Lori Vallow's brother suspected Charles Vallow was not her first victim

Lori Vallow appears in court in Lihue, Hawaii on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. New documents released by police in Chandler, Arizona, show that Vallow's brother and others suspected that she was involved in the death of her third husband. (Dennis FujimotoThe Garden Island via AP, Pool)

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

CHANDLER, Arizona — Lori Vallow often bragged to her friends and family about a failed attempted murder of her third husband Joseph Ryan, according to detectives in Chandler, Arizona.

The information came to light in the thousands of files released in the Chandler Police Department's investigation of the murder of Charles Vallow, Lori Vallow's fourth husband.

After Charles Vallow was killed, Lori Vallow's friends told detectives they started taking her comments more seriously including the statements she made about Ryan.

Lori Vallow's older brother, Adam Cox, also corroborated the friends' statements.

"There's got to be somewhere where they talked this through because Lori and Alex planned Joe's death," Adam Cox told detectives.

Almost immediately after Charles Vallow was killed, Adam Cox, his confidante, starting raising red flags about Lori's self-defense justification.

"I'm telling you there is something wrong about Lori and Alex and this belief they have. Lori thinks death is nothing," Adam Cox said. "There are just a lot of red flags for me."

Charles Vallow was shot by Alex Cox, Lori's other brother. Alex Cox told detectives he shot Charles Vallow in self-defense after Charles Vallow attacked him with a baseball bat.

"I said Alex and Lori murdered Charles," Adam Cox said, "The family — cousins and uncles — they understand the history with Lori, Alex, and Lori's ex-husbands. There is a whole pattern of things there."

Lori Vallow and Joseph Ryan had a bitter custody battle over their daughter, Tylee Ryan. Things got ugly when Lori Vallow accused Joseph Ryan of sexually abusing Tylee Ryan and Lori Vallow's older son, Colby Ryan. Joseph Ryan was eventually cleared of the accusations.

In 2007, Alex Cox physically assaulted Joseph Ryan with a taser in Texas.

"Lori and Alex planned to kill Joe." Adam Cox told detectives. "They planned out how they were going to kill Joe, and Al was going to taser him, throw him in the trunk and take him out to a field and shoot him and then bury him. Well, Al went to taser him and it didn't work and Joe called the cops and Al went to jail."

Court documents in Texas confirm the incident and Alex Cox was convicted.

Joseph Ryan survived the assault, but was reportedly hospitalized for several days.


According to detectives, multiple friends close to Lori Vallow also told detectives she shared the story with them.

"Lori had said before that she hired her brother to kill Joe because of stuff he did to them," said Angeline Law a close friend of Lori Vallow's.

Law said she met Lori Vallow while living in Kauai and considered her a close friend.

"She said eventually Joe is going to die for what he did. She's like 'people don't get away with stuff like that.' She claimed she had gone off the wall and gone crazy because of what he did to them," Law said in a Jan. 7, 2020 phone call with detectives.

In April of 2018, Joseph Ryan died of an apparent heart attack in Arizona. April Raymond, another friend from Hawaii, told detectives Lori Vallow visited her shortly after Joseph Ryan's death.

"My understanding if I remember correctly, what she told me is they hadn't heard from Joe for about a month and so she and Tylee went over to check on him, or to see him … because I guess Tylee had a key or something … and when they went there they had found him dead," Raymond told detectives on Jan. 7, 2020.

But according to Phoenix Police, it was a neighbor who detected a foul smell and called 911 for a welfare check.

Apparently, Lori Vallow never informed Joseph Ryan's family of his passing.

Joseph Ryan's sister Annie Cushing says the medical examiner contacted her family after no one claimed Joe Ryan's body.

"It's odd that Joe, her ex-husband, supposedly died of a heart attack when they were desperate for money and he left her $50K and Tylee gets $2K. Then Charles has a $2M … there's a lot of red flags for me," Adam Cox said.

Detectives also spoke with a close friend of Tylee Ryan's who said she received $2,000 a month until her 18th birthday after Joseph Ryan's death.

Joseph Ryan's case was briefly revisited earlier this year by the Phoenix Arizona Police Department.

However, police said they were not able to find a connection to Lori and kept the case closed.

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Garna Mejia


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