Laura Ling & 'E! Investigates' Bring Viewers Inside the Powell Family Tragedy On May 29

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May 24th, 2012

via press release:

Laura Ling & E! Investigates Bring Viewers Inside the Powell Family Tragedy On May 29
 E! INVESTIGATES: A FAMILY TRAGEDY: THE POWELLS PREMIERES MAY 29 AT 8:00 PM ON E!Laura Ling Conducts The First Ever On-Camera Interview With The Court Appointed Psychologist Who Analyzed Josh Powell

E! Investigates Also Features In-Depth Interviews With Susan Powell’s Parents, Sister & Friends

“There were a lot of missing pieces about Josh Powell. It was my opinion that he shouldn’t have reunification with his kids.” – Dr. James Manley

(Los Angeles, CA, May 24, 2012) -- The entire nation watched in horror as images of a burning home filled news reports in February, 2012 – inside the inferno, Josh Powell had just murdered his two young sons and then killed himself in a massive explosion. Two years earlier, Susan Powell vanished under very suspicious circumstances, with physical and circumstantial evidence pointing towards her husband, Josh. Ever since his wife’s disappearance, Josh Powell had been a person of interest in the case, but he was never arrested or charged with any crime. Now, Laura Ling and the E! Investigates team examines this headline-making story from the beginning, discovering several instances where opportunities that might have saved the lives of two innocent boys were ignored or overlooked. Conducting the first ever on-camera interview with Dr. James Manley, the forensic psychologist who evaluated Josh for the court, Ling unravels the tale of a deeply disturbed man who was most likely responsible for the deaths of his entire family and who very possibly could – and should – have been stopped. E! Investigates: A Family Tragedy: The Powells airs on May 29 at 8:00 PM only on E!

Select Quotes From The Episode Include:

In his first ever on- camera interview, Dr. James Manley tells Ling his thoughts about Josh Powell.
“There were about 15 images [on Josh Powell’s personal computer] that I found the most disturbing, and they felt very lifelike. [They were] computerized drawing of adults and children having sex in various ways. Whoever built the files had a clear interest in incest themes, which within a parenting evaluation did not bode well with me.”

“We needed to know a lot more about Mr. Powell and that's why I referred him to a psychosexual evaluation.”

Kiirisi Hellewell, one of Susan’s friends, explains to Ling what life was like for Susan and her boys before she went missing.
“It had gotten so bad [financially] that their boys didn’t have enough food to eat. They were eating fruits and vegetables out of their garden and off their trees because Josh wouldn’t let her buy food and the boys were starting to have health problems.”

Darleen Allen, Susan’s friend, adds:
“Susan came to me and told me it became abusive physically. That he had shoved her and slapped her and tried to lock her out of the house.”

Jovanna Owings, a friend of Susan’s who was with Susan and Josh the evening she disappeared, talks to Laura about how Josh was uncharacteristically nice to Susan that night.
“I’ve thought about that [night] a lot and I think at that point I was probably used. I may have been the only chance he [Josh] had of having one person stand up and say ‘he was nice to her.’”

Chuck Cox, Susan’s father, reveals one of the early conversations had with Josh after Susan went missing.
“Josh called her [Jennifer, Josh’s sister] and she said, ‘Everybody is looking for you.’ He said, ‘well why would everybody be looking for us?’ She asked, ‘where are the kids?’ He said, ‘the kids are safe,’ and I’m going ‘what? What do you mean by the kids are safe?’ She said, ‘where is Susan? What have you done? What’s going on?’ He hung up the phone. I knew at that time that he was responsible for her disappearance and that he was lying about everything.”

Robin Synder, a waitress and possible eyewitness, tells Ling her memories of seeing Josh Powell and his boys the morning their mother went missing.
“I noticed that there was a man with two kids over in the corner. They were eating danishes and the man had his youngest kid on his right leg so I just walked over and got a high chair. His oldest boy looked up at me and asked ‘do you know what happened to my mom?’”

Judy and Chuck Cox were fighting to keep Susan and Josh’s children in their custody as they believed Josh was involved with Susan’s disappearance. Judy tells Ling about her feelings the morning when she had to turn over the two boys to Josh for their tragic, final visit.
“I had a feeling that I didn’t want them to go. I just felt something was wrong. But I just let it go.”
“The judge should not have allowed visitations. I know Josh was very upset and I thought if he is feeling cornered, he’ll do something.”

Sadly, the Cox family attorney tells E! Investigates, “Everybody had all the red flags and the system failed them.”

E! Investigates: A Family Tragedy: The Powells airs on May 29th at 8:00 PM only on E!

  • llama

    Just what everyone wants to watch…

  • Bjm

    You know, I really thought with all of them dead the media would quit pushing this story on us. No such luck. Sadly, this entire family is gone. Time to move on.

  • Rhona

    In showthis maybe, just MAYBE someone will see this, remember it and keep another sick sob from doing the EXACT SAME THING to some other innocent children!!!

  • Bonnie Russell

    You’ve got to be kidding. Media blew it every bit as badly as the police. See – and don’t forget the section on Supervised Visitation. Did No One listen to the entire 9-1-1? Why did Griffin-Hall waste so much time calling Josh when she should have been calling 9-1-1 to begin with?

  • Lynn

    When early on people were saying, after the couple began going to marital counseling at their “church” that they didn’t see anything in the couple’s interaction or in his interaction with her that raised any further red flags such as were raised prior to the marriage counseling, that was a HUGE red flag right there. As a woman who has been abused repeatedly by my first husband to the point of fearing for my own life numerous times. I finally left him out of fear for my children’s future.

    One thing I can see right off the bat is that this evil dirt bag knew how to manipulate people. He was manipulating that woman who saw Susan the day before she disappeared by playing nicey nice with his wife in front of her. He most likely played nicey nice with his wife behind closed doors as well, knowing she would pass that information on to her friends and family. He was essentially setting himself up-by manipulating others- as the new and improved Mr. nice guy, and who could possibly expect this tarnished gem of killing his wife? If any psychiatrist worth his salt had listened to that testimony, he would have seen that as clear as I do, unless perhaps some things are only known through experiencing them-but in this case, it is clear that this devil in the flesh had a strong case of narcissistic personality disorder.

    Some of the manifestations of this type of mental illness are taking advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals, having excessive feelings of self-importance, having unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment, needing constant attention and admiration, disregard for the feelings of others, and having little ability to feel empathy for others. They also have obsessive self-interest, a grandiose opinion of themselves and their abilities and pursue mainly selfish goals. It is one of the hardest mental illnesses to treat since they cannot possibly believe that anything can be wrong with them, and also because they just don’t care much about having successful interpersonal relationships with others. They are the original “its all your fault” accusers. They consistently find a way to blame others for their bad behavior, as seen by this special on E! Investigates with Laura Ling. They can see no way they can be blamed for anything, it is that poisonous a disorder, and can lead to violence and even murder. When they continue to get blamed, they get more and more aggressively defensive, in this case, to the point of taking the lives of his sons to keep them from blaming him as well. If that was the last thing he ever did to those boys, then at least they have found peace. This loser, on the other hand, will never have peace. His evil deeds will follow him to the grave and the afterlife.

    Did you notice that his father also could not handle blame, either? On top of it, he was a child porn freak. I’m sure he had a lot to do with why his son behaved the way he did, ultimately.

    Red flags people. Be on the lookout for yourself and for your loved ones. Inevitably, those who hurt, maim and kill have some form of mental illness. Educate yourselves to protect yourself and your children.

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