Josh Powell Had 400 Cartoon Sex And Incest Images


Salon Staff
February 18, 2012 2:36AM (UTC)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Josh Powell had hundreds of images of disturbing cartoon sex and graphic depictions of incest on his home computer, something Utah authorities investigating his wife's disappearance kept private for more than two years.

A psychologist who had previously said Powell's strong parenting skills should allow him to continue supervised visits altered her assessment after reviewing the images, calling them a "great concern" and suggesting a more intense evaluation of the father. That conclusion came just six days before he killed himself and two sons in an explosive house fire two weeks ago.

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Social services files released under state public records laws Friday say many of the images included sexual depictions of popular cartoons, including child-focused characters such as Rugrats, Dennis the Mennis and SpongeBob SquarePants. Another 15 images showed 3-D depictions of sex involving parents and their children.

Powell had initially told the psychologist that he visited only pornography sites featuring adults.

"Given the gaps of information about Mr. Powell there seems reason to conclude he may not presently be a stable and appropriate resource for his children," wrote Dr. James Manley in a follow-up report.

Powell was a suspect in Susan Powell's 2009 disappearance from their home in West Valley City, Utah. He had always claimed that he didn't know what happened to his wife. He took the boys — then 2 and 4 — on a midnight camping trip in freezing weather in the Utah desert, he said, and when he returned home the next day authorities were at the house looking for her.

Weeks later, he moved the boys to the home of his father, Steve Powell, in Puyallup. After Steve Powell's arrest on voyeurism and child pornography charges last fall, the boys were removed from the house and turned over to Susan Powell's parents.

A social worker brought them to Josh Powell's rental home for what was supposed to be a court-sanctioned supervised visit. Josh Powell let the boys inside, locked the social worker out, hit them with a hatchet and set fire to gasoline, authorities said.

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