The Susan Powell missing persons’ case reemerges in the news late last week on several levels, and stronger than ever, in terms of what it reveals about the investigation itself, the families involved, and what may lie underneath the strange sequence of events surrounding the December 2009 disappearance of Susan.
Reporters were baffled by a search of abandoned mine shafts outside Ely, Nevada. Did the West Valley police have any viable clues that caused them to look in these mine shafts, or were they simply putting on a show? Nothing significant was found in a two day search.
Josh Powell was not comprehending the nature of the search. Josh said to KSL Newsradio: “It just doesn’t seem like they said anything. That’s honestly what went through my mind. I actually thought they were going to be looking in hotels, apartments, you know things like that. That’s what I was hoping they’d be looking for – for people; frankly, for Susan.”
A retired FBI agent, Lou Bertram, believes the West Valley police are attempting to trip up the only person of interest they have so far, Josh Powell. Lou sees it as possibly a vast law enforcement conspiracy to bate the suspect, smoke him out so to speak, and cause him to make a fatal mistake that they can use to arrest him with.
Bertram went so far as to compare this bold move to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, who wrote his manifesto, since his intelligence had been called into question and his criminal ego had been bruised so badly. But are we to believe that the West Valley police think that Josh is as crafty as Ted? Josh is highly cautious, and measures his words carefully whenever he speaks. I don’t sense he’ll write a manifesto anytime soon either.
Another dimension that rears its homely head over the weekend is family dynamics, or stated better, a lack of family dynamics. A Deseret News story published yesterday (Susan Powell family war of words heats up, including allegations of unwanted advances) brought forth some new twists that most of us were unaware of heretofore.
You know already about the shouting match between Chuck Cox and Steve Powell (Josh’s father) on a street corner in Puyallup, Washington, but there is so much more intrigue that’s coming to light. Why would Steve Powell want to publish Susan’s teenage diaries, which he claims show that she was ‘sexually open?’ And did Steve ever make sexual advances on Susan that led to extreme estrangement?
This last allegation (of sexual misconduct) was corroborated by two people, Jennifer Graves (Josh’s sister) and by a neighbor to the Powell’s, Michele Oreno. Susan was so freaked out, she forbade her father-in-law from entering her household ever again. Moreover, this may have been the reason Josh and Susan left Washington in the first place, moving to Utah instead. This is big!
Alina Powell (another sister of Josh’s) disputes this claim of misconduct on the part of her father. Alina told Deseret News: “Susan had been incredibly flirtatious with my father, but he has never made any advance on her. He has always been very welcoming of her in the family. She was like a daughter to him. She was the daughter that Jennifer Graves never was.”
Either Alina is right or Jennifer is right. The two versions of Steve’s behavior are like night and day. Jennifer’s version was corroborated by a neighbor, so I favor hers. Furthermore, if the father was a bone of contention in the marriage, this is major. One suspects this could have created a breach between Josh and Susan a mile wide (or maybe more)!
Josh is back in the public eye in a big way and with his father yammering like a buzz-saw in a forest, one wonders whether he’ll snap like a twig in a blizzard? The look on his face is one of caution, concealment, puzzlement – fear he’ll say the wrong thing. And living with his father may not be such a great idea after all. One suspects that Susan was about to blow the lid off the entire shebang, just before she mysteriously vanishes.