It seems impossible for the Josh Powell murder-suicide story to get worse. But it just keeps doing that. The latest reports show that the father of two first used a hatchet to hit his two sons, Braden, 5, and Charlie, 7.
The children had been living with their grandparents since their father was under suspicion in the disappearance of their mother Susan Cox Powell. Now, not only will authorities likely never find the mother's body, but they are now faced with the fact that the supervised "visits" they allowed were the reason the boys were killed. Powell apparently grabbed his sons in the house, locked the social worker out and lit the house on fire.
Now, an ax on the scene and hatchet marks on the bodies show it is even worse. He also took a hatchet to his two young sons in a murder-suicide that is out of a parent's worst nightmare.
What would drive a person to do such a thing? Clearly Powell has been troubled for years and his own family is terrifying enough. His own father is in jail on child porn charges.
But he clearly showed remorse. He expressed his remorse in a voicemail to family members in which he said:
I'm sorry to everyone I've hurt. Goodbye.
It is one of those things that makes it all the more chilling. We want to believe all people who would do things like this are insane and out of their minds. After all, who wants to think a man who loves his children could plan something like this and take a hatchet to his own children? It is beyond horrifying.
The sad truth is much scarier. A person can know right from wrong. They can feel remorse and sadness and they can still do something like this. It is even worse than a horror movie where everything is oversimplified and everyone is a sociopath.
Our hearts all break at the thought of these poor boys trusting their father even though he had already allegedly taken their mother away from them. How could this happen? We want to blame someone. Was it the fault of the court for not taking away visitation? Was it the fault of the father for being a sick psychopath?
Maybe the truth is actually far scarier. Maybe he was calculated and remorseful and still did this unthinkable thing to children. It is so very much worse than anyone can imagine.
Do these new details make this story worse for you?