Susan Cox Powell's father-in-law kept her underwear in Ziploc bags and used her photos for 'self-stimulation', his diary entries reveal

Susan Cox Powell's father-in-law kept her underwear in Ziploc bags and used her photos for 'self-stimulation', his diary entries reveal

Susan Cox Powell disappeared from her home in West Valley City in Utah in 2009 and has not been heard of or seen ever since.

Cox's husband Josh Powell had a bizarre alibi and said that he had taken his two small sons (7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden) on a spontaneous camping trip in a blizzard.

Even though Josh Powell gave a very strange alibi and claimed he only returned to the couple's home after she had vanished, his father Steve Powell was the most suspicious given his obsession with his daughter-in-law.

Oxygen Media released a new documentary titled 'The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell' which looked at new developments and never-seen-before videos. 

The documentary also gave viewers a closer look into the creepy footage and pictures of Susan Cox Powell taken by Steve Powell with/without her consent. He was allegedly in love with Susan even though she was the mother to his grandchildren. She did not pay heed to his advances but that did not stop him from believing that she was romantically interested in him. 

The authorities had also discovered an audiotape that showed Steve confronting Susan about his infatuation and obsession around eight years before she mysteriously disappeared.

Steve Powell's sexual obsession with Susan Cox Powell 

Susan Cox Powell's father-in-law was in love with her and it is no secret that he would often videotape her or take pictures of her with/without the 28-year-old mother's consent.

In the year 2012, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department released over 2,000 pages from his journals where he openly documented his sexual obsession and fixation. 

Susan Cox Powell with her husband Josh Powell, father-in-law Steve Powell, and brother-in-law Michael Powell (Source: The West Valley City Police Department)

During one such disturbing entry, Steve admitted to secretly recording Susan and watching the clips later as he says, "I sometimes use these images for self-stimulation."


He had also made other entries such as "The fact is, I can hardly control myself when it comes to her," before wondering whether his obsession "might be considered sociopathic. I mean, who looks under the bathroom door with a mirror?" referring to when he spied on Susan in the bathroom using a handheld mirror under the door. 

One another occasion, Steve had shared, "I love putting her underwear against my face. I've seen her breasts, she doesn't know it, but I have- when she's come out of the shower. God, I worship her." In some of the video footage, Steve could be heard saying that he had "never lusted for a woman as I have for Susan." He also often fantasized about how "he would love to kiss those lips."

He believed that his son Josh who was the father of his grandchildren did not appreciate Susan as he would have. Steve would also wonder whether the 31-year age gap would be an obstacle and took to collecting newspaper cutouts which discussed age gap relationships. 


The findings in Steve Powell's home

Steve Powell had kept Susan's private journals with him and had also begun to release its contents. The police in assistance with the Cox family and friends set up a 'honk and wave' trap which eventually led to the police having enough evidence to get a search warrant for Steve's house. Upon searching his house, a Pierce County Detective, Gary Sanders revealed that the authorities were shocked at what they had found. 

"There were cotton balls where Susan had maybe taken the fingernail polish off. They were dated and had her name on it. There were pairs of panties that were in Ziploc bags. Feminine hygiene products that were in bags. Toenail clippings, hair clippings, things that should not be kept. We were all in awe of basically the house of horrors we were looking at," he shared. 

The police also found home movies where Steve had taped two minor girls along with many young women and girls who were in the neighborhood. 


Steve Powell's arrest 

Steve Powell was convicted on 14 counts of voyeurism as he had filmed other girls and women in his neighborhood and the journals acted like evidence in the case. He was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison. He was never arrested in connection with Susan's case but did get an additional five years for possession of child pornography. He was eventually released from prison in 2017 and died the following year after suffering a heart attack.

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