‘Queen of Meth’ made $200K-a-week: Meet Tom Arnold’s sister

Jail was one of two strategies out of the drug trade for the girl when dubbed “Scarface in a skirt.”

A coffin was the other.

“I’m just grateful she did not get murdered,” actor Tom Arnold informed The Publish of his drug-dealing little sister Lori, whose dope-, booze-, criminal offense- and turmoil-filled previous is depicted in the new Discovery+ a few-part documentary “Queen of Meth,” premiering Friday. 

Lori’s wild planet collapsed when she was arrested, 2 times — first in November 1991 and then yet again in October 2001 — and served a total of 15 a long time in jail for building a substantial, multistate methamphetamine output and distribution community on a one hundred seventy-acre ranch in working-course Ottumwa, Iowa. 

“There was no way to end it, besides dying or jail,” mentioned the 62-year-previous “True Lies” and “Sons of Anarchy” star and ex-spouse of Roseanne Barr. “And she acquired blessed.”

Lori, 60, is now eking out a reduced-important life with an comprehending fiancé named Monthly bill — “She’s compensated her dues,” he says — and a blue-collar work in Sandusky, Ohio. But by the nineteen nineties she was the two a meth addict herself and a prolific vendor, reportedly peddling extra than ten pounds of the deadly drug a week, every single time raking in at minimum $two hundred,000.

Tom Arnold and his sister Lori are the focus of the new Discovery+ plus docu-series
Tom Arnold and his sister Lori are the emphasis of the new Discovery+ docuseries “Queen of Meth.”

The constant cascade of crooked income helped feed the beast the genuine-life Walter White had produced, which involved reputable companies — including a motor vehicle income whole lot, a fifty two-horse ranch and a nearby biker bar termed the Wild Side, all of which used locals — as very well as extra frivolous pursuits, like a flashy crimson Jaguar and even an airplane.

But she also made use of the revenue for a twisted sort of philanthropy that involved, she mentioned, shopping for homes at auctions and repairing them up as Part eight housing to assist inadequate spot residents.

From a ranch in Iowa, Lori Arnold became forever known as the
From a ranch in Iowa, Lori Arnold grew to become eternally acknowledged as the “Queen of Meth.”
Karolina Wojtasik/Discovery

Seeking back now, she identified the “weird contradiction” of how she funneled the revenue back into the local community.

“I assumed I was accomplishing superior, aiding men and women. ‘Cause I constantly like to assist men and women and constantly shield the underdog and that sort of detail, you know?” she mentioned. “But now, right after all these a long time, you know, you appear back you’re like, it possibly was not the best way to do that.”

The documentary chronicles how middle youngster Lori — a self-professed “tomboy” and “tough girl” — and brothers Tom and Scott survived a childhood rocked by their parents’ divorce when Tom was four, Lori was 3 and Scott was just 2. The children have been elevated by their father, Jack, who at some point married a neighbor, Ruth, who now had two children and with whom he had two extra.

Tom, Scott and Lori Arnold in a photo from the 1960s.
Tom, Scott and Lori Arnold in a image from the 1960s.
Lori Arnold
Scott, Lori and Tom Arnold together in 2020.
Scott, Lori and Tom Arnold with each other in 2020.
Discovery +

When Tom turned 15 and Lori was 14, they escaped that bursting family and moved in with their now-remarried and, they mentioned, challenging-consuming and oft-absent mom, Linda — and “that’s the place everything transformed,” as Tom says in the series. 

“I in no way realized that Mom was the difficulty for the reason that I assumed Mom was amazing, she was funny, all people loved her. She was constantly enjoyment,” Lori mentioned. “You know, I could smoke cigarettes, I could drink beer … She was just enjoyment to hang all around — form of like a friend, I guess?”

But beneath their mother’s considerably less-than-watchful eye, Lori created an alcoholic beverages addiction starting up at age 14 when she imbibed though working at the nearby watering gap that her mom managed. That also coincided with an illicit connection in between Lori and a 23-year-previous man named Bobby.

Her then-stepfather issued an ultimatum: “He had to dump me, marry me, or go to jail for statutory rape,” mentioned Lori, who dropped out of eighth grade (but later on acquired a GED). The pair agreed to get hitched in Missouri, the place it was lawful — with the blessing of her mother, who drove them there, in accordance to the documentary. 

Lori Arnold with mom Linda in 1975.
Lori Arnold with mom Linda in 1975.
Lori Arnold

On the other hand, Lori divorced Bobby just 6 months later on for the reason that, she mentioned, he was abusive and a cheater. 

“I really don’t want to say it ruined Lori’s life for the reason that she’s sturdy now, she’s accomplishing very well,” Tom mentioned. But, he included, “It was the end of her childhood.” 

Lori today acknowledges the effects her lenient mother would have on her troubled long term.

“I forgive her for the reason that she was awful for a mom, but at the exact time — so was I,” mentioned Lori, who married nearby biker Floyd Stockdall in May 1980 and gave beginning to their son, Josh, in January 1981. (Floyd, who was arrested along with Lori in 1991, died in jail in 2004.)

“Here I am accomplishing form of the exact detail, even though I’m not offering [medicine] to him personally,” she mentioned. “But I’m nonetheless breaking the law and producing his life hell, you know, as a mother. So I guess that is why, you know, I forgive her for the reason that I did not necessarily mean to damage my son, either.”

Lori Arnold with husband Floyd Stockdall and their son, Josh Stockdall, in 1981.
Lori Arnold with spouse Floyd Stockdall and their son, Josh Stockdall, in 1981.
Lori Arnold

“‘Queen of Meth’ is how men and women that really don’t know my mom see my mom,” Josh, who was ten when Lori was first jailed, says in the documentary. “But from the inside of on the lookout out, she was my mom, Lori.”

Even now, there was a whole lot he did not know as a child. “I would possibly go with her on her drug bargains but not genuinely know it,” he mentioned. 

And owing to her repeat incarcerations, Lori wound up currently being an absent mom for many a long time, which she termed her “biggest regret.” (In the docuseries, Josh says he “came to peace with the full condition.”)

Tom Arnold with his sister Lori in the 1990s.
Tom Arnold with his sister Lori in the nineteen nineties.
Lori Arnold

Tom, meanwhile, is just glad that his little sister is nonetheless alive right after a long time of mixing with “just terrible people” as the “Queen of Meth,” he mentioned.

“The detail about drug revenue, and Lori understands this greater than any individual,” he mentioned, “[is that] it will constantly be above when you get a posture like hers. She just was on a freight educate and [it just acquired] far too significant.”

Lori Arnold was jailed twice for methamphetamine production and distribution.
Lori Arnold was jailed 2 times for methamphetamine output and distribution.