A new documentary on E! Network called “A Family Tragedy:
The Powells”, features the first interviews with the
psychologist who worked with Josh Powell. It paints an
even darker picture of Powell, who died earlier this year
when he set his house on fire after killing both his young
Forensic psychologist Dr. James Manley, who works for the
state of Washington, says in the documentary that
investigators found computer-generated videos and photos
that show adults having sex with children.
“And there was [sic] about fifteen images that I found the
most disturbing – and they were very lifelike –
computerized drawings of adults and children having sex in
various ways,” Dr. Manley tells Laura Ling in the
The images prompted Dr. Manley to recommend a psycho-
sexual evaluation. He says the pornography wasn’t a good
sign for a parenting situation.
“Whoever built these files had a clear interest in incest
themes which, within a parenting evaluation, did not bode
well with me.”
According to Dr. Manley, he recommended that Powell not
have contact with his children until his mental state
could be evaluated.
“That we needed to know a lot more about Mr. Powell. And
that’s why I referred him to a psycho-sexual evaluation.
There were a lot of missing pieces about Josh Powell, so
it’s my opinion that he shouldn’t have had reunification
with his kids,” says Dr. Manley in the documentary.
“E! Investigates” host Laura Ling asked Dr. Manley whether
he thought that Powell was showing the digital pornography
to his children.
“I didn’t get the sense of that, but it isn’t outside of
the bounds of possibility,” says Dr. Manley.
Relatives were also fighting to keep custody of Powell’s
two kids, fearing that Powell had been involved in the
high-profile disappearance of his wife, Susan Cox Powell.
It is unclear whether or not they were aware of the
The documentary will air for the first time on “E!
Investigates” May 29 at 8:00 p.m.