February 16, 2012
 
By Wendy J. Murphy
For The Patriot Ledger
     
‘I have proven myself to be a fit and loving parent.” So claimed a man in an affidavit days before expressing his parental fitness and love by incinerating his two children when they arrived for a visit last Sunday.
 
Josh Powell, a suspect in the 2009 disappearance of his wife Susan, insisted he was a good father when he recently asked a judge to give him custody of 5- and 7 year-old sons, Brayden and Charlie.
 
The judge denied his request but allowed the guy to have visits with the boys at his home in Washington, even though law enforcement officials recently found child pornography on a home computer Powell shared with his father. When a social worker arrived at Powell’s front door to facilitate the children’s visit with their dad, Powell pushed her away, pulled the children inside and ignited a blast that leveled the house and killed everyone inside.
 
This tragic ending shines a much-needed light on serious flaws in our family court system.
 
At a minimum, we should be asking how any judge could allow a father to be anywhere NEAR his children in the face of clear evidence that he killed his children’s mother, especially when the children were eyewitnesses to the circumstances surrounding their mother’s death. After Susan Powell disappeared, cops asked Josh what happened. He said he had no idea and that Susan had apparently left the family when she was home alone, after he’d taken his sons camping, in the middle of the night, in subfreezing temperatures. The kids soon reported that “mommy was in the trunk” during their “camping” trip and that she went away from the car “with daddy,” but never came back.
 
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