The date that doomsday author Chad Daybell and his wife, Lori Vallow, predicted would herald the apocalypse has now come and gone.
The couple — who are both sitting behind bars in connection to the deaths of Vallow’s children, Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17 — reportedly both believed that Wednesday, July 22 would mark the end of days.
Daybell has been fascinated with doomsday visions for years; he wrote about the 2009 apocalyptic disaster movie “2012” in a September 2015 blog post where he praised Woody Harrelson’s “crazy doomsday prophet" performance.
He then went on to write he was considering growing his hair out to emulate that character.
“I think it’s awesome that in the movie he predicts Yellowstone National Park is going to turn into a gigantic volcano, because I just moved to a home about 80 miles from the park,” he wrote. “We’ll see how that turns out.”
He wrote about his own apocalyptic visions he discussed in his 2007 doomsday book “The Great Gathering.”
“I describe two earthquakes in the Great Gathering,” Daybell wrote in his blog. “The prophecies indicate there will be many that strike the United States in coming years, even in areas where there haven’t been earthquakes in recorded history. In the novel I focus on the quakes that will hit Utah’s Wasatch Front. The first one is moderate, and it disrupts life for a few weeks. Many older brick buildings crumble and roads suffer damage, but repairs are made quickly.”
Interestingly, that book starts off with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Wasatch Front, KSL-TV reported. In real life, a 5.7 earthquake struck the area in March.
“Sheesh, I’m starting to sound like Woody Harrelson,” Daybell remarked in his blog post.
While part of that vision of Daybell’s arguably occurred, the rest did not. He reportedly taught Vallow about some of his predictions and they both grew to share the idea that the world would end in July.
JJ Vallow’s grandmother Kay Woodcock told KSL-TV in January that Lori Vallow had told relatives that she is a “a chosen one, that she is now a God and it is now up to her to help vet 144,000 so that they will be there for the second coming in July of 2020. I think it’s July 22.”
In divorce paperwork filed last year and obtained by the Arizona Republic in January, Lori Vallow’s former husband Charles Vallow — who was shot and killed last year under strange circumstances — claimed that Lori told him she was "a god assigned to carry out the work of the 144,000 at Christ's second coming in July 2020.”
Daybell has also been charged with destroying evidence for allegedly hiding the bodies. Vallow has been charged with conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration, or concealment of evidence following the discovery of their bodies. She has been in custody since February on a felony child abandonment charge after she failed to provide evidence to a court that her children were alive.
Both members of this allegedly apocalyptic couple lost their spouses under bizarre circumstances last year. Vallow’s ex-husband, Charles, was shot to death by Vallow's brother, Alex Cox, last summer. Cox claimed the shooting was in self-defense, before dying in December from an apparent blood clot.
Daybell’s former wife Tammy Daybell seemingly died in her sleep last October from natural causes, but officials had her body exhumed in December and now deem her death as possibly suspicious.
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