Religious devotion has the potential to turn into extremism, and that appears to have been the case for Lori Vallow Daybell and her fifth husband, Chad Daybell, whose Mormonism took deranged and apocalyptic forms, and appears to have led them to allegedly murder their respective previous spouses. , as well as two of Lori’s children: Tylee Ashlyn Ryan, 16, and Joshua Jaxon “JJ” Vallow, 7. There are no crimes much more heinous than this and, as illustrated by Sins of Our Motherneither do they come out of nowhere; rather, they are the byproduct of increasingly distorted belief systems and behaviors, which in this case had to do with Lori and Chad’s certainty that the End Times were imminent and that only they could identify the demonic zombies. in the middle of them.
A three-part non-fiction affair set to premiere September 14 on Netflix, Sins of Our Mother is directed by Skye Borgman (the girl in the photo, I just killed my dad), which is now approaching Alex Gibney’s productivity levels. Such efficiency, however, has undermined the last of him; given that Lori and Chad are still awaiting their 2023 trials for the murders of Tylee, JJ and Lori’s previous husband Charles and Chad’s ex-wife Tammy, the Borgman docuseries appears to have been somewhat rushed to completion. While there is little doubt about the pair’s guilt, they have yet to mount a public defense and their legal fates have yet to be decided, leaving Borgman and viewers to infer what lies ahead. Wrapping up before the end of its story, it feels like a sketchy attempt to beat any potential competitors or, perhaps, just keep feeding the true-crime content machine at all costs.
However, if it goes out before crossing the finish line, Sins of Our Mother is an initially compelling saga about the dangers of fanaticism.
Lori was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, over the course of her first four marriages, raised her children, eldest son Colby, daughter Tylee, and adopted son JJ, in her faith. She also demanded a husband who shared her Mormonism, and thought she had found it with her fourth husband, Charles, even though he was less devout and needed some training. Unfortunately, that union, like the ones that came before it, didn’t work out, largely because Lori began to gravitate toward an increasingly radical version of Mormonism in which, as she claims on audio recordings, she believed herself to be a Mormon. frequent reincarnation. warrior who spoke regularly with the angel Moroni. To promote these views, she hosted a podcast called Preparing a People with Melanie Gibb, and that pointed her in the direction of Chad Daybell, a Mormon author who treated his books on the coming doomsday as similar to scripture. , and that he claimed power to determine, through a numerical system of his own design, the degree to which people were on the “light” or “dark” side of the spiritual spectrum.
As Colby, his wife Kelsee, and Lori’s mother, Janis, explain in detail in Sins of Our Mother, Lori was, for a long time, a loyal and protective mother, so much so that they sided with her when her fourth marriage soured and Charles angrily proclaimed, to them and to the authorities, as in the first body camera footage, that Lori he was out of it. rocker, threatening to kill him because there was a demon named “Ned” living inside him. Domestic turmoil turned to tragedy on July 11, 2019, when Charles, panicked for the welfare of his children, visited Lori’s home and was shot dead by her brother Alex in an act of alleged defense. own. Interestingly, Lori told different people a variety of false stories about how Charles had died and, on October 2, 2019, bought a green malachite ring on Amazon for her impending wedding to Chad, even though Chad’s wife Tammy would not die (in her “natural causes” dream) until October 19.
Where there is smoke, there is fire, but Sins of Our Mother it’s a nightmare about people who don’t heed the warning signs and/or refuse to honestly see the big picture. Through text messages, phone call recordings and other archival footage, Borgman’s documentary series reveals that Lori and Chad are fanatics convinced that they, rather than Jesus, were destined to lead the 144,000 survivors of the apocalypse. in a “New Jerusalem” located in Rexburg, Idaho. . This craze was embraced by Lori’s brother Alex and his niece Melani Boudreaux, who, along with their new believing spouses, soon moved to town. They were, to all appearances, a nascent mini-cult, clinging to the idea that they were on a divine mission that required them to kill any and all “zombies” that threatened their duty. By all accounts, Alex served as the group’s de facto hitman, but any answers he may have provided are no longer there, as he passed away (of blood clots) in December 2019.
“They were, to all appearances, a nascent mini-cult, clinging to the idea that they were on a divine mission that required them to kill any and all “zombies” that threatened their duty.”
This all came to a head in late 2019, when JJ’s grandparents were unable to contact the boy and Lori began making up lies about his whereabouts. Soon after, she and Chad went on the run and refused to answer questions about JJ and Tylee, even as the media began to harass them. In December, an investigation into the children’s disappearances was opened, although it was not until June 9, 2020 that the children’s remains were found on Chad’s property in Idaho, having apparently been killed in September 2019 by Lori and Chad. Whether a jury finds them guilty of those crimes won’t be known until 2023, when their joint trial begins (prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both). But based on what is shown in Sins of Our Motherit’s hard, even with Lori spending time in a psychiatric facility to determine her fitness to stand trial, to imagine any exoneration in the future.
Sins of Our Mother is riddled with additional crazy details, as well as Colby’s anguished on-camera testimony, whose interviews provide a step-by-step breakdown, at least from his perspective, of this ordeal (the fact that Colby has just been arrested on suspicion of sexual offenses does not enter the process). There isn’t much to glean from it except the notion that piety sometimes goes fatally off the rails. However, as a shocking tabloid story, he still gets under the skin.