This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

• First call from social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall

Griffin-Hall: I'm on a supervised visitation for a court-ordered visit and something, really weird has happened. The kids went in the house and the biological parent, Josh Powell, will not let me in the door. What should I do?

Dispatcher: What's the address

Listen to audio of the 911 calls regarding the Powell home being set on fire. The audio files may take a few moments to load.

Griffin-Hall: 8119 and I think it's 89th, I don't know what the address is, let me get in the car nothing like this has happened like this before. I'm really shocked, and I could hear one of the kids crying, and he still won't let me in, OK, it's 1, just a minute I have it here, you can't find me by GPS?

Dispatcher: No

Griffin-Hall: OK, it is... I still can't find it. He's on a very short leash with DHSH, he looked right at me and closed the door.

It's 8119 189th Street Court East Puyallup.

I'd like to pull out of the driveway because I smell gasoline, and he won't let me in.

Dispatcher: He won't let you out of the driveway?

Griffin-Hall: He won't let me in the house.

Dispatcher: Whose house is it?

Griffin-Hall: Josh Powell

Dispatcher: You don't live there?

Griffin-Hall: No, I'm contracted by the state to provide supervised visitation.

[Confusion about who Griffin-Hall is ensues, then gets cleared up]

Griffin-Hall: He's the husband of Susan Powell, this is a high-profile case. I was one step in back of them.

Dipatcher: So they went in the house and locked you out?

Griffin-Hall: Yes, he shut the door in my face.

Dispatcher: What is your name?

Griffin-Hall: My name is Elizabeth Griffin-Hall.

Dispatcher: And what's you're phone number?

Griffin-Hall gives number.

Dispatcher: What agency are you with?

Griffin-Hall: Foster Care Resource Network, and the kids have been in there by now approximately 10 minutes, and he knows it's a supervised visit. Braden is 5 and Charlie is 7.

Dispatcher: And the dad's last name?

Griffin-Hall: Powell.

Dispatcher: Two L's at the end of Powell?

Griffin-Hall: Yes.

Dispatcher: And his first name?

Griffin-Hall: His first name is Josh. [She gives physical description of him].

Dispatcher: Is he alone, or was anyone with him?

Griffin-Hall: I don't know, I couldn't get in the house

Dispatcher: Are you in a vehicle now or on foot?

Griffin-Hall: I'm in a 2010 Prius with the doors locked. He won't let me in. I rang the doorbell and everything. I begged him to let me in.

Dispatcher: Elizabeth, please listen to my questions. What color is the Toyota Prius?

Griffin-Hall: Gray, dark gray.

Dispatcher: And the licence number?

Griffin-Hall: I don't know, I can look. (Gets out of car) 750 ZMH

Dispatcher: OK, we'll have someone look for you there.

Griffin-Hall: Do you know how long it will be?

Dispatcher: They have to respond to emergencies , life-threatening situations first.

Griffin-Hall: This could be life-threatening. He was in court on Wednesday and he didn't get his kids back and this is really... I'm afraid for their lives.

Dispatcher: Has he threatened the lives of the children previously?

Griffin-Hall: I have no idea

Dispatcher: OK we'll have the first available deputy contact you.

Griffin-Hall: Thank you

Dispatcher: Bye.

• Second call from social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall

Dispatcher: Hello. Were you calling about the fire on 189th street?

Griffin-Hall: Yes, he exploded the house. He exploded the house.

Dispatcher: Ma'am, do you know the exact address?

Griffin-Hall: It's 8119 189th Court East in Puyallup

Dispatcher: What are you calling about?

Griffin-Hall: It exploded, the house.

Dispatcher: Do you know where you are?

Griffin-Hall: 8119 189th Street Court East in Puyallup

Dispatcher: Do you know if there's anyone in the house?

Griffin-Hall: Yes, there was a man and two children. I just dropped off the children and he wouldn't let me in the door.

Dispatcher: Stay on the line with me. I'm going to get the fire department. Hang on. Don't hang up. Stay on the phone here with me ma'am. Fire this is Rose. I'm transferring the lady who has the exact address.

Griffin-Hall: I can hear the fire trucks, but they're not here yet. It's 8119

Dispatcher: We have an engine there.

Griffin-Hall: People are saying there is not somebody here, but there's a couple of boys, 5 and 7, he has supervised visitation and he blew up the house and the kids.

Dispatcher: The kids and the father were in the house?

Griffin-Hall: Yes, he slammed the door in my face so I kept knocking. I thought it was a mistake, I kept knocking and then I called 911.

Dispatcher: You saw him go back in the house?

Griffin-Hall: He didn't ever leave the house, he just opened the door, the kids were one step ahead of me, they are 5 and 7, they were one step ahead of me and he slammed the door in my face.

Dispatcher: Do you think he might have done this intentionally?

Griffin-Hall: Yes.

Dispatcher: County, go ahead with what you need.

Dispatcher: What is your name, ma'am?

Griffin-Hall: I'm Elizabeth Griffin-Hall, I'm the supervisor visitation (incoherent noises and crying)

Dispatchers: What is your last name?

Griffin-Hall calmly spells it.

Dispatcher: Where are you at right now?

Griffin-Hall: I'm at 8112 on the same court,

Dispatcher: So you are at 8112 189th Street Court East

Griffin-Hall: Yes

Dispatcher: Are you in the car?

Griffin-Hall: I was in it I'm standing outside it right now

Dispatcher: Is that your home address?

Griffin-Hall: No, I'm the supervised visitation coordinator.

Dispatcher: What is the person's name

Griffin-Hall: His name is Josh Powell. Just a minute the sheriff is here.

Dispatcher: Go ahead and talk to the officer, ma'am


• Call from Alina Powell, who is sobbing throughout the call, sometimes becoming too garbled to understand

Alina Powell: I think my brother might be in trouble or something.

Dispatcher: what's going on with your borther

Alina Powell: I don't know. He's sending weird emails and stuff.

Dispatcher: What's his address?

Alina Powell: I don't know his address offhand. I just know how to get there.

Dispatcher: I've got to know something. Is he's in Puyallup?

Alina Powell: I don't know, I can drive there and I can tell you.

Dispatcher: What's his last name?

Alina Powell: Powell

Dispatcher: And his first name?

Alina Powell: Josh

Dispatcher: What makes you think there's a problem with Josh?

Alina Powell: (crying) There's been a lot of abuse against him and he's really upset.

Dispatcher: What's your name?

Alina Powell: My name is Alina, and I'm his sister.

Dispatcher: And what's your last name?

Alina Powell: Powell.

Dispatcher: Howell with an H?

Alina Powell: No with a P. There are emails and stuff and he left me a voicemail thing that got forwarded. He said something like he can't live without his sons and (high-pitched moan) and goodbye and (crying)

Dispatcher: What's Josh's number?

Alina Powell: Gives number.

Dispatcher: How long ago did you receive this message?

Alina Powell: I don't think it came in at 11 after [doesn't give the hour, just the minutes] I just saw it a few minutes ago.

Dispatcher: Does he live at 189th Street Court East?

Alina Powell: I think that's our house, I don't know.

Dispatcher: Does he live on 189th street Court East?

Alina Powell: I don't know it's so close.

Dispatcher asks for physical description.

Dispatcher: Was he going to have supervised visits today?

Alina Powell: I think so. He normally does.

Dispatcher: This is the Josh that has been in the media?

Alina Powell: Yes, the one who has been abused by everyone. (crying).

The boys are 5 and 7.

Dispatcher: What's the inside phone number there?

Alina Powell: At my house?

Dispatcher: The house at 189th.

Alina Powell: I don't know. He only has a cell phone.

Dispatcher: Did he say he'd harm himself?

Alina Powell: No, he was just saying goodbye. (crying)

Dispatcher: (Attempts to calm her down). The more you're getting worked up the less helpful it is for me. 189th street Court East is what I'm seeing.

Alina Powell: That could be it, that sounds about right.

Dispatcher: How long has he lived there for?

Alina Powell: A few months, four or five months, like October or something. I know it's been hard on him, the abuse has been extremely difficult.

Dispatcher: What else did the email say?

Alina Powell: He sent several emails about how to handle his property and his utilities. They started a while ago, I didn't think anything of it. They started early this morning. They were just weird emails. There was some kind of forward or something. I just missed it.

Dispatcher: I think I have a valid address, if there's a way to get it confirmed...

Alina Powell: I'd have to drive there.

Dispatcher: Is he home by himself ?

Alina Powell: I don't know. He might be.

Dispatch: I'm going to start a welfare check. What does he drive?

Alina Powell: A light blue minivan, but it won't be in the driveway. It will be in the garage.

Dispatcher: I need to know if you can get a confirmed address.

Alina Powell: The only way I can do it is to drive over there, but I'm terrified to drive over there.

Dispatcher: You don't have to make contact. An officer will do that.

Alina Powell: I'm not afraid of him, he'd never hurt me, I'm afraid [of what I'll find] (garbled crying)

Dispatcher: I need you to take a deep breath and calm down, I need you to calm down, it's not helpful for you to cry and not help us with our information.

[Continues to try to calm her down] Is there any way for you to get confirmation of his address?

Alina Powell: Only driving over there.

Dispatcher: If you don't want to drive over there, I understand . If you get a different address call us right back .

Alina Powell: OK

Dispatcher: Bye bye.

Alina Powell: Bye. (crying)


• Call from Jeff Bassett, Josh Powell's attorney

Bassett: This is attorney Jeff Bassett calling. I'm not sure who I need to call, but I'm Josh Powell's attorney and I understand he had an explosion and I have some information.

Dispatcher: What kind of information?

Bassett: If it was an accident or if it was more than that.

Dispatcher: What do you have?

Bassett: I have an email from my client, and that email gives me every indication this was intentional.

Dispatcher: And your client was Josh Powell?

Bassett: I just found out about all this.

Dispatcher: Can you give me a synopsis of what it says?

Bassett: Basically it says "I'm sorry. Goodbye." I haven't seen it myself but I just called home and was told it was in my inbox.

Dispatcher: Was there any other information in the email?

Bassett: Not to my knowledge. I just found out about the explosion and called home and told it was timed at 12:05.

Dispatcher: I appreciate your patience.

Bassett: If you want I can look for it while you're on the phone. It will be on my cell phone.

Dispatcher: Go ahead, sir.

Bassett: Just a second. That is all it says, I just checked it. It's 12:05. It says I'm sorry period goodbye period.

Dispatcher asks for phone number and asks if Bassett needs to be called back.

Bassett: It's not necessary, I'm, unfortunately, I'm in the middle of a closing day performance of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and I'll be on stage between 3 and 5:30.

Dispatcher: I'll give them your information. If you receive any other emails, let us know.


• Call from Josh Powell's boss

Dispatcher: This is valley with a transfer

Man: Josh Powell works for me, I just saw on the news today that there was a problem. I got a strange email from him today at 12:05.

Dispatcher: What does the email say?

Man: I'm sorry, goodbye. That's all it said

Dispatcher gets identifying information and phone number.


• Call from male witness who saw house fire from the back of the home

Man: I just had a house explode.

Dispatcher: What's your exact address?

Man: 8404 189th East Court East

Dispatcher: Hold the line

Man: There's a house on fire and (excitedly talking, gives a couple different approximate addresses of the fire).

Dispatcher: You've changed the street numbers three times now.

Man: There's explosions too.

Dispatcher: Is anyone home?

Man: I don't know the house is totally engulfed.

Dispatcher: I'm getting help out there right now.

Man: I think it's a possible meth house.

Dispatcher: Was anyone home?

Man: I don't know, but if they were, they're toast.


• Call from female witness to the fire:

Woman: I'm on 87th Street

Dispatcher: Your phone is breaking up.

Woman: garbled and static.

Dispatcher: I can barely hear you because your phone is breaking up.

Woman: Can you hear me? It's in Puyallup, South Hill. I'm not sure of the address, it's behind me, like 8108 189th Street.

Dispatcher: You need to speak a little quieter and slower and not yell.

Woman: OK.

Dispatcher: This is behind you?

Woman: Yes. The house just blew up and is on fire.

Dispatcher: What happened?

Woman: God, I don't know.

Dispatcher: Do you see smoke and fire?

Woman: Yes, and a loud and huge boom and there's crap flying all over the place and there's other people that can see it.

Call disconnects