Susan Powell case: 'We've got more stuff than they can even imagine'

Investigation in the '4th quarter,' West Valley chief says

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • gomomgo Blackfoot, ID
    Sept. 30, 2011 3:57 p.m.

    Book 'em, Danno.

  • Jeff S Sandy, UT
    Sept. 29, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    I'm glad to hear this case is in the "4th quarter." But, what's the score? Who's winning?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 29, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    To EnglishAlan | 2:18 a.m. Sept. 29, 2011

    The problem is that, quite often, law enforsement officers develop a theory of a case early-on in an investigation and then narrow their search and investigation paramemters to try to prove that theory, instead of leaving themselves open to other alternative theories. It appears that happened here -- they were upset that Josh Powell because he hired an attorney and invoked his constitutional rights instead of just letting them question him to their hearts' content about anything they chose to investigate.

    In this case, there is no hard evidence concerning what happened to Susan Powell. Specifically, there is no proof at this point whether she is alive or dead (and, if dead, there is no evidence how that happened). The police should be investigating all possibilities, instead of just one. AND the police should not be "trying" this case in the news media -- because of the statements they made, the jury pool is likely seriously tainted and I have serious concerns about whether an impartial jury could be seated to hear any case concerning this matter.

  • x Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 29, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    I'm grateful for the work the WVC Police are doing and yes I think Josh Powell has not been as cooperative as he could've/should've if he's not guilty.

    However, to say things like "4th quarter" and "tipping point" and "we have more than they can imagine" - you better be able to back those statements up! WVC police better have something more than just a bunch of circumstantial evidence. Any embarrassment that may come to the WVC police dept will be a result of their own actions.

    One question I haven't seen answered: Why did it take this long to seize all that evidence? I can't believe that there wasn't enough probable cause from the outset to search the Powell house more rigorously than they did initially.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 29, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    I am not a reporter but the proof is in the pudding for Steve Powell with his alleged problems with pornography that appear to haven't changed since 1992. His children and wife appear to be in agreement with that. Josh always mention that he hasn't been involved with illegal pornography. He just have researched that term so he can get around his pornography viewing as far as custody of the children. He always highlights "Illegal".

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Sept. 29, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    Now that this is all said and done, The General Public has learned about these laws.

    We the People don't know what laws we are guilty of when we don't know the law!

  • EnglishAlan Rugeley, Staffs
    Sept. 29, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    There seem to be a lot of folks on here have no time for the police. I have a son that is a policeman here in England. The job of the police can be a thankless task, and they cannot always say what they want to. There are other times that they try to flush out the felon by releasing bits of information that make them worried that you know more than you do. This can lead them to panic, and do things they will later regret. It sounds like this is what the police involved here may be doing.

    Please don't knock the Police. It may be just around the corner that you may need them yourself. If you do, you will want them to stay as focused as these officers seem to be.

    Sept. 28, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    Statistically, Josh is guilty, but, rightfully so, our society expects factual proof to convict a person. I would be surprised if Josh is innocent, but before rushing to judgment, I want to see the evidence.

    So far, I know, Josh has nobody to trust except part of his family and the WVPD seem very incompetent.

    Those who criticize Joshs moving his family back to Washington and his unwillingness to keep talking to a Police Department that is bent on convicting more than exploring all possibilities are naive.

    Yes, Josh's alleged camping is questionable. The Powells appear dysfunctional, but which of us wouldnt behave the way Josh has if you were being falsely accused in your wifes disappearance. Not saying he is innocent, just giving the benefit of the doubt.

    Irresponsible comments by police such as 50/50 chance that the body we havent yet dug up is Susan Powell's is irresponsible.

    Use the media to your benefit, but lets not jump to conclusions and make stupid, presumptuous statements when the body hasn't been uncovered. It may be the 4th quarter but if the evidence doesn't clearly convict Josh soon, then WVPD needs a shakeup.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    BobPowell in BC: .....and that's why Matlock is FICTION.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Sept. 28, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    Innocent until proven guilty, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, its a duck. So Josh is an innocent duck.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    Sept. 28, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    Remember how many cases have been solved because the the cases have been kept alive in the media. Remember the Elizabeth Smart case. People can continue to slam the WVCPD but they need to use every tool they have to solve this case, even the Media.

  • Jack-P West Valley, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    So, this is supposed to be an important factor in determining where the children should go? You can read almost ANYTHING into this.

    "The children apparently knew one of the female Pierce County sheriff's deputies. The other officers present said it was almost "emotional" how the two boys sprinted to the deputy when they saw her and gave her a big hug, Nielsen said."

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Sept. 28, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    There was an old TV lawyer drama called Matlock that in one of its earlier episodes had Matlock defending a bodyless murder case.

    In his address to the Jury he said: "And the victim may walk through the door at any moment." The door creaked and all 12 Jurors looked at the door. No one came through.

    Matlock then said; There is your reasonable doubt - you looked because you weren't sure.

    Not guilty. Too much police hubris is a dangerous thing.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    wow! 500k and counting? It seems like they have focused on only Josh since day one, and I agree with some other posters that say maybe in their focus on Josh, they potentially missed clues or other evidence to point them in a different direction. I know it seems far fetched to believe that Susan disappeared with the other guy, but WVPD can only say it's "unlikely" that happened. Until they can actually prove things one way or the other, maybe they should keep all avenues open.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    I wouldn't call Josh a "mastermind." I'd call him "lucky." Just like his daddy, who managed to keep his illegal porn for several years.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    The sad thing is that in this police department's zeal to put out "good press" about their efforts in solving ONE person's disappearance, they have very likely destroyed other crime scenes in the desert. It sounds like they sent 100s of volunteers out to a large area in the desert and have collected just about everything they could find. How will other agencies who may be looking for other lost individuals ever be able to make the tie into this evidence that this small town police department is now holding onto?

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    I'll wait till the movie comes out

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    'We've got more stuff than they can even imagine'

    Yes but apparrently none of that stuff is the 'right stuff'. Or the killer(s) would be in jail.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Sept. 28, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    Re: boatersteve "When cops get this personal their objectivity disappears... The approach used by West Valley is what gives rise to the need for prosecutors to have their own investigators--to make sure the cops do it right... All this grandstanding is amazing. The cop that lives by the press can also perish by the press." Very, very well said! I couldn't agree with you any further.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    I'm sure the families of other victims of crime in this City are quite happy with the promises this Chief has made and with all of the resources this Chief has allocated to this particular crime (read sarcasm here). Now Chief, when are you up for re-appointment of your position?

  • Niximus Tooele, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    If they have more stuff than we could possibly imagine, how about some charges then?

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    Sept. 28, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    I, too, am glad that West Valley PD is persuing this investigation with such ferver. However, Chief Nielsen, why provide this interview in the first place of a pending investigation? I don't the public needs this amount of detail. Particularly with open/pending investigations, I'm always of the opinion to keep one's mouth shut but keep the investigation going strong. It's OK to be a public figure and not demand your 15 minutes of fame in a newspaper or on TV. All I want to see are charges brought forward, and defendant(s) found guilty and sentencing imposed. I, for one, don't need to know the details of the investigation.

  • boatersteve Fruit Heights, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    As a former prosecutor when cops get this personal their objectivity disappears. They become myopic and miss leads that would otherwise be there. The approach used by West Valley is what gives rise to the need for prosecutors to have their own investigators--to make sure the cops do it right. These same cops who want "people of interest" to give up their constitutional rights are the same cops that will use that information, real or imagined to prosecute may suggest why someone would not want to speak with the police. All this grandstanding is amazing. The cop that lives by the press can also perish by the press.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    First of all, WVCPD INVITED the press to tag along at Ely.
    Second, police are well within their rights to demand distance from the press.
    Third, their press conferences have been loose-lipped gaggles of misinformation.

    Accommodating First Amendment rights is one thing; their behavior is quite another.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 7:57 a.m.

    Third try screen name | 6:48 a.m. Sept. 28, 2011
    Mapleton, UT
    "The police chief should be ashamed of the way they have involved the press."

    Have you ever heard of a little thing called the "First Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, or the Utah Freedom of Information Act? Law enforcement has no control over the press, and that is a good thing. We want to know what is going on in our governments (especially law enforcement).

    If you can't beat them, than have them help you. By letting people know what is happening, and where they are looking maybe someone will remember a trivial fact that will help the family find closure.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    After the inept handling of this case to date, how can anyone take this unprofessional crew seriously? All they've done so far is cry "Wolf!" every few months--and then (for a reason I can't figure out) receive the support of the press.

    This has to be frustrating for Susan's family.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    The police chief should be ashamed of the way they have involved the press.
    It is not only unprofessional to have the media tagging along, but it also contaminates the potential crime scene.
    WVCPD feeds the frenzy with nonsensical press conferences and meaningless answers.
    Don't invite the press. If they show up, keep them a mile away from the site and don't give them photo ops. If they corner you, say "No comment."
    The chief and his people have not done that.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    Thanks to the Chief of Police for his tenacity and dedication to the people of West Valley City, especially the children in cases such as this. I know the police officers are just as committed to their job as evidenced by no days off in the heat of the battle.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    4th quarter and the clock is winding down. The WVC PD has only so many times they can cry wolf before the press will start ignoring them. How interesting that they created this media circus with their much publicized investigations and now they need to deliver or admit they've got nothing. Let's see if Josh will really talk to the FBI instead of the local cops, who seem to have decided early on he was the guilty party and likely conveyed that attitude to him.

  • MrsB1971 Kissimmee, FL
    Sept. 28, 2011 3:15 a.m.

    Chief Neilsen, you and your investigators are doing a really good job. I am glad that you all are taking the time necessary to study and examine everything that you have. Thank you for confirming some of the things that have been going through my mind lately.
    To the families of those who are working this case, Thank You for your patience and for the sacrifices that you are making to see that justice is served.
    May God bless you all.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    If it were my daughter who disappeared, I wouldn't expect any less than what the West Valley City police are doing. My hat's off to them. Keep it up, take your time, get it right, and may God bless your efforts.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    I believe the best chance the police have of solving this that we all start praying for them, and for the children...that they can find the truth. Prayer is a powerful force, and it is certainly needed now, in this case. Let's all start to pray for a resolution to this case.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Sept. 27, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    WVC PD keep up the hard work! I would rather see you take your time, and get it right, than do a rush job.

    Most importantly, my prayers are with the Powell's children. I hope they get whatever help they need.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 27, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    Hopefully when this all ends the truth will come out and justice will be served. And I hope those two little boys find a somewhat normal life again.