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Psychologist says documents show Powell made 'admission of guilt'

By Andrew Adams and Pat Reavy | Posted - May 22nd, 2013 @ 10:19am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Recently released documents on the Susan Powell case suggest her husband, Josh Powell, was very controlling at times. One document even shows that a psychologist thought he hinted at an admission of guilt.

West Valley City police on Monday ended their active investigation into Susan Powell's disappearance and released more than 2,000 files and tens of thousands of pages of police reports and other documents. They give some insight into what police knew about Josh Powell.

According to those files, Josh Powell had a history of money control issues. A document describes Josh as only allowing Susan a set amount of money, even making her order just one item off a fast food restaurant's dollar menu so he could get a combo meal.

Steve Powell's prison letters talk of government conspiracy
By Dave Cawley

SALT LAKE CITY — Part of the records police released include letters Josh's father, Steve Powell, wrote from prison. In them, Steve Powell described a conspiracy against his family supposedly instigated by Susan's father, Chuck Cox.

One letter in particular stands out. Steve Powell wrote it to his daughter Alina in February, the day after his son Michael committed suicide. Steve Powell expressed no grief but instead talked about his belief that the government slipped Michael psychotropic drugs.

Powell also suggested the government deliberately doped up the Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. shooters.

At the center of this supposed government conspiracy is Susan's father, Chuck Cox, according to Powell's letters. In December 2012 , Steve Powell talked about the government "grooming" the public to believe false information about their family. He also began talking about Chuck Cox as the center of a conspiracy involving the FAA, the FBI, and members of the LDS faith.

A different file said a Facebook friend of Susan's told police Susan wasn't allowed to have grocery money but was supposed to live off food storage and her garden. According to that friend, Susan eventually set up her own checking account so she could feed her family properly and pay tithing to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which the documents said Josh wouldn't allow her to do.

Also, a friend said Susan had to go behind Josh's back to get the money to start up as a Mary Kay consultant.

One document states one of Josh Powell's coworkers said Susan Powell wondered if she was pregnant about two weeks before she disappeared.

Another document described two different people suggesting police look for Susan's body in Nutty Putty Cave, which had been recently sealed.

The documents even include a psychic tip from Dec. 14, 2009 which predicted Josh Powell would kill his children.

Documents also indicate that Susan kept a blue file folder at work labeled "Don't Throw Away - Josh Issues." It included research on divorce attorneys and answers to questions about custody. Susan Powell appeared to believe her husband was bipolar.


Tuesday the Cox family held a conference in relation to the police department opening the case files. Chuck Cox, Susan Powell's father, said he found some surprises in the newly released documents: details of wiretaps, Josh's alleged affairs and information about his brother Michael's involvement.

Did Josh admit guilt?

In one police report released Monday, a forensic psychologist told investigators he felt Josh Powell made what he believed was "an admission of guilt" just two days before her murdered his sons and killed himself.

When Powell mentioned a need to reconcile with the Cox family, the psychologist told him the family believed he killed their daughter and unless she came back unharmed or her body was found and the evidence showed he couldn't have done it, the doctor doubted reconciliation would be possible.

Deseret News

According to the report, Powell "paused while considering these two scenarios, and then somewhat rhetorically stated (that) reconciliation with the Cox family would not be possible." Josh Powell also was concerned that he would be asked questions related to his wife's disappearance during an upcoming polygraph exam that had been ordered by a court overseeing custody of his children.

The psychologist also said that a voicemail Josh Powell left for his sister right before he killed himself and his children "in his expert opinion was an additional admission of guilt in the disappearance of Susan Powell," the report states. "The statement Joshua made was about having caused hurt to someone and was made in the past tense. (The doctor) believed this was Joshua's attempt to apologize for what he had done to his wife."

Police said the case is now cold, but Susan Powell's family said they won't stop searching for her.

Contributing: Becky Bruce, Dave Cawley and Haley Smith

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