Horrific details emerge in Josh Powell double-murder and suicide

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 8, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Is there any psychological test that identifies people without a conscience? If so how can people get one, to administer to people before they are accepted into a family to marry their children?

    If not, if you are a student of psychology consider doing the research to make such a test possible. This can be your masters or doctors thesis and may lead to a Nobel (type) prize and may you rich.

    I've heard we need to pay attention to our inner sense, our feelings to discern such things. Perhaps this is the answer or at least part of it.

    In this form, I encouraged Mr. Powell to take a polygraph test. Never mind, I think we all know the truth now.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    The fire - the charred remains....

    Perhaps that's why no one has been able to find Susan.

    It fits the pattern.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Feb. 7, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    I hope and pray that closure comes for the Cox family. They are decent people who in no way deserved to be touched by this evil. They were willing to provide a happy loving home for two little boys who had lost their mother and had an evil monster as a dad. Hopefully those children had some joy during the last few months. I can't continue to hear more about this Powell family without feeling just so sad. Jennifer seems to be a good and decent person who escaped from the evil, but otherwise, how sad. Father Steven still refuses to help. The rest of the family including cousins in Texas try to blame everyone and anyone but the true culprit. Josh Powell did these things on his own with premeditation. How any parent could take an axe to his children is way beyond my comprehension. And then to perform the ultimate indignity to this children burn them up in a fire that he planned and set. But in his final evil act, as in most of his life Josh Powell was incapable of performing the job correctly. He was a failure in all he tried to do on this earth. His evilness will carry him to the next level. I am not normally a vindictive person, but I hope he suffers. As he has made so many others suffer.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Feb. 7, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Unreal. Ijust can't believe something like this would happen. But this isn't the first time and it won't be the last.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    Supervised visit does not do much good if Powell could have so easily gotten the boys in the house and locked the social worker out. I think a big lawsuit is in order. Not that it will change what happened, but maybe it will prevent another tragedy going forward. This never should have even had a chance of happening.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    This man was a coward and on the verge of being caught. Only a coward would do something so heinous as this,to hurt any and all people related to this family and the world in general. I just hope the children had a peaceful ride to be with their mother and This sick coward has a rough ride in the other direction.After reading evrything about this in the last 48 hrs. There were mistakes made here in regard to the courts.With these tests that were required why were the childrens visitation made at the home and not in a very public place with supervision? Why give this guy the oppertunity to do this? Why wasn't he placed into immediate custody upon the allegations of the child porn by hid himself? I guess we'll really will never know and that is sad.

  • tashine2 LITTLEROCK, CA
    Feb. 7, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    The state and the courts should have known that someone as controlling as Josh Powell would be capable of something like this. We have too many courts handing children over to dangerous men under the umbrella of "father's rights." The poor social worker didn't have any time to do anything to save those boys. It's the courts that need to change. This incident has set a horrible precident. If a family is terrified for their children, the courts need to listen.

    I am also an active LDS, and I know those boys are in the arms of the Savior. It's the Coxes that are suffering. My prayers are with them.

    Again, PLEASE listen to the fears of parents/grandparents when you decide to send children to a home. The fact that the visits were supposed to be supervised should tell you how trustworthy this man was. I know there are good men out there that deserve to see their children. Just listen and take the fears of the other adults involved.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    I am LDS, I know these boys are with their Father in Heaven right now, resting from any sorrows they may have passed through in this life. But if you are reading this and you are LDS, Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, whatever you believe, I think we all know there is a loving Father in Heaven and that is where these boys are. I think we are all very sad about what has happened. I cannot help but think about my own children all day since I heard of this. I have a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. I love them and would lay my life down for them without hesitation. What this man did is the purest form of evil I have ever seen. Even worse than Dahmer and Bundy in my book. He did this to his own children. God bless the Cox family, the boys, and all affected by this tragedy. No matter what your religious background is, we should all include them in our prayers.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 7, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    @ Voice...OK then, perhaps he was able to think and act deliberately. But the line between mental and spiritual health is often blurry. There was obviously something very wrong on the inside of this individual. I'm not pointing to a cause or blaming anyone in particular. But well balanced, healthy folks just don't go around killing their kids and setting fire to themselves.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Photographermom and O'really,

    O'really's point is a common argument. In all honesty, we cannot assume to know anything about his mental state. Even if we had observed and examined this guy's every move, reaction, and so on, we would know nothing about what went on in his head.

    To me, the 'could a sane person do this anyway' argument is a bit of a Red Herring. The truth is that there are people who aren't entirely aware of their actions due to extreme mental limitations (whether drug induced, or any other reason)- and then there are deliberate actions where someone was aware of their decision and made it based on their desires, beliefs, motivations, etc.

    As much as everyone likes to say "I knew he was the killer" this is false. No one "knew" anything about what went on inside his head. He didn't have "classic psychopath" attributes. This is all nonsense. What we do know is that he didn't act like a crazed lunatic without a conscious understanding and the free agency to act. He was free, he wasn't unable to make rational decisions, and he chose to deliberately do this. That's all we can know about his mind-frame.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 7, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Photographermom...Do you believe a mentally healthy person could do something this horrible?

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    Have to think that this is a pattern revealed. Susan probably didn't know what hit her, hopefully neither did the boys. It's hard to get beyond that moment of brutality.
    The boys have but I hope Josh never does.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 7, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    How very sad that this man was so sick and that his sickness destroyed the lives of those around him, and has negatively impacted so many onlookers. He will have to account to our Father in Heaven (as will we all) for his poor choices. I believe there is only One Person who knows the whole truth and His justice will be served. Our job is not to judge but to mourn and comfort. Tough to do under the circumstances.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Feb. 7, 2012 8:18 a.m.

    It's a shame that those two young boys lost their lifes, because of their father and my heart and prays goes out to their grandparents. I believe that this could have been pervented if they wheren't allowed to go to their father's home and the supevised visit would of been done at the office. Hind site is 50 50. I also believe that they never find Susan Powell's body since her husband took his life. I also believe that with the testing they wanted done that Josh Powell knew that something would be found out about him and he would lose cousty of both boys with no visiation rights, and that he in fact was the person who took his wife's life and the guilt got to him and that if he couldn't have the children with him nobody would have them. I believe that Josh Powell was very sick and need help, but refused to get any help.

  • photographermom South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Some are too quick to blame mental illness on everything, to them I say there is real evil in this world. Josh Powell, case in point. Dont blame this incident on mental illness.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Feb. 7, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    This isn't the state's fault.

    Your spouse disappears you don't want to lose your kids. They couldn't prove anything. Until you can prove he was free and that meant free to parent. It was a break they were living with grandpa who got into trouble with the law. And that trouble wasn't related to mortal danger. Physical danger but not mortal danger. They weren't removed because of Susan, but grandpa. I wonder what would have happened if Josh were taken into foster care as a child? Grandpa didn't assume the habit after Josh became an adult. If the grandkids were in danger from grandpa, Josh was a child. Maybe none of this would have never happened?

    There are not enough government buildings for every parent to visit their child. In a public place more people would have been in danger. It's a miracle the social worker survived the ordeal. A weapon and a house ready to be lit with accelerants.

  • Sandy Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    God bless these poor families, and all of us.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Feb. 7, 2012 3:43 a.m.

    Using just a cup of gas to ignite causes a big poof and power. A simple match to a total of ten gallons with the open can next to the kids and they would never know what hit them. Why use a ax to clobber them first?? This an is beyond trying to figure out. It is hard to believe they say they did not see this comming. As posters have noted they seen it for a long time. History now. Time for some hard fast rules on supervised visitations. Let us hope this will protect other kids. Josh could have taken the woman case worker with them. Glad at least she was saved.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 11:34 p.m.

    No matter what the state did Josh would have found a way. Don't blame the state don't blame the CPS. This is Josh, this is on Josh, Josh lives in a mental lake of fire.

    Those boys would have never been safe,the rest of there lives.


    I am glad that they are in a loving heavenly fathers arms and also there mothers.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 11:28 p.m.

    I just threw-up,

    "I wish people wouldn't Monday morning quarterback and blame the Social Services folks. No one knew what Mr Josh Powell was going to do. He had shown no indications of being capable of killing himself and the kids. " Ditto. You can't blame CPS.


    I wish I hadn't eaten anything before I sat down to read this.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:49 p.m.

    Josh Powell is called "evil" -- and his acts were evil. However, this illustrates two points yet again. 1) difficulties in getting mental health treatments 2) understanding the causes and effects in development of human personality.

    Josh Powell is called cowardly. Yet it is his actions and his decisions that have guided the final solution. However, this horrible tragedy was not inevitable. Someone in authority lead the boys and turned them over to him.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:47 p.m.

    Josh Powell in my book is one of the most evil parents that has existed in the history of mankind. His acts compare to Hitler and many other evil men like that. I have known of parents that have killed their children, we have a case here in Missouri right now, but Josh was pure evil. There is no doubt now that he also killed his wife and that he had planned things out with that too, down to the phone call to state she was missing. I will not point my finger at anyone that defended him, or say we tried to tell you, but if they know anything, especially Steve Powell, make it right and step forward with all the information you have or even what you don't realize that you have. Don't defend this monster anymore, if you do, then you too are being monsters.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:44 p.m.

    Old Navy, many have argued that "this proves he killed her" on previous articles (before the news of the hatchet). At that time, there was no such logical way to connect her disappearance in a way that had any significant value.

    However, they have said that it appears there are markings, etc. And while 'appears' isn't necessarily certainty- I would argue that if assuming this was true- this point absolutely does provide insight into the likely reasons behind her disappearance. At least that seems like a reasonable connection to me.

  • Love Utah Draper, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:32 p.m.

    We suspected Josh murdered his wife in 2009. Now the whole world knows he left this earth as a murderer. Hell will not allow him to rest.

    Steven Powell... are you proud and stand by your son now? Had you told the truth, two little boys might still be alive today. Can you live with that? Everyone else who fought to help Josh keep his sons should feel a whole lot of guilt too, he was obviously an unstable and unfit parent.

    My sincere condolences to the Cox and Graves families. I hope they take some comfort in knowing that Charlie and Braden are reunited with their mother, who dearly loves them.

    I take my hat off to the police for continuing to seek justice for the murder of Susan. They never gave up and continued to look for the smoking gun. I commend you for that.

    We can only hope that Susan's body is found, so further evidence is found and so she can be laid to rest with her boys. RIP Susan, Charlie and Braden, you will never be forgotten.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:23 p.m.


    That isn't entirely accurate. I haven't really defended Josh keeping custody, but I did claim the following-

    -without enough evidence to convict, we shouldn't blame law enforcement for not 'doing their job'. One can always think of better 'policies' but none of that will ever stop evil. Convincing more people to choose what's morally upright, family first, etc. is the only effective solution, imo anyway.

    -As far as Josh and the custody. I didn't feel like he should or shouldn't have had it. I only felt like they should be charging him if they are taking custody. Being a 'suspect' doesn't automatically qualify taking children away, otherwise thousands of families would be unnecessarily separated.

    This case doesn't disprove our current law of "Innocent until proven guilty". For over 1000 years we practiced a different system where the 'burden of proof' was on the defendant and things surely were worse then. Only God's system is perfect, not ours.

  • Old Navy Provo, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    Sadly, this gives some insight into what might have happened to Susan.

  • guswetrust Cebterville, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    I would like to think Charlie and Braden are in the arms of their loving mother right now. Together forever.

  • guswetrust Cebterville, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    This ending and story has affected everyone. I just feel sick inside and cannot shake that feeling yet. It makes me think maybe Susan was talking about leaving him and taking the boys which Josh would not allow so did something to Susan. And now they are saying they found child porn on Josh's WVC computer.

  • lineup2 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    This was unfortunate for all people. All people deserve justice and peace in this situation. There is no one that could have made a correct ruling for this case. With the amount of information missing; judging this case correctly would have been impossible.

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    For those familiar with LDS doctine, we know exactly where these little boys are and who they are with. As devastating as it is for those who loved them dearly; there is a sweetness at knowing they are with their mom and cannot be hurt again and have a glorious eternity ahead. We also know exactly where Josh Powell is and what lies ahead for him. He can only hope that someday he is afforded more love and mercy than he gave.

  • windchimes saltlake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    As of this late afternoon Monday,
    Thiers a Brief news update interview
    from Washington state.
    Listen to KSL desert news
    WVC Utah resident~@

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    Clearly the State Family Services failed these two little boys. There is NO WAY these two boys should have ever be allowed to be alone with this NUT of a father. The father should have been required to come and see the boys in a safe house with other supervision UNTIL the father was cleared of suspicion. This was an on-going investigation and the system broke down. Unforgivable.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    There's no one to blame but Josh. The courts and social system are always limited in what they can do and seemed to be doing the best they could. If Josh's father knows anything and desires to be anything less than a coward, he will come forward with the truth. But I wouldn't hold my breath. People like this are usually incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions or that of their children. And yet they end up being the very thing they are trying to avoid.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Feb. 6, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    I like the image of the boys' loving mother finally getting to embrace them in a sweet reunion and comforting them in a place where no one can do them harm.
    Josh on the other hand is in a mental state that I wouldn't care to try to imagine.
    Also, those bashing the state or the social worker, keep in mind that they were only carrying out the orders given by the court. And that was done based on current evidence and the input of others.
    This is all on Josh and no one else, except perhaps a lot of help from his father who can now ponder his own destiny and day of reconing with his maker.
    I do believe his dad knows what happened, but he his probably too cowardly to ever give final closure to those who remain suffering.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    I don't think the situation on Sunday could have been foreseen exactly, but I do believe authorities had enough to arrest him. Therefore, why should he have any rights to see his sons?

    I still don't understand why he hadn't ever been named an official suspect and arrested even without a body.

    The one saving grace I see is that those boys are now with their mother.

  • Robb C Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    I don't blame the state. They did what they could within the bounds of the law. How would a neutral site have made any difference? I can picture Powell pulling out a weapon and then the social worker and others might have been killed. I don't know that you can stop someone who is determined to do something this terrible and depraved enough to carry it out.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    Great point rifleman!

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    I was relaxing at home when my husband came to me and said: "Remember I told you two years ago that Powell guy will eventually kill himself and his two children? well, he just did it." I am not family but felt like they were.

    I do think police did fear this and they should had done everything possible to prevent it. I was suprised to hear visits were at his residence and not a neutral location. A woman can't certainly do much to prevent a tragedy.

    I also do hope the Savior took these little kids' lives so they didn't suffer. Die by fire, for crying out loud, is one of the most painful ways to die. Get a sunburn and you will have a pale idea. And to think his own father planned it and did it. They are with their mother now, safe and sound, away from all this mess. They can't be hurt again.

  • Twigie Tooele, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I wouldn't count on Steven Powell to give any information, he's as sick as Josh. I would hope that he would, but I don't think he will.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Re: DeltaFoxtrot | 9:24 a.m. Feb. 6, 2012
    "I hope the state is ready to be sued for everything they are worth."

    In earlier stories about Josh Powell several commenters felt that the state should mind its own business and return the children back to Josh permanently. Those commenters have not indicated if they've changed their minds .... in hind sight.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Last night, as I thought about the events of the deaths of these two boys and the monster. I had the thought come to me that these little boys were probably embraced in the arms of the Savior and that they didn't suffer. On the other hand, their father probably did and is suffering a worse inferno then that house ended up being. Those little boys are now existing in their adult spirit form until the resurrection and they are free of suffering for eternity.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    It is a sad situation. I wish people wouldn't Monday morning quarterback and blame the Social Services folks. No one knew what Mr Josh Powell was going to do. He had shown no indications of being capable of killing himself and the kids. The Washington state social workers were taking reasonable precautions. Mr Josh Powell had not been convicted or even accused of any crime, yet. The poor social worker was outside of that house when it burst into flames, knowing that the two children were in there. So, sad and really easy to have 20/20 hindsight, but who among us knew what was going to happen. I for one totally believe that Mr Josh Powell killed his wife and disposed of the body somewhere in the desert, and I thing Sunday's horrendous act shows that he was surely capable of doing something awful to those he supposedly loved. The Cox family is going to need the loving support of everyone to get through this. As for the other family involved, they to will need to come to terms with what happened. The evil acts of an evil man.

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    To DeltaFoxtrot: Hindsight is always better, and I agree that those boys should have been kept from their father, but suing the "state" doesn't mean suing some independent entity; it means suing the taxpayers. I cannot see how any taxpayer should be made to pay one dime for any alleged mistake.

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    If I were to write what I am feeling yesterday and this morning regarding Josh Powell's cowardice, the DN would not approve my words nor would my Bishop. Better a millstone....

  • skylinestar saltlake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Everyone is going to Suffer from this sorrow)

  • windchimes saltlake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    What a Shock!!
    Creepy evil father Josh Powell a Murder thats so Chilling!!!!

    A very (emotional sad Day) as to what has Just Happened yesterday in Washington State.
    Reads as those Young Boys Braden&Charlie were knowing more?

    It sounds likely they wanted to speak more about thier missing Susan

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    I hope the state is ready to be sued for everything they are worth. Those children should have never been allowed a visit with their father at his home. Any visitation should have been supervised and conducted at a neutral location.

    Really the children should have been taken into Federal protective custody and moved far far away when their father became the primary suspect in the investigation. Both families had too much involved in this case and the experience was far too traumatic for the children.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 6, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    Josh Powell has alot to account for. I'm just sorry the boys had to go through the horror of dying that way. They had so much time yet to live. It's crazy how selfishness and doing wrong things can really send a ripple effect through the family ties.

    I hope there comes a day when there will be peace again in the Cox's lives.