Susan Powell's emails described her fears to friends

Published: Monday, April 30 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

A family photo of the Powell family. Josh Powell and his two sons were killed in an explosion in Washington. Susan Powell has been missing since December of 2009 and Josh Powell is suspected in her death.

Family photo

WEST VALLEY CITY — Susan Powell was growing increasingly distrustful and frustrated with her husband a year before she disappeared and told friends she wanted him to take medication and go to counseling.

She also told friends in June of 2008 — a year and a half before she disappeared — that she had written a will and left it in her desk at work.

In the weeks following Susan Powell's disappearance in December of 2009, the Deseret News was given copies of emails Powell sent to friends using her work email address at Wells Fargo. The emails talked about her struggles being married to Josh Powell when they lived at their West Valley City home.

Copies of the emails were provided in December of 2009 on the condition that they be used to ask specific questions to police and to show that Josh Powell should be looked at as a suspect. The emails were reported in a Deseret News story, but excerpts were not quoted directly at the time through an agreement with the provider.

Susan Powell's own words describe what was going on with her marriage to Josh at the time. The correspondences were sent between June and October of 2008.

A common theme in several emails sent by Susan Powell were mental health issues she believed her husband was struggling with and her strong desire that both of them receive counseling. She also talked about divorce, the "hell and turmoil" that Josh Powell had been putting her through, and hinted that she feared what her husband might do.

• In an email dated July 18, 2008, Powell talks about "setting up phone consultations with divorce lawyers" and mentions her friends who have had experience dealing with "mental illness/bipolar with family members."

"It seems that overall, if someone is bipolar, you don't want them to feel boxed into a corner or threatened or stressed (or else they'll 'swing manic' etc.)," Susan Powell wrote.

• A week earlier, in an email dated July 11, 2008, Powell wrote to a friend: "My bottom line/breaking point is HE WILL GO TO COUNSELING FOR HIMSELF AND/OR MEDS to deal with his mental issues and if he refuses I will not ruin mine and my boys' lives further and we will divorce and I hope its not as ugly as he claims it will be when we've talked about it in the past."

She ended the letter by writing, "I want him in counseling, on meds, I want my husband, friend, lover BACK no more crazy, outrageous, outlandish beliefs/opinions."

• Powell followed that email with one on July 28, 2008, in which she wrote, "My bottom line is he WILL DO COUNSELING at least. I expect by our anniversary next april (8yrs) we will both be in counseling and FINALLY FIXING the marriage OR somewhere in mediation/divorce court ... sad, but simple as that."

In the July 18 email, she also added, "I recognize now that me praying or reading scriptures and hoping is not going to cut it anymore. That I need help and so does he."

Powell also wrote in the email that it wouldn't be easy, but she hoped Josh would be able to return to the way he was when they were first married. "I think if he gets help that we can be happily married with regular trials like normal people," she wrote, while also noting that she still loved and cared about him.

But she followed that sentence by noting, "I'm still documenting all of our belongings and saving info at work or at friend's house in case this is short lived."

Susan Powell's frustrations with Josh Powell seemed to grow with each email in June and July of 2008.

• In an email dated June 30, 2008, Powell tells her friend about an hour-long verbal argument she had with Josh, noting, "I even had to threaten calling police b/c he was being so irrational and unpredictable."

She also mentioned in the same email that she had "written a sort of will in my desk b/c at this point, I don't know what to think anymore."

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