Lori Vallow trial hears how ‘money, power and sex’ motivated murders

Lori Vallow’s murdered daughter talks to police in newly unearthed video

The high-profile trial of “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow who is accused of killing her two children and new husband’s ex-wife has got underway in Boise, Idaho.

Ms Vallow, 49, is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection over the deaths of her daughter Tylee Ryan, 16, and son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven.

Tylee and JJ were last seen alive in September 2019. Their bodies were found buried on Ms Vallow’s new husband Chad Daybell’s property in Idaho in June 2020.

Ms Vallow is also charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Daybell’s first wife Tammy Daybell, who died suddenly in her sleep in October 2019.

Ms Vallow has pleaded not guilty to all charges in a dramatic case spanning a string of murders, unexplained deaths and bizarre cult beliefs about killing zombies.

Jury selection took place last week in Ada County Courthouse with a pool of 1,800 potential jurors narrowed down to 12 jurors and six alternates on Friday.

As the trial gets under way, Ms Vallow will be forced to come face to face with JJ’s grandparents after Judge Steven Boyce denied her request to ban them from the courtroom.


Lori Vallow was driven by ‘money, power and sex’ to murder kids, prosecutor says in trial opening statement

Jurors were also shown chilling photos of the remains of Tylee and JJ after they were found buried in the pet cemetery on Chad Daybell’s property in Idaho.

Rachel Sharp has the story.

Graeme Massie10 April 2023 19:15


Jury have been sent out to lunch

Break in court proceedings as jury sent out for lunch, while lawyers tackle issue with papers witness has brought with her.

Graeme Massie10 April 2023 18:59


Grandmother explains when she last saw JJ

Kay Woodcock told the jury that she last saw JJ on the weekend of 17 May 2019 in Louisiana where there was a pizza party to celebrate his birthday before he returned home to Houston, Texas.

Graeme Massie10 April 2023 18:51


Witness says Lori contacted her after Charles death

Ms Woodcock says that after the death of Charles, Lori contacted her about his life insurance policy. the jury was told that Charles had told Ms Woodcock he wanted to take Lori off it and put her on it and use the money to raise JJ if anything happened to him.

Graeme Massie10 April 2023 18:48


Witness says son could not care for JJ when born

Ms Woodcock says her son Todd and his girlfriend Mandy Leger could not take care of JJ when he was born at 30 weeks and had drugs in his system.

Jury was told that when the Vallows adopted JJ, whose original name was Canaan, they moved to Chandler, Arizona, and his name was changed to Joshua Jaxon Vallow, nicknamed “JJ.”

Graeme Massie10 April 2023 18:25


State calls first witness

The state’s first witness is Kay Woodcock, grandmother to JJ Vallow.

Her son, Dennis Todd Trahan, is JJ’s biological father.

She is being questioned by Rob Wood.

Oliver O’Connell10 April 2023 18:19


Lori Vallow trial hears how Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy was killed

Oliver O’Connell10 April 2023 18:00


The defence concludes its opening statement and the court goes on a recess.

Oliver O’Connell10 April 2023 17:40


Archibald also stresses that the jury’s focus is on the actions of Lori and not those of Alex and Chad.

He notes that Lori was in her apartment when JJ and Tylee died at the home of her late brother Alex Cox and was in Hawaii when Tammy died.

Oliver O’Connell10 April 2023 17:40


Archibald reads the indictment again to the jury to make clear what they are being asked to judge.

“Did she kill or did she assist or did she encourage or did she command? They [the prosecution] aren’t sure what happened — but they want you to be sure.”

He emphasises that the state has the burden of proving Lori guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”.

“If after all the evidence or lack of evidence, you have a reasonable doubt, you must find her not guilty.”

Oliver O’Connell10 April 2023 17:37

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