Bonus Ep: Anatomy of an Audio Journal

Josh Powell exhibited traits of narcissism from at least early adulthood. That fact was made clear by his audio journals and backed up by the court-ordered psychological evaluation Josh underwent in 2011.

But the audio journals, which were made public for the first time in the Cold podcast, are one of the most unique and bizarre aspects of the entire Susan Cox Powell case. When discovered by police among Josh’s computer files, they provided nothing in the way of evidence that might lead detectives to Susan’s body. They seemed irrelevant to the investigation.

Those journal recordings provided listeners of Cold unique insight into Josh Powell’s narcissism. They showed who he was and how he thought during his formative years.

Clinical psychologist Matt Woolley podcast Josh Powell audio journal
Clinical psychologist Matt Woolley provided insight about the behaviors and attitudes of Josh Powell, including Josh Powell’s narcissism, after reviewing one of Josh’s audio journal recordings. Woolley is also a co-host of the KSL Podcast Project Recovery. Photo:

Clinical psychologist Matt Woolley reviewed an entire Josh Powell audio journal entry from December 13, 2000 for this bonus episode of Cold. Woolley then discussed what he heard in the more than hour-long recording.

The topics covered included Josh Powell’s relationship with Susan Cox, his frustration with friends, Steve Powell’s influence and more.

“He’s very much on the hunt, so to speak, for finding a girlfriend and I assume then later a wife,” Woolley said of Josh Powell. “When he finds Susan, she has these traits that he just has been looking for.”

Josh Powell Susan Cox temple LDS Mormon marriage
Susan Cox and Josh Powell pose in front of the Portland, Oregon Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March of 2001. The couple were married here two weeks after this photo was taken. Photo: Josh Powell

Hear about the traits of Josh Powell’s narcissism revealed by his recordings in a bonus episode of Cold: Anatomy of an Audio Journal.


Episode credits
Research, writing, hosting and production: Dave Cawley
Production assistance: Danielle Prager, Adam Mason
Additional voices: Kristen Sorensen (as Susan Powell), Eric Openshaw (as Josh Powell), Ken Fall (as Steve Powell)
Cold main score composition: Michael Bahnmiller
Cold main score mixing: Dan Blanck
Supplemental music: Dave Cawley
KSL executive producers: Sheryl Worsley, Keira Farrimond
Episode transcript: https://thecoldpodcast.com/season-1-transcript/anatomy-of-an-audio-journal-full-transcript
KSL companion story: https://www.ksl.com/article/46514294/cold-bonus-episode-explores-psychology-of-josh-powells-audio-journals