After two delays, the Lori Vallow trial has begun on April 3, 2023, in Boise, Idaho.
The doomsday mom first became national news in 2019. Three years later, Skye Borgman's true crime documentary, Sins of Our Mother, revisited her infamous story. Now, the extremist's case is gaining widespread media attention as it gets underway. If convicted, Vallow can face up to life in prison, though she will no longer face the death penalty, which the judge ruled in March 2023.
We'll get you up to speed on what happened and what's next in this tragic chain of events.
*Trigger Warning Ahead*
Before the Lori Vallow trial: what happened?
Vallow has been accused of murder, conspiracy and grand theft in connection to the deaths her children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, as well as Tammy Daybell, her husband Chad's ex-wife, all of which is covered in the Netflix doc. She has pleaded not guilty to all offenses.
When Vallow crossed paths with her fifth husband, prolific doomsday author, Chad Daybell, things began to unravel for her family. A devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vallow started believing in his outlandish apocalyptic theories, the fact that people could become possessed by evil "zombie" spirits, all of which allegedlly brought them to carry out unthinkable acts.
When Vallow's daughter and son had gone missing in 2019, the entire nation tuned in for updates. In 2020, tragically, 7-year-old J.J. Vallow and his older sister, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan, were discovered in shallow graves in Daybell's Idaho backyard. Fast-forward to spring 2023, and now Vallow is on trial, and Chad Daybell's will take place within several months.
What to know about the Lori Vallow trial
At the time of publication, 12 jurors and six alternates are being considered, a process that could take up to a week and a half, according to various reports. In total, the case could last up to 12 weeks, and it's sure to bring in plenty of attention.
"This trial is definitely going to be a show for sure, and even more so if Lori takes the stand," John Delatorre, a forensic and disaster psychologist, told USA Today. "I’m interested to see the evidence the prosecution is going to negate the delusional thinking that Lori has engaged in."
In a new turn of events, per KTVB-TV, Vallow legal team requested that the judge exclude her family from the trial, including young JJ's grandparents, Kay and Larry Woodcock, who were horrified years ago at their grandson's tragic demise.
"We continue to be victimised by Lori every single day living life without JJ, Tylee and Charles, then again by possibly denying us the chance to be the face in the courtroom seeking justice for them. We made a promise over 3 years ago to Tylee and JJ to see justice prevail. We will fight until we have exhausted all options to keep that promise," they said in a statement, according to The Independent.
Once the jury has been selected and the case gets started, we'll be sure to fill you in on what happens next.
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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