Saturday, February 11, 2012
I find any hurt done a child to be the ultimate evil. This story is almost too difficult to write, and my mind wanders off into sick humour.
I'm sure we're all familiar with the story of Susan Powell, and the lame alibi Josh had for the night she disappeared. Over the past two years, the story has got sicker and sicker, with Steven Powell (Susan's father-in-law) in jail for voyeurism and possession of child porn. That last resulted in Josh getting his own house, because his children would not be allowed to visit him at his father's home.
When Josh went to court last week over the custody issue, he was told he had to submit to a psycho-sexual evaluation. A psych eval is fairly common in custody cases, but it seems that there were images on Josh's computer that seemed more than a little "off," if you know what I mean. He knew he could lose his visitation entirely. Of course, there was more at stake than that. It seems that Charlie and Braden were beginning to talk about that midnight camping trip.
Hindsight being 20/20 and all, there appear to have been miscommunication among the law enforcement agencies involved, and balls dropped all over the place. I think we really want to find someone to blame that we can fire, and say, "There. Now that will never happen again." Unfortunately, it's not that simple. I do not think anyone could have predicted that the man was cold enough to kill himself and his children. If it were that cut and dried, of course his visitation would have been terminated or further curtailed. As soon as this horrible murder/suicide occurred, we find quotes from Steve and Terrica's divorce papers, we find a comforter in a storage unit that tests positive for blood (don't they all?). Who knows what new evidence will emerge? It will probably turn out that, if all the involved agencies had shared their information better, perhaps a case could have been made to disallow visitation.
I don't think we will ever hear a motive that we can understand. Sane people don't hurt their kids, let alone murder them in cold blood. And the hatchet! I can't even wrap my mind around the hatchet! Why do that? There's gas already poured all over the place...five gallons of it, at least (they said the second five-gallon can was still almost full), and yet he hacked at them with a hatchet! His own little boys, only five and seven years old, and he somehow was convinced he had the right to do that to them! No sane person will ever understand that.
There is a rumour going around that Ann Rule is going to write the story. I hope she does. Then maybe I will understand. Until then, I can only send Good Thinks to the families crippled by this crime.