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Crime News Family Crimes

'You Ripped My Heart Out’: Lori Vallow Daybell’s Son Confronts Her Over Siblings’ Slayings In Jailhouse Call

"I don’t know a murderous mother,” Lori Vallow Daybell’s son, Colby Ryan, told his mother during a jailhouse telephone call played in court this week.

By Dorian Geiger
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A tense jailhouse phone call between Lori Vallow Daybell and her surviving son was played in court during the second week of the accused Idaho mother’s murder trial.

Colby Ryan, Vallow Daybell’s only living son, testified this week at the trial of the Idaho mom, who’s standing trial for the murder of her two children, Tylee Ryan, 16, and Joshua “J.J.” Vallow, 7.  

RELATED: Lori Vallow's Brother Alex Cox Feared He Would Be 'Fall Guy' For Her And Chad Daybell The Night Before His Death

In the confrontational and tense exchange following the “doomsday cult mom’s” arrest in Hawaii, Ryan blasts his mother for lying about Tylee and J.J.’s disappearance and deaths.

"You've lied to me more times than I can count about this," Ryan said during the recorded call, People reported

"Mom, you've been shoving BS up my throat for a long time. I can't tell you the amount of pain I've felt from your decisions."

Lori Vallow Daybell sits in a police car.

Tylee and J.J.’s bodies were discovered on the property of Vallow Daybell’s husband, Chad Daybell, in 2020. 

Vallow Daybell and Daybell are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and grand theft related to the deaths of Tylee and J.J. They’ve pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two siblings were first reported missing in 2019.

Ryan largely avoided eye contact with his mother during his court appearance on Tuesday. As he strode into the courtroom, Vallow Daybell appeared to mouth, “Oh my baby,” Insider reported.

Shortly after the 27-year-old took the stand, prosecutors played the recorded — and heated — phone call between Ryan and his jailed mother. The tense exchange amounted to one of the most explosive moments of his dramatic, and at times emotional, court testimony. 

A courtroom sketch of prosecutor Rob Wood, Lori Vallow Daybell and defense attorney Jim Archibald

In the call’s opening moments, Vallow Daybell can be heard accusing her surviving son of avoiding her.

"Probably because you murdered my siblings," Ryan snapped at his incarcerated mother. 

"I have prayed for you in my worst moments," Colby also told Vallow Daybell on the call. "I have prayed for my siblings who you swore to me were ok. I thought I could trust you. I thought that you were a completely different person."

"You've known me your whole life," Vallow Daybell responded.

"I don't know a murderous mother,” Colby Ryan shot back. "I've tried my best to forgive you. Forgive you and Chad. My heart was broken by my own mother. What are you doing?"

For a moment during the call, Vallow Daybell appears to deflect blame for the killings of Tylee and J.J.

"They think they know what happened,” Vallow Daybell told her son. “They think they know who is responsible. One day you will know what actually happened."

Ryan later vows his mother will be punished by God for her alleged sins. Vallow Daybell can be heard laughing in response.

“Is this funny,?” Ryan asked Vallow Daybell, People reported.

"I love you," Vallow Daybell said back. "I always will. One day you will understand. I don't have anything else to say. You weren't there. Summer wasn't there ... [J.J. and Tylee] know exactly what happened. They love me and they are still together. They know the truth. Go ahead and judge me. I'm the one that knows."

Ryan, unfazed by his mother’s apparent indifference, however, continued to deride and press Vallow Daybell on her involvement in his siblings’ killings. 

"The kids are found buried in your new husband's backyard!," Ryan countered.

He then said his Vallow Daybell’s actions had “ripped everyone's heart out," referring to his fractured family.

"My siblings, my whole family, my dad — everyone is gone except my mom and you're in jail because of it," Ryan added.

"I pray every day no matter how mad I am at you, no matter how bad I want to hit your husband in the face with a shovel, I pray for you, I pray for him. You ripped my heart out! You ripped everyone's heart out."

On the witness stand, Ryan recounted the final time he spoke over the telephone with his sister Tylee on Sept. 8, 2019. He later testified how he’d received cryptic text messages from Tylee’s phone after the 16-year-old had vanished, which he suspected had been written by someone else. The person on the other end, he said, refused to answer his phone and FaceTime calls. 

"Texts I was receiving back were in a different language than she had used," Ryan explained. 

Vallow Daybell and Daybell were motivated by financial gain and their extremist religious beliefs involving “zombies,” prosecutors said, in carrying out the double murder. “Money, power and sex” ultimately drove the couple to murder, according to officials.

"They were, quote-unquote, out of money," Ryan said of his mother’s financial situation prior to the slayings of Tylee and J.J.

Ryan also told the jury about conversations he’d had with Vallow Daybell regarding life insurance policies of two former deceased husbands. His sister, Tylee, he said, had been receiving life insurance payouts from her father, Joe Ryan, shortly before her death. At times, he’d received his portion of the payout from Tylee via Venmo. 

The final time Ryan spoke with his sister, he said Tylee disclosed that Vallow Daybell had overtaken control of the life insurance policy, according to his court testimony.

"She said she was no longer in control of her money and my mom was handling it," he told the jury.

Valow Daybell is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder charges in Arizona in connection with the death of her ex-husband, Charles Vallow, who was shot dead by Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, in July 2019. 

Vallow Daybell faces life in prison if convicted in her children’s deaths. A judge ruled last month that she won’t face the death penalty if she’s found guilty. Chad Daybell will be tried separately. A trial date hasn’t yet been set.