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

This is why Chris Watts thought he could get away with the annihilation of his family

Chris Watts thought he could get away with the annihilation of his family by crafting a story about just one thing.


At 06:35 in her interview with 9News, Cindy Watts is asked how she found out about “them being reported missing”.

CINDY [Touching her mouth with two fingers, pressing them against her lips]: I think Ronnie called me. Ronnie called me and said that they’re missing…and, I thought…[swings head] I don’t believe it. 

CINDY: I didn’t believe they were missing. I believe that she…was going to punish Chris. 

Notice Watts’ mother says this in the present tense.

I believe that she…was going to punish Chris. 

So the full psychological equation here, which isn’t elucidated very well right here by Cindy or the reporter, is that Cindy Watts knew over a period of time that her son was leaving Shan’ann, and so within that context, her taking off with the kids made sense to her. Because Shan’ann was a spiteful person, or she was often capable of being spiteful. Spiteful is an ugly, cutting word, so let’s consider it’s permutations:

maliciousmeannastycruelunkindunfriendlysnidehurtfulwoundingbarbed, bittervenomousvindictivevengefulvitriolicviciousspleneticmalignmalignant, hateful etc.

So one of those, is what Chris Watts was getting at.

But what was it?

Maybe, according to him, she was just being mean or unkind. Or was she being cruel, or malevolent, or vicious? Of course, whichever one you think Chris Watts is accusing Shan’ann of, is the word we must accuse him for this murders. Was he just unkind or hurtful, or was this barbed, bitter wounding from him the barbed, bitter wounding that would eclipse all barbed and bitter wounding that had gone before?

We must look at the Sermon on the Porch through his psychology, and when we do, we can see why it must have felt good for him to stand in front of his house, and for him to be afforded the chance to speak for Shan’ann for once.

Instead of her always speaking for him, always drowning him out, now he could do what she did to him, he could be her voice. It must have felt good to suggest things about her, knowing the truth was his preserve, and his only, and that through the media, he he had the power to craft any narrative about her.

Whatever he said became her reality, almost like an enchantment. What a turn-around after all the months of MLM madness, all that time of being being pushed, moved and prodded like a pawn through all those meaningless spiels. Well how about this spiel! This was him getting his comeuppance. And not without a little of his own spite peppering proceedings, but carefully hidden behind a friendly manner and an armor of folded arms.

At this point we’re not interested in finding out whether Shan’ann did or didn’t kill the children, what we’re after is the psychological portrait Watts was sketching of her.

What was it?

It was of a vindictive, reactive, spiteful person. He makes a move against her, he tells her he’s leaving her, and then BAM she reacts. She reacts mercilessly, like a scorned tyrant, on her own children. And to Cindy this makes absolute sense. Chris Watts had to have known it would make sense to his mother. It had to be important that the scenario felt right.

In Watts’ affidavit and in his Sermon on the Porch his original version was that he told Shan’ann he wanted to separate and she immediately went into reprisal-mode – punishing him by killing the children.

This scenario of going missing to punish him, his original scenario, also felt right to the Thayers.

In their interview with 9News they also though Shan’ann had taken the girls in a huff after some minor or major disagreement. They thought this because that’s what Chris Watts told them, but it also made sense. It sounded to them like something Shan’ann might do, didn’t it?

NICK: I mean [Amanda chokes up on his shoulder] we really thought [wipes his nose with his forearm]…Monday night when we kind of heard about all this going on [before the Sermon on the Porch] we kinda thought ‘we’ll see her tomorrow. We’re gonna be with the girls tomorrow.’ [Shakes head]. I guess…I haven’t even processed the idea…that our friendship with Chris is no longer.  

Again, Nick Thayer isn’t very specific about it here, but what he’s saying is he was also led to believe – directly, personally – by Chris Watts, that Shan’ann had just taken off with the kids. Maybe she was upset about something and she left so score a point.

Well, she would do that. She did do that, didn’t she?

A few days later they realized they’d been duped, betrayed, but they were duped because the lie fell on fertile soil. The scenario Watts was sketching made sense because they knew Shan’ann.

If we watch his Sermon on the Porch again, his demeanor is based on a scenario where him and Shan’ann had had a simple argument, he cares about her and the kids is how he’s presenting himself, but he’s no longer in a committed relationship, and she knows that, and that’s why she’s left.

Interestingly, he makes an “anonymous friend” the reason why she’s missing, a mirror on his own anonymous friend, and a mirror on his own knowledge about how and why this friend [potentially] is the “reason” they’ve gone missing.

In the first minute of that interview, when the reporter asks what happened – a wonderfully open-ended question – Watts sketches it as Shan’ann comes home [no big deal], he goes to work [no big deal] and then he gets a call from one her friends [is it a big deal?] and he returns from work, and he’s the last to know what’s going on [what’s the deal?]. Where’s Shan’ann? Where are the kids? He has no idea. Maybe she left. Maybe someone came and took them [according to an arrangement she made, and a subtle up-yours to him through that, leaving him in the lurch]. And if she doesn’t get back to him that’s fine [because stuff is going on between them], but if she’s not getting back to her people [he’s not her people], well that’s a concern.

All of that within the first minute. It’s a clever ruse except the part that he’s revealing is that it’s only important to worry about Shan’ann because everyone else is.

WATTS [Tongue flick, lowers head]: Uh, she came home from the airport, 2am, and I left around 5:15 [glances up] , she was still here [a lie, she was dead]…and…like…about 12:10…and that afternoon a friend Nickole showed up at the door [nods to the front door] , like I had texted Shan’ann a few times that day, called her, say, you know, but she never got back [slight asymmetric curling of the lip] to me. But she never got back to any of her people as well. And that’s what…really concerned a lot of people. Like, if she doesn’t, like if she doesn’t get back to me [shrugs] that’s fine, she gets busy during the day, but she diodn’t get back with her people which was very concerning. And Nickole called me when she was at the door [opens folded arm and motions to the door] and that’s when I came home. [Dogs barking in background]. And then walked in the house and [looks sidelong into the house] nothing [a slight smile and curl of the lip here too. He’s pleased with his handiwork]. Just vanished. Nothing was here. I mean she wasn’t-wasn’t here. The kids weren’t here. No-nobody was here.

In this version, Chris Watts is leading his audience into a scenario where he goes to work, is summoned home and his wife and kids are gone. Just vanished. He called her, she never got back to him or anyone else. He’s shifting the buck to her. He wants his mother and the Thayers and those close to him to think not what has he done, but what has Shan’ann gone and done?

When I first came to this case, I wondered why there is this extraordinary degree of sadism involved. There’s not just the killing of a woman, but a pregnant woman. Not just the killing of one daughter, but two. Not just the killing of these four flesh-and-blood beings but the unholy dumping of their bodies in oil and dust. There’s sadism – and shame – there too. The psychological mirror for sadism is humiliation. In some way, Chris Watts felt intensely humiliated over a long period of time. The narrative that so many are opposed to [understandably at this stage], that there was a spiteful aspect to Shan’ann’s personality, awakens the possibility that this was the root of his sadism.

It doesn’t make it right or reasonably, but it may go towards explaining why, not so?

And there’s an added reason why so little of the Sermon of the Porch made little sense, and stretched Chris Watts’ credibility to breaking point. There was one word he didn’t mention during the interview. This is a question for those who haven’t read any of the TWO FACE books. What word should have been the first word to use during the interview, and it’s a word he simply never mentions once. I’ll deal with that in a separate post, but you can start pondering on this so long.


  1. Kaye

    One word that is missing seems to be “love”—i don’t recall him saying anything about loving his wife or the kids.

    It definitely makes sense to position Shan’ann as the one who caused the situation. She was the go-getter, the one who took action and seemed to have all the answers. Chris was emasculated to all who knew him—Shannan’s comments on Facebook seemed to passively aggressively say he was pathetic, had no balls or brain—we can only imagine what was said off of social media. So yes, he was used to the doubt that he could be a mastermind of anything.

    • Eleni Palmos

      Ha! I was thinking of the word “vindictive” and that Shannan had taken the girls and gone away to get back at him. Love is a better word to identify as missing. It certainly was missing.

  2. Shannon

    I think everyone knew they were going to Seperate, except Shanann. Her mother told co-workers, that they were going to Seperate.
    Too bad when she at her Dad’s, she didn’t leave girls there and fly home alone?
    That would have been interesting.

  3. Hugh Schreiber

    HELP! My wife and children are missing. Has anyone seen my wife Shan’ann and our beautiful daughters, Bella and Celeste?

  4. Eleni Palmos

    This would explain why he came across as so ridiculous in TV interview. He was speaking to us as if we knew his wife was liable to do such a thing. (It does not mean that Shannan was though. We have no idea if she was vindictive or not. Her MIL’s word while her son is awaiting sentencing does not count.)

  5. Joe S

    Wow, another great entry to your blog! One can only wonder what will be revealed in the next day or so. I have a hard time accepting the theory that a pregnant woman would kill her children. I feel for all both families. I think Mrs. Watts is in denial, which is totally understandable. Chris Watts lied in every ” porch sermon” interview. He fucked up. Period.

    • Hugh Screiber

      Over the next couple of days all eyes and ears are going to be on Colorado. Who knows, considering the state of Cindy Watts mind and her ignorance of the criminal justice system she may well end up behind bars too!, for contempt of court.

  6. Shannon

    Neither does this thing he was seeing.
    I don’t trust her WORD.
    I would trust his Mother before her.

    • Eleni Palmos

      Shannon, I don’t understand.

  7. Cameron Jenkins

    This case can appear so simple if you choose that approach . I see anything BUT simplicity. There is so much turmoil and emotion going on under the surface. It would be so easy to say ” he killed them and disposed of them in an awful way- theres no excuse. ” and there isnt. There is no excuse to think that it is anyone’s rite besides God’s to end an existence on this earth. But if you get a good look at the end result of this, and can take a step back to see why did it happen , if you can just open your eyes and use a bit of empathy, is it rite that it reached that point? Is it rite to run someone down to the ground and make them feel like the most worthless piece of shit on the bottom side of the shoe of humanity? Was that really necessary for her to do that? Everyone keeps saying ” why didnt he just get a divorce” ? well you know what ? Hang on a minute. Why the hell didnt SHE just get a divorce if she thought she was married to someone that wasnt smart, rich , or charming enough for her? Wouldnt that have been the most UN – slimeball thing to do instead of resorting to the behavior in which she imposed upon her husband that she chose to marry on a daily basis????? He should not have taken anyone’s life . For any reason. But that doesnt erase her wrongdoings. Not by far.

    • Michael Prunty

      I really have never seen Shanann do anything to her husband that too harsh or belittling. She was just a go getter. She loved her husband and just wanted to push him for his own good. Tough love is the most misunderstood form of love but it also might be the best form. When you truly love someone then you will never allow them to sell themselves short even at the cost of the relationship.

      • Ralph Oscar

        What people describe as “tough love” is typically bullying. It is based in contempt and disdain for a person, and the belief that if one is simply mean enough and cruel enough to the target, that person will morph into what the cruel one demands.

        Drop that.

        Accepting someone as s/he is is the only genuine form of love. Everything else is selfishness.

      • nickvdl

        “l did belittle him without realizing it with his parents. Told him he needed to find his balls and protect his family.” – Discovery Documents, page 2115

        “My weakness is I have an Italian temper that can’t hold back when pissed… “

        • Anna

          Oh wow big deal! Seriously, what relationship diesnt have its ups and downs. You dont qhite the nice messages she was sending him like baby this and baby that and his cold responses or worse nothing back. Even when she confronted him about the meal that he decided not to all of a sudden reveal to her that weekend. Yea, he used a prepaid Visa account for the weeks (or much longer) to hide his affair but now he has decided he is butchering his family so he doesnt gove a shit anymore and wants to mentally torture her. Something he has probably done for much longer that 6 wks. Even when confronting him about him dining put the night he had baby sitter she is non-confrontational to him. Yes, I am Italian and can admit I have a very bad temper that has gotten extremely better with age but still there none the less. Doesnt mean she didnt love that murdering bastard. Doesn’t mean he had a fucking excusable right by any fucking murder her pregnant and his two girls. No, the lying bastard didnt snap because she supposedly “belittled” him good grief please get a grip. If you think like that then obviously you are just as fucking mentally sick.

          So, tell me. Did his little girls “belittle” this pussy bastard too?? Dod his unborn child “belittle” and hurt big boys feelings. Awe poor bastatd. He was so mistreated. He was so mishandled and abused. Give me a fucking break.

          This pussy bastard is a pathological liar that was playing a game throughout his whole life. He even admits as a child of feeling proud because he lied to his teacher that he went to Japan when he clearly didnt. . The bastard was nothing but a lying wus.

          There is no evidence whatsoever that shows she demeaned him and even if wtf does that got to do with bu in murdering his entire family. Do you really believe that’s a plausible excuse?? Dl you really? I demeaned my ex in the past and I can tell you why. He was cheating and I couldnt prove it. It boiled inside of me tbat my gut told me he was yet he was playing mind games as if I was crazy yet I finally caught his ass. Now, did either of us murder one another. Thankfully no. But neither one of us deserved either anyways. Add 3 kid as in the mix and they definitely didnt deserve anything geez.

          Go to he for even quoting bullshit as a fucking reason for that monster to murder her and his children and then dispose of them in the most disgusting way especially his children.

          Sure, he built this image up if ber abusing hi. In his mind to display this to the public as the victim. Poor bastard. He is sickening and so is everyone else that searches and plucks out a few quotes that she sent in anger surrounding how he was acting to her while she is fjcking 4 months pregnant with his child no less? Honestly, she needed a gold medal to have handled him the way she did knowing in her mind what he was actually doing… and playing sick games.

          • joanne wilkins

            My thoughts exactly 👏

    • Sharon Moore

      Who gives a shit about her wrongdoings? Nothing a person does should be punishable by death because that is no ones right but God. Whatever Chris went through in that marriage is his own fault because he allowed it. You dont get to kill people for being mean to you that’s not how the world works. I don’t care if she paraded him up and down the street in a clown costume and screamed to the world how worthless he is, she still didn’t deserve to be murdered! And what did Bella and Cece do to deserve this huh??

    • Mary4278

      What is this horrible awful thing that Shannon did? I saw so many of her videos and posts and did not see it that way.If his ego is that fragile and in need of constant attention then he is a weak man and /or mentally .I think he is a narcissist. If he felt belittled and ridiculed then he should have spoke up! I think on some level she knew he needed a sick level of love and needed to be needed.That is why she used her posts to say how great he was.He was in her words,” the best thing that ever happened to her”, to her worst nightmare! Shannon needed him a lot less and she was beginning to have success in her and Chris could not tolerate that,so much so that he planned the murders.

  8. Shannon

    Eleni. I’m sorry. I was on phone talking while typing. I typed wrong. Wasn’t thinking
    My apologies.

  9. Georgia

    After being dominated and suppressed for so many years, like an iceberg above the surface there were signs that showed like retreating into himself in silence, but beneath the surface the real monster was growing. He had a new found appreciation of, and boost to self through the affair, and all that time being a bachelor to feel free and unencumbered. She was financially stable like Shan’ann was, and believed he was such a hero doing all the right things for his girls through the perceived separation/divorce. Then being stuck with the girls whilst Shan’ann went off on a trip again he reached his limit, realising that that was his lot and life and soon to be three to look after. I think after the flight being delayed he told Shan’ann he was leaving but probably not in the best way, and given she liked to run the show she bit back so to speak, threatening maybe he wouldn’t see the girls. She would have wanted any separating on her terms esp. around how it impacted on Thrive and how she was seen by others. He stood firm and said no I’m going, I’ve met someone. She really freaks out and perhaps says something super spiteful like the baby’s not yours, anything to get back it him and he finally flips and has to silence her. I don’t know if the girls woke and saw something or if he panicked thinking how was he going to get rid of her with two girls in tow but perhaps then he took their lives. Freaking out he takes them to the only place he can think of and in a mad panic makes all sorts of crazy choices. Blames her in his mind that she caused the girls death, she forced him to do it and therefore makes connection in his mind it was her fault, she did it. Doesn’t want to go down for something he perceives to be her fault so he makes crazed judgement to put them in oil tanks. Post trauma stress kicks in and doesn’t have time to piece it all together in coherent way hence mistakes in times given, what happened etc. Frantically trying to come up with something but also wanting it all desperately to go away so deliriously makes the call to pretend knows nothing about it. I am really hoping he didn’t coldly calculate to take those precious girls lives away at the get go. Part of me wants to find out more at the sentencing, and part of me doesn’t.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “She was financially stable like Shan’ann was”

      Like Shan’Ann *wasn’t*, you mean. Shan’ann was a financial vampire sucking the life out of her entire family.

      • joanne wilkins

        Yeah no proof of that. Cris watts was looking at an expensive car after the murders. Probably didn’t want to buckle down on the finances like an adult. Finally able to buy that car. The financial problems were due to the medical expenses and the mortgage. She was the one with the money at the start of their relationship. Chris had nothing but college debt. So why does people think Shan’ann had the spending problem? Love how everyone jumps on the bashing Shan’ann wagon.

    • Mary4278

      It was planned and I think it’s a big fat lie that he snapped.He called and told his work buddies he was going to the site in the early am.This was not a site needing a lot of maintenance so he thought they would not be found.

  10. Nick

    So you’ve accepted his version of events as set out in the affidavit. The first version was missing. Second that she murdered the children. Third that he killed everyone after an argument with her. There is a mild version, then progressively less mild, less mild etc. But you’re still following a version of his version when he lied about everything.

  11. Maura

    My opinion is CW planned the murders. SW told friends he acted cold to her and his kids in the last month. He was not loving toward the kids for weeks she said. Mentally he removed himself from them all. Probably researched methods to kill them. Was the doll with the twister mat overtop its face his idea of a joke that SW wouldn’t get, but foreshadowing his murder plans?

    We know Chris lied and cheated for months before he wiped out his family. He lied to the girlfriend too as he was not almost divorced or going to get an apartment for him and the kids. His plan was SW and the kids would disappear without a trace at his work disposal site. Dumped like trash so he could begin a new life without any baggage from his old one.

    Chris is a skilled liar and better actor in real life than on the videos. Until he made his choice and took away SW and the children’s choices.

    No way SW hurt her kids. She loved them despite some of her poor career choices which she could have changed in time. She caught glimpses of the real Chris toward the end. Had she known what he was capable of, she would not have trusted him with the kids or returned to the house.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “He was not loving toward the kids for weeks she said. Mentally he removed himself from them all.”

      I believe that she reported his attitude had changed toward the children *upon his arrival for his week-long visit in NC*. I could be wrong; that’s my impression, at least.

      One of the most dangerous things to do to another person is point out something that is wrong in their environment. Because once you bring it to their attention, it becomes a much bigger problem than it was before. For example, when Chris first mentioned that Shan’Ann was talking shit about him and the children were starting to pick that up and treat him with the same level of contempt, was this in a conversation with NK? If so, if it was within that context that Chris first really *saw* how untenable his family situation had become, and thus, since he now realized it, and he knew NK knew about it, so he *had* to do something about it or be utterly humiliated and emasculated in her view. Once people see a problem, they feel compelled to address it, ideally to fix it – that’s what we do.

  12. Annoyed

    The word he didn’t use was “worried”. ?

    • Nick

      That’s interesting if that’s true. But not the word. I may do a post later this evening or tomorrow on it.

  13. Maura

    Missed. He didn’t say that he missed Shannan and his daughters. And he didn’t but felt relief they were gone. So if he didn’t love his wife how did he feel about his kids? Were they just a liability to him? Very sad.

    If Chris didn’t like how Shannan treated him, her MLM job, their financial situation there were steps he should have taken much sooner to leave the marriage especially before he helped create Nico.

    I have cousins who had a third child after having marital problems and they still ended in bitter divorces. One husband became a deadbeat dad, abused drugs, moved in with his parents, only worked cash jobs so my cousin couldn’t get child support for their 3 kids. My cousin didn’t have a college degree, worked as an admin assistant and became a single mom who needed family help. Not easy.

    Ironically, had Chris simply left them to start his new life, Shannan would have had to start over with her family’s help. Then she would have eventually quit the MLM jobs and pursued better opportunities like sales or customer support. She could have sold a product or service instead of her family’s lifestyle as the MLM tell followers to do. Only if she hit rock bottom would she have a need to examine what went wrong.

    • nickvdl

      Nice try but that’s not it either.

  14. Shannon

    I miss them.

  15. Shannon

    Oh darn. Someone else said miss.
    Eeeek sorry
    My Heart.

  16. Karen

    PLEASE … for someone pleading for the return of his family he never said PLEASE come back, PLEASE bring them back, PLEASE don’t hurt them, PLEASE be safe.

    • shirley

      THANKS like to thank everybody for helping and their support

  17. Karen

    I live 20 miles from Waupun, the prison Chris Watts now calls home. I have become obsessed with this case. I have watched the videos, read the reports. I can’t find an answer to a question that keeps bugging me: Why didn’t Shanann fight back? If this was not planned, they fought, he started strangling her, she would have scratched, hit, broke her fingernails … no broken nails according to the autopsy report. He should have had scratches and bruises on him, but there were none. If he planned this, you would think he would have dumped her purse and phone into the oil tanks too. If he planned this did he drug her and the kids? Wouldn’t the drugs show up in an autopsy? If drugs were not used, what did he do to her to prevent her from fighting back? He may be strong but I don’t think he could have held her arms and strangled her at the same time. Her neck injuries should be worse if it was a rage-filled, violent strangulation, as he says it was. Her nails SHOULD be broken. He SHOULD have scratches, at the very least. How did he incapacitate her so she would not fight? Is it possible that autoerotic asphyxiation was part of their sex play at times? Did he lure her into having sex and intentionally kill her, and that’s why she did not fight back? What other explanation is there? WHY DIDN’T SHE FIGHT?

    • nickvdl

      She did fight, but she was caught by surprise by her attacker. If she was pinned down on her stomach, with his weight on her, there was very little she could do. She did inflict a small wound on the left side of his neck.

      • Karen

        That little mark on his neck makes his explanation of a mosquito bite (and him scratching it) more plausible than a person fighting for their life. The prosecutor said the strangulation was not a rageful, vicious strangulation. Chris could have used a choke hold (while her hands are full with luggage, phone, purse to make her pass out quickly), then slowly strangle her without leaving much damage to her neck.

    • Jenn

      She was sound asleep … that’s how.

      • Karen#2

        She’s going to wake up in a panic and FIGHT FOR HER LIFE. Where is that evidence?
        There is none. Another contributor said through work he had access to ethanol (pure?), that is what he had in the gas can he put in the back of the truck. That contributor said ethanol on a washcloth would render a person unconscious in a second. If all those are fact, then to me that makes the most sense. That is why there was no fight. That is why CW felt he was not a monster, because in his mind he killed them humanely. As far as Bella’s mouth wounds, I wonder if those happened shoving her through that hatch.

        • Anna

          I did notice on the autopsy that ethanol along with other chemicals were present in the autopsy of the girls. But they contributed that to being submerged in oil. Yet, what did kind of throw me off was the fact sw was also positive for ethanol and at a higher level than just a drink or 2.

          I believe her etoh level was 128 or 0.128. Typical legal limit for driving that some are familiar with is 0.08. So her level was nearly 0.13. Her friends adamantly denied that SW ever drank alcohol on the trip at all and said that she wouldnt because she was pregnant. She was focusing on drinking water and eating right because she has been stressed and ill. I just dont see her getting to that point even if she did.

          I just wonder if the pure form of ethanol which is alcohol would actually make someone pass out via a rag?? I will have to look into that. I thought it very strange that sw was also positive for the ethanol though and the girls were 2 which could have been explained by oil but it’s just all odd when all 3 are. And the level of sw was quite high. For example, I doubt she would have drank to that level being pregnant. 1 or eve
          2 drinks possibly but not to the level of 0.128 nearly 0.13 level.

          I dont get it. It’s also very possible that autopsies miss certain drugs or chemicals. Not everything is even right off traceable because the composition of the drug can clear the system very fast for example or other reasons.

    • Anna

      I wondered the same thing but this almost definitely was a planned event on chris part. Whether that included him choking her during sex or not, who knows. I am leaning more to the no on that though as she was found in her purple shirt she came home in bra and underwear. I just feel he surprised attacked her. Tbe thought of poison though makes me think that he actually attempted to poison her prior to killing her. She was in North Carolina for 4 weeks and the week he shows up she starts wretching and vomiting. Another time back home when she was with him she was complaining of nausea and lightheaded feeling via text to friends after she would be around him. They would say oh its probably just you havent drank enough water or enough to eat etc. It could have been stress imo but I just get a bad feeling about the vomiting and such and when she complained of it. It obviously wasnt the norm for the pregnancy or she eouldnt have been searching for answers or her friends wouldnt be saying other reasons for it. I dunno it just doesn’t sit right with me and he is a coward. I could see him testing the waters that way first or doing it for simple pleasure of making her miserable because he is evil. But I wonder the same thing. Why didnt she fight?? It is quite possible he pounced in her when she least expected it and did hold her arms down. Possible like facing down on the bed would have been harder for her to fight back. Maybe she went to change out of her pantd and he pounced. Or maybe she nevwr even made it out of her jeans… he could have removed them for other reasons who knows. The victim of strangulation diesnt always mean the hyoid bone has to be fractured either. I dunno. He is so sneaky and definitely hasn’t told us any truth to his story at all. He lies so damn much nothing he says can be taken for any truth .

  18. Shannon

    She couldn’t. Just like Nick said. He was lying in wait near the front door. She puts everything in kitchen….he standing there waiting for the right moment. Like. Horror movie.
    He grabs her, they fall her arms can’t move. I would think in a Rage, the strength intensifies, caught off guard she was.
    It would be terrifying for her. Bless her.
    The timeframe changes, because she is now late getting home. I think he did things, hoping to have time later to fix what he couldn’t do the first time. But he wasn’t expecting her girlfriend moving that fast. This usually does not happen this fast. A crime being detected so quick. No time for the suspect…aka…Chris to do any fixing.

    • Jenn

      He looked out the window when she came up to the house (I saw a YouTube video where the fellow in the video analyzed the video and it’s clearly visible he was at the window based on the shadow movement) but the crime was done upstairs in the bedroom as he stripped the bed of its sheets and he threw the ones unused in the kitchen garbage can and the other was found with Shan’ann…I think he ambushed her as she slept … her father stayed in an interview she would have fought to the death … he would have been scratched up and bruised… she was also unwell from the weekend, pregnant and had an autoimmune disease… I think put them all together and he overpowered her… utterly horrible. RIP Shann, Bella, Celeste and Niko.

  19. Karen

    Him? How does he go from doting, lovey-dovey, caring 2 months earlier to a MONSTER who drops Shan’ann head-first into a hole and the girls into oil tanks, not even a tank together but separated. I have never understood how the mind can compartmentalize so well that it can totally wall-off events. He could be indifferent to the fact his daughters are in those tanks while working with co-workers on those tanks. How was he able to stare at Bella and Celeste’s picture for 10 minutes without showing any emotion? Did he actually fall asleep? He is the true epitome of Jekyll and Hyde.

    And Nichol, the mistress, when she learned he was married she should have RUN!! I don’t care what he says after the word married … it’s hard not to put some of the blame on her for the outcome, not the act.

    • nickvdl

      It is ironic. Even Shan’ann tells him “how did you go from being in love to this in 5.5 weeks…” and after that, she wanted him to read books, and do counselling so he’d stay married to her.

      • Anna

        Yea at that point he hadn’t revealed to be some sadistic murderer. AT that point he had tricked her to knowing him for I fucking yearS. Af that point, she is 4 months pregnant with his child and they already have 2 kids together. She has already been through 1 bad divorce. She probably did want to try and save the marriage so she could say I tried. The bastard didnf change in 5.5 wks he just let his facade down because he had already decided at that point to leave her and most likely murder her. Surely, shanann saw signs but like many women neglected to be li ieve it or say anything. Personally, I noticed a few of her videos with bruises on her arms. Thought that was interesting… one bruise was on her left upper arm and if was like a clear finger print most likely the thumb the position it was. Grabbed her from behind because she was trying to get away from him or was just wal ki ing away from him bc they were fighting. All is not always what it seems. Maybe in that 5.5 wks he was different bc he was cheating not bc he qasnt already a shitty husband. Just like there is no evidence shanann was supposedly this demeaning woman to her husband the same is true to the lying bastatd that he could have been mentally and physically abusive. It’s a strong possibility and sw hid from family and friends. She seemed to keep family matters personal and that is something she could have bee. Embarrassed of. It would show an unhappy life . It would show weakness.

        What in saying is too is just because sw never revealed any marital issues prior doesnt mea there wasnt any. It could just mean that he was different than the norm. That he had completely shut her down. She’s obviously not thinking her is going to murder her though. And especially murder her and her children. I think she hid much of what really was going on in their lives from friends and family alike.

    • Candice

      He was a Narcissistic socialpath

  20. nickvdl

    @Karen I’m sorry, I don’t understand your reasoning. You start off saying [in all caps], why didn’t she fight back? Then you’re provided with a potential wound inflicted while defending herself, then you dismiss it by accepting his explanation.

    Anyone strangled to death will take at least 2 minutes to die. They’re not doing to die passively, and the murderer knows that.

    • Karen

      I am trying to see this from all angles: She fights (no proof of that). She doesn’t fight. Why? She can’t fight because she’s unconscious (pressure on the jugular allows you to continue breathing but you’re unconscious in seconds). She doesn’t fight because she doesn’t realize he is planning to kill her (autoerotic asphyxiation). If he violently strangled her, her neck wounds would show violence.

      If Shan’ann placed an order for hair products after 2 a.m. then he didn’t attack her when she walked in the door. But maybe he placed the order to make his timeline of events fit.

      • Chip

        I agree with you Karen. I don’t think he attacked her when she walked in the door. I don’t think it happened downstairs either. I think it was in the bed. Which is why he used the sheet. I never thought about the autoerotic asphyxiation but it is possible. Maybe he did it while she was sleeping. She would’ve been exhausted from her trip. Maybe she went to sleep and just never woke up.

        • Anna

          And just never woke up?? Really. I think you would wake up as soon as someone out their arms to your throat with any amount of force cmon seriously. I could potentially sleepy through a bomb after several days of long hours at work but defometly would wake up to someone choke the life out of me.

          I doubt she went to sleep bring that she was found to be still in her bra, underwear, same shirt and make up. Maybe the other things but what woman sleeps in their bra??

          I do find it odd that their wasnt defensive Mark’s on him but her being ill and pregnant and tired and NOT EXPECTING TO BE MURDERED by your husband could potentially give us tbat answer . He most definitely planned this. He most likely expected her to fight back and would have been prepared for that. He probably wore a thick sweater and pants and came up from behind. Whether she was ambushed st the door or upstairs doesnt mean she ever went to sleep ever. Imo , he already killed those kids. She wkjkd have wanted to check on them … I am confident they were already dead. Probably already loaded up in the basement by the grave door. I dunno.

          There doesnt have to be a fractured hyoid bone either to not be a violent strangulation. He most likely did it slowly after the initial overpowerment most likely rendering her unconscious within several seconds. The remainder of minutes he undoubtedly enjoyed bc he is sickening and sadistic. Look what he did to them afterwards.

          • Ralph Oscar

            You *do* realize there’s nothing “sadistic” about disposing of dead bodies, right? Once they’re dead, there’s nothing left to be “sadistic” about.

          • nickvdl

            I get what you’re saying, but not sure I agree. Most people don’t handle dead bodies.

  21. Debi Robbins

    He never said LOVE or PREGNANT

  22. AJ

    I don’t believe she made it to bed. No one wears their bra to bed. Chris had to have changed her clothes after he killed her.

    • Shannon

      Woman wear bras, sports bras to bed.

  23. Jewels

    I think Chris was bossed into marrying her. Even in their wedding pictures he has a look on his face like, shoot me.. Living for years with a person with narcissist OCD would make me snap too. He was a prop in her life just as the kids, the house, and the junk in it that she could not afford but felt entitled to. Props in an empty life.

  24. Liomarys

    For those defending the monster: he has been identified as a malignant narcisist by mental health experts.

    If you identify with him… do NOT get married. And do society a favor and do NOT reproduce. Children deserve truly loving parents. Not sociopaths ready to kill them and throw them in oil tanks.

    Might wanna consider checking in a psychiatric ward while you are at it.

    RIP Shannan Bella Cece and Nico

  25. Liomarys

    Malignant narcissist manipulate how others perceive their victims. They lie a LOT. Therefore, his moms perception of his wife is not a valid source of evidence.

  26. Liomarys

    Victim blaming on this post is disgusting. A woman and her 3 babies get killed and we are supposed to feel bad for the monster who killed them?!!!! What?!

    THIS is why women don’t come forward and out of abusive relationships. Because of how backward society continues to be. I am a survivor of a abusive relationship. 10 years of feeling guilty for being a hard worker and a leader. Smiling for selfies and being humiliated at home constantly.

    I am now happily married to a healthy man. A good man. I will tell you this and I will say it in honor of Shannan’s memory: It is NEVER your fault.

    Your spouse cant handle your success? He gaslights you? Belittles you? Rejects you? To punish you for being strong? To feel better about his sorry self? LEAVE HIM. Get yourself a real partner. Someone on your level who can rejoice with you when you win. When you both win!

    Oh one more thing: these sycho guys tend to have sycho parents too. They will tell you that you arent “enough” for their son. Dont listen and run for your life. Run. It took me 10 years butI left in time. Thank Gd. But his parents used to belittle me too.

    It was NOT Watts parents place to forgive him. Pieces of work they are… He killed their grandkids and they focused on forgiving him?! Sychopaths. Probably raised him up to be a narcisist.

    The most haunting thing was the letter Shannan wrote to him. It had the SAME phrases a letter I sent to my ex when I wanted to fix things. The SAME. He used to do what that monster Watts did too: treat me horribly and then tell me “everything is ok”. Its the trademark of a sycho. He emotionally abused her in private never called her never checked in on his kids . Replied coldly to her loving messages, and then made her believe it was HER fault. And make empty promises to keep her around. Thats the cycle of domestic violence. He was the perpetrator.

    Newsflash self centered cheating losers : if one person in the relationship is not feeling loved= things are NOT okay?!

    Girls protect your lives. And don’t give credit to sexist victim-blaming posts.

    Also: IF you happen to make mistakes in your marriage – like we all do- you still do NOT deserve a death penalty at the hands of your husband. No one does. No one deserve to live trying to please a man that abuses them emotionally. No excuses. Lets not “emasculate him” from his SOLE responsibility as a : cold blooded killer.

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