Washington Murder Review
4:42 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Powell Murder Review Urges More Communication and Vigilance

A new report on a high profile Pierce County, Wash., murder-suicide concludes that cops and social workers should communicate better. Washington state's social service agency says the child fatality review, released Thursday, supports its belief that no one could have anticipated Josh Powell would kill his two young sons and himself.

A 12-member review panel scrutinized agency actions before the murder-suicide. In February, Josh Powell blew up his rental house in Graham, Wash., while hosting a court-ordered visit with his two sons.

The case reviewers generally credit the relevant social workers for being diligent and following policy. But the murdered children's grandfather, Chuck Cox, calls the fatality review overly "generous."

"They have said that nobody could have foreseen this," Cox says. "Well, we did foresee it and we warned the West Valley (Utah) Police. We warned DSHS. We warned anyone who would listen what Josh was capable of."

Cox claims the suspicions he voiced about his son-in-law were ignored. The review committee made a series of recommendations to avoid a repeat of the tragedy. They include more information sharing between social workers and law enforcement and ongoing training about domestic violence.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

DSHS Child Fatality Review:
http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ca/ecfr-powell.pdf