As dark as it gets. While still in disbelief, we commit to memory every painful detail of what we know Josh Powell did Sunday afternoon, shortly before the Super Bowl would begin. Mount Carmel revisited? And why did so many already know it would happen? Are we helpless, as a tragic fate of a psychologically wounded father plays out its demented course? Is it inevitable that this conflagration, double-murder/suicide would occur? Didn’t Waco end in a way that was preordained?
An End of Days way of thinking is common in 2012. Is it irrational? Yes it is. Why hadn’t Josh already been arrested? Braden and Charles recalled that infamous camping trip, that Mommy had apparently attended after all. Had Josh drugged her and put her in the trunk of the family van? The kids knew their dad had killed Susan (they were eye-witnesses). Isn’t this enough evidence to make a case for probable cause by the West Valley City Police?
They have been dragging their feet for more than two years now, trying to build a yet stronger case against Josh. But they had plenty already, yet they didn’t act. This gave the culprit Josh just enough time to tie up this combustible little package into one final outburst of madness and homicidal rage against his very own flesh and blood. In a sick way, Josh comes out the victor in his own twisted saga, because the bureaucratic wheels of law enforcement (and the Child Protective Services) got hung up.
This dysfunction-junction is (of course) the tragedy underneath the surface tragedy of what Josh’s final act of desperation says to us. He knew the net was closing in on him, and he wasn’t about to go to jail such as his demented father had to. But why didn’t the authorities sense that this ‘foul scenario,’ that becomes a reality, is one possibility of how Josh would react, as the noose of culpability tightened ’round his throat?
All Americans are confounded by the sluggishness of the investigation into Susan Powell’s apparent murder by Josh. Plenty of evidence has been brought forth, but they never acted. I’ve followed the case right from the beginning, around Pearl Harbor Day in 2009. I’ve read all the news articles, watched all the TV footage, taped many of the talk shows, and have even penned a few pieces myself on what I’ve observed.
And yet, in the final analysis, Josh Powell has the last word on his own story. He set the fire so our doubts about what he did could halt to a stop, the car won’t drive no more. Don’t play the footage again, the rising flames, the rising flames! Pure evil in action! Josh ends up in Hell, which is where he wanted to go all along! Let’s not join him. Smoldering wood, charred hatchet, lifeless children. When will it end?
Social madness, since millions have followed the story for more than two years now. And I mean every little detail. A neighbor’s iPhone captures the fire as it develops, but let’s put it down. Delete file! Don’t torture yourself any further. Talk shows don’t keep playing the footage of rising orange flames over and over again! This is what Josh’s possessed and wicked spirit wants you to do, as he laughs his head off from the inferno of hell where he now resides.
It couldn’t have turned out any worse, so let’s turn our heads, a new day dawns, the smoke is finally lifting. Josh Powell was a mistake. Poor Susan met the wrong guy. This sort of thing happens every day, but evil people need to be forgotten by history. I wish this would be the case, but I know it isn’t. The real evil is that Josh fancied he’d always be remembered as time carries on, by this contemptible act of cruelty and indignity against God. But he’s wrong! Josh who?