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Voyeurism trial not enough for Powell friendMay 8, 2012 @ 6:34 pm (Updated: 7:16 pm - 5/8/12 )
A friend of Susan Powell's says her heart sinks as she follows the Pierce County trial of Steve Powell, charged with 14 counts of voyeurism.
"Everything she told me was exactly true and everything I suspected was worse than I imagined," says Kriisi Hellewell, a West Valley City, Utah women who was friends with Susan for five years.
Susan disappeared in December 2009. Her husband, Josh Powell, killed himself and their two sons, 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden, in February at a rental home in Graham.
In searching for evidence about Susan's disappearance, police found photos Josh's father, Steve Powell, is accused of taking. Prosecutors say he took images of girls as young as 8 during a 10-year span.
In the voyeurism trial, the judge is allowing limited journal evidence related to Powell's sexual interest with his daughter-in-law.
"I would use the word 'obsession,'" says Hellewell. "Susan couldn't stand him. She described him as the devil."
She says it's "obvious" from the pre-trial motions in the Powell case that "his feelings for her never lessened over the years."
Hellewell met Susan Powell when the family moved from Puyallup to West Valley City, Utah. Their families met at church and she became a close friend to Susan.
"A few months after they moved here Susan told me that the real reason they moved to Utah was to get away from her father-in-law," says Hellewell. "I just kind of stared at her thinking, I know people have troubles with their in-laws sometimes but why such the disgust and almost hatred on her face considering she was such a kind and loving person. She told me that he hit on her, that he tried to kiss her, that she caught him watching her get dressed one day."
Prosecutors said that Steve Powell, who is 62, wrote in journals that he and his daughter-in-law were a perfect match because he was a voyeur and she an exhibitionist.
In December 2003, he wrote he had been stalking her and making secret videos of her. In one of the videos Powell talks about taking a pair of Susan's underwear from the laundry basket and kissing it. In April 2003, he wrote that Susan Powell liked to be admired and that he was a voyeur. In September 2010, he wrote he was going nuts and had been nearly out of control sexually almost his entire life, according to prosecutors.
Jurors likely will not see all of the evidence as they hear the voyeurism case against, and defense of, Powell.
The voyeurism charges aren't enough for Hellewell, who says she's "believed since the first week Susan disappeared that Steve was very involved in her disappearance and maybe the mastermind behind it."
Hellewell wishes she could see Powell in court. She'd say, "Please do the right thing and tell the truth. Tell us where Susan is, what happened to her and what part you played in all of this."
While acknowledging that's unlikely, she's "hoping for a miracle."
"I keep hoping that the police will continue their investigation. They've assured me recently that they're working very, very hard and that they have no plans to quit and they're not giving up," Hellewelll says. "I continue to put my faith and hope in them, hoping they can find Susan and get some justice for her and her boys."
Susan Cox-Powell and Kiirsi Hellewell, photo from Kiirsi
By LINDA THOMAS
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