Bonus Ep: Nutty Putty Cave

The disappearance of Susan Cox Powell from her home in West Valley City, Utah on Dec. 7, 2009 came just two weeks following another major tragedy. Just before Thanksgiving of that year, a man named John Jones became trapped in Nutty Putty Cave.

Nutty Putty Cave was a popular spot for spelunkers. It had also been the site of multiple search-and-rescue operations in the decades since its discovery. Jones’ ordeal in the cave ultimately cost him his life and Nutty Putty was permanently sealed.

Nutty Putty Cave Blowhole Hill Utah John Jones
The entrance to Nutty Putty, atop Utah’s Blowhole Hill. Photo: Dave Cawley, KSL NewsRadio

Because that caving tragedy and the disappearance of Susan Powell occurred close together, both in time and in place, it led many people to wonder if Josh Powell might have hidden Susan’s body in the cave prior to its closure.

There are indications Josh was aware of the cave. A review of his personal files by Cold uncovered a scanned postcard. On the back of the card, Josh had written a note describing Nutty Putty as a “hole in the ground w/ maze.”

Josh Powell Nutty Putty Cave Susan Powell case files
Cold located this scanned postcard among Josh Powell’s digital files. It includes Josh’s handwritten note about Nutty Putty.

In this bonus episode of the Cold podcast, we examine the evidence to see if the theory of Susan Powell being buried in the cave holds any merit. Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon, who was present for the John Jones rescue effort in 2009, also provides his insight.

Spencer Cannon Dave Cawley Cold podcast Susan Powell Nutty Putty Cave
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon discusses the difficulty of reaching Nutty Putty from the top of Blowhole Hill. Photo: Mark Wetzel, KSL 5 TV

Hear… in a bonus episode of Cold: Nutty Putty Cave

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:
KSL companion story: