Letters to family show Steven Powell still defiant behind bars
All Washington State prison inmates must submit an "offender release plan" before they can be released early from prison because of good behavior. In that plan, inmates must provide information such as where they plan to live, work, and what treatment they will continue receiving. Powell was originally eligible for release on Thursday. But he did not have his plan submitted in time. Once a plan is approved, an inmate must wait 35 days to be released while proper notifications are made.
Washington corrections officials said Wednesday they had not yet reviewed his plan and no release date was scheduled.
This week, West Valley police announced that they believe Michael Powell had "intimate involvement" in his sister-in-law's disappearance and had frequent communication with Josh Powell, who is suspected of killing his wife, through a device that encrypted their conversations. Investigators were never able to decrypt those communications.
Michael Powell, who was attending college in Minnesota, committed suicide by jumping off of a parking structure in February.
In a letter written to Alina Powell the day after the suicide, Steven Powell referenced what he called an "interrogation" by two FBI agents in July of 2012. During that time, he claimed the agents threatened to take away Michael Powell's federal funding for his doctorate program if he (Steven) didn't cooperate with them.
Powell also claimed the agents made reference to the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., and told him that Michael "is going to have a similar psychotic episode," according to the letter.
"You and I both understand the second threat against Michael as a plan to somehow assault him with psychotropic drugs," Steven Powell wrote, while noting that his son's suicide was "in reaction" to the drug.
Powell continues, saying someone must have put something in Michael Powell's food or drinks before he killed himself.
West Valley police interviewed Steven Powell in prison in August of 2012 in an attempt to get information about what happened to Susan Powell. While investigators said this week that they do not believe he had anything to do with her disappearance, they believe he has information that could help them.
Powell refused to give them any information. But investigators commented on his body language during that interview, noting that he noticeably shook when confronted about his own journal entries talking about the possibility of Josh Powell killing his sons before the event actually happened, and then watched as his "eyes welled with tears."
"I told Steve that he is the only one who ever expressed or knew about that danger and I asked him again what he did to stop Josh," one detective wrote.
Later, the detective grilled Steven Powell about whether he ever asked his son where he went after his wife disappeared. Steven Powell refused to answer.
Josh Powell murdered his two young sons and then killed himself in February of 2012.
In a letter to Alina Powell after Michael's suicide, Steven Powell appears to have changed his mind about returning to live in his house. In the letter, he tells Alina that he plans to live downstairs because the master suite, where he took pictures of young neighbor girls with a long lens, was then being used as a storage room.
"I will feel more comfortable if I can be around family," he wrote. "At my age I need family support more than the average person who is leaving this institution. Anyway, let's do whatever we can so that I can come home."
Powell also told Alina in the letter not to throw out the beer and wine in the house as he said he is not prohibited from having it.
In a more recent letter dated April 15, 2013, Steve Powell wrote to his daughter that he was preparing to get out of prison and move back home, but said if he wasn't allowed to do that, he may just live in his van.
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