Susan Powell created a “paper trail” of evidence before her disappearance, “Cold” podcast reveals

Nov 28, 2018, 2:00 AM


On June 27, 2008, Susan Powell was afraid for her life.

She’d just gone through the worst argument she and her husband, Josh, had ever had. The two had fallen out over faith and finances, and the shouting match had gotten so brutal that Susan had locked herself in the closet and threatened to call the police.

This was more than a just a marital spat. It was a fight that left her in such desperate fear that, the next day, she wrote up her last will and testament, emblazoning the outer cover with the warning: “For family, friends of Susan all except for Josh Powell husband, I don’t trust him!”

“If I die, it may not be an accident, even if it looks like one,” Susan wrote inside the will. “Take care of my boys.”

Susan Powell disappeared a little over a year later, on Dec. 7, 2009. Her body has never been found.

Worth A Million Dollars Dead

Susan Powell Last Will and Testament

Susan Powell’s last will and testament. (West Valley City Police)

From the very beginning of the case, police suspected that Josh Powell was responsible for his wife’s disappearance. But they never pressed charges, and on Feb. 5, 2012, Josh killed himself and Susan’s two boys.

The problem was evidence. The only evidence they’d been able to gather was circumstantial. They couldn’t find her body, and, without it, they didn’t have hard proof.

Some of that evidence against Josh came from Susan herself. After that fight on June 27, 2008, Susan began documenting everything she could, convinced that her husband, in her owns words, “could easily take me out.”

She wrote up her last will and testament, specifically asking anyone who found it to look into her husband if she died. She had a friend, Kiirsi Hellewell, write up a detailed report on her fight with Josh. And she registered a safety deposit box her husband couldn’t access, filling it with documents she would need in the case of a divorce.

“I feel the need to have a paper trail,” Susan wrote in her will. “I want it documented somewhere that there is extreme turmoil in our marriage.”

Most of the “paper trail” of evidence she created has never been shared with the public. But now, for the first time, KSL’s Dave Cawley is sharing that evidence with the world on his podcast “Cold”.

In his third episode, he has shared parts the dozens of documents Susan left behind out of her fear that her husband would hurt, and he has conducted exclusive interviews with some of the people closest to her, sharing their stories about the woman at the center of one of Utah’s most heart-wrenching cold cases.

Cold: The Susan Powell Case Files

Listen to Cold on the KSL Newsradio website or on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Julian Assange greets supporters at the Ecuadorian embassy in London....

Kyle Remund

Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, reaches plea deal with U.S. government

The longtime activist, hacker, and journalist, Julian Assange, has entered a plea deal in connection with the 2010 Chelsea Manning leaks.

4 hours ago

An SLCPD car with its lights on. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Emma Keddington

Man arrested at the airport in connection to Salt Lake City homicide

This is the second arrest in connection to the killing of 30-year-old Nico Christopher Patino. 

2 days ago

An SLCPD car with its lights on. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Carlysle Price, KSL TV

SLCPD arrest fugitive shooting suspect

On Friday, the Salt Lake City Police Department has arrested the suspect of a shooting that occurred in February.

2 days ago

A Clearfield shooting has left one 18-year-old injured and in the hospital....

Kennedy Camarena

Clearfield shooting leaves 18-year-old hospitalized

An 18-year-old male was injured and hospitalized after being shot twice in Clearfield, Utah on Saturday night.

3 days ago

Officials urge parents to follow Utah's regulations on the use of e-bikes, scooters and ATVs....

Carlysle Price, KSL TV

Officials urge parents to follow e-bike regulations

Police are reminding the public on regulations issued around e-bikes due to concerns surrounding kids with e-bikes, ATV's and golf carts.

3 days ago

Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes pleaded guilty on Thursday to the kidnapping and murder of Nicole Solorio...

Emily Ashcraft,

Second man pleads guilty to kidnapping, murder of Kearns woman in 2021

Jorge Rafael Medina-Reyes, 25, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder, a first-degree felony, and aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Susan Powell created a “paper trail” of evidence before her disappearance, “Cold” podcast reveals