Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: Josh Powell

April
14th

Florida, Utah police unusually reluctant to make high profile arrests

I was enduring a day-long training class this past week when the instructor made a comment that made me sit up straight. “Denial,” he said, “is a defense mechanism that kicks in when a person rejects what is true, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

It’s not often that the words of Sigmund Freud get tossed around in police circles. It was a lesson for the cops in the room that if we ignore obvious information just because it is sudden or unpleasant (such as the sudden appearance of a weapon in the hands of an unlikely opponent), bad things

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April
5th

Powell saga conclusion: everybody loses

There are lots of reasons to be happy these days. The economy is rumbling back to life, the lottery is kicking out millions to several lucky folks and Spring, finally, is in the air. I doubt any of that will help the mood of Buzz Nielsen, the police chief in West Valley City, Utah.

Nielsen’s department spent a great deal of time, energy and resources on the Susan Powell disappearance. Detectives conducted a painstaking crime scene investigation. They traced potential sites to find her body. Then they searched each location with shovels, dogs and determination. The intent of their efforts was to provide that

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April
3rd

Allowing Josh Powell to remain free a failure of the system?

On Friday, the court unsealed the evidence amassed during the investigation into Susan Powell’s disappearance. The information contained in the affidavit was overwhelming, especially for those of us who assumed that the investigators and prosecutors involved with the Utah case knew little more than the public.

For many people the decision not to take Josh Powell into custody for the murder of his wife, Susan, appears to have been a systemic failure. That’s understandable, especially in light of the information now available: Susan Powell’s cell phone inexplicably in her husband’s car; her blood on a couch which he had recently scrubbed;

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Feb.
19th

Rights of victims are a low priority

Consider the following news headline: “Mother loses court battle – accused serial molester will have access to kids”

How about this one: “Visitation granted to man after court advised of sexually deviant images on his computer”

Or even: “Defeat of HB 2588 a signal that accused have more rights than future victims”

I’ll admit it - these headlines are fiction. However, they do represent another possible spin on recent events. These examples are alternate versions that, instead of highlighting individuals arrested for crimes focus on the safety and the rights of their victims.

The mother in the first example is Jill Thomas, Jerry Sandusky’s daughter-in-law. Thomas’

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Feb.
12th

911 should be a conduit not a disconnect

Getting emergency help is supposed to be simple. When you need to get hold of the police, medical aid or the fire department all you need to do is dial three numbers – 911 – and the appropriate responders will be there right away. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Maybe in a perfect world.

If anyone were under the illusion that a call to 911 would be a simple matter, the recent spinoff story from Josh Powell’s murder-suicide should clear up that misconception. The mishandled 911 call, discussed in a 2/11 Trib article, has

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Feb.
7th

Powell’s evil act “Smells to heaven”

I imagine myself walking through the charred, smoking remains of a home, sifting through the blackened bits of wood, fabric and broken glass. The lingering heat and haze causes me to squint, but I somehow keep myself from stumbling over the shapes of two small bodies which suddenly materialize out of the sooty, heat-warped air. As I kneel on the burnt floor, I am consciously aware of a part of myself that is usually still – an inner shield forged by the paternal instinct to protect the innocent. That part of me cracks open.

This is the legacy of Josh

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Sep.
29th

Custody ruling a judgment against Powell’s character

On Tuesday the judge presiding over the custody dispute involving Susan Cox Powell’s two young boys said she needed more time to unravel the mess.

What Judge Kathryn Nelson didn’t say, but could have, was “This’ll be one of the easiest decisions I’ll ever make in this job.”

Wednesday, the Pierce County Superior Court judge gave custody to the missing woman’s parents, Charles and Judith Cox, in a decision that should be seen as nothing less than a stern rebuke for Josh Powell and the home he shares with his father, Steven Powell.

This ruling came despite the State’s strong bias towards keeping children in the care of their biological parents. Despite the worthy goal, the judge in this case had ample reason to take a harsh view of Josh Powell’s parenting program.

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