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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Mommy Doomsday: Dateline drama delivered

Welcome to Series Sunday! I love bingeing a whole series on Sundays. Officially, I’m still just publishing one new podcast review each week (on Fridays), but occasionally, I’ll publish an extra serial podcast review--often, but not always, true crime--on Sundays.

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

The disappearance of two of Lori Vallow’s children in Rexburg, Idaho in September 2019 would expose a bizarre trail of death, devotion and Doomsday beliefs that captivated the nation… A haunting podcast from Keith Morrison and Dateline NBC.

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Ticking Time Bomb


True crime reporting


Keith Morrison, AKA that unmistakable narrator you know from Dateline shows

Sound/production quality:

Very good, if a little dramatic

Rating/age suitability:


Approximate length of episodes:

40 minutes

Curricular ties:


Similar recommended pods:

Broken Harts; Uncover

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

This is a Dateline podcast, through and through: murder, wild back story, and the narrator that you know from catching Dateline on a Saturday night. Side note: My parents love watching shows like Dateline and Snapped on a Saturday night that talk about wives killing husbands, or vice versa. The couple that watches spousal murder shows together stays together, amirite?

Anyway, Mommy Doomsday begins with the premise of two missing children who have not been seen in months and who the mother says are staying with friends or away at college (spoiler alert: they’re not). Strangely, the children’s disappearances and (not so much a spoiler) deaths are the least highlighted part of most of the series. Turns out, Lori cycled through a few different husbands and along the way, got involved in a cult-like religion that caused her to believe some people were evil/devil-like forced, while others were forced for good. It also just so happened that an alarming number of people close to her ended up dead. The series, unsurprisingly,

sounds a lot like if you listened to the audio only of a long Dateline episode. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it has those dramatic turns of phrasing that are typical of an episode. It’s funny hearing the narrator guy say things that are unscripted though—is like to meet him in real life. Overall, this is a wild story but not one that makes me care too much about the players. If you’re interested, it’s worth a listen, but I’d you’re not a true crime fanatic, this is an ok one to skip or just listen to in the background.

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