The husband of “doomsday cult mom” Lori Vallow is finally having his day in court as he goes on trial over the triple-murder case that shocked America.

Chad Daybell’s trial is set to begin on Monday morning in Ada County Courthouse, Idaho, with jury selection.

The 55-year-old doomsday author and father-of-five is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and grand theft over the deaths of his first wife Tammy Daybell, and his second wife Vallow’s children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and son Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7.

Tylee and JJ vanished in September 2019, with Tammy dying suddenly the next month.

As Vallow and Mr Daybell jetted to Hawaii to marry on a beach, a desperate search got under way to find the missing children. In June 2020, their remains were found in a pet cemetery on Mr Daybell’s property.

Last year, Vallow was convicted of all charges over the three murders and was sentenced to life in prison. At her trial, jurors heard how she, Mr Daybell and her late brother Alex Cox were fuelled, in part, by their bizarre cult beliefs.

If convicted, he faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Key points

  • Chad Daybell’s trial for the murder of Lori Vallow’s children and ex-wife begins

  • Jury selection to get under way in Ada County

  • Who is Chad Daybell?

  • The charges against Chad Daybell

The charges against Chad Daybell

13:11 , Rachel Sharp

– Murder of Tammy Daybell

– Murder of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

– Murder of Tylee Ryan

– Conspiracy to commit murder of Tammy Daybell

– Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Joshua “JJ” Vallow

– Conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft in the death of Tylee Ryan

Who is ‘cult mom’ Lori Vallow?

12:54 , Rachel Sharp

Lori Vallow, 49, has been everything from a beauty pageant queen to a TV game show contestant to a hairdresser – and now, a convicted killer.

Born in 1973 in California, the 49-year-old has been married five times and had three children – Colby Ryan, 27, Tylee and JJ. Mr Ryan is now the only one of her children still alive.

When she married her fourth husband Charles Vallow and they adopted JJ, the family moved to Hawaii for a few years before returning to Arizona in 2017.

But it was around this time that Vallow was reading Mr Daybell’s doomsday books and friends say her behaviour started to change. Her religious beliefs grew increasingly extreme – and moved further from the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Lori Vallow appearing in court in Arizona for her arraignment (FOX10 Phoenix)

Lori Vallow appearing in court in Arizona for her arraignment (FOX10 Phoenix)

She met Mr Daybell in person for the first time in October 2018 and they began a romance.

In July 2019, Vallow conspired with her brother to kill Charles. After his death, she moved with JJ and Tylee to Idaho to be with Mr Daybell.

Vallow, Cox and allegedly Mr Daybell then also conspired to murder Tylee, JJ and Tammy.

As part of their cult beliefs, they allegedly believed in a “rating system of light and dark” for how they ranked the spirits of the people around them.

Over time, this evolved into the belief that some people were “zombies” and the only way to get rid of the zombies was for the human body to be destroyed. Before Tylee and JJ were last seen alive, Vallow told friends the two children had become zombies and dark spirits.

Did a doomsday cult really drive Lori Vallow to murder her children?

12:40 , Rachel Sharp

Power. Money. Sex.

These are the three things that prosecutors say drove Lori Vallow to kill.

And they’re also the three things that experts say make up the playbook of a destructive cult.

“All cult leaders are driven by those three things in that particular order,” Steve Hassan, a world-renowned cult expert and former member of the Moonies cult, tells The Independent.

“Power is number one, then two it’s money which is also used for control, and three is sex. It’s the playbook of a cult leader.”

As a survivor of one of America’s most notorious cults, Mr Hassan tells The Independent’s Rachel Sharp why we may never know if a cult truly drove Vallow to kill:

Did a doomsday cult really drive Lori Vallow to murder her children?

WATCH: Moment Chad Daybell was confronted by reporter about missing children

12:30 , Rachel Sharp

Chad Daybell’s trial starts today with jury selection

12:25 , Rachel Sharp

Jury selection will begin today in the death penalty trial of Chad Daybell.

The 55-year-old accused killer is scheduled to appear in court in Ada County, Idaho.

The trial is expected to last around eight weeks.

Who is Chad Daybell?

12:18 , Rachel Sharp

Chad Daybell, 55, is a self-published author who wrote doomsday books loosely based on the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

He was also a professional cemetery sexton and ran a podcast based on his doomsday teachings.

He married his first wife Tammy in 1990 and they founded Spring Creek Book Company together in Utah – the company which published his doomsday books. The couple had five children together and moved to Salem, Idaho, in 2015.

Among his teachings, he claimed he could teleport, could see into the future and see dead people, and that he and Vallow were part of the chosen 144,000.

While he is going on trial for the murders of Tammy, Tylee Ryan and JJ in Idaho, he has not been charged over Charles Vallow’s death. Prosecutors in Arizona said this was only because they didn’t think the charges would stick.

Chad Daybell in mug shot (Ada County Sheriff’s Office)Chad Daybell in mug shot (Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

Chad Daybell in mug shot (Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

Is Chad Daybell a doomsday cult mastermind? Trial for the murder of Lori Vallow’s children and ex-wife begins

12:13 , Rachel Sharp

It’s a bizarre and tragic case of murder, unexplained deaths and apocalyptic cult beliefs about killing zombies – which played out in court for the first time when Lori Vallow stood trial.

Now, her doomsday author husband Chad Daybell will face a jury. Is he the true mastermind behind it all?

The Independent’s Andrea Cavallier and Rachel Sharp explain what to expect in the next chapter of the twisty saga:

Chad Daybell’s murder trial begins. Is he a doomsday cult mastermind?

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog

12:09 , Rachel Sharp

Follow updates live as Chad Daybell goes on trial

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