In setting his boys on fire Josh Powell inflamed a nation.
The purpose of this site is to correct past media reports while demonstrating why these murders will continue, unless and until the public can help media get it right.
Breaking: Unfortunately, media is now profiting from the likely triple murder. Both NBC and Laura Ling are promoting Ling's "documentary" on E TV - (that's Entertainment TV) all over NBC featuring a variety of "overlooked" clues. Shockingly featured in this so-called "documentary" is the very therapist, Dr. James Manley, who could have demanded more documents from the judge as part of his job....but is now depicted as a worried, helpful professional.
History repeats itself
Earlier, media chose to overlook the very dim supervised visitation monitor Elizabeth Griffin-Hall the exact same way. Had any reporter bothered to listen to the entire call, bothered to check the rules for supervised visitation, bothered to question her why Griffin-Hall didn't immediately telephone 9-1-1, instead of the killer...then there might have been a different outcome.
As of the first week in April shocking reports bubbled up featuring the failure of Utah police to process helpful evidence appropriately. Media reports were not wrong in informing the public, however, media has not for decades accurately reported the reality regarding most police departments in the country when it comes to women.
For those interested in Josh's early life, please see the Terrica Powell page. For those who want to fast forward to the solution, click on Solutions.
As the Powell family continues their attempts to bury Josh near the boys, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor and Ed Troyer, executive director of Crime Stoppers Tacoma/Pierce County, both wrote $100 checks a to buy the plots next to the single grave that holds Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.
Josh Powell’s tone deaf family visited the city-owned Woodbine Cemetery in Puyallup and chose a site about 25 feet from where the boys are buried. Prior to payment, outrage. The family has since reconsidered.
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Media mistakes continue
Headline in the Salt Lake Tribune began with the highly inaccurate, "Therapist Warned..." but was soon changed, to "Files show Josh Powell's twisted legacy of porn, hate."
After becoming aware of the computer porn and bondage images, Tacoma therapist Manley wrote: "In the meantime, Mr. Powell should have ongoing and regular supervised contact with Charlie and Braden (e.g. several hours each visit) two to three times a week."
Dr. Manley's report concluded: "In sum, while Mr. Powell has not demonstrated significant parenting deficits, his emotional and residential stability is concerning. He is referred to therapy with a doctoral level of therapist to process his loss, manage his frustrations, and hone his parenting strategies. He does not appear to need typical "parenting classes." In the meantime he and his sons should continue regular supervised family visits. Given the families close bond, maintaining the above visitation schedule would be beneficial to both children and Mr. Powell."
Seattle Times in fast double-back then quoted James Manley on February 17, 2012, stating: "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."
What appears correct is at the time of Manley's initial report, he was aware of 400 computer images on Josh Powell's computer, but maintained it was good for Josh Powell to remain central in the boys lives, as his report stated. However, after viewing some or all of the images, Manley changed his mind.
Thus, headlining, "Therapist Warned" was completely inaccurate. But no more so than general reporting of family crimes, the most recently astounding being Heather Knight's report in the San Francisco Chronicle during a time when San Francisco has 900 unsolved rapes, over 1,000 unsolved murders and San Francisco's Sheriff, Ross Mirkarmi is facing misdemeanor charges for assaulting his wife. Knight wrote a largely fact-free puff piece titled, "San Francisco getting it right on Domestic Violence."
Although Knight's report amounts to journalistic malpractice; reports such as hers and others, including the Powell preventable double-murders, are likely to continue.
Returning to common errors, unaddressed: as of February 18, 2012, media outlets including AP and the Seattle Times, continue identifying Supervised Visitation monitor Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, as a "social worker." Griffin-Hall is not a social worker. Also, training wise, which is supposed to include assertiveness training, Griffin-Hall was less than qualified. However, training standards are often low.
Media attention was initially focused on the 9-1-1 operator who indeed, compounded the problem.
However, the public should remind media the very first response of Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, a contract worker hired to protect the children, who smelled gasoline and was locked out of the house was to telephone her supervisor; not 9-1-1. It will be interesting to learn the duration of her call to the supervisor, and whether any other calls were made during that time frame.
Other media mistakes
Reporters typically contact attorneys who maintain "the best interests of the children are paramount" and another around of misinformation begins. Nothing could be further from reality, but there are deadlines to meet, and thus these well-honed myths continue. See The "Best interests of the children."
Earlier AP quickly put together a short list of parents who kill their own children. It was picked up by the wires without question. AP's list was short and lacking. Click here for a more comprehensive list.
LA Times reporter Kim Murphy wrote,
"From her first words it was clear there was something horribly wrong."
This is inaccurate. Griffin-Hall's first words were to her supervisor, and the public is not aware of what was said or the duration of the call. The public only knows the supervised monitor began the call with a sense of confusion, and asked the 9-1-1 operator what to do.
It will be interesting to learn the duration of the call made to the supervisor; the length of time between the call to the supervisor and the 9-1-1 operator, as well as if there were calls placed to anyone else during that time frame.
Earlier Murphy wrote:
"Charles and Judith Cox knew what the professional psychologists said — that their grandsons would be safe with their father, that Josh Powell would present no threat during the boys' court-ordered visits." Murphy did not identify the professional psychologists. This practice should immediately end.
There are other examples but this is the gist of it. The point is to focus on solutions.