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

Chris Watts: the slip-of-the-tongue that we all missed

At 4:44 in the interview clip Chris Watts lets slip an extraordinary clue. We missed it because the journalist used that moment to rejig his camera, and so as the question is being lined up, the image is temporarily off-camera.

This resetting throws Watts off camera and throws off our concentration as well. But when we anchor the scene to a narrative, when we nail it down to a transcript, the slippery slip is captured in our true crime net. So let’s do that now.

To pick up what he’s saying and how the slip happens, we need to back up about 50 seconds. Here’s the context: Chris Watts has just made a long speech about wanting everyone to “just come home.”

This is it:

REPORTER: Can I ask another tough question, your relation with the kids?

WATTS: Whe… whenever, I mean, the kids are my life, I mean, those… those smiles are my life and there’s, like, I mean, last night, like, during…you know, when they usually dinner it was just, like, I missed them like, I mean, I missed tell them: Hey, you got to eat that or you’re gonna… not gonna get your dessert! You know, and just, like: Not gonna get your snack after! I missed that, I missed them, you know, cuddle up on their couches. They have like a Minnie Mouse couch and Sophia couch that they cuddle up on and watch on Bubble Guppies or something and it was just, like, you know, I mean, I… I was com… it was tearing me apart last night and I needed that, I needed that last night and for that… for nobody to be here last night and then going into their rooms and not… and know that I wasn’t gonna turn the rain machines on, I know that I wasn’t gonna turn their monitor on, no, I wasn’t gonna kiss them to bed tonight, it was… it… it was like I… I co… that’s why last night was just horrible, I couldn’t do it th… I was… I just want… I want everybody to come home like wherever they are at. Come home, that’s what I want.

He uses the past tense here, and refers to “tearing apart”. This clearly shows in his mind he knows they’re already dead.

But this is just the lead up to the slip. After this answer there’s a protracted silence where Watts curls his lower lip and presses it under his upper lip, and holds it there for a few seconds. The cameraman uses this break to set himself up at a better angle.

During this pause the dogs can be heard barking loudly, and Chris Watts appears to blink rapidly – anxiously. The subject matter they’re dealing with now is making him nervous, and it should.

It’s probably because of this anxiety, and the direct question about his children stirring up the still raw memory of their corpses, and the recent handling of their bodies, and having to account for it this soon, that causes his heart and mind to race. That’s why the slip happens when it does.

The reporter stumbles through his next question. He’s not sure, it seems, what he wants to ask. He says something like “where has she gone for” while the neighborhood dogs are still going nuts.

REPORTER: She was…she was…she came back Sunday just under two at night?

WATTS: Yeah, cause her flight got delayed from Arizona, cause, like, other storms around the…the nation, so she was supposed to get home like eleven, she got home at like 01:48 [swaying as his standing, flips out his left hand], got to bed [blinks] about 02:00. 

Chris Watts glances towards the window as he says “got home at like 01:48”. Sometimes when we remember things, we do so in sympathy. We act out what happens. We look in the direction of where something happened as we re-navigate the memory of it.

The slow blink when he says the word bed is significant. I don’t think something happened in the bed as much as Shan’ann never made it to bed, and probably didn’t even make it upstairs.

REPORTER: What was she gone for? Like a family trip-?

WATTS [Swaying from one leg to the other]: It was a Thrive…direct sales, uh… it was a local event that was down there between a bunch of leaders [flaps out his hand] in-in the company.

Then, arms folded, he purses his lips again.

REPORTER: And then, the day she was back, I mean…?

And so this is where the slip happens. He’s still pursing his lips together, blinking rapidly, and the dogs are making a racket in the background when he starts answering. He starts answering with a stutter.

WATTS [Shaking his head, a slight flash of teeth as he smiles, still swaying from side to side the whole time]: I lef-I left wor-for work [glances left] early that morning like 05:15, 05:30 so like [holds out his hand]…she [shrugs]… barely let me in [glances up], she barely got… barely gotten [blinks] into bed pretty much.

Fullscreen capture 20181101 103219Fullscreen capture 20181101 103514

His mouth is open at the end of that, in the holding pattern of a slight  smile.

She barely gotten into bed pretty much

Consider that he buried her in a sheet from the bed, and so one nasty interpretation of the question and his answer: maybe he thinks it’s funny what he did to her and with her vis-a-vis the soft minimizing words he’s giving about her to the media:

She barely gotten into bed pretty much

A lot happens in the entirely of his answer too. So few words, so much going on, so many lives undone between those letters, those lines. He stutters, he interrupts himself, he repeats himself and he barely answers the question about what she – Shan’ann – was doing.

He talks about himself leaving, and where he was. The only word – and it’s only one word – that he offers to answer the implied question the reporter doesn’t quite ask [Where?] is bed. But he’d rather not say it. That’s why it’s bed…pretty much.

He doesn’t want to talk about where. Where is the big kahuna in this conversation, the one thing he really doesn’t want anyone to know.

Fullscreen capture 20181030 045402

If he’d answered as simply and as straightforward as he could, he could have said:

She came home late and went to bed.

But instead he seems be unsure whether or not she went to sleep. If we remove the last part, the bit he’s uncertain about, it becomes:

She came home late and…

She went to her grave. She went to bed. It’s symbolically similar pretty much, unless you’re Shan’ann.

He repeats the word barely three times. Think about the word barely and the context we’re talking about: Murder at the last minute.  A flight delay of three hours. An early morning trip to a remote site before dawn.


And all he has to say is she came home and went to bed. So what’s this barely business?

She barely let me in, she barely got, barely got in bed. Pretty much.

Pretty much got in bed? Or pretty much didn’t get into bed?

But none of this is the slip. The critical slip is where he says I left work [interrupts himself] and then says she barely let me inbarely got…before he interrupts himself again.

We know when he says he left-he left work-he left for work that actually he wasn’t working that morning, he was dumping bodies at his work. So we see what happens when he lies – he stutters.

What he seems to be struggling to avoid saying is:

she barely let me in

The slip up sounds like he’s remembering himself barely letting her inside before killing her. Or:

she barely let me

She barely let him…kill her?

Barely because he was pressed for time…

Barely because the three hours delay was driving him nuts and potentially scuttling his big plans…

Barely because when he struggled, she fought back…

And the repeated stuttering on the I left-I-left-I left is because the going to work was a crucial part of covering up the whole thing. At the time of the interview, the cover was still holding, the bodies were still missing, the status of the victims was still unknown. Barely.

When he left, it was all about being seen to leave for work like it was any other day. That was the point of it. But:

she barely let me

Since he was caught and arrested in record time it seems there was no barely about it; Shan’ann didn’t let him get away with anything after all.



  1. Right44

    I have been waiting for you to discuss “she barely let me in.” I have wondered in WHERE? Also a lot of “barely” going on. I wonder if that word was used by Chris a lot in everyday life.

    The whole interview gives me the creeps, especially his inappropriate smiling and grinning. His hand gestures seemed out of place to me and slightly off. Makes me think he didn’t spend a lot of time practicing the interview that he had to know was coming.

    • nickvdl

      The hand gestures seem to be saying “so what”. Like, she came back at that time, I dunno if that means anything, I doubt it.

  2. Pauline

    So many qualifiers to his statement “she barely gotten into bed pretty much.” So, she didn’t. She didn’t get into bed at all. His conscious mind is trying to say she did get into bed but just barely, his unconscious mind is telling the truth – “pretty much” which means that was her intention but it wasn’t fulfilled as it wasn’t his intention and he won that one. Pretty much is really, not at all. It’s a sugar coater.

    Barely means “only just; almost not; hardly, scarcely, narrowly.” Barely actually doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as barely. You either do or your don’t. Barely and pretty much are words we use to be cute and hide what we actually did or in this case to hide what didn’t happen. Bed.

    In his words “she barely let me in” or she narrowly let me in – for she narrowly came in before he was upon her. She just made it in, and he narrowly and barely had time to do all he had to do and get to Cervi 312. There was barely time for that.

    He likes to use qualifiers because they are words to hide himself behind.

    • Recovering Baptist

      It’s now December 6, and we know now that she barely got in bed before he strangled her. She didn’t struggle at all, according to the autopsy report, which tells me she was sleeping, when he got her from behind, in bed. “She barely got to bed–” when he KILLED her. Mind boggling. He’s a dead man walking now, where they’re sending him, to a prison for serial killers in Wisconsin.

      • Sara Smile

        @Recovering Baptist Agreed!

    • Sara Smile

      IMO he is saying she barley had gotten into bed before he attacked her. Keep it simple folks because Lord knows CW was no intellectual giant… he was simple.

  3. Karen

    Also a little slip at 3:40 when he was supposed to be talking about (last night) he slipped up and said tonight. His subconscious was talking because how would he know he “wouldn’t kiss them to bed tonight”. He would have said “to know I wasn’t going to kiss them to bed last night”

    • Michele Clifford

      Awesome, Your Right, when He Says That, It’s in pass tense. He’s Very Creepy, and A Scum bag. Them Poor Children and Shan’ann and Niko. I’ve watched from the beginning also. Great Job God Bless 🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️

  4. Karen

    Or he probably would have said I missed kissing them last night. Nick could probably explain it better

  5. Pauline

    There are all of those other references to, to mealtime – “eat” “dinner” “dessert” “snack” which makes me think something happened around their dinner time, either just before, or just after.

    • nickvdl

      I think you’re right Pauline.

  6. Diana

    I was watching a program a few years ago about a young woman who had gone missing in Colorado. They showed a video of the suspect being questioned where he says he has no idea where the woman is. That man was later arrested for the missing woman’s murder. The detective on the case pointed out that when the suspect was denying he knew where the woman was, he was actually nodding his head YES, the opposite of how he was actually answering the questions. Chris does the same thing! While Chris is saying he needs them all to come back, referring to Shan’ann and the girls, he’s nodding his head NO! Like – no I don’t want them back. The opposite of what he’s saying. He does the head nodding thing more than once, saying one thing but nodding his head saying the opposite of the words coming out of his mouth. Instead of slip-of-the-tongue it’s slip-of-the-head!

    • nickvdl


    • Recovering Baptist

      Watts also smirks oddly, when he talks about the children. The cops noticed that too, in their reports.

    • LALA


  7. Janny Free

    I think this is a bit of a stretch. It’s widely known he’s an introvert. Being one myself, I could not do an interview without stammering and being uncomfortable with cameras on me and knowing this will be out for all to see. I also suspect he’s on the spectrum. I’ve worked with autistic kids and I have friends with grown autistic kids and their responses are often inappropriate with circumstances, much like he is here and their body language when they’re uncomfortable or scared is very similar to his.

    • nickvdl

      Janny I think you’re missing the point. He doesn’t seem nervous at all. He’s smiling, and a lot of his disclosures are quite friendly and almost playful. I’m not saying he’s not nervous, just that he doesn’t seem nervous. As soon as you try to mask reality, you are creating uncertainty for yourself. Is what I’m saying convincing? How do I avoid dealing with that? Do I seem plausibly innocent and ignorant if I put it this way…?

      Just using common sense, if Watts was completely innocent, he OUGHT to have been nervous and grief-stricken in these circumstances. A lot of the controversy by ordinary people looking at this was an intuitive sense that he just wasn’t acting right.

      On a question about what time someone arrived home there shouldn’t be any nervousness. Fact is, he’s confessed to murdering his wife, and fact is, he lied [she went to visit friend] adapted the lie and perhaps adapted it again.

      So if you argue that the whole interview is just one nervous meaningless haze, that’s fine. He had something to be nervous about. What we try to do with this analysis is figure out his tells and triggers, and what areas of the narrative are the most in doubt. We try to see what he might be hiding.

      That said, “lie detection” isn’t an exact science, and one person’s dogma is another’s heresy. We use it as a guide to try to get to know the underlying psychological patterns better. To throw that all out and say, pah, he’s an introvert, just shows an unwillingness to try to drill down any deeper.

      In the narrative sense, where you’ve already pieced together a theory for where the crime happened and when, you want to look very, very closely at what he says and avoids saying. There may be some confirmation bias, but if you’re thorough and keep looking at the same footage, a lot of detail comes to the surface, even stuff you weren’t even looking out for.

      For example, he doesn’t once say the words pregnant or doctor’s appointment in the entire interview. He definitely seems to stutter more where he’s not telling the truth.

      I was in court a few months back with a well-groomed, polished millionaire CEO. This guy had a nervous tick and shrugged more than I have ever seen. Even when not on the stand his eyes were pinch-blinking. As I started analyzing his testimony and playing it back over and over, I could tell not all those pinch-blinks indicated deception. But by the same token, it wasn’t a case that none of them did either. The pinch-blink was the tell, but not every-pinch blink, if that makes sense. The fact that he shrugged [the CEO, not Watts] when answering virtually every question suggested to me a man who lies about just about everything. He was accused of murdering his wife at a big conference, and of course, as CEO all his employees were a sort of captive audience. He claims she committed suicide in his hotel room after telling her he wanted a divorce.

      With Watts the stuttering is a tell too, but as you say, not all the stuttering is a tell.

      If you haven’t read TWO FACE I don’t think you’ll appreciate the background or importance to the moment Shan’ann stepped inside her home that morning. But I’m not going to deal with that here.

      • Karen

        I know you put a lot of thought into your books and so forth, and you can see things in a way that we, who are not really “trained” to and the way you analyze things, I’m just curious if you have ever made up your mind about something, even put it in writing “as in a book” then saw something you didn’t see before or maybe realized something different and changed your mind? This is just curiosity about the author, not the story. Thanks

  8. Karen

    I have always thought that when Chris Watts curls his lower lip and presses it under his upper lip, and holds it there for a few seconds that he is doing that to keep himself from too much talking. At times once he starts he just keeps talking and he’s trying to curtail that. Anyone else?

    • nickvdl

      Have a look at this video of Watts in court. He purses his lips several times and he’s not talking to anyone. It’s how he shows/hides anxiety.

      • Karen

        I saw him do that in only one other video that I noticed and that was in the Watts kitchen, he was standing behind Shanann. She said something then he said something and immediately did that as she picked up the spiel.

    • Deb

      I noticed Cindy does that as well. Same nervous tic.

      • nickvdl

        With the lip?

  9. Nick

    Happens all the time. I wrote 3 books about Oscar Pistorius before it went to trial. I was wrong on him not being on his prosthetic limbs when he fired the shots (so was the state prosecutor). My books on the other hand were the first to develop a complete timeline, something the state never did and the reason the judge ruled against them initially. Each book builds on the available evidence and fine tunes its way to the best possible scenario. Make sense?

  10. Karen

    I always wondered why he felt the need to explain in such detail surrounding the time she got home. REPORTER: She was…she was…she came back Sunday just under two at night? WATTS: Yeah, cause her flight got delayed from Arizona, cause, like, other storms around the…the nation, so she was supposed to get home like eleven, she got home at like 01:48
    There are so many unnecessary words and way too much explaining. He could have simply said ” yes, she got home last night about 1:48″

  11. Karen

    I’m very confused about the timeline so please help me out. On the 13th the police came and did a walk through. Did the dogs come on that same day or the 14th? Did they see and/or find the sheet in the trash on the 13th or 14th? If it was the 14th why didn’t Chris Watts dispose of the sheets on the day of the 13th? What did he do the night of the 13th? I know he went to the Thayers on the 14th. I remember reading that they found out on the 14th that she didn’t return home and that’s when they really started looking for her. Thanks

  12. nickvdl

    TWO FACE covers the timeline in detail. Have you read it?

    • Karen

      I did read it. I read them both. I’ll go back and read it again

      • Karen

        Okay, I just reread it. I guess I was wondering why Chris didn’t properly dispose of the linens that he put in the trash. He had Monday night to do it because the detectives didn’t start the real search until Tuesday. Maybe he was busy watching Monday night football. (Not sure if the season had started yet) I’m thinking the Thayers and Nikole with be called to court. Could be who the prosecutor is meaning when he says witnesses that haven’t been interviewed yet

        • nickvdl

          I deal with Monday night in the third TWO FACE book. Your questions are very valid Karen. He was caught between a rock and a hard place though. He thought it would be up to him to call the cops when he was good and ready. He didn’t anticipate Nickole would beat him to the punch. Once the cops were called, the house would have been under surveillance over night. His hands were tied in what he could do, especially since the cops had already had a peekaboo inside on Monday the 13th. Anything gotten rid of after that would raise flags.

          • Ian Allen

            CW cleaned the house from top to bottom and placed a lot of things in the trash bins in the garage. None of it was taken for evidence or forensic testing. It is reported when the police went in to do a thorough search, they could smell the cleaning products. The cadaver dog with the female handler was not taken notice of much as she kept telling the dog to shush. The cadaver dog pointed / alerted strongly to the botton of the stairs in the basement, but nothing was done about the basement. On the police interviews, they knew CW and NK were lying but done nothing about it.

          • nickvdl

            What does Nichol Kessinger have to do with the basement of the Watts home?

  13. Karen

    That picture of the oil field is very creepy

  14. Karen

    I can tell you why he’s wearing those glasses when he isn’t reading anything. He’s hiding his eyes behind the wide part of the frame. When the camera zooms in they can’t see his eyes and he can’t see the camera. On one of the notices they also don’t want close ups.

  15. Kate

    I just read the entire 1200 page document released and am getting caught up on all these blogs.
    You have a lot of good posts, but a few miss the mark. This is one.
    The interview was a lying hot mess, true. But what he was saying with the “barely” comment – is that Shanann had barely gotten home and gone to bed when he had to get up already and go to work. He’s distancing himself from the crime because she was only home a few hours, she had barely gone to sleep when I had to leave – I couldn’t have done it, see – no time!
    If you look at it in the context of the question he was just asked, it makes sense.

    Or maybe it’s a regional thing. The word, barely – to describe a miniscule amount of something. I use it all the time. “The kids barely ate any dinner.” “I barely got any work done today.” “She barely got any sleep.”

    • nickvdl

      You seem to have completely missed the point of this post. He was stuttering around the word “barely” and around the idea of her getting into bed. To my mind that raises red flags. If it doesn’t to you, fine, we all read body language differently.

      You don’t need to accept that she did or didn’t get into bed, but saying this post “misses the mark” as if it’s an informed fact is disingenuous. Through a trilogy of books I’ve systematically formulated a scenario for where and when the murders took place, and this “barely” slip fits into that research.

      I don’t expect you to know that, but you should also consider that some have done far, far more research and integrated a lot more information than you have. That doesn’t mean I am right, but it doesn’t mean you are either.

    • Karen Leblanc

      The 2k document release was not all the police had. They have “like” 7k. Why aren’t they releasing everything and why isn’t nicole the mistress in trouble for deleting her text messages involving chris

  16. Mackenzie

    The kids were alive earlier on Sunday the 13th because they went to a birthday party, they then spoke to Shan’ann’s dad on FaceTime..remember eating cold pizza and candy… so he spent the evening with them. Then in the porch interview he says something to the effect as “last night was so strange without them, I needed them to be home last night cuddling on the couch… yata yata.” and then in a police cam interview inside the house he says “I missed them throwing chicken nuggets at me.” Did anyone pick up on this? If he was trying to play it off like Shan’ann and the kids were in the house sleeping the morning he left for work… why would he be missing them before they are even reported missing? Obviously we know now that this was ALL A LIE. Just wondering if anyone caught that? He was the parent watching them that night- feeding them cold pizza per Shan’anns dad on FaceTime. Why would he be missing them before Shan’ann is even home?

    • doc

      “The kids were alive earlier on Sunday the 13th because they went to a birthday party…”

      Sunday, the day of the birthday party and the cold pizza was August 12th. Shan’ann arrived home that night after midnight (1:48AM, 13th).

      “why would he be missing them before they are even reported missing?”

      He wasn’t. The porch interview (Denver7 News) and the K9 search of the home were both on 14 August, the day after the police first searched the home and questioned Watts. So in Watts’ references to missing the kids (porch) and chicken nuggets (K9 prep), “last night” refers to the night of 13 August, when he was alone in the house for the first time after the murders with nothing but his memories, guilt, and the ghosts of his children and wife mocking him at every step and every breath he took. He couldn’t sleep, and spent the next night with friends.

  17. Zach

    There is a lot of interesting analyses that can be done on this interview of Watts, such as his stuttering, rambling, inappropriate laughing, body language, etc, that help prove he was lying and trying to cover his tracks. However, Watts doesn’t say “…she barely let me in…” He says, “…she barely, I mean…”

    I’m a linguist and recently completed a linguistic analysis of this interview that primarily focused on how Watts spoke about himself, others, and conveyed emotion (or lack thereof). I also completed a linguistic transcript of the interview.

    Watts says “I mean” a lot in this interview and other interviews. If he said “she barely let me in,” then you’d be able to hear six syllables: __ – __ – _ – __ – __ – __.
    1. /she/
    2. /bare/ 3. /ly/
    4. /let/
    5 /me/
    6. /in/

    Also, you’d likely hear a distinction between /ly/ and /let/, and between /let/ and /me/, which are all absent in the video.

    However, if you listen to just the syllables in Watts’s speech, you’ll only hear five: __ – __ – __ – __ – __.
    1. /she/
    2. /bare/ 3. /ly/
    4. /I/
    5. /mean/

    Watts elongates the /ly/ and it sort of blends into /I/, so it can be difficult to differentiate between the sounds, especially in rapid speech. Also, /me/ and /in/, and /mean/ can sound similar, but there doesn’t appear to be any additional syllables to support him saying “me in.” When you slow down the speed of the video, it becomes even clearer that Watts said “…she barely, I mean…” The original Denver 7 interview also has a transcript in which they indicate he said, “…she barely, I mean…”

    Certainly, what he said in those few seconds is rather negligible considering the charade he was putting on throughout that entire interview and every other time he opened his mouth. My comment isn’t intended to take away from the wealth of information and insight you provide here.

    • Nick

      Great comment Zach, thank you.

      It reminds me of Armstrong’s “one small step for man” controversy. He claims he said “a man” but it sure doesn’t sound like it.

      If you’re right I still think he has a lot of anxiety around the word barely. She barely…what?

      • Zach

        Thank you!

        I agree, he has a lot of anxiety around the word ‘barely.’ Especially since he’s stuttering a lot around using that word. That entire segment of the transcript is odd, because it was towards the end of his rant where Tomas Hoppough merely asked “Do you think she just took off?” He blabs on for over 2 1/2 minutes.I think he used “barely” for a couple of reasons. Since he was the only person who knew that Shan’ann, Bella, and Celeste were dead at that point, he used “barely” to create the illusion that there was such a short period of time between when Shan’ann got home/went to bed and the time he left for work, that there wasn’t enough time for anything to occur in that short time frame, and they only saw each other very briefly. His stuttering was probably because he knew he was lying about that, since that’s the time frame when he killed her.

        I think he also believed that it gave him an “acceptable excuse” for not knowing whose house she and the girls were supposed to go to for a play date. I think I remember hearing somewhere that he said she told him that before he left, but it was a very quick exchange.

        I really think he thought he was a cunning liar and had a rock solid case to show he was innocent, but as we saw in this interview and any other time he opened his mouth, he’s a horrible liar, and we could see through his facade very quickly. I don’t think Watts intended on Tomas Hoppough asking about the “argument” in the very next question that helped expose that he’s lying.

        Another area that I found rather interesting about Watts’s interview was in the segment where he talked about how he “missed that,” regarding Bella and Celeste. Throughout that part, he says “last night,” but then says something about how he wasn’t going to kiss them “tonight,” and didn’t appear to correct himself…. he sighed, started stuttering again, then inappropriately laughed and said “last night”. Also, his “emotional conversation” was a very clear attempt at making their argument (if it actually occurred) seem less aggressive.

    • doc

      I’m glad you said that Zach, because I didn’t want to be the first one to rock the boat on that phrase. What I hear is a slight variation of “She barely, I mean.” To me it sounds like there’s an “L” sounded before the “I.” So it’s “She barely, L’I mean,” as if he was going to say “like,” which he’d already used twice in the sentence, but said the equivalent “I mean” instead.

    • doc

      Or he might be saying the more grammatically correct “She’d barely, L’I mean…,” meaning “She had barely, I mean.”

      “The slip up sounds like he’s remembering himself barely letting her inside before killing her.”

      Possibly. I agree that the word “barely,” when he heard himself saying it, might have been an anxiety trigger. Perhaps he’d just barely caught himself before saying “She’d barely gotten in (the door)” or “She’d barely gotten home.” Not when he last spoke to her, or saw her, but when he last saw her alive.

  18. Chip

    i just can’t figure out how he was able to strangle her without any fight. He had no wounds and she only had the bruise to one side of her neck. I’ve seen alot of crime shows and there always seems to be wounds on both parties during an altercation like that. Unless the person being strangled was somehow drugged first. I haven’t heard any rumor of that. If he held her arms down with his legs wouldn’t she have bruises on her arms. In many of the photos she had very long fingernails. How did she not get even one scratch in? She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would not put up a fight. The only thing that makes sense to me is that she came in and did go to bed. That she did not know the kids were already dead because it was so late and she didn’t want to wake them. She went to sleep and was very exhausted so it probably wasn’t hard for her to fall into a deep sleep. She had thanked him in an earlier letter for letting her hold him. Maybe he held her this time, fooling her into thinking everything between them was ok and once she was asleep he slowly, as they said, strangled her from behind. It would explain why he used the bottom sheet from the bed to wrap her in and not the top sheet or any other blanket or sheet from the house. Maybe she just never came to enough to fight. She may have never known her kids were already gone. It doesn’t make since to me that he would kill her downstairs and then go upstairs, strip the top sheet and blanket from the bed and use the bottom sheet to wrap her in. He probably thought that bottom sheet would contain dna, if any, so he used it. I think he was lying in wait but not in the way most people think he was. Couldn’t it be possible that he was pretending to be asleep and she gets into bed next to him none the wiser? He may have had the kids staged in their beds to look asleep. Maybe she only peeked in their rooms. If he killed them that night they may have just looked like they were sleeping to her. If he suffocated them with a pillow it would make sense that he would wait until they were asleep to do that anyway.

  19. Anna Plummer

    On about Sept 3, 2018, I wondered about his wording too, so much that I posted on reddit about it, and I didn’t come up with what you did – but I was really curious about cw saying, “she barely let me” – some people did not hear the word “me” in that video, but I watched it a bunch of times because it was tough to type his exact words due to the stuttering, and I’m sure I heard the word “me”, like he slipped in saying something about how Shanann might’ve ‘barely let him’ : talk to / explain/ tell her the children were dead/ or whatever.
    Here’s the link to that conversation on reddit:

  20. Karen Leblanc

    She wasnt the kind of mother that wouldnt physically go into the rooms and lightly kiss the girls goodnight and tuck them in a little. She was prob killed when she found the first girl dead. While she was bending over to kiss her Chris came up behind her and choked her

    • laralovesandrew

      They went into detail about how she was OCD about not waking the girls–they wouldn’t even open the garage that was right below their windows. I don’t think she physically went in–that’s why she had baby monitors on older children.

    • nickvdl

      So if you wanted to commit premeditated murder, would you want your victim to know an attack was coming, or want them to attack you?

      • Karen Leblanc

        Yes I see what u mean. Maybe got her at the front door

  21. Dayley

    Hi. I’d like to start by saying, if this has already been addressed, I apologize… and I know that CW has already confessed AND has already attached an addendum to the original confession, so my question is one of pure curiosity… did CW’s dad know about the affair his son was having with NK? There are a plethora of reasons that could have led CW to thinking that murdering his entire family was the best solution, but I, personally, feel that the ultimatum of “your parents will never see the girls again” is THE reason. And it’s not the “your parents” part, but what I think was the only part heard by CW and that’s the “your dad will never see the girls again”. That’s not what Shan’ann said, she said “your PARENTS”, but I think CW only heard that his dad wouldn’t be allowed in the girls’ lives again.
    CW has said, at least 3 times, that his dad was his hero and not only his best friend, but his only true friend. So, I think the introduction of NK into the storyline is a mere side note once the ultimate ultimatum (in CW’s eyes) was thrown down. Also, if you watch the first interrogation, where Agent Lee has administered the polygraph test and the Agents know CW isn’t being truthful, and they begin the “Shan’ann harmed the girls” narrative, when CW asks to speak to Ronnie, the first thing CW says to his dad is “they know about the affair” & there’s zero reaction from Ronnie. It seems as though CW had already confided in his best friend/dad that he was having an affair. Again, I know it’s really of no importance now, it’s just something that jumped out at me. Did anyone catch that or get the feeling that Ronnie already knew? I think it shows the depth of CW’s love and trust in his dad and it’s the thought of his children possibly not knowing that love and trust themselves that brought the anger out of CW and led to the end of an already dysfunctional marriage and the horrific deaths of 4 people.
    (Sorry for rambling… like a lot of folks this entire saga has me scratching my head & wondering “why”. Great website, by the way!)

  22. Debra

    To me the biggest slip is the comment he makes about being distressed the night before and saying he needed his family home to comfort him. Why on earth would you need comforting by the ones who are causing your distress because they are missing? In what universe does that logic even come close to making sense.

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