Just when you thought Josh Powell couldn’t be any more evil, the autopsy results come out. And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse than that, the 911 tapes are released. I finally had to walk away. I couldn’t read anymore of the horror.
It’s impossible to understand how someone can be such a monster; but it’s easy to be angry. It’s easy to second-guess every decision made since Susan Cox Powell disappeared and wonder how Josh Powell ever had access to those innocent children after that.
In the aftermath, policies will be reviewed. Those involved will wonder what they could have done differently. Some will point fingers at Josh Powell’s father and the way Josh Powell was raised. Some will point fingers at the justice system, which allowed for the children to visit Josh Powell’s home. Some will say dispatch didn’t act fast enough. The caseworker will replay the events over and over in her mind wondering if she could have done something different.
“Why in the world would they allow the visitation to happen at his house?” I asked a family member after the news broke.
“They couldn’t have stopped him,” came the reply. “If the visitation had happened in public, maybe he would have just brought a gun.”
I can’t help but think of all those who had worried and fought for those children. I can’t help but think of the frustration and anger law enforcement officials must be feeling after they tried relentlessly to prove Josh Powell was a monster. I can’t help feeling that somewhere, somehow the system let these children down.
I also can’t help feeling, however, that there is truly one person responsible for the murders of those two boys: Josh Powell.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I hope that if changes are necessary, they are carefully made. In the meantime, we can blame the judge or the attorneys, we can blame it on Josh Powell’s childhood, and we can blame it on Steven Powell. We can blame it on dispatch for not sending officers sooner. But in the end, Josh Powell made a choice. And in the end, he will pay the ultimate consequence.
May those children’s smiles leave a beautiful mark on all those who knew them. May we all come together, even for a moment, to appreciate the innocence of children.
May there be a dark place reserved for the monsters that take that away.