Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Josh Powell’

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 belonged 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.

Read Full Post »

When I was a child, I kept a journal infrequently.  I’d write a few sentences…nothing too exciting.  By the time I turned 12 I started writing more often, and my teenage years got even more frequent entries.

my journal cover               my journal inside cover

These journal entries are silly…fluffy…embarrassing…and hilarious to read now, looking back.  They’re full of crushes on boys; my hopes and fears; incidents from my daily life, both mundane and earth-shattering.  They also show some things I was truly sad about.  I wrote about them as I wanted, giving full sway to my feelings because, hey, these were totally private, right?  No one would EVER read them…unless I gave my kids permission to read them when they were old enough.

This seems like a basic truth, or right, that everyone on earth should have: their own right to privacy in their thoughts and feelings…their private thoughts, kept in a private journal, diary, or notebook, contained safely away from prying eyes, not something that anyone else should ever see unless the writer chooses to share.

My friend Susan Cox Powell kept many journals during her teenage years and beyond.  She filled volumes with her private thoughts, her private feelings.  Her hopes, her dreams…probably a lot of angst…teenage melodrama, fun, anger.  She felt free to vent her feelings and thoughts in those journals, secure in the knowledge that they were safe to her.  She may have at some future point chosen to share those journals with her sons, but she certainly never read even one page of those journals to her closest friends or even her family.

Now Susan is gone: missing, disappeared, snatched from her boys, her parents and sisters, her friends, her life.  She has been missing for 19 months without a trace.  Susan’s parents have nothing left of her but memories and photographs.  They don’t even have her sons—Susan’s husband Josh has denied them access to even visit their own grandsons. 

Who has Susan’s journals?  Is it her parents, who respected Susan’s right to privacy and never read her journals? 

NO.  Susan’s private journals—the diaries of a teen girl—are in the hands of the Josh and Steve Powell family. 

Do the Powells respect the privacy and sanctity of her journals?  Do they offer, out of the kindness of their hearts, to give these journals to the Cox family for safekeeping?  Do they keep them stored away safely, so her sons could read them someday and get to know their mother, who was ripped away from them?

NO.  The Powells READ Susan’s journals.  Her father-in-law, Steve Powell—a man who should be trying to find Susan, and who should be cooperating with the police, and urging his son, Josh Powell, to cooperate with police—has gone on national television, not once, but twice, most recently this morning on the NBC Today show—to announce to the world that he has not only READ all of Susan’s private teenage journals, but he is planning to publish them on a new website, starting this week.

What kind of a man does this?

What kind of a person not only violates the sacred privacy of a young girl by reading her thoughts…thoughts that she wrote down before she ever met Josh, his father, or anyone in his family…but also decides he’s going to publish her private thoughts to the entire world?

Susan is gone.  She was taken away from all she holds dear.  Her family and friends are heartbroken, and her sons are without their mother.  She is not here to be her own voice, to stand up in defense of her thoughts, her feelings, her past actions, her life. 

This is so wrong, on every level.  This is an act of total depravity.  And I hope the people of this country and this world will realize this and stand up for Susan, for truth, for justice.  Tell your friends and everyone you know in any way you can—in person, through blogs, Facebook, Twitter–that Susan Cox Powell is still missing, that she has been taken away from her sons, that her life is not the Powell’s to lay open and expose every detail of her teen years.  Those things are Susan’s alone to reveal, and she is not here to do it.  Stand up for Susan.  And please, pray for her, her sons Charlie and Braden, and the Cox family.  Truth WILL prevail.  Justice WILL be done.  And there is a loving God in heaven who will not stand by and watch these immoral, cruel acts to be perpetrated over and over on the innocent.

Read Full Post »

Six months ago today, my dear friend Susan Cox Powell disappeared from her home under very suspicious circumstances.

I’ve written a blog post about it on the other blog I keep for Susan.  I just can’t believe it’s been six months and we still have no answers or resolution.  Her husband still refuses to cooperate with police or answer any questions, and her little boys are still without their mother.

This morning I got up at 3 a.m. to go downtown and be on the weekend Today show live.  These things don’t get any easier with time.  While I am beyond grateful for the media’s interest in Susan and their desire to keep her in the news, it is heart-wrenching agony to not have her back with us and have to mark yet another one of these anniversaries.

I know that Susan is in God’s hands, wherever she is, and that he is also watching over her sweet little boys.  We WILL find her and justice will be served. 

I’m thinking of you today and always, my friend.  I love you.

Read Full Post »

I’ve talked before about how much it helps to feel the support and prayers of people all over the world, praying for Susan, her family, and everyone involved in the effort to find her. 

One unexpected blessing that’s come out of this horrible situation is the massive amounts of friends Susan still continues to gain, even while she’s been missing from our lives.  People everywhere feel like they know her and love her and feel so much a part of her disappearance. 

I personally have made many new friends…total strangers who’ve been searching since the day Susan disappeared…Susan’s co-workers…her family…media representatives…and many people on the internet from all over the world.  These people have followed Susan’s story since the beginning and they just can’t possibly know how much their support, faith, prayers, and encouraging comments help us keep going. 

I want to thank everyone who has said even one prayer for Susan and her family.  Everyone who has physically searched for some clue to Susan’s disappearance.  All those who have spent countless hours online, trying desperately to put the pieces of this puzzle together to help with finding Susan.  The media, especially the local media who have covered Susan’s story again and again.  And of course, the police, who are working tirelessly to find Susan and bring her home. 

Early Monday morning, I finished the last of 3 books I’ve been reading about Elizabeth Smart.  The first book I read was a good overall summary of the whole story, while the Tom Smart and Lee Benson book offered an excellent and detailed look into the inner workings of the case.  I saved the one written by her parents for last, and it was a wonderful book—so full of faith and hope and gratitude.  My own faith and hope was bolstered by Ed and Lois Smart’s example and courage…and of course, Elizabeth’s, to make it through such a terrible ordeal. 

I don’t know where Susan is but one thing I do know: there is a God in heaven who is personally invested in each of our lives.  He knows where Susan is, and he is watching over her and over all of us.  I know his heart breaks for his precious children when things like this happen.  I know he will help us find her.

Read Full Post »

Yesterday when my family and I were out doing our Saturday grocery shopping, we ran into the mother of Troy Ward.  She was a cashier at the store and saw the “Missing Person: Susan Cox Powell” button I was wearing. 

Troy Ward was a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a park in the Salt Lake area the day after his 6th birthday in 1983, according to a Wikipedia article.  Troy was the victim of a serial killer, Arthur Gary Bishop, and was the fourth boy this evil man killed.  (WARNING: don’t click on the Wikipedia link if you don’t want to read the details of these horrible crimes.)

Troy’s mother told us about her 33 days of “living hell” she went through before they found her little boy’s body.  She showed us an old picture of him that she keeps with her in her pocket.  She told us about her experience of praying the night he disappeared and her feeling that he was “safe”—but not in body, in spirit, meaning she had a good idea that he was already dead. 

She told us that she knows exactly how Susan’s parents feel.  She has been there and back again.  She hopes so much that Susan will be found and her heart goes out to Susan’s parents. 

I believe there is a special place reserved for the type of people that do such horrible things to others.  Whomever took Susan away from her family, her little boys, and all those that loved her will pay the price, I firmly believe.  WE WILL FIND HER.  We will never give up until we do.

Read Full Post »

Cox family spokesperson Shelby Gifford posted this press release yesterday:

PRESS RELEASE
March 3, 2010
4:15 PST
Contact: Shelby Gifford, Cox Family spokesperson
Shelby@theshelbynetwork.com
SUBJECT: Candlelight Vigils Scheduled for Susan Cox Powell

Friends and family of Susan Cox Powell will host two simultaneous candlelight vigils for Susan at 7 PM on Saturday, March 6, 2010. This date coincides with the three-month mark since Susan’s disappearance December 6/7, 2009 from her home in West Valley City, Utah.

In Puyallup, WA, the vigil will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ridgecrest Building, located at 12407 Military Rd East, Puyallup, WA 98374.

In the West Valley City, UT area, the vigil will occur at 7 PM at the Centennial Park, located at 3050 South 5600 West in West Valley, Utah.

We invite everyone to join us and request that those in attendance bring a candle or two to light on Susan’s behalf. We will be meeting outdoors so we encourage you to dress warmly.

On behalf of the Cox Family, thank you for all your good wishes, prayers and notes of hope and support.

###

Style Note: At the family’s request, please refer to Susan as “Susan Cox Powell” in all electronic and print media references as of February 15, 2010.

_______________________________________________________________

Download links for invitations to the vigil:

Puyallup, WA

Salt Lake City, UT—English

Salt Lake City, UT—Spanish

If you live near these areas, please download and print these for your family, friends, and neighbors.  We hope to see you at the vigils!

Read Full Post »

I haven’t posted here in forever, it seems like…I started a new blog for the Week of Service effort in Susan’s honor, and all my time was taken up with that huge effort.  Then I got sick…really sick, with a terrible cold.  The months of stress, exhaustion, and worry finally caught up with me, I guess.

Now I’m better, and back at it with all my energy.  There is not a second of my day that goes by that I’m not thinking of Susan.  Even when I’m cooking dinner or reading to my kids, my mind is dwelling on her and her case.  It is so very hard to wait…wait for some new developments, some word from the police, for something to happen, for Susan to be found.

I’m currently reading three books about Elizabeth Smart (Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope, In Plain Sight: the Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation, and Held Captive: The Kidnapping and Rescue of Elizabeth Smart).  Like everyone else in the country, I followed Elizabeth’s case while it was all happening.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the shocking and miraculous news of Elizabeth’s return.  I remember calling my mother and both of us crying tears of joy for this girl and her family that we didn’t even know.

I know that Susan and Elizabeth hardly have anything in common…their circumstances are very different.  But I felt that it could only help to read about Elizabeth’s case and everything her family did to find her, to see if there was anything that would help us in our situation.  I find myself identifying so much with the things her family went through, feeling many of the same emotions, thinking and believing the same things they did. 

One huge thing that really helped Elizabeth’s story was the spectacular media coverage.  The Smart family did a terrific job of keeping Elizabeth in the news constantly, even when there was no news to be found.  We’ve tried to do the same with Susan, creating events and activities to make our own news when there isn’t anything official coming from police.  Keeping Susan’s face and name constantly in the public eye is so important.

We will be holding candlelight vigils this Saturday to mark the three-month point since Susan disappeared.  The one here in Salt Lake County will be held at Centennial Park in West Valley City.  Details:

What: Candlelight vigil for Susan Cox Powell

Where: Centennial Park, south-east corner of 3100 South and 5600 West in West Valley City

When: 7pm

Please come support Susan and her family.  Bring a candle and invite everyone you know.  Three months is FAR too long…this beautiful mother should have been reunited with her children long ago. 

If you don’t live in Salt Lake City or Puyallup, please consider holding your own vigil in your area.  If you do set one up, leave me a comment and I will publicize it on the official Find Susan Twitter account and the Facebook group.  You can call your local media, as well, to invite them.  The more coverage Susan’s story gets, the greater the chances of finding her. 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »