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Archive for August, 2011

A question that’s come up a lot this week on Facebook, Twitter, and in internet searches is: “Where’s Josh Powell’s mother, and does she have anything to say about Josh or this case?”

Josh Powell’s mother, Terrica Powell, divorced Steve Powell about 18 years ago and is living with her daughter, Jennifer Graves, in Utah.  Here is a good, in-depth article from the Salt Lake Tribune giving background on the Powell family.

Teri Powell had a good relationship with and a deep love for Susan—she was like a daughter to her, and Susan’s disappearance has filled her with grief.  She has chosen to remain quiet and out of the media and we respect her privacy. 

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Chuck and Judy Cox got a temporary injunction this week preventing Josh Powell, Steve Powell, or the adult children who live with them from publishing Susan’s journals in any form, electronic or print.  The Coxes have a hearing on September 9 to seek a permanent injunction.

News articles here from KOMO News and from FOX13.

Meanwhile, apparently Josh Powell woke his 6-and-4-year-old boys up (again, for the second time in nearly two years) at midnight on Friday night and took them camping.  One wonders why he felt the need to do this.  Is he trying to prove this is a common theme with him?  If it is, many people are wondering about Charlie and Braden’s safety.  What kind of parent wakes their tiny children up in the middle of the night to take off on a whim?  This is not good parenting by any definition of a caring parent.

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Thursday was a big news day in Susan’s case.  Thursday morning Josh and Steve Powell gave interviews on the major national morning news shows.  Thursday afternoon about 2 dozen police and detectives—some from Pierce County, Washington and some from West Valley City, Utah—handed Josh Powell a search warrant.  The police then spent about 8 hours searching his father, Steve Powell’s, house.

Here are some news stories and articles about the search:

KUTV-2 news in Salt Lake City, with a possible reason for the search; also a more in-depth look at who exactly is Steven Powell

Report from CBS News, and another article here

This is an excellent article with lots of detail from the Salt Lake Tribune.  West Valley Police Department said they found “everything they were looking for” in the search, and would take it back to Utah to process.

KSL has an article and video with a lot of detail as well, including Steve Powell saying he was upset that police took HIS journals.  He also said that he offered Susan’s childhood journals to police last year—but only in exchange for her adult journal:

“Susan’s adult journal was already seized early in the investigation, according to Steven Powell. He claimed he had been offering to turn Susan’s childhood journals over to police for some time — but only in exchange for the adult journal.

"They refused our offer," he said. "It was a pretty important thing for us to have." “

The police responded by saying they don’t make bargains with potential evidence.

Here’s an article from the Deseret News about the search

Article and video from KOMO News in Washington

Article and video from KIRO TV in Seattle, Washington

Here’s some really good, in-depth coverage from Seattle’s QFOX 13

In this whole long day of news, the greatest irony is that Steve Powell was upset over the police taking his journals.  He doesn’t want people to read them…”there’s embarrassing stuff in there,” he said.  One wonders why it didn’t occur to him that Susan didn’t want her journals read, either.  At least he has the assurance that the police will likely not threaten to publish the contents of his journal for the world to read.   Susan didn’t get the same promise from her father-in-law and husband.

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It’s been a busy week for Josh and his father, Steve Powell.  They’ve done a lot of talking to media in different venues…TV, newspaper.  While this is much preferable to their remaining silent, the public wonders: why don’t they do some of that talking with police?  They still refuse to talk to the West Valley City Police Department. 

Meanwhile, Steve Powell has changed his story nearly every day this week. 

* August 21, Sunday:
On Sunday night, when Susan’s friends spoke out about Steve Powell making disgusting unwanted advances to Susan, Steve Powell told KUTV 2’s Brian Mullahy in a phone interview:

”It’s not true, Brian.  I never made any advances toward her.”

* August 23, Tuesday:
Steve Powell told the Salt Lake Tribune in reference to his daughter Jennifer Graves’ claim that he “came onto Susan”:

”“How did she come up with these ideas?” Steve Powell said of Graves. “I’m baffled, and I’m astounded.”  He also said: “There are just misunderstandings about how Susan felt about me. Susan never let me forget that she was a woman. But she was also a beautiful daughter to me.” 

(Read the comments below the article to see how people feel about his comment: “She never let me forget she was a woman.”)

The Tribune also said: “Steve Powell, who performs as a musician under the name of Steve Chantrey, acknowledged that he has written songs about his daughter-in-law.”

* August 24, Wednesday:
This story from ABC-4 does not have a direct quote from Steve Powell, but it sheds some more light on his obsession with Susan, quoting some of the lyrics of the songs on his Steve Chantrey website.  The songs talk about an unrequited love and an obsession for someone the songwriter can’t have.

* August 25, Thursday:
Josh and Steve Powell went on the three major national news shows—the CBS Early Show, Good Morning America and the Today Show—and Steve had changed his story so much that he now claimed that he and Susan had a “sexual relationship.”  Among his claims was the following:

”Father-in-law – daughter-in-law flirting with each other, maybe some sexual touching or whatever. And– I enjoyed it, frankly. Susan was a joy to be around in so many ways, not just those ways." (from GMA)

"Susan was very sexual with me. She was very flirtatious.  I mean, I’m her father-in-law, and she would do a lot of things that…she did it, I did it. We interacted in a lot of sexual ways." (From GMA)

* August 26, Friday:

* Steve told Seattle’s King 5 News: "Yeah, I became very interested in her and I will say it probably developed into maybe an obsession, I admit, on my part."

Then Steve’s story changed again.  He admitted to KOMO News that Susan did NOT like his “advances”:

“Susan became upset when his advances toward her became increasingly overt. ‘When I took liberties or whatever, she became very upset and accused me of hitting on her,’ he said.”

So…which is it, Steve?  It’s interesting that even Josh Powell, though he echoed his father’s claims that Susan was “flirtatious,” contradicted his father’s claims in his Good Morning America interview:

“When told of his father’s revelation that he had a flirtatious and sexually charged relationship with his daughter-in-law — and that it was typically initiated by her — Josh Powell denied it, but also said that any flirtation has to do with his wife’s nature.

"There was nothing like that. She’s a very flirtatious person. But that’s just her personality. You know, it’s — it’s part of her friendliness," he said.”

Brent Hunsaker of ABC-4 wrote an excellent blog post about Steve’s obsession with Susan.  Here’s another post with some commentary on  the  stories Steve and Josh have chosen to tell over the past 2 years.

The Friends and Family of Susan Cox Powell Facebook page has been flooded the past few days with overwhelming support for Susan’s family and friends.  Here are just a few of the many comments:

So sorry for the trauma you are going through in the media. If it is any comfort the interviews by Josh and his Father come off as orchestrated and very much manipulative. I am praying for you and that truth will come out and the situation will be resolved. I pray that your daughter will be found and that you will have peace and comfort.
S.B.

I haven’t posted on this group in a while, but I check in daily to see what’s going on. I know that the Cox Family comes here often, and I just wanted them to know that I respect them and admire them for the way they have handled what has to be a parents’ biggest nightmare. I will continue to hold your family up in prayer, asking God to give you His peace.
–T.S.


Friends and Family of Susan, We love you, hang in there.
–L.C.W.

We are all praying for your peace of mind. It has been a very long time since all was well within your family…we can’t even begin to imagine your pain. But know that there are thousands upon thousands of prayers pouring out for your plight.
–M.B.R.

You are amazing people. I’m so proud of how your family is standing so strong in the face of such adversity. May the Lord bless your hearts with peace. We pray that this horrible tragedy will be over soon, that you will be able to get your grandsons out of that horrible situation, and that you will feel the love of the millions who are praying for you.
–S.D.

So many support and believe you! No matter what smut is spread by others, we know Susan was kind, loving, and amazing. I know I’ll be watching and waiting with you. Much love to all of you who seek answers to where she is. Susan’s story of her last hours will be known. Again, much love.
–S.S.

We love you, the Cox family & Susan. You are in our thought & prayers…you are part of our lives.
–S.B.

It is so very sad that Josh and his dad are doing this to Susan and her family to discredit her and to slander her. You can tell just by their body language, tonality, and facial expressions that they are lying. All I know is we reap what we sow… I have been praying for the Cox family since the very beginning for the truth to come out. I believe that our prayers are being heard and that the truth is coming.
–S.F.

I pray for answers for your family. May God be with you
R.W.V.

Dear Father who art in Heaven, I pray and ask You to bring out the truth so the Cox family can have peace and know where their daughter is. And I pray for those that are responsible to come forth and confess and ask for Your forgiveness. Have mercy on us Lord and help us all. In Jesus name, Amen
–P.D.

From the beginning the most important thing in this case has been to find Susan and give answers to her friends and family. I am hoping that time is fast approaching. As Susan would say:"[PUSH:] Pray.Until.Something.Happens"
Things are happening, KEEP PRAYING!!
–H.D.

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Guest post from my personal blog:

The past few days have been a whirlwind of new information about Susan Cox Powell’s case…with the police search in Ely, Nevada; the “Honk and Wave campaign” in Utah and Washington to raise awareness of Susan; and the confrontation between Cox and Powell families in Puyallup, Washington on Saturday.

Sunday night, news broke about Josh Powell’s father, Steve Powell, having “feelings” for Susan—his own daughter-in-law.  (Click here for the KUTV 2 news report, and here for an article by Isabelle Zehnder.)  I’ve been monitoring Facebook, Twitter, and other places online and have seen many comments on this issue by emotional and outraged people on both sides.

I wanted to explain WHY I personally decided to finally break my silence and talk about these new allegations against Steve Powell. 

Josh and Susan Powell moved to Utah 7 years ago and we became friends immediately.  Susan and I became particularly close, and were together several times a week.  We spent hours upon hours talking, laughing, and sharing many things.

susan and kiirsi scrapped

When I had known Susan a few months, she began talking to me about why it is that she and Josh decided to move to Utah.  There were several factors, she originally said…a better job…a new start…a chance to get to know Josh’s sister Jennifer Graves, and Josh’s mother, Teri Powell, better.  Then one day she told me that a very big part of the reason she and Josh moved to Utah was to get away from Josh’s father, Steve Powell. 

I was very surprised by this.  Yes, I knew many people didn’t like or get along with their in-laws.  But when Susan talked about Steve Powell, she expressed extreme disgust and even feelings approaching hatred. 

Then she told me WHY she felt this way.  She said that early in her marriage to Josh, when they were still newlyweds, they wanted to save money to get their own apartment.  So they moved in for a short time with Steve Powell.

At the time, there wasn’t an extra bedroom for them.  So they converted a dining room into their bedroom and hung a curtain over the opening for privacy.  Shortly after moving in, Susan began to feel very strange around Steve Powell.  She said that she felt like her father-in-law was looking at her inappropriately—and once she even caught him trying to watch her get dressed one day.

She tried to give her new father-in-law the benefit of the doubt, but the weird feelings and things continued, and one day it culminated in a very inappropriate episode where Steve Powell tried to kiss her.  This was not a “family” kiss.  This was a romantic kiss. 

Susan was so creeped out, disgusted and horrified that she told Josh “That’s it, we’re moving out.  NOW.”  And soon after that, they did. 

I was, of course, shocked, horrified and disgusted to hear about this.  “That’s not all,” Susan said.  “There’s more.”  She told me that after living in Utah a couple of years, one day she received a package in the mail.  Steve Powell had sent Susan several pictures of Susan’s favorite actor. 

At first, Susan thought this was actually a nice gesture on the part of Steve Powell.  She wondered if he had changed, and maybe become a kinder person.  Then she saw what was sitting in the middle of the stack of pictures: several pictures of naked men.

She was horrified, sickened, full of revulsion.  She threw the pictures away immediately and it re-affirmed more than ever her feelings about Steve Powell, her father-in-law.  She told Josh on many occasions, even in the presence of my husband John and myself: “Your father is NEVER allowed to step foot in our house here in Utah.  If he comes to visit you here, you can go see him in his hotel.  He WILL NOT defile our house by his presence here.”

She also told me several times that she did not feel comfortable around Steve, and she did not want her little boys, Charlie and Braden, to ever be alone with him.  She did not enjoy visiting Steve Powell when she and Josh went to Washington to visit family, but she endured it when she had to because she wanted Josh to be able to visit his family.

So, the question on anyone’s mind who has taken the time to read all this is: why now?  Why did you not come forward with this in the very beginning? 

It is a good question, and here is my answer: I told all of this to the police from the very first week of the investigation.  In fact, an early blog entry I wrote said this in response to attacks by critics: “You don’t know all the details here.  There are many, many details of Susan’s background/relationship with Josh/etc. that have NOT been made public.” 

So why make them public now?  From the beginning of this case, Susan’s father, Chuck Cox, personally asked me and everyone else to please not point fingers at Josh Powell.  He wanted us to focus on FINDING SUSAN and not accusations or blame.  Through the past 20 months, things have changed a little bit as more and more information has come out.  But one thing has stayed the same: Chuck still has asked us to focus completely on finding Susan.  The only thing he has accused Josh of in Susan’s disappearance is not cooperating with police.  I have done the same.  Josh was my friend, too.  I have never said he is “guilty” or that he “made Susan disappear” or anything like that.  I have only said, “Josh, if you are innocent, PLEASE TALK TO POLICE and clear your name!”  I told Josh this personally, to his face, for the last time in February 2010 before he cut off all contact with me and my family.

Meanwhile, Josh and Steve Powell have used their website, SusanPowell.org, as a forum to slander, abuse, attack and demean not only Susan but Chuck and Judy Cox, Josh’s own sister Jennifer Graves, the LDS church Susan loved and belong to, and many other people who love and care about Susan.  Still, in the face of all this, Chuck Cox has still told us: “Focus on finding Susan.”  He has consistently taken the higher road and refused to stoop to the level of Josh and Steve Powell. 

Yet in recent weeks, the level of abuse against Susan by her own husband and father-in-law has escalated and reached new lows.  They say they have several volumes of Susan’s personal journals from when Susan was 8 years old all the way to age 20.  Steve Powell has gone on record on the national news, on the Today show and others, to say that he has personally read all 2,000 pages of Susan’s childhood journals and plans to transcribe them and post them online for the world to see.  He insists that Susan was “promiscuous” and “suicidal” and that these, her childhood and teenage journal writings, prove that she “ran off” with another man.

My feelings about the absolute immorality and depravity of such an act—reading a teenage girl’s journals and planning to publish them to the world without her permission or knowledge—are no secret.  It is one of the most filthy, evil, cruel violations I have ever witnessed.  And I will not stand by and see my dear friend’s privacy, honor, personal feelings, and life violated in this evil and debase way. 

So I’m speaking out.  I am not doing this for revenge.  I am not doing this to “get back at” Steve and Josh, or to “fling mud.”  I am doing it because Susan is not here to stand up for herself.  She is not here to take her personal, private journals out of the hands of such cruel people.  She would be horrified, sickened, and beyond furious that her privacy was being violated like this.  Steve Powell is the very last person on earth she would EVER want to lay a finger on her personal journals—let alone take the time to spend hundreds of hours reading every page and “transcribing” them.  It is wrong in every way.  It is immoral, and publishing them is illegal and against copyright law.  (If Susan is alive, as Steve and Josh claim, they are violating her legal right to copyright over her own private writings.)

I did not want to expose what Susan told me in deep confidence about her father-in-law.  But enough is enough.  Susan is missing.  She was ripped away from her children, her parents, her family, her life.  She has no say in what her so-called “family of marriage” is doing to her, her reputation, her children, and her possessions.  But I will speak up for her now and forever in not allowing this evil to go forward unchallenged.

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New tonight: KUTV-2 news, in conjunction with Isabelle Zehnder, has published a report that Steve Powell…Josh Powell’s father, Susan Cox Powell’s father-in-law…was in love with Susan.

Her own father-in-law, in love with and obsessed with his daughter-in-law?!  His own son’s missing wife, missing 20 months under suspicious circumstances… it’s almost beyond belief.

Here is the KUTV-2 report and video.  Brian Mullahy did an excellent job interviewing 6 of Susan’s close friends as they shared what Susan told them of the disgusting advances her father-in-law made toward her, prompting her move to Utah, thousands of miles away from him.

Here is Isabelle Zehnder’s article, with quotes from several people sharing even more information about Steve Powell’s sick and perverted obsession with Susan.

Feel free to share these articles and stories with your friends…Facebook…Twitter…blogs.  The world needs to know what kind of man this is.  This is the very same man who announced on the Today show last month that he had read all 2,000 pages of Susan’s childhood journals and planned to transcribe them and release them to the world.

It’s about time the truth about this “man” is out.

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Yesterday Susan’s friends and family in West Valley City, Utah and Puyallup, Washington held a “Honk and Wave” campaign to bring more public awareness to Susan and her case.

In Utah, the event went off without a hitch.  Volunteers braved wind, rain, scorching heat, and sunburn to hold signs, smile and wave at thousands of people who drove by, honked, gave “thumb’s up” and shouted things like “We hope you find her!” and “Our prayers are with you!”

honk and wave

In Puyallup, Washington, the event did not run as smoothly.  Chuck and Judy Cox and various relatives and supporters went to their planned location in front of a busy store to hold their signs.  Steve Powell, Josh Powell’s father, showed up with a camera.  You can read and watch the story of what happened next from these news sources and videos:

KOMO News in Seattle’s report and video

Utah’s FOX 13 report and video

KUTV-2 in Utah’s report and phone interview with Chuck Cox

The Salt Lake Tribune article is here, and video on the left sidebar

Many people from across the country (and the world) have been posting overwhelming support for Susan and the Cox family on the official Facebook page “Friends and Family of Susan Cox Powell.”  We appreciate all the support, prayers, comments and positive thoughts.  We are in awe of the grace and restraint showed yesterday by Chuck Cox in the face of such obvious goading by Josh and Steve Powell.

One thing is clear: it’s easy to see who really wants to find Susan.

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