True Crime Analysis, Breakthroughs, Insights & Discussions Hosted by Bestselling Author Nick van der Leek

What gave the cops their MOST IMPORTANT CLUE against Chris Watts, leading him to confess to murder?

Chris Watts’ confession came early; surprisingly early. What got him to confess? Was it guilt, was it a change of heart, was it because he hadn’t thought through the crime? Is it because he was stupid? Or had Nickole caught him – essentially – red handed?

It’s actually none of these. Chris Watts didn’t confess because he didn’t have to, he confessed because he had to.

Although Nickole Atkinson’s witness testimony to the cops was damning, it didn’t in itself prove that anyone was dead. In the same way the vehicle, phone and purse in the house didn’t prove anyone was dead either. The video surveillance footage didn’t prove anything either.

So what did?

When the cadaver dogs entered the residence while he was giving his interview, Chris Watts seemed pretty confident. But when a cadaver dog alerts it means only one thing:


It was the early introduction of the dogs, therefore, that produced the big breakthrough in this case. By adding this element to Nickole’s early alert, and the video footage, and the personal effects in the home but the victims “vanished”, the cops had very good reason to believe harm had come to Shan’ann and the children – and it had.

In TWO FACE I provide a precise explanation for exactly when and how these events played out, and that when confronted with this evidence, Chris Watts had no choice but to throw in the towel and confess.

Was his confession completely truthful, or did the fox from Spring Lake have another trick up his sleeve? That’s the question investigators are still asking, and what will form the meat and potatoes of the upcoming criminal trial.



  1. Pauline

    Well now I’m intrigued. What other trick could the silver fox from Spring Lake have up his sleeve? And which silver fox, Chris or Ronnie his dad?

    • nickvdl

      Pauline the trick up his sleeve was that in his “confession” he said Shan’ann killed their daughters. I thought that was obvious.

      • Cheryl

        And I believe he’s enhancing his trick in jail by keeping a picture of the family and a Bible by his bedside. He knows his case is in the media spotlight and that this information will be leaked to them.

  2. Pauline

    Since you posed it as a question – “or did….” I thought maybe you thought there was something more other than what we already know to be his trick

  3. Pauline

    I just wanted to comment on another video I watched last night and not sure where to squeeze it in so here. It’s another very disturbing video of Sha’nann recording right before Chris comes home from work. I don’t recall when he comes home usually – 5 or 6 p.m. but that should be around dinnertime. It’s an appalling example of how disconnected the family is, at her direction, that no one’s needs are the least bit acknowledged. The children are hungry, and as Sha’nann oohs and ahhs over the tastiness of the new pro bars, Bella says timidly she’s hungry. Can she have a bite. Not now S. says. Then Chris comes home. There is no attention given to that other than to announce it to the followers on her live feed that he’s home and will likely want a pro bar. The only one who runs to him is CeCe. Then she becomes upset when the pro bar gets waved around in her face but she’s not allowed to have any. Bella begins to cry. Chris starts to hand her the pro bar but then sees S. isn’t finished with her sales pitch so it goes back to S. Four people in that home, none of them connected to each other. Could it be Chris may have thought he was killing them as some kind of mercy killing to put them out of their misery? Try this link and hope for the best

    • Pauline

      nope, sorry.

    • Eve Lizette

      Ugh. This was a few years ago, but for some reason this thing with the ProBars has been used over & over again, interpreted to suggest Shan’ann was an unfit parent, which frankly pisses me off to no end. CW, the man who vowed to love, honor, & cherish her – & who entered into an unspoken agreement when his daughters were born, to protect them with his life, stole their breath. But somehow, people have invented ways to blame her, justify his actions, and steal the only thing she has left….the memory of her. That video offers no evidence to suggest she was torturing her kids, or starving them, abusing them, controlling them, or wielding her power over them. That’s just stupid. It was herJOB to make those videos, and it’s how she made money to contribute to her family. They were declaring bankruptcy and were significantly behind on their mortgage. She’d been talking about those stupid bars for weeks, they showed up a short time before Chris got home, and his reaction to tasting them was what she was hoping to capture. She was selling them, that’s how she made sales. Of course the girls wanted to taste them, and at the end, they did. But you don’t know if dinner was ready & she wanted them to eat first….she didn’t make them wait an hour, it was 5 minutes. COULD she have done it later? Sure. But what real difference did it make? She’d have a smaller live audience later. Kids get anxious, they cry, they interrupt shit, they’re tired, they’re fussy, they’re mostly ridiculous. My niece screamed one day for 47 minutes because I wouldn’t let her draw on her legs with a Sharpie. That doesn’t make me a bad aunt, it makes her a little asshole who’s lucky she’s so freaking cute. Shan’ann loved those girls implicitly, they were well fed, clean, had an entire play room full of toys, she painted & furnished their bedrooms herself using their favorite colors. She took them on trips, she taught them to read, count numbers, write their names, she kissed them at night, she filled their home with laughter & love. Their daddy? The “hero,” — He murdered them. She made them wait a few minutes for a bite of an energy bar so that daddy could try it first, and so she could make some extra sales, to make money, to support them — I see your point now…what a shitty mom!

  4. fromheretohome

    Nick… Regardless of any criticism you seem to hit the nail on so many heads. Coming from a purely psychological perspective, I genuinely believe that your observations are not only valid, but necessary. Speaking from experience… Those cadaver dogs gave it all away IMMIDIATELY. If you’ve ever had any dealing with those amazing creatures you’d know that they don’t lie… Regardless of what’s legally admissible. It’s what sealed the del for me on the Anthony case as well as the McCain case. Keep doing what you do. The truth is ALWAYS the truth.

    • fromheretohome

      I mean… Immediately

      • Carol

        Don’t know if you are basing the hits by the woman in those pics but she had the trauma dog, not the cadaver dog. When her dog showed interest in the basement she called in the man that had the cadaver dog but he didn’t pick up anything

        • crimerocket_pmfrt4

          Yes, with the benefit of hindsight, you’re right. My post went up before the discovery came out, your comment after. One of the dogs did alert, and another dog was brought in to confirm the hit, but failed to do so. Nevertheless we know three people were dead, after all, and likely at least one was murdered in the house. So was the dog wrong?

  5. piktor

    Arrest Affidavit:
    “On August 13, 2018 at approximately 1340 hours Officer Coonrod was dispatched to 2815 Saratoga Trail…”

    The one outstanding clue that got Watts arrested was his dumb story.
    What Officer Coonrod heard was a fishy tale, rotten beyond belief. There was no reasonable explanation whatsoever for a Mom and her two small daughters leaving the home without keys, all doors locked from the inside.

    … “At officer Coonrod’s request, Det. Baumhover responded to the scene and arrived at approximately at 2:35 PM. Upon arrival Det. Baumhover was briefed by Officer Coonrod…”

    Within 55 minutes, at Officer Coonrod’s clarion call, the cavalry had joined the search.

    • nickvdl

      If I understand your reasoning Piktor, the biggest clue that got Watts to confess was what he said on the porch?

      When did he ever mention murder, or that anyone was dead? Casey Anthony’s lies were a lot more pathetic, and circumstances – the odor in the trunk of her car, the toddler missing for a month – a lot more damning.

  6. Karen

    I wonder about the cushions on the porch. Did anyone see any videos where the dogs hit on them?

  7. Debbie

    Jayne Zmijewski was the K9 Cadaver Dog handler – she’s as amazing as her dog. You can see her in action in the docu-movie “Missing 411”

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