There’s an endless fascination with missing persons and cult connections, and murders on Kauai. Among these stories, the Lori Vallow case is among the strangest and most macabre. It’s also been the subject of a Netflix documentary (trailer below) and a new book. With the murder trial set to begin on April 3, and expected to take ten weeks, we decided to revisit this for a closer look before it returns to the national spotlight.
People routinely come to Kauai to escape from everyday life.
But something about Kauai can also attract very real problems and troubled people, like these apparent serial murderers who were regular Kauai visitors, and one of whom was a prior resident. Even three years later, this case remains shocking as more details continue to be released.
We still remember when Lori Vallow was arrested here at sleepy Kapaa’s Kauai Beach Resort in 2020 following an intense nationwide manhunt. This smirking photo of her above was taken when police served her with a search warrant. Some five months later, this culminated in the unearthing of her murdered children’s bodies.
It was in 2014 when Lori and her since-murdered husband Charles moved to Kauai and started the smoothie bar appropriately named Juice Island. Here on the beautiful Garden Island, Lori was a kind and attentive mother while Charles worked. The beauty of the island consumed Lori.
Beautiful Kauai was Lori Vallow’s favorite place on earth.
Of Kauai, Lori’s’ former sister-in-law said, “It is Lori’s favorite place,” and one to which she returned frequently. Three years ago, Lori Vallow and her newlywed husband Chad Daybell were back on the Garden Island at a $6,000/month Princeville Resort vacation rental located on Queen Emma Drive. Their unusual wedding and stay occurred not long after the mysterious disappearance of her children, who they are now both accused of murdering. Not only that but it’s reported that Lori bought Chad’s wedding ring using her dead husband’s Amazon account.
We recall people following them here on the beach and asking what became of their children. It was both bizarre and tragic. She said “no comment” when asked what had happened, and when told that people were praying for them, she added, “That’s great.”
We didn’t know at the time that Lori’s new husband, Chad, would also soon be accused not only of her two children’s deaths but that of his prior wife, Tammy, who had died just weeks earlier. And Lori’s prior husband Charles would enter the macabre mix, as he too died suspiciously just months earlier. And the stranger than fiction tale would simply not stop.
Adopted son JJ’s grandmother called the police after being unable to reach JJ for months. With Lori and Chad on Kauai, the grandmother then offered a highly publicized reward of $20K for information about her grandson. At one point, Lori spun a tale about the boy being at a friend’s house, although that person later admitted that it wasn’t true and that she had lied. Eventually, both children’s remains would be located buried in their backyard.
The Doomsday Mother‘s author John Glass followed Lori, whom he referred to as a “strikingly beautiful 46-year-old blonde, her time on Kauai, and the twisted affairs that included four failed marriages before Chad Daybell and much more. Lori will shortly stand trial with “dumpy” Chad, as the author referred to him, for her children’s murders.
Lori and Chad believed they were gods, destined to both rid the world of evil spirits and then be among the few to survive Doomsday. — Author John Glass.
Long fascinated with Hawaii, Lori, and Chad eloped and were married here on Kauai soon after their prior spouses’ and the two children’s disappearances. There were no guests at the wedding.
Lori’s lifelong fascination revolved around beauty, including Kauai’s and, even more so, her own. She wanted to be a beauty pageant winner. That, while her new husband was busy writing and speaking about the coming apocalypse and the Second Coming.
Charges carry the death penalty.
Regarding the deceased children, Lori and Chad are both charged with multiple murders and conspiracy. They two face the death penalty in Idaho if convicted, although they have pleaded not guilty. They could be the first to be executed there in many years.
Lori is also facing conspiracy charges for the murder of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow. It appears that her third husband may also have died under mysterious circumstances. It was Lori’s brother Alex who actually killed Charles, claiming that it was in self-defense. Only piecing it all together posthumously, Arizona authorities had initially filed no charges.
Now, however, they allege to have text messages depicting Lori conspiring with her brother to kill her ex-husband. Lori’s brother Alex also died, said to be from natural causes, but aso under weird circumstances. The cause of his 2019 death was blood clots, and it occurred just two and one-half weeks into his new marriage. The day Cox died, he called a friend and received a priesthood “blessing” from the LDS church over the phone. It’s been confirmed from multiple sources his friend was Chad Daybell, who had married Cox’s sister, Lori Daybell, a month earlier.
According to the new book, Lori was a beautiful woman who possessed health, family, love and exotic travel.
Raised in inland southern California, she grew up in a well-to-do family and was closely associated with the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Even as a child, Lori’s parents regularly traveled to Hawaii but left her and her siblings alone, in the care of Lori’s murderous and allegedly sexually abusive older brother Alex. One of the reports is that Lori long-suffered abuse at the hands of her brother. The book’s author said that, based on interviews, Alex always had a sick fixation on his sister. He was also her protector and became her hitman, as well, before his own death.
Lori’s other brother Adam Cox, said of his family, “There’s so much deceit. And some family members may believe one thing, and other family members may feel another thing. It is widely believed that Alex may also have been directly involved in the murders of Lori’s children.”
Lori was determined to win the Mrs. America beauty pageant. While she made it only as far as becoming a semifinalist, she also later appeared on the Wheel of Fortune TV show.
Lori accused an earlier husband of abusing her son, after which her brother Alex tasered him in what was said to be a botched murder attempt. The husband was acquitted, the marriage fell apart, and according to the book, Lori became more devoutly religious.
In her subsequent marriage to Charles, they moved to Hawaii, where they adopted Charles’ grandnephew JJ, who was to be later murdered. It was during the marriage to Charles that Lori learned about author Chad and his dark writings that included some twelve books. It would be years later, in 2017, when Lori met Chad at a conference in Utah on the Second Coming. They seemed to be a match made in heaven or maybe hell.
It is said that Chad had grown tired of his then-wife Tammy and became enamored with Lori, who was reciprocally fascinated with him and his writings. Chad was not only a doomsday author but a copy editor and part-time gravedigger, literally. His message was that only 144,000 faithful would survive Doomsday.
According to the book’s author, Chad convinced Lori that her children were “zombies and needed to die so their spirits could be free.”
Lead photo of Lori Vallow and daughter Tylee Ryan on Kauai.