- Friends have spoken to the authors of a new book, out on Tuesday
- They claim that Susan Powell, who vanished from her Utah home in December 2009, was under the control of her husband, Josh
- They suggest she was poisoned by him 2 months before she disappeared because she felt sick and Josh often made her drinks
- One of their sons was also diagnosed with malnutrition after Josh withheld food from him, saying he was ‘just going to poop it out’
- Susan’s body has never been found and Josh killed himself and his sons in 2012 after attacking them with a hatchet and blowing up their home
Josh Powell starved one of his sons to the point of malnutrition and possibly poisoned his wife with homemade drinks before she vanished, according to a new book.
The startling claims have been made by Susan Powell’s friends more than four years after the 29-year-old mother-of-two disappeared from her Utah home.
While her body has never been found, her husband Josh was long suspected of having a role in her disappearance. Then in February 2012, he attacked his sons, aged five and seven, with a hatchet and blew them – and himself – up in his Washington state home.
Speaking to authors Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris for their book, ‘If I Can’t Have You’, which is released on Tuesday, the friends have given a terrifying insight into the Powell household.
Where is she? Susan Powell, pictured with her sons Braden and Charlie, vanished in 2009 and in the months ahead of her disappearance, her husband might have been poisoning her, friends have said
They claim that Josh Powell, who was unemployed, controlled the family’s finances – ordering his broker wife only to buy the cheapest groceries and refusing to feed the children three meals a day.
‘Susan had to research what was on sale at what store,’ Michele Oreno told the authors. ‘Then she had to come home and put it into the computer, what she spent on every item.
‘[Josh] was really ticked off because the week before she had spent two cents more on a can of peas than he found at another store… It got so he wouldn’t give her money for food or anything.’
Susan even called friends to ask if she could sneak hot dogs from them because the boys were so hungry, friends said.
Then, when Charlie Powell was a year old, a doctor diagnosed him with malnutrition, the book said.
Troubled: Her husband, Josh Powell, pictured, also withheld food from his young sons, friends said
Tragic: He killed himself and his sons in 2012 by striking them with a hatchet and blowing up the house
‘He gets one meal a day at day care. That’s all he needs,’ Josh told Susan, according to friend Rachel Marini. ‘You’re not wasting my food on him because he’s just going to poop it out!’
Friends added that they started to suspect him of poisoning his wife in October 2009, two months before she vanished.
She began to feel nauseous so wondered if she was pregnant before miscarrying, friends said.
‘He made a lot of organic products for her to drink, a lot of thick yogurt stuff and fermented drinks with kefir,’ friend Amber Hardman explained.
The book suggests that there is also a possibility that Braden, the couple’s youngest son, was molested by Josh’s father Steve, who was later charged with voyeurism for taking pictures of young girls who lived next door to him.
What did he know? Powell, pictured after his wife vanished, reportedly ordered his wife around in their home
Theories: The new insights were shared by friends in a book out Tuesday, left. It also suggests that one of the sons may have been sexually assaulted by Josh’s father Steve, pictured in court, right
When the boys were taken from the custody of their father, Braden was diagnosed with a fungal skin infection; one way to contract this infection is through sexual contact, the authors said.
Susan’s body was never found, although the search still continues.
Josh has claimed that his wife was at home when he took his sons, Charlie and Braden, on a winter camping trip in Utah’s West Desert.
In February 2012, 36-year-old Josh Powell took his two sons into his home from a state supervisor, attacked them with a hatchet and then blew up the family home, killing all three.
Police documents from May 2012 reveal that Utah officials believe that Josh killed his wife and that his brother Michael helped dispose of her body. Michael killed himself in February 2013.