I found this very detailed article going into Josh Powell’s childhood and his parents’ marriage and his psycho father. Josh tried to commit suicide as a young teenager, and also threatened his mother with a knife once. His father beat him and, during the older Powells’ divorce proceedings, alienated Josh against his mother. (They made up later and she supported Josh’s bid for custody.)
[Josh’s mom’s sister] observed that the older boys had a “very distorted image of their own unquestionable right to do anything they darn well please … combined with a very deep contempt towards women in general and any authority at all” — all encouraged by their father.
“With the kind of disrespect the kids have learned to have regarding laws, I worry about what they will do,” [Josh’s mom] wrote. “It seems like there is a sickness pervading my family and I have been powerless to stop it.”
Well, this is all very sad and I feel sorry for the child Josh was…but not for the man he became. People have choices. He could have chosen to behave differently than he did. He could have chosen not to murder Susan. He could have chosen not to murder Braden and Charlie. He could have chosen to go into therapy, etc., to try to fix the damage done to him when he was young. He chose the wrong path every step of the way.