‘Doomsday’ Killings: Chad Daybell Found Guilty of Murdering First Wife, Second Wife’s Two Children

Chad Daybell, the Idaho man charged with the 2019 killings of his former wife, Tammy Daybell, and two children of his current wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was found guilty of first-degree murder by an Idaho jury on Thursday, CBS reported.

Daybell was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in his former wife’s death, conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft by deception in the deaths of Lori’s seven-year-old son “JJ” Vallow and 16-year-old daughter Tylee Ryan, and insurance fraud. The prosecution requested the death penalty, and the case will proceed to sentencing phase. Jurors were informed by Judge Steven Boyce that the schedule for the sentencing phase would be determined by them, per the outlet.

The verdict arrives nine months after his second wife, Lori, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of her two children, as well as conspiring to kill his first wife, Tammy.

Daybell, an author, had gained a Mormon audience interested in his self-published books filled with end-of-days visions. In 2018, he met Lori at a religious conference in St. George, Utah; both were part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. At the time, she was married to her fourth husband, Charles Vallow.

The case gained national attention due in part to the grisly details of the crimes. Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, shot and killed Charles in 2019, successfully claiming self-defense, and died himself later that year of natural causes. Months later, Daybell’s wife, Tammy, died in her bed, with a delayed autopsy ultimately finding that she had been asphyxiated.


Daybell and Lori married in Hawaii just 17 days after Tammy was discovered dead. While the couple lived alone in Hawaii, reportedly on the life insurance money Daybell received after his wife’s death, relatives became concerned after they were unable to determine the whereabouts of the two children.

After Lori failed to produce the children to authorities, she was arrested and extradited to Idaho for nonsupport and desertion of her children in February 2020. Months later, the children’s remains were found buried together on Daybell’s Rexburg, Idaho property. Daybell was arrested that summer.