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

Shan’ann Watts’ 810 word rant to Chris Watts at 03:36 MST on August 4th, 2018

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  1. Tammie

    In my opinion, he is a very weak man. He parrots back what he believes is expected. If he just had the guts to tell her what he felt or wanted……….or what was really going on in his head, I believe this tragedy wouldn’t have taken place. What does it really matter what others thought of him? At least he could be honest with his family and himself. We can’t always control our feelings, but we can be true to others and ourselves. I believe his actions all centers around his selfishness and weakness.

  2. Cheryl

    I agree that Chris is weak, but I also believe that Shan’ann’s self-righteousness made it impossible for her to self-evaluate, to view her own behavior in a larger realistic context versus the isolated self-serving fantasy of the children’s fierce protector from the world’s evils—nuts on the shelf. Marriage counseling, couples’ self-help books? Even outside of having a hot girlfriend on the side, forget it. Shan’ann was incapable of compromise, which is why Chris served, for a time, as the perfect passive foil to her intractable aggressiveness That Shan’ann’s diatribe is penned as the relationship is faltering and only nine days before she and the children are murdered is no coincidence. At its core, Shan’ann’s tirade insists she’s indispensable to her children’s well-being, to their very existence, which diminishes and demeans Chris as a husband, a father, a man. In an extreme and horrible act of finally asserting his authority, his manhood, Chris destroys Shan’ann along with the source from which she derives her identity and power, the children.

    • Marcie

      This is an excellent observation, Cheryl.

      Shan’ann didnt allow the Watts to see the kids after the nut incident. Even when Chris flew out that last week, he had to visit his parents alone.

      The text is just awful. How many of us have received a text like that from our spouse? Their marriage ended many months before this tirade. Too bad they didn’t get divorced right after the BK. Clearly they were incompatible.

    • Susanne Patterson


  3. Tammie

    It is apparent that there were problems within their marriage. I see Shanann as the dominant person; almost the sole parent figure. I she her her husband as a older child; a teenager. It appears that she dictated, and he obliged. Not really an equal partnership, which is probably what he wanted more off. Too bad he was too weak of a man to stand up to her. I guess, in his mind, it was easier to just dispose of them. It speaks of his desperation to be rid of them. As I read through the documents, I kept wondering why in the world wouldn’t he consider the consequences later. Everyone knows that the spouse is always the one the police consider suspicious. Usually the spouse is suspect #1 or considered guilty until proven innocent. It speaks to his arrogance, I guess. I need to get away from this case, but I hear that some new information is coming soon. I am interested to see what the new documents contain, if anything new.

  4. Maura

    My opinion not meant to negate anyone else’s as I enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts:
    In reading the documents, and based on his actions and what he didn’t do, Chris Watts appeared to have two—or three—-faces. He is weak, dishonest, selfish and passive. He lies and cheats before ultimately murdering his entire family.

    CW’s mother is passive-aggressive and controlling and married to his father who gets along in that relationship. I have a sibling married to a woman like that for 20 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that some men choose a relationship with a woman who feels a need to control her more passive husband. I’ve experienced my sister-in-law showing different sides to different people: not getting along with the women in her husband’s family but putting on a different face for others.

    Chris picked a woman with similar qualities as his mother and learned how to be a husband watching his passive father. But he also learned some passive-aggressive techniques used by his mother. His marriage worked for him for until he changed and hid the internal changes from his wife.

    In reading Shannan’s Mom’s letter to the detective about the Watts family, (Discovery Docs p 1400) Cindy Watts was hostile toward Shannan when they met, before SW and CW were married. Cindy told Shannan’s Mom, Sandi, that she didn’t believe Shannan loved Chris. Cindy and Chris’s sister sabotaged the engagement party by saying they’d help with the invitations and then not sending them out to all the guests SW gave them. Sandi’s letter said that Chris’s family didn’t attend a lot of Shannan and Chris’s big events including their wedding. That makes a statement doesn’t it? She said Chris’s mom and sister didn’t accept Shannan and were cold to Shannan’s family when they did see them.

    I see a pattern of Cindy Watts not liking Shannan from the beginning and causing problems in their relationship all along. If Cindy wasn’t going to attend their events, she also stopped his father and family from attending. They would have to choose “sides.” His mother would force Chris into choosing them or Shanann. Cindy used the kids to get back at Shannan. Her granddaughter had severe nut allergies and she ignored that to teach a lesson to Shannan. It wasn’t by accident that the Watts house had nuts all over when SW and the kids visited. It’s cruel to serve ice cream with nuts if only SOME of your grandkids can have it. You can’t reason with 2 or 3 year olds.

    Back to Chris, how does he have enough “Game” to go trolling for sex online, cheat on his wife, pursue another relationship with a co-worker, again lying and cheating, and then convince Shannan he wants another baby to “fix his feelings” but he doesn’t tell HER that is why he wants a baby??? Why didn’t he have the guts to tell Shannan long ago when he started feeling different about her?

    Shannan said he couldn’t keep his hands off her before her NC trip so she’s not aware of the drastic changes inside Chris and that he wants out. A year ago is when they should have started counseling. Marital and Financial Counseling. But only if CW was honest and told her would SW know the extent of their problems, his changed feelings and that it’s too late for counseling. Before he’s dating and moving on with someone else, couldn’t Chris have spoken up? I don’t believe SW would have gotten pregnant if she knew the truth, or if they got real about their finances. I think SW found out about some of his cheating which is why she was asking an attorney questions months ago at the restaurant but didn’t know about NK.

    Chris is so PASSIVE that he was more comfortable living a double life until the reality of Nico and their financial situation hit him threatening his relationship with NK.

    If he couldn’t face SW why not tell her the truth while she’s in NC in a phone call? If he had said to her I met someone else, I’ve fallen in love and I want out. He could have said we need to sell the house, pay our bills and separate. He could have had an attorney call her if he couldn’t do it himself. I can’t see how Chris thought killing them all would magically give him a new life with NK without repercussions.

  5. Sylvester

    I know Maura, we all wish we could have reached inside their dynamic and prevented what was to come. There are some pieces missing for me. I think I figure him out but something isn’t ringing true. I don’t think he’s as passive as he appeared. When I read that the neighbor, Nathan, heard him yelling at Sha’nann I have to wonder where he was when he heard it. Because if he heard it from anywhere outside the house, which is likely, it must have been very loud and Watts must have been full of rage.

    But in regard to the mother in law, I think Sha’nann went overboard. It might have been meant as solid advice that CeCe should be taught that she can’t have things that aren’t good for her, like the nuts, but Sha’nann went to war over it and took it too far. I don’t think it drove Chris over the edge, but he was probably keeping score and that was just one more reason to despise her.

    • Tana

      I think Chris Mom was being completely disrespectful. You don’t have to teach to a three year old when there are many other flavors out there without nuts. Cece could have grabbed a bite of someone’s ice cream and had a life threatening event. That is blatant disrespect on the mom.

  6. Sylvester

    Get that line above where Sha’nann says “I’m not going to be treated this way for having the balls to protect our family and kids.” ZING! OUCH

  7. Shannon

    Shanann’ had peanut butter and nuts at home.
    Over dramatic.

    • michele anderson (@lovelostgrl)

      NO not over dramatic. The MIL would have intentionally given the kid nuts/left them within reach. Shan’ann was justified in her reaction.

      • nickvdl

        It’s less important whether we think it was over the top or not. Frankie actually had pistachios in his room the whole time Shan’ann was staying there too. The point is a month after the incident there was still a big argument, and a big rupture going on because of it. When Watts arrived in North Carolina Shan’ann wanted to maintain a grudge against his parents, and wanted her husband on her side to maintain it too, and so, what was meant to be a reunion, ended up being him being with his family and her being with hers.

        That’s a psychological recipe for laying the ground work for an annihilation, or at least it was in his mind.

  8. Maura

    IMO Chris is most passive with Shannan. Over time he builds up rage toward her but he’s not being honest with her about everything he disagreed with whether it was the MLM, her videos, money, etc. Shannan said in texts to friends that they never really fought about important things.
    I agree CW doesn’t always act passive. He wasn’t passive with Nichol or they wouldn’t have started a relationship beyond the break room.

    When I was growing up nut allergies weren’t prevalent. I know a Mom whose middle son has severe allergies to many foods including peanuts and carries an epi-pen. Her son has had to go to the emergency room simply by smelling a peanut butter sandwich at school lunch. This Mom explained that she has had to adapt to her son’s allergies and bake all treats to ensure they are safe and watch all his food when he was very young.

    I think Shannan got so mad this time because Cindy had been told before about the allergies, given information from their doctor confirming the danger and still chose to put CeCe at risk because she disliked Shannan. SW also said in her post to the Allergy Facebook Group that Cindy had asked her before their visit what food to buy for them. Then, Cindy ignored the list given to her and bought food they couldn’t have. (Passive-Aggressive).

    Had Celeste gotten older she would have had to learn to check ingredients. At age 2 or 3 Cece was too young to understand why she couldn’t have the ice cream with nuts that the other grandchild was served.

    I read somewhere in Shannan’s texts to friends later on that she was considering working out a relationship with Chris’s parents. If Chris hadn’t been busy with his affair maybe he could have put some effort into them working something out with his family even if it was just Facetiming the grandkids to start.

  9. Shannon

    Perhaps Shanann blew up at his Mom because her and Chris were not getting along. She took her anger out on her, further alinating everyone. If there were peanuts in all the homes….was this just another lie on her part.
    When dealing with either in law, you have to trend lightly. .

  10. NL

    I don’t believe chris harmed the two girls, I believe Shannan did and she knew he would take the wrap for all three of them wether he did harm to her or not. Just my thought so please don’t jump at me.

    • Patty Hardtke

      Well don’t u stupid now dumb ass
      He freaking killed them all

  11. Truthi

    I think that was a possibility that SW snapped after being told of the break up and decided to end things for her girls and herself as a way out for her and to punish CW (he had said that girls were the light of his life and that he could not lose them). Horrible, but a possibility.
    I just don’t see how CW could’ve done it as there was no planning at all. If he indeed meant to do it, he would have been prepared. He wasn’t. The angle of the affair doesn’t hold ground as many men, good men, good fathers, get involved in stupid situations like he did. If he really did want out, he would’ve opted for a divorce and married his boss’s daughter solving his financial issues and having his precious baby girls. Killing SW in a rage…was something I doubt he wanted to do. He would’ve known he’d be caught.
    SW too, had no fault but to love him too much. People snap, I think she did and paid the price, her girls did more’s the tragedy…It’s awful and terrible for everyone in this sorry sad family. RIP

    • nickvdl

      The “just snapped” scenario is exactly the scenario Chris Watts wants you to believe, do you realize that? The “just snapped” scenario is often used in true crime by defendants, and what it does is it divorces the circumstances and dynamics of what really happened and replaces it with a seemingly random event, like a mood swing.

      I hope you will read this, and once done, assuming it makes an impression, I hope you will STOP throwing around the word “snapped” willy nilly.

  12. Truthi

    Another possibility, a tad far fetched could be that he choked SW to her death accidentally while they made love (apparently he was into that kind of stuff according to his tinder date). Knowing that he would be caught and imprisoned and hating the possibility of his girls growing up without parents, he in his selfish and weak nature, decided to end things for his girls and hush up the entire affair (pun unintended). This explains the mess, the lack of preparation and the absolute unbelievableness of the entire tragic case. RIP baby girls.

    • whatsthepoint22


      What is wrong with people! Why is everyone trying to make this more than what it is. This man killed his wife than his kids. That is the end of the story. There is no other possibility, no other scenario, no other explanation. Why is it so hard for you to believe that this selfish, weak, pathetic white man killed his family. Why? If he was black, you wouldn’t think twice about it. But because he is white, it is just so hard for you to believe that he was a spineless evil man, who choose to do harm to others.

      You are pathetic.

      • Mustang Sally

        Thepointis…if we keep accepting what we see at face value, reality would be pictures and there would be no reason for us to have a mind to think. We learn from what we don’t know. Life is perpetuated this way or we would merely become robots.

        Any person, whether they are black, white, pink, or blue, that seems so nice, likeable, gentle, and kind who goes on to commit such atrocities is going to be headline news. OJ Simpson is black and fit a similar profile as Chris Watts. The public and media still can’t get enough of his story.

    • Meine2cents

      Check out one of the wedding pictures , where they are kissing, he has his hands around her neck.

  13. Chip

    I’m sure the whole nut allergy thing was bs anyway. Chris’s mom probably knew that. People these days always have to have an “allergy” or a hard to diagnose disease like “lupus” to make them feel special and to get attention. I doubt she had the health issues she claimed. It’s all about attention seeking. All the Facebook postings are proof of that. I wish Chris would speak up about what really happened that night. It’s clear that he must’ve felt trapped.

  14. thetinytech2018

    I see a lot of really wonderful, insightful comments here but I’m just going to throw one thing out there. I don’t mean it to be an argumentative statement by any means, I hope it doesn’t come across that way.

    It’s hard to understand why he did what he did, and I think we all know that there isn’t an excuse for killing your family. However, I see many comments that start with “I think he should’ve” or “Why didn’t he do this or that etc” and honestly, it’s hard for us to comprehend for a few reasons. 1) We’re not living in it, we are merely outsiders looking in. Many times when I’ve looked back at a bad decision I’ve made in my past, I’ve questioned why the hell I did x instead of y. Clearly y would’ve given me a better outcome, but I chose x because y didn’t come to mind nor was it clearly the better choice at the time. Hindsight is everything.

    It’s very hard to find an answer for why Chris did what he did because we aren’t thinking like he is. We’re sitting here in a clear, calm state of mind, reading all the facts presented to us. We’re not freaking out trying to keep up with a happy facade, a demanding wife and job, a girlfriend that we have to keep hidden, all while being miserable, drained, and having the weight of impending foreclosure, lawsuits and other financial disasters looming over us. It’s easy to see the correct answer thinking with a clear head, removed from the situation completely, but that wasn’t the case for him. He was frantic, panicking and was trying to juggle ten different things at once.

    Furthermore, it’s always easier to make when the outcome, whether it be good or bad, doesn’t effect you in the slightest.

    • nickvdl

      I thought he did pretty well in terms of the crime scene at the house and the autopsy evidence. We still don’t know where the murders happened, or when, and the DA isn’t very sure why either. Personally I think there may be reason to doubt the children were smothered. They could have been, but it’s also possible they were killed in another less direct way.

      • thetinytech2018

        Oh absolutely. I agree. I just know that sometimes it’s hard for people to understand why someone does what they do, and it’s hard to wrap your mind around it especially when you have all the facts and a clear mind. Chris didn’t have any of that, his entire existence was chaos and he wasn’t thinking with a clear head, I think people forget that sometimes when they’re trying to determine motive for a crime. I’m not making excuses for him whatsoever, murder is never the answer. I just try to see things from the POV of other people when trying to determine why they did what they did, if that makes sense.

        I think it’s absolutely refreshing to see information presented this way. I love reading crime ticket and shakedowntitle as it’s so different from what’s out there. Often people are afraid to show that a victim was a person just like everyone else, so they’ll hold back information that they think may paint that person in a bad light. That’s just not realistic though and in the end it really doesn’t help.

  15. Chip

    I agree with you. The victim is usually deified. Never any discussion about how they may have, and probably did, contribute to the events. There is always a motive and it seems the general public always wants it to be about another woman. I think there was much more to it than that. Much more.

  16. Melva

    I must say how people can be so cold. This is your family not trash.
    I need to know God tell me please where does the love go? How do you chose this as a way to change your life. Chris said in first interrogation how he started hating Shanann a year before he killed her. So by not leaving when he felt this way he just mastered the hate for Shanann and even the girls and unborn baby. I blame his parents for it all. They showed Chris hate. So sad.

  17. LM

    I understand the need to pull things apart and to look at all of the components of a relationship and of the personalities involved. I truly do. I get it. It is intriguing and fascinating.

    However, trying to understand CW is like trying to understand what a snake feels like in their skin. 10 years from now we will still be trying to understand, because it is impossible. As much as it is tiresome for some to hear, CW hid a lurking monster. Shan’Ann fed him with supply until he found a higher octane supply. She had become a bore with the MLM, the money component, and now a third kid. She was unable to supply him with the level of supply that he needed, so he went on the hunt. Once his prey seemed secure, i.e. his mistress “proved” her loyalty by her sexual acquiescence to his deviant sexual desires. He killed his family almost immediately after that.
    She was no longer giving him what he needed so he discarded her and he did so totally and finally by trying to “erase” his past to prove himself to NK. Tit for tat. She could now have her “firsts”, and he could have his sexual desires fulfilled UNTIL NK became boring to him like SW did and she would have eventually.

    It only really matters how alpha female SW was in terms of how much and for how long she could give CW the supply that he needed before the mask slipped. He is attracted to strong women because they give him powerful supply. He is covert and very weak so he needs immense supply. A weaker female would never do. He would be unable to keep from being exposed because his mask would slip more frequently and he would be discovered.

    The creature that is CW has two faces. One face we will never understand. SW had gotten glimpses of what he is, what he always was, and what he will always be. However, she didn’t share. Until that last fateful evening when she told NA just enough to truly worry her and that is why she acted so fast. SW was still hoping that it would work out because CW lured her home with empty promises. He knew that once the divorce was underway that his cover would be blown and retaining his image was more important than his families lives. He had fooled people for so very long and he detested her with every fiber of his being because she knew who he really is and would undoubtedly out him during divorce proceedings to friends and family. Divorce was never on the table for CW. Shutting her up was and “her children” who were becoming their own people and not giving him the adoring supply that he needed. How dare they! Especially Bella who was getting older and knew enough to start to fear him. He.made.her.suffer. for that. Yes he did.

    There are not strong enough adjectives in the human language for that pathetic excuse of a human being. I hesitate to call him human at all. The misogynistic remarks in SW’s direction for having normal human flaws is truly disgusting. They are just acting flying monkeys for the likes of CW and I can pick them out immediately. It is inhumane to excuse that pathetic subhuman in any way for the atrocities that he carried out. Pathetic and indicative of a deficit in empathy that I am in no way interested in exploring. People who have normal levels of empathy and compassion see through the veiled attempts at pretending that you are in no way revictimizing SW. Please save your breath. We see through YOUR mask and you are exposed every time that you “pretend” that you are being impartial. No, it isn’t “too bad” that NA showed up when she did (my fave remark btw—insert heavy sarcasm) TG that she did because this monster has been removed from society and I for one sleep better at night.

    Yes, he is a monster and our greatest fear is that someone close to us is wearing two faces. Hence, our fascination, and our truest fear.

    • L Allen

      Bravo – this has to be the most intelligent and insightful comment I have ever seen on evil, manipulative covert narcissist Chris Watts. I can’t believe anyone is still taken in by his ‘shy guy who snapped’ BS. He is pure, icy cold, ruthless evil. And he is now where he belonged all his adult life – pacing a cage.
      Victim-blamers who try to explain his depraved murders of a pregnant wife and two tiny daughters with suggestions Shanann somehow provoked him, are defending the utterly indefensible. He killed them all not because he was ‘too scared’ to ask Shanann for a divorce, not because ‘he snapped’, and not because a pink-eyed Unicorn shitting glitter poo told him to. He killed them because he wanted to.
      He planned the triple killing weeks ahead, because he decided a family was now an inconvenience to him. He pursued Shanann, desperate to make her his wife. For a while he basked in the reflected glory of his smarter, more dynamic and impressive wife and two cute children. They gave him a new, high status in society as a husband and father, and he revelled in it. But he never loved them, he’s incapable of love, and their novelty ran out by the time his eldest child was just 4. Once he’d lined up the sexually precocious mistress as their replacement, he couldn’t wait to wipe them off the face of the planet.
      I agree, a man as damaged and dangerous as Chris Watts must have thrown up many red flags during his 8 years with Shanann. She’s not the first woman to dismiss or misinterpret red flags in a relationship she is committed to and wants to make work. She was a great wife and Mom and valued her marriage and family life highly. She could not possibly have known the depraved violence her husband was capable of unleashing on her and her babies. But I think there must have been deficiencies in the behaviour of a man who was so fundamentally emotionally deficient, and who had only ever faked, never felt love for anyone.
      I wish to God she had discovered his affair, because it’s likely she’d have kicked him out and started divorce proceedings. That’s not to say he wouldn’t still have killed her – rejection is often the trigger for domestic murders. But the poster is right – his big motive for the murders was to avoid a divorce which would not only hit his finances, but crucially would unmask Chris Watts as a lousy husband, father and human being. He knew Shanann would run rings around him as an ex wife, she would drop her gushing ‘he’s the best’ social media posts – the gloves would come off and she’d finally tell the ugly truth about him, a liar and a cheat who left her while pregnant with their third child.
      Chris Watts also knew Shanann would cope brilliantly and go from strength to strength as a single parent – probably documenting her new life as an independent woman on Facebook! His huge ego was not about to let Shanann triumph without him. He couldn’t have that – he preferred to end her life and silence her forever.
      You were very perceptive in your comments about Bella and Cece. They were becoming more independent, with minds of their own – and they were starting to see through him, as only children can. No longer quiet, useful little accessories, his girls were finding a voice – and they were using it to cry for their mother, not him! His puffed up ego wasn’t going to stand for that. He was starting to show his irritation at his kids’ lack of obedience and hero worship. Shanann’s mother Sandy noticed this when he joined the family visit to her and Shanann’s father Frank, just weeks before the murders. She said Bella and Cece seemed wary around their father, and didn’t want to be alone in a room with him. When it happened, they would rush out and find their Mommy. It is chilling that the little girls had picked up on their father’s indifference towards them, and had a sixth sense he could not be trusted. He was always indifferent to them of course – but by that time he had decided to kill them, so he no longer bothered to hide his true feelings, or rather, lack of them.
      Shanann’s mother Sandy witnessed many clues about Chris Watts’ new priorities that week: he kept leaving the table during a restaurant trip (clearly to view messages/nude selfies from his mistress). He drove Sandy and the children to an outing one day at breakneck speed, seeming out of control and bubbling with quiet rage. During the children’s first ever beach visit, Shanann’s father Frank saw that Chris was not engaging with them at all, his mind clearly very far away. And when Shanann suffered morning sickness, her brother Frank was shocked at her husband’s callous disinterest. Shanann’s mother was concerned enough about CW’s conduct to suggest her daughter stay with her and Frank to have the baby, and not return to the family home. But Shanann said she had to, because of Chris’ superior medical insurance. It was a tragic, fateful decision.
      Those who are still seeking to find rational explanations/excuses for a wife-and-baby-killer need to wake up and see the real Chris Watts. He never was the decent, regular family man some still want to believe in – that was the fake Chris Watts, the ‘nice guy’ mask. That guy never existed. The real Chris Watts, a highly dangerous, sociopath and covert narcissist, always lurked behind the mask. No one had any reason to question his false mask – and ironically by snagging a trophy wife like Shanann and putting himself at the centre of a cute family, his ‘nice guy’ mask became more believable than ever. A big hearted empath, Shanann bolstered Chris Watts’ ego as he expected her to, gushing about him as the ‘perfect husband and daddy’ in her social media posts.
      Shanann wasn’t the dominant one in the relationship – that’s a lie he peddled to get public sympathy, and it worked to a great extent because it fed into cultural misogyny that says successful women are ‘bossy’ or ‘difficult’. He was quietly pulling the strings behind closed doors the whole time. He made Shanann leader because it suited him, putting her in charge of the home and their joint finances, while expecting her to bring in a full time salary and do the lion’s share of childcare. He is a taker, a passenger who hitched his wagon to Shanann precisely because she was a capable, dynamic woman. I’m sure she would have far preferred a man who shared the burden of the family finances etc, but she wound up with a man-child who demanded she praise him if he so much as made the kids’ packed lunches! And all the time she was unwittingly helping a toxic, highly warped and dangerous man to hide in plain sight.
      Make no mistake, Chris Watts was dangerous as soon as he became an adult, his toxic parents saw to that. He would always have killed a woman/children sooner or later. He didn’t go from a well balanced, regular guy to a man capable of killing three vulnerable people who loved him, and manhandling their corpses into squalid ‘graves’. No way. Only a deeply damaged man without the capacity to love could commit a cruel triple murder like that. Chris Watts is finally where he should have been from age 18. It’s only tragic that four lives had to brutally end to put him there.

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