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Steven Powell’s Trial Haunted by Spectre of Missing Daughter-in-Law

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(TACOMA, Wash.) -- Defense attorneys opened the voyeurism trial of Steven Powell on Wednesday by stating it was "not about Susan Powell," and the evidence is not expected to shed light about what really happened to his daughter-in-law who disappeared in 2009.

Jurors in the Washington court were shown dozens of images that Powell, 62, allegedly took from his bedroom window of his young female neighbors, ages 10 and 8, as they undressed, bathed and used the bathroom.

They were also shown images Powell took of himself during a sexual act, and journal entries where Powell details feeling sexually "out of control," and focusing his "lust" on his daughter-in-law, Susan.

Defense attorneys for Powell were the first to mention Susan, who disappeared on Dec. 6, 2009.  Steven's son, Josh, was the only named person of interest in her disappearance, but he was never arrested or charged.

The investigation came to a violent halt when Josh Powell blew himself up along with his two young sons last February.

Investigators searching for clues into Susan Powell's disappearance searched the home Josh and Steven Powell shared in 2011 when they came across the computer disks and hard drives containing the images of the young neighborhood girls.  Steven Powell was then charged.

"You have heard about Josh Powell, you have heard about Susan Powell.  This case is not about them," said Mark Quigley, Powell's defense attorney.  "We will be challenging every piece of evidence the state puts on."

Susan Powell's parents and sister are attending the trial, and have said they hope it sheds light on what happened to Susan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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