It’s obvious from thousands of photos just made public that missing Utah and Puyallup mom Susan Powell had no idea that a photographer was following her, seemingly everywhere she went.
That photographer was her father-in-law, Steve Powell. The photos show Susan Powell at the park, at the mall, in her car and other public places. Many of the images are sexually suggestive. There are close-ups of her crotch and butt and as well as shots of her bending over the laundry. Some of the photos were taken through window blinds.
The photos, obtained by the Associated Press through a public records request, were seized from the bedroom of Steve Powell’s Puyallup home. One folder dedicated to Susan Powell contained 4,500 images. Detectives were searching the house for evidence into the 2009 disappearance of Susan Powell. She once lived with her father-in-law. Josh Powell lived in his father’s Puyallup home with his two sons after Susan disappeared in 2009.
Steve Powell was convicted of voyeurism after detectives also found images of two young neighbor girls. Powell was not charged with any crimes related to the images of Susan Powell.
Susan Powell is still missing. Her husband, Josh, is dead after killing the couple’s two young sons and then setting fire to a rented home in Pierce County earlier this year.
In journals that authorities have also made public, Powell describes himself as a “voyeur” and Susan as an “exhibitionist.” He talks about using a mirror to spy on her under the bathroom door, and he writes about taking sexual pleasure in looking at images of Susan Powell that he kept on his computer.
Powell talks in his journals about taking lots of video of Susan during a trip to Silver Falls in 2009, and a folder of images from the trip shows only photos of her backside as she’s walking.
In one entry, dated a few months before Susan Powell disappeared, Steve Powell wrote that he had just woken up “from a most pleasant dream about Susan.” He described a sexually charged dream in which Susan asked him, “Do you think I would make a good wife for you?'”
Anne Bremner, an attorney who represents Susan Powell’s parents, said the images support the family’s assertion that Steve Powell had what she calls a concerning attraction for his daughter-in-law.
“When you look at those pictures, it’s clearly surreptitious. It’s clearly obsessive,” Bremner said. The family believes Steve Powell knows something about Susan Powell’s disappearance, and authorities have described him as uncooperative.
Mark Quigley, an attorney who represented Steve Powell in the voyeurism case, did not return a call seeking comment. Powell is in prison, serving a sentence of more than two years.
Susan Powell disappeared in Utah in December 2009. Records have shown that Utah investigators handling the case focused their attention primarily on her husband.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.