'Dateline': Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell's Close Friend Dishes on How They Deceived People

Melanie Gibb, the former friend of Lori Vallow, gave an intimate insight into how she and Chad Daybell deceived people in Monday's episode of Dateline. The bodies of Vallow's children, 16-year-old Tylee Ashlyn Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow, were found in Daybell's backyard earlier this month after having gone missing in September. Gibb described a destructive relationship between Vallow and Daybell, including their strange beliefs about doomsday and zombies.

When Gibb first met Daybell, she thought he was a "humble, softspoken, meek individual." The doomsday fiction author and Gibb met at a talk, where she told him she enjoyed the event. He told her about the "second coming," what would come after that and his own near-death experiences. He said he could see the "beyond," and she did not get the feeling he was making this up at all.

As for Vallow, Gibb said she had a "personality" that just drew people to her. She was like "velcro... she just takes out in and doesn't let you go," Gibb said. "It's kind of cute because she dotes on you." However, Gibb called this "manipulative." She had a way of making you "feel like what she was saying was true because she'd give you amazing experiences that she had and they sounded really believable." Vallow was "really good" about telling her what was going on on the "other side of the veil." Gibb said Vallow had an "ongoing voice she would hear" but since her experiences were so different from Gibb's own, she did not think Vallow would be lying.

Now, Gibb believes her former friends were not telling the truth. She described Daybell as "the hand" and Vallow "as the puppet on that hand." They were "both like gasoline and fire," and "not a good match." She told Dateline's Keith Morrison they were "equally destructive to each other. So in a way, they were their equal match in that they were destructive to each other. They both had deception in them." She also said the two lie, which a "common threat... they were really good lying to each other." According to the probably cause affidavit, Gibb told detectives Daybell and Vallow said they believed the children were zombies.


Tylee and J.J. were last seen alive in September 2019 before a trip to Yellowstone National Park. When police spoke with Vallow in November, she and Daybell claimed they were living with Gibb in Arizona, where they lived before they moved to Idaho. Gibb said this was not true and told police they asked her to lie about J.J. Gibb told Dateline Daybell called her to tell her not to answer when Rexburg, Idaho police called.

Vallow was arrested in Hawaii in February and charged with desertion and nonsupporting her children. She was taken back to Idaho, where she remains in jail on $1 million bail. Daybell was arrested earlier this month after authorities discovered the remains of J.J. and Tylee in his backyard. He pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence.