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