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Mental Health Monday: Psychologist draws similarities between Lori Vallow-Daybell and Ruby Franke

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) — Two different cases involving mothers are getting worldwide attention. Lori Vallow-Daybell is serving life in prison for the murders of her two children, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and 7-year-old J.J. Vallow. YouTuber mom Ruby Franke will spend to up to 30 years in prison for abusing her four children. While their crimes are different, an expert psychologist believes their motives are parallel.

"We have these two women playing out their own desires, but using religion as an excuse to perpetuate the damage that they personally would like to do," Clinical and Forensic Psychologist Dr. Leslie Dobson said.

These women were both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but then they started developing extreme beliefs their children were evil.

"There is a character trait," Dr. Dobson explained. "There is a mental health problem that lends to them finding religion to give them permission for what they want to fulfill. So I think it's very easy to judge religion in these cases, and we need to be able to differentiate their faith and their religion from their mental illness and the darkness that they desired," she said.

Friends and family to both women have described them as wonderful mothers. According to Dr. Dobson, their divergence from normal behavior began with isolation.

"The biggest thing was they started to become isolated," Dr. Dobson said. "They started to isolate themselves psychologically, emotionally, and they were isolated away from people. And then, the ideology grew and built into something that was not grounded in anything we call reality," she said.

Dr. Dobson said early intervention could have prevented these crimes from happening. Intervention should include counseling, therapy and consistent accountability.

Article Topic Follows: Mental Health Monday

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Kailey Galaviz

Kailey is a morning anchor and reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3


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