Catherine Everett, a former girlfriend of Josh Powell’s, is speaking for the first time about her ex-boyfriend, the man who in Feb. 2012 blew up his Graham home with himself and two young boys — Charlie and Braden — locked inside.
Everett broke her silence for the first time on the podcast “Cold,” a new investigative podcast series from KSL She and Powell broke up in March 1999. Months later, Josh Powell, 24, would meet Susan, 19, his future wife whom many believed was left for dead in the Utah desert.
Everett was watching the news on Dec. 9, 2009, the day police in West Valley, Utah would serve a warrant and remove computers and boxes from the Powell residence. She said she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“I’m texting my husband. I’m like, ‘You’re never going to believe what’s going on,’” Everett said. “He’s just like, ‘Uh-uh, it’s not him. It’s not him.’ And I’m just like, ‘Yeah, it is him.’”
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The news story sent Everett into a spiral of depression.
“When it first broke, it absolutely devastated me,” she said. “Just knowing that it was very probable that Susan was gone — that he was absolutely and utterly capable of doing something like that.”
Powell had returned home a few days earlier — on Dec. 6, 2009 — and called police to report his wife missing. He claimed that he had taken his two young sons, then ages 2 and 4, on a camping trip to Simpsons Springs Campground while his wife slept at home.
The set of events would set into motion a whirlwind timeline that led investigators in Utah and Pierce County on a massive search for Susan Powell, her parents on an tumultuous roller coaster of emotions, and Josh Powell and his father into a downward spiral that ended in both their deaths.
It wasn’t until recently that Everett revisited her relationship with Josh Powell. She struggled to understand how close she might have come to sharing Susan’s fate. She talked through those feelings with family members.
“They’re just like, ‘It could have been you.’ And they’re like, ‘We’re thankful that it’s not and we’re sad for Susan’s family, but we’re thankful that it wasn’t you,’” Everett said.
She recalled living with him in an apartment in Seattle where Josh Powell attended the University of Washington.
“He would have restrictions and limitations on what I could and couldn’t do when it came to my family,” she recalled. “If I was going to go visit them, he had to come too. I couldn’t go by myself.”
Everett did eventually get away to visit a friend in Utah without Powell, who was busy with school. She decided not to return to Seattle and broke up with Powell over the phone.
You can hear more about Josh Powell’s troubled past, his romantic struggles, and his failed relationship with Everett in “Cold,” a new podcast available for free at thecoldpodcast.com.
KSL’s Dave Cawley contributed to this report.