Criticism was further fueled by the release of documents indicating that officials had found hundreds of computer-generated sexual images on Josh Powell's computer involving popular cartoon characters or other animated figures. While the images are not illegal, a psychologist warned that they were "suggestive of global approval of sex between an adult and a minor."
In the subsequent weeks, the Department of Social and Health Services in Washington released additional documents of child welfare records, shedding light on the disturbing and negative influences Josh Powell was having on his young children.
Search warrants were also unsealed in Washington that revealed many details West Valley police had not reported, including information that Susan Powell's blood was found in their West Valley home the night she disappeared on Dec. 6, 2009.
In May, the focus shifted to Steven Powell as his voyeurism trial began in Tacoma. He was accused of taking thousands of pictures of young women and girls in his neighborhood — including two girls who were photographed starting in 2006. Most of the pictures were apparently shot from Powell's bedroom. He used a telephoto lens to shoot into a nearby second-story open window while the girls were in their bathroom. The girls were 8 and 10 at the time.
Though it wasn't allowed as part of the trial, details of Steven Powell's diaries were discussed during pretrial hearings. The diaries outlined his sexually graphic obsession with his daughter-in-law.
In August, after Powell was convicted and sentenced, more than 2,100 pages of his diaries were released, most of them filled with descriptions of his disturbing and compulsive obsession over Susan Powell
In December, thousands of Powell's photos were released to the Associated Press through a public records request, including many of Susan Powell apparently taken without her knowledge.
Also in August, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services' Child Fatality Review Team released a 12-page report regarding the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell. The report suggested that communication between police and social workers dealing with the Powells could have been better, and recommended more domestic violence training for the state's social workers. But ultimately, it said, "nobody could have anticipated that Joshua Powell would murder his two sons."
Additionally, a 3rd District Court judge in Utah released heavily redacted search warrants to the public in August regarding the Susan Powell investigation. In them, it's clear that Josh Powell was a suspect almost immediately.
The story retold
Susan Powell's story is expected to be on bookshelves across the nation in 2013. Jennifer Graves, Josh Powell's sister, has been writing a book of her perspective on the Powell family story. Well-known crime writer Ann Rule is also reportedly working on a book that includes the Susan Powell story.
Other authors reportedly considering a book about the Powells include Gregg Olsen, a New York Times best-selling author who has written novels and non-fiction books; and Isabelle Zehnder, an online writer who is familiar with the Powell case.
But the story remains without its ending.
On the third anniversary of Powell's Dec. 6, 2009, disappearance, West Valley police issued a brief statement, updating the status of its investigation.
"The number of full-time investigators assigned has been reduced. Some investigative tasks remain to be completed as follow-ups are coordinated," the statement read.
"The department remains committed to this investigation. The public is reminded there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Susan Cox Powell and encourages anyone with information to call the West Valley City Police Department at 801-840-4000."
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