'Doomsday dad' Chad Daybell 'thought Harry Potter magic was real & used spells before burying wife's murdered kids'

DOOMSDAY cult leader Chad Daybell bizarrely believed that the spells in the Harry Potter books were real and could be cast by those with a "great focused will", according to a new book.

Daybell, 53, made the strange remarks in a spiritual manifesto in which he also asserted that wizards, sorcerers, and zombies were all real, and that he was a "translated being" who was immortal and capable of teleportation.

Daybell's crackpot claims are detailed in true crime author John Glatt's new book, The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, And The End of An American Family, which was released on Tuesday.

In a copy of the book obtained by The Sun, Glatt explores the depths of Daybell's outlandish beliefs and the lethal relationship he shared with "cult mom" Lori Vallow.

Both Daybell and Vallow have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the September 2019 deaths of Lori's children, seven-year-old Joshua 'JJ' Vallow and 17-year-old Tylee Ryan.

The two kids had been missing for nine months when their bodies were eventually found buried in the backyard of Daybell's east Idaho home in June 2020.

The couple faces the same charge in the death of Daybell's previous wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, who passed away under suspicious circumstances on October 19, 2019, two weeks before Chad and Lori got married.

Lori is also charged in Arizona with conspiring to kill her former estranged husband, Charles Vallow, 62, with the help of her now-deceased brother, Alex Cox. 

According to prosecutors, where JJ and Tylee are concerned, Vallow and Daybell conspired to kill the two children after becoming convinced they had both become "dark spirits" or "zombies."

Vallow and Daybell reportedly believed that the only way to rid the person of the dark spirit was to kill them so they could rest in the afterlife.

Charles Vallow had also been designated a "zombie" by the pair. In various conversations with close friends, Lori Vallow claimed Chad had conducted a reading on Charles and found that he'd been possessed by an evil spirit called "Nick Schneider."


In the months before their arrests, Daybell had been forming a cult to ride out the end times, believing himself to have been hand-picked by God to lead a chosen 144,000 people towards the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

In a manifesto seeking to explain his bizarre and convoluted beliefs, Daybell claimed that he was a "translated being" who was incapable of death and no longer needed to eat or sleep.

Though they could be injured, Daybell wrote that translated beings such as he, and Lori, had accelerated healing powers so no wounds would ever prove fatal.

Translated beings also possessed powers of teleportation, allowing them to travel through portals anywhere on Earth to perform the Lord's work, Daybell claimed.

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"The mysteries of God are revealed to those who have become a part of it," Daybell wrote, according to Glatt, on his role in being chosen to lead the Second Coming of Christ.

"Prophet of the Mormon church presides over the general congregation, while others are called specifically to run the church of the firstborn."

Under a final section of his manifesto, titled "Spiritual Powers/Gifts", Daybell bizarrely wrote that wizards, witches, and sorcerers were real, as were the spell and curses in the Harry Potter books and movies.

According to Daybell, such spells and curses could be manifested through a "great focused will to use."


Daybell previously made other references to Harry Potter in gushing texts he exchanged with Lori – his "Goddess lover" – just two days after her husband Charles Vallow was shot dead by her brother Alex Cox.

"Tonight I figured out who I feel like," Daybell wrote to Lori in one message, dated July 13, 2019. "I’m a grown-up version of Harry Potter, who has to live with the Dudleys in his little space under the stairs.

"Every few weeks I get to escape and have amazing adventures with my Goddess lover, but then I have to return to my place under the stairs, feeling trapped. But I sense permanent freedom is coming!”

Daybell is currently awaiting trial for the murders of Tylee, JJ, and his former wife Tammy.

Vallow has been determined mentally unfit to stand trial for the killings and is being treated in a secure mental health facility. 

She was first arrested in connection with her children's disappearance in January 2020, four months after they were last seen alive.

Tylee was last seen during a family trip in Yellowstone National Park on September 8, 2019, while the last sighting of JJ came on September 23 when he was seen being carried over the shoulder of his uncle, Alex Cox.

Lori was indicted on murder charges in June 2020 when their bodies were found buried in a pet cemetery on Daybell's property in Salem, Idaho.

Investigators allege that the two children were killed by Alex Cox at the direction of Lori and Chad. The FBI discovered Cox had been at the Daybell property on both September 9 and 23.

JJ's body was discovered first. The young boy, who was autistic, was found wrapped from head to toe in duct tape and stuffed in garbage bags.

Tylee, meanwhile, had been dismembered and burned in Daybell's firepit, before her charred bones were disposed of in a shallow grave.

Prosecutors allege that Daybell, who for years had worked on and off as a gravedigger, had put his skills to use to help Lori dispose of her children's bodies.


As Glatt writes in his new book, Daybell's attempts to cover his tracks in a text message actually led to his downfall.

The doomsday prepper had sent a text to his then-wife Tammy on Sept. 9, shortly after Tylee was killed, saying he had shot a raccoon on their property and burned it in their firepit.

The text, as reported by Glatt, was a ruse to account for the "distinct smell of burning human flesh" that was hanging over the property, in case Tammy "smelled it and got suspicious."

"Well, I've had an interesting morning!" wrote Daybell in the text. "I felt I should burn all the limb debris by the fire pit before it got too soaked by the coming storms.

"When I did so, I spotted a big raccoon along the fence. I hurried and got my gun, and he was still walking along. I got close enough that one shot did the trick.

"He is now in our pet cemetery," he continued. "Fun times!"

Police realized something amiss with the message months later when sifting through texts and cellphone records in June 2020.

Detective Ron Ball of Rexburg Police Department noted that raccoons are nocturnal, yet Daybell's text had been sent at 11.35am.

The FBI's Cellular Analysis Survey Team was then called in to analyze the text and many others like it, and using data from cellphone pings, they were able to zero in on a burial site.

However, rather than unearthing the remains of a raccoon, they found the charred remains of 17-year-old Tylee.


Daybell's trial is currently slated to being in January 2023. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

Vallow is also awaiting trial, however, she will not appear in court until she has been declared mentally competent by the state of Idaho.

According to Glatt, Vallow continues to write to Daybell and reads his scripture every day.

Chillingly, sources told the author that at night she is often seen on surveillance camera "dancing in her cell at night to the music deep inside her head."

The Doomsday Mother Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family by John Glatt was published by St Martin's Press on January 18 and is available for purchase here.

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