The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family by John Glatt


The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family

In The Doomsday Mother, bestselling true crime author John Glatt tells the twisted tale of Lori Vallow, accused of having her two children murdered to start a new life with her new husband, doomsday prepper Chad Daybell.

At first, the residents of Kauai Beach Resort took little notice of their new neighbors. The glamorous blonde and her tall husband fit the image of the ritzy gated community. The couple seemed to keep to themselves—until the police knocked on their door with a search warrant. Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell had fled to Hawaii in the midst of being investigated for the disappearance of Lori’s children back in Idaho—Tylee and JJ—who hadn’t been seen alive in five months.

For years, Lori Vallow had been devoted to her children and her Mormon faith. But when her path crossed with Chad Daybell, a religious zealot who taught his followers how to prepare for the end-times, the tumultuous relationship transformed her into someone unrecognizable. As authorities searched for Lori’s children, they uncovered more suspicious deaths with links to both Lori and Chad, including the death of Lori’s third and fourth husbands, her brother, and Chad’s wife. In June 2020, the gruesome remains of JJ and Tylee were discovered on Chad’s property, and the newlyweds were arrested and charged with murder. And in a shocking development, horrifying statements revealed that the couple’s fanatical beliefs had convinced them the children had become zombies--a belief that may have led to their deaths.

Bestselling author and journalist John Glatt takes readers deeper into the devastating story of Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell in an attempt to unravel the lethal relationship of this doomsday couple.
 As a bit of a disclaimer, I would like to start off with a statement that I am a fanatic follower of this case. I watch all the videos, podcasts, news articles, read the document dumps,interviews, tv specials, everything.  When I got a request from Netgalley for a opportunity to review this book, I jumped on it immediately. 
As the first summary sentence states, this book focuses on Lori first and foremost. Plucking different points of interest from a wide variety of sources to try to piece together Lori's life. The narration reads like that, a very straight forward statement of facts of events with some sprinkling of comments (some very juicy statements) from people from her younger years about her love life and family interactions. Quotes from court documents, hearings, newspapers etc, things readily available on the internet regarding the case.

Overall I think it was a good overview of the hectic and stress filled legal battles that followed Lori throughout her life. A few comments on Chad's life taken from his books, mainly his biography and his website (which I feel that Chad talks way too much about his ancestors than he does himself). Along with some statements from court documents, hearings, newspapers etc.
As a somewhat obsessed fan I was hoping for a lot more details from those subjects he barely addressed that had some really good "meat" to this story. For example characters revolving around and within the alleged "cult" circle are barely mentioned. Julie Rowe, Melanie Gibb, Zulema Pastenes, Preparing a People, just lightly touched upon.

It was nice to have something to read through that laid down the basics. As a fan of the case I am always searching for the deeper underside of the why, the deciding factors...the inner monologue and especially the rubric that may have been hibernating beneath all the actions Lori and Chad made, and I feel that I have come to know the couple a little bit more through some of the insights Mr Glatt has presented. For example something that I have always pondered is how Alex really got the cut on his head, was it him, Charles Vallow, or Lori herself that may have caused the damage? Interestingly stated in the book was that Alex did that to himself to pass off his story of the struggle between he and Charles, giving Alex the best reasoning for the shooting of Charles in self defense. A piece of information that I had always assumed happened but never heard stated as fact before. 

If you do end up wanting to more about the case I highly suggest checking out the many pod casters, you tubers and the television specials to help round out the story. There are so many players in the circle that it is a "rabbit hole' of information that would probably take a thousand pages to round them all out to gain a real understanding. 

👍👍👍 Three thumbs up!