Remember Susan Powell, the Utah mom who went missing while her husband supposedly took their two young sons on an overnight camping trip on a work night in the middle of the winter? Well, her husband (the primary person of interest in her disappearance) apparently blew up the house in which he and the two boys were living over the weekend, killing himself and the children. When I first heard that this happened and that the explosion appeared intentional, I thought it seemed highly unusual for someone to commit suicide by gas explosion (because the person couldn’t be sure that it would result in death — it might have resulted in survival with severe burns and extreme suffering). At the same time, I thought it seemed highly unlikely that anyone else — even someone convinced that the husband murdered Susan — would’ve blown up the house with the children inside. I think the best theory (with credit to my girlfriend) may be that he was trying to kill himself and the children painlessly by filling the house with gas (it might not have been very effective — at least not very quickly — using natural gas, but then again, this clearly wasn’t the brightest guy), and it either went wrong accidentally or he got interrupted and switched to “plan B” (setting off the explosion). With facts still coming out, it’s sounding like the latter may be what happened. Apparently, a social worker came to the house to check on the kids, the husband denied her entry, and the house exploded soon thereafter. We may never know exactly what happened to Susan Powell, but Sunday’s murder/suicide closes that case as far as I’m concerned. It’s really no stretch to conclude that a man capable of murdering his children was capable of murdering his wife previously. Others may say that stress from his custody battle with Susan’s parents could have pushed him to murder/suicide (i.e. he decided to check out and take the children with him rather than lose custody of them because he loved them so much and couldn’t bear losing them), but I doubt it. If I had to bet, I’d bet that he was a spiteful psychopath who was determined not to let society ever punish him for his wife’s murder or let his wife’s parents “win” the custody battle. I never envisioned such a tragic ending to this story, and you probably didn’t either — which helps reassure us that we don’t think like psychopaths — but now that it’s happened, I just have to believe that those poor kids are finally reunited with their mother and at peace.
Powell husband and sons die in explosion!