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Idaho Mom Sentenced to Life for Killing her ‘Zombie’ Children

Lori Vallow Daybell

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Lori Vallow Daybell received a life sentence without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of the murders of her two youngest children and involvement in a plot to murder a romantic rival. The sentencing took place at the Fremont County Courthouse in St. Anthony, Idaho.  She claimed that her children were zombies.

Doomsday Prophecies and Zombie Children

The 50-year-old woman known as the “cult mom” was found guilty, following a plot that originated from the peculiar doomsday prophecies she and her 5th husband Chad Daybell embraced. According to their beliefs, Lori’s children were considered zombies, while she was regarded as a “goddess.”

As reported on, and according to court records, Melanie Gibb, a close friend of Vallow Daybell, recounted an incident where she heard Vallow Daybell mention that her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, had turned into a zombie. The situation unfolded when Tylee declined to babysit her brother JJ, 7, to which she responded, “Not me, mom,” as stated in a police affidavit. Later, Vallow Daybell came to the conclusion that JJ had also become a zombie.

J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan.
J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan.

Lori commenced her peculiar statement while in court by citing a Bible verse from the New Testament. She then went on to deny the allegations of her children’s and Tammy’s murders. “Jesus knows me and Jesus understands me,” she said to the Idaho courtroom. “I mourn with all of you who mourn my children and Tammy. Jesus Christ knows the truth of what happened here. Jesus Christ knows that no one was murdered in this case. Accidental deaths happen. Suicides happen. Fatal side effects from medications happen.” 

Her Children Were Not The Only Victims

Lori Vallow Daybell was also accused of plotting with her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, to murder Chad’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, who was 49 years old at the time of the alleged conspiracy. 

On June 9, 2020, the badly decomposed remains of J.J. and Tylee were discovered buried on Chad’s property in Idaho. Tragically, Tylee’s body had been dismembered and burned, while J.J. was found asphyxiated, wrapped in plastic, and bound with duct tape. Additionally, during the trial, prosecutors revealed that Tammy, originally believed to have died from natural causes, was also asphyxiated.

Tammy and Chad Daybell.
Tammy and Chad Daybell.

During a victim-impact statement, Samantha Gwilliam, the sister of Tammy Daybell, expressed how her family had been torn apart and plunged into sorrow, suspicion, and sadness due to the unexpected loss of Tammy at the age of 49. The pain intensified when they discovered that Chad Daybell was remarrying merely weeks after Tammy’s death. “Because of the choices you made, my family lost a beloved mother, sister, aunt and daughter. She is irreplaceable,” she said. “She was 1,000 times the woman you will ever dream of being.”

During her testimony in court, Lori further conveyed that JJ, Tylee, and Tammy Daybell, along with angels and even Jesus Christ himself, appeared to her from heaven. Lori asserted that they were all “happy and busy” in the afterlife. She also made a remark that could be seen as an insult, referring to Tammy Daybell as “my wonderful friend.”

You can hear Lori speak to the court in this chilling statement below.

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    Valerie Anne is a Type 1 diabetic, mother, tree-hugger, self-proclaimed granola who loves a good horror story through literature, video games, and movies. She also streams art over at

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