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

A Thrive-themed Pregnancy – the straw that broke the camel’s back for Chris Watts?

It’s hard to believe – Shan’ann hinted at least three times in early to mid-May that she was pregnant. On June 11th she said knew she was six weeks pregnant and that her due date was February 1st. This means conception was approximately April 30th.

I’ve speculated previously that the pregnancy videos were actually recorded on May 7th, the day Shan’ann snapped her husband dutifully mowing the lawn which is coincidentally immediately prior to the blitz of hints.

And yet, as is clear in the comments below, some of her friends felt Shan’ann had “fibbed” to them earlier, pretending she didn’t know she was pregnant [until early June] when she may well have known.

So, did she know?

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It’s vital that we know the truth about this, because if Shan’ann misled her friends [and there was no reason to, was there?] then she may well have misled her husband too. If she did, why?

I have a theory, but before we get to that, let’s look at the three hints she dropped in May.

#1: May 8

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#2 May 9

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See it?

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#3 May 15

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These hints unleashed a torrent of comments and responses. By the time Shan’ann announced she was pregnant in her two videos posted on June 11 there was an avalanche of interest – literally hundreds of promoters – almost all her key Thrive target market, mothers – congratulating her.

Just two weeks after the announcement [and there were actually several announcements besides Shan’ann changing her profile picture to also make the announcement stick], there was the Thrive event in San Diego.

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Where Chris Watts would have gone to that or not before everyone knew Shan’ann was pregnant is an open question.

Within the frenzied interactions were some mysterious responses from Shan’ann.

What did she mean by being nervous about being outnumbered?

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She inferred a leopard [leopard print clothing?] had something to do with falling pregnant.

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She was also concerned whether the third child would be as much of a handful as Ceecee was at the time.

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It also appears the pregnancy was either a change of plan or unintended, given that Shan’ann had given away her maternity wear.

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Within this bizarre period Shan’ann also posted an image of house in Mooresville North Carolina, and then posted it a second time.

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The timeline between May and June is also busy with Chris Watts’ birthday and several odes from Shan’ann to her husband about what a great man, husband and father he is. During this period it’s also Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, ironic giving what was soon to devastate this family a few short weeks later.

Shan’ann also noted in one of the comments that she intended to have a Thrive pregnancy, meaning, using the patches, pills and formulas to control her mood and appetite until she gave birth. She also said she got pregnant as quickly as she did thanks to Thrive, almost without trying.

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Of course, she could use the pregnancy to promote the patches in a way that would make her stand out compared to all the other female promoters jostling for social media support. And what do mothers like more than to talk about babies, baby clothes and the whole maternal narrative associated with the child birth fairy tale.

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But how would Chris Watts have felt about that?


  1. Pauline

    So, I’m seeing a woman who is very very ambitious. I would see that in all of the national sales directors at events in our MLM company and wondered, how, how did they achieve something so rare in such a short period of time when some of them were just like us, middle class working women with small children and families. The stories I admired most were the women who had far less than I did growing up, who didn’t have much education and a passel of kids to support. If they could believe in themselves that much, to rise to levels of making $80K a month then what was my excuse. The one I admired the most also had cancer. That was woven in to her story too, long before I joined. What a champion!

    And so now I wonder if Sha’nann didn’t so much love children (look how much she points out what a chore they are to her, how she’s afraid to spend a day at the Zoo with just her and her two) as that she was blindly ambitious and babies were a great tool for marketing purposes. And Chris was the tool that could allow her to have the children. One, then another, then a third, who’s to say there wouldn’t have been more. Maybe not so much in the beginning, but as time and Thrive progressed. Why am I not surprised though that the house in Mooresville, NC is another big overblown house, much like her mentor’s house, so along with her dreams to make in big in Thrive if she had to leave Chris in the dust (turned out the other way around) she was going to be set up in style. OR, she could have been thinking lets just get out from under our debts, sell the house and go back to North Carolina. “He does what I tell him to do.”

    • jenniferelsdonlarson

      She didn’t make 80k a month…

      • Pauline

        The national sales directors in the MLM company I was involved with made $80K a month and more in commissions. They were published every month in a magazine, and that was the “carrot.”

      • Pinky

        They SOLD 80k a month! That’s not what they earned

        • haliehill

          I wondered about that. Is the $80k earnings or is it what they sold- that they had to buy first?

          Does it include $800/month towards the Lexus?

    • Cheryl

      Good comments, Pauline. I believe Shan’ann also liked attention, which you typically get when you’re pregnant–or ill–Shan’ann and her children seemed to have a lot of illnesses. I really wonder about the third pregnancy. I say this because last night I was looking at a youtube tribute to Shan’ann that was designed to refute the notion that Shan’ann could have killed her children. The tribute included several photos of Bella and CeCe along with Shan’ann’s comments about how sweet and “amazing” Bella and Cece were. However, as part of almost every one of these posts, Shan’ann also talks about how difficult and unruly they are, especially CeCe. Perhaps this was intended to be light-hearted or funny, but I also think it was an indication that Chris and Shan’ann were overwhelmed with their two children, let alone the prospect of a third. As far at the new North Carolina house, it fits a pattern of Shan’ann’s running from one disaster only to assume another that could be a mirror image of the last mess. It’s as if by moving you can avoid or outrun your problems–the Pollyanna in Shan’ann saying “I’ll do it better this time”; “this time we’ll get it right”; “everything happens for a reason,” which assumes bad things that occur will always yield rainbows and unicorns in the end. Same thing with having another kid–a new one will fix everything, especially a deteriorating relationship.

      In answer to Nick’s query in another thread, I really wonder if it was Chris’s idea to have a third child, or was he coerced or did he amicably agree to it–out of guilt (Shan’ann said he cried, which makes me go “hmmmmm,” perhaps there was more going on in this conversation than Shan’ann shared).

      • nickvdl

        Let’s assume he did want a third child. One possibility is he wanted Shan’ann “taken care of” in the sense that she’d be busy with a baby while he was getting busy with his affair/s. It’s possible but I don’t buy it. On the other hand, if it wasn’t his idea and Shan’ann prepared the soil beforehand, telling everyone it was, who was he to back out of it? But isn’t that exactly what he did do, and he resented her pulling his strings and putting words in his mouth.

      • haliehill

        Maybe she posted the photo of the house she had built in NC as a reminder to Chris that she had been successful before without him, and she could do it again.

        I am not sure how you outrun a bankruptcy by moving, though. The Bank will find you and Uncle Sam will damn sure find you.

        Why didn’t she barter some of those marvelous patches to a financial planner in exchange for help figuring out how to address the money problem? That seems to be the root of most arguments and was a big source of dissatisfaction for chris although he may have been too gutless to tell her so. Or maybe she would not accept that information from him.

        But instead lets “fix” it with a new baby that will distract us from the impending Doom. ( or hasten it). Her health problems alone were enough reason to stop at two kids but with the financial struggles it was very foolish to add another child. Why on earth would he suggest that and she agree to it when they couldn’t afford their mortgage –

    • Spock

      Good points Pauline. My next statement may sound petty but it’s truthful. Your kids might not be quite so hard to handle at the zoo if you weren’t letting them eat fistfuls of marshmallows straight out of the bag. Couldn’t help myself on that one.

      • Spock

        Oops that reply was meant for Pauline.

        I don’t believe this baby was planned by Chris. Their friends all think it was planned because that’s what Shanann told them to think. What was Chris going to say to the Thayer’s? As they’re congratulating him, is he going to say I’m sorry but my wife is totally full of shit because I had no idea we were going to have another baby. I think not.
        I do think at some point they had an “emotional conversation” about it though.

      • Pinky

        Right? Or putting an energy patch on their arms every day. She is a scammer

  2. Cheryl

    I think you’re spot-on, Nick: She “prepared the soil,” spread the word that he was a part of the decision so he couldn’t back out, so he was trapped. In response, he prepared the soil at the Anadarko burial site.

    • Tami

      I can’t believe you people are blaming someone who was murdered as if she asked for it!!!! He could have walked away. But he chose to kill her and their children. That is the fact that everyone is skipping around here. What if she were you sister? Would you judge her so harshly? Shocking!

    • Ralph Oscar

      Very dark, Cheryl – I love it! I believe that Chris gave the go-ahead to try for a 3rd child, but that perhaps for him the concept never made it out of the conceptual phase into the conception phase, if you know what I mean. After all, they’d had to use fertility treatments for Shan’Ann to get pregnant with each of their other children; how could Chris know that she *could* get pregnant without such assistance? So it’s very likely that in their initial conversation, where Chris suggested it would be nice to have a 3rd child, he was thinking that nothing was going to happen until they started the fertility treatments, and then he had a chance to think about it and realized that it was a bad idea – they were still paying off the bills from the other two rounds of fertility treatments! But by then, she was already pregnant…

      There are a lot of married women who already have children who abort a later child; according to Guttmacher, 59% of women who have an abortion already have a child; 14% are married; 31% are living with a partner. Yet by entrapping Chris into her “Oops We Did It Again” (I hate that T-shirt so much) production fishbowl (“Everybody’s always watching!”), there could be no conversation about possibly terminating that pregnancy. 3/4 of those women who have abortions cite financial difficulties; 3/4 also cite concerns about the ability to properly care for existing dependents with a baby. They already had two sickly children whom Shan’Ann apparently could not tolerate being around; they were drowning in debt. That was a discussion that they should have been able to have – at any time, but I simply don’t see that as anything even approaching a possibility within the Watts dynamic.

      If she hadn’t fallen pregnant, I believe Shan’Ann would still be alive.

      • haliehill

        She was pregnant within four months of being married and the girls were what- 16 months apart? It did not seem that she had trouble getting pregnant.
        But it takes two to tango. Chris knew how babies get made and if he did not want one that’s easy to arrange.

        Scott Peterson pulled the same thing; let his wife bulldoze him into a baby he did not want then found a mistress and got out of his marriage by killing his wife. 8.5 months pregnant to boot.

        Guys who do not have the courage to tell their wives “no” and face their disappointment or anger but somehow get brave enough to commit murder and face the wrath of the judicial system as well as breaking everyone’s heart – astonish me.

        By the time chris realized he didn’t want the baby it was fifteen weeks in and she’d already told everybody- I think terminating the pregnancy at that point would be a problem.

  3. P Nichols

    There is nothing wrong with ambition and hard work and that is to her credit. Shan’ann was everything he wasn’t and I believe he was jealous of her as a person and her capabilities. She was stuck at home with two kids and needed to contribute financially, plus, lift herself out of routine and surburban domesticity. She was young and wanted more out of life for herself and her family and wasn’t afraid to put the hard work in. Every mother I know complains at times about their children that is not abnormal and doesn’t mean she didn’t adore them. I think she was suffering from smiling depression and can sense a sadness at times from her videos. She was living with a monster and contrary to his and her public persona she must have seen shadows of this in his personality. I know of no other woman who raves on and on about how wonderful their husband is that is just not the real world. I suspect she was well aware of his potential to stray and felt by bigging him up and feeding his ego he would stay. Also, was the new pregnancy a way to keep a hold of him so he would not leave her for his co worker, as apparently she was aware he was having an affair and told her mother this. Plus, she would have known by plastering it all over Facebook the mistress would have known she was pregnant, which showed they were still intimate in the marriage and hopefully, the news would break them up. I think the reveal video was set up and he put on a another show that he was happy about a 3rd child but in reality, he was horrified as that trapped him even further. By divorcing her he would have had to pay alimony and maintenance for the next 20 years, leaving him little financially and not the most desirable catch on the market. Can you imagine if she came home and the children had already been murdered the sight she must have seen and the human anguish. Shan’ann would not have wanted to have lived I imagine, without her two beloved children. Ultimately, she was the showgirl putting on a show for her work and family, always sunny but when one peel’s away the layers of this facade one wonders what exactly was their REAL home life like with this monster!

    • nickvdl

      Ambition – well it depends on what it’s geared towards. Hitler was ambitious. MLM thrives on both the greed and ignorance of its flock, and you can probably add desperation to that. Not sure what’s vindicating about that.

      • haliehill

        It’s as American as apple pie.

    • Mary Lloyd

      Shanann would have been better off gaining a qualification and channelling all that Thrive energy and ambition into a corporate job or some other real life working situation.

      She seemed to be suckered into this “stay at home Mom” persona but failed to realise that it wasn’t actually suited to her, did not fit who she really was and was not destined to make her happy, no matter how many children she forced into the situation.

      Something should be done about this Thrive product. It seems like it is similar to feeding Red Bull to yourself intravenously all day and all night. I imagine a buzzed-up Chris may not have murdered if he wasn’t high on it, and baby Nico would have been born having caffeine withdrawal symptoms. There may be a good reason why they are hocking it through the MLM model and not just distributing it retail — it can stay under the radar.

      • haliehill

        Her doctor visit was to check fetal heart rate as the baby had rapid heart rate, I read. I think it is not a good idea to take caffeine supplements which is basically what thrive is, when you are pregnant.
        It’s pretty shocking anyone would go to those lengths to “have a Thrive baby.” It’s a baby. Not a marketing ploy.

        Shan’ann was over the top with that stuff. It’s such an inauthentic lifestyle; it almost seems like a cult. It would drive me nuts being with someone always cheerleading for any product obsessively – taking it even when pregnant – attributing her getting pregnant quickly to Thrive – it’s all BS. Maybe she wouldn’t have been so uptight if not buzzing with caffeine.
        Chris as well all the dramatic weight loss and inability to sleep- that will make you psycho –
        Then the pivot to Nikki with her “eating clean” – healthier lifestyle, and as Watts related, actually exercising not just taking selfies in work out clothes.

        Thrive and LeVel were not good for that family 😞

  4. Shannon

    She ran away from her first house, so why not run away from this house. I think she was just a scammer, moving from one to another. What were they thinking being 3 months behind in Rent, homeowners taking them to court….her getting pregnant…. expensive daycare….way way beyond their means…I get a headache just thinking of it.
    Can you imagine living it?
    Desperate and worried…one’s mind will travel.

    • Tami

      Why is it HER fault that they had financial problems. She was working, trying to make money. He had a responsibility too. She wasn’t perfect. None of us are. But we all deserve better than being murdered and buried in a shallow grave. Better not make any mistakes ladies….Better not want a better life and faithful husband, to make money for your family. That’s the message here. Sickening!

      • Ralph Oscar

        Tami, please go away. You obviously don’t get it, you don’t understand the purpose of this site, you have nothing to offer but criticism and complaint, and you try to shame people into shutting up – all of which combine to demonstrate that this simply isn’t the right forum for you.

  5. Riki lee

    God ALL you women are truly nasty horrible people !
    Leave the poor woman Alone !
    She was MURDERED and her three children also .. by her narcisstic psycho Husband.. so what if she was ambitious ..gave her children a marshmallow …thats just being totally bitchy …..ALL of you should be ASHAMED of yourselves
    And i bet you all have skeletons in the closet..or are you all perfect ? Oh sorry it appears you are all Pefect .just be careful throwing stones in glass houses .karma will come back TEN fold

    • Shannon

      Did you steal from your employer. Or better yet, sleep with him. Did you lie constantly, belittle your kids and husband, plus much more?

    • Ralph Oscar

      “karma will come back TEN fold”

      Ha. That’s funny. Look around you. There’s no such thing as “karma”.

  6. Sarah

    I don’t think she fibbed about her pregnancy, really it’s not ones business to know all about conception, actual confirmation of said pregnancy or when a couple decided to announce it or how except said couple. This article sounds like it was written by one of those shanann haters who can’t help themselves about picking apart every aspect of her life as if she caused what happened to her. A whole family was massacred by their own protector, no one deserves that level of betrayal. People need to learn how to show some respect for the dead! Give it a rest and get a life.

  7. Shannon

    If you don’t like the Forum, your Welcome to leave. No one is forcing to stay.

  8. Kristine

    Whole thing is terribly pathetic. This is what happens when ego runs your life and you want everything to look “Facebook Perfect!” Her poor kids couldn’t even play with their toys.. Did you see the video of Shan flipping out because CeeCee brought a few toys into the “Front room?” Crazytown.

  9. Lori Mahan Stone

    If your here to defend shanann fb is for you. We are here to figure out what happened to this family. Door is to your left.

  10. Michelle Sanangelo

    I think Chris may have said ok to another kid thinking it wouldn’t happen and when it did so fast he wasn’t happy. Shanann posted for Father’s Day how Chris only liked 1 of the shirts she had made. I think its the one we see him wearing black n yellow with Dad but she made the shirts about the baby at the same place the dad shirt came from so must have expressed to her he didn’t like those for her to post he liked just 1 right? She also posted about how Thrive Burn had Chris acting different like talking to strangers and unable to stay still. Burn was new. It came out in May & Chris started it beginning of June. Other Thrivers commented Burn had them like that too. I think Burn was the reason Chris started chatting up NK to begin with. I also think Burn could have had issues with the first batch and maybe even putting more PEA in it sort of experimenting since there are no regulations for supplements. I read that PEA can be dangerous in high doses of the lab created kind and side effects are hallucinations and psychosis. It’s also used in MDMA for Ecstasy. Chris was going on 3hrs or less sleep for almost 2yrs because of the stimulants in Thrive. Proprietary blends are said to be bad for these things because you dk the exact amount of each ingredient is actually in there. Shanann wasn’t taking Burn because of the baby she said. Just Chris was on it. What if Chris’s body built up dangerously high levels of Thrive’s ingredients like PEA (Phelenlamine) and he didn’t know it cuz he’s on it and Shanann was in denial when her friends said could Chris being on Burn be reason for his change. PEA in labs I also read is called the love drug and reason being is it can make you feel the feeling like you get when you first fall in love. Maybe Chris felt that and thought Nichol was the reason for it and the whole “she took my breath away” thing he said was really just the PEA in Thrive Burn. I even read Thrive did change something with Burn right after this happened. How Chris looked in his eyes in the shirtless police pics looks like my friends 15yrs ago rolling face on Ecstasy. Chris on that plus Nichol recognizing something was up with Thrive she could have used it to her advantage and that’s why she threw out there the question about his favorite band (that she probably learned from when she looked up him n his wife the year before) Metallica lyrics to Battery that whole kill the family crap she got into his head. Chris took his Thrive before he straddled Shanann to kill her. Hers step 1 pills were on her nightstand. Chris woke up and did his step 1 pills there wasn’t any on his nightstand. He said he went downstairs & came back to kill her so he put on his step 2 patch and probably drank step 3 too. He had the stimulants at their peak and could really be telling the truth when he said it was like he couldn’t let go of her throat. When you roll hard on Ecstasy you do things and aren’t able to control yourself and it’s hard to tell what’s really going on. As far as her posts go about the kids being hard to handle I think its just to sell Thrive. You know like a sales pitch omg these kids are so unruly and it would be impossible without my Thrive”. I don’t think Chris knew what the actual ingredients do. The promoters all say natural energy and make it sound great but don’t say the natural energy is still stimulants. Coffee is natural energy too.

    • haliehill

      OMG. This is what I wondered about the caffeine and sleeplessness- no idea he was going on two years of sleep deprivation.

      That with the Buzz crap -even double patches- plus the three step pills etc – could explain a few things. The excessive horniness for one.
      I am sure LeVel was thrilled that case did not go to trial because I can just hear it now, the Thrive defense.

  11. Sharon Heard

    Guys, I am late to the table on this one. I have been through my own hell so was mourning and such, but have been obsessed last 24 hours with this case. I believe it represents our society as a whole, and how a slow leak of toxic people can ultimately over time, make some just snap.

    I understand we are not to speak poorly of the dead, but when I first started watching the few Shanaan videos I found, my first instinct was I felt so badly about myself, then over a few hours I realized she is absolutely obnoxious. Telling her husband of a third pregnancy over a facebook post is despicable.

    Most of us don’t partake or go near MLM companies, we know they are scams and destroy other’s lives, yet this woman – well, my question among many, is – did Shanann make any money – do we have her tax returns? I feel Chris was towing the line of the entire family while she bullied him daily with her MLM friends, and facebook etc. There was absolutely no truth in this relationship whatsoever, and, what scares me is one of my son’s friends texted me yesterday morning, saying he is dating a girl, going to marry her, and he learned the key to any healthy relationship is for a man to shut up, let the woman rule, etc.,, and this just goes against the laws of nature, and can lead to this in extremely rare circumstances, but for most, they end in divorce, with the man paying for a family he can’t participate in, and is financially strapped for life.

    Sorry to intrude on your thoughts but this is extremely interesting to me, as an extreme, of a very pervasive situation in society. Women often pop out babies and feel a sense of entitlement.

    Also, when I saw video of Chris and cops going into her house, I was absolutely blown away at how clean and perfect the house was, I mean, it’s lovely, but to live like that for me, simply is unnatural, haha, we are human after all, aren’t we? Idk, I’m just searching for answers to a true tragedy.

    Please, if any videos or info I should see to let me know. I couldn’t find Chris in the elf outfit you guys discussed, or her videos. It’s disturbing and haunting, and yet something in me is not resolved, is itching for some comfort from this. Idk, maybe you guys can help. Thanks, Sharon

  12. influencemoon

    I really do think that THRIVE had something to do with Chris Watts killing his whole family. He was so hyped up. Very little sleep. Gosh all these people have to do for weight loss is stick to a sensible diet and exercise I know because that is exactly what I did after my second baby. Nichole Kessinger said Chris would be talking to her and he would fall asleep. People be aware that we do not know what THRIVE can do to you. It frightens me to think people take these weight loss potions without knowing the side effects and the fact that each ones body is so different to the next person.

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