Powell Told Sons He Had 'Big Surprise' for Them

Incest images found on Josh Powell's computer

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2012 2:47 AM CST | Updated Feb 10, 2012 5:00 AM CST

(Newser) – When a social worker brought Josh Powell's sons for their final, deadly visit, she heard Powell tell the two excited little boys he had a "big surprise" for them—so they rushed into his home, where he quickly killed them. "He caught my eye, his shoulders were slumped. He had a sheepish look," social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall told 20/20. "He just shrugged his shoulders and slammed the door." Once inside, Powell attacked the boys with an ax and torched 10 gallons of gasoline he had purchased to blow up his Washington state home, say authorities. In other disturbing developments in the case, officials have revealed that images of animated characters engaging in incest were discovered on Powell's computer, reports AP.

Powell lost a custody appeal shortly before the double murder-suicide and had been ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation because information about the images had been given to Washington authorities by police in Utah, where the family used to live. Charlie, 7, and 5-year-old Braden were being raised by their maternal grandparents. Powell was a key suspect in his wife's 2009 disappearance, and Charlie had begun to tell his grandparents that he once saw "mommy in the trunk."

Charlie, left, and Braden snuggle with their granddad.
Charlie, left, and Braden snuggle with their granddad.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Chuck and Judy Cox)
Braden, left, and Charlie Powell play dress-up in their grandparents' home.
Braden, left, and Charlie Powell play dress-up in their grandparents' home.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Chuck and Judy Cox)
A sign in tribute to Charlie and Braden Powell marks a memorial site at Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, Wash., where Charlie Powell attended school.
A sign in tribute to Charlie and Braden Powell marks a memorial site at Carson Elementary School in Puyallup, Wash., where Charlie Powell attended school.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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