Relatives of “cult mom” Lori Vallow’s victims have decried her unhinged claims during her sentencing trial.
Vallow was sentenced on Monday to spend the rest of her life behind bars over the killings of her 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan, her nine-year-old son Joshua “JJ” Vallow and her husband Chad Daybell’s first wife Tammy Daybell. Vallow, 50, was convicted in May on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft in the murders that prosecutors say she and allegedly Mr Daybell plotted as part of their doomsday cult beliefs.
In a shocking statement addressing the court just moments before she was handed down five consecutive life sentences without parole, Vallow said that her children “were happy and busy in the spirit world” and that she knew “her friend Tammy ... is also very happy and extremely busy.”
Tammy’s sister Samantha Gwilliam has since slammed Vallow’s remarks. Ms Gwilliam was in court during the sentencing and deliver her victim impact statement along with her aunt Vicki Hoban and JJ’s grandparents Kay and Larry Woodcock.
“I don’t know who she was talking to but she wasn’t talking to my sister,” Ms Gwilliam told Pretty Lies and Alibies podcast host GiGi McKelvey.
The Woodcocks also described Vallow’s statement as “vile BS” in an interview with NewsNation.
“This is part of her farse, her hoax, and she is never going to give it up. It’s just more of her crap, there is no other way to put it,” Ms Woodstock said. “To say that JJ and Tylee were happy and busy ... and then her friend Tammy? I mean get out of here.”
Ms Woodstock and her husband had been frantically trying to establish contact with JJ before the little boy and Tylee vanished in 2019. They reported the children missing shortly after Vallow moved with them from Arizona to join Mr Daybell in Idaho.
Tylee and JJ were missing for nine months before their bodies were found in June 2020 at a pet cemetery in Mr Daybell’s residence in Rexburg, Idaho. Tylee’s remains were discovered burned, while JJ was strangled to death and found still in his pyjamas and with a plastic bag over his head and duct tape over his mouth.
“I had to sit there and I couldn’t say a word. She is absolutely playing this system, Mr Woodstock told NewsNation. “There is no way that she is a special being, that she talks to God, that she talks to the kids, that she talks to Tammy. That is a ridiculous statement. I can tell you right now that she is nothing but a five-gallon bucket of BS.”
Tammy’s aunt Vicki Hoban also told the outlet that she believed Vallow didn’t take accountability for her actions as part of another plot to seek a new trial. District Judge Steven Boyce rejected Vallow’s request for a new trial last month.
“I think she is creating a narrative now that will make her look crazy, which I don’t believe, I think she is just trying to figure out how to maybe get a new trial,” Ms Houb said. “It was just a slap in the face for her to continue to talk about Tammy as a friend. She was murdered in cold blood.”
Tammy died a month after the children went missing. She was an otherwise healthy 49-year-old when she was initially believed to have died of a cardiac event — an autopsy later determined that her cause of death was asphyxiation.
Mr Daybell is expected to stand trial over JJ, Tylee and Tammy’s death next year. Mr Daybell and Vallow were slated to stand trial together before Judge Boyce ruled in March that the cases would be severed.
On Tuesday, Ms Woodluck took to Twitter to celebrate the news that Vallow had been booked into prison after her custody was transferred to the Idaho Department of Corrections. Arizona prosecutors are now expected to file for her extradition to the state so she can stand trial in the death of her fourth husband Charles Vallow, who was shot to death by Vallow’s late brother Alex Cox just months before her children vanished.
“Hope the worst for her. She doesn’t deserve anything good. Someday I’ll forgive, just not quite yet,” Ms Woodstock tweeted. “It’s a great day to be alive!!! Thanks to all for your support. It’s meant everything to us.”