Lori Vallow: Untangling the Death Web, Part 2
Now that you have a better understanding of Lori's psychological profile and the circumstances surrounding the Vallow and Daybell families in 2018-2019, it's time to start untangling the Death Web.
The Death Web
The first thing that caught my attention when reading about this case was the number of people in connection to Lori that have mysteriously died — all in a short amount of time.
It's one thing for someone to say they have bad luck, it's another thing to say that there's been a lot of death in their family. However, it's a completely different ball game when an ex-husband, a husband, 2 children, a lover's wife, and a brother all die nearly back to back; in that order.
Am I saying that Lori personally killed all six of these individuals? No. Do I believe that Lori played a vital role in masterminding and orchestrating their deaths that were ultimately carried out by willing accomplices? Yes.
To better understand the heartbreaking events that transpired throughout September 2019 resulting in JJ and Tylee having their lives taken, we must first untangle all of the intricate relationships Lori had with the people that died around her.
Below is a chronological list detailing all six individual's deaths.
Let's look at the sheet.
Joseph Ryan, Lori's 3rd ex-husband, Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances, April 3, 2018.
Joseph "Joe" Ryan's body was found in his Maricopa County, AZ apartment by a neighbor's dog that kept alerting its owner about a strange smell.
The cause of death was ruled as a heart attack, and Joe was cremated. Little information is known about his death, but many speculate — with hindsight — that there's more to the story than meets the eye.
Joe Ryan's sister, Annie Cushing, who also quoted Lori from Part 1 saying, "The world is a better place without Joe Ryan," recently spoke to reporters again about her interactions with Lori after her brother died.
"I think [Lori’s] unhinged and untethered from truth,” Annie said in an interview with KSLTV. “[Lori] was crazy. I saw a dark side of her when I was there that makes me question some of her claims.”
Also, we know from Part 1 that female serial killers often take the lives of current or former lovers while also trying to collect resources, like insurance. This is no different in Joe's case, as he is her ex-husband, and Lori boasted about collecting life insurance money after his passing.
We also know that the couple had a dark past, shining a light on a possible motive and a common violent thread: Alex Cox.
In 2006, Joe filed a motion against Lori saying he had been denied visitation rights with his daughter Tylee. This dispute led to Alex Cox threatening and assaulting Joe with a stun gun in a parking lot. Alex was charged with the crime, and he ultimately spent three months in jail for the brutal attack.
The custody battle was still ongoing in 2018 when Joe Ryan died... this checks the box for a motive.
It’s important to note that this callous behavior is all happening before Lori meets Chad Daybell. This leads me to believe that any claim saying Chad was the one “running the show” is false, and in fact, Lori is the true mastermind and manipulator in all of the horrors to come.
There isn't another suspicious death surrounding Lori until a little over a year later.
Charles Vallow, Lori's 4th husband, Killed July 11, 2019.
Despite all accounts of a long and happy marriage, warning signs and red flags that friends saw in 2018 quickly began to manifest into reality.
Lori's religious beliefs about zombies, possession, and the end of the world, as well as her behavior around JJ and Tylee all became too much, and Charles saw no other way out of the situation other than to file for divorce and alerting police to Lori's thoughts.
Also fearing for his life based on constant life-threatening claims that Lori would make against him, Charles filed an Order of Protection against Lori on February 4, 2019.
Charles also tells his attorneys, “I want to make sure that everyone knows that if something happens to me, Lori & Alex did it.”
It's as if the victim speaks from beyond the grave.
And, as aforementioned in Part 1, Lori openly told friends — particularly Melanie Gibb — that she believed Charles would be killed in a car accident just in time for her to marry Chad before the end of the world.
But, as time went by and Charles didn't die at the hands of the universe, Lori orchestrated his death for him — and transferred $35,000 out of their bank account into hers just before his death.
On the evening of July 10th, Lori invites Alex Cox to stay overnight at their house with Charles and the children. During the following morning, Alex and Charles get into a premeditated argument, where Alex eventually shoots Charles 2 times in the chest at point-blank range.
By the time the police and paramedics arrive, Charles is dead, and Cox says he acted in self-defense because Charles allegedly charged at Lori with a baseball bat. Cox is never held accountable for the events that led to Charles's death, and Lori openly says how angry she is over not receiving his life insurance money.
Tylee Ryan, Lori's daughter with Joseph Ryan, Killed sometime early Sept 2019.
Tylee vanished in early September of 2019. She was last seen alive with her family in Yellowstone National Park.
However, soon after, she disappeared, and Lori told friends and family that Tylee was studying at a nearby university.
This was never the case, and Tylee's body was found buried in Chad Daybell's backyard in June of this year.
(More on Tylee & JJ's deaths in Part 3.)
JJ Vallow, Lori's adopted son with Charles Vallow, Killed sometime late Sept 2019.
JJ went missing in late September of 2019, only 2 weeks after his sister. He was last seen alive at home with Lori when a family friend, Melanie Gibb and her boyfriend, stayed the weekend.
However, one morning, he was gone, and Lori said that JJ was going to spend time with his Grandma Kay.
This was also never the case, and JJ's body was found buried in Chad Daybell's backyard in June of this year.
(More on Tylee & JJ's deaths in Part 3.)
Tammy Daybell, Chad Daybell's former wife, Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances, Oct 19, 2019.
For a few days leading up to Oct 19, Tammy was away with her family without Chad. Her family contests that she was in "perfect health" while she was with them. But, somehow, as she returns home to Chad, her health takes a turn for the worst.
Tammy reportedly goes to bed on the night of Oct 18 having a coughing fit. The next morning, she's found dead, and the coroner examines her body, but no autopsy is performed. Tammy's death was originally ruled to be from natural causes.
Her death shocked many, but not because of its sudden tragedy. It was shocking because many friends in the LDS "cult" knew it was going to happen — but didn't believe Chad and Lori would go through with it.
Julie Rowe, an author who published several books with Chad spoke to Inside Edition, saying, "Three weeks before Tammy dies, [Chad] said to me, and he was in this frustrated voice, 'My plan can't move forward until Tammy's dead,' or 'until Tammy dies,'" referring to his "life plan," or the plan that God had for him.
Lori also reportedly spoke openly about the life she would have with Chad once Tammy died. Lori was also planning on waiting to move to Rexburg, Idaho until after Tammy died, but eventually she couldn't wait any longer and moved to be close to Chad while Tammy was still alive.
This clearly shows premeditation, or at least, shows there was a plot to kill Tammy.
Tammy's body was exhumed on Dec 11, and the results of an autopsy are still pending, according to authorities. Tammy's death currently remains under investigation.
On Nov 5, Just two weeks after Tammy Daybell died — the topsoil over her grave in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery in Utah was still fresh — Chad and Lori flee to Kauai, Hawaii where they have a private beach ceremony. The audacity.
The photographer they hired reportedly took over 600 photos in 45 minutes. There was no family present, and of course, JJ and Tylee were not seen at the wedding. This was during a time when the rest of JJ and Tylee's families were sick with grief and fear of not knowing what happened to the children for over 2 months, while 'Barbie and Ken' were taking beach photos with pink flowers.
Somehow, not surprisingly at this point, there is more unexplained death.
Alex Cox, Lori's brother, Dies Under Mysterious Circumstances, Dec 12. 2019.
Alex Cox was found in his Rexburg, Idaho apartment, already deceased in this bathroom. An autopsy completed in May of 2020 concluded that it was a "pulmonary blood clot" that caused his death.
His autopsy and toxicology reports weren't out of the ordinary, but many question how a man tangled up so tightly in this case could die out of sheer coincidence — especially since Cox had a direct hand in a few of the earlier deaths.