‘Sins of Our Mother’ Honors Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow, Rejecting the ‘Doomsday Mom’ Story You’ve Heard Before

Unlike previous documentaries, television shows, and podcasts about Lori Vallow, Netflix‘s Sins of Our Mother bypasses the “Doomsday Mom” approach and focuses on the victims of her story: Tylee Ryan, J.J. Vallow, and their surviving brother Colby Ryan. Discover how the three-part docuseries coming to Netflix on Sept. 14, 2022 is unlike what you’ve seen before regarding Lori’s story.

Colby Ryan, Lori Vallow's son, mourning his siblings Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow in 'Sins of Our Mother'
Colby Ryan | Netflix

Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow went missing in September 2019; they were found dead in June 2020

Lori’s daughter Tylee, whom she shared with ex-husband Joseph Anthony Ryan Jr., and her adopted son J.J. disappeared from Chandler, Arizona, in September 2019. Tylee was last seen alive in Yellowstone National Park at the beginning of September, while J.J. was last seen at his school on Sept. 23, 2019. Friends and family questioned the children’s safety for weeks until authorities questioned Lori in November 2019 regarding their whereabouts. She told officers J.J. was staying with her Feel the Fire podcast co-host Melanie Gibb, but that was not the case. 

In February 2020, Lori was arrested in Hawaii and charged with desertion and the nonsupport of her children; these charges were later dropped (via KTVB). A few months later in June, police executed a search warrant on Lori’s husband Chad Daybell’s property in Rexburg, Idaho, where they found the bodies of Tylee and J.J. 

‘Sins of Our Mother’ demonstrates the impact of Lori’s actions on her family

Sins of Our Mother does not gloss over the gritty details of Lori’s story, which includes several murders before the discovery of Tylee and J.J.’s bodies. The Netflix docuseries also details Lori’s marriages before Chad Daybell, of which there are at least five, and her ties to the LDS Church. However, Lori’s background isn’t the focus — Tylee and J.J. are. 

Sins of Our Mother’s three episodes expose more details about Tylee and J.J.’s lives leading up to their death. In one clip, we see Tylee’s police interview the day Charles Vallow was killed by Lori’s brother Alex Cox. Like her mother, Tylee’s approach to the situation is cool, calm, and collected. As a viewer, it’s hard to watch Tylee follow Lori in stride, never really knowing why Charles was shot. Even more chilling are the images of J.J. wearing the red pajamas he was wearing when they found his body.

Sins of Our Mother also provides a unique perspective from Lori’s mother, Janis Cox. “She’s in jail, and I think she’ll be there for the rest of her life,” Janis says in the final episode of the three-part docuseries. “We did have a wonderful family before this happened. I don’t know if it’s strong enough to stand this. We’ll just have to see.” 

Tylee Ryan and J.J. Vallow ‘s memory trump Lori Vallow’s actions in ‘Sins of Our Mother’ 

The title of the Netflix docuseries might have everything to do with Lori, but the storytelling emphasizes the lives lost due to her actions. Perhaps the most impactful moment in Sins of Our Mother is the memorial Colby hosts for his siblings. 

Standing on the beaches of Kauai, Hawaii, where Tylee and J.J. once lived, Colby remembers Charles, Tylee, and J.J. “It’s to honor them and remember them and this is the place,” Colby says thinking about how fond his brother and sister were of being there. Colby also delivers a heartfelt speech thanking Charles for stepping into the father role in his life. “I wouldn’t have the life that I had without you,” he says tearfully.

Whether you’re looking for an update on Lori’s case, want to learn more about the impact her actions are still have on her family, or both, you’ll find it all in this docuseries. Stream Sins of Our Mother on Netflix beginning Sept. 14, 2022. 

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