A trove of documents from an Arizona police department reveal new details of Lori Vallow's apocalyptic beliefs.
Vallow's friends and relatives told police she started developing new, strange interests in 2018.
They say Vallow began speaking of zombies, teleportation, vibrations, and killing her husband.
A friend of Lori Vallow recalled to police the moment the infamous "doomsday" cult mom said she'd had sex with a zombie - twice.
Vallow had been explaining to Zulema Pastenes, a member of her and apocalyptic novelist Chad Daybell's inner circle, that her then-husband would soon pass away. In fact, he had already died, Vallow said, and within two minutes an entity had taken over his body. Vallow explained to Pastenes that that she'd inadvertently had sex with her husband, who she believed was now a zombie.
"Zulema was not sure what to believe about this zombie talk. It was new to her but she could not discard it," police documents said. "Like many things she did not understand, she would put it on a shelf and get more information later to make a decision."
Pastenes' story is one of hundreds of bizarre anecdotes revealed in a tranche of documents from the Chandler, Arizona Police Department. The documents, which total over 1,000 pages and were obtained by Insider, investigate the July 2019 death of Vallow's ex-husband, Charles. But they also help piece together Vallow's descent into a fantastical and apocalyptic belief system.
Those beliefs coincided with a failing marriage, a secret affair, and the disappearance of Vallow's two children. That cascade of events ultimately led to the allegations that she participated in the murders of two of her children and her ex-husband.
Vallow, along with Daybell, who she went on to marry, has been charged with conspiring to murder her 7-year-old adoptive son, JJ, and her 17-year-old daughter, Tylee Ryan. The pair are also charged in the murder of Daybell's ex-wife, Tammy, and Vallow is charged in connection with her ex-husband's murder. Vallow has been deemed not competent to stand trial, and Daybell has pleaded not guilty.
The police documents contained interviews with Lori Vallow's relatives and friends, along with text messages and emails, as part of their investigation into Charles Vallow's death. Overall, the documents portray Lori Vallow as a deeply troubled and zealous woman whose extreme beliefs threatened and alienated those closest to her.
Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and their inner circle came to believe the world would end in July 2020
Vallow's religious beliefs first started giving her relatives pause around 2017 or 2018, when she began reading books about near-death experiences and listening to podcasts created by people who had been excommunicated from the Mormon religion, her brother Adam Cox later told investigators.
Vallow's new interests coincided with her introduction to Daybell, an author who appeared to first enter her life around 2018, while she was still married to her ex-husband, according to an iCloud account cited by Chandler police. Authorities later found a number of audio files and "countless" text messages revealing that Daybell believed he was a "visionary" after he jumped off a 60-foot cliff and survived.
Eventually, Daybell and Vallow would claim they had been "married in a previous life and were meant to be together again," according to the documents. The pair eventually came to believe they had "extraordinary abilities," including teleportation, the ability to harm others, and the ability to call up natural disasters.
Vallow believed she was an "exalted Goddess" with visionary capabilities, and had been tapped alongside Daybell to lead 144,000 people who would survive when the world ended on July 2020.
Vallow and her siblings grew up Mormon, but she caused a rift in the family when she began "saying some really strange things" about the religion, Adam Cox told investigators. He said his sister would talk about speaking directly to Jesus, saying she had a "higher priesthood than others," and proclaiming she was married to the Mormon figure Moroni at the time that she was actually married to Charles Vallow.
Most alarming, Adam Cox said, was his sister's insistence that Charles Vallow was dead and a man named Ned Schneider was living in his body. He said their other sibling, Alex Cox, eventually got "sucked into Lori's ideas," too.
Adam Cox told police he had suggested that his sister see a psychiatrist, but their parents insisted that even if Lori Vallow seemed disconnected from reality, she wasn't hurting anyone. Text messages showed that Charles Vallow had a different view.
"I'm the only one brave enough and loves you enough to call you on this BS. Which is all it is," Charles Vallow texted his wife in 2019. "You ask me if it ever hurt anyone and the answer is hell yes. Just look around you."
Charles Vallow told his wife she was destroying people's lives with her bizarre beliefs
Charles Vallow had long believed his life was in danger, according to the police documents.
Investigators interviewed a woman named Nancy Jo, who had met Charles Vallow on a Mormon dating site roughly five months after he and Lori Vallow divorced. She said Charles Vallow had taken her on a date to a steakhouse and told her about his ex-wife's apocalyptic beliefs, and that she had even threatened to have angels help her kill him if he interfered in her plans.
Lori Vallow's beliefs about Charles Vallow had grown extreme around December 2018, when she told two friends - identified in police documents as Pastenes and Melanie Gibb - that he had passed away and his body was taken over by a zombie.
The couple would eventually divorce in February 2019, and numerous messages obtained by police revealed that Lori Vallow's newfound religious beliefs, along with her affair with Daybell, was a central source of conflict between the former couple.
"I don't enjoy fighting with you but you need to be stopped from destroying so many more lives than you already have with your whacked out delusions," Charles Vallow said in one text message. "You've made our beautiful gospel a thing of horror. That will stop. Just take care of JJ til you get out where you belong."
Friends told investigators Vallow manipulated and groomed them into following her dogma
Gibb and Pastenes later told investigators that Lori Vallow was making daily visits to a Mormon temple in Mesa, Arizona, where she would spend time in the "Celestial Room" and increase what she believed to be "vibrations" that would translate to superhuman abilities like teleportation.
Gibb said Daybell had even invented a "light" and "dark" scale ranging from 0 to 100% to represent a person's trustworthiness. She said Daybell and Vallow would frequently compliment her and tell her how wonderful she was, saying she had earned a trust level of 97%.
Pastenes told police that she eventually came to believe that Vallow and Daybell were trying to "groom them" by giving them small pieces of information at a time to keep them interested.
Gibb also said Vallow and Daybell had often referred to Vallow's ex-husband as "Ned," and said he had an unclean spirit - but that he was far from the only one.
The pair would often try to figure out how many "zombies" inhabited a given space, according to Gibb, who told investigators Vallow once pulled out a map of Arizona and said a prayer to try and determine how many zombies resided in the state. Gibb said Daybell would often explain that their prayers had eliminated the zombies and caused people to physically pass away.
Charles Vallow was shot and killed by Alex Cox on July 11, 2019. Cox claimed self-defense, telling police that Charles Vallow had attacked him with a baseball bat. Cox died in December 2019 of what a medical examiner said was natural causes, but Maricopa County prosecutors have since charged Lori Vallow with conspiring with him to murder her ex-husband.
Pastenes, who was briefly married to Cox, later told police that the group's belief in zombies was so deeply entrenched that when she asked her husband if he was okay with having killed Charles Vallow, he responded that he was fine.
It wasn't Charles Vallow he'd killed, Pastenes said Cox told her: It was a zombie.
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