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New documentary explores the Powell family tragedy

PUYALLUP, Washington (ABC 4 News) - The Washington State psychologist who ordered Josh Powell to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation is speaking out for the first time.
PUYALLUP, Washington (ABC 4 News) - The Washington State psychologist who ordered Josh Powell to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation is speaking out for the first time. Doctor James Manley is the same psychologist that diagnosed Powell as a narcissist. He was interviewed for a documentary on the Powell family tragedy that aired Tuesday night on the E! Entertainment Network.

Doctor Manley, a forensic psychologist, said there were 400 images on Josh Powell's computer that depicted incest. "There were about 15 incest images I found the most disturbing," explained Dr. Manley. "They were very life-like computerized drawings of adults and children having sex in various ways. Whoever built those files had a clear interest in incest themes which within a parenting evaluation did not bode well for me."

The images were warning signs that Powell was an unfit parent. Dr. Manley said, "There were a lot of missing pieces to Josh Powell. So it was my opinion that he shouldn't have reunification with his kids."

A Washington state judge agreed with Dr. Manley's recommendations. He ordered Powell to undergo the evaluation, including a polygraph test, and denied Powell's request to take back custody of his two young boys. However, the judge did not change or stop Powell's twice weekly visitations with the boys at his new rental home.

That turned out to be a fatal mistake.

On the first visit, the Sunday after the hearing, Josh took his two boys from the social worker, slammed the door in her face and turned his rental into a crematorium.

Despite all of his concerns about Josh, Dr. Manley did not foresee that. "He'd been compliant with the wishes of the department and in the records that I reviewed of the visitations there weren't any problems."

Chuck Cox, the grandfather of Charlie and Braden Powell, told E! the system let them down. "The judge should not have allowed visitation after these incest images were found and ordered a psycho-sexual evaluation," Cox said. "Is our system that broke?"

Anne Bremner is an attorney who is now representing the Cox family. She concluded, "There was probably cause to believe Josh killed his wife. That alone should have been enough. Everybody had the red flags and the system -- the system consists of people -- failed them."

With the observations of Dr. Manley, the E! Investigates documentary paints a clearer and even darker picture of Josh Powell. But it leaves unanswered the question of why Josh was not stopped, before it was too late.
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