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Chris Watts: 7 Easter Eggs on Tornado Day

During the ongoing process of researching the third TWO FACE narrative, I reviewed some of the photos and videos on Shan’ann’s Facebook timeline. It’s all still public. It’s amazing how much we miss even though we have the information. It takes several flybys to see what we’re not seeing, to see the world but through different eyes.

In the seven-minute video, nothing much seems to be going on. It’s just a hailstorm in a Colorado neighborhood, right? In fact it was the second hail storm two-days in a row, and the import of these storms was actually quite significant [I’ll share that with you in a separate post].

I want to encourage you to watch the full seven minutes on your own, make your own observations and take your own notes. That way you might see even more of what we’re not seeing.

In Shan’ann’s seven-minute recording  from June 19th [a Tuesday, two hours before a doctor’s appointment] she talks at some length about her third pregnancy, and her concerns that she might have twins. The storm is part of a tornado that struck Frederick, and later the same day, Shan’ann said Chris Watts was hiding in a field and so wouldn’t be attending the ultrasound. So she took Bella instead.

Fullscreen capture 20181022 130252

There’s also an ironic moment where Shan’ann acknowledges Deeter, the Watts’ little dachshund, who is clearly fearful because of the storm. She doesn’t comfort the dog, and a few minutes later when she opens the front door she tells him to stay back. He was obviously never allowed to run around on the front lawn.

In the video Shan’ann mentions how seldom it rains in Colorado. She says she wished it rained more, but preferably at night when they were sleeping so it wouldn’t disrupt them. She wills the storm to stop so she can make it to her doctor’s appointment.

Most of the real Easter eggs have nothing to do with what Shan’ann says in the clip:

  1. Chris Watts work truck parked in the road in the front and left side of the house. Now, to be fair, this screengrab is actually from the storm the day before, Monday June 18th, so if you missed it in the clip, that’s why.  The hailstorm of June 18th was worse than June 19th, and had meaningful consequences going forward. As mentioned, I’ll deal with those in a separate post. What’s important to note here is where Chris Watts normally parked his car. Not in the driveway, but in the road. What this suggests is on the night of the murders he would have gone outside and reversed the truck from the road to the garage door. The position of the truck also suggests that Chris Watts usually left the house through the front door and not the garage. This means the latching of the door and the exit through the garage on Monday August 13th was unusual. A further question to consider, just as far as it extends to the personality of Watts, is would he walk directly from the front door to the car door, or would he stay off the carefully manicured lawn, and sort of walk in a U-shape along the walkway. Note the car is parked right where the triangular strip of lawn ends, and the car doors open. Fullscreen capture 20181022 161459.jpg
  2. Shan’ann usually left her shoes at the front door. In the arrest affidavit Detective Baumhover notes that he saw a pair of women’s shoes near the front door. If the crime scene was staged, altered or covered up, then the way the scene was found isn’t necessarily the way it was when Shan’ann died. The shoes are important, because it paints a picture of Shan’ann arriving home late, and having the time and inclination to casually kick off her shoes once inside the front door. It also suggests she was relaxed. Although it’s possible the shoes had been left there since before she left for her trip, this feels unlikely. It would be useful to get confirmation from Nickole Atkinson what shoes Shan’ann wore when she flew with her from Arizona back to Colorado.
  3. The front door appears to be unlatched.  This appears to confirm Nickole’s comment that the front door wasn’t usually latched in her experience, and so when she arrived at the house on that fateful Monday she was surprised that it was. It will be interesting to see if Chris Watts’ fingerprints are found on the front door latch. Fullscreen capture 20181022 164650
  4. “Deeter stay in the house.” In the final minute of the clip, when Shan’ann opens the front door a second time, she tells the dog almost automatically to stay back.One of the questions people are asking is where was Deeter when the crimes were committed? We can probably exclude the front garden.
  5. The clip provides one of the best bird’s-eye-views of the front door’s side windows. This is important because it establishes line-of-sight into the Watts home. Those tall vertical rectangular windows don’t have blinds, which means they’re permanently providing a view inside the house, especially when the lights are on at night. While this tends to suggest the attack on Shan’ann didn’t happen downstairs, there are virtually no houses looking in directly across the road because the Watts home is positioned opposite a t-junction. The houses opposite are oriented sideways to the Watts house. In other words, unless a car is coming down the road, it’s unlikely residents on the road would be able to see inside those vertical windows unless they were standing on the sidewalk at 2 in the morning.
  6. Chris Watts did not attend the ultrasound on June 19th.
  7. Shan’ann joking on Facebook about having 2 or 5 babies in her belly may have been alarming for Chris Watts to hear, whether at the time or subsequently.

Is there anything else?


  1. Pauline

    I”m not sure if anything I observed or heard is relevant. The trash can at the curb with the top flipped open bothers me, since rain and hail are filling it up. I would think she would have brought it in. Just might show she isn’t keeping up the domestic end of house matters. Off the top deck there looks to be many new homes that have gone up, as there are still stickers on the windows. There’s also a service van in front of open garage doors, perhaps the cable company, showing that new folks were moving in as fast as they could build the subdivision.

    She mentions CeCe was so scared of the thunder the night before she held her ears all night long and stayed in her room. Scared. If she’s of no comfort to Deeter, she was of no comfort to CeCe as well? We’ve seen other instances of capturing the girl’s fears on camera. Not this time but could there have been more of a concern over who’s on the live feed versus who’s in the house?

    And I did notice shoes by the front door – on the rug – and they appeared to be small and flip flops but I had to look fast. These may have been the women’s shoes the officer spotted by the front door as I don’t think she would have returned home and had time to remove shoes before she was blindsighted. That’s just imo. He wouldn’t have wanted her to turn on any lights. Not a hall light, nothing.

    Also if she has more than one baby in her belly that’s an opportunity for more shopping and spending – at Babies R Us. Of course she can’t say on her video “how are we going to afford this?” because that would indicate Thrive wasn’t paying off.

    • nickvdl

      You’re seeing more than you realize, you just need to know how and where to tie it all together. So for example, your observation about the trash can is actually right on, but if you take it further, why not bring the car in? It’s hailing! One of the posts left by her dad on the video is “Thank God you have a garage [for her new car].”

      You’re also spot on about the many new homes going up. While the Watts family lived there, many other homes were springing up and families were moving in. Think of this psychology of growth and acquisition – where the entire neighborhood is mushrooming and your wife has a baby in her belly – and…oopsie…might not be able to actually keep our house. Wouldn’t you want to?

      If Watts didn’t want the lights on inside the house, did he turn off the power of those lights, or unscrew light bulbs? He’s a mechanic so it’s not at all unlikely.

      Some have said the shopping trip to Babies R Us shows she didn’t plan on having a 3rd child. But she’s referring here to a another trip if there is a 4th child. Which seems to show she did – at least – expect to have more children.

      • piktor

        He bought a new Ford, his bankruptcy filing document states Watts had a “Notice” from Creditor:
        Ford Motor Credit
        National Bankruptcy Service Center
        PO Box 6274
        Dearborn, MI 48121
        Maybe he kept the Anadarko truck outside, his own car was inside the garage?

        • nickvdl

          Let me ask you a simple question. In all the social media coverage, the coverage on this site, the media coverage you’ve seen, have you once – ever – seen a third vehicle?

      • piktor

        No 😂

  2. Pauline

    The third pregnancy I’m sure was Chris’s blindside. Now we need more furniture – wasn’t one of the debtors listed as “Toys R Us” – more spending in store. With new people moving into new houses the equity in their home would have been on the rise. And yes, if I were in Chris Watt’s shoes I would have been wanting to hold on to my investment for dear life, and been petrified I was going to lose it.

  3. Marie

    I’m curious if any of you have lived in this area. A hail storm can come in quick in Colorado. The weather will change on a dime, and just as quick as it comes in it leaves. Most people are caught off guard and don’t bother to run out to bring in trash cans. Plus, has anyone ran out in hail? It can freakin’ hurt. My guess is he didn’t bother to move the work vehicle because it’s a work car, not his problem if it has hail damage. Anadarko will fix it, or won’t.

    • nickvdl

      Interesting. So if it was your vehicle – work or not – happy to leave it out and let it get hailed on?

      • Marie

        The higher priority would be my personal vehicle.

  4. Meagan

    I lived in Texas and got stuck in hailstorms. Big hail storms too.
    Sometimes when they hit, you are taken by surprise and if they’re big enough, can be dangerous to run out in them.
    I’ve still got an old car that has pretty bad hail damage from years ago.
    Of cruise many people don’t have garages to pull their cars into and if the hail is small enough, doesn’t do anything to the car.

    • nickvdl

      Let’s say you’re presented with the scenario in the video. You’re a few yards from your vehicle; it’s just started hailing and the stones aren’t big. You could also find something [cos you’re home] to shield you from impacts [dustbin lid, a large book, a plastic kid’s table or chair]. The car is right in front of you, and needs to be under a protected cover in the garage. Would you leave it? Put another way, if it was your husband or boyfriend’s car, and let’s say he was indisposed for some reason, would you do it for him?

      • Marie

        No, it’s not going to do much good. You don’t see really anybody running out to shield their vehicles when these things pass through. And, this is speaking from years of personal experience in the area. It’s just something that happens quick, happens actually often and you’re out in a lot of open area. There’s not really anywhere to shield your car. Also, think about it this way too…out in these open areas where the oil fields are, most likely they are already dinged up with other hail storms or rocks flying at them (from vehicles ahead of them). It’s enough of a commonality that car dealerships will have “hail damage sales”. They really come in quick, and the best you can do is (if you’re driving) try to outrun it. It’s not always predictable either.

      • Marie

        I know people will look and say “well, hey, she’s got time to record the storm why not shield his work car” but, really the majority of people don’t do that. In fact, I can’t recall a time I ever saw anyone running out with furniture or books or anything of that nature to cover their car. If you want to keep you car safer, you just have to keep it in a garage. And, that’s not a guarantee either, because chances are at some point you’ll find yourself out in a parking lot and it hails out of nowhere. I was actually caught driving in several hail storms and tornados. There isn’t warning. If it’s bad enough you stop driving, get inside and wait it out. I know a lot of people that would take out their phones and start recording the size hail, or the fact that it went from summer to winter in an instant, or the clouds that were passing quickly above…even when there was a “shelter in place” warning. My point being, that I don’t think this shows that Shan’ann didn’t care about his car, or him. It seems like pretty normal behavior to me.

        • nickvdl

          Well, maybe you just have more money than I do. We’ve had hail here and you make damn sure your car isn’t damaged [something that can take a minute of your time], or else you spend a few weeks getting insurance quotes, visiting panel beaters, ordering parts etc. In general I’m someone who tries not to allow my car to get damaged, whether by scratches etc. I don’t know too many people who don’t mind. Maybe that’s no biggie to some people. I’m not sure whether it really matters what you or I would do though, what matters is what they would do, and what they did. That’s the subject of another post I’m working on.

      • Marie

        It’s not helpful to your analysis to have different perspectives? That seems awfully narrow minded. I am not arguing that she didn’t care. In fact I said that her response seemed normal, and it did NOT indicate her lack of care. But, for arguments sake (or at least if you want to do your due diligence) why don’t you google hail storms in Colorado and see how many cars are being covered in anything to protect them.

        • nickvdl

          Different perspectives help when they take you somewhere. You don’t seem to mind taking a narrative nowhere. I guess that’s your right, but then I’m not sure why you’d find any value at this site. The idea is to join dots, not to play devil’s advocate and try to unjoin them, which you’ve done in other comments too.

          • Marie

            I actually quite enjoy reading other ways of interpreting something, in a different light than I would view it. Which is why, I’m struggling to find how my input isn’t valued in any way. I’m in no way playing the devil’s advocate, it’s genuinely my perspective of how to interpret the interactions we see in the videos. I’m trying to offer new “dots” as you put them to be connected in a different way, to share a new way of looking at something. Maybe it feels like its not along the narrative being mapped out, but I’m in no way adding input simply to waste my time and have it go nowhere. I’m a mother (the same age that Shan’ann was) with children (the same age that Bella and Celeste were) who have been prescribed similar medications (prednisone and antibiotics, referring to another one of my comments), who lived in Weld County CO for a decade, moved there from the East Coast, and was in a relationship for several years with someone who “led a secret life” posting ads on craigslist (for both men and women). I’m attempting to join the discussion and add to it in a meaningful way. Isn’t that the best way to try to understand something, looking at it from different viewpoints?

          • nickvdl

            By all means, if you have another perspective on what we’re seeing in the videos share it. But it’s going take some convincing to argue that “Poor daddy’s truck’s getting beat up” means it didn’t matter that it was. That’s the point I’m making and that’s the point you’re arguing against. I’m saying most sane people care about damage to their cars, and if his was damaged, it may have ruined his mojo for the rest of the summer. By the end of the summer the Watts family were murdered, so one of the things we might want to look at are things that might have upset the main suspect. Does that make sense?

          • nickvdl

            Your original argument was that if it was Chris Watts’ work truck it wouldn’t matter to him. I posted a follow-up blog which pretty much proves the truck was his only vehicle. You still don’t want to concede that a serious hailstorm damaging his pride and joy may have been significant in some way, especially with so many financial issues whirling in the background. It was very significant to Nickole Atkinson, even weeks later, so why wouldn’t it be to him weeks later.

            Reminds of those arguments from smokers – drinking is worse, and from drinkers – smoking is worse. You seem like the sort of person who always wants to trump one explanation with another, but you simply end up going in circles. Probably not worth discussing anything then. Btw it’s “photographic memory”.

    • Marie

      No, you’re right, it’s not a matter of what you or I would do personally. But, I am adding a different perspective, yes? A perspective that maybe is impossible for some to understand not having lived in that area. I worked and lived in Weld County for several years, where even those making minimum wage wouldn’t rush out with cardboard, or furniture or anything. Most likely would even partake in capturing the event on their iPhones.

      • nickvdl

        Well, like I think I mentioned somewhere, Shan’ann’s father mentions in the comments “thank God you have a garage”.

        Not that long ago we had a huge hailstorm, so bad it killed a few birds. I went out and tried to rescue one that was right outside. Brought it in still alive but with its head bleeding. It died a few hours later. I also have a garden that I’ve spent a long time putting together. In the middle of a hailstorm I wouldn’t go out and throw netting on plants, but if it was just beginning, and if I was forewarned I probably would. So if my car was exposed, yeah I think I’d make an effort if it was possible.

        Not sure if you’re aware Nickole Atkinson’s vehicle was badly damaged in that hailstorm. She was quite distraught about it as most people would be. It’s almost certain Chris Watts’ vehicle was damaged too, and if they were struggling financially [I think they were] he was probably furious about it.

        I guess it’s for that reason it doesn’t seem to be helpful to argue that you’re not really going to care if it hails, or if you have valuable things out there getting hailed on. Shan’ann was wondering whether the new house would be okay. Hail can sometimes smash in roof tiles. Another potential expense.

  5. Cheryl

    My overall sense of this video is she appears to have a lot of time to chat on the phone while speculating about the following: the number of children in her belly; the hail storm, the gender of the baby (now assuming there’s only one); hail damaging the house followed by an inadvertent brag that implies because the house is new it can withstand inclement weather (this observation doesn’t register any concern about the older truck sitting out in the storm possibly due to Thrive product occupying space where the truck could be parked?); and back to speculating about the number of children in her belly. All of this meandering yacking is going on while Chris is at work, while the children are at pre-school, which isn’t cheap; and while the finances are strained because Chris doesn’t earn enough money to support a big house and a growing family, and Shan’ann doesn’t really have a job. I also get the impression that despite her stated concern about the prospect of adding two or more children, Shan’ann is actually excited about it, because it will provide an excuse for more shopping and certainly garner her more attention (a single-birth third pregnancy would be ho-hum, more of the same, whereas a multiple birth would draw all kinds of attention and resources). No wonder Chris didn’t show up for Shan’ann’s doctor’s appointment—so much more preferable to deal with Mother Nature’s crazy weather than Shan’ann’s frankly crazy inability to deal with reality, including, I imagine, Chris’s mounting frustration and anger.

    • nickvdl

      One room – if that’s the word – that we haven’t yet seen in the Watts house is the garage. It would be interesting to know what was in it, and you could be right. Might contain Thrive products and tools, maybe even a few engine parts. Another room we haven’t seen is the basement. As far as I’m aware, its construction was incomplete, a little like the unfinished “wine cellar” in the Ramsey home.

  6. Pauline

    There is a video she made where she says Chris and I are going to work on the basement today or something to that effect. More spending! These large new homes most likely come with the hard part done – poured concrete flooring, new drywall, maybe even recessed lighting. I would like to see how this house was marketed by Wyndham Hill. Fully finished basement or partial? In any event, wonder what they were going to turn it into – a giant playroom for their growing family, a Thrive showplace, another family room with a big screen TV? So they’re about to lose the house, are in arrears with their HOA dues, the sky is falling and the only Henny Penny is Chris, who now has to welcome a baby into this disconnect with reality.

    • Cheryl

      I live in southern California, which I often refer to as model home Mecca. We don’t have basements out here, but builders do include large unfinished rooms with separate entrances that are advertised as potential family rooms, in-law quarters, or man caves for the love-of—your-life sports enthusiast. If the room is directly accessible via the main house, builders can include it in the overall square footage when marketing the home. Given that the Watts were a young couple stretching their budget to buy a large, new home, I would suspect the basement was not finished or, as Pauline suggests, partially finished, as the home would have cost considerably more if the basement was completely tricked out. Furthermore, I seem to recall Shan’ann’s saying her Christmas trees and decorations were stored there, indicating the room was currently used for storage.

      In the video provided in this thread, when Shan’ann is talking about potentially having two or more children, she suggests her parents may have come out to Colorado to provide some support, presumably on an extended basis. I wonder if she wasn’t tripping down Pollyanna’s Fantasy Lane while envisioning the basement could become in-law quarters to house her parents, who would provide support for her growing family and possibly the house itself. I seem to recall her father is a skilled carpenter, who had already built shelves and such in Shan’ann’s office. It wouldn’t be a huge leap for Shan’ann to imagine he could easily transform the basement into a livable in-law’s residence. If she shared these thoughts with Chris, I’m sure he was less than enthusiastic on any number of counts: more children, in-law intrusion, and a family dynamic (the parents would be Shan’ann’s allies) that would further relegate Chris to the background while still being the primary breadwinner. An imagined salvation for Shan’ann and a living hell for Chris.

      • nickvdl

        Shan’ann’s dad and bro are both carpenters, and Chris Watts’ dad seems to be an old hand at carpentry too from some of the pictures. Interesting idea, so pull in the family and share bills. What if…the trip to North Carolina was to broker a deal like that. The in-laws are moving in. Or worse, we’re going to have to move back to North Carolina and move in with them.

  7. Cheryl

    Very interesting, Nick. I hadn’t thought about the North Carolina trip as an exploratory effort to either move the in-laws back to Colorado, or to have Chris and Shan’ann move in with her parents until they could financially get back on their feet. Either way (likely the latter), it would have not set well with Chris–a return to what you refer to as the “hard-scrabble” life in North Carolina and a glaring admission of failure to maintain the Colorado dream. This could explain why Chris appears so aloof in the photos taken toward the end of mostly Shan’ann’s six-week stay with her parents in North Carolina.

    • nickvdl

      And you know about Shan’ann blowing up on Chris Watts’ mother shortly before her return, right? That had to make such a scenario, if it was on the cards, even more difficult to abide.

      • Cheryl

        Yes, I read about that one here but hadn’t considered it in this context. Yes—Shan’ann’s and Chris’s mother’s feud makes a return home that much more hellish.

  8. Karen

    My take away from the video is that yes, I would run out and do what I needed to do to protect my car. I wonder if Chris was really parked to avoid a tornado or avoiding an ultrasound

  9. Karen

    Shan’ann’s dad really appears to be proactive with her videos. 9 times out of 10 she either says, “hi dad” or acknowledges him in her videos.

    • nickvdl

      Yes he’s really there for her on social media.

  10. Karen

    Nick, will the be keeping Chris Watts’ visitors a secret?

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