Steven Powell dies; last survivor of trio investigated in Susan Cox Powell disappearance

Steve Powell, 2012. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Steven Powell, the father-in-law of a long-missing Utah woman, has died in Washington. Susan Cox Powell’s family considered him the last, most-likely person to know what happened to her.

Powell, 67, died Monday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma.

Steven Powell’s son Josh — Susan’s husband — died with their two sons, 7-year-old Charles and 5-year-old Braden, in an explosive house fire in 2012. Authorities say the blast was a suicide.

Josh’s brother, Michael, committed suicide the following year.

All three men had come under the scrutiny of investigators after Susan Powell’s disappearance in 2009. She remains missing and is presumed dead.

Authorities seeking evidence in the disappearance searched Steven Powell’s home in 2011. Journals and piles of photos found during the investigation suggested that he had a sexual and emotional draw to his daughter-in-law.

They also found evidence that he used a telephoto lens to take photos of neighbor girls 8 and 9 from his bedroom window, which looked onto their bathroom. He was convicted of voyeurism, served 30 months in prison and was released a year ago.

“I hope maybe he left some notes behind about where Susan might be,” Chuck Cox, Susan Powell’s father, told The Salt Lake Tribune. “And it’s a sad thing that his family’s destroyed, and now he’s gone, too.”

The disappearance case remains open but has gone cold with all leads exhausted, authorities in Utah said Tuesday.

The death of Steven Powell doesn’t “make the case any more or less likely to be solved,” the West Valley City Police Department said.

Authorities named Josh Powell as a person of interest as details emerged regarding his dysfunctional marriage to Susan Powell.

The young mother wrote in her journal in 2008: “If I die, it may not be an accident even if it looks …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Tesla crushed, driver killed by 1-ton block of concrete

Emergency personnel work at the scene of an accident on Forest Park Parkway in St. Louis. (Cristina M. Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a prominent businesswoman and the wife of a former St. Louis police chief was killed instantly when a 1-ton chunk of concrete fell from a bridge over a roadway and crushed her car.

Police on Tuesday identified the victim as Janet Torrisi-Mokwa, 58.

Investigators say Torrisi-Mokwa was driving her Tesla Monday on Forest Park Parkway when a driver lost control on the bridge over the parkway and slammed into the concrete barrier. A large chunk of concrete was dislodged and fell onto Torrisi-Mokwa’s car.

Torrisi-Mokwa, the only occupant of the Tesla, was killed immediately, police said.

The 22-year-old driver of the car that struck the barrier was treated for minor injuries.

Torrisi-Mokwa was the founder of Congruence Inc., a leadership advisory firm, and was active with the Humane Society of Missouri. She had been married for 25 years to Joe Mokwa, 68, who was police chief of St. Louis from 2001 to 2008.

Mokwa learned of the crash when a police commander called him on Monday afternoon. He was then taken to identify his wife’s body.

A woman in a Mercury Sable ran into a concrete barrier at Union and Lindell boulevards, knocking a chunk onto the roadway below.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Naked exerciser at Planet Fitness: Wait, it’s not a judgement-free zone?

Eric Stagno. (Plaistow Police Department)

PLAISTOW, N.H. (AP) — A man who stripped naked before working out at a New Hampshire gym told police officers that he thought he was in a “judgement-free zone.” He was arrested.

The New Hampshire Union-Leader reports Eric Stagno, 34, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was charged with indecent exposure, lewdness and disorderly conduct on Sunday for taking off his clothes and exercising at a Planet Fitness in Plaistow.

Police said that when they arrived, Stagno was in a “yoga-type pose” on a mat. He allegedly referred to Planet Fitness’ slogan that it is a “judgement-free zone.”

Patrons who gave statements to police reported that they felt “uncomfortable,” “disgusted,” “sick” and “unsafe,” police Capt. Brett Morgan told the Union-Leader.

Stagno is free on bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 21 in Plaistow District Court.

Stagno could not be reached for comment, and his attorney could not be immediately identified.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted about the incident Tuesday morning, suggesting it was tied to an incident in which a Planet Fitness gym terminated the membership of someone who had complained about a transgender woman using the women’s locker room.

With the idiocy of Planet Fitness having said men could go into the women’s locker rooms & saying there is no real gender and we can be whatever we feel like being, who would have ever seen THIS coming?

— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) July 24, 2018

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Greek wildfires kill 74; some swam to sea and never returned


RAFINA, Greece (AP) — Wildfires raging through seaside resorts near the Greek capital torched homes, cars and forests, killing at least 74 people, authorities said Tuesday. Twenty-six of the dead were groups of families or friends found huddled together, some of them clasp in hugs. Others swam out to sea to escape the inferno and some never came back.

Greece endures wildfires every year but the fires that broke out Monday were the deadliest to hit the country in decades. Fueled by gale-force winds, they trapped thousands of people on beaches, roads and in homes.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of national mourning for those killed as officials feared the death toll could rise even further, as there was no definitive count of how many people were missing.

Coast guard boats patrolled the shores near fire-hit areas Tuesday after over 700 people trapped by quick-moving fires had to be rescued from beaches or the sea, where six of the dead were found.

While Greek authorities urged the public to contact them if they were looking for loved ones, many people took to social media, posting pictures of those they were looking for and their last known location before the fires hit.

Fire service spokeswoman Stavroula Malliri announced Tuesday afternoon that the death toll had jumped from 50 to 74. In addition, 164 adults and 23 children were still being treated in hospitals for injuries, mainly burns. Of the adults, 71 remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon, 10 of them in serious condition, while 11 of the children also remained hospitalized.

Twenty-six of the dead were found at first light Tuesday huddled together in one compound near the sea in the community of Mati, near the port of Rafina. Red Cross rescuers who found them said they appeared to be families or …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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