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Bella and Celeste’s Last Supper

The critical question is what the autopsy reports say about Bella and Celeste’s stomach contents. If the children were killed shortly after a large dinner involving barbecuing steak, then it’s possible some of the contents may have remained intact in the upper gut. If there is stomach contents, it would likely be exculpatory for Shan’ann, and inculpatory for Chris Watts.

Going through what we know thus far in the Watts Case, food comes up a fair amount in the file dealing with the final hours of Bella and Celeste’s lives.

In the clip below, just before the 3 minute mark Chris Watts is asked about his relationship with this children. Instead of saying he loves them, and is worried about them, instead of grief he uses shallow, symbolic language. While shaking his head slightly he refers to his children as “the light of my life”.

In TWO FACE I compared this reference to the logo of Frederick – a lamp rising over the mountains of Colorado.


Watts worked in the oil industry, and his job was to put oil in lamps, and get the lamps of Colorado to burn with golden light. Given his financially constrained circumstances then, did he really see his own children, and a third on the way, as “the light of his life”, or did he see the income he was making at Anadarko, and the home he had in Frederick, as the actual golden light? And he wanted to keep the lights on at home, didn’t he?

What was preventing him from keeping the lights of his life on? What was a threat to him not only losing those lights, but the whole house?

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Just ten seconds after his off-the-cuff “light of my life” reference, Watts cracks a joke about food: “Last night [stutters]…when they et – you know when they usually eat dinner I was like, I miss telling them, hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna to get your dessert…[laughs]…you’re not gonna get your snack after…I miss that.”

There’s a lot of tension and nervousness around this simple disclosure. He stutters, he waves his hands, he corrects dessert to snack, but when he laughs it’s the biggest and clearest show of mirth in the whole interview. Remember, Watts is an introvert, so showing emotion isn’t his style. And yet here he does.

He also waves his hands around as he talks about them watching television.

Through the entire interview Watts is deadpan, and has his arms folded across his chest. And yet here, talking about his relationship with his kids, he’s laughing, he’s expressive, he’s unfolding his arms to make hand gestures. It’s as if he’s relieved about something; a big weight has left his shoulders as opposed to being weighed down by the uncertainty of not knowing where they are, or losing them.

We also know Watts took the kids to a birthday party down the road in Erie on Sunday, August 12, and that later that afternoon he barbecued on his balcony. Was the last supper for his children the birthday party snacks [that’s another word he uses in the interview], or the barbecue?

…you know when they usually eat dinner I was like, I miss telling them, hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna to get your dessert…[laughs]…you’re not gonna get your snack after…

It’s possible that Watts is leaking the fact that they usually ate dinner but on the night of the murders they didn’t. But because he role-plays it, because he says “I was like…hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna get dessert…” and because he also misspeaks about them eating dinner on the 13th [they were dead already] and then corrects himself, it’s possible he did give them something to eat.

The correction of dessert to snack seems to suggest he knew they normally didn’t get dessert after meals, and people who knew the Watts and knew Shan’ann may have known this too. Whereas giving them snacks after dinner – well, there were plenty of Thrive branded cookies and cakes to choose from. Snacks.

If they had dinner and snacks it was unlikely to be after their bedtime between 18:00 and 18:30.

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But in a premeditated murder [if that’s what this was], it makes little sense to feed your victim moments before you intend to kill them, unless the feeding plays into the death somehow.

hey you gotta eat that

The Last Supper could thus be used to sedate the children, or to poison them. The “light of my life” reference and the cuddling on the couch are at the top of Chris Watts mind during his Sermon on the Porch on Tuesday, the morning after the murders. Yet it’s unlikely he wanted to cuddle with his kids on the couch when there were some big sports shows on television that weekend. His flippant reference to whatever show they wanted to watch, his toss of the hand, seems to confirm that,

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Chris Watts, as an oil man, was used to the idea of chemicals and processing raw materials – black liquid, gas, mud, sludge – into more useful forms. He may have seen his own children in the same way. That he was simply going to use chemicals to convert them into a form that was more useful to him, and would keep the lamps burning in the big house he loved so much.

If he did that to their bodies when they were dead [use chemicals to dissolve them], why not do the same to those bodies when they were living?


  1. Cheryl

    Very interesting analysis about Bella’s and Celeste’s last supper. Based on your analysis and watching the video again, I wonder if Chris’s initially stating the kids got dessert then almost immediately referring to it as a snack signals the children were never served dinner, since a dessert, which is coveted, especially by children, is usually withheld until they consume all of their dinner. On the other hand, a snack is usually served prior to dinner and/or in between primary meals such as lunch and dinner. Also, dessert has a linguistic connotation of something really good, a reward, whereas a snack has a more practical aspect, I.e., something given to stave off hunger until you eat a primary meal. If Chris drugged or poisoned the children, “snack” may be a more accurate reference, since it may have been given prior to dinner to presumably stave off hunger but in actuality to terminate the children’s lives.

    Other interesting language or imagery used by Chris includes his reference to missing the children’s “barrel-rushing” him while knowing their bodies are now stored in oil barrels. While describing the children barrel-rushing him, Chris is very animated, which makes me think he’s actually delighted they’re not going to rush, run over, or overwhelm him (possibly financially) any longer because they are “safely” contained in barrels.

    • nickvdl

      It’s difficult to say not knowing their habits. Shan’ann seemed to be quite health and nutrition conscious, besides the Thrive garbage. We also know she snacked.

      I highly doubt a man on his own would go to the trouble to prepare dessert for his children, let alone for himself. The fact that he raises the idea of dessert and snacks is interesting. It may have more to do with the birthday party though, than anything he prepared for them. If so, and if that was their last meal, then he has some explaining to do.

      • Cheryl

        Overall, I doubt the children were ever served dinner, because Chris was observed barbecuing alone on the day Bella and Celeste may have been killed. Had they been alive, I would have expected the children to be seen, at least intermittently.

        • nickvdl

          Yes, that was my gut response too.

  2. Karen Welch

    That is a very good observation about how the tension and nervousness while talking about the kids. It is so telling but I missed that. I was looking at the interview as a whole and didn’t pinpoint that moment. Also about eating dinner. “Usually” when they eat. That really is very telling. My thought is that they ate quite a bit at the birthday party and he probably gave them a snack at home. I think the barbeque was only for himself. It just boggles my mind that he thought he would get away with this and that he would end up with the house all to himself, or (with his mistress) 

  3. piktor

    What if that Sunday afternoon and into the evening, Mom wanted to see and talk to the girls from far away Arizona…
    and dad says- what… “no, Shanann, you can’t see or talk to the girls on your annoying phone”
    C- “Girls are conked-out from running around at the party and both are sound asleep”
    S- “No matter, I miss them! Just one teeny tiny shot of my angels sleeping!”

    I have to say I just don’t see Watts killing his two girls Sunday, “according to plan”.

    Seems more likely the “emotional conversation & tears” took place when Shanann got home,
    not at 4-5am as he says. An exasperated husband went after his wife who would not budge. The girls followed in a “mercy” killing.

    A Chris Watts comedy of errors follows, starting right about the time he loads his family onto the Anadarko Petroleum-owned truck.

  4. piktor

    When a person “filibusters” also known as “giving irrelevant information”, statement analysts will say it’s a clue that indicates deception.

    Three people are gone missing and Watts tells the world NOTHING that can help find them.

    He had a smug expression throughout the two TV interviews. He felt smugly happy because his victims were 40 miles away! He felt smart, satisfied, proud of his accomplishment. They’d find them if hell freezes over. Sort of…

    That weird disconnect between the horrifying carnage he knows happened just a day ago and then coming up at the porch with awesomely detached interviews.

    Jury’s gonna love that.

    • nickvdl

      Interesting. So you believe that part of Watts’ confession.

      • piktor

        No, I believe nothing coming from a lying murderer. If anything, I believe Dieter, the little barking dog that barked all night.

        The sequence of events, starting when he left home early morning indicate improvisation.

        He commits triple murder at home and expects scent dogs will miss the invisible smell of death.

        His wife was a busy person and her absence immediately noted. Her business lieutenant Nickole called cops because the husband was not reacting to a potential emergency.

        A long list of events he couldn’t control because it is obvious he never thought through anything. That was no plan. Unless the plan was to land in jail by Wednesday night.

  5. Nick

    So if it was an unplanned emotional murder why was he completely unemotional in his porch interview. Why did Thayers say he was unemotional the night he spent at their place? Why did cops say he was unemotional when they arrested him?

    Not sure I understand. He’s never emotional except when he commits murder. So he’s a psychopath. Except when he commits murder?

    • nickvdl


      PIKTOR: Seems more likely the “emotional conversation & tears” took place when Shanann got home

      tcrs: So you believe that part of Watts’ confession.

      PIKTOR: No, I believe nothing coming from a lying murderer.

      It’s part of his confession that he had an emotional conversation; he also said that on the porch.

      PIKTOR: If anything, I believe Dieter, the little barking dog that barked all night.

      tcrs: So the neighbors heard a dog barking but never heard an emotional conversation that led to murder? The houses on the subdivision are packed right next to each other. Raised voices at 4 or 5 in the morning should easily be herd by next-door neighbors.

  6. Cheryl

    During the porch interviews, Chris defines the exchange between Shan’ann and himself as “emotional” rather than a full-blown argument, implying a relatively quiet “conversation” that wouldn’t be overheard by nearby neighbors. He also doesn’t share any details about the conversation, saying it was emotional and “I’ll leave it at that.” He left it at that because, I believe, the emotional encounter occurred just prior to Shan’ann’s murder and only allowed for very brief expressions of possibly shock, surprise, protestation or pleading on her part. My sense is he may have enjoyed her shock and fear, amplifying her final horror with his “emotional”/taunting words as she is strangled. Consistent with the scenario proposed in “Two Face,” I think that when Shan’ann opened the door after returning from her trip, the children were already dead, Chris was lying in wait, and immediately upon her. This would explain, as far as we know, no witness accounts of hearing anything other than Deeter’s barking.

    • nickvdl

      Yeah I don’t think there was ANY argument. Not that night.

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