murders of the three victims.

Dressed in an orange striped prison jumpsuit, Vallow instantly began quoting from the Bible passage John 8:7: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone.”

This photo of Tylee Ryan and her brother Joshua “JJ” Vallow with their uncle Alex Cox was taken days before they were killed (Handout)

Speaking to the court, she said that “Jesus knows me and Jesus understands me” and claimed that “I mourn with all of you who mourn my children and Tammy”.

Vallow claimed that she “died” when she gave birth to her daughter Tylee and that her spirit left her body.

From then on, she knew heaven “was her real home” and she had had many visits from people in the spirit world.

“As I stood in heaven, I did not want to go back because I was peaceful and happy and home. But then I was told by Jesus that I needed to go back that I had covenanted or promised to do before I was born,” she said.

“I knew heaven was my real home... I knew what I needed to do,” she said, saying she then returned to her body.

“I am homesick for heaven everyday. Heaven is more wonderful than you can ever possibly imagine.”

From then on, she claimed that she has had “many communications” with people in heaven.

Since her children’s deaths, she said that they had both “visited” her.

JJ – who was smothered to death with a plastic bag tied around his head with tape – visited her and told her “you didn’t do anything wrong mom”, she said.

The seven-year-old came to her as “an adult spirit” and was “very, very tall,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tylee – whose body was so badly burned and dismembered that it was impossible to determine cause of death – had long suffered with both ill-health and alleged sexual abuse, she said.

“I am the only person on this earth who knows how much Tylee suffered in her life,” she said.

“She had pain every single day. She never felt good. Her body did not work right.”

She went on to claim that Tammy was “my wonderful friend” and that the 49-year-old woman – who was murdered in her bed weeks before Vallow fled to Hawaii to marry her husband Mr Daybell – had also visited her since her killing.

“Because of communication with my friend Tammy Daybell, I know she is very happy and extremely busy,” she said.

Vallow said that she looks forward to when she can join them “in the arms of Jesus”.

Following her shocking statement, Judge Steven Boyce handed down his sentence, ordering her to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

She was handed five life sentences without parole for each murder charge and 10 years for one count of grand theft.

Vallow was found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, and son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, back in May.

She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Mr Daybell’s first wife Tammy, 49.

Chad and Tammy Daybell before her death in October 2019 (Facebook)

JJ and Tylee vanished without a trace in September 2019 – sparking fears for their safety from desperate family members all the while Vallow refused to say where they were.

One month later, Tammy – an otherwise healthy 49-year-old – also died suddenly. Her death was initially ruled natural causes.

This bizarre spate of disappearances and death came just months after Vallow’s fourth husband Charles Vallow was shot dead by Vallow’s brother Alex Cox in Arizona in July 2019.

With Vallow’s children and both of their spouses then out of the way, she and Mr Daybell embarked on a new life together – flying to Hawaii to get married in a fairytale wedding on the beach.

But, with months passing since the last signs of life of Vallow’s children, concerns continued to grow, prompting authorities to exhume Tammy’s body. A subsequent autopsy revealed that she had died by asphyxiation.

In June 2020 – nine months after they were last seen alive – Tylee and JJ’s remains were found buried on the grounds of Mr Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho.

JJ, who had autism, had been smothered with a plastic bag taped over his face, his little body still dressed in a pair of red pyjamas. Tylee’s cause of death meanwhile has been impossible to establish as the teenager’s dismembered, charred bones and body parts were found scattered in the ground on Mr Daybell’s pet cemetery.

Jurors in Ada County Court in Boise, Idaho, took almost seven hours to find Vallow guilty on all charges over the three murders after a grueling six-week trial where the panel heard harrowing details about the doomsday cult mom’s path of deadly destruction and were shown graphic images of the murdered children’s remains.

Lori Vallow slouches in her chair at her sentencing hearing (Law & Crime)

The state called over 60 witnesses to lay out its case that Vallow was motivated by both her cult beliefs but also lust for Mr Daybell and financial greed when she conspired with him and her brother Cox to kill the three victims.

In a bombshell move, Vallow’s attorneys declined to present any defence case or call any witnesses and the “cult mom” chose not to take the stand to give her side of the story.

Vallow’s legal troubles and the chilling case are far from over.

Following her sentencing, she is expected to be extradited to Arizona where she is awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to murder her fourth husband Charles Vallow and the attempted murder of her niece’s husband Brandon Boudreaux.

Meanwhile, Mr Daybell is still awaiting trial for the murders of JJ, Tylee and Tammy – with a scheduled trial start date set for 1 April 2024.

But, the third person accused of being a co-conspirator in the case won’t ever have his day in court.

On 11 December 2019 – hours after Tammy’s body was exhumed – Cox died suddenly at the age of 51. His death was ruled natural causes, with indications of a blood clot wedged in the arteries of his lungs. However the overdose drug Narcan was also found in his system.

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