Did Lori Vallow-Daybell kill her last husband? The evidence saying “yes”
It looks like more charges against Lori Vallow Daybell could stack up soon. A new tape emerged on Nov. 9th where Daybell asserted she wanted to kill her ex-husband, Joseph Ryan, father of Daybell’s deceased daughter, Tylee Ryan.
Joseph Ryan died of a heart attack in 2018, but his untimely death looks more suspicious now. After police recorded Lori Vallow-Daybell in her cell, they decided to reopen the investigation into Joseph Ryan’s death.
So far, Lori Vallow-Daybell is charged with two counts of conspiracy to conceal, destroy, or alter evidence after authorities found the bodies of her two children, Tylee Ryan & JJ Vallow, buried in her current husband Chad Daybell’s backyard. She also faces counts of desertion & nonsupport of minor children. She could face up to life in prison for all the charges.
With the tape, how likely is it that Lori Vallow-Daybell will face new charges soon, and what can police uncover in the new investigation? Let’s take a look.
Discovering Joseph Ryan’s body
Arizona authorities discovered Joseph Ryan’s body after a neighbor reported a “foul-smelling odor” to police on April 3, 2018. When police entered, they found Ryan’s body in “advanced stages of decomposition” according to the police report. The medical examiner ruled Ryan’s death to be from natural causes.
However, the motive for his murder existed. According to court documents, Ryan & Lori Vallow Daybell had been involved in a bitter custody battle over their daughter, Tylee. Ryan accused Vallow-Daybell of “parental alienation”, meaning he claimed Vallow-Daybell was keeping him from seeing his daughter. In fact, Ryan told the court he hadn’t seen his daughter for over a year after the divorce.
Child rape accusations
Lori Vallow-Daybell declared she had a good reason for keeping Joseph Ryan away from his daughter. On the tape and during the custody battle, Vallow Daybell claimed her ex-husband “raped her children”. “I had to go take her to this monster,” Vallow-Daybell said on the tape. “I had to drop my sweet little angel off, then I’d go to the temple and cry.”
In 2007, Lori Vallow-Daybell’s brother, Alex Cox, was arrested for assaulting Joseph Ryan over Vallow Daybell’s claims. Cox detailed he “thought he (Ryan) was a pedophile” in a standup routine, saying his “discharged his gun into (Ryan’s) c*ck”. Cox served three months. He also killed Vallow-Daybell’s other ex-husband, Charles Vallow, with a baseball bat. Cox claimed self-defense before he died in 2019 from a clot in his lung.
Going to the temple
Lori Vallow Daybell wanted to kill her ex for allegedly harming her daughter. To prevent herself from committing murder, Vallow-Daybell turned to her faith, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints. After consulting Scripture, which Vallow-Daybell interpreted to mean someone could murder their assailant after “three times”, she consulted a bishop, telling him she needed temple exercises or she was going to kill.
In LDS practice, going to the temple involves “a series of lessons and exercises to deepen their (parishioners’) faith”, via a PBS page about Mormonism. Members going through temple exercises will also make covenants with God to keep His commandments and follow a Godly lifestyle. Lori Vallow-Daybell claims on the tape she was “perfectly honest” about her desire to kill Ryan because she “had nothing to lose” at that point.
DISTURBING: Chad Daybell’s email to Lori Vallow on 10/30/18 features these two documents. A rubric on light and dark spirits, ultimately grading Lori Vallow’s family members including her missing kids. #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/T9arKExkge
— Justin Lum (@jlumfox10) May 1, 2020
After the police investigation into Tylee Ryan & JJ Vallow’s mysterious disappearances, they discovered Lori Vallow-Daybell’s faith diverged from mainstream Mormonism in ways that could explain her children’s disappearance. Police found literature detailing the difference between light & dark spirits at Vallow-Daybell’s house. Also, her new husband, Chad Daybell, was a doomsday prophet who believed in demonic possession.
While it hasn’t been proven whether Chad Daybell or Lori killed Tylee & JJ, or why they would have done so, sources close to the couple asserted Lori Vallow-Daybell believed her children had been turned into zombies. The sources also claimed the Daybells believed the apocalypse was coming in July 2020.
The couple is also surrounded by many mysterious deaths. Not only did they lie to authorities about the whereabouts of their deceased children, a lot of people close to the couple died of natural causes at young ages. Aside from Lori Vallow-Daybell’s ex-husbands’ deaths, Chad Daybell’s wife, Tammy, died in her sleep shortly before Chad & Lori married. The police reopened her case.
Clarifying the investigation
Arizona police clarified the process for reviewing Joseph Ryan’s death, emphasizing they were reviewing the autopsy rather than reopening the investigation. “Our investigators are currently reviewing the 2018 death investigation of Joseph Ryan. They are looking into some of the new information they’ve been made aware of.”
The police department spokesperson couldn’t delve into more detail due to the new details, saying they wanted to keep the public informed: “not based on assumption, but on fact”.