As to be expected, Josh Powell’s family and supporters have crawled out of the woodwork to blame Susan’s parents, child protective services, the Utah police, the state and pretty much anyone other than him for yesterday’s murder-suicide. See the comments sections of this article and this one, and probably others.
One of his relatives is quoted as saying, “I can tell you that Josh was terrorized. I’m sure there are people out there who would consider this appropriate given the mass assumption of his guilt…is this the appropriate method of alternate prosecution? This reminds me of North Korea…”
In the comments section someone was saying “this would have never happened if the children had been returned to him, there was no evidence of threat to the children.” Um…yeah. No evidence of threat to the children, and then he blows them away in an enormous fireball. It’s kind of like saying, “If the battered wife hadn’t tried to leave her husband, he wouldn’t have killed her.”
But seriously, people, let’s take Susan Powell entirely out of the picture for a moment. Pretend Josh was totally innocent and really was railroaded and pilloried unjustly over the last two years. I think that’s highly unlikely, but let’s pretend. This might drive a man to suicide. If he wanted to kill himself, I suppose this was his business. I believe a person has a right to destroy themselves. But he had NO RIGHT, NO REASON to take those innocent boys with him. No matter how Josh’s family wants to spin it, the man is at the very least a child killer, a double murderer.
And, like every violent crime, this will have complications that reach farther than we can imagine right now. Think of Susan’s family — it’s not necessary to say that they’re devastated. Think of Josh’s family; much as I dislike them, they are hurting right now too, and not all of them are sexual perverts or criminals. Think of the two boys’ teachers, who will have to somehow explain the loss to the children’s classmates. The judge who allowed supervised visits but denied Josh custody. The cops trying to solve the mystery of Susan’s disappearance. The social worker who was pounding frantically on the locked door while Josh was inside killing the kids; when will she be able to go back to work, if ever? All of those people — all of them and more — are suffering horribly as a result of Josh’s actions.