Josh Powell, the man who killed himself and his two children in a house explosion after his wife went missing in Utah, had a history of violence growing up according to court records. However, despite the many claims against him, his sister Alina has now come forward and said that her brother was a victim.
According to 1992 court documents obtained by ABC News, Powell has had disturbing thoughts since his youth. The documents include several statements made by Terrica Powell describing her son's disturbing behavior.
One incident recalls Josh Powell's reaction to his mother after she had asked him to do the dishes. "I felt extreme fear when Josh made a veiled threat at me with a butcher knife in his hand. His demeanor was menacing for a moment as he said, 'Don't push it, mom,' his mother wrote … I was terrified and left the room to go downstairs…"
Josh Powell's wife, Susan, went missing in 2009. Powell was considered the only person of interest in the case but was never charged for her murder. Powell later moved to his father, Steven Powell's house, in Washington where he was arrested in 2011 on charges of voyeurism and child pornography. Powell's kids were taken by child custody services and put in the care of Susan Powell's parents.
Despite the many accusations, Alina Powell told ABC news that she believes her brother is innocent of murdering his wife. Alina said that she had always had her doubts but couldn't seem to find evidence that her brother had committed the murder.
"I scrutinized him pretty deeply. I watched him when he would talk, when he would interact with anyone else. I had my doubts," Alina Powell told ABC news. But, she said, "I never, ever heard anything that was remotely suspicious in I don't know how many months."
Alina has now said that the events following the disappearance of his wife are responsible for the murder-suicide that Powell committed last week. During a supervised visit with his children, Powell closed the door on a social service worker and then ignited an explosion that killed both him and his two children.
"I think this was the act of somebody who had been so damaged by the lack of due process, so harassed and abused and lied about that he just reached a point of feeling like there was no... I don't know," Alina said.
Before the incident occurred, Powell left a voicemail to five different family members which relayed his goodbyes. "This is Josh. I'm calling to say goodbye. I am not able to live without my sons and I'm not able to go on anymore. I'm sorry to everyone I've hurt. Goodbye," the voicemail said.
Alina is still struggling with having to accept current events. "I wake up and I feel like it didn't really happen. It just takes a few minutes for it to sink in."
She has tried to explain away her brother's actions. "I think he must have just felt that there was only one way left for him to protect his sons, from the pain, from all the emotional and physical pain they've been experiencing," Alina Powell said.
Police believe that Powell used a hatchet to chop his sons in the head and neck before igniting gasoline that caused the house to explode. An autopsy report conducted by the Medical Examiner's office listed the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning with "chopping injuries" as a secondary cause. The manner was listed as homicide.