‘Shocking new theory’ promised in two-part TV special on missing mom Susan Cox Powell

The series of crimes and tragedies that swirled around the Powell family transfixed the nation a decade ago.

After Susan Cox Powell disappeared from her Salt Lake City-area home, her husband Josh moved to Pierce County, where he killed their two boys and himself. Susan’s father-in-law Steven Powell was discovered to be secretly obsessed with her.

Their story will be examined as part of the Oxygen network’s “The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell” which premieres Saturday.

Oxygen has created a two-part mini-series about Cox Powell. It concludes on Sunday.

The network bills it as “the definitive story of Susan’s devastating final years.”

In 2009, 28-year-old Susan disappeared from her West Valley City, Utah, home.

Josh gave police an alibi full of holes. He claimed he took sons Charlie, 4, and Braden, 2, on a camping trip in a snow storm.

Josh remained the only suspect in her disappearance and refused to cooperate with investigators.

In 2011, after Josh and the boys had moved back to Puyallup, he lost custody of his sons to Susan’s parents. But during a supervised visit in 2012, he locked the social worker out of the house, killed his sons with a hatchet and burned his Graham-area house down, ending his own life.

Attention then turned to Steve Powell, Josh’s father. Steve was obsessed with his daughter-in-law. The Oxygen show makes use of the many videos he shot of her.

Steve served prison time for voyeurism and possession of child pornography. He died in 2018.

Oxygen says the series reveals never-before-seen videos, interviews and “alarming new developments.”

The one development that the show doesn’t have: What happened to Susan? As recently as January, authorities searched abandoned Utah mines for her remains. They were unsuccessful.

Like many true-life TV crime shows, this one promises a “shocking new theory.” It may explain why Susan disappeared, Oxygen said.

The show airs at 7 p.m. on Oxygen.

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Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.