US 'doomsday' mother found guilty of murdering children

13 May 2023 04:16pm
Lori Vallow - Facebook
Lori Vallow - Facebook
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LOS ANGELES, US - A US mother with "doomsday" religious beliefs was found guilty Friday of murdering two of her children and conspiring to kill her husband's ex-wife.

Lori Vallow was on trial in the northwestern US state of Idaho over the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan and adopted seven-year-old son Joshua "JJ" Vallow.

Vallow, who has reportedly claimed to be a goddess charged with preparing humanity for the second coming of Christ, faces up to life in prison without parole.

Her fifth husband Chad Daybell - the self-published author of several apocalyptic novels - will soon go on trial separately over similar charges, which also include the murder of his first wife, Tammy.

The couple's "religious beliefs" were cited by prosecutors as a factor in the murders, and their story was the subject of a Netflix true-crime documentary series "Sins of Our Mother," released last year.

The case first drew national headlines in late 2019 following the disappearance of Vallow's children, which was first reported to authorities by Joshua's grandparents.

The police inquiry quickly took a macabre turn as it emerged that several people associated with Vallow and Daybell had died in recent years, and she was arrested in Hawaii months later.

Vallow's third husband, Joseph Ryan - Tylee's father - had died in 2018 of a heart attack.

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She was in the process of divorcing her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, when he was killed by a gunshot, fired by her now-deceased brother, in July 2019.

In October 2019, Daybell's wife Tammy died ostensibly of natural causes. Vallow and Daybell moved to Hawaii a few weeks later, where they married.

Vallow and Daybell never reported that the children were missing, and their bodies were found in June 2020 on property owned by Daybell in Idaho.

The judge agreed to take the death penalty off the table for Vallow, whose sentencing date has not been set.

Daybell has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and could still face the death penalty if found guilty.

Vallow, raised a Mormon, became increasingly radical in her religious beliefs over time, coming to believe she could communicate with angels.

In 2018, she met Daybell - the leader of a radical Mormon sect that was preparing for the end times - at a religious conference in Utah.

Her previous husband Charles Vallow said she had claimed to be "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming." Some religions believe that 144,000 of the faithful will be resurrected during the Apocalypse to spend eternity in heaven.

Prosecutors also claimed a financial motive for the crimes.

Vallow was also convicted of grand theft, having obtained social security benefits intended for her already deceased children. Daybell is charged with insurance fraud. - AFP

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