The Powell family has certainly seen it's share of tragedy and horror. Last year, Josh Powell murdered his two young sons Charlie and Braden with a hatchet and then blew up the Washington state home with all of them inside as a social worker desperately tried to save the children. He was also suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell. In weeks following the murder of their young nephews, Josh's siblings defended him. Josh's brother, Michael Powell, who lived in Minneapolis, was a particular defender. But now Michael has been found dead. Reportedly, he leapt to his death from a seven story parking lot.
Michael, 30, had been fighting an insurance company for most of an $1.5 million policy that Josh had made out to him before his death. But the insurance company didn't want to pay out following the murder/suicide. Michael reportedly committed suicide just after filing an objection to the court decision that agreed that the insurance company didn't have to pay.
It's hard to feel sorry for a man who kills himself because he's not getting a payout stemming from such a horrific situation -- but there's got to be more here than that. Michael had seen his brother and his nephews die in the past year in the most violent, horrific way imaginable. His sister-in-law disappeared, presumed murdered, and both his brother and father, Steven, are strongly suspected of being behind it. Additionally, his father was obsessed with Susan and had thousands of "sexualized" photos of her on his computer. He was also arrested on child pornography charges and is serving time in prison.
This is a lot of stress and heartbreak for one man. Nor can I imagine Michael's upbringing. Steven was said to be a hugely negative influence on Josh -- it's not implausible he was on Michael too. This is one hell of a dysfunctional family.
Still, any suicide at such a young age is a tragedy. It's too bad that Michael couldn't rise above his family trauma -- but I certainly won't judge him because I cannot imagine going through all of what he has been through.
What do you think of Michael's suicide?
Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr