‘Sins of the Mother’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Lori Kill Her Children?

Sins of the Mother is the newest Netflix documentary based on the story of Lori Vallow, a woman who had strong religious beliefs. Her faith was so great that it took her on a dark path as she joined her life with an equally delusional man. Lori would end up killing her children and marrying that man. The case became of public interest very quickly as people started to look for kids around the country. However, like many other stories of this kind, this would not have a happy ending.

The documentary fills every standard also filled by other documentaries found on the streaming service. You can expect a series of interviews with number of people related to the case, and some archive footage to guide you through the story. However, while the presentation fits the standard, the amount of research done for the documentary and the revelations that appear in it are all very shallow. You won’t find anything here that you could not find by doing a Google search on your own. Nevertheless, for those who know nothing about the case, it is a good summary of it.

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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Sins of the Mother. Read at your own risk.

Did Lori Kill Her Husband Charles Vallow?

Sins of the Mother begins by introducing Lori. She is the main focus of the documentary. Lori is introduced as a woman who simply had it all. She was raised in a loving home and raised under the teachings of the Book of Mormon and the Church of the Last Days Saints. She was always that girl who got everyone else’s attention at parties or in any sort of meeting. Lori was designed to be successful. However, very little showed signs of being a lot more orthodox than her siblings when it came to the church’s teachings.

Lori grew up, got married, and had kids, including Colby, who is one of the main subjects in the documentary as well. However, that marriage didn’t last, as her husband at the time was too tough on the kids. Lori and this man separated, and Lori met Charles. A man that was willing to take care of her and her kids. Charles and Lori seemed like the perfect couple. However, Lori began to change. Her beliefs became more and more radical. Especially after meeting Chad Daybell, an author who preached that the end of the world was coming soon.

Charles and Lori’s relationship began to deteriorate, and soon they were fighting over everything. Tylee, Lori’s teenage daughter, and J.J., her son with autism, became caught in the middle. Lori then separated from Charles with the excuse that he was cheating on her. Charles assured his innocence and told everyone in the family that Lori was losing her mind, believing herself to be a god and a superior being to everyone else. No one paid attention to Charles’ warnings, and sadly, it would be a fatal decision.

On a fateful day in 2019. Charles died from being shot in the chest. The person responsible for the shooting was Alex Cox, Lori’s brother. The entire affair was dismissed as killing by self-defense, but there were many things that seemed off. Contradicting stories from both Lori and Alex and Lori’s strange behavior. The police committed the mistake of not catching any of these signs sooner, and it would be only the start of something that would become even darker.

Why Did Lori Kill Her Children?

Chad Daybell, Lori’s new love, was an author who wrote fiction novels. In these novels, he dealt with subjects such as visions coming from God, and, of course, the end of the world. Lori believed that these novels were more than fiction and that Chad was an actual prophet for the end of times. Chad also claimed he could notice if demons were possessing people, and that he could even categorize these demons into ranks. It all sounded pretty farfetched, but Lori, Alex, and many more got dragged into a group that was very close to being a cult.

Chad, who was married to a woman named Tammy, claimed that he and Lori were married in many past lives and that now it was the time to be together in this one. But first, his wife needed to disappear. Tammy would die not long after Charles, and then both Lori and Chad got married in Hawaii. Both of them claimed benefits from their spouses’ life insurance policies, so they had the money and motive to do those awful things. Later, Lori would decide to move with Chad and her kids to Idaho.

Months later, Lori was completely disconnected from the rest of her family, including her son, Colby. She was found thanks to having purchased something using Charles’ old Amazon account. It was there that people realized that there was something wrong with Tylee, and J.J. as they were nowhere to be seen. Lori and Chad would try to run away from authorities, but the search for the kids was already underway and the media was on top of it all.

At the end of the documentary, it is revealed through a series of chilling messages that Chad considered that the kids were possessed by demons and that the only way to save their spirits was to kill the body. Lori and Chad would later kill both Tylee, and J.J. and bury them in a shallow grave right outside of Chad’s property in Idaho. Both of them got arrested and are now expecting a joint trial in 2023.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.