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New podcast to shed light on Susan Powell cold case

By Carter Williams, | Posted - Nov. 13, 2018 at 3:32 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A new podcast series debuting Wednesday sets to shed light on one of Utah’s more notorious crime mysteries: Susan Powell’s disappearance and the impact it had on the community.

Powell disappeared from her West Valley home in December 2009 in a case that sparked national attention. She has never been found, and what happened to her remains unknown.

A good portion of the attention in the ensuing weeks, months and years was focused on her husband, Josh Powell, who said he had gone camping with their children the night Susan Powell was last seen. Only a month after the disappearance of his wife, Josh Powell packed his things and moved to Washington, according to the Associated Press. He later blew up his Graham, Washington, home, killing himself and his two young sons, Charlie and Braden.

West Valley police wrapped up their search operation regarding Susan Powell’s disappearance in 2013. Josh Powell’s father, Steven, who police said might be the last living person to know what happened to Susan Powell, died in July from a heart attack while in a Tacoma, Washington, hospital.

The podcast, titled “Cold,” will dive into records and details about the case that were previously unreported, according to KSL Newsradio executive digital producer Dave Cawley, the podcast’s creator and narrator. Cawley said he started working on the podcast in 2015, diving into public records about the investigation. The podcast will include police interviews with Josh Powell, as well as others who knew the family — some of who will speak publicly about the case for the first time.

“Some of the people I talked to were legally prohibited from talking because police made them sign nondisclosure agreements. They didn’t want Josh knowing what they were doing or who they were talking to,” Cawley said. “It’s been a long process, but I hope someone listening is going to come away with a better understanding of the case than has been out there before.”

Cawley added the podcast won’t be a “hit job” on investigators or a “who done it” podcast; rather, it will take an objective look at the evidence collected by police. Of course, reviewing the case, which will reach its decade anniversary next year, is a little more difficult since each member of the immediate family is either dead or has never been found.

That said, investigators turned up information and material about the family, including regarding the rift between Susan and Josh Powell in the time before she disappeared.

“We’ve had to take a different approach — that we’ve gone back through personal journals, emails, videos, materials that our players made — to tell their backstory. I can’t interview Susan. I can’t interview Josh because they’re gone,” Cawley said. “The intrigue certainly comes from the question, 'why did he do what he (presumably) did? How did he do what he did? And why wasn’t he arrested?'”

The podcast also aims to show some of the red flags in Josh Powell’s behavior prior to Susan's disappearance and what others in similar relationships can learn from it, Cawley said.

The first episode of “Cold” will be available on all major podcast platforms. New episodes will be released each Wednesday (excluding periodic weeks off) through early 2019. Each episode is about an hour long.

Additional content, including photos, documents and videos, can be found at

Carter Williams


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