Comments about ‘A Woman's View: 'I wish I had not known' — the tragic details of the Powell case’

Return to article »

Do we need to know gruesome details?

Published: Sunday, Feb. 12 2012 8:37 p.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
cjb
Bountiful, UT

I am the kind of person that likes to learn things in depth. I am interested in the psychology of people and of criminals. Knowing the details of their crimes helps to make this possible.

I understand that some may not want to know the details of a story such as this. However it is not that difficult to avoid such details if you don't want to know them. If news organizations refuse to print them, it would be quite difficult for people like me who want the entire story to get it.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

Spot on! Thankfully I only read it and never heard it since I don't live in Utah or Washington. Reading it was bad enough.

happy2BGrandma
Pleasant Grove, UT

I so agree with you, Amanda. If one has a visual mind, it is hard to get hear such gruesome details. Like you, I literally hurt and then cried when I heard what was done. Sometimes we really don't need to know it all.

rattler
Syracuse, UT

This case is such a high profile case with the vast majority of Utah citizens hanging on every detail, to leave out the gruesome acts when reporting the story would have been irresponsible news reporting. How is burning to death less gruesome than being hit with a hatchet? I feel most people assume that Susan Powell was brutally murdered by Josh and his acts against his own sons helps to validate what we think probably happened to her.
The whole thing is extremely unpleasant and I am pained just as much as anyone (outside the family) by the thought of how miserable and fightened the boys must have been, but it's my opinion that the entire story needed telling.
Amanda, if you are too soft to give the public these details, I would rather listen to someone else deliver my news.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Some people are offended by many things. Others have a great need to learn as much as possible.
We live in a society that does not force one to read news publications, listen to radio, or watch television and films.
It is your choice.

  • 10:10 a.m. Feb. 13, 2012
  • Like
  • Top comment
Judy C
Sandy, UT

When I heard the news, I was horrified. I wished there had been a warning from the news anchor on KSL TV news warning that the details weren't pretty. It would help if viewers had one 30-minute time that was truly "G-rated." That was a story that should not, in my opinion, have exposed gruesome details during prime family time. Could we ask for a light hand on the criminal/war/ugly stories on the five o'clock broadcast with a comment "details at six, in-depth coverage at ten." That would let people who would like to understand better what happened the opportunity to learn more. And it would help parents to better monitor what comes into the home in front of their children.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

I took the news a little differently. What he did was horrible, let me say that upfront. Just horrible. But when I read that he used a hatchet I guess my mind wanted to believe that in the sick and twisted mental state he was in while planning this event, he wanted to have his child die quickly rather than die by fire. Obviously that didn't work out either. Its just all very twisted. I guess I just don't want to believe that he simply wanted to inflict some extra pain on his own children before he burned them to death.

PAC
Phoenix, AZ

I agree sometimes the News go a little to far. This story make me sick. It would be nice to believe that the world was not so wicked, but it is and we just have to live with it. All we can do is hope for better things to come.

Swedish reader
Stockholm, Sweden

The problem with omitting horrible details is that it makes people think that things like that don't happen. It might be a good idea, as suggested by Judy C, to save the worst until late at night so that children don't hear it, but adults need to be aware of what kinds of things that actually go on. How else can we recognize danger? Granted, it's hard to reconcile the awful things people do with the normal or even kind things the very same individuals can do, but if we don't even hear what is done we might not be alert to the possibility of it happening around us. And it does happen around us, to one degree or another. That's the sorry state of the world, but as long as we are aware we at least stand a chance of seeing it coming so that we can try to protect ourselves and our children. If this case shows anything, it's that you can't tell a murderer by looking at him. Josh Powell looked a lot like a perfectly normal person.

raybies
Layton, UT

situations are not real if you don't know the details. why raise awareness about abuse at all if the details of the abuse are not free to be exposed to the full light and scrutiny of the public? I guess the question is whether or not exposing abuse encourages the abused to come forward or to hide cases of domestic violence...

Doug10
Roosevelt, UT

Amen Amanda, the details of this case need not be printed for the public. If people want to know they can find it elsewhere like in the police files or court documents.

It seems like the press has been treating the public like a jury and laying out in lurid unnecessry detail the events of this human disaster. We do not have to nor are we called upon to judge here so why all the gore that is at the very least offensive?

It would seem to me the press could draw the line and say that some things are not fit for general public knowledge. The information about the Powells does not make me any smarter but it does make me sick.

Kazbert
VAIL, AZ

I am on one side of the argument and then the other side from time to time. Knowing such details can increase our compassion for others, and lifts us out of dangerous naivete. Yet sometimes I feel like I have heard one grusome story too many for the moment, and I turn away from such horrid stories and look for someting more uplifting.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments