Recent reports from a thorough investigation of a woman accused of plotting to kill her children and her husband expose religious atrocities — such as “zombies” and “vibrations” as well as marital breakdown and issues.
Reports from the Chandler Police department in Arizona provide in-depth insight into Lori and Chad Daybell’s lives through text messages, computer files and interviews with close friends and family members.
The two are accused in Idaho of conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Lori’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, seven, and Tylee Ryan, 17. They face the same charges in the death of Chad’s ex-wife, Tammy Daybell. Tammy Daybell died unexpectedly at a home in eastern Idaho where she shared with Chad Daybell and investigators began to suspect that Chad Daybell had married Lori two weeks later.
The children went missing for months, but their bodies were later found buried in a yard outside the Chad Daybell home in eastern Idaho.
And Lori Daybell was also indicted in Arizona for plotting to kill her ex-husband, Charles Vallow, with the help of her now deceased brother, Alex Cox. It was the death of Charles Vallow on July 11, 2019, that prompted an investigation into the Chandler Police department. More than 50 files from the investigation, including hundreds of pages of police reports and numerous video and audio recordings, were released by the police department on Wednesday.
In a major investigative report, Chandler’s detectives wrote that they believed Charles Vallow had been killed and that his alleged killers were motivated by Vallow’s life insurance policy, individual lust and unreasonable religious beliefs.
“All of this was done horribly so that Lori could end up with Chad Daybell and be said to have finished their work here on earth,” the police department wrote in a report. “This belief system, lust and greed would also lead to the deaths of Tylee Ryan, JJ Vallow and Tammy Daybell.”
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Chad Daybell denied the allegations. Lori Daybell has not yet applied for treatment – she is being treated at a psychiatric hospital because the judge ruled she could not be prosecuted. Daybells lawyers did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.
Chad Daybell met Lori Vallow in 2018 and the two quickly became close, as this investigation puts it. Within a short time they were walking to meet, and on one occasion Chad Daybell wrote a short story to Lori Vallow from two people who, like Chad and Lori, met at a religious meeting.
By May of 2019, Lori Vallow has been looking for gems online similar to the ones that will be in their wedding rings.
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow communicate using code names or the names of animals such as Lili, Bubby, Raphael and sometimes monitor common text messages, instead of using “hot” phones or text messaging systems within the use of karaoke phones, according to computer and phone files found by researchers.
As their relationship grew, so did their religion-like religious beliefs, according to researchers. Several family members and friends interviewed by detectives described them as mysterious of the last-day faith, and some friends agreed to take the doctrine again. Sometimes up to ten people were part of a free religious group that met to worship, cast out evil spirits and seek revelation from “behind the veil of spirits.”
Despite the beliefs of Lori Daybell’s friends who were described as detectives who were free from doctrine from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they were extreme.
The statement said Lori and Chad Daybell believed in reincarnation, and that Lori Daybell was a “Goddess” sent to bring about the second coming of Christ. The couple is also thought to have believed they had special powers, with Lori Daybell telling a friend she could call between Arizona and Hawaii. Chad Daybell reportedly told the group he had a “portal” at his home where he could be opened by visits to other places, the report said.
Lori Daybell’s close friend Melanie Gibbs told investigators Chad and Lori Daybell to draw people into their circle of believers by giving them letters of knowledge and followers who were flattering and telling them that they were some of the chosen few who had to do important religious work.
Those who challenged the faith were pushed out of the group, investigators said.
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Daybells used a special marking system to determine if people were good or bad, Gibbs said. Each person was given a number to indicate how many times they had lived before, as well as a “light” or “dark” measure to indicate whether they had made a covenant with God or with Satan. Individuals were also given “vibration” marks and reliability ratings, and those with high-enough “tremors” were considered “interpreters,” holding specific powers.
At noon they believed that “zombies” people were dead and their bodies were possessed by evil spirits. The group spent time praying to get rid of the Zombies, and they believed that if they succeeded a person with a dying soul, freeing their soul from the “limbo.”
Lori Daybell told some of her friends that her estranged husband Charles Vallow was a zombie, according to investigators, and members of the group regularly joined her in praying for Vallow’s death. After Vallow was shot and killed by Alex Cox during an argument, Cox reportedly told a fan he didn’t feel bad because he killed a zombie.
The group also believed that once a person was “honored,” they could not be held responsible for what they did on earth.
“Because Lori was already ‘elevated,'” Pastenes told investigators, as they put it, “he often slapped his hand on the counter and said,” It doesn’t matter to me! “
A police investigation also uncovered computer records showing that Charles Vallow found his wife dating Chad Daybell a few weeks before his death.
Charles Vallow confronted Lori Vallow in a text message, then approached Tammy Daybell to tell her that some of them were cheating.
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Investigators did not see if Tammy Daybell had ever read an email from Vallow or deleted it without reading it. Eleven days after sending the email, he was shot dead by Cox.
Cox died in December 2019 after a fall in his home. Medical examiners later found that he had died from blood clots in his lungs.
This article first appeared in the AP Newsroom.