Part 1: The Third Time’s a Charm (or so “they” say)
After the finalization of Lori Vallow’s divorce from William Lagioia on February 25, 1998, little is known about Lori’s personal life. What is known for certain is that three months after Lori’s divorce from William, her sister Stacey Cope passed away from diabetic complications on May 21, 1998. Aside from the death of Lori’s sister, there is no public knowledge of what Lori was up to for three years. Assumingly, Lori was raising her young son (at the time) Colby and making her way through life. Sometime in those three years, Lori met Joseph Ryan. According to Annie Cushing, she recalled that Lori was Joe’s hairstylist. Fast forward to March 17th, 2001 and Lori Norene Cox married Joseph Ryan. The nuptials took place in Hawaii. Maui, to be exact.
In the ABC 20/20 episode The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Lori’s mother, Janis Cox, says “One reason Lori had wanted to get married was to have another baby. She got pregnant with Tylee right away. She was really excited about having Tylee.”
Lori and Joe not only joined in marriage, but they also joined in raising and parenting Lori’s young son from her second marriage, Colby. Colby Cox was legally given the last name of “Ryan” and Joe took on the role of his father. However, Joe never officially adopted Colby.
On Sept 24, 2002, Tylee Ashlyn Ryan was born. The blended family of three was now a family of four with the newborn baby girl.
During her marriage to Joe Ryan, Lori appeared on the game show Wheel of Fortune and won $17,000. Apparently she took this as a sign from God because Annie Cushing, Joe Ryan’s sister, has recently reported that Joe told her that Lori believed God told her she was going to be on Wheel of Fortune before she auditioned. On the game show, Lori spoke happily saying “I have a wonderful husband Joseph at home, who is watching our two beautiful children, Colby who is 7, and Tylee who is 1.” The host Pat Sajak asks her “what do you guys like to do for fun?” Lori says “we like to play all sorts of sports on our three acres.”
Watch Lori on Wheel of Fortune here:
In 2004, as Mrs. Hays County, Lori debuted as a contestant in the Mrs. Texas Beauty Pageant. Making it to the semi finals, Lori was eliminated in the final round. Videos and photos have surfaced of this competition where she’s seen performing a line dance with other contestants, wearing a short skirt, red cowboy boots and a red cowboy hat. She also wore a turquoise two-piece bathing suit and a white open back gown. The presenter announced her as a wife and mother of an 8 year old and a 1 year old. Video has surfaced of Lori answering questions for the pageant judges and at one point she says, while laughing, “I’m basically a ticking time bomb!” We hear those words today and can’t help but shake our heads at the tragic irony.
Two months after the Mrs. Texas pageant, on Aug 13, 2004, Lori filed a petition for divorce from Joe Ryan. They had been married for approximately three years.
The divorce petition of Lori and Joe was abrupt. Mr. Ryan accounted for this in his response to Lori’s petition for divorce. In other words, it’s likely Joe didn’t see the divorce coming and was blindsided.
Fast forward to October 5, 2006, Lori Vallow, already remarried to Charles Vallow by this time, filed her first affidavit and complaint against her ex husband Joseph Ryan. The complaint alleges that Joseph Ryan was harassing Lori at her place of employment, along with allegations of Joe making death threats against Charles Vallow and Colby Ryan.
Once the above complaint was filed, interim orders were entered into by the court stating the following:
- Joseph Ryan was ordered court ordered supervision with Tylee Ryan for around 24 hours per month spread across four hours increments on weekends.
- The court ordered a GAL be placed for the best interest of Tylee Ryan.
- Joseph Ryan was court ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual exam, with the examiner being selected by the GAL.
- Visitation with Joseph Ryan and Tylee Ryan was ordered to occur at Kids Exchange.
- Pending the results of Joseph Ryan’s psycho-sexual exam, if Joe was found to be of “low to no risk,” visitation with Tylee was to return to what was originally agreed upon in the Ryan custodial agreement within their divorce decree.
Please note: WTAF is breaking every aspect of this case down, piece by piece, court order by court order. If you’d like to read the documents in full, access is available at Vallow and Ryan Legal Documents
On December 4, 2006 a temporary order was put in place for temporary orders. Within these orders, Joseph Ryan was denied physical access to Tylee until after trial and was only permitted telephone communication with Tylee. This temporary order also granted the GAL to be granted privileged and confidential information regarding Tylee.
One month later, Lori Vallow filed yet another motion requesting a forensic analysis of Joseph Ryan’s personal computer. The motion entered on January 10, 2007 alleged the following:
- Claims of Joseph Ryan visiting child pornography websites.
- Ms. Laura Whipple alleging to personally witness Mr. Ryan on child pornography websites.
- Claims of credible child sexual abuse allegations with open investigations listed as the credible evidence. It is important to note, the future would prove these claims to be unsubstantiated and a grand jury sent a no bill in relation to the seeking of charges against Joe Ryan.
On March 25, 2007 Joseph Ryan’s attorney filed his own motions, on his clients behalf. A Motion To Compel Physiological Evaluations For Persons Affecting The Parent-Child Relationship. The motion moved to have the following individuals ordered to submit to psychological and/or psychological evaluation that GAL Tom Ware deemed appropriate.
- Colby Ryan, aka Colby Vallow (as noted in court documents).
- Lori Norene Vallow, the mother of the child.
- Charles Vallow, the stepfather of the child.
All of the above psychological evaluations were requested to be done at the cost of Lori Vallow.
On April 25, 2007, Joseph Ryan again filed in Travis County Court. This time, Mr. Ryan filed a First Amended Petition To Modify Parent-Child Relationship AND Alternatively Motion For Enforcement Of Possession And Access AND Motion For Temporary and Permanent Injunctions. Within the motions, Mr. Ryan alleges the following:
- Respondent (Lori Vallow) has a history of child neglect or physical and psychological abuse directed against Tylee Ashlyn Ryan.
- Petitioner (Joseph Ryan) requests that Lori Vallow be denied access or possession of the child, with an alternative of Lori Vallow receiving supervised visits with a supervisor chosen by the court.
- Joseph Ryan cites that Lori Vallow may violate court orders and prays the court will deem Lori Vallow at risk for international abduction of the minor child.
- Ordering psychological evaluations of Lori Vallow, Colby Ryan, Tylee Ryan, and Charles Vallow, as recommended by GAL Tom Ware.
After the above motion was filed by Joseph Ryan, Lori of course filed her own motion. On April 26, 2007, Lori Vallow filed a motion to have GAL, Tom Ware, removed from the case, citing a list of perceived failures by Lori. It’s of no coincidence that Lori filed this motion after a motion was filed ordered a psychological evaluation of her, Colby Ryan, Tylee Ryan, and Charles Vallow, in recommendation by Tom Ware. Lori listed the following as failures by Tom Ware:
- Lori alleged that Tom Ware failed his GAL duties and failed to interview the following people:
- Tylee Ashlyn Ryan
- Susan Shinsky
- Cole Vallow
- Zachary Vallow
- Colby Ryan
- Amanda Acuna
- Lori also alleged that Tom Ware failed to fulfill his duties as GAL, failing to obtain and review copies of the Tylee’s medical records.
*It’s important to note, Lori made these allegations AFTER Tom Ware requested psychological evaluations on Lori, Charles, Colby, and Tylee.
Part 2: Coming 4/18/2021. In the meantime, check out the The Untold Story of Charles Vallow Contributors @christiniawtaf @mandawtaf