Before Josh Powell killed himself and his two boys in an explosion at his Washington home, a new report says social workers had evidence of his violent past — and didn’t disclose it to detectives! Read on for the shocking details.
Josh Powell went on a murderous rampage in February 2012 when he locked his children inside his home, attacked them with a hatchet, and then set off a fiery explosion in a tragic murder-suicide. But before he committed this horrific crime, social workers knew of Josh’s disturbing past, and failed to notify detectives.
The murder of Josh’s two innocent boys, Braden, 5, and Charlie, 7, could have been prevented.
A report issued on Aug. 2 by a child fatality review committee concluded that the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) should check with detectives before making changes to parent-child visitation while an investigation is underway, according to the Daily Mail.
Josh was still under investigation for the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell, from the couple’s Utah home. The committee also found that Susan’s disappearance, and the suspicion that Josh was involved, should have led detectives to look into the possibility of domestic violence.
Although Josh was never named a suspect, his weak alibi in Susans’ disappearance — taking the boys camping in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures — and one of his sons declaring that their mom was with them but never returned, left many family members stunned that Josh was never arrested. Police also found a gas can, tarps, and a shovel in the family van, as well as her blood on the living room carpet.
The report also concluded that social workers should immediately re-evaluate child visitation when someone is ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation, which Josh underwent after detectives found incestuous images on his computer.
Denise Revels Robinson, assistant secretary for the DSHS Children’s Administration, said the report “will be of great help in our ongoing efforts to improve our practice in keeping children safe,” according to the Daily Mail.
“The violent death of any child, especially at the hands of a parent, is always a tragedy,” she said. “But few of us who have served in child welfare have had to deal with such a horrific experience as the loss of Charlie and Braden.”
The panel also concluded that if Utah authorities had not kept some information hidden, social services would have re-evaluated Powell’s visitation rights.
What a tragedy, HollyMoms. What do YOU think of the report?
— Christina Stiehl
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