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'Incestuous' Sex Images Found on Josh Powell's Computer Before Murder-Suicide

Posted in Related Deaths
2-10-2012 Washington:

(NewsCore) - Images depicting incestuous sex between a parent and child were found on Josh Powell's computer and handed over to Washington investigators just days before he brutally murdered his two children and then killed himself.

The material stored on the computer was deemed to be so disturbing that one psychologist working on the Powell's custody case recommended that the court prevent the children from being returned to their father, KING 5 reported late Thursday, citing Thomas Shapley of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The images included very realistic "lifelike" simulations of incestuous sex acts, Pierce County officers said, and may have prompted a judge to order that Josh Powell undergo a psychosexual evaluation, according to the report.

Police in West Valley, Utah, discovered the documents and sent them to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department under a restrictive court order Feb. 1.

On Feb. 5, Josh Powell blew up the family home in Graham, Wash., with his sons, seven-year-old Charlie and five-year-old Braden, inside. Authorities believe he hacked his sons in the head and neck with a hatchet before the explosion took place.

Washington state senator Pam Roach lambasted the DSHS earlier Thursday, saying that having "information pertinent to the welfare of the Powell children, and not acting on it, may have actually contributed to their deaths."

In response, Shapely told KING 5, "Sen. Roach seems to think we [dragged] our feet or we failed to act on the information out of Utah ... We acted on it."

Just moments before their deaths, Josh Powell told his young sons that he had a "big surprise" for them, the social worker who took the boys to the property also revealed in a TV interview airing in full Friday.

Elizabeth Griffin Hall told ABC News that she had been taking Charlie and Braden on supervised visits to Powell's home for three months leading up to the gruesome murder-suicide.

"He caught my eye, his shoulders were slumped. He had a sheepish look," Hall said. "He just shrugged his shoulders and slammed the door."

The case worker said that as she banged on the door, "I heard him say, 'Charlie, I've got a big surprise for you' ... And then I heard Braden cry out."

"I'm saying, 'Let me in, Josh, let me in,'" Hall continued. "I realized I didn't have my phone in my hand and I could smell gas. Too much time had passed and I could smell gas." Minutes later, as Hall was attempting to call for help, Josh Powell blew up the house.

Josh Powell's wife, Susan, inexplicably vanished in December 2009. He said the last time he saw his wife was when he left their then-home in West Valley City, Utah, to take Charlie and Braden camping in freezing conditions.

Though he was initially the only person identified as being of interest, Josh Powell was never arrested or charged.

He lost custody of his sons in September after being linked to a pornography investigation into his own father, Steven Powell, who was arrested and charged with 14 felony counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Josh Powell previously admitted to Child Protective Services workers that he had taken photos of people's legs without their knowledge and that his computer may contain photos taken by his father, with whom he and the boys had been living. ..Source.. by MyFox Memphis


Josh Powell set up sham residence to mislead authorities before killing sons, self, officials say

2-15-2012 Washington:

Authorities said Josh Powell was not living at the house he rigged as a bomb and blew up, killing himself and his two young sons, the Tacoma News Tribune reported Tuesday.

Pierce County sheriff's detectives told citizens at a community meeting on Monday that the house Powell showed to authorities was a sham -- intended to look like a loving home where his two sons could visit, according to the newspaper.

Detectives said they believe Powell passed the abandoned home off as his so that he could be granted supervised visits with his sons, Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.

"He set it up like a rental place, with pictures of the family," Sgt. Denny Wood said at the meeting, the newspaper reports.

"I think it was staged so when CPS (Child Protective Services) came, it would look like a loving family," he said.

Powell, long a suspect in his wife's disappearance, killed his sons as well as himself when he blew up the home Feb 5, shortly after a social worker arrived with the children for a court-ordered visit.

After locking the social worker out of the house, Powell hit both sons with a hatchet and then doused the home with gasoline before lighting a flame, authorities said. The house then exploded.

Powell's wife, Susan, disappeared in 2009. Powell had always maintained that she disappeared after he took the boys, then 2 and 4, on a midnight camping trip in freezing weather in Utah's west desert.

Since the fire, authorities in Washington have discovered a comforter -- apparently stained with blood -- Josh Powell left at a storage locker. They found books and an unmarked map of Utah that Powell dumped at a landfill. ..Source.. by


Josh Powell’s Dad Takes Fifth on Susan Powell Disappearance

Josh Powell’s father has filed paperwork stating that he will not answer any questions from law enforcement authorities about the disappearance of his daughter-in-law, Susan Cox Powell.

Steven Powell submitted a notice to law enforcement in Pierce County Superior Court invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions posed to him by authorities about the case. The filing comes two weeks after his son, Josh, blew up himself and his two children, Charlie and Braden, in a rental home. In the wake of the deaths, police said they would ask Steven about Susan’s disappearance in 2009.

Steven had previously been outspoken about his daughter-in-law’s disappearance, making statements to the media about how Susan likely ran away from her family to be with another man.

But now he will not answer questions by any police, including the West Valley City, Utah, police department, which investigated the disappearance, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s department, which arrested Steven in September on child porn and voyeurism charges.

He was arrested following a search of the home he shared with Josh and the children in September, which was conducted as part of the investigation into Susan’s disappearance. His trial on child pornography charges is set to start March 20.

Josh was long considered a “person of interest” in the case of his missing wife. Now, with Josh dead, police have called Steven a “person of interest.”

Steven’s lawyer did not return calls for comment.

The news comes just a day after authorities in Pierce County, Wash., said that Josh Powell was still living at his father’s home right up until his death, and only rented a small home nearby to convince authorities that was where he was living so he could regain custody of his children.

Detective Gary Sanders said that Powell wasn’t really living in the rental home at all, and was spending the majority of his time at Steven Powell’s home in Puyallup, where police had previously found thousands of images of child pornography and graphic decorations.

Neighbors at the rented home told police they never saw Powell there, while neighbors of Steven’s home said Josh Powell was there all the time. Police also said the home was decorated with pictures of the boys’ missing mother.

Police said that if state authorities knew Josh Powell was still living in his father’s home where child porn was found, he would not have had a chance at getting custody of his children again. In addition to the sexually explicit images found in the home, police also found a noose and a poster of a naked woman with a sword through her body, along with other items that have not been publicly disclosed. The list of items found during the search is sealed until Steven Powell’s trial, they noted.

Following Steven Powell’s arrest, the two young boys were taken out of Josh Powell’s custody because of the material found in the home. They were placed with their maternal grandparents, Chuck and Judy Cox.

Josh Powell’s motion to regain custody was denied just four days before he killed the children and himself. ..Source.. by ABC News

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