Below is a rough collection of media snippets and information collected on Christopher Watts. This list will be updated so be sure to leave a comment with anything you know that should be added to it.
Mid-to-end AUGUST 2018
- Christopher was seen barbecuing by himself by a neighbor at 19:15 on August 12, the night before the murders.
- Shanann’s flight was unexpectedly delayed by three hours. That’s why she arrived home at 01:48 on Monday, August 13th.
- In the days before her death, Shanann shared fears with friends that Chris was cheating on her. She also complained of not feeling well.
- On May 7 2018 the Watts family appeared in Strive magazine, the official magazine for Thrive brand promotors.
- In the article Shanann articulated how she turned herself inside out to make others happy: “My role was as a caretaker and to make people feel better, yet I was wiped out…I was working 65 hours a week and was also taking care of my kids. I rarely got any sleep, but my passion for wanting more for my kids was stronger than anything else.”
- Nicole Atkinson, the friend who last saw Shanann alive, attended the same business trip.
- Atkinson described the last time she saw Shanann, after dropping her off from the airport: “She went inside, turned around and waved at me and shut the door.”
- The parents faced a hefty court fine with Wyndham Hill Master Association Inc.a homeowners association. They were due in court on August 24 to face a lawsuit for a $1,533.80 debt. An attorney was not listed in court records for the Watts.
- Shanann had a doctor’s appointment on the same morning of her murder. She was expected to hear her unborn child’s heartbeat for the first time.
- The doctor’s appointment was at 10:00.
- They planned to name their unborn son Niko.
- A Change.org petition started by friends demands that Colorado adopt a new law, named “Niko’s Law,” to make the killing of an unborn baby like the Watts’ son first-degree murder. If passed it will recognize an unborn 15 week old foetus as having the legal right to life.
- Another friend had arranged to meet Shanann on the day of her death. Shanann never showed up.
- A drone spotted a bedsheet in a field near the oil tanks.
- The sheet matched the pattern of several pillowcases and a top sheet recovered from a kitchen trash can from [Watts’] residence early that day.
- Christopher worked for Anadarko Petroleum Co.
- Shanann worked for Le-Vela, a company that sells Thrive health and wellness products.
- She worked at Le-Vel since January 2016 and had become a successful brand promoter, rising to the 80K level.
- Christopher’s income was close to the $60K mark in 2018.
- Shanann had been with her children visiting family for six weeks before her work trip. She then returned home on August 7 and left again for Arizona on August 10, leaving her daughters at home with her husband.
- Shanann’s father is Frank Rzucek Sr., the most prominent family member to speak out about the events thus far.
- On July 31, Shanann wrote enthusiastically on Facebook about her August plans.“I’m so excited about August! Girls and I Fly home August 7th! I fly to Scottsdale Aug 10-12 for an amazing weekend with my Le-Vel family! Gender Reveal for Baby Watts #3! Our team is having lots of success, growth both personally and business, several new friends starting their Thrive Experience and lots of new Promoters who decided to change their life! Lots of excitement, Lots to be Thankful for!”
- Photos taken of the Watts family on a family trip to a trampoline park in Myrtle Beach days before the murders appear to show Christopher disengaged. The photographer, Michele Greer, also said she didn’t see Christopher talking to his wife.
- Shanann was 34 years old when she died. She was a year older than her husband.
- Christopher Watts was originally from Oklahoma.
- In recent times, the Watts family had undertaken overseas trips and appeared to be going through a more prosperous phase. These included vacations to New Orleans, Toronto, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Las Vegas and San Diego.
- Christopher’s colleagues seemed to be aware that he was having an affair.
- Their list of assets included their home valued at $400,000, a 2006 Ford Mustang with more than 97,000 miles on it, wedding rings and a dog, which they valued at $5.
- The list of creditors included Ford Motor Company and Toys “R” Us.
- Their debts included $11,245 in student loans, according to Denver U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
- Choice Recovery in Columbus, Ohio, was seeking to recover $740 for health and chiropractic services.
- Byron Falls, who bought Shanann Watts’ house in Belmont, west of Charlotte, said the Watts family had been in a hurry to sell and left behind the furniture as part of the sale.
- The Watts appeared to be going through a rocky period when they moved from North Carolina to Colorado in 2012.
- The address of their home in a quiet subdivision 10 minutes drive east of Frederick, Colorado: 2825 Saratoga Trail.
- On June 22nd Shanann wrote on Facebook: “Success is my best revenge!”
- On August 8th, 5 days before the murders, Shanann posted the following message on Facebook:“Two loads of laundry, dusted the whole house, cleaned the refrigerator and pantry, went grocery shopping to two stores with the kids, took Celeste to a doctor’s appointment, emptied seven suitcases and three backpacks, fed kids a ‘million’ times, showered, went through six weeks of mail, washed the kitchen floor, cleaned up a kids’ disaster and repacked my suitcase for Arizona this Friday. All while four months preggo!”
- Four-year-old Bella has been described as a talkative child, for her age.
- A pair of women’s shoes that had been kicked off lay by the front door.
- A suitcase, apparently from her Arizona trip, stood at the bottom of the stairs.
- The bodies were dumped at a work site 40 miles east of the family’s home.
- The oil site has been identified as CERVI 319 with GPS coordinates 40.21624374, -104.36667
- The girls’ bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days.
- The bodies of the children were submerged in separate tanks.
- Shan’ann was buried near two oil tanks.
- Watts worked at the location until he was arrested.
- The Watts couple married in North Carolina less than six years ago, in 2012.
- They moved to Colorado soon after getting married.
- On Tuesday, the day before his arrest on Wednesday August 15, Watts issued a televised plea for the return of his wife and daughters. The plea occurred on the morning after the murder.
- According to Chris Watts’s 2015 paycheck he was paying $1.20 per month in Child Lie Insurance, and $3.00 per month in Spouse Life Insurance.
- Murder is punishable by death in Colorado.
- After his family went “missing,” Chris didn’t stay in their empty house alone. Instead, Nick and Amanda Thayer opened up their home to him.
- Shanann had a dog called Deeter. In one interview, a dog barks and Chris Watts reacts disproportionately. Dogs also played a role in the Scott Peterson case. Laci had a dog called McKenzie.
- According to Amanda Thayer, Shan’ann had only jokingly mentioned suspicions of Chris having an affair.
- “Honestly, she wasn’t worried, but when your husband doesn’t answer his text messages, as a woman, your thought process just goes to the wrong things. It was never a serious concern of hers.”- Amanda Thayer
- Shan’ann met Chris online during “Dark Period 8 Years Before Murder” – People
- “I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, and I also believe people are placed in our life for a reason.”- Shanann Watts Facebook post, April 2018.
- In the half-hour Facebook-Live clip posted below, we get an inside glimpse into the Watts household. It’s an extended view. In the first few minutes Shanann comments about her younger daughter’s restlessness: “This child does not sit still – ever!”
- At ten minutes into the clip Shanann says: “No matter what you do, you just have to love what you do. And I love what I do.” When she tries to illustrate it with examples, Shanann thinks and apologises for rambling. It’s an interesting moment, because one can’t help wondering – are you really happy?
- From the same clip: “I will continue not letting the haters get in my way. I will continue not to be discouraged. I will continue not letting people judge…me, or what I do. I will continue to not let people influence my decisions on what I do in life. I will continue fighting…for my children.For my husband. For myself.” [Shanann seems a little tearful here]. “And nobody’s gonna hold me back…from…my future. My kid’s future. No one’s gonna tell me the right way of living life. No one’s gonna tell me what I should and shouldn’t do for a job. Like…if I’m bringing in income and taking care of my family then I’m being a better mom than I’ve [with emphasis] ever been because I’m here….You have to be strong, you have to be confident…You have to be you at the end of the day.” What does she mean by this? Chris is in the room with her – is she saying what she’s saying purposely to communicate with him?
- “You’re on top of the world when you surround yourself with people that make you better. Like, they don’t bring the bad outa you, they bring the good outa you. And from that point on I fought like hell. I worked my tail off. I busted my butt. I was never a big…um…dreamer sort of thing, cos…I-my insecurities brought me down. But I was single for a long time [gulps emotionally] and my goal was to buy a house. I was tired of paying someone else’s mortgage, because you know that’s what you do when you rent. And…I wanted to buy a house. Aaannd…I wanted to buy a house that I could resell one day and make a profit off of. And so I worked and worked and worked and worked. I lost a lotta friends because a lotta my friends were still young. And I was 25-years-old when I built my first house. My family doesn’t come from money, we always worked hard for what we had. And…I did. I bought my first house at 25-years-old. And that was the biggest accomplishment I felt I’ve ever done because it felt like I did it by myself. I did it by working my tail off [laughs]. And…um…I had that to show for it. Ummm…and then I met Chris. Uhh…my health challenges happened. Um…I was diagnosed with uh…um…health challenges…[gulps emotionally] and…then I met Chris. I met Chris because of those health challenges. Um…my friend actually sent me a friend suggestion for him. It was actually from his cousin’s wife. And…um…I deleted it. Like…I’mm not interested…I don’t wanna meet a guy. Um, so I deleted her friend suggestion for him…” This has echoes of Laci writing a message on a note, or was it a napkin, and Scott throwing it away. That lives can turn, can be made or broken, on such fickle behavior, such small moments is frightening.
- “I was diagnosed two months later…and I went through…I would say…one of the darkest times of my life because things just got scarier. Um…worse. I thought my life was crumbling underneath me and I didn’t know which way to turn. I didn’t have a lotta friends at the time because [dog barks]…friends I did have I lost because they didn’t understand that I looked perfectly fine, and I felt horribly inside. Uhm…horribly. I felt a lot of discomforts. A lot of aches. A lot of bad moods. Ummm…I met a lotta friends online…aannnnndd in the part where I gave up on everything, I quit my job [it was kinda temporarily] of nine years. I just said I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. You don’t understand me. You don’t understand what’s going on in my life and I quit. And…I…gotta friend suggestion-friend request from Chris.” Smiles.
- “I was in a really really really bad place, and I gotta friend suh-friend request from Chris on Facebook. And I was like – uhhhh, what the heck. I’m never gonna meet him. Accept.”
- “Well one thing led to another and eight years later we have two kids, [gushes breathlessly] we live in Colorado and he…he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. And because of my health challenges. Because I got so sick, I let him in. And he only knew me at that time. He knew me at my worst. And he accepted me.”
- “And [brushes the hair off her face]you know, through your vows, like through sickness and everything…he’s been there. He was the one who let me lay on him and fall asleep for 3-and-a-half hours, on his lap, while he had to pee. Um…he is the best thing that has ever-ever happened to me.”
- “Know that no matter how hard life gets. No matter how low you feel, know that deep down, like in your heart, that’s there’s a purpose, there’s a reason – for everything. We may not understand it at the time. It’s hard to understand it at the time [laughs]. I’m telling you, when I met Chris I pushed him away. I gave every excuse for him to run [looks at the sky] …I gave him an out every single day. I gave him an out. And if you guys know my story with Chris, you know I gave him an out. I mean, he went to my colonoscopy. I…tortured him. I rejected him. I pushed him away time and time and time again. But when I cancelled dates – last minute – cos that’s how life is with my health challenges, you cancel things last minute and it’s hard for people to get, it’s hard for me to understand, but – he stuck around. And he stuck around because…he was the one for me. And he…is amazing. And I can’t tell you how wonderful he is.”
- “But on top of all of that, when I got sick I reached out to support groups online. And I built relationships with so many – so many people that have similar health challenges or the same, and we’ve built a relationships stronger than some relationships I’ve known for over 20 years. Some that I’ve known over – my whole life. And these people are in my life for a reason.”
- “Life happens [Dog barks, Shanann snaps her finger]. So write down all the things you think are bad in your life. All the negative in your life. Write it down. [Sniffs]. But then I want you to…on the other side of the paper, write down what has happened in your life that you’re grateful for. The third step is – take a pen and mark over, like the connect the two things that happened.”
- -5:30 – -5:00: “Do you see what I want to do here. I want you to connect the negatives with the positives in your life. And when you look at that, life becomes so much brighter. Like [glances up], so much brighter when you can do that. So, you know, sometimes we have to reassess. Like…reassess our life, like…[glances sideways]…sometimes we feel like life’s attacking us. And when we do, we have to sit back and look at the big picture. And it may not be something right away, and if it’s happening to you right now, you may not see the big picture. You may not see it until six months down the road, or what the connection is. But when you do, it’s gonna all make sense. It’s all gonna click. And you’re gonna be like, why was I beating myself up for no reason at all! Like no reason at all! At all. “
- On August 2nd, two weeks before the murders, Chris seemed indifferent to his wife and children.
- “I’m living proof that something good comes out of everything negative. Something good comes out of everything you don’t want.”
- Unconfirmed on August 28 [and probably not true]: Chris Watts may have been having an affair with an ex-stripper, a man. More here.
- Shanann was suffering from the auto-immune disease lupus, which causes fertility problems and high-risk pregnancies. Longevity is also curtailed. More here.
- On August 29 People provide teasing “corroboration” that Chris Watts was a serial adulterer with both men and women, claiming: A source close the investigation tells PEOPLE that Chris has had relationships with both men and women outside of his marriage. That may or may not be. If the man claims to have been in a 10 month relationship with Watts, doesn’t he have a single selfie, or a photo taken at Watts’ place? If he had, that story would be gold to the tabloids. So where is it?
- On August 30, some popular support becomes evident for Chris Watts. https://twitter.com/JWinston31/status/1035074582884114432
- Chris Watts’ fate lies in the hands of District Attorney Michael Rourke. Colorado law gives prosecutors up to 63 days after a defendant’s arraignment to determine if the death penalty will be sought. According to The Coloradoan, Chris Watts’ arraignment has not yet been scheduled. Rourke would not say whether he was considering capital punishment in the Watts case.
- Chris Watts and Shanann were seeing arguing earlier in the summer of 2018. One could say “all couples argue” but this argument becomes relevant and important given what ultimately happened to the other half of that couple. It would be useful to know what they argued about and if Shanann ever told anyone. According to People:“I think they were always putting on a show,” says Melinda Phillips, who recalls seeing Chris and Shan’ann “clearly having an argument” in their driveway one day earlier this summer.“Their body language was really angry, and they were just fighting back and forth,” Phillips, 34, says. “He was gesturing his hands and they were shaking their heads, and it was definitely an argument.”“I didn’t really think much of it, because Lord knows that I’ve had the same arguments with my husband,” she continues. “They caught my eye and suddenly, everything changed. They stopped being so angry, and they started talking a lot more calmly. He even gave her a hug. Mind you, this was in the space of 30 seconds to a minute.”“From a full-blown fight to hugs in less than a minute, it was incredible,” she says.
- After initial reports that Watts showed no emotion, on August 31 a “second” source reported that he’d seen Chris Watts in jail, that he was “in mourning” and that it [grief?] was starting to “sink in”.
- Shanann Watts’ friend, Ashley Bell, told KDVR the “gender reveal” party was going to be held at the Watts’ home on Saturday 18 August in the town of Frederick, north of Denver. Shanann and her children were murdered early on Monday morning, August 13.
- Shanann’s funeral, along with her children, was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Boles Funeral Homes oversaw the service.
- A tribute from her younger brother Frankie Rzucek read: “She was born to be a mother, boy was she ready. She couldn’t wait, she was my mum x10. Growing up she was a perfect role model. he was ready to take on the world, and we know she did.”
- Frank Rzucek described his daughter at the funeral with two words: “Pure love.”
- Colorado is one of 12 states without a law broadly allowing for homicide charges in the violent death of fetuses.
- From the funeral nomenclature it’s clear that her name is spelled Shan’ann. Apologies for previous posts and mentions that spell her name otherwise.
- There may be further “evidence” on Trent Bolte, the alleged gay lover of Chris Watts. The problem is it’s also from Trent Bolte. And since it’s from Bolte’s own Facebook account, and no other media are covering it, it seems less and less likely that Bolte has anything to do with the Watts family. Personally I still don’t buy the Trent Bolte gay lover theory, but here goes. On September 1, “pasdar” posted this on reddit: I’m not convinced he is telling the truth, but he apparently posted on his Facebook page that he met with detectives on Friday night and provided DNA samples, buccal swabs and texts that he exchanged with Chris. He also said that they took towels that apparently had Chris’ DNA on them. Also took a gold chain that Chris had given him for Valentine’s Day. The detectives also told him he could have been next, that Chris was plotting against him because he blames him for breaking up his marriage after Shan’ann found texts from him to Chris on July 4. Could it be true? I guess time will tell. Shan’ann was is NC on July 4th, so how did she see the texts? (Unless that’s when Chris was visiting or she somehow had access to his texts). Also, he’s been broken up with Chris since April and he still has used towels laying around? But if it is true, it shows how messed up this guy was that he could portray this devoted family man to the world…
- “You are always Daddy’s little girl.” – Frank Rzucek
- “From a young age I always knew my sister was going to be successful and nothing would stand in her way. She was born to be a mother. Boy, was she ready! Closets were full even before she knew she was pregnant. She couldn’t wait. She was my mom, times ten — whether either one of them wanted to admit it. She had ambition in her eyes and wanted a great life for her children and herself. She was ready to take on the world and we know she did.” – Frankie Rzucek. Notice the mismatch between Frank’s message and her brother’s. Funerals are all about sentiment, and it may be unkind to read to deeply into emotional messages, but it’s also at funerals where a crucial aspect is revealed – the identity of the victims. What we get here is this contrasting idea of someone who is prepared and ready, and someone who is, in a sense, still a little girl. It’s not necessarily the case that murder victims are naive. Sometimes killers are cold, cruel and callous no matter how paranoid their prey. But in a family murder, we really do have to look at the idea of naivete and vulnerability. Were either of these adults really ready to take on the world? Were they really ready to be married? Were they really ready to be parents? Was the one more ready than the other in one area, and the other less ready than the other in another area? If we consider this idea from the perspective of the two meeting on Facebook, it casts further aspersions on their experience of real life and real love. Couldn’t they meet the right people in the real world the “right way”? Or is meeting people on Facebook with a view to romance the new normal? If so, how do we tell what’s not normal on social media?
- A colleague of Shan’ann’s mother told WRAL that the couple “was having problems” and that Shan’ann’s mother, Sandi Onorati, told her that Shan’ann and Chris were planning to separate. It may be that Shan’ann was continuing to peddle a fairy tale on social media simply to make money.
- According to The Daily Beast 2 friends said Shan’ann had confided in them that Chris was cheating on her:Two of Shanann’s friends said she suspected Chris was cheating on her. Amanda Thayer told Denver7 that Shanann thought infidelity was “a possibility” but had said Chris wasn’t a player. “At the same time, she was like, ‘He has no game.’ He didn’t have it with her when they first met… She did everything,” Thayer said.Nickole Atkinson—the last person besides Chris to see Shanann alive—told ABC Newsthat Shanann “entertained the idea” that he was unfaithful. “He wasn’t being the loving Chris that he normally was. He wasn’t touching or hugging or doing stuff like that. He wasn’t being as attentive to the girls as he normally is,” Atkinson said.
- Chris’s friends described him to The Daily Beast as reserved, smart and gentle, and a man known to get along with anyone. In other words, a charmer.
- Brandi Smith, a high-school friend, told The Daily Beast:“Everyone liked him. It’s actually amazing how many people that knew him have completely turned on him and think he’s this monster when he hasn’t even been convicted…Chris found himself as a father. Those girls brought him to life and out of his shell. He’s not a crazy person. He’s not a violent, abusive or mean person.I’ll be broken if he’s convicted and it was a lie but there’s a chance… and it’s not fair that he’s being crucified.”
- But why was he in a shell to begin with if everyone liked him?
- “This was one of the smartest students I ever had … the guy had a photographic memory. He knew chapter and verse, everything you could ask about NASCAR. Anything.” — Retired automotive teacher Joe Duty, on Chris Watts
- Smart – but how smart is smart in the context of an auto mechanic?
- “It’s amazing that my husband and I have created more memories in the last two years than we did in the previous eight,” Shan’ann in STRIVE article
- Shan’ann boasted of Chris’s fitness progress—he went from a pants size of 38 to 32 in 2018
- In a June Facebook post, Shan’ann discussed grocery shopping for Chris, who would be a “bachelor” for five weeks while the family was gone. He joined them for the last week of the vacation.
“He was very passive … She was very aggressive with him. Bossy. Do this. Do that. Telling him what to do. Dominating the relationship.” — Greg Alore, Shanann’s former boss
- Now some evidence on Bolte that’s not from Trent Bolte, but from his brother. The fact that The Daily Beast is citing this is significant:When reached by The Daily Beast, the man’s brother said the story was true. “I know my brother saw a different side of ‘loving’ Chris Watts,” the sibling said, adding that Chris “gave my brother his first lip botox injection.”The alleged lover told HLN that Chris “portrayed himself as this victim” who “would be shunned and he wouldn’t be allowed to see his girls” if he came out as non-heterosexual.“He told me that he was the victim of emotional and verbal abuse, and he was trapped in a loveless marriage,” the man said. “And he didn’t know any way out because of the kids.”
Why did the Watts family move to Colorado in the first place? Alore said the Wattses moved to Colorado after Chris accepted a job as a mechanic at the dealership in 2012. Shan’ann was hired by the company’s internet sales department and, according to online reviews, was a talented salesperson.
- “Shannan went out of her way to find the vehicle I wanted, as well as tirelessly went back and forth to get me the payments that I needed to get me into a new car. She was never pushy, and while I know she really wanted to sell a car, she never tried to sell me something that I didn’t want,” one customer wrote in April 2013.
- Linda Biggers, a realtor who listed Shanann’s home, told The Daily Beast she believes the couple moved because Chris got a job out West. “I think she wanted to get married and move to Colorado with him,” Biggers recalled. “The house was hers; it wasn’t his…. She just had a really beautiful home, it was beautifully furnished.”
- Shan’ann King hurried to sell her residence and left furniture behind as part of the sale, the buyer told the Associated Press. A deed for the house was signed in August 2012 while Shan’ann was living in Colorado, property records show.
- Bella Marie was born in December 2013
- A month before the birth of Celeste in July 2015 the couple filed for bankruptcy
- In April 2017, Shanann announced was leaving her job at the children’s hospital to become a full-time stay-at-home mom working for the Le-Vel supplement company, which makes Thrive dietary patches.
- On her one-year anniversary with the brand, she told Facebook friends she was “broke” when she started Le-Vel.
“Sometimes when you have children and your relationship starts to deteriorate a child could help repair it.”— Chris Watts, in a YouTube video on ‘Relationship Deterioration and Repair’
- March 15, 2018: Had about 2 hrs of sleep last night. I couldn’t sleep, I had a lot on my mind with girls surgery today. Took my 3 simple steps and I feel good! Love my Thrive. I can be awake and focused for my girls.
- May 7th post by Shan’ann of her husband: “Someone’s thrivin’…Up for work at 4am. Just got home and now mowing the grass. #likeaboss#helovesme
- June 15: “Chris, just said he’s been more talkative since he started #Burn! Talking to random strangers. #Hesaintrovert.”
- “I am really feeling the need to ‘gift’ this to my hubby for Father’s day!” one of Shan’ann’s friends commented. In response, Shan’ann joked, “Gift it then leave for the day.”
- Frankie Rzuce: “They were always well-dressed and well mannered. [Shan’ann] taught them to be brave and independent, just like Shan’ann. She was very successful and independent, before any man came along — and that’s just the way she wanted it.”
- Despite Shan’ann’s independence, Rzucek was always concerned about the distance between them. “I always worried about her and the girls being so far because I couldn’t protect them. Growing up, she was a perfect role model. She had a lot of friends and was very popular, which made it hard for me being her little brother trying to protect her from heartbreak and other things. She moved out at 18 and never looked back.”
- By early September, just three weeks after the murders that rocked Colorado, the Chris Watts case has become “an obsession” on Facebook.Shanann painted a portrait of the perfect family on social media. Homemade videos and photos she posted show what seemed to be a doting father and happily-married couple.“Eight years later, we have two kids, we live in Colorado and he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Shanann said in one of her Facebook live videos promoting her business.Other videos show Chris playing with Celeste and Bella while Shanann can be heard from behind the camera laughing and playing along.But that picture-perfect image was shattered when Frederick police along with Weld County prosecutors arrested Chris Watts for killing his own family and unborn child and then allegedly hiding their bodies at a Weld County oil and gas site where he worked.People from around the world are now combing through Shanann’s Facebook videos for answers or any clue to help them understand how a family who seemed so happy could end this tragically.
- According to an arrest affidavit Chris purportedly said he “went into a rage” and strangled Shan’ann. This is Chris’ version of what happened. It’s the “heat of passion” defense, but is it true?
- A source who has spoken with Watts in jail tells PEOPLE that the 33-year-old suspect was “aware” of the funeral proceedings, but had no input in it. “He knew better than to suggest anything,” the source says. – People
- Cadaver dogs are the reason Chris was forced to confess. When they were brought into the home they alerted to all three victims, which proves all three were murdered inside the home.
…detectives believe Watts killed his children first and then killed his 15-week pregnant wife, the Daily Mail reports. According to police documents, Shan’ann was killed on August 13, the same day she returned home from an out-of-state business trip. The charges allege that Watts killed Bella and Celeste “between and including August 12 and August 13”. One way to determine if the children had been killed earlier is to test the cadaver traces. A stronger scent would obviously indicate an earlier death.
- The Daily Mail has mistakenly reported the following image as the last of Shan’ann Watts while she was still alive. In fact there is a more recent but blurry image of her here taken at the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill. Shan’ann Watts’ final social media post appears to be after 18:30 on August 12th, in Tempe Arizona. It was a comment following a power outage in response to the above image.
- Scenes of the interior and exterior of the Watts home…
- Status on September 4th:Since he was put in jail, Watts has been placed under watch protocol, which is better known as suicide watch, and must be checked on by a detention officer every five to 10 minutes.Several times a day, someone enters Watts’ cell to make sure he is still alive and still in custody. There is also a cell check every day, in which he has to be completely searched.For one hour each day, Watts is allowed out of his cell, into a room where he is the only person present. He has also been denied access to television and is not allowed to have reading material in his cell.
- Chris Watts had “a lot of secrets…Every day, we learn more and more about him.” – People
- Was the fact that Chris was younger than Shan’ann a factor in his wanting to get rid of her the way he did? What’s the inference in a younger man with a slightly older women pregnant for the third time…?
- Is it possible for a small screen to capture a scenario of an adult strangling an infant? https://twitter.com/CrimeJusticeHLN/status/1037117441845866496
- September 5: Another woman has come forward saying she had an affair with Watts, and that they met on tinder. Not sure whether to put much faith in it, but if true, the allegations of rape fantasies show he did not like to be dominated as he was in his marriage. It also suggests he fantasized about strangling his wife long before he did, which feeds into premeditation and sadism.
- September 5 according to People: The co-worker with whom Colorado triple murder suspect Chris Watts was allegedly “actively involved in an affair” at the time his wife and daughters were killed has been opening up to police. He had initially denied the work affair to police, his arrest affidavit alleges. But authorities said they carried out a two-day investigation and confirmed the cheating.
- Shan’aan’s social media output dropped drastically in the month she was murdered. Did she suspect a serious deterioration in the family dynamic, or was she starting to experience it?
- Shan’ann Watts appears to be related to the actor Peter Onorati.
16. Arie King is the brother of Shan’ann’s first husband. Arie King told 9News.com in mid-August 2018: “I am sick over it, honestly. Any family she has here in North Carolina, we are heartbroken.” What was her first husband’s name and occupation? Why did they divorce?
17. The following neighbors have been identified thus far: Colleen Hendrickson, Ann Watt and Bette Marcoux. According to Marcoux:
Watts’ truck was on when she left for the gym early Monday. She goes to the gym at 5:15 a.m. five days each week, she said, and hadn’t noticed him heading out somewhere at that time before. The night before, he was barbecuing, she said.
18. Public records show that they were each arrested multiple times in North Carolina – he three times and her 15 times – but the charges in the arrests are not known. – Daily Mail, August 17. This could explain why the couple left North Carolina in such a hurry, and sold their house with all their furniture still inside. On the other hand, it’s possible the Daily Mail confused Shan’ann Watts with Shannon Ann Watts, a 28-year-old woman arrested 3 times and facing 16 charges in North Carolina.
This snippet was provided by one of the regular visitors to this blog, thanks Pauline.
19. More reason to believe Chris Watts could be bisexual comes via a profile posted on Adam4Adam, and the profile picture, showing a man with a goatee. The couch in the rear of the picture also looks like the same couch the 3 foot doll was modeled onto.
Unless he updated his waist size [last login was April 2008] but didn’t change his age, the waist size is also off.
The area code for Denver Colorado is 80205. Check of this profile for Bi-Guy #80205. Star sign Gemini [21 May – 21 June] Chris Watts’ birthday is May 17, 1985.
20. The Walk to the top of an oil tank & Actual Photos of Anadarco Oil Tank Site.
21. Police have found hundreds of hairs in the trunk of Chris Watss’ truck. It sounds like hair fragments, which suggests the hair was cut or shaved. If true, it’s a clear sign of processing a body, which invokes the idea of planning and premeditation.
22. Published on September 10th TWO FACE – the first definitive account of the case.
137. Defense attorneys for a Frederick man accused of killing his wife and daughters have filed a motion asking the government to investigate whether the prosecution has made extrajudicial statements or tried to prevent the spread of prejudicial information. What this means is the authorities are accused of leaking evidence to the media and thus potentially prejudicing a jury trial. Stan Garnett, the former district attorney for Boulder County, said it is not unusual for the defense to raise such issues early on, especially in high-profile cases.
While it’s standard to point out potential to prejudice a jury , Garnett said the wording of the motion — requiring “the government” to investigate the issue — is unusual.
It raises an issue, as the district attorney’s office is part of the executive branch of the state.
“If you’re asking them to be investigated, who would do it?” Garnett said. – timescall.com
23. 18CR2003 The People of the State of Colorado v. Christopher Lee Watts case archive.
24. Ashley Bell, a close friend of Shanann Watts who owns a tanning salon, said she got to know her because she was a customer.
Bell said the gender reveal party was supposed to be held at the Watts’ family home on August 18. Amanda Thayer’s daughter Emily was also meant to sleepover at the Watts’ home that weekend.
140. “He didn’t have a plan. Things unfolded so quickly that he was trapped with no alternative but to cooperate with the reporters [in his TV interviews]. I don’t think he anticipated that a friend of his wife would so quickly alert authorities to her failing to show up for a scheduled medical appointment and was not at the house on Monday.” – Philip Stinson, criminologist
25: Nickole Utoft Atkinson found out Chris Watts planned to separate from Shan’ann on the morning she disappeared, when she called him to find out whether he knew where she was.
“I didn’t find out that they were going to separate or anything like that until I called Chris that morning,” she told ABC (who credited her as Nicole Atkinson). “When I called him [August 13 at noon] and asked him where she was, that’s when he told me and I basically told him that that wasn’t my [concern] at that particular moment, because it wasn’t and that their business was their business, that they would either work it out or they wouldn’t.”
26. “He was defending himself, but it just didn’t make sense.” – Nickole Atkinson
27. “Things were not how I would think that they were…supposed to be…I guess. I had [inaudible] look in the garage, to see if her car was there and it was there, which was like peculiar, because Shan’ann doesn’t [shurgs] like go places without her car, usually, because both of the girls have car seats. The front door was locked different to the way it normally was. The girl’s beds weren’t made. Shan’ann was very OCD. Everything in her house had a place. Everything was labelled. If something was out of the ordinary it was really out of the ordinary for her.” – Nickole Atkinson
28. When Chris Watts told Nickole Shan’ann was on a playdate with the kids, she immediately wondered why she’d go on a playdate without her car, and why did he know she was on a playdate but couldn’t say who with.
“He just kept saying that he didn’t know where she was and that she was on a playdate. But he couldn’t give us the name of the friend. I knew he had something to do with it the day I was at his house with him, but I didn’t want to think that. Anyone in their right mind will start piecing things together and think something had happened, but you don’t want to go there. You want to believe the best in people.” – Nickole Atkinson
29. “I know that Chris and her were having some issues about three weeks prior to everything happening.” – Nickole Atkinson [But three weeks prior she was in North Carolina with her folks and he was in Colorado].
Watch the interview here.
30. Nichol Kessinger’s father appears to be Dwayne Kessinger, Chris Watts’ boss. The image from his LinkedIn page still exists on Google cache, but appears to have been recently removed from his profile.
31. September 12: Motion to obtain clear and visible Polaroid photograph and digital photographs of both Chris Watts’ right and left hands.
32. Kirk Nurmi [who defended Jodi Arias] weighs in.
33. On September 11 an unsubstantiated rumor on Twitter that Chris was involved with a Thrive colleague of Shan’ann’s surfaced. Josh Rosenberg appears in several images from the San Diego trip. This doesn’t appear to be credible line of inquiry.
34. Chris Watts does appear to have been actively cheating on his wife. Was it with one woman or several? Was it with women, or women and men? One thing is clear, he was paying an inordinate amount of attention to grooming himself in the lead up to this crime.
35. Trent Bolte – the man from Wyoming who claims to have had an affair with Chris Watts – has produced communications suggesting an affair between the two men. Previous screenshots of texts appear to have been fabricated so there’s some reason to believe these might be too. It ought to be very simple to prove whether they were in a months-long relationship – a photo of the two together.
Bolte provided CrimeOnline with screenshots of text messages between him and Watts that appear to support some type of relationship with Watts. Bolte said they were the first text messages he and Watts exchanged away from the MeetMe app. The messages differ starkly in tone from screenshots circulating on social media, purporting to be messages between Watts and Bolte. Bolte is aware of the images that have circulated and insists they have been fabricated, pointing out that the messages indicate the two men met on Tinder, which Bolte says is not true.
36. Chris Watts had been telling neighbors “fairly recently…in the week preceding the murders” in an “offhand way” that they’d been thinking of selling their Colorado home. – Ellen Killoran
37. Chris Watts is very specific at turns during his porch interview. He refers to Shan’ann arriving home at 01:48 [that’s very exact] and Nickole Atkinson calling him at 12:10. He also describes Shan’ann going to bed at 02:00 but not getting much sleep. In a police interrogation he said they’d discussed separating at 04:00 that morning. When he descibes himself leaving, he’s vague – it’s between 05:15 and 05:30. In fact he left at 05:37. This specificity is indicative of planning. He’s finely tuned to exact times, just as he had to be to the evolving pregnancy and the deteriorating numbers on their balance sheet.
38: CHRIS: I mean…could she have van- [interrupts himself]. Could she have just taken off, I dunno. But if someone has her and they’re not safe, I want them back now.
He starts off saying “could she have vanished” then tailors that to something better: “Could she have taken off? Could someone have taken her…” He’s doing this to seed the audience’s mind with the most credible alternative to what’s actually happened, to what he knows has actually happened.
39. As part of ongoing research into this case, I contacted a guy I’ve known since school who went from being in law enforcement to working for the oil and gas industry. I sent him information on the Anardarko oil site, and asked for his input on what the conditions are inside a tank. I will address some of the insights in a separate blog post, but a few things that stood out from our discussion included the following:
- Only an oil maintenance worker would have the tools/know-how to access and open the tanks. This would in theory limit the chances of discovery by anyone else to almost zero, at least while Watts was in charge of that particular site. This also explains why Watts initially repeated the words “vanished”. He wanted people to think that’s what had happened, because that’s what he intended to happen.
- The maintenance of the various oil sites are scheduled, sometimes with annual checks, sometimes once every 5 years. If Watts knew the schedule, and especially if the checks had just been completed for the year [or if Watts himself was responsible for performing them] then he could theoretically supervise and control the access and information regarding his own crime scene.
- The interior of the oil tanks is fairly static, with natural gas sequestrated through outlet sieves. These sieves could theoretically be blocked by human hair, and human hair could also theoretically be glued to the lid of the tanks. This might indicate a need to remove excess human hair, and possibly also clothing.
40. More photographs of Chris Watts with Shan’ann during her other pregnancies.
41. When were Bella and Celeste last seen alive? From early reports it seems this could have been at a birthday party in Erie on Sunday, August 12. Erie is less than 20 minutes drive east of Frederick.
The Watts’ home on Saratoga Trail was about half that distance to the Lindstrom’s house in Erie.
The party was held by Jeremy Lindstrom for his 5-year-old son. Chris Watts was there, and so were his two daughters.
Murder suspect Chris Watts and his two little girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celste, were just at Lindstrom’s home for Jeremy’s little boy’s birthday party. The girls were happy. They were normal. And, so was Chris. Or so it seemed.
“He would reach out and help anybody that needed help with anything,” Lindstrom said. “He was a good mechanic if you needed help with your car – he’d help you. If you needed help with furniture, he’d be over there in a heartbeat to help you out. You don’t know what, when, why, where or how everything goes weird.”
42. Should the DA pursue a death penalty in this case?
According to Colorado law, a district attorney has 63 days from the date of an arraignment to determine whether to pursue capital punishment in a murder case. An arraignment hearing isn’t on the docket yet and won’t be scheduled until Watts’ next hearing in November. – Denver Post
43. Photos of Chris Watts as a young man:
44. More photos of Shan’ann during previous pregnancies and the aftermath after giving birth.
45. Chris Watts isn’t talking to his family, even though he has nothing else to do except sleep all day. He’s not allowed reading material or television, and has virtually no one to talk to except the prison guards who look in on him every 15 minutes as part of an ongoing suicide watch.
If Chris Watts isn’t talking to family this may be because:
- He knows [and perhaps they do too] that calls are monitored, and that anything they say over the phone can and will be used against him [or them] in a court of law.
- He doesn’t want to talk to them [for the above reason and perhaps other reasons].
- They don’t want to talk to him.
We know Chris Watts’ dad flew in to see his son at around the time of his arrest and confession. We don’t know much more than that – who Watts senior is, what he does etc. We do have a photo of him at the house on Saratoga Trail, however.
46. Shan’ann’s father was in court during the initial hearing, and was memorably emotional about the fate of his daughter and granddaughters. Chris Watts’ father, evidently wasn’t in court, even though he possibly was in town. Interestingly, neither of the mothers were in court, perhaps because they couldn’t all afford to travel.
47. On September 17, 2018 District Attorney Michael J. Rourke vehemently opposed the release of autopsy reports on the basis of “injury to the public interest”. As the motion notes, autopsy reports are public documents, so Rourke is likely to have an uphill battle withholding them from the public and also from the media, until November.
The motion is explicit in that all three victims were dead when they were moved from the crime scene [the Watts residence]. The District Attorney notes that the cause of death has not yet been made public. I’m not sure that’s accurate.
Police and prosecutors have not said officially how any of them died, though court records suggested they were strangled. – Denver Channel
Besides that, Chris Watts has suggested the same and that irrespective of who committed murder, it was murder by strangling. Possibly this isn’t accurate, but even if it isn’t, the defense attorneys will be in possession of the same facts. It may be that by going through the motions of putting forward this motion, the District Attorney wishes to be seen as being responsible and conservative, as opposed to purposefully and recklessly leaking sensitive documents.
Given the high profile nature of this case, it seems a stretch to imagine October will go by without even a redacted version at least being made public, as occurred in the Ramsey case which also had a sensitive autopsy-situation.
In the Ramsey case it took as long as seven months for portions of the autopsy to be made available, prior to any hearing. In that case there was an army of lawyers and a reluctant prosecutor’s office holding the tides at bay, and ultimately they succeeded – the case never went to criminal court.
An example of a redacted autopsy report [although minimally redacted] is the autopsy of Travis Alexander, the infamous murder victim of Jodi Arias.
Back to the Watts case: the District Attorney, through this motion, also appear to be concerned about autopsy results tainting witness testimonies and “impacting” potential jurors. By handing this over to the court, the prosecutor’s office effectively keeps their side of the story clean, and the onus for the release then lies on the partiality of the presiding Judge.
48. HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield interviews Richard Hodges, a former college roommate Chris Watts. This is going back more than 13 years – approximately 2003 – 2005. What was he like? “Straight as an arrow,” according to Hodges. It doesn’t seem like he intended this as a double entendre on the word straight.
Hodges describes Watts as very dedicated, and he does look the part of the dedicated husband – washing dishes, mowing the lawn, keeping fit etc. But Hodges goes further, describing Watts as a dude that didn’t go out partying when everyone else did. He was “very hard on himself” according to Hodges.
Banfield raises an interesting point when Hodges admits he was the closest to Watts out of their group of friends, and that even they weren’t really close. They weren’t Facebook pals either.
“Chris was quiet. He was pretty reserved. But not in like…what I would say a negative fashion….He was more of the kind of guy who you become friends with…out of like…happenstance. We were obviously friends because we were in classes together, and that’s how we ended up meeting. He very very rarely went out with us, so maybe that contributed to it…He wanted to get those good grades. He wanted to do well. So he would never do anything to jeopardize that like partying, or drinking…”
163. Just in from the Longmont Times-Call, a daily newspaper serving Northern Colorado, prosecutors are asking the court to order Watts to provide ink footprints [as opposed to fingerprints]. This is according to court documents filed on September 18th.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke wrote in the motion that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has “developed possible bare foot impressions” from “items of evidence.” The items of evidence are not described in the motion, but Rourke does say they were collected at the scene where police found the bodies of 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her children, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. – Longmont Times-Call
49. Ashleigh Banfield interviews a tech expert on the data her Apple series 3 watch may have stored [automatically uploaded to the cloud] in the last hours of her life. Apple watches automatically record movement and effort level. Both Shan’ann and Chris had these expensive Apple watches. Banfield raises a good point. The data rests in the cloud for 30 days, and that period has now passed since she died. Have prosecutors managed to extract the data in time?
50. In an order oddly dated two days from now, Judge Kopcow denies Chris Watts’ request to investigate leaks by the law enforcement.
166. Chris Watts has also refused to consent to DNA tests citing lack of probable cause.
51. Chris Watts case: Expert says ‘trace DNA’ could be found on daughters’ bodies – this turns out to be lousy clickbait, with a play on the word “could”. The article isn’t about stating that trace DNA was found as fact, but that it could [foreseeable] be found. The news cycle seems to be slowing down and drying up.
The only useful point in the above article notes that both sides are being very thorough because this is lining up to be a death penalty case.
52. In the same way that the Denver Channel appears to be using suggestive language to lure clickbait, the Daily Camera is at as well.
Their article on Chris Watts defense attorneys accusing the DA of “withholding evidence” is actually another version of the story that the DA don’t want to release the autopsy evidence to the public.
53. If his adultery [adulteries] played a significant role in why he committed murder [murders?], then Chris Watts must be aching to see his lover/lovers. But to do so could wreck his legal case if the “list” were made public. Something of a conundrum, right?
A judge has denied the request of an accused Colorado killer to keep the names of all his jail visitors under seal. – Daily Mail
54. The autopsy results must be submitted to court no later than today [under seal] – September 25th.
The prosecution meanwhile is already doing all it [can] to keep the autopsy reports under seal…
55. Meanwhile, on HLN:
The above discussion analyses the importance of bruise patterns on the children’s necks. In the Amanda Knox case, the bruises on Meredith Kercher’s neck were so clear, investigators were able to tell that they matched the size and shape of a woman’s fingers. But it’s no as conclusive as a fingerprint unless there’s DNA present as well.
Far more key, in terms of evidence, will be the autopsy results, particularly the food contents of the girls’ stomachs. It could turn on whether the birthday cake treats from Sunday were still in their digestive tracts or not when they were killed.
56. Many were expecting the arrival – if not the release – of the autopsy reports today. At noon the Denver Post confirmed that according to the prosecution, the autopsy reports were not available.
57. According to the Coloradoan the court has ordered WELD DA to release autopsy results to Chris Watts’ attorneys.
58. There appears to be unprecedented interest in gaining access to the autopsy results of the four victims. Not only have media made their intentions clear, but members of the public as well. Media is apparently calling the Weld County Coroner’s Office on a daily basis.
59. Shan’ann made a Facebook page for Bella when she was born. From the list of 38 friends on Bella’s page, some are family and several list themselves as “Brand Promoter at Le-Vel”. The page lists her favorite sports teams as the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her favorite music as Bruno Mars. Final activity on the page was on May 24th, 2014.
60. Chris Watts isn’t supposed to have access to any media reports, but apparantly he’s aware of how “infamously famous” his case has become, including internationally.
Watts has said he feels the public doesn’t know the full story, the source says. “He feels like no one understands him, and nobody knows what happened,” says the source. “He thinks if they did understand, they’d realize that he’s not the monster everyone says he is.” – People
My personal view is that he’s right that most people don’t understand who he really is, but I’m not sure that makes what he did any less monstrous.
61. Large moving truck arrives at Saratoga Drive. Shan’ann’s father Frank seen moving a bed-frame and mirror into it under police supervision. An unknown 30-year-old woman was with him.
62. More than ten days after posting my analysis on the access hatches on Shakedown, HLN has decided to cover it.
Some factoids that emerged from the interview with the petroleum engineering professor:
- CERVI 319 was producing about 200 barrels of oil per month.
- The expert believes liquids were shifted from one tank to another in order to gain access from the bottom, which he says requires not only a lot of technical knowledge but also requires a certain amount of time. He doesn’t specify how much time, but one can assume it would take weeks to fill the tank even a little, rather than days or hours.
- It would take three months to fill the tanks naturally.
- HLN notes what Shakedown indicated earlier, that the access hatches are too small to place an adult inside.
- HLN believes they were also too small to fit the children’s bodies in.
- The professor suggests the clean-out manways [plural] at the bottom had to be opened to dump the bodies, a rigorous process involving the loosening and refastening of a large number of bolts.
- The time to unfasten and refasten the bolts [presumably for both manways]? The professor estimates an hour.
- That’s an eternity at a crime scene trying to get rid of three bodies with the sun coming up..
The only problem with this line of questioning is this, which is a screengrab taken from the video below, depicting a bird’s eye view of the setup similar to CERVI 319.
If that’s an access ladder it suggest there’s enough space not only for a child, but for an adult technician to descend into it. Here’s another diagram showing the internal ladder but not connected directly to any access hatch.
It’s difficult to make out on the HLN image; the angle doesn’t show a stairway leading to the top of the oil tanks, and clearly there was one. The reverse angle does show the staircase.
The below image is of a “floating roof” tank. Although that’s not the sort of tank design at CERVI 319, the design in the floating roof does allow for a hatch with a ladder through it.
63. Image of Deeter posted to Shan’ann’s Instagram.
64. HLN interviews Matt Francis, Shan’ann’s high school teacher. Francis describes “being very impressed with how she did Facebook Live…and how she’d become such an encourager”. He also describes Shan’ann as having come a long way. “You’d be amazed at how far she’s come. She’s a wonderful, beautiful human being…she was a very insecure young lady who didn’t have a lot of friends when I met her at 14-years-old.” She was also teased a lot – humiliated – while in high school.
Francis pronounces Shan’ann’s name as Shanna ‘ann, and says she didn’t correct his mispronunciation of her name in three years.
Francis also describes Shan’ann as “thriving” while under her tutelage. Methinks he’s just another dude that’s drunk a little too much of the MLM Kool-Aid.
65. Chris Watts is inmate #360519 in a Greeley Colorado jail cell.
66. HLN noted in late September that Chris Watts made numerous complaints to the Judge about press leaks. He referred specifically to many complaints but apparently had no comment about People magazine articles discussing his affairs, including with another man.
67: “Listen, everything about this case is over the top. And I think it’s because nothing about this case makes sense. You don’t typically have an accused family annihilator with a background like Chris Watts, with a wife like Chris Watts, with children like Chris Watts. With Facebook pages like Chris Watts. A guy like this who everbody, I mean literally everyone who we contacted, has said, ‘This is not…the guy.” – Ashley Banfield, September 29th, 2018
There’s as good a description as you’ll find for a man with two faces.
1. TWO FACE BENEATH THE OIL is published on October 1st, 2018, exactly 3 weeks after the first book in the K9 series. The second book digs far deeper into issues of identity, backstory and the motives for the murders.
The second book also presents a possible scenario for the murder of Shan’ann Watts, including where in the house it may have taken place, and how it was executed.
2. It appears CERVI 319 is situated on the Guttersen Ranch, a 35,000 acre-ranch 10 miles sutheast of Kersey, which holds Guttersen’s family homestead, barns.,outbuildings and horses. The ranch also is a working cattle ranch with about 3,000 head of cattle that run between Guttersen’s and an adjoining ranch to the east.
3. The autopsy reports of Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste were released today [October 2nd] by the Weld County District Court in Greeley, Colorado. However, as per Judge’s order, the autopsy results remain under seal because of potential “substantial injury to the public interest.”
4. Motion for an emergency hearing. This appears to be about time-sensitive inheritance law. Shan’ann died intestate [without leaving a will], and so, under normal circumstances the surviving spouse would inherit. Life insurance policies of Bella and Celeste will probably be disputed.
5. Shanann Watts’ father may block Chris Watts from inheriting home
6. Almost two months after the murders, HLN continues to provide bumper-to-bumper coverage of the Watts case.
7. Retired Detective Karen Smith explains why she thinks the bizarre location of Shanann’s phone upstairs beneath couch cushions was no accident.
Smith goes about as far to say the phone was deliberately placed between the cushions but no further.
The real issue about where the phone is relates to the murder scene in the house. Was it right there? Did it fall onto the couch during a tussle at the landing on the top of the stairs? Did Chris Watts put it there with some fictitious scenario in mind?
8. On October 5th, an emergency court hearing took place over the phone between Shan’ann Watts’ family and Chris Watts. Oh to have been a fly on the wall. Would a recording exist somewhere?
9. Frank Rzucek senior, Shan’ann’s father, has been identified as the executor of her estate. Chris Watts didn’t object to this.
10. To be confirmed: some have suggested on reddit that Sandi Onorati was a co-signer on the Watts mortgage.
11. Records for the sale of the home show that Chris obtained the home and the loan solely, adding Shanann later to the title possibly via quitclaim deed methods. [I] saw a discussion on FB from a realtor that explained when lenders find out that a home owner has done this, they can call the note out and demand it be paid in full or the home will be foreclosed on. Usually this goes undetected…until you get behind on payments or say an HOA agency decides to file a lien against the home for failure of nonpayment. – reddit
12. After several direct complaints about unfair victim blaming, reddit bans TCRS from posting Chris Watts-related content to its True Crime page.
Fancy that – a true crime blog banned from a true crime discussion page.
13. The news cycle on the Watts case has slowed to the crawl. The best People magazine have been able to come up with this week is a story about the artifacts the triple murder accused has with him in his cell.: A bible and a family photo.
14. Chris Watts’ defense counsel seems to be placing it on record that media coverage to date has already tainted a jury. He doesn’t seem opposed to the release of the autopsy report however, saying he’s satisfied to leave this to the discretion of the court.
This could be a ploy by the defense. On the other hand, if Watts is innocent of killing the children, he may wish the media to have access to the reports.
15. There’s a contention on social media that the tweet below was ‘liked’ by Cirs Watts’ protected account hours before the murders. Have requested confirmation on this claim.
16. Ashleigh Banfield is a little behind the curve in dealing with the family dynamic. But finally, about 10 days into October, almost two months after the murders, she does.
If I may be so bold, the reluctance to deal with the family dynamic this early [or this late] by HLN may be because they’re trying to set up the first phase of the narrative of the fairy tale family, and Shan’ann as a beautiful, innocent victim.
No one is arguing that, but of course as soon as you begin to probe issues around the dynamics, you’re invariably going to figure out the good and bad stuff of the parties involved. You’re going to find out who these people are, warts and all.
If you’re serious about true crime, you do that at the beginning. It should not be about playing out a narrative to manipulate/suck in viewers.
17. Did dad’s work truck lead cops to bodies?
Is everyone forgetting that a) Chris Watts has already confessed to killing Shan’ann? Or b) the bodies have been recovered because he told law enforcement where they were, and we know exactly where they were from the affidavit. And c) there is video surveillance footage showing Watts truck backing into the garage and leaving.
So a tracking device is nice to know, but about as useful as whether the sun was shining that day or not.
The real reason the cops knew Watts was involved was because the video surveillance showed Shan’ann arrive but never showed her leave. But it recorded Watts’ truck leaving. So if Shan’ann wasn’t home, and she wasn’t seen leaving, how else could she have left? QED.
18. The Watts family home has been confirmed as 1107 Vass Road.
More details here.
19. It appears in early to mid-April 2009 Shan’ann’s ex-husband Leonard King filed for divorce from her, as per public records.
20. Sherry Wiens appears to have dug out some of the first pictures of Chris Watts’ mother Cindy Watts.
21. Watts Home: 1st & 2nd floor plans.
22. HLN releases material from Shan’ann’s “heartbreaking” blog.
23. Bella sleeping and baby monitor screengrabs.
24. Family grave site. Was Niko buried with Shan’ann?
25. On Friday October 12th, Weld Count District Court denied Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke’s request to keep the autopsies of 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and two children, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste sealed, saying it lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” on the issue.
More info here.
26. Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch has already communicated his intentions in terms of the Watts family autopsy reports. He intends to file a response between October 15 and 17 to state his intention not to release the autopsy reports.
27. On October 12th, Weld County Court provided the first receipt for sealed visitor logs involving the defendant [Chris Watts].
28. Predicted at #25 but here’s confirmation:
29. The Weld County Coroner filed a petition Monday requesting the court keep the autopsy reports of Shanann Watts and her children sealed at this time.
Carl Blesch, Weld County coroner, stated in a news release Monday that a hearing on the request to seal the reports has not yet been set.
The autopsy reports were completed Oct. 1, but the Weld County District Attorney had filed a motion in Weld County District Court requesting they be kept from the public.
The court ruled against the district attorney’s request, citing a request filed by three statewide associations representing the media, the Colorado Press Association, the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
Steven Zansberg, an attorney for Ballard Spahr, LLP in Denver who is representing the three associations, said previously that they plan to oppose any future filings to seal the reports. Zansberg did not return a call seeking comment Monday afternoon. Jill Farschman, CEO of the Colorado Press Association, declined to comment until she could speak with the other two organizations. – Times-Call
30. Things are certainly getting more and more unusual in the Watts case. Now Watts wants privacy around a sealed motion based on a health insurance law that protects private information. But this only applies to living people…
31. Not sure what to make of this latest legal document in The People of the State of Colorado v. Christopher Lee Watts
MR. WATTS’ MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A PLEADING UNDER SEAL
PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2016-04, AND FURTHER REQUEST
TO HOLD AN EX PARTE HEARING ON THE ISSUE
- Counsel for Mr. Watts hereby respectfully requests the court authorize the filing of a sealed pleading in this case, pursuant to Administrative Order 2016-04. Counsel believes the motion will include information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
- However, based on the court’s Order (C-8), filed September 11, 2018, counsel for Mr. Watts is concerned the court may order the pleading unsealed if it doesn’t believe the information in the filing is protected by Federal Law.
- It must be remembered that counsel for Mr. Watts is not the privilege-holder of protected information. Cf., People v. Sisneros, 55 P.3d 797 (Colo. 2002)(holding that, even where the government called a witness whose memory of the crime was only elucidated after speaking with a psychologist, the privilege-holder herself did not waive the privilege with her testimony at the preliminary hearing.); and Wesp v. Everson, 33 P.3d 191, 199-200 (Colo. 2001)(noting that attorneys may not disclose attorney-client privileged information, even after the privilege-holder has died).
- On top of that, any person who unlawfully discloses information protected by Federal Law is potentially subject to fines and imprisonment. See e.g., 42 U.S.C.A. § 1320d-6. Thus, any further disclosure of protected health information, especially to the government, would potentially violate the law.
- Because of this reality, counsel asks the court to order an ex parte hearing on this issue. In addition, if the court does not believe it has enough information to make its judgment, Mr. Watts requests an ex parte hearing to advise the court further.
32. Media associations plan to oppose second petition to seal autopsies of Shanann Watts, children – Times-Call
The attorney representing three state media associations that petitioned against an initial request to seal the autopsy reports for Shanann Watts and her children said the associations will oppose the latest effort to keep the autopsies from public view.
Steven Zansberg, a media attorney for Ballard Spahr, LLP in Denver, said that while his clients are “glad that the case is proceeding properly,” they still plan to oppose the new petition to seal the autopsies, now filed by the Weld County Coroner’s Office.
Zansberg plans to attend a hearing on the petition, which, because by law it must be set at “the earliest practical time,” he expects will take place before Thanksgiving. Zansberg is the attorney for Prairie Mountain Media Publishing, which includes the Times-Call and the Boulder Daily Camera. The two papers also are members of the Colorado Press Association.
In his motion, Rourke said the autopsies contain information that would be “critical evidence” at the trial, and that early release of that evidence could taint potential jurors or witnesses that have yet to be interviewed. Zansberg said that argument does not meet the burden of substantial injury to the public, which must be proven to withhold public documents subject to open records requests.
The argument that releasing the autopsies would make interviewing witnesses or finding a jury more difficult “is true anytime autopsy reports are released before trial,” he said. “That’s a categorical rule, not unique to circumstances of this one trial.”
He also disagreed with the prosecution’s argument that releasing the autopsies would compromise witness interviews. Typically, that’s usually argued at the onset of a case, before a suspect is arrested or charged for the crime, according to Zansberg.
33. The latest People magazine article analyzes the impact of oil on DNA:
“The prosecution sees it as necessary to try to use as another nail in the coffin, basically but the DNA by itself is really not all that informative in these kinds of cases.” – Dr. Phil Danielson, a professor at the University of Denver’s Department of Biological Sciences who specializes in DNA collection and analysis
In short, this is not going to be a DNA case. One of the most important factors will be time of death. Food contents in the stomach, if there is any, and clothing, if the kids and Shan’ann were wearing any, will prove more decisive in calculating time of death.
34. On October 19th, Chris Watts’ defense submit a three page civil motion requesting that disclosure of the autopsy reports be denied to the media and the public. Excerpts of the report [full report here] are as follows:
CHRISTOPHER WATTS, through his attorneys hereby moves this Honorable Court to hold a hearing on the government’s proffered reason for wanting to deny disclosure of the autopsies in this matter. As grounds for this motion, Mr. Watts states:
2. Out of an abundance of caution, Mr. Watts files this motion before this court, as well. If the court denies Mr. Watts’ motion in 18CV30907, Mr. Watts respectfully moves this court to hold a hearing on whether the release of the autopsies “could result in tainting witnesses that have not yet been interviewed” as the government claimed in its Motion [L] at paragraph 3.
3. As stated in Mr. Watts’ notice (D-039), the government’s alternative claim that the results of the autopsies will taint potential jurors is groundless – the results will almost assuredly be revealed in court proceedings well in advance of trial.
4. However, counsel for Mr. Watts remains concerned about the government’s spurious claims related to tainting witnesses who have yet to be interviewed. Counsel remains specifically concerned that the government possesses information that the defense does not have.
What this reveals is that the defense wants to know which witnesses the state prosecutor has or has yet to interview. Interesting legal arm twist here.
5. It is not clear if the government’s assertion means that it has knowledge that witnesses may change their testimony once they see the coroner’s opinion. It is not clear which witnesses the government knows about who have not been interviewed that may have that reaction to the opinion of the coroner. It is not clear what information the government possesses that would lead them to that conclusion. Perhaps more importantly, it is now clear that no party in the civil case has an interest in developing the record about this specious claim. According to the petition filed in
18CV30907, the coroner (whose office is ostensibly independent from the district attorney’s) “concurs with the District Attorney’s reasoning” and has “no reason to doubt [the] District Attorney . . . .” 18CV30907, VERIFIED PETITION IN RE: THE REQUEST OF THE GREELEY TRIBUNE FOR CERTAIN RECORDS PURSUANT TO THE
COLORADO OPEN RECORDS ACT, C.R.S. §§ 24-72-201, ET. SEQ., at ¶¶ 13, 14.
Counsel for Mr. Watts cannot share the coroner’s apparent confidence. The coroner’s naked deference to the government has therefore made clear that he has no interest in challenging the government’s judgement; consequently, he has no interest in investigating and ferreting out the validity of its claim. Mr. Watts does.
It’s interesting how the defense are shooting warning shots over the bow, basically alleging that the coroner is in cahoots with the district attorney’s office. The tone of the motion also indicates the tone of Chris Watts’ defense – it’s defiant!
7. The respondents to the action may have some interest in determining the validity of the government’s witness claim. But, their interest can, of course, be no greater than that of Mr. Watts. Mr. Watts is constitutionally entitled to know and meaningfully challenge the evidence and witnesses against him and to have and make use of any and all information related to their veracity or credibility. See e.g., COLO. CONST. art. II, §§ 16, 20, and 25; U.S. CONST. amends. V, VI, VIII, XIV; Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14 (1967); Giglio v. U.S., 405 U.S. 150, 154-55 (1972); People v. Bueno, 626 P.2d 1167, 1169 (Colo. App. 1981); Crane v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 683, 690 (1986).
8. Because the government’s claim that the release of the autopsies may taint witnesses who have not been interviewed seems to suggest there are witnesses that the government knows who may slant or change their testimony based on the autopsy results, Mr. Watts has an obvious and substantial interest in developing the record on that claim. In addition, because that result, if true, has a direct effect on the criminal proceedings in this case, this court, should the court in 18CV30907 deny Mr. Watts’ request to intervene, must hold a hearing in this case.
9. Even more concerning, though, the coroner requested the court in 18CV30907 allow him to offer specifics about his agreement with the district attorney “under seal to the Court or in a closed hearing . . . .” 18CV30907, VERIFIED PETITION IN RE: THE REQUEST OF THE GREELEY TRIBUNE FOR CERTAIN RECORDS PURSUANT TO THE COLORADO OPEN RECORDS ACT, C.R.S. §§ 24-72-201, ET. SEQ., at ¶¶ 16. If the court were to allow this extraordinary request, Mr. Watts would be denied the opportunity not only to challenge the evidence but also, and obviously more egregiously, to even know what the evidence is.
10. Because of these realities, the court here should hold a hearing on these matters.
11. Albeit in different contexts, the Supreme Court of Colorado has acknowledged a need to protect “the integrity of the fact-finding process, the fairness or appearance of fairness of trial, . . . [and the] public trust or confidence in the criminal justice system.” People v.
Rodriguez, 914 P.2d 230, 290 (Colo. 1996).
14. Here, if the civil court denies the request to intervene, due process requires this Honorable Court to hold a hearing anyway. Denying such a hearing continues to erode and undermine Mr. Watts’ rights to meet and defend the accusations against him, to learn of constitutionally significant evidence, and, ultimately, to a fundamentally fair proceeding comporting with due process of law. COLO. CONST. art. II, §§ 16, 20, 23, and 25; U.S. CONST. amends. V, VI, VIII, and XIV.
15. The High Court has put it most succinctly: “the fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.” Mathews, 424 U.S. at 333 (internal citations and punctuation omitted). Mr. Watts moves this Honorable Court to afford him such an opportunity.
WHEREFORE, Mr. Watts is entitled to the relief requested in this motion. Mr. Watts files this motion, and makes all other motions and objections in this case, whether or not specifically noted at the time of making the motion or objection, on the following grounds and authorities: the Due Process Clause, the Right to a Fair Trial by an Impartial Jury, the Rights to Counsel, Equal Protection, Confrontation, and Compulsory Process, the Rights to Remain Silent and to Appeal, and the Right to be Free from Cruel and Unusual Punishment, pursuant to the Federal and Colorado Constitutions generally, and specifically, the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions, and Article II, sections 3, 6, 7, 10, 11,
16, 18, 20, 23, 25 and 28 of the Colorado Constitution.
The right to be free from Cruel and Unusual Punishment. What about Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste’s rights? To be free from being murdered by a husband and father?
35. CHRIS WATTS’ MOTION [above] FOR ALTERNATIVE RELIEF IN THE EVENT THAT HIS MOTION TO INTERVENE PURSUANT TO COLO. R. CRIM. P. 24 IS DENIED IN 18CV30907
36. Chris Watts Case: ORDER (C-21) filed on October 22, 2018 Weld County Court Grants Motion to submit health-related information “under seal”
37. TCRS claims the Watts dog Deeter raised the alarm. The dog’s frantic barking on the morning of the murders caused Nickole Atkinson to call the police to do a wellness check.
38. Should Chris Watts face the death penalty? A look at capital punishment in Colorado
39. Christopher Watts’ attorneys want Weld DA out of autopsy battle – Greeley Tribune
40. Update: Court rules Watts attorneys, Weld DA CAN join legal scrap over autopsy reports – Greeley Tribune
41. In an informal poll on a Chris Watts Facebook Group, 70% say they believe Chris Watts’ version of events that there was an argument just prior to the murders.
42. Route to CERVI 319 [In Pictures]
43. Chris Watts’ Metallica Tattoo on his back – what does it mean?
44. The hearing on the autopsy reports for Shan’ann and her two daughters will take place at 09:00 on December 21st before Weld District Court Judge Todd Taylor.
The status conference to determine the dates of the criminal trial is on November 19th at the same venue.
1.If Christopher Watts is found not guilty, it’s “extremely likely” Shanann Watts’ family would file a civil lawsuit alleging he is responsible for her wrongful death. – Denver Post
2. Frederick homicide suspect Chris Watts to appear Tuesday [November 6] in Weld District Court – Greeley Tribune
The Weld District Attorney’s Office announced late Friday that Frederick triple murder suspect Christopher Watts will appear Tuesday in Weld District Court for a status conference.The hearing is scheduled for 30 minutes beginning at 2 p.m. in Division 17. The district attorney’s office didn’t release any other information.
Watts wasn’t scheduled to return to court until 10:30 a.m. Nov. 19 for a status conference in Division 16. That court appearance remained on the docket as of Friday afternoon.
Is it just bad luck that this hearing has been moved to the same day the US media will be preoccupied with the Midterm elections? In true crime there is no such thing as coincidence.
According to CBSDenver:
The District Attorney’s Office did not release why the status hearing was moved to an earlier date.
3. Speculation continues to swirl around Tuesday’s court appearance. Is Watts going to be offered a plea bargain? Or is the hearing simply timed to avoid a tusnami of news coverage. Or, is it just a random scheduling change?
4. Judge Kopcow denies motion for expanded media coverage citing Colorado Supreme Court Rules, Chapter 38, Rule 2. Is this unusual?
5. TCRS – as you’d expect – called the plea deal long before anyone else did. In the lead up to the hearing, TCRS posted several blogs on the issue.
When the hearing commenced, just prior to the official announcement by the media, TCRS called it once again. Within two minutes of this tweet, Carol McKinley and all the other media followed suit and made it official.
6. Written Waiver & Guilty Plea.
7. District Attorney Michael Rourke reveals knowledge of a “partial motive”
8. Nickole Atkinson posts message on Facebook on the day of the trial forgiving Chris Watts:
9. The media have already started applying for expanded coverage of the sentencing hearing, set for November 19th at 10:00.
10. Chris Watts Was ‘Angry’ at Having to Plead Guilty to Murders of Pregnant Wife, Daughters – CNN
“Chris had to come to terms with reality,” the source reportedly said. “He didn’t like it at all, but he’s smart enough to know that his back was against the wall, and the best thing for him to do was to plead guilty.”
According to People, the source said, Watts was furious at having to enter the guilty plea.
“His story didn’t work. He got angry,” the source said. “… It took a little bit of time for him to come around, but he did.”
11. Chris Watts’ parents break their silence after son’s guilty plea in murder of wife, daughters – Denver Channel
The North Carolina couple said they are just trying to find the truth and are frustrated because they say they weren’t allowed to get those answers before their son’s plea agreement.
12. Chris Watts’ parents accuse Shan’ann was being abusive, isolating him and changing him. They also told ABC13 their son was a normal guy who loved sports.
Read more on this:
“Dad, I could not put the girls with her after what she did — I could not put [them] with her” – Chris Watts
Ronnie and Cindy Watts believe Chris Watts didn’t kill Bella and Celeste, say Shan’ann “changed” him, was abusive and isolated him from his family
13. To date Cindy Watts has been quoted by the Denver Post, The Daily Beast and the Times-Call saying: “I know he confessed, but he was railroaded into it.” It’s fascinating that the District Attorney hasn’t responded directly to these allegations thus far. Playing for time?
Read more on whether Chris Watts was coerced and whether he should follow-through the plea deal.
14. Chris Watts’ Parents Claim Son Was in Abusive Relationship with Wife He Admitted Murdering – PEOPLE
“It was a very hard relationship…I couldn’t do anything right.” – Cindy Watts
15. TCRS publishes TWO FACE TWO POLLYANNAS, the 3rd book in the groundbreaking series on the Watts Family Murders. On November 14th the first “review” is posted on Instagram.
16. Defense attorney Harvey Steinberg said there is a way to withdraw a plea before sentencing, but does not believe it will happen in this case.
“Remember the mother is not in a position to withdraw the plea,” Steinberg said. “The mother can scream and yell and do everything she wants. Maybe it’s appropriate, maybe it’s not, but ultimately it’s his decision after sitting and talking to his lawyers.
“There is a rule, rule 32 allows the withdraw of plea prior to sentencing if there is a fair and just reason.I don’t know what the fair and just reason is here. So do I think there is a likelihood that any judge would allow him to withdraw the plea? The answer is no.” – KDVR.com
17. More than three months after her murder, the mainstream media still haven’t figured out how to spell Shan’ann’s name.
18. “Bella was just like Chris…shy, cautious, conservative…” – Cindy Watts
19. A flurry of motions and a letter have been recently added to the Chris Watts case file 18CR2003:
20. Childhood photos of Chris Watts
21. Did Prosecutors Screw Up the Chris Watts Case by Leaving Him Room to Wiggle Out of Guilty Plea? – lawandcrime.com
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke has been clear that Chris Watts thus far has only provided a “partial motive”.
There are some odd things about the circumstances surrounding the plea deal Chris Watts struck with prosecutors, according to Law&Crime Network host and former Morris County, N.J. head prosecutor Bob Bianchi. Circumstances that he would never have allowed to happen under his watch.
“What I do find to be unusual in this case … is that I would have required a proffer session with the defendant, where he would have sat down in order to be spared the death penalty,” Bianchi said. “He would have spilled the beans on everything, from A to Z, we would have known what the motive is, which we don’t know right now, and he would have clearly allocuted in court, got up and said this is why I did it.”
22. The Watts children attended the prestigious [and expensive] Primrose School in Erie twice a week. Bella was murdered a week before she was due to start kindergarten full-time. Primrose is about 14 minutes drive due south from #2825 Saratoga Trail.
23. For Monday’s sentencing hearing, no “electronics” [cell phones, twitter] are permitted in court.
24. The Livestream link for Monday’s sentencing hearing.
25. Cindy Watts has admitted she didn’t attend Chris Watts’ wedding to Shan’ann on November 3rd, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
26. There is a rumor of a letter Chris Watts wrote, saying if anything happens to him, look at Shan’ann.
27. On October 6th, in a post titled Inside the Mind of His Mistress, I wrote:
If his mistress is the daughter of his boss, then a brand new dynamic emerges with various possibilities of their own. The most obvious is that Anadarko will wish to limit damage to their brand through adverse press coverage not just of one wayward employee, but three. Anadarko may ultimately be calling the shots on what the mistress and her dad’s next move should be.
Now, six weeks later, Nichol Kessinger has confirmed she is the “mystery mistress” in a carefully contrived exclusive published today by the Denver Post. Nicely buried in the 1313 word scoop is this:
Kessinger was working in the environmental department with an Anadarko Petroleum contractor when the two met, she said during a Thursday morning interview in the office of her lawyer, Ed Hopkins.
Ed Hopkins is a privacy attorney based in Denver, specializing in libel and slander.
According to Hopkin’s website:
We investigate, prosecute, and defend complex civil claims involving defamation, deceptive and unfair trade practices, slander, trade libel, false advertising, invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, wiretapping, eavesdropping, computer hacking, data theft, trade secrets theft, revenge porn, sextortion, cyberstalking, racketeering, and Title IX actions.
Read more: “He lied about everything” – Nichol Kessinger Breaks Her Silence
28. After a month-long hiatus [at least] HLN returns to the Watts case with a special report titled “Secrets, Lies and Family Massacre”.
29. Death penalty expert: Weld County DA made right choice in Chris Watts case – Times-Call
Two experts, one of them Stan Garnett, weigh in about why it’s such a great idea not to try the Watts case in a court of law. Garnett is a pro at not taking cases to court [like the JonBenet Ramsey case] so I’m sure he’s pleased with this result.
30. Chris Watts’ parents retain legal counsel, but Judge Kopcow rules he’s not allowed to petition the court on their behalf during the sentencing hearing.
Chris Watts’ parents given permission to speak during son’s Monday sentencing in murder case – Denver Channel
19th Judicial District Court Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow ruled that Cindy and Ronnie Watts should be able to speak in court Monday and deliver victim impact statements in which they could ask the judge for a more-lenient sentence for their son. They can also deliver such statements through a designee, according to the judge’s order.
Judge Kopcow wrote that state law affords the two the right to do so because they are the paternal grandparents of Bella and Celeste, whom Chris Watts pleaded guilty to killing in August along with their mother and his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts.
But Kopcow ruled that the attorney for the two won’t be allowed to address the court.
30. Watts family murders: Chris Watts scheduled to be sentenced Monday – Denver Channel
The headline of the article below oozes bias doesn’t it? Technically it’s true, of course, but is really true that she’s going to attend court just to say that?
Report: Chris Watts’ mother will tell court he was capable of killing wife
Rourke said that investigators never believed that Watts was being entirely truthful.
“The spotlight that he tried to shine on Shanann — falsely, incorrectly and frankly a flat-out lie — has been corrected,” Rourke said. “The spotlight shines directly where it belongs: On him.”
31. The article below goes into a lot of detail trying to figure out why the Watts case is so compelling. It’s compelling simply because it provides a devastating scenario of the perfect middle-class fairy tale facing destruction. Through this crime we intuit the security [or insecurity] of our own fairy tales wherever we are in the suburbs.
Men Murder Women All The Time. So Why Are People Obsessed With Chris Watts? – BuzzFeedNews
Peterson never confessed, but was ultimately found guilty, based on circumstantial evidence and, not incidentally, the testimony of Amber Frey, which had decidedly turned the public against him. One California radio station, for instance, put up a billboard with a Peterson mugshot framed with the question “Man or Monster?” and asked listeners to weigh in on his guilt or innocence. “Trapped by His Lies,” was People’s cover story headline, wrapping up the melodrama. The actual guilty verdict rendered through the court was so unsurprising that it didn’t even merit a full cover. The verdict was celebrated nationwide, and passersby honked their car horns and clapped outside the courtroom.
Ultimately, the decisions or verdicts in these cases are simply taken as after-the-fact proof that the criminal justice system works. This is despite the fact that it’s the minivan majority’s identification with the lost lives of these innocent, pregnant white women that mobilizes so many resourcesand brings the glaring media spotlight that keeps even prosecutors under constant scrutiny.
Read more on this topic: #ChrisWatts Why does it fascinate us?
The bigger and better the fairy tale, the more lavish and picture-perfect the homes and neighborhoods, the more handsome the man and beautiful his wife, the more adorable the children the more difficult it is to reconcile when a nightmare unfolds inside of it, or perhaps because of it.
32. Chris Watts sentenced to five life terms without parole for killing pregnant wife, two daughters – Denver Channel
Judge Kopcow handed down the sentences after an emotional hearing in which Shanann’s parents and brother both testified and called Watts a “monster.” Watts’ parents also testified, saying they had not received all the information about their son’s plea deal before they spoke to media, including Denver7, last week.
“You don’t know what love is because if you did, you would not have killed them, you monster,” Rzucek told Watts, who stared downward throughout the hearing.
A family representative spoke on behalf of Shanann’s brother, Frankie Rzucek Jr., who said that Watts wasn’t worth the time it took to put pen to paper and that he prayed Watts would “never have a moment’s rest.”
Shanann’s mother, Sandra Rzucek, thanked law enforcement and prosecutors for their “exceptional work” on the case and after admonishing Watts for breaking theirs and Shanann’s trust, acknowledged that she and the rest of the family had asked prosecutors not to seek the death penalty for Watts – a request that was granted by prosecutors.
“I didn’t want death for you,” Sandra said. “Your life is between you and God now, and I pray that he has mercy on you.”
19th Judicial District Attorney Michael Rourke told the court of new details in the case that had not been publicly released before in attempting to show the court how Watts, 33, “totally and deliberately ended four lives” in a calculated manner.
He noted that Watts had smothered both 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella, and that Bella had fought back against him. He said that he didn’t think Watts would ever tell the truth about what truly happened but that they had enough information to piece the case together.
After killing all three, Rourke said, Watts planned which oil and gas site he would dump their bodies at. Rourke said “Bella and Celeste were thrown away” and put in different crude oil tanks so they could not be together even in death. Rourke also noted that Watts had to shove his daughter’s bodies into the tanks and that investigators found scratch marks on one of the girl’s bodies and tufts of hair on the opening to one of the oil tanks – all in an attempt to show the court how careless Watts was in his actions.
“Prison for the remainder of his life is exactly where he belongs for murdering his entire family,” Rourke told the judge before the final sentences were handed down.
Through a family lawyer, Watts’ parents, Cindy and Ronnie Watts, also addressed the court.
The representative also said that Watts’ parents are looking for an explanation and a confession from their son and said they were looking for “an appropriate time and manner” for that to occur so both families “can have peace to understand details they need answered.”
Cindy Watts also spoke separately, saying she was “still struggling to understand how and why this tragedy occurred” and asking for “peace and healing” for both families.
She addressed her son directly, though he did not look up at her or acknowledge her.
“We have loved you from the beginning and we still love you now,” she said. “This might be hard for some to understand how I can sit here under these circumstances and tell you all we are heartbroken. We love you. Maybe you can’t believe it either.”
Both she and her husband said they forgave their son and that they would never abandon him.
After Rourke spoke, Judge Kopcow took the opportunity to go back over the charges and said Watts should face the maximum penalty because it was the worst case he’d seen in his time on the bench.
“I’ve been a judicial officer starting my 17th year and could objectively say that this is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen, and nothing less than a maximum sentence would be appropriate,” Kopcow said.
Watts Sentencing: Live Coverage and Analysis [Updated throughout the day]
Chris Watts murder case: Potential motive, evidence revealed in court – Coloradoan
34. Autopsy Reports:
Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste Watts 25 Page Autopsy Report
35. Post Sentencing Press Conference
36. Chris Watts’ mother, Cindy Watts, questions son’s plea deal [FULL VIDEO]
37. Excellent detailed summary of the entire sentencing hearing via the Coloradoan:
The parents of both Shanann and Christopher Watts are in the courtroom, per initial statements by District Attorney Michael Rourke. Judge Marcelo Kopcow is speaking to attendees about expectations of demeanor during what he expects to be an “emotional” sentencing hearing.
Christopher Watts is wearing an orange jail outfit and eyeglasses, and is seated between his representation.
Frank Rzucek, Shanann Watts’ father, is first to make a statement in the hearing.
“I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them,” Rzucek said to Christopher Watts, calling him a “heartless monster” while reading a written statement.
Christopher Watts, seated behind the podium where Rzucek is speaking, is slightly hunched over, biting his lip while Rzucek speaks. “Love you, Papa and Dad,” Rzucek says through tears while speaking about his slain daughter and granddaughters.
Read the rest here: Christopher Watts murder sentencing: Here’s what we know
38. Why Chris Watts’s Sentencing Won’t Be Last We Hear of Family Killer – Westword
Earlier this month, Watts entered a guilty plea. Next, his mother came forward to argue for him to rescind his confession, since she didn’t believe he was capable of such brutality. She was followed into the spotlight by Watts’s mistress, Nichol Kessinger, who said she thought he was divorced and castigated him for lying to her throughout their relationship.
This multiplicity of voices, as well as the assorted plot twists and plenty of family photos of the sort seen here, are just what producers of true-crime programming need to transform headline-making offenses into compelling storytelling — and Colorado stories have gotten such treatment again and again in recent years.
39. Further coverage of the sentencing trial:
‘You’re an evil monster:’ Chris Watts sentenced for deaths of pregnant wife, two young daughters – 9News
Chris Watts murder case: Potential motive, evidence revealed in court – Coloradoan
“We still don’t have the answers”: Christopher Watts sentenced to life in prison for murdering his pregnant wife, daughters – Denver Channel
40. The Watts family were represented at the sentencing hearing by Jean Powers, a Denver based attorney.
42. The Frenulum is the flap of skin under the the upper lip damaged in Bella’s mouth.
There is also a frenulum under the tongue.
43. Contractor hit a gas line before the Heather Gardens explosion – 9News
44. Jean Power was originally employed at the Furtado Law firm.
FREDERICK — A dusting of snow covered the sidewalks and driveways Monday morning in what was the Watts’ neighborhood. Folks living close by walked their dogs around the block and greeted family as they arrived for Thanksgiving. It was mostly quiet — a far cry from the flurry in the immediate aftermath of the August killings of Shanann, Celeste and Bella Watts.
Shortly after 33-year-old Christopher Watts killed his pregnant wife and young daughters and dumped their bodies on a Weld County oilfield, hundreds of people streamed into the Watts neighborhood to take part in a candlelight vigil honoring Shanann, her unborn son Nico, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.
Vigil attendees set stuffed teddy bears, unicorns, mermaids, lambs, balloons, notes and flowers in front of the Watts house on Saratoga Trail.
But on Monday, the family’s yard was clear of toys, notes and flowers. Only faded purple ribbons honoring the family, tied around street lamps and trees throughout the neighborhood and other parts of Frederick, remained…
47. Chris Watts has still not told anyone the truth about the triple murders and Shannan’s family fears he never will – meaww.com
At the press conference that took place after the sentencing, Rourke said that two big questions still remain even as the long investigation has led the authorities toward an understanding of the truth behind both of the mysteries.
He said: “How? And why? Those are the questions that will always haunt anyone who was involved in the investigation.” Rourke also said, however: “I don’t think he’ll ever answer those questions. Like I said in the courtroom this morning, and I think [Shan’ann’s] family said it very, very well as well: I don’t think he will ever tell us. I don’t think he will give an honest assessment of why he did what he did, how he did what he did.”
48. ‘About as big as it gets:’ Gravity of lifetime sentence for Watts not lost on Weld DA – Greeley Tribune
“I was as nervous as I could be,” Rourke said. “Media outlets from all over the country were following this (case), and I knew if I didn’t stand up and do a professional job for the victim’s family and for everyone who worked on this case it was going to make us look like buffoons.”
“We talked about the point where we thought we would get an emotional response from the gallery and that’s exactly what we got when I said the girls had been smothered.”
Turns out Rourke and Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch had a compelling reason to keep the autopsy reports under wraps.
As has now been widely reported, Shanann had a blood-alcohol content of .128 percent at the time of her autopsy. Although a raised BAC is a natural part of the decomposition process, Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death and Rourke worried the media would spin that information to raise suspicions about her innocence.
Not to be overlooked, Shanann had just returned from a work trip the night she was killed, which meant investigators needed to confirm she hadn’t been drinking by interviewing anyone and everyone she might have come into contact with in Arizona, at the airport and even on the airplane.
“Had there been reports in the media that Shanann had a BAC of .128, it might have made people question what they had seen,” Rourke said. “Because those reports had not been made public, everyone we interviewed was certain that they never saw Shanann drinking anything other than water.”
It struck a particularly painful chord when photos of the oil tanks were relayed to his office. One of the photos is of an open hatch at the top of a crude oil tank. An investigator had placed a ruler across the opening to very clearly show it was only eight inches in diameter.
By the time Rourke received those photos, Watts was at the Frederick Police Department telling authorities where they could find the bodies of his wife and two daughters. The information that Watts stuffed his daughters into two tanks on Anadarko property in rural Weld County near Hudson was relayed to officers in the field. The response among those at the scene, as well as by Rourke, was universally the same.
“I remember thinking, ‘This can’t possibly be true,” Rourke said. “Then you look and you realize there’s really no other way into that tank.”
The only other way in and out of the tank is through a panel on the back. The unfortunate Anadarko employees who responded to assist law enforcement with the recovery of the bodies had massive power tools to remove the heavy-duty bolts used to keep the tank from leaking.
Watts didn’t have those power tools and even if he did, opening the larger panel on the back would have caused oil to go all over the ground, Rourke said.
“The day he hit the jail, he tried to call his dad once, but for some reason the call didn’t go through,” Rourke said. “He didn’t make another phone call. We checked everyday to listen to his jail calls. He didn’t call anyone.”
49. Discovery Documents [REDACTED] 1960 Pages
50. DA Releases 2,000+ Pages In Chris Watts Murder Case, Revealing Texts With Wife – CBS Local
Kessinger told police she does not think she is the only catalyst for the sequence of events. She does, however, believe that being in Chris’s life may have “accelerated the process.” She feels “money is the biggest catalyst for this event happening.”
In that same interview, Kessinger said she could not think of a reason for why Chris would have hurt his children. She continues, “The only thing she could think of was that the kids may have seen him killing Shanann so he chose to kill them as well.”
Shannan to Chris problems:
August 5, 2018
2234 hours: Shanann added (to Chris), “Being away from you, it’s not the help I missed because I handle that. lt was exhausting, but with school that’s not hard. I missed the smell of you, you touching me when l’m cooking, you touching me in bed, you touching me period! I missed holding you and snuggling with you. I missed eating with you, watching tv with you. I missed staring at you, I missed making love with you. I missed everything about you. I couldn’t wait to touch you, hold you, kiss you, make love to you, smell you, laugh with you. I couldn’t wait to celebrate 8 years with you… lf you are done, don’t love me, don’t want to work this out, not happy anymore and only staying because of kids, I NEED you to tell me.”
2300 hours: Shanann asked Watts, “Would you stay with me if we didn’t have kids?”
2309 hours: Shanann asked Watts, “l just don’t get it. You don’t fall out of love in 5 weeks.” Minutes later she pondered, “How can you sleep? Our marriage is crumbling in front of us and you can sleep.”
Problems with in-laws
p. 2085 July 9, 2018
2015 hours: Shanann discussed how Watts’ mother gave Celeste ice cream with nuts in the ingredients. Shanann felt this was done in defiance of Shanann’s warnings of Celeste’s food allergies. Shanann told Watts, “You should call your dad and tell him you did not appreciate your mom putting your daughter at risk today, nor do you like that she teased our girls. You should also say you don’t appreciate her saying they have to learn they can’t always get what they want! (Referring to ice cream) they are 2 and 4!
Shannan discusses marital problems
July 24, 2018
1802 hours: Shanann told Watts, “l realized during this trip what’s missing in our relationship! lt’s only one way emotions and feelings. I can’t come back like this. I need you to meet me halfway. You don’t consider others at all, nor think about others feelings.” Watts replied that he was sorry and he loves her. Shanann responded, “l try to give you space, but while you are working and living the bachelor life l’m carrying our 3rd and fighting with our two kids daily and trying to work and make money. lt’s not hard texting love you and miss you. lf you don’t mean it then I get it, but we need to talk. I kept looking at my phone all night and no response from you. Like seriously! We didn’t just start dating yesterday! We’ve been together 8 years and have 2.5 kids together.”
In a phone search conducted by authorities, investigators found searches on Kessinger’s phone for sexual videos and positions, hours’ worth of searches for “Shanann Watts,” searches including “can cops trace text messages” after the murders, searches for Amber Frey (the mistress of convicted murderer Scott Peterson), if “people hate Amber Frey,” and Frey’s subsequent book deal.
August 13, 2018 (CBS4 note: This contains lyrics from a song which Chris Watts looked up on Google the lyrics include: “- lunacy has found me – Cannot stop the battery – Pounding out aggression – Turns into obsession – Cannot kill the battery – Cannot kill the family .“
“While in North Carolina, Celeste had a birthday party. Chris’s mother and father didn’t show up, and also didn’t text Shanann or Chris. Since that time, Chris started to get distant from Shanann. Shanann thought Chris’s parents loved the other grandkids more than Celeste and Bella. It was a burden for them to talk to Celeste and Bella. Chris’s parents also did not attend Shanann’s and Chris’s wedding. Chris told Shanann that Shanann was putting a barrier between Chris and his dad.
“Chris told Shanann that they were no longer compatible. Chris told her he didn’t want the baby; he just wanted it to be the two girls. Chris told her he wasn’t sure if he wanted a third child. Shanann asked Chris why he wanted another child if he felt that way about her. He said he thought it would fix the relationship. … Prior to the North Carolina trip, Shanann and Chris were both happy, and Chris was excited about the baby.
“Chris said he was considering separating from Shanann. Shanann asked Chris to see a therapist but he refused. Shanann was 100% against separation. Chris wouldn’t talk to her.”
An early police report details the couples’ ongoing financial issues. Chris Watts told officers when they first searched the house that “…he couldn’t log in to check the bank accounts because she does the finances.He said he knows the password but not the user name.” The report continues, “Chris advised if there was a stock pile of cash in the house he would not have known about it.”
Watts’ father Ronnie told investigators that his son “described Shanann as controlling, narcissistic and possible bi-polar,” though he had not seen any verbal of physical altercations between Chris and Shanann.
51. Shannan Watts’ mother suspected Chris Watts of foul play immediately after she disappeared with her two young daughters – CrimeOnline
52. Chris Watts confessed after approximately six hours of interrogation. When he did, he confessed to his father.
53. Frank Rzucek Facetimed with Chris Watts on Sunday evening. The time is not noted.
54. Chris Watts overheard a conversation between Troy McCoy and Kodi Roberts regarding a gas leak at CERVI 319 on Friday August 10th, just after dropping Shan’ann off at the airport.
55. Law enforcement measured Ceecee’s hips at 9.5 inches wide at their narrowest, and Ceecee was the smaller of the two children. The opening to the thief hatch was 8 inches wide.
56. Chris Watts moved Shan’ann’s suitcase from the bottom of the stairs to inside the master bedroom upstairs, leaving it at the doorway.
57. Blood Alcohol Scores After Death Can Be “False Positive” Up To 0.20
58. 1 month before her third pregnancy, Shan’ann was considering divorce
59. Chris Watts’ wife had been planning a romantic getaway to try and save her marriage before she was murdered – Daily Mail
In a text sent to her friend Ady, Shannon wrote out the entire speech she planned to deliver on Monday, after she had returned home and gotten some rest.
‘Can you please tell me something, because just like you, I’m in my head? I try to fix things and make them better and this is making me crazy. I know that you need time. I want to give you what you’re asking for and respect your space, I need some time. This place that I’m in, in my head, is not a good place,’ read the text.
‘It is not healthy for me, or Niko. I need you to help me help you. I need you to give just a little bit of what I did, or didn’t do, so I’m not going crazy in my head to figure it out. I know I can’t fix this by myself; that, we are going to have to work together.’
She then got on a plane and was not heard from again after her friend dropped her off at home. Watts would later send a text to her phone just before 8am asking where she was, shortly after he buried her body in a shallow grave.
64. New mugshot released.
65. 3 terrabytes of data, including photos and video, are set to be released within the next few days. – Greeley Tribune
66. CBI interrogation of Trent Bolte and Damian Ferns [Discovery Documents from page 740 onwards].
67. Chris Watts appears to have gained 40 pounds [18 kilograms] in a remarkably short period of time.
68. Chris Watts treated his daughters to pizza and let them FaceTime their granddad just hours before he murdered them. – The Mirror
69. How did the Secret Calculator App on Chris Watts’ phone work?
70. This is where Chris Watts took his mistress on the weekend of July 28 and 29 – the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Zapata Falls
1. Amanda McMahon Interview.
2. Chris Watts’ life in county jail
3. Chris Watts transferred from Colorado to an out of state prison, sources say – Denver Channel
But no one knows where.
4. Girlfriend of Christopher Watts talked with officers about fear of publicity, finding a job – Times-Call
5. Remembering Shan’ann Watts ABC 20/20
6. Chris Watts prisoner Referral Form
7. Nickole Atkinson’s 911 Call on August 13th, 2018
8. JUNE 12TH EMAILS BETWEEN CHRIS WATTS AND NICHOL KESSINGER
9. Why did Chris Watts keep his head bowed when his mother turned to address him in court?
10. The Devil in Disguise 20/20
The moment Chris Watts confessed to murdering his pregnant wife: Part 2 – Yahoo
Chris Watts led double life before murdering his family, court docs show: Part 3 – Yahoo
In a shocking statement, Chris Watts describes how he killed his wife: Part 4 – Yahoo
11. Chris Watts prison transfer analyzed.
12. Dr Phil Coverage of Watts case.
13. Chris Watts canteen receipt [December 14]:
14. Home Where Chris Watts Slaughtered His Family On Auction Block – RadarOnline
15. Shan’ann Watts Also Has A Pinterest Page – and what that reveals
16. Watts home to be sold at foreclosure auction on April 17.
1. The auction to sell the Watts home is now scheduled for July 17.
2. Watts neighbor Nate Trinastich admits to “embellishing” the intensity of the rows he overheard.
3. An alleged former girlfriend of Chris Watts describes what he was like.
1. Christopher Watts not fighting wrongful death lawsuit filed by Shanann Watts’s family after murder convictions – Daily Camera
Watts has not hired an attorney in the case and has not filed a single document in the suit since it was filed, court records show. The Rzuceks filed a motion for default judgment on Monday, court records show. A default judgment can be awarded if the defendant doesn’t respond to a suit, triggering an automatic win for the plaintiffs.
“He has failed to answer the case against him,” according to Steven Lambert, an attorney with Greeley’s Grant & Hoffman Law Firm, who is representing Shanann’s parents. Lambert said he expects the judge to make a decision on the motion in the next week or two.
If the judge finds that Watts is in default, the court will next have a hearing in which a jury decides how much money the Rzuceks should be awarded in damages.Watts likely will appear by telephone for that hearing, Lambert said.
2. The Rzuceks are seeking approximately $100,000 in damages from Chris Watts – People
3. Trinastich surveillance camera.
4. Last Photo/Footage of Shan’ann Watts Alive [August 13, 2018/01:48]
5. Both Chris Watts and Shan’ann Watts signed a receipt of summons on June 30th, 2018 – or did they?
1. Watts Interview 02.18.19_Redacted
2. Complete Audio of Chris Watts’ “Second Confession” [Includes Audio Subsections related to Specific Areas of the Crime]
1. Chris Watts: YouTuber Releases Tranche of New Photos from Weld County
2. TCRS publishes TWO FACE EPILOGUE – the 9th and final book in the bestselling TWO FACE series.
1. Cherlyn Cadle publishes Letters from Christopher.
2. TCRS publishes the first book in a new SILVER FOX trilogy series unpacking some of the new “revelations”.
3. Kathleen Hewtson’s book on Cindy Watts [the first four chapters] are leaked online. The book is subsequently scrapped.
Kathleen Hewtson later makes a separate chapter exclusively available to TCRS which subsequently appears in the last section of SILVER FOX WEDDED HUSBAND, WEDDED WIFE, published in early 2020.
1. Psychotherapist Lena Derhally publishes My Daddy is Hero.
2. Cherlyn Cadle’s book pulled from Amazon amid accusations of plagiarism.
1. Lead detective Dave Baumhover starts a blog as a way to share his experiences with PTSD.
2. On January 25th Lifetime Movie airs CHRIS WATTS CONFESSIONS OF A KILLER. The dramatization only recreates the murder of Shan’ann Watts.
How Accurate Is The New Lifetime Movie ‘Chris Watts: Confessions Of A Killer’? – Oxygen
3. The Rzuceks, through their lawyers, communicate their unhappiness about the movie, primarily the fact that they weren’t consulted.
4. TCRS’ Facebook accounts are disabled with no explanation.
5. Psychologist Slams the Idea That Chris Watts Was ‘Insane’ When He Murdered His Family – Cafe Mom
1. TCRS publishes the second book in the SILVER FOX trilogy.
2. Baumhover publishes his second post on his blog, starting with a a notice that conspiracy nuts will be banned. Same deal on CrimeRocket!
FACT COUNTER: 300+ as of January 2020
TWO FACE is available now at this link.
TWO FACE II is available now on Amazon.com
TWO FACE III is available on Amazon at this link.
Purchase the entire TWO FACE SERIES [8 books]:
Excellent Article. I have my thoughts also.
I’m new to posting here and don’t know how to start a thread, so I’ll just post this thought here: In virtually all photos of Chris and Shanann Watts, they have these 1000 megawatt smiles on their faces. This recalls photos of Lacy Peterson where she seemed incredibly happy with her life with a future murderer. Are people so good at faking happiness that they NEVER let their guards down, even when they are deeply sad inside? Many of the Dateline/48 Hours type shows also feature interviews with people who knew the murder victim. The victim lit up the room with her smile, was always happy, caring, and kind. Photos seem to confirm these observations. How the hell do such happy people end up in shallow graves, discarded by the roadside, or at the bottom of the Bay? What am I missing?
Hi there. The best I can advise is read the posts and comments. There are many thought out there. Of course in reality, only Chris has the answer.
Why do spouses or anyone kill. There are reasons behind personal killings. Many factors play into it. Finances, jealousy, greed, fed up, new people, custody, divorce, payments….history….etc.
Why they bury where they bury. Perhaps they know the area, convience, somewhere dark, lonely, no one will look.
Panic and shock sets in. Timeframe.
We are all mini detectives here.
As a point of clarification regarding Bella’s frenulum, the photo you have above is incorrect. There are several in the mouth and the one referred to by the DA and in the autopsy is the maxillary frenulum, under the lip between the two front teeth. Your photo depicts the frenulum underneath the tongue. (Dentist here) I mention it only for the sake of accuracy and because it gives a different picture of what he did to the poor child.
Thanks for the clarification. Seems there are many frenulums, including on the genitals.
Hey Nick – In your “What Else Do We Know” section where you cite the discussion of Shan’ann’s dad, Frank Rzucek, FaceTiming the girls on 8/12/18 and they’re eating cold pizza, you say no time was given. Actually there was.( Discovery page – 679). If you go a little bit above where eating the pizza is mentioned there is a discussion where Frank says the girls were eating and Shan’ann was strict about there schedules, so he sirmizes he FaceTimed them at 19:00 North Carolina time, 17:00 Colorado time. Just wanted to let you know in case you missed it. It only jumped out at me of course because there’s that big question of – What time were the kids last known to be alive!
Thanks Diana. We can infer the time from his estimate, but it’s not a fact that it was 17:00. This is important.
Does he say for how long they FaceTimed?
Can u comment on the family court date note mentioned on p. 169 or 170, maybe, of discovery? What was that about? Also why would only 1 child have oil in stomach, was she alive when he put her in?! Last, anything confirmed re wife being arrested 15 times in NC or his arrests? Were they same people & what were arrests for?
No it appears Watts had no prior criminal record.That’s in the discovery. I’m not sure if she did, and I’m not sure if the Discovery Documents say so either way.
Not sure which court dates you’re referring to.
Neither of the children were alive when dumped. The conditions in the two tanks differed, one was fuller than the other. One child may have fallen in differently, and if rigor had set in with mouth open or closed, that may have had an impact on the ability of the oil to flow inside the mouth.
The criminal record on shanann that’s going around is for Shanon watts, not shanann, different spelling, different person. She also has a profile on Facebook
They were not arrests – they were traffic citations and even some debt collection. There was another Shannon Watts that had criminal arrests.
In evidence photos taken at the house, there are pictures of credit card bills and bills from Young something MLM oil company. Putting this case in context, how many other family annihilator’s wives were SAHM/ not working? Chris Coleman, Scott Peterson, Christian Longo, that Christian family from Oregon. How did that impact decision to kill? Didn’t want to pay alimony, resentment, or a feeling that I am responsible for this person?
i am from Canada I have watched all the youtube of that shitheads interagation.For some reason not much has been said about the haircare products bought at 2 30 in the morning the night of the murders,if someone can explain this to me it would be great.I think this involves the girlfriend email@example.com
Rob, I think the hair care products are significant, too. It seems to be the last thing Shan’ann did on this earth, so why wouldn’t it have significance? The investigator said she tried to purchase some hair products online and her credit card was declined. Maybe, just maybe she went to confront Chris about the credit card. Something like how he racked up a big restaurant bill and there’s no money left now for her to even buy a hair product. Argument ensues, he’s had it with her. He waits for her to fall asleep and then strangles her.
I believe that if Shannan made the hair care purchase it was done earlier at the airport during her plane’s delay. Sometimes an online company doesn’t run a credit card right away so the email with a credit card denial was sent later. After he killed her Chris went through her phone. He could have tried the purchase again at 2:30 am to see if the credit card was maxed out.
Remember her credit card in her wallet in her possession. Chris probably made the purchase, or tried. To throw timeline off. After she was killed. He probably took card from her wallet.
She probably was shopping online while stuck at the airport and there was a time difference (different time zone)…. or possibly there was a delay during card processing
I believe she was laying in bed shopping while falling asleep, spending all of the money like she loved to do, because he never knew what she bought but she knew his every move… and her card declines, she falls asleep, he hides the phone and chokes her.
She was found in a t-shirt and underwear – the kind of things women wear to bed. So I don’t think he killed her immediately as she entered the house. Then the question is: what did he do with the children, probably dead already, so she wouldn’t check on them and wake them up? “Don’t wake the kids, let’s talk” and then came the soft kill.
Are you fairly new to true crime?
Yes, however I’ve read many of your books and am looking forward to the fourth in the Watts series.
The 4th book is already out 😉
I meant the fifth book and I see there is a sixth.
There will be 7 books in the series in total, but the last 2 will come out fairly late in the year.
Is it possible that the credit card being denied was due to Shanann having a subscription to hair care products and it being set up to send her products monthly, on a certain date. I have bought subscriptions to beauty kits for my granddaughters where the company sends the boxes out monthly; the payment is made automatically at that time.
It makes more sense for Chris to have killed her before she could go upstairs and check on the kids. Attacking her later would have been far worse (and louder) than simply ambushing her from behind when she least expected it, at the foot of the stairs where she would have been more confined between the railing and the wall, as nickvdl outlines in one of his books.
Recall that she had asked for photos of the girls during the evening of 8/12 but he sent her a pic from the birthday party earlier in the day. Shanann probably wanted to 1. Know that the kids were ok* and 2. Her “OCD” wanted to know if they were in bed early, as usual. The little girls could have been dead by the time of the photo request.
*Shanann said in one of her texts to her friend that she didn’t know if she was safe with Chris. What made her feel she wasn’t? And why would a mother attend some bullshit company event in another state and leave her kids with a man they may not have been safe with?
Seems like financial strain plays a big part in family homicides.
I agree, Lara Martinez. That gnawing insecurity just below the surface would have exacerbated all the other problems in this family. At the time of the killings, things were quickly coming to a head on the financial front. I believe Chris felt this more acutely than did his wife. She was still on the multi level marketing bandwagon, believing her ship would come in any day and the family would be flush with money.
Do these killers really think they can kill someone (though it is morally wrong to take someone’s life) and get away with it, especially in this day and age of technology with all the security cameras and dna trails?
Yes they do. It’s because they’ve gotten away with other things – lies, debt, MLM – that they think they can get away with murder. When deception becomes a habit, you can even start to deceive yourself.
I have to ask you with everything we all know, do you think CW gotten away with murder as there is no physical evidence in the crime scene I mean if Nicki hadn’t come and called cops. The case would be circumstantial evidence. CW have more time to clean up. I don’t know if this was discussed but would the cops have found the kids bodies. I know they saw the sheet thru drone video
Just finished reading der Leek’s entire analysis of this case. Astounding research, ( considering it’s timetable) with some interesting takes.( but……………….a quiz?!…..) Surprised at der Leek’s need to create an entertainment platform in the blog. Rings of click bait and not enough book ( note pad brain storm) sales?Simply put, this case doesn’t have enough time for an in-depth study to write a good True Crime account .
One thing I know familicide/filicide is always so shocking. Always void of empathy, humanity and clinical in it’s elimination process. This particular one with a new take on cruelty disguised as practical solution. The burials were premeditated. And by the looks of it while the girls were having fun in a swimming pools.Cruel.
Meanwhile. Here is an interesting study on male filicide.
Must admit that this case cover everything. Even sexual identity. But looking at it like it is,forget about the bi connection. It’s the queer celebration year and on the news ’till 31 December 2018. Inevitable that it would be somehow linked. To good to miss digging the needle in sexual identity/ choice. If true he was experimenting, nothing else ).
Meanwhile might actually look at der Leek’s take on Zahau’s death. And buy the printed blog version.
Thank you for highlighting an aspect that is central to most of the criticism I receive. You wrote a book too quickly, so there must be something wrong with it, or there must be something wrong with you [you’re a greedy soulless opportunist, trying to make money off someone else’s tragedy].
I get that a lot.
I don’t mind being accused of being a money-grubbing opportunist. Writing books is one of the worst ways to make money. You work shit hard and earn almost nothing even when you are successful, so those making that claim clearly don’t know me or my work, or my bank balance, and that’s fine.
The part I resent – probably because of how much work and how much of my personal life goes into the work I do – is the assumption that because it’s compiled quickly it’s defective. I’ve also received dozens of reviews from folks who appear so upset by a book appearing soon, they want to leave a troll-review to discourage it [rather than read it themselves] and try to make sure others don’t make the mistake of reading a defective product [one they haven’t read themselves, but are “reviewing”].
You’re essentially doing the same thing here.
Like I said, I get that a lot, I resent it, and I notice on a lot of forums, people say they enjoy the blogs but are so put off by the “bad attitude of the author attacking his readers”. It’s me, you see – the guy working the hardest [arguably] and the fastest at compiling the research and evidence – that has the bad attitude.
Is the research at his site click bait? Is it a cynical attempt to make money? Is the research only aimed at sensation [aka tabloid journalism]? These are all excellent accusations, and anyone who feels strongly about them are strongly encouraged to avoid this site, and avoid the books written about this case.
To address your criticism:
The point of a quiz is to test your knowledge of the case. It’s to acknowledge what we do and don’t know. It’s also to point out some extremely obvious errors people still don’t know about [such as the spelling of the unborn baby’s name, and the actually date Watts deleted his Facebook] and keep making. I like to address errors and misconceptions. Sorry if that doesn’t sit well with your sensibilities or your sense of what is appropriate or not. It also makes sense for me as author to reward the reader who cares the most about accuracy and has made the effort to try to find answers themselves. A reader like that can appreciate insight, and perhaps even offer some additional ideas of their own.
Believe it or not, this site is intended to sell books. The research on this site is intended to provide a glimpse of what is in the books, as well as to promote the much deeper and more carefully considered research in the narratives. I hope that doesn’t bother you or strike you as inappropriate. Perhaps if you’d prefer research that’s not attached to narratives, there are a lot of amazing Facebook groups that are 100% free and don’t try to sell you anything.
“this case doesn’t have enough time for an in-depth study to write a good True Crime account “.>>>More than likely then, the accounts that have been written are bad. The first book was published on September 10th, less than a month after the crimes. It was written as quickly as it was precisely to show how much information can be gathered while everyone else waits to be given information via press releases and information dumps.
A big part of why this blog exists is also to prove the contention wrong that “there isn’t enough time to know what’s going on….” So if a narrative is produced quickly it must be defective. And if it’s produced very quickly it must be very defective. We live in the 21st century with a host of advanced search and filtering tools at our disposal. It seems you still need convincing after over 330 blog posts and 3 books, with a 4th a few days away. Some people will never be convinced, and that’s fine, but then please avoid this site and the narratives that are here. Go where you feel comfortable.
I do have a question for the “time critics”.
What in your mind would be the “right” amount of time to wait before a narrative about a crime comes out? Is 6 months appropriate? Or would you prefer a year?
Those who read my books regularly contact me often begging me to bring the next book out in a particular series ASAP. Those who don’t read the books are baffled why they are written in the first place.
Probably best if you don’t read any of the books on the Watts case, because as you say there hasn’t been nearly enough time to research or write them. How long has it been since the murders in August – less than four months?
You’re more than welcome to wait a year, wait till December 2019, and read the 7th book in the series. If you’d prefer to wait, wait. Many don’t, and that’s why I’m working hard to deliver a service for them, and one you may not appreciate but they do.
My point is that there is simply not enough time for clarity. To be honest I am quite perplex with the response. It sounds bitter and self pittied. Rambling in justification. As a creator you know as well as I that depth and research are the foundations to a good end result. This blog is phenomenally good, but is just that a master stroke of a blog. (bloody hell that quiz floored me) I would love to see what you are capable of with a concise True Crime account.
I do a deal with you. I make a piece on this case (fine art) and u write a piece beyond he said/ she said/ geo coordinates, youtube examples, etc. My piece might take 6 month to reach a satisfactory result though.
The only person who knows the “right time” for you to write a book is YOU. No one can speak for you. If they do, it is out of vanity. Your time is the right time for you. I’m glad you wrote the book early and I intend to read it.
I read a lot of crime books, some come out right away, some are written years later. Some of the books that come out later after all the investigation is complete leave out the earlier investigative story, so it loses some of the earlier spirit which is also part of the story.
For me, I like to have the full array: early books, mid books, and the later on books. Crime investigation is a process, so in this way a person can see the investigation from start to finish. Like the Manson Family murders. The earlier books were informative, then the books written later on were good too and subsequent books expounded upon what was written and known earlier with more insight added from facts that came to light years later.
(full speed ahead! aka “go for it!”
I am puzzled by the weird plea deal, too. I believe Chris would have a good chance in court–I doubt he would get death once all the videos of Shan’ann’s treatment of him and the kids were presented. Along with the dire financial straits Shan’ann had put the family in. Usually when the prosecution offers a plea deal, they tell the defendant that if he doesn’t tell them all the details, the plea is off the table. If they find out that one little part is untrue, the plea is withdrawn. Something is just off with the way the case was handled. Then again, look at JonBenet.
I found these books to be illuminating because they dig hard at the core of something deeper and darker about our society and our values. Before I found this site and the four books about the Watts murders, I had only a passing knowledge of the crime, but something about the shocking nature of it stayed with me – more so than other murders of this kind.
The comments below all those Youtube videos about the case show a large population of people who are deeply invested in this particular case, as am I. Every day I say, no more articles and videos and reading comments about them. And yet, here I am. I have (right now) a dim understanding of the forces that drove Chris Watts to murder his family. But the most troubling thing is how so much of the truth of the case was and is hidden from the public. The girlfriend’s role and the rush to indict without knowing how the girls were killed are troubling if not downright alarming. Big oil, destruction of the environment, raging materialism and debt, questions about sexual identity and associated guilt, a family structure based on lies, multi level marketing’s effects on desperate people, and cultish behaviors need the cold stare of media, law enforcement and the public.
Without getting into political things, as an American, it feels as if we are on a one way ticket to hell, and fast. The Watts case is a symptom.
Bitter, self-pitying, rambling. You really are better off somewhere else. Off you go then.
I think the theory that he killed her downstairs then spent the time cleaning up is proven false by the security system data that there was no movement on main floor very shortly after Shanann got home. That speaks more to him killing her upstairs. He also said when asked by CBI agent how long after shanann was dead did he put her in his truck, he said minutes. Not sure how believable he is but at that time he had no reason to lie about that, he had already confessed to killing her.
He was asked how long it took to load the bodies, and answered minutes. That’s a big difference from what you’re saying, “how long after she was killed did he put her in his truck…”
The Vivint security data is a reasonable point, but like all digital systems, it can be manipulated, just as his own phone was. In order to test how or whether it was manipulated, one has to understand how the system works.
he had no reason to lie about that, he had already confessed to killing her.>>>He lied about her killing the children, and initially denied the affair. He was lying for weeks to his wife about where he was etc. But you’d like to believe him when he says the murders happened upstairs?
My point was he had no reason to lie at this point in regards to how much time passed between him putting shanann on bed after the “rage killing”. He admitted at that point that he killed shanann. He only admitted to the affair which was not illegal to get himself out of hot water when they kept saying he was hiding something in the interrogation, so he threw that up. He had not confessed at that time to killing the kids so he still had reason to lie at that time. I’m not saying I believe him that he killed her upstairs, in his version to police he said he put her on the bed and at that point it didn’t really matter where he killed her. The detective clarified and reworded her question about the length of time between killing shanann and loading her after he didn’t get what she was asking. I question how easy it is to manipulate the security systems because the police seemed to rely on that info in this case, much of it was based on security footage and data. I know we have a similar system and ours it is not possible to change the data that is collected after it’s been set because that’s recorded in the company’s data immediately , but what data it will actually collect can be changed.
My name is now Mitzi, for some reason I couldn’t get back onto site with my old username and email, kept saying it was incorrect which it was not. So I had to register withWordpress with an old email of mine. My beef with WordPress, have had problems before
Actually I rematched that video, she asks him specifically twice how much time passed from him putting her on the bed to loading her in truck….he doesn’t answer so she clarifies question and says hours, minutes? He replies minutes. It’s on part 8 on YouTube
In response to Dec. 12 comments from @m :
On Wikipedia, the definition of True Crime begins, “A non-fiction literary and film genre in which the author examines an actual crime and details the actions of real people.” Do some people not realize this when visiting this site?
@nickvdl is researching, writing and connecting the dots to present fact based narratives and complete portrayals of the actual victims and their real killers. And detailing the how and why a crime was committed.
All writers, no matter what genre they write in, are responsible for building their own audiences. Many audiences are online so writers need to be too. It’s smart business.
If Nick was writing fictional murder mysteries would people tell him that his book was published too fast, that he shouldn’t create a quiz to test people’s knowledge or provide a well-researched blog that regular readers enjoy and learn from? Yes, a few might.
So he should ignore them and the trolls, and write for his regular readers. We like quizzes, puzzles and trying to connect the clues. Let the others who don’t enjoy this blog surf Google. Or, wait until “later” before reading about the case.
Readers should consider themselves fortunate to receive a reply from a writer at all. Most writers never reply back. I know I don’t. It takes an immense amount of time and energy and in the end all that is accomplished is arguing with a critic.
If Nick replies back consider it a treat because one day he may be much too busy to indulge you! I see a BiG future for Nick van der Leek. And this series he’s doing is going to be a big part of that!
Vai avanti Nick!
The point that I have wondered about, is when he changed his mind and decided to confess to all the murders (instead of continuing to blame Shan’ann for the murders of their daughters). I read a brief article that said that there “was some yelling and some crying” before he realized that he needed to admit to everything. I was interested in that and wondering if there are transcripts of his conversations at this point? Or is it confidential/private with his attorney?
It’s a good question Leigh. We don’t know what was said, except that Watts was angry, and felt he had no choice but to accept the plea deal. What’s odd, if you think about it, is that the DA claim the defense made the proposal to them. I doubt it. The idea for the plea deal was almost certainly never Watts’ idea to begin with. So whose was it, and why?
Thank you – those were my questions as well.
DA said in multiple interviews they were floored when they came wanting to take death penalty off table and he’d plead guilty on all charges. First deal they proposed was rejected but they amended it then.
THIS. It all comes down to exactly this! Some of us really are like dogs on a bone and we won’t let go because it doesn’t make any sense and WE (desperately!) NEED IT TO MAKE sense in order to put it away. For starters and not in any particular order: What evidence is there to support Chris killing the children? IS there evidence? – and because – ultimately – all Chris had to do was sign his name on the dotted line and *poof* it doesn’t matter? The only person I see smugly satisfied with this outcome is the PA and that just doesn’t sit well, does it? (Let me preface this by saying I do believe he committed all three murders but I have this niggling in the back of my brain caused most likely by the lack of tangible evidence…oh, how I wish that idea had NOT been presented to him during interrogation – it’s muddied the waters a bit, for me..) For me, the LACK of evidence pointing to Shan’ann being their killer is NOT evidence pointing that Chris IS the killer. However, I’m confused as to why Chris insisted Shan’ann strangled/choked (NOT suffocated/smothered) the girls? He was POSITIVE the evidence would show that! Suffocation/smothering and strangulation are apples and oranges – not apples and apples. Was he really that crappy of a liar, really?! Why didn’t he insist that Shan’ann suffocated/smothered the girls? But that’s the answer to that question, right? – because he was a stupid crappy liar?! Why is that hard for me to swallow? The PA never went out of his way to explain the discrepancy. Secondly, I believe he killed Shan’ann after she came home, went upstairs and changed into her sleep clothes BUT before she washed her face – “mascara running down her face” – after all every lie contains a small truth. Large breasted pregnant females do indeed sleep in their bras. An athletic/sport bra would undoubtedly been more comfortable and made more sense to some but no doubt Shan’ann was hoping to keep the “sag monster” at bay. What reason would he have to change her clothes anyways? At that point I think he believed he was going to make sure she never got found so who cares what’s she wearing? I believe a verbal altercation started with the declined credit card and it escalated quickly (hence his “rage” – another small truth) and Chris killed her in their marital bed. I think Shan’ann was worn out physically and mentally and could not/would not fight back. After all, she knew Chris was “done” and her goose was going to be effectively cooked – i.e. divorced mother of three – and so she had started to exhibit a consilatory and softening attitude toward him but it was too late. I do not wholedly agree with the PA statement that Shan’anns death HAD TO BE PREMEDITATED simply because strangulation takes 2 to 4 minutes. The girls, yes – premeditated. I believe he then went to Bella’s room first perhaps because she was the lightest sleeper- picked her up – her back tight to his chest – and he carried her back to the marital bed – actively smothering her the entire way. CeCe was last, done the same way. There is a cop cam video that shows one of the girls beds EXACTLY as they were left – early on before he remade them. The covers are not “thrown back” or in any way in disarray. The bed looks exactly like it would had a parent gone in and simply picked up their sleeping child. And I believe that’s what he did. I think he then took all the bodies and placed them on the fitted sheet at the bottom of the stairs – the area he is seen being visually preoccupied with and taking furtive glances at when the first detectives came to the house – same area cadaver dogs alerted to. I think Shan’ann was dead by 3a.m. -ish, and the girls soon after but he didn’t move the bodies downstairs until the time the alarm showed activity start up again. I guess in the end I WANT TO KNOW WHAT I KNOW I DONT KNOW! My apologies in advance if I have misspelled names.
One thing I believe bothers Chris is that this gained so much media attention. While locked away he had no idea how popular this had become. He had made a comment in the interrogation room that he could help get the bodies so not to bother the workers (I think). He also made comments a few times of how he was perceived, didn’t want people to be mad at him or view him badly. I think they used that to talk him into avoiding a long drawn out trial which would be loaded with media and create more enemies for Chris.
I wonder if the PA and the DA were getting pressure from a certain big company to put the lid on things, and fast. A trial would have brought worldwide attention to this company and spawned tons of stories about its business practices, to put things delicately.
A trial could have included a confession by Chris about how he killed his children, or certainly lots of questions and theories about that. If he killed them early in the evening, and if the method used was coldly drugging them (rather than during a raging fit) the crime would have been even more calculated, cold blooded and horrific, and thus more bad publicity for said company.
Something happened to speed this thing through the court process, put Chris in jail for life (which is where he belongs) and put distance between Chris and his former place of employment.
If Shan’aan was choked to death why are there blood all over her shirt that she was buried in?
Were the autopsy reports or the full plea deal details ever released? I can’t find any links with details ?
Phebe, blood on her shirt was likely from the baby expelled after death, coffin birth. Full plea details , I don’t believe all has been released.
There was no blood–only sandy dirt from the shallow grave. I saw that some websites called it blood & also said the sheet was bloody–they weren’t.
I tried to post photos here but couldn’t so here is the link.
The stains on the sheet she was buried in are only brown (dirt,) while her shirt is covered in reddish brown stains.
I then assume that the T-shirt wasn’t white but has reddish color to it.
Shan’ann’s autopsy mentions that she was in the advancing stages of decomposition – so I imagine the staining on the printed fitted sheet from the house was from her bodily fluids. There are actually two sheets – the plain white sheet that was provided by the ME to transport her body back to the land of the living – the same sheet that was full of dirt from the grave and then the printed fitted sheet from their bed that Chris wrapped her body in – the one I think shows body fluid staining – the one the drone spotted – I think Chris half-assed buried it along with Shan’ann. And no – the terms of his plea deal didn’t require Chris to explain a thing – all he was required to do was sign his name on a dotted line – which I think in the court world is a very rare occurrence. And as they say, therein lies the rub!! We have nothing available to help us effectively connect the dots. I do think he could have had a bit of a chance (perhaps just a tad more chance than a snowballs chance in hell) with reasonable doubt in the case of the girls – cuz hey! in this day and age it doesn’t take much to tip that scale. Ultimately, I think we are feeling a bit cheated! In the now infamous words of NK “WHY? WHY? WHY?”
I wonder if Chris ever decides to write a book or disclose this information. I’d be the first one buying it.
When a person dies, if they are not embalmed fairly soon afterward, blood begins to pool at the lowest parts of their bodies, the area closest to the ground or floor. This happens over a period of hours. Shanann was found in a shallow grave, face down, I believe, so possibly her body fluids drained onto her shirt. Photos made by the drone of the empty grave show a large, dark area at the bottom of the grave – possibly this is where the fluids were. This is very sad to think about – my knowledge of this comes from awful experience, where I found a close family member deceased in his home, having died of heart attack about 36 hours earlier. I can’t even imagine the grief of this extended family– both about the manner of death and the condition of the bodies – from personal experience, I can say that the grief relentless and never ending.
This information you have compiled is awesome! Thank you for digging beneath the surface for the truth–something we know the MSM never does. This case has fascinated me since the beginning. I’ve watched countless Shan’ann videos and the way she treats her children makes me wince. She does not respect boundaries and describes her kids as “monsters,” “crazy” and “needy” while they are doing nothing but being normal small children. (I have 3 young children–and don’t get me started on the 6:30pm bedtimes and lengthy naps she forced on those poor babies just so she could have more me-time)She dismissed Chris as if he was her personal assistant. I usually abhor murderers–especially of small children and pregnant women–but this case is special. Something strange surrounds this case. Why did he plead guilty? Is it just a function of his personality quirks? I believe if this case went to trial and the truth got out about Shan’ann and her reckless spending and obsession with herself, no jury would give him the death penalty. I am looking forward to the latest book on the Watts case!
I have also watched SW videos, I personally don’t like MLM scheme, but I do think you are judging her in a very harsh manner, whenever she uses the words you took exception to she does it in a playful manner. I have twin toddlers routine is a huge deal for us, so yes we have a certain time set for naps and sleep. Everybody has a different parenting styles, we each need to respect others style. Do we really know someone just by watching videos. I also heard on one of interviews she was earning unto 80k to 100k and she always checks for deals and Groupon stuff. whenever she spends I do think they should have downsize on the house that would have been a huge help financially for them and she was open for it too.
Nick, This is a fabulous website and in-depth investigation! I intend to buy several of your ebooks after reading what you have here. I have one comment and one question for you. My comment is regarding Chris’ initial confession to his father where he says that he killed Shan’ann in a rage after he saw her killing his girls. It seems obvious to me that he got that idea from the detectives themselves. In the interrogation room before Chris confessed to his father, the detectives asked him if Shan’ann did anything to the girls. That put the idea in his head to blame her for the girls’ murder, which he did shortly thereafter.
My question is regarding the other recent Colorado missing person/murder case of Kelsey Berreth. Are you investigating that case too, Nick? If so, where can I find your analysis? Thanks!
Thanks for your question. I am following the Berreth case, but will only investigate it closer to and during the trial. I did put up an initial analysis. Bear in mind it was posted about 2 weeks ago on December 23rd, but it did call correctly on the affair which has only just been confirmed over the past 24 hours.
You’re 100% correct that the version where Shan’ann killed the girls and Watts then killed her, and covered it up was “fed” to him by the investigators. Watts initially denied it, then reconsidered, and felt this wasn’t a bad version, so he went with it. But it’s hardly the “confession” many have claimed it to be.
My initial belief is CW killed SW shortly after her return, from behind, without a confrontation. I think this because he appears to me to be a passive, sneaky coward. He had a stalled plan, so by the time SW came home he was ready and running out of time. No rage, no emotional conversation just a task on his hit list, hence the lack of any physical evidence of a struggle.
The only thing challenging me on my passive, sneaky coward view of CW’s character is the neighbor saying he overheard public verbal fights. This is confusing to me as I wouldn’t think he’d lose the mask publicly.
This outwardly meek and passive mute man went along with the flow until he let loose, and then went back to his safe zone of helpful, nice guy never believing his persona wouldn’t be ground zero for a triple murder.
What people thought of him meant a lot to CW. His repeated assurances of “I promise”, “you’ve gotta trust / believe me”, to authorities is just weird.
Until we have proof otherwise, I’m going with stealth killer, minutes after she came home. Kids first.
I want to suggest that Shan’ann KNEW the MLMs (she was involved with many) were scams and she wasn’t going to make any money. She harnessed that scam in order to trick Chris into thinking she was making money but really it was a way to get the things that she wanted: new nice car, trips, a reason to put the kids in school, makeup, phones, lunches, the ability to look busy to ignore doing other things, etc.
I think it’s implied that the bankruptcy severely limited the way they could use their cash flow – sometimes it works better to not have an actual income after bankruptcy and especially when/if you were going to declare bankruptcy again. And, if he was going to leave her, she would certainly have a reason not to earn anything so as to have a right to alimony and child support. But, she still craved the things, the stuff, the glamour, the constantconstantconstant ability to shop.
I think it was a way to maneuver around the money problems to still get the stuff, the experience that she wanted and felt she deserved. They had already maxed out all the credit cards, filed for bankruptcy, in the process of being sued for HOA (who can file liens that garnish your wages), and still she shopped – it seems – compulsively. Chris, who does seem to be manipulated, maybe didn’t know the extent of her spending habits and maybe didn’t have any say.
We can often sit back from the end of a journey to see the scope and the path, but it’s harder during that journey to see where the path is leading. In other words, I’m sure during 2017-2018 when she started doing Thrive that Chris legitimately thought she would make money, as the year went on he probably began to realize that history was going to repeat itself and that in some real honest ways Shan’ann was manipulative and dishonest about how and where she was allocating their funds.
He went from being a pudgy nondescript guy to being a muscle-bound Silver Fox with hot tats. A younger woman became interested. I agree that the murders had less to do with Nichol and more to do with money. He knew Shan’ann would be unwilling, or unable, to work at a job with a newborn and two toddlers. And I wouldn’t have blamed her for being vengeful by refusing to work, thereby assisting him financially in his new life with a younger woman. He would therefore have to support all of them and himself separately and wouldn’t have had two cents to rub together to entertain Nichol in the manner they had been doing – dune trips, restaurants, skiing. Nichol, supposedly not knowing Shan’ann was pregnant (I can’t believe she didn’t check their Facebook pages) was pressuring Watts to get himself a place to live – hurry up, get going! A perfect storm. But, it puzzles me how he thought having a life with Nichol, while his entire family went permanently missing, would work out in his favor?
I think there’s some indication in the verbiage that Shan’ann touted herself while promoting Thrive. She said things like, “go after what you want,” “now is the time,” “be the best you,” and I guess Chris incorporated that into his own schema and decided he could go after what he wanted – no matter the price. Which is pretty much how they conducted their lives: no matter the price, if you want it you deserve it and you should take it.
As far as thinking he would be able to get away with it – well, lots of people get away with murder. The truth is that the girl’s bodies would probably have broken down in the oil tanks and never been found. If he had been able to finish his plans with Shan’ann he would probably have ghosted her body somehow as well. I guess, he figured there were lots of Nichols, lots of cities like Frederick, lots of jobs that pay 60k and he would go on.
Divorce in his mind (and maybe by definition) was/is the obliteration of his family unit. It is the permanent uncoupling and reorganization of a family, I guess he figured he didn’t want to slog through a divorce, a settlement, alimony, child support and if he could morally be okay with (and he was okay with it) murdering them then he was off the hook.
What makes him a weak little worm was trading his morality (maybe his soul) to get out of his responsibilities. The literal murder was probably pretty easy for him to do, but the moral acrobatics and ineptitude and baseness – the ugliness of his soul is stunning. In the end he was just an adult boy. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” And Chris wanted some fun.
Well he could have quit his job. Worked under the table. Lots of father’s do that.
Don’t forget niether of them would end up having a car, house.
It’s interesting to think of power dynamics that are interlaced with family dynamics that are again interlaced with money dynamics. I think he didn’t jump to murdering in a rage or just snapped – he’s too smart. I think it was a slow deliberate conclusion. He weighed what the girls were worth to him. What they cost him and at some point his brain rested on the conclusion that them not existing was the best way to get what he wanted. He didn’t usher them out in a mercy killing – too little to live without their mother, etc. I think he calculated the cost of daycare, health insurance, food, etc against his love, his protection, his adultness and murder won out. Maybe, by a hair. Maybe in an instant. Maybe only in the flash of a fiery new love, but it still won out. And the two babes lost.
I have a feeling he didn’t know how to break free or live separately from Shanaan.
Chris Watts reminds me of this guy : https://www.mentalhelp.net/advice/extremely-controling-wife-and-passive-husband/
I think he was afaird of her. Since she wore the pants and him the skirt…lol….reminds me of a an ex boyfriend. We were arguing and he told me he wears the pants….I told him to try a skirt.
We were, are both Aries….strong, firey, dominant.
Be interesting to do a Chart on both their Signs…….hint hint.
He would have survived on his own. He had the steady job. Small apt, cheap car.
The fact is, Shannon, that he did not do that. Given that he did not do that, it’s irrelevant to speculate about what he COULD have done when the fact, the reality, is that he did not do that. We seek to understand why he did what he did, as you know, not to assemble the comprehensive list of everything he COULD have done but didn’t do.
What does everyone think about 12:45 timestamp? Maybe Bella was awake? And he killed her at the oil tank. Hence, the hair in the truck and the injuries that suggest she was awake during her smothering – this time by his hand simply covering her mouth and nose and clamping down.
Although if it was Cece then it would correlate with the “dog” stuffed animal (her security blanket) being gone from the house and Bella’s cat being left behind. Chris admitted this in his polygraph interrogation. He brought the dog along with Cece for security because she was still alive and wanted it.
I see him reach over and do something but i’m not sure it was that.
Link to a youtuber who believes the video shows an accomplice.
“We may not understand it at the time. It’s hard to understand it at the time [laughs]. I’m telling you, when I met Chris I pushed him away. I gave every excuse for him to run [looks at the sky] …I gave him an out every single day. I gave him an out. And if you guys know my story with Chris, you know I gave him an out. I mean, he went to my colonoscopy. I…tortured him. I rejected him. I pushed him away time and time and time again. But when I cancelled dates – last minute – cos that’s how life is with my health challenges, you cancel things last minute and it’s hard for people to get, it’s hard for me to understand, but – he stuck around. And he stuck around because…”
He stuck around because he was a pushover and a doormat and your relationship was built on that.
And the way she says we may not understand it at the time – it’s called your GUT and she should have listened to it.
I sincerely hope nobody reads into my comment in a negative way. I think blaming the victim of ANY crime is wrong. I just want to say that SW appeared to be a very smart, intuitive woman. We know she was aware the marriage was deteriorating during her trip to NC. I don’t know if anything good can come from such a heinous situation and the unspeakable crimes CW committed. If something good can be taken from such tragedy, I hope a person(s) who is in a loveless marriage finds things in this case that resonate personally. I think many women stay in bad relationships for a variety of reasons. I know I did. I was married very young, both of us were big drinkers etc. When I came to the realization that I was drinking way too much and have an alcohol problem, I started taking steps to get sober. My x husband was furious, I haven’t had contact with him in over a decade but am aware through mutual friends that his recent divorce is in part due to his raging alcoholism as was one of my reasons for finally divorcing him. Again, I was very young, had low self esteem and was starting my journey to alcohol recovery. I knew deep down that my husband didn’t love me. When the alcohol haze started really lifting, it was painfully obvious. Yet, I stayed with him for at least a year knowing he didn’t love me. Again, I was very young and really wanted to have the “good life” our friends and family believed we had. I was ashamed of being in a bad marriage and as a result suffered increasing verbal, emotional and at the very end, physical abuse was starting to occur. Obviously SW was a motivated, driven person, that’s evident in everything I have ever read about her. I know she was buying self help books and looking into marriage counseling to save her family. I think she came to terms that there were serious problems in her marriage when she was away for extended period in NC. Again, obviously SW was a smart woman, I feel she must have known there was something wrong with CW long before she admitted it to herself or friends. I think many of her loved ones admired her determination and loyalty, but those qualities were wasted on CW. Nobody wants to admit their partner isn’t in love with them, SW was confiding in her friends that CW really seemed to want to seperate. I believe deep down she must have known for quite awhile that CW didn’t love her or their children. She may not have realized it to that degree, but bc of her intelligence she must have known something was wrong. My first husband, had a seen a charge to our credit card like SW did, I would have known just as she did that CW was seeing other women. I remarried many years after my divorce to a really good man. We were both military and spent a lot of time during certain times due to our military careers. Had I seen him use our credit card at a restaurant, I would have thought nothing of it, assumed he paid for himself and a friend etc., honestly I would not have even given it thought to ask him. Reason being I knew my second husband, when you live with someone and your lives are joined, I believe you just know certain things about them fundamentally. I never worried that my second husband would cheat or do anything of that nature, it was not him, he wasn’t a person that lied, integrity was important to both of us. Sadly he passed away in the line of duty 2012. I have been single since, one reason being that people like him are not the norm unfortunately. Again, I am NOT blaming the victim, but I believe she would have done whatever she thought possible to “save” the marriage bc she was such a determined person. Loyalty and emotional strength are wonderful character traits, but obviously were and would have been wasted on CW. I am sure he enjoyed the fact that she was hurting, one of her last texts thanking him for letting her “hold him”. That broke my heart because she was trying so hard and he likely not only enjoyed seeing her emotional pain but it drove his feelings of disdain toward her deeper. CW knew SW would not just accept a divorce, she would have tried everything to keep her family in tact. Knowing that only fueled his pathetic hatred and desire to “eliminate” her and their children. So very sad that her personality type of loyalty to family and mindset to save her marriage is likely a big part of why he didn’t just take off like a dead beat. He knew she wouldn’t let it end until she felt she had done everything possible. Again, the blame is solely on CW, this situation is common and most of the time “trying to work it out” only prolongs the inevitable divorce. Thank God CW is an exception to mankind, most people would have just gone through the motions and insisted on divorce. He couldn’t do that though because something is terribly wrong with him. He chose to murder his family bc he was “over it” and only cares about himself. He blamed SW for anything and everything that was wrong in his mind. He viewed her as the enemy keeping him captive. I believe he truly grew to hate SW because his sick mind made her a representation of his unhappiness. It would have been heinous enough to murder her, but he is so dimented that he was able to extend his hatred of his partner onto his two children. The only thing he could have done is admit he was with another woman and unwilling to reconcile his marriage. He was too much of a coward to do that though. I just find it particularly heartbreaking that when he murdered her, he knew he had the upper hand and SW would have done almost anything to make him want to “fix” the marriage. It really makes me sad knowing that he had an emotional hold on her and found her loyalty “too much” to deal with. I hope this tragedy brings some good in some way. Maybe it will save another person’s life. Someone in a loveless marriage will realize the odds of repairing a broken marriage are slim to none and walk away before suffering months/years of emotional pain and stress and possibly a violent, atrocious outcome like the crimes CW perpetrated.
Sorry about your situation.
But your wrong about their marriage, their lives and the Why.
Well one thing is nearly certain…I’m fairly sure after looking at this video someone posted to YouTube into exactly how the Watts family home security system worked…you can be fairly sure the police have video footage from INSIDE the garage that night…it correlates with Shananns Dad making a point to Chris in court that “Yes..he had seen the footage…you took them out like garbage” I thought that was a pretty strong statement seeing the only known public footage is the neighbours Nate with the tree in the way… I think the police had the “smoking gun” so to speak, the unknown (to Chris), unerasable footage from the main security screen system located in the Watts family garage.. Do you agree? https://youtu.be/phmNx9XyQLQ
No I think the reference was to Nate’s footage. I highly doubt he’s referring to some other footage.
Great research here and love some of the comments that people leave.
However, I do keep asking myself.
In reference to the Chris watts prison interview, Why didn’t Shanann fight back whilst being strangled ?
He was asked when he was straddled kneeling over Shanann, did he pin her arms down but he doesn’t think so.
He had no injuries on him but I would have though a humans bodies natural reaction would be to thrash around.
thinking about Shanann’s physical and mental state at the time, she must have been worn out and tired (there is a recent picture of her looking really worn out), sixteen weeks pregnant and three hours late back from a flight. plus Chris had been avoiding text messages and not communicating to Shanann in the weeks leading up.
So I suspect that when he straddled himself on top of her she was taken back and possibly scared (there was no history of violence or his self assertiveness in the relationship).
it’s harrowing to hear that whilst Chris was strangling her, he thought she was trying to pray.
did she love him that much that she felt ‘the game was’ over after Chris in a non direct way admitted an affair and to felt too low to defend herself ?
@richarddidd, don’t believe the prison interview scenario of how it went down. First of all, it IS human instinct to fight back if someone is strangling/smothering you. So right away, the picture he is creating doesn’t even sound like sense.
The fact that he did not have defensive marks on him doesn’t mean there wasn’t fighting back on Shan’ann’s part. I bet she fought back a storm, but she was probably flailing into the air. CW was in top physical condition at the time of these murders and it would have been easy for him to overpower someone like Shan’ann who was as you said, totally worn down – that night especially: pregnant, feeling sick all weekend, up all night traveling. No match for someone hopped up on adrenaline, chomping at the bit waiting for her to finally get home.
After watching a documentary of the Ted Bundy tapes, there were one interesting similarity.
I wouldn’t regard Chris Watts in the same league as Ted Bundy but they both said a very similar thing.
Chris in his prison interview “I haven’t had my chance to speak. people don’t understand me. I am not a monster”
You can bet that Chris Watts next prison interview will open up quite a lot more but whether it is true or not is another thing.
One other similarity they both had, was that they always talked about themselves, not anyone else.
It was always someone else fault as well. nothing they did was a problem
@richard You’re absolutely correct that both of these characters like “to talk”, but neither of them give much of substance. Once they earned their notoriety, they liked the attention, and the feeling of importance having all these investigators, journalists, and others hanging on their every word.
But like you said, the content was pretty much the same: you never get the gory facts, only their sanitized or fictionalized version of things, leaving out parts they don’t want you to know, they’re not monsters, everything can be blamed on something or somebody else. It all amounts to just bullshit.
Personally, I think they should let CW rot for the rest of his life. There’s nothing more to be gained from communicating with him anymore. MAYBE if the interviews in February had been more than what I think was COMPLETE fabrications of the murders, MAYBE there could be something more there. Just like with Bundy’s “last minute confessions”, those were all just bargaining chips he was using to put off his execution and further torture the victims’ families. He really gave little of substance at the end. Nothing good can really come from communicating with a sociopath, they are the masters at manipulation.
As a sign of respect, Bama Mike went to Shanann, Bella, Ce Ce and Nico’s final resting place :-
I didn’t think there was anything “respectful” about posting this. I have seen Sandi make statements to not post because it’s private.
Did anything ever come out about all the hair that was found in Watts’ truck?
What I don’t understand and would like to know your opinion about, Nick, is why did Christ leave her purse, phone, bedsheet etc, i mean all this incriminating evidence instead of dumping them in the oil tanks as well?
Well he wouldn’t dump the phone into the tanks as that would be a huge fire hazard and could set off an explosion. He wouldn’t dump the purse in there either as it wouldn’t necessarily dissolve like human tissue or even clothing might. As for the blanket, possibly the wind blew it, or he was airing it in the sun to retrieve later and perhaps take home. He didn’t anticipate a drone at the scene. Without a drone it’s unlikely the sheet would have been seen or found.
Remember, Watts ran out of time in two ways, firstly through the delay in Shan’ann’s flight [3 hours] and secondly I don’t think he anticipated Nicole Atkinson either coming to the house or calling 911. So one explanation is in his haste he made some silly mistakes, and in my opinion, he was up all night so sleep deprivation caused him to miscalculate.
In a list of Watts assets is a 2006 Ford Mustang with more than 97,000 miles on it – in the police body cam Chris said they only had the Lexus & he had use of his work truck. There wasn’t any mention of a Mustang. Where did this ‘asset’ come up?
It came up during the 2015 bankruptcy filing.
He forgot Shan’ann’s phone at home. I believe that he was going to respond to any texts sent to the phone. That was one of his mistakes he made that day.