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Wedded Bliss ... or ... Domestic Hell? UPDATE

Updated on April 12, 2015

Update 5 February 2012

Josh Powell, a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, in 2009 in Utah died yesterday in a fiery murder suicide yesterday killing himself and his two small sons. Many of us can speculate that it was destine to happen, it was my biggest fear when the children were in his custody.

A lawyer for the missing woman's parents said;

The young sons of Susan and Josh Powell, who died with their father when he ignited an explosion in their Washington home, were beginning to verbalize that their mother was in the trunk of their father's car on the night that she disappeared in 2009.

A sad and tragic ending to a sad and tragic story that is almost to common nowadays. My condolences to Susan Powell's family and friends.

Susan Powell

Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend

I recorded an episode of Doctor Phil yesterday that got my dander up. In the state of Utah we have a woman missing and has been since December 7, 2009. Susan Powell, mother of two boys ages 3 & 5 (both have had birthdays since her disappearance).

The husband, Josh Powell, claims that he took the boys on an impromptu camping trip, to a state run park in middle the of nowhere, in twenty below weather, at around midnight December 6, 2009.

When the boys weren't dropped off at their daycare on Monday the sitter became alarmed called the home and both parents phones. Unable to reach anyone she call Josh Powell's mother and sister, who then called the local police and requested a welfare check on the occupants of the Powell home located in West Valley.

After receiving no answer the police broke into the house only to find it empty. Mrs. Powell's, cell phone, keys and purse were still in the residence. Husband Josh returns home between 5 or 6 p.m, claims he has no idea of his wife's whereabouts, he then is whisked away by police for questioning.

Josh Powell

Red Flags

  1. Husband taking two small children on a camping trip in the middle of the night on one of the coldest nights we've had this year. No mother would allow this unless, she wasn't around to protest.
  2. Husband did not call his employer regarding his absence on Monday. When questioned by a reporter his reply "I thought it was Sunday", this is why the stupid need attorneys.
  3. Police enter the home to find fans blowing on a "wet spot" on the living room rug, we're still talking wintertime folks.
  4. A family member or friend speaks to reporters yesterday, and released information regarding domestic abuse in the household. Seems hubby is a control freak. Susan had to turn over her car keys upon arriving home after work. Ms. Powell earned more money than he as a stockbroker, (hey I've no problem with this) but she had no access to any bank accounts. You see Josh would change the pin numbers ever few months.
  5. Husband has not cooperated with the search for his spouse, nor with the police when asked to come in for more questioning. He did relent and give DNA samples.
  6. Powell went away for Christmas with his children to his parents home in Washington. I gather enjoying the holiday with pesty reporters or police to interrupt.
  7. The campground where the "camping" trip took place has a log sheet that must be signed when you enter. Josh Powell's name is nowhere to be found.
  8. When police took possession of the Powell van, Josh rented a car and disappeared for 12 hours.
  9. Husband has moved from the area to Washington, kit and caboodle. Why not stay and look for your missing wife?
  10. Brother-in-law stated on the Dr. Phil show last night that Josh runs his mouth non stop most of the time. He now is strangely silent, only says when questioned that his attorney told him not to talk to anyone. Brother-in-law also mentioned that Powell has control issues. Powell's sister is also demanding answers from her brother you see, her sister-in-law was also her best friend.
  11. Marriage was failing due to financial and emotional problems, Susan was planning on filing for divorce in April.


Me and My Dander

Powell is now considered a "person of interest", boxes, bags and computers have been removed from the residence. He's been back once to rent the home out to former neighbors.

It has been stated, in our local newspaper, that the Cox family (Susan's family) are devout Mormon who don't want to think the worst. Until recently both have been so passive about it all that it was quite disturbing to me. But last night I thought I might have seen a wisp of anger, especially after Doc Phil asked the question; don't you feel like grabbing Josh by the lapels and rattling his head a bit about the whereabouts of your daughter?

The father meekly answered that he doesn't want to go there in terms of the fate of his Susan, he wants to believe she's still alive. Plus there are the grandchildren to consider and the pending investigation. Dr. Phil's next question; have you seen your grandchildren lately? Answer; no. The son-in-law and daughter showed more anger than the parents,

Don't get the wrong impression, in no way am I faulting these parents, I've not walked in their shoes, and can only interpret to you what a nut-job I would be by this time. I was so beside myself that it seemed, to me, the parents showed indifference or we're trying to portray some type of holier than thou attitude. If that was my child missing, with all the evidence pointing at his spouse I can tell you this; the producers would have had a hard time keeping up with the expletives coming out of my pie hole.

How can keeping silent impede an investigation? I would not rest until that spouse answered my questions. What bothers me the most is the fact that this "person of interest" has the children. Do they really think this control freak will stop his usual behaviour just because they're children? Mr. Cox claims that Josh is a good father and is not worried about the children in his care...really! In all probability this man may have done something horrendous to one of your children how far of a stretch is it for him to harm two more people that are defenseless?

I know...I know..innocent until proven guilty, but if it walks like a duck...

The Horrifying Stats

  • 2007 - 14 % of all homicides in the U.S. were intimate partners 2340, 1,640 were females, 700 males.
  • 70% of the victims are female killed by an intimate partner. According to sources the statistics have changed very little since 1993.
  • Children have been present in at least 36% of the cases in 2002, 60% directly witnessed the violence, its probably much larger now.
  • 74% of the U.S. population know a victim of domestic violence.
  • On average more than three women and one man are murdered by their "better halves" a day.
  • Health costs for intimate partner battery exceed $5.8 billion each year. Nearly $4.1 billion are direct medical and mental health care services.

There are too many statistics to list. This is why there's so much written material for reality shows such as Forensic Files, The Investigators and Snapped. When aware of mental and / or physical abuse of a loved one or a friend, please don't stand idly by, try to get the victim to help themselves. Most abused persons, out of some miss-placed loyalty or embarrassment, will not tell parents or siblings of their mistreatment.

I've heard, on several occasions, male acquaintances joke that killing is cheaper than a divorce. You note I said jokingly, I can see myself now on a Dateline interview exclaiming "but I thought he was kidding, I didn't take him seriously".

My prayers go out to the Cox and Powell family's. Both are suffering greatly, so sad that it seems the norm to resolve marriage difficulties with such a horrendous act. Lord have mercy on us all.


Death of Josh Powell and sons

On February 5, 2012, a social worker called 911 after bringing Braden and Charlie Powell to a supervised visit at their father's house in Graham, Washington. The woman, who was supposed to monitor the visit between Josh Powell and his children, said he grabbed the children and would not let her in the door. Soon thereafter, the house exploded, killing Josh and the two children. Local authorities treated the case as a double murder-suicide, saying that the act appeared to have been deliberate.

When authorities notified Steven Powell, who was in jail, he "didn't seem very upset by the news, but was angry towards authorities who notified him".Two weeks later, Steven invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions about the Susan Powell case. Chuck Cox and others have stated they believe that Steven Powell knows what actually happened to Susan. Steven Powell was convicted of voyeurism charges in May 2012 in a trial which largely skirted the issue of Susan's case.

After a relatively brief investigation, officials confirmed that the explosion had been deliberately planned. The official cause of death for Josh and the two boys was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning, though the coroner also noted that both children had significant chopping injuries on the head and neck. A hatchet was recovered near Josh's body, indicating that he had attacked the boys with it before being overwhelmed by smoke and fumes. The fire investigation also found two five-gallon cans of gasoline on the premises, as well as evidence that gasoline had been spread throughout the house. Friends and relatives of Josh Powell told authorities that he had contacted them by email minutes before the incident to say goodbye. Some of them, including his pastor, received instructions about finding his money and shutting off his utilities. Records also showed that Josh had withdrawn $7,000 from his bank account and had donated his children's toys and books to local charities the day before the incident. Josh named his brother, Michael, as the main beneficiary of his life-insurance policy.

Excerpt from Wikipedia


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    • mizjo profile image


      5 years ago from New York City, NY

      How very tragic that the beast was allowed by the whole system to keep the children. The grandparents, the aunts and uncles, the child welfare system - did no one keep check?

      How different when OJ was suspected of killing his wife and her friend, when the wife's family fought to have the children. Possibly prevented a further tragedy.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      thanks, PMC

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Utah

      Done . . and thanks!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I'll be writing an article about Josh Powell tomorrow and linking to this one from there (it;ll be on blog spot) I'd love to cross link and I'll send you a link when it's completed.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Utah

      This is so sad and tragic and can't imagine the pain of the surviving relatives and friends. The constant updates are even more gruesome than the event itself. Josh Powell was truly a selfish, sociopath.

      It's one thing to take your own life, but to take the lives of his children who did nothing more than exist. Such a travesty. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      this story is so tragic. My wife read this story last night and just burst into tears.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Utah

      FutureDrKate: I know, I'm going to update this hub regarding recent turn of events. I don't know what angers me more the slander of the victim or the seeming ineptitude of the police. Thank you for taking your time to read and comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This case has only gotten worse. I have a google alert for it and it's all so disturbing. She's being slandered and the kids are suffering. It's all terrible. Thanks for keeping the attention up and I completely agree.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      I can't believe he is still not in prison. I would be absolutely out of my mind as a grandparent knowing the kids were with him. Thanks for sharing this story. Unfortunately, there are many more of these.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Utah

      Hi Nell, no as of today's date Feb. 25, 2011, no arrests have been made, the husband moved he and the children out of the state. In January he continued his disparaging remarks about his missing wife (typical move of the guilty) and her parents and friends continued their efforts to keep her case from going cold.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, i don't know if this case has been resolved, but how old were the children? has anybody asked them where they were on that night in the freezing cold? I would love to know how it all ends. thanks for this, it certainly makes you think. nell

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      adrienne2 - I agree especially in the dead of winter. The current word from police is deafening. I hope they're working on this case and won't allow it to grow cold.

    • adrienne2 profile image

      Adrienne F Manson 

      8 years ago from Atlanta

      Pmccray, it is so scary to hear stories life this. I am sure hearing about this story on Dr. Phil did get you going. For pete sake who takes the children on a camping trip in the middle of the night.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      you got that right Micky D, there is not a place low enough in hell for those who kill and spouse and in all probability had his children with him. A low down dirty shame. Have a great time and thanks for the read.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      It so sad RevLady that so many women are unknowningly sleeping with the enemy. Thank you for the read, and have a blessed day.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      I have no faith in the "injustice system" so if "he" (whoever and I'm convinced) pays for his crime, it won't be enough. Thank you Pmccray. It's just crazy!

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      You took the words out of my mouth pmccray,

      "My prayers go out to the Cox and Powell family's. Both are suffering greatly, so sad that it seems the norm to resolve marriage difficulties with such a horrendous act. Lord have mercy on us all."

      Forever His,


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