SEARCH

Entries in Josh Powell (32)

Sunday
Jul012012

‘Charlie’s Dinosaur’ Honors Memory of Murdered Powell Boys

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The memory of Charlie and Braden Powell is being carried on by a group of detectives who found a sweet picture that made them smile following the deaths of the two boys.

Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, were murdered on Feb. 5, 2012 by their father, Josh Powell, in a home explosion that killed all three. Powell, the only person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Susan, had lost custody of the two boys. He killed them when they arrived at his home for what was supposed to be a supervised visit.

While cleaning out Powell’s storage unit, detectives unraveled a white piece of paper and saw a picture of a dinosaur. Above it, in red marker, it said “Charlie.”

“Having gone through that investigation, and having been very affected by it, a small group of us decided to get together,” Lynette Anderson, a Pierce County, Wash., detective, told ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV.

Charlie’s Dinosaur, a non-profit to help foster children, was hatched.

The group takes donations of toiletries, books, toys and other items, fills backpacks and distributes them to foster children. They’re also hoping to provide school supplies to disadvantaged or at-risk children.

“Our goal is to provide a backpack of personal items for these children to help them gain a sense of comfort and security in owning their own clothing and hygiene supplies,” said the group on the Charlie’s Dinosaur Facebook page.

Anderson said the group has a goal of distributing a hundred backpacks each month.

Police had called Josh Powell a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, who he claimed went missing from their Utah home after he and his then 2- and 4-year-old sons went on a midnight camping trip in December 2009.

He was never arrested or charged, but he lost custody of his sons after his father, Steven Powell, was arrested in September and charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography. The pornographic images were kept in the home the two men shared with Josh and Susan Powell’s boys.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May162012

Steven Powell Found Guilty of Voyeurism Charges

ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) -- Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing woman Susan Powell, was found guilty of voyeurism in a Washington court Wednesday for taking inappropriate images of neighborhood girls using the bathroom and showering.

The Pierce County, Wash., jury found Powell guilty of all 14 counts of voyeurism after only six and a half hours of deliberations.

He could be sentenced to nearly five years on each of the 14 counts. If he got the maximum, he could go to prison for 70 years. Prosecutors said they will seek an "exceptional" sentence for Powell.

Powell, 67, was arrested in November 2011 after Utah police searched the home he shared with his son, Josh, and grandchildren, as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Josh's wife, Susan Cox Powell.

Josh was the only named person of interest in the investigation, sparking a two-year war of the words between Josh and his father, Steven, and Susan's parents and the police that investigated the case.

Steven and Josh publicly threatened to post Susan's girlhood diaries to a website, sparking the police raid on the house in September 2011 to obtain the diaries. The search yielded dozens of computer disks that contained images of women and young girls that focused on their private parts, according to prosecutors.

Following Steven Powell's arrest, Josh Powell lost custody of his two sons and later killed the boys and himself in a fiery explosion at his home during a supervised visit.

During the trial, the jury saw images of two neighborhood girls, ages 8 and 10, that Powell was alleged to have taken from his bedroom window, which faced the bathroom of the girls' home in back of his home. They were also shown pictures of Powell engaged in sexual activity, and read a journal entry in which Powell disclosed his interest in taking pictures of women.

Powell wrote that he enjoyed "taking video shots of pretty girls in shorts and skirts of every age," but enjoyed images of Susan Powell the most.

Images of Susan Powell were also found on Steven Powell's computer disks, but they were not admitted into evidence because the charges focused on the invasion of privacy of the two neighborhood girls.

Investigators working on the Susan Powell case asked to talk to Steven Powell about the case following Josh's death, but he has denied those requests.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr232012

Steven Powell Challenges Child Porn Evidence

Kevin Horan/Stone(SEATTLE) -- The father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Cox Powell could be released from jail this week if a Washington judge throws out his charges of voyeurism and child pornography.

Steven Powell, 67, was arrested in 2011 after police found thousands of images of naked young girls and women, including his daughter-in-law, while searching the home he shared with his son, Josh Powell.

The police were searching the home for clues in the case of Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance, in which Josh Powell was the only person of interest. Investigators told the judge who signed the search warrant that they were seeking handwritten journals Susan Powell kept while alive.

During the search, police seized dozens of video tapes, VHS tapes and CDs belonging to Steven Powell, leading to Steven Powell's arrest and the removal of Josh Powell's two sons from his custody because they shared a home with Steven Powell.

Josh Powell later killed himself and the two boys in a fiery explosion after being asked to undergo a "psychosexual" evaluation in order to regain custody of the children.

Monday, standing just a few feet away from Susan Cox Powell's parents, Steven Powell and his attorney Mark Quigley asked Judge Ronald Culpepper to rule that there was no probable cause for authorities to search the Powell home and no legal reason to seize the disks that contained the alleged child porn images. If the judge agrees, Powell could be released from jail this week.

"Their investigation was stale. The police were getting frustrated, and they needed a reason to enter the Powell residence for another search," Quigley said Monday.

The prosecution, however, told Culpepper that the search of the Powell home was done lawfully and was important to the investigation.

Police obtained the search warrant after seeing Steven Powell on national television "bragging" about having seven journals that Susan Cox Powell kept while she was alive, prosecutor Grant Blinn said Monday. Steven Powell said that journals were integral to the investigation, but refused to turn them over to police, Blinn said.

Police were left with only one choice: to search the Powell home to obtain the journals.

"The only reason we're here today at all is because Mr. Powell went on national television bragging that he had the journals and would not hand them over, but were important to investigation and is now fighting the search warrant to get the journals," Blinn said.

Powell has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The investigation, by the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, determined that two of the young girls Powell is said to have covertly taped lived next door, and that his bedroom window faced the side of the victims' residence and the line of sight matches the camera angle seen in the videos.

"In a majority of the images the photographer focuses on the intimate parts of females," the document said.

The judge could rule as early as Tuesday on the legality of the search, and Powell could be released from jail shortly after.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr192012

Josh Powell Murder-Suicide: 911 Dispatcher Reprimanded

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The dispatcher who took the 911 call before Josh Powell set off an explosion that killed himself and his two sons in February has been reprimanded.

David Lovrak has been identified as the dispatcher who was handed the letter of reprimand for his handling of the Feb. 5 call from social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall after she dropped off the children at Powell's home.

Griffin-Hall called 911 and told the dispatcher that she had brought two children to the residence and Powell took the children inside and shut the door, leaving Griffin-Hall locked out.

Lovrak was reprimanded for allowing 22 minutes to pass before first responders arrived at the scene.

When asked by Griffin-Hall how long it would take for help to arrive, Lovrak responded "I don't know ma'am, they have to respond to emergencies -- life threatening situations first," according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.

Signed by the Law Enforcement Support Agency's Assistant Director, Diana Lock, the letter states that when Griffin-Hall told the dispatcher that she smelled gas, Lovrak assumed the smell was from the fumes coming from Griffin-Hall's vehicle.

"The public trust has been shaken," the letter, posted on the Salt Lake Tribune's website, went on to state, adding that Lovrak violated four operations manual policies in his handling of the call.

Josh Powell was the husband of Susan Powell, who went missing in December 2009. Within hours of her disappearance, police in West Valley City, Utah, honed in on Powell as a lead suspect. When they failed to make an arrest, Powell eventually moved to Washington state, along with the couple’s two children, to be with his family.

Powell killed the couple’s two children and took his own life in February when he set off an explosion in his Graham, Wash., rental home. The explosion came moments after the Child Protective Services worker had dropped off Powell’s sons, Braden, 5, and Charles, 7, for a supervised visit.

Lovrak could have handled the call better, Lock writes in the letter, going on to say, "you have undergone local and national scrutiny, have admitted your errors and have identified the ways you will correct and improve your call handling in the future."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr052012

Josh Powell Friend Says He Bragged of Knowing How to Dump a Body

KOMO/ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) -- The friend to whom Josh Powell once bragged that he knew “how to kill someone, dispose of a body and not get caught,” according to recently revealed court documents, said it was “scary that I even had that conversation with him.”

Powell boasted at a 2008 Christmas party he attended with now-missing wife Susan that he knew how to commit the perfect crime, thanks to his obsession with television crime shows, the friend told ABC News affiliate KTVX in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The TV report did not name the friend, but ABC News has identified him as Scott Hardman.

“He was basically telling me about how the best way to dispose of a body would be down a mineshaft like a vertical one,” Hardman said in the KTVX interview.  “It would be the best way of disposing one because they’re so unstable.”

Susan Powell went missing in December 2009.  Within hours of her disappearance, police in West Valley City, Utah, honed in on Powell as a lead suspect.  When they failed to make an arrest, Powell eventually moved to Washington state, along with the couple’s two children, to be with his family.

Powell killed the couple’s two children and took his own life in February when he set off an explosion in his Graham, Wash., rental home.  The explosion came moments after a Child Protective Services worker had dropped off Powell’s sons, Braden, 5, and Charles, 7, for a supervised visit.

When Susan Powell went missing, Hardman reported the conversation to police, who then embarked on an ultimately fruitless search of abandoned mines outside of Ely, Nev.

“It was like a year later,” Hardman said of his tip to the police.  “All of a sudden Susan was missing, it was like, ‘Whoa, are you kidding me?  Did we really have this conversation a year ago?’ and I had no idea.”

Details of Hardman’s conversation with Powell were included in a batch of newly released court documents related to Susan Powell’s disappearance that show police had “everything but a body” to build a case against her husband.

The documents, released on March 30, pertained to a case against Josh Powell’s father, Steven, whom he had moved back to Washington from Utah to live with after his wife’s disappearance.  He moved out of his father’s house after the older man was arrested and charged in September with voyeurism and child pornography.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr022012

Susan Powell's Sister Says Police Responsible for Boys' Deaths

ABC News(WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah) -- Newly unsealed court documents have convinced Denise Cox, the sister of Susan Powell, that police could have prevented the death of Susan's two children.

Susan Powell went missing in 2009. Within hours of her disappearance, police in West Valley City, Utah, honed in on Susan's husband Josh Powell as a lead suspect. When they failed to make an arrest, Powell eventually moved to Washington State along with the couple's two children to be with his family.

This February, Powell murdered the couple's two children and took his own life when he had the children on what was supposed to be a supervised visit.

However, the documents unsealed in Pierce County, Wash., Friday, reveal police in Utah had compiled far more evidence on Powell's involvement in his wife's possible murder than ever previously known.

Cox blames police for not acting to protect the children.

"Look what it did -- it killed my nephews, by not putting (Josh Powell) behind bars when he should have been," Cox told ABC News. "They didn't act on anything that they should've acted on."

The documents reveal that police found Susan Powell's blood "on the tile floor next to the carpet adjacent to the sofa" in the couple's home.

When police initially encountered the sofa soon after Susan's disappearance, "two fans were set up and blowing" onto it and the documents say it "appeared to have just been cleaned."

Cox says she is also deeply disturbed by something else she says police did not tell the family about: A folded letter they discovered inside Susan's safety deposit box.

The letter had been "stapled around the edges addressed to her family and friends specifically asking that it not be shown or given to her husband Joshua Powell, writing that she did not trust him," according to the court documents.

Chillingly, the documents say that letter also said that if Susan Powell dies "it may not be an accident, even if it looks like one."

Cox says police should have used this type of evidence to make sure the Powell children were never left alone again with Josh Powell. She also feels the family should have been told about the letter, as it was addressed to them.

"They were foolish in keeping it from us," Cox said. "All the signs were there and the police didn't act on it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar312012

Susan Powell's Dad Asks, 'Why Didn't You Arrest Him?'

KOMO/ABC News(SEATTLE, Wash.) -- Court documents related to the disappearance of Susan Powell show police had "everything but a body" to build a case against Powell's husband, leaving the woman's father to question why Josh Powell was still free last month, when he killed himself and his two sons.

"When I heard them [the new evidence], it was like, well, why didn't you arrest him already?" said Chuck Cox, Susan Powell's father. "Had he been to jail, my grandchildren would still be alive."

Josh Powell, who had been the primary person of interest in the case almost from the time his wife went missing in December 2009, set off an explosion in his Graham, Wash., rental home last month, moments after a Child Protective Services worker had dropped off his sons, Braden, 5, and Charles, 7, for a supervised visit.

The explosion, seconds after Powell pulled the boys inside the house and locked out the social worker, killed him and his boys.

Powell had moved back to Washington from Utah after his wife's disappearance, initially to live with his father, Steven Powell. He moved out of his father's house after the older man was charged with voyeurism and child pornography.

The newly released documents show that investigators had a lot of evidence linking Josh Powell to his wife's disappearance, according to a Washington State prosecutor who handled the charges against Steven Powell.

According to the documents, the last time Susan Powell was seen alive, a friend had been at her house, and told police that Susan suddenly "became tired after eating a meal that was prepared by her husband."

Susan then went to bed, and was never seen again.

The documents reveal that Susan's blood had been found on what had appeared to be a spot on the floor next to a sofa where Josh Powell had set up two fans.

Detectives also found a letter Susan had left in a secret safety deposit box in which she said her husband had "threatened to destroy her if they get divorced" and that if she were to die, "it may not be accident, even if it looks like one," KOMO-TV and The Associated Press reported.

After Susan Powell disappeared, her husband emptied her IRA accounts, KOMO reported.

The new documents say that Josh once bragged to a friend about "how to kill someone, dispose of a body and not get caught."

Cox, Susan Powell's father, said that he had wanted to protect his grandchildren, but now that they're gone, he just wants to find his daughter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar312012

Susan Powell's Blood Found at Josh Powell's Utah Home

KOMO/ABC News(SEATTLE, Wash.) -- The blood of Susan Powell, the Utah mother of two who went missing in December 2009, was found on a floor tile near a sofa in her family home, court documents unsealed Friday revealed.

The documents also revealed the existence of a letter Powell wrote and placed in a safe-deposit box in which she said that Josh Powell, her husband, had "threatened to destroy her if they get divorced" and that if she were to die, "it may not be accident, even if it looks like one," reported ABC News Seattle affiliate KOMO.

The new evidence, tied to a criminal case involving Steve Powell, Josh Powell's father, raised questions as to why Josh Powell was never charged in the disappearance of his wife.

According to KOMO, after Susan Powell disappeared, her husband emptied her IRA accounts.

"There is direct evidence. There is circumstantial evidence. There is motive," Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said on Friday, according to KOMO. "There is everything but the body."

Jurisdiction for the case against Steven Powell falls within Pierce County. Had the Susan Powell case happened in his jurisdiction, Lindquist said, he would have charged her husband with murder.

In February of this year, Josh Powell set off an explosion in his Graham, Wash., rental home moments after a Child Protective Services worker had dropped off his sons, Braden, 5, and Charles, 7, for a supervised visit. He had moved to Washington initially to live with his father.

The explosion, seconds after Powell pulled the boys inside the house and locked out the social worker, killed him and his boys.

The documents opened Friday pertained to a case against Steven Powell, who last September was arrested and charged with using a telephoto lens to take photos of two young girls in the bathroom of a neighboring house. There reportedly were thousands of photos, and Powell was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography.

According to the new documents, Steve Powell had taken photos of Susan Powell in secret, some in which she was fully clothed, others in which she wore only her underwear, one in which her legs were "slightly open, exposing her underwear."

His apparent attraction to his daughter-in-law has been raised before. In a 2011 interview with "Good Morning America," he said he had a flirtatious relationship with her that went "a little beyond the pale."

He described the relationship as "father-in-law-daughter-in-law flirting with each other, maybe some sexual touching or whatever."

"There's no question in my mind that the feelings were mutual," he said.

Josh Powell has long been a suspect in his wife's disappearance, beginning with the police's initial search of the West Valley City, Utah, home the two shared with their boys. There, investigators found two fans drying a wet area on the rug where a red stain had been removed.

Josh Powell said that his wife had been cleaning the rug before she disappeared. He also told authorities that he had decided to take an impromptu midnight camping trip with the boys in the midst of a blizzard, the night his wife vanished. Powell said he returned home to find his wife gone.

Later, he would blame his wife's mental state -- "extremely unstable" -- for her disappearance, while his father maintained she had skipped town with a man who disappeared from a Christmas party the night she vanished.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

Josh Powell Changed Life Insurance Policy Before Murder-Suicide

KOMO/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In the months before he killed himself and his two children in a fiery explosion, Josh Powell altered the terms of a $2.5 million life insurance policy on himself, his sons and his missing wife, Susan Cox Powell.

According to court documents filed by the New York Life Insurance Company in U.S. District Court, two of Powell's siblings have tried to make claims on the life insurance in the wake of their brother's murder-suicide.

Powell, who was called a "person of interest" in his wife's 2009 disappearance, killed himself and sons Braden, 7, and Charlie, 5, during a supervised-custody visit in February.

The insurance company is petitioning the court to decide who should receive the $2.5 million payout, since Powell is considered a "slayer" of his children and "person of interest" in his wife's disappearance -- terms that could disqualify him and his family as beneficiaries, it argues.

According to the lawsuit, Josh Powell changed the terms of his family's life insurance to designate his brother, Michael Powell, as the main beneficiary, with his sister and father to receive smaller percentages of the payout.

The insurance was first taken out during the summer of 2007, when Josh and Susan Powell took out $1 million policies each on themselves, and $250,000 riders on each of their children.  At the time, they designated one another as the beneficiaries.  The couple later set up a family trust, designating each of their fathers as beneficiaries of the trust, and naming the trust the beneficiary of the life insurance.

Then, two years later, in December 2009, Susan disappeared.  Police have never located her body and have made no arrests in connection with her disappearance, though Josh Powell was the only one named a person of interest in the case.

In October 2011, just weeks after his father was arrested on charges of child porn and voyeurism, Josh Powell changed the beneficiary of the life insurance.  No longer would the family trust receive the life insurance payouts; instead, Josh Powell's siblings would become the beneficiaries, according to the court documents.

The changes resulted in Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, losing his claim on the life insurance.

Two months later, Powell once again changed the beneficiary information, designating his brother, Michael Powell, as the beneficiary who would receive 93 percent of the pay out, while his sister Alina would receive 4 percent, and a third sibling would receive three percent.  He designated his father Stephen as a secondary beneficiary.

Powell made the final beneficiary change on Dec. 3, less than two months before he killed himself and his children on Feb. 5, 2012.

Nine days later, both Michael and Alina Powell contacted New York Life Insurance Co. to make a claim on the policies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb162012

Josh Powell Won't Be Buried in Same Cemetery With Murdered Sons

KOMO/ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Josh Powell will not be buried in the same cemetery as his two sons, an attorney for Josh's in-laws announced Thursday.

Steve Downing, who represents Chuck and Judy Cox, said that the Powell family reversed their earlier decision to try and bury Josh near sons Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5, whom he killed in a fiery explosion earlier this month.

Downing told ABC affiliate KTVX that Powell's mother would announce Thursday that the family would not bury Josh at Woodline cemetery.

Earlier this week, the Cox family and local police expressed outrage that Powell could be buried next to the boys he killed. Crimsetoppers purchased two burial plots directly next to the boys to prevent Powell from being buried there, according to the Pierce County, Wa., sheriff's department.

Thousands of dollars in donations poured into Pierce County Crimestoppers to buy the two burial plots on either side of the brothers’ shared casket in an effort to prevent Powell from being buried so close to the boys.

The grandparents of the children had said it was outrageous that their father would be near the boys he killed.

"I can't see this happening. I just hope it goes away quickly," said Chuck Cox, the grandfather of the boys and father of their mother Susan Powell, who went missing under suspicious circumstances in 2009.

Powell, who reportedly became upset when he was denied custody of his two sons, slammed the door on social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall on Feb. 5 when she brought Charlie and Braden for a biweekly supervised visit with their father. Within a few minutes the entire house burst into flames, which is believed to have been caused by Josh Powell leaking gas into the house and igniting it.

Search teams have also been scouring a nearby recycling center for clues into the disappearance of Susan Powell, who vanished from her home while Josh Powell and her boys were on a spontaneous late-night camping trip, but so far have come up short.

"There was some paperback books with Susan's name, a map that we've tied to them, but there's no markings on it," Ed Troyer told ABC News.

At a nearby storage unit detectives said they found a blood-stained comforter, along with gas cans that looked like the ones found at the house.

Detectives have also said now that the home that Josh Powell blew up in Graham, Wash., was a sham that was exclusively set up for the social worker visits with his boys.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio