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

Weld DA…er, ahem…Shan’ann’s family responds with a typed statement to Chris Watts’ parents’ PR Blitz

It’s starting to feel like the Rzuceks and the DA versus the Watts family and… [no defense attorney]. Expect plenty more fireworks after this statement portraying the legal battle as a fight to protect Shan’ann’s reputation

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  1. Cheryl

    Clearly, Shan’ann is a saint. Closed case. However, the videos readily available on Plunder tell a different story: that Chris was the children’s primary caregiver, that Shan’ann was self-involved and abusive toward Chris and the children. This statement seems very shrill relative to the Watts’ interview, where all they’re asking is for this case to go to trial. However, somehow Shan’ann’s parents/DA conflate the Watts’ understandably anguished interview as disparaging Shan’ann’s perfect image—the one she tried to promote via Facebook but failed miserably doing so. I think the Shan’ann camp is very fearful on any number of counts.

    • nickvdl

      You think it’s just Shan’ann camp that’s fearful? Who do you think has the most to lose in financial terms if this case does go to trial?

      • Cheryl


      • Cheryl

        I see LeVel, Anadarko, and the state of Colorado as Shan’ann’s camp.

    • Steve

      This is a ridiculous comment. But rather then responding to a couch attorneys interpretation of knowing the lives of these two, I’ll simply state the lawful fact that regardless of what Mother Watts wants, she has no legal right to make any legal arguments or demand any action for her ADULT son. She has the right to personally wish for a trial but no legal basis to ask fir anything related to his case.

  2. Pauline

    From what we have read Frankie would certainly have no qualms about defending his sister’s memory. They should have said nothing, wait until the autopsy is released, wait and see if his guilty plea stands. This will turn into a war. In some ways I do think he was railroaded, but not by Rourke, but by his own attorneys – who likely lacked the resources or budget to properly mount a plausible defense. And it’s appalling the parents were not allowed to discuss his plea with the female attorney. He shouldn’t have been afraid that the prosecution would seek the death penalty either. Jared Polis would have overturned it and commuted his sentence to life. So he would have been back where he is now.

    • Meagan

      He has state paid attorneys.
      The state of Arizona paid right at $3 million for Jodi Arias’ defense.

      I think people just don’t want to believe that Chris whites did what he did. He confessed to it and I’m sure after his sentence that more information will come out .

    • DS 79

      Oh for God’s sake! Shannan had absolutely no motive at all to kill her children! It was Chris who hooked up with a nasty skank and was cheating on his family! Chris did not want kids anymore. He wanted to be footloose and fancy free with his skank and have his entire paycheck, the money from sale of the home, and the life insurance money and money from pawning the wedding rings for he and his skank to play with! This is ridiculous that there are ppl who believe a guy who put his little girls bodies in to oil tanks, where the chemicals would dissolve them in to mush is innocent of killing them! Do you ppl have no logic at all? Or are you just as sick and messed up in the head as Chris Watts and his narcissistic sociopathic family?

      • Ralph Oscar

        So how is Nichole Kessinger a bad person for believing a man who wore no wedding ring and who assured her that he was in the middle of a divorce and was thus available? How is that HER fault?

  3. Shannon

    I just hope Chris and his Parents stand up Strong and become a United Force and he Appears his case. Misrepresentation, Uneducated Council and Rourke instilling Fear.
    Forget about Shananns Family. It was her, Shanann that caused this to happen. She was a Complete Domineering Control Freak. It was all her. Why has her Family Not shut down her Fb page… because her Mom and friend are using it to sell Thrive!
    Her parents knew Chris wanted out.
    A Trail is needed here, for all these to come out.
    Yes he has already got Jail for her….but the kids.
    Her family’s FB pages are Strange…what they can Vent, but Chris’s Family can’t.
    Its 50/50 here.
    If this was my Son, I’d be in the fore front.

    • Meagan

      Wow, blaming the murder victims.


      • Pauline

        I am so with you Meagan. Thank you for saying that. You speak your mind and I like that. I think it’s an easy way out to blame the victims in society. We can’t understand why a seemingly normal person would kill his whole family so he was somehow “driven” to do it. I’m sure Sha’nann was annoying. I’m sure she was a domineering person. I”m sure she used her kids and Chris in her videos to promote her MLM business. It’s despicable. But who here hasn’t been like Sha’nann in relationships at one time or another? Who hasn’t badgered, controlled, dominated, manipulated and maneuvered. I have a hard time seeing Chris Watts as the victim here. When Chris told his mother he’s ruined everyone’s life at least he took responsibility for that. He did.

        • nickvdl

          I have a hard time seeing Chris Watts as the victim here.>>>You don’t have to see him as a victim. You have to try to see how he might see himself as a victim. That’s if you want to understand why the crime happened.

          If you’re more interested in choosing sides, then by all means, make one the hero and the other the villain, but that’s not really how real people or real life works, but it does make it feel a lot better to imagine its like that. A lot of people following true crime are for the feel-good transference factor. I’m right and innocent, and a victim, so’s X, and so I’m on their side. What does any of that have to do with figuring out a crime?

          Also, if you’re all about choosing sides, be honest about it, and start every post saying ‘I’m with Team X and I’m here to defend a particular position regarding Team Y.’ Of course that’s not what this site or the books are about, and there are many, many resources out there where people spend all day demonizing the one or the other and learning absolutely nothing. If you want to feel better about yourself by hating on a criminal, there are places to do that. Please don’t mistake this site or the books written as one of those places.

    • Steve

      Yes good call, if it’s your kid lie, cheat and steal to protect! Let’s play your silly game and go along with his parents, they even say he killed her. So he is a murderer, but wait not a just murderer but under Colorado law took the life of a child as well via terminating the pregnancy.

      I would also assume all the lies recently disclosed by his lover via their text conversations about the missing wife and kids are just ploys of her family in some fashion.

      Finally, give the he must get a trial a break, he ya a grown man not a kid and is responsible for his decisions in the case. His parents don’t have a right to demand a trial, even if “you” were their attorney lol.

      • Ralph Oscar

        Colorado does NOT have a fetal homicide law.

        Try to at least get your facts straight.

    • DS 79

      You’re insane!!!

  4. Shannon

    It depends on How Long one can take the Abuse. Would you like to be a Man and treated like he was….I think not.
    Everything I say, is right there in HER Videos.
    Its not Rocket Science.

  5. Ralph

    I agree with Shannon, if you’re a B your husband has every right to murder you and your children. That is one lesson women need to take to heart. I’m glad some women are learning from these murders like Shannon instead of spewing all that feminist BS.

    • nickvdl

      Hi Ralph. Just a quick warning here. Keep it clean or you’ll be blocked from making further comments. If you’re not sure what keeping it clean means, let me know and you’ll be blocked.

  6. Ralph

    Apologies, I was not being serious. Sarcasm towards “Shannon’s” comments.

  7. Shannon

    Oh no. I didn’t quite mean that.
    I don’t wish Harm on anyone.
    I just mean for whatever reason Chris chose this Path. Why I don’t know, nor do I speak for him. .
    Why do some people choose to do this, I don’t know.

  8. Diana

    Cheryl – I have a question for you. I do try to see others point of view and understand it, even when different than my own. But you said one thing that I really don’t understand. You said in your comments, “Chris was the children’s primary caregiver”. What am I not seeing that you are? Chris worked 12 hour shifts. So a 12 hour shift with 40 miles each way drive time is a long day. Did he get the kids up at 4 AM, feed them breakfast, dress them, brush their teeth, put pony tails in their hair, then lock them in their rooms, dash home at his lunch time to unlock them from their rooms, feed them lunch, dash back to work, arrive home early evening, unlock them from their rooms again, cook them dinner, clean the kitchen, give them baths, give them a snack, brush their teeth, tuck them in bed after reading them a bedtime story, then fall in bed himself for a few hours, then start all over again at 4 AM when the alarm goes off? Because that’s what the kids primary caregiver would do. Wow, I knew some people have really elevated Chris to sainthood, but you’ve outdone everyone else with that claim. Chris was SUPERDAD!! I get Shan’ann would record at inappropriate times. I get that her recording likely affected her kids in a bad way, it was intrusive. I also get that she made videos more than your average person, but I don’t believe she came anywhere close to making videos 12 hours a day to where Chris had to be the kids primary caregiver. You didn’t do this, but I’ve even seen people accuse Shan’ann of neglect for making a stupid Thrive video while the kids were sick but taking their naps, yet those same people have no problem with Chris going to work when his kids were sick. I’m not necessarily referring to you Cheryl, but it seems like the accusations against Shan’ann get more outrageous every day. But Chris the primary caregiver? I’m just not seeing how that would’ve even been possible!

    • Cheryl

      Diana, I based my statement regarding Chris’s being the primary caregiver on the videos, which is the evidence we have to date (and it’s likely all we’ll ever have since this case is likely not going to trial). In the videos, it is Chris who is on the floor playing with the children, feeding the children, holding the children, washing their clothes, reading them a story, explaining a book, etc. When Chris is at work and Shan’ann is filming, the children are usually not present: they are either napping or at day care. For a woman who claims in several videos that she became involved in LeVel to stay at home with her children, it seems she’s formed a more compelling attachment to her phone than Bella and Celeste.

    • DS

      Have ppl lost their minds in this country? I mean seriously! Who is dead in this case? Who was brutally strangled just a bit after arriving home from a business trip in which she was not feeling well at all, was pregnant with a baby Chris talked her in to getting pregnant with because “he wanted a son!” and the pregnancy was taking a real toll on her because it was a risk for her to be pregnant anyway having Lupus, and secondly her husband had just got done playing psychological warfare against her for the last 6 weeks she’d been in North Carolina with their little girls, all by herself, while Chris was home hooking up with the whore KS, planning the murder of his family! Who murdered Shannan, her unborn son that he insisted she get pregnant with, and their 2 little girls, and then threw the little girls in crude oil tanks and buried Shannan and the baby she gave birth to post Morten in such a shallow grave that the coyotes would have eaten them in only a few days had their bodies not been located. This is the most evil, heartless, sickening thing I have ever seen in relation to a quadruple murder by a cheating husband who is so evil, so heartless, so incredibly selfish, that instead of manning up and telling her he was having an affair and would like a divorce, decided “ oh I’ll just kill them All!” I have never ever seen ppl behave this way and say the things they have said about the innocent 100% victim of a vicious murder. It literally makes me sick in my soul! This is not a tv show!!!! This is real life! These are real ppl! Shannan’s family has lost their entire world! To think there are ppl standing up for the man who did this to Shannan her children, her Brother and her Mother and Father, the fact ppl spit on her grave daily, for no reason at all other than they are incredibly off mentally and actually sympathize with the cheater who brutally murdered all of these ppl. It’s flat out a disgrace!!!! It’s as if the human race are devolving in to mindless zombies. I do not get it at all. No logic!!!

      • Ralph Oscar

        It wasn’t a “business trip” – it was a vanity boondoggle. Get the facts straight. Shan’Ann had no “business” – she was an MLM sucker who was losing her shirt and driving her family’s finances into the ground. AGAIN. They’d already filed for bankruptcy after her 6th MLM attempt back in 2015, and she irrationally dived into the Thrive MLM just months after that. It’s obsessive, addict behavior. When it’s a “business trip”, the company pays all the costs. Shan’Ann had to use her *family’s* money to pay for *everything* about that “business trip”, which makes it NOT a “business trip” but actually just more of her self-centered, shallow, callous, uncaring self-indulgence. Spare me.

    • Ralph Oscar

      Diana, it has already been established that Shan’Ann sent the girls to “preschool” 8-4:30 each day. So SHE was minimizing her time with the children! When Chris got home, he’s the one who helped them with their dinner and afterward, while Shan’Ann was “busy” doing her dumb little sales videos for LeVel. She certainly wasn’t parenting her own children! And there are several videos out there that show her actively *neglecting* and being cruel to her own children – like eating yummy-yummy Thrive bars in front of them as they cry from hunger, telling them, “You can’t have this – Mommy’s earned it.”

      Don’t give me that “Shan’Ann is such a saint” jazz. It doesn’t fly, given all the evidence Shan’Ann was kind enough to leave behind in all those appalling videos she made.

  9. Shannon

    Chris Watts was much more a parent then She Was. He is practically doing everything. They all had tons of Energy, thank you nearly Over Abusing the Thrive product. It was her Life. So what he worked…yippie most Men do. For her kids Naps, timeouts, daycare, bed ,6 pm every day and nite. There were a Burden to her. Her name calling kids, hiding in front porch, closets from her little Goofs, Monsters. Really who died thes and acts like this. This was Fat from Reality for her. Her Ignorance in her Marriage caused him wanting to leave. You see Chris in every Video Interacting always with the kids….not her.

    • Shannon

      Really who does this and acts like this.
      This was far from reality. Typo errors.

  10. fromheretohome

    I don’t know Shannon… Who dumps their kids’ bodies into oil tanks. (Chris Watts was a better parent than she was… What kind of statement is that? And you base your opinion purely on some FB Live videos).

  11. Diana

    fromeheretohome – You touched on a point that makes me want to scream – people basing their opinions of Chris and Shan’ann solely on FB videos! I just don’t understand how anyone would believe those videos can accurately portray anyone’s life as a whole. If those videos accurately showed the true nature of anyone, it would be Bella and CeCe. Time wise, those videos were but a tiny fraction of the Watts’ lives.

    • nickvdl

      Probably not a good idea to read my books then. Dozens of daily videos don’t provide an idea of what was going on inside the home? Aside from the videos, what would be your best resource then – your choice – for information about the family dynamic?

  12. Diana

    The videos imo do not show the people in them “AS A WHOLE”! Look at it this way too – we know there were problems in the marriage, but I never saw any fighting in the videos, that was off camera. And that’s my point. There was a lot more to Chris and Shan’ann than what we saw on those videos! As for not reading your books? Too late, I’ve already read Books 1 & 2. I started on 3 last night. Just because I may not agree with someone else’s opinion, doesn’t mean I can’t expand my mind and see things through the eyes of others. Life isn’t ALWAYS black and white, I like to see the grey too! I’m not arrogant enough to think I’m always right and others are always wrong. Even if I’m sure I’m right, I respect that others may see things differently.

    • nickvdl

      If you’ve read and are reading my books I think you’ll have seen how heavily I rely on those videos. They’re like any social media, they provide a window, nothing more. Your contention that what is seen isn’t the true story is true of true crime in general. What people say is never the whole truth. So social media is an extension of that.

      I think where I add value, and you’ll be able to say whether you agree or not, is in looking at the social media, and the videos but being able to see through that to something else. Also, being able to put it together into a cogent narrative, not dealing with a fragment here and there at random.
      I’ve tried very hard to do that systematically, to put together a narrative where the social media pieces fit in with all the other pieces.

      I’m not sure if anyone else out there [in terms of collective groups and forums] believes my theory about the pregnancy video being shot on May 7/8th, but that’s an example of seeing the social media as not quite what it pretends to be. I was vigorously criticized for being so cavalier at the time about the date of those videos. According to some, of course if the video was posted on a certain date, that’s when it was shot etc etc.

      There was a lot more to Chris and Shan’ann than what we saw on those videos! – 100% But without those videos, and with no trial, what do we really have to work with? Basically 1 arrest affidavit and a 7 minute interview with the media plus some additional odds and ends. The social media aspect has made this into a much bigger story. What those daily videos also show us is what Shan’ann was doing every single day – an obvious point, but one many have missed.

      • fromheretohome

        I think perhaps the absence of ‘Chris’s social media personality’ (by design) versus Shan’ann’s overwhelming presence has also aided in perpetuating the shallow interpretations of the masses. IMO you’ve done a great job at seeing the wood for the trees… So to speak.

  13. Ralph

    I think the point they were trying to make, once again in response to “Shannon” (who clearly did not pass the third grade and dropped out of school forever at that point in her life), is that just because Shan’ann was the one “taking the videos”, that doesn’t make Chris the “primary care giver”. The person taking the pictures and videos often times actually gives a crap about the children, and preserving memories. While the person who NEVER takes pictures of their kids but has a phone full of random sports crap and things they value more than their family may be IN the pictures, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they care for the kids more than the person who is temporarily behind the camera. I agree that the videos give us some perspective on family dynamics, no doubt. Maybe she was behind the camera TOO MUCH and it was obnoxious but that doesn’t mean Chris took care of the kids more than her when he was the only one who had a real job between the two of them.

  14. Diana

    Whoops! Forgot to add what resources can be used to look at family dynamics aside from those videos. Many people were able to arrive at their opinion of the family dynamics in the Anthony family sans videos! People have been judging notorious criminals’ own family dynamics way before our world became wired. I would say the biggest resource of figuring out family dynamics would definitely be print and electronic media interviews with certain players around a crime, people who knew the victim/s and perpetrator/s, the victim/s and perps family, their history and lots of journalist’s investigative efforts. I’ve always been a voracious reader of many, many types of newspapers, magazine’s/periodicals etc. Then I decide what is real and what may be self-serving propaganda to form my own opinion. And today, yes, social media can tell a person’s story as well, but all avenues of information should be looked at as well. I think it’s a flawed opinion that only takes a person’s social media portrait into account when arriving at a final picture of the true person. That’s what’s so maddening for me – people judging Shan’ann SOLELY on Facebook videos, those don’t tell the WHOLE story!

  15. fromheretohome

    No no Nick… Please don’t get me wrong. Firstly, I have read all three of your books, and most certainly see the value of Social media and Shan’ann’s live feeds. There are so many dynamics at play… And I appreciate that you attempt to see and alalyse them all as they relate to each other.
    It’s the sweeping single-minded statements of some who have clearly reached their own one-sided conclusions that quite frankly piss me off. There’s a collosal difference between informed analysis and blind judgement… Make sense?

  16. Pauline

    That is the point Diana was trying to make. That basing a thought that Chris was the primary caregiver on facebook videos is every much a fantasy as thinking you can get to the top of a MLM pyramid. Unfortunately this blog, a failed experiment in my opinion, led us down a primrose lane of bias against the victim – Sha’nann. The lime seltzer cooler can on the table in front of Bella, together with a picture of the victim with her tongue out and a crazed look in her eyes made us think she was tipping a few in her long boring days as a stay at home mom. That was really the final straw for me. Also showing a hand with long lavendar nails and a patch on the wrist reminds me of a giant bird of prey waiting to claw poor precious Chris, father of the year. There is also a comment in the book I find outrageous – “her influence is felt the most keenly on Frederick’s most troubled (read desperate) inhabitants.” That’s strictly your opinion. It has nothing to do with intelligent thought or painstaking research. If I had to venture a guess I’d say it indicates a problem with strong dominant women.

    I know you are going to delete this comment, Nick, and that you are going to ban any further comments and you have every right to, it’s your blog. I was a fan. I’m not now. The continual bashing of the victim in this case, has gone beyond the pale. Once we’ve plumbed the depths of Chris Watts I think we’ve seen he has no depth. There’s nothing there to see now. He was selfish, he wanted his freedom, he wanted to keep his paycheck, he wanted his girlfriend, he wanted his house, he hated his wife. He’s the same pasty pudgy relationship speaker no one wanted except for Sha’nann. She had faith in him and look how he repaid her.

    • nickvdl

      I won’t ban you Pauline, I’ll leave it to you to leave. If you come back I’ll ban you. It’s a privilege to be here and to interact, but to you it’s a right that you’ve scornfully taken upon yourself. You seem to leave comments just for the sake of leaving them, often several at a time replying to yourself. Learn some self-control. I realize as a former MLM star that’s like asking the impossible, but there it is anyway.

  17. Shannon

    Its people like you Ralph and fromheretohome , that are Narrow Minded, and Ignorant when some of the Facts are in front of your Face.
    Tell me, do you call your kids…Goofs, snap your fingers at them, hid in closets to eat thrive and Video? Or better yet hide on the front porch? Amongst other Distrubing Issues in her Videos. Oh wait Chris I don’t want a Video of you? Can’t imagine their lives behind the Camera…can you.
    As a so called Man, tell how would you handle an Obnoxious, Dominant Controlling Wife…….?
    Remember we never see Chris, drinking doing drugs, going out on a Guys Nite, playing sports. No we see him working, tending to his kids the house and Her.
    Sounds Wonderful to me!

    If you’re Ignorant, like in your comments to me, then you prove to be An Ignorant person.
    For the Record there *Buddy”..I have Grade 12 plus University.
    Did you make it pass Grade 3, or are you just an Asshole with Nothing to say!

    • nickvdl

      Easy guys. Looks like people are having an off day today. Word of advice, try to discuss the case and not take issue with the people expressing their opinions [I know it’s hard].

  18. Ralph

    Why does Shannon who “has Grade 12″?????? randomly capitalize words throughout her rants? You did better in that rant at actually spelling words correctly and using the correct words *Buddy”, but you either need to get a new phone with a keyboard that you can use correctly or some kind of mental help for typing in such an incomprehensible jumpy way. If you were my obnoxious wife who cannot communicate or write in complete sentence perhaps I would “handle” you the way your savior handles his problems.

  19. Ralph

    Before I get blocked, yes I “make it PASS grade 3” my dear. Please seek help and education.

  20. Shannon

    Really Ralph…I have long nails and my Brain thinks to fast…….lol…
    He’s not my Saviour…your words not mine.
    Remember that.
    I look at Cases…. oooops a Cap letter there from all Angles.
    You would handle me …the way my Saviour does….Explain yourself, or better yet

  21. Shannon

    I read the comments. I do not Criticize or am I Derogatory to anyone.
    Its called Free Speech.
    You owe me an apology.
    Then maybe you won’t get blocked!
    I mean it.

  22. Pat Jones

    Just a thought. If Chris was so unhappy with his “obnoxious, controlling, domineering” wife, didn’t he have an obligation to tell his wife what was upsetting him? From the info I see, his wife had no idea he was unhappy until he started cheating. Even then, she had to read between the lines and repeatedly asked him what was wrong. What if Chris never said anything to his wife about being unhappy? She probably thought he was happy with the arrangements they made in the marriage as far as how they were handling chores, children and other obligations. Maybe he was fine with things for a while but his needs grew or changed? Her house was clean, she was raising two children well, I never heard that she wasn’t attentive sexually. She appeared to be trying very hard to help bring in money to help support the family. If that is true, he is a passive aggressive and couldn’t/wouldn’t verbalize his wants and needs. A good husband (and wife) needs to communicate. You cant expect for your spouse to read your mind! I think she loved him and would have listened and made changes to make him happy.

    I was looking at the definitions online for “passive aggressive” and it would seem to fit. Its actually a personality disorder probably rooted in his upbringing (pre-dating his marriage).
    I hope everyone will be nice and discuss this because I am really curious on your thoughts

    • nickvdl

      It’s a good line of inquiry, because what you’re asking deals with dynamics. What is his personality, what is hers. You have to remember, he’s an introvert, so he prefers to go with the flow and avoid confrontation, and that applies particularly in terms of an affair.

      I don’t deal much with family dynamics here, because it’s a complex subject and requires a lot of background, backstory and reinforcement. It’s all in the books.

    • Marie

      Pat, do you think he may have tried to tell her that he wasn’t happy? It’s possible he had tried to tell her and she didn’t listen. That can be very frustrating for the one who is unhappy.

      • nickvdl

        He did tell her. That’s why he was sleeping on the couch in North Carolina. He also told her he didn’t want a third child after she fell pregnant. He refused to have sex with her when they returned from North Carolina.

        Meanwhile, she was thinking of pregnancy reveals and promoting the happy family fairy tale on Facebook. She wanted him to go for marriage counselling and on a romantic trip with her to Aspen.

  23. Marie

    I realized that he did Nick. I wasn’t sure that Pat understood that he had tried to tell Shannan

    • nickvdl

      Oops, pardon me 😉

  24. Pat Jones

    Yes. I know he told her very recently. But I am thinking of when she was making the big decisions like working at Thrive, having the first and second child and third, buying a big house. Couldn’t her say “no” to these things if it was too much pressure for him or if he didn’t want them? A lot of people are acting like she forced him. He had to sign the mortgage, it took some activity on his part to get her pregnant THREE times. So even if he wasn’t man enough to say “no”, he could have just not signed the paperwork, stop making babies etc. Sometimes people assume someone is ok with the way things are going when a person continues to go along.
    Also, he could have left a long time ago if she was so abusive. Instead he waited until he had some other women to take care of him. I think he may have been very immature, self-centered and a wimp. That fits well with a passive aggressive personality, in my opinion.

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