Marcel Elfers is a Trial Run Master Profiler™ through handwriting and statement analysis providing forgery and deception detection as well as character trait analysis .
Susan Powell went missing in December 2009 and the search for her continues in the Utah desert. Josh Powell claims that his wife left him for another man. According to Josh, he and his two young sons (age 2 and 4 at the time) went camping, leaving the house at 12:30 am in the middle of a blizzard.
Josh Powell was not cooperative with law enforcement . His, now estranged, sister Jennifer Graves appeared on the Dr. Phil show and openly discussed her opinion that Josh is involved. Jennifer also stated that Susan would never leave her kids.
During a meeting of Susan’s friends where anecdotes were compared, relationship issues between Josh and Susan surfaced that included domestic violence and emotional abuse. Things like Susan was not allowed to have her own car keys and Josh frequently changing the pin number of the ATM so that Susan could not access money.
Investigation in the home showed that two fans were drying a wet area on the rug where a red stain had been removed. Josh claims that Susan cleaned the rug before she left. That explanation is just as bizarre as going camping during a blizzard in the middle of December and the middle of the night. Josh is not that bright.
A CBS reporter asked him directly “Did you kill your wife?” and Josh replied “I would never hurt her”.
That answer is very telling:
First he did not answer the question and did not deny killing her. Secondly, he makes a conditional claim referencing to the future (“would never”) and thirdly, he down plays the question by changing “killing” to just “hurting”.
Such statements are very often deceptive in nature. Lying makes one extremely uncomfortable. They rather make a truthful statement and then leave critical information out. “I would never hurt her” is such a statement. He avoided a direct answer without lying and that is "lying by omission".
When Josh was asked "what time did you go camping would you say?" he is evasive and does not mention a time. "Uhm, ... I ... you know I ... I got out pretty late, so ..." The stammering (at 1:16) shows it is a sensitive issue to him. This implies he does not want to commit to a specific answer as this is verifiable.
In the mean time, Josh’s father Steve Powell, entered the scene and joins his son in slandering Susan Powell and her family. They claimed that Susan was mentally unstable, like her mother, promiscuous and frequently lost control. They went as far as setting up a website to further their claims.
People have a strong tendency to talk about what is foremost on their minds. Steve Powell for instance claimed that Susan was sexually motivated, that they were in love (yes, Josh’s dad and Josh’s wife). The freely spoken admission of a relationship between Steve and Susan as if that is normal is bizarre.
It was announced two days ago that Steve Powell has been arrested with child pornography in his possession. He was charged with voyeurism. Interestingly, he also had pictures of Susan in flirtatious poses. Apparently, what Steve told the world about Susan was applicable to himself and yes, it was foremost on his mind.
So what happened that night?
I have wondered about Josh leaving in the middle of a blizzard and in the middle of the night with two young boys. Kids are not reliable as far as keeping their mouths shut. The cold and snow in the Utah desert implies that burial would be difficult if not impossible.
A neighbor heard Josh's car alarm inside his garage the day before she was reported missing. Josh was very motivated to go camping in the middle of the night. The below freezing temperatures would made it difficult, if not impossible, to bury a body. To bring the children suggest that he was not going to dispose of a body.
This opens the possibility that Josh left the home with the children to give someone else ample time to clean up the evidence. A person with his own secrets that Josh knows about, a person that is a confidant, a person willing to cooperate, a person like a dad with norms and values that are extended outside acceptable boundaries. That could mean that the missing body is in a location other than the desert and in this scenario, we know who to ask. My question is: Does Steve Powell have a solid alibi?
Law enforcement will soon figure it out. The charges against the father increase the stress levels on Josh and Steve Powell. One will be played against the other and the one that gives in first is not the murderer.
Read my follow up.