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A Closer Look at the Moment Watts Moved the Bodies of Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste from the House to the Truck

Nathaniel Trinastich is mentioned twice in Chris Watts’ arrest affidavit; once in the actual narrative and once as a witness. It was Trinastich who provided investigators with the gamechanging video surveillance that showed not only Chris Watts backing up his truck and leaving on the morning of the murders, but also that no one else left the Watts home that morning.

Since the Watts home had its own cameras, it seemed unlikely Watts didn’t know the neighbors had one too. When Nickole Atkinson arrived at the house, Watts saw her on his porch camera [relayed to his smartphone].

When questioned about this, Watts apparently confirmed to Addy Molony that he knew about the camera at the Trinastich’s next door.Fullscreen capture 20181130 051154Fullscreen capture 20181130 075602

Nick Thayer also knew that Watts knew about Trinastich’s camera.

Chris Watts: The Gamechanging Video Surveillance Footage – where’d it come from?

So if he knew he was on camera, why did he think he could get away with a triple homicide?


For starters the view of the driveway is blocked by a boundary tree, and also by the outer edge of the Watts residence [it juts forward]. So Watts was likely aware that while the surveillance video captured him, it couldn’t see everything he was doing, and since he went to work each day, the small area showing him leaving wouldn’t reveal any more than him simply leaving to go to work on an average work day.

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Even so, Watts seems to take precautions by mostly loading the bodies on the side of the truck that’s opposite [and out of view] of surveillance camera. When he does appear on the camera side, he’s carrying what appears to be a red gas can or toolbox.

Watts himself is also dressed in dark clothes: a dark shirt, navy blue baggy trousers and black boots [though not the boots he normall wore]. chris-watts-gas-can

In his haste to get dressed, probably due to frantic cleaning up operations inside the home [showering, vacuuming, wiping Shan’ann’s handset, cleaning, re-clothing Shan’ann’s body, doing the laundry, wrapping Shan’ann’s body in a sheet and the children in garbage bags] Watts forgets to tuck in his one trouser leg.

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Watts also moves the pick-up forward slightly at some point during the operation, so that it’s completely obscured behind the neighbor’s tree. While the truck is idling, he also turns off the light that’s shining almost directly into the neighbor opposite’s window.

When he drives off, he turns left onto Steeple rock Drive, which is the shortest route out of the neighborhood, and the one he usually took on his daily communute. Conveniently it meant he didn’t drive into clear view of the camera. This also explains why Atkinson’s vehicle is seen arriving but not leaving.

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  1. Diana

    Nick when describing what Chris did as far as cleaning up etc. before he left the house the morning of August 13, what do you mean when you say “re-clothing Shan’ann’s body”? I recall she was unearthed wearing a Tee, black bra and blue thong style underwear. How do we know her clothing was changed by Chris? Granted, most women don’t go to bed wearing a bra, if she was even strangled in her sleep, but due to pregnancy and larger breasts, maybe she opted to keep a bra on. Just curious how you reached the conclusion her clothes were changed. You’re a lot more perceptive with things like that I’ve noticed, wondering what I may have missed!

    • nickvdl

      We don’t know what cover up and cleaning up operations Watts did inside the house after the crime. We only know that it happened and in theory he had several hours to do it.

      We infer that he vacuumed, did laundry, removed digital artifacts etc.I believe he made the online purchase off her phone, and that by then she was already dead. He did it either to see whether the card had any money on it, or to create an impression that they hadn’t argued and she was still alive. Remember, his first version was that she was missing because she left with the children.

      I’ve maintained from the very beginning that Shan’ann was murdered immediately after entering the house. This is also based on the children being murdered first.

      If that’s the case, then her clothing had to have been changed by him, otherwise she would have been found in the clothes she arrived in from the airport. Watts had to have known if her body was ever found, her clothing would tell them whether she went out afterwards or not. By not having her in trousers, maybe he was trying to create the impression she was abducted, sexually assaulted and then murdered.

      Another aspect that I believe supports this idea is her make-up/mascara. If Shan’ann – in his story – went out on a playdate, she would have worn make-up. So it would make no sense to let her get into bed and go to sleep, because the real Shan’ann would have removed it [she was OCD in that respect]. If he killed her first thing, then the make-up she had on was still there, and he wouldn’t have to apply that too.

      • T Marie

        And he mentioned the mascara running down her face as well…

  2. Sylvester

    McCoy said usually Watts was wearing his newer boots with his pants over the boots. Only on the 13th out at Cervi he had his pants tucked into the boots (or one boot). When they ribbed him about it he said he was worried about snakes and legless lizards.

  3. lando

    Some footage of the surveillance show a small shadow moving towards CW from the garage. Some have speculated that this may be Bella. You can see CW walk towards the “child” pick her up and place in his truck. Bella had a cut on the inside of her lip and a bite on her tongue. Which would makes sense since she put up more of a fight. Any thoughts on this?

  4. Sarah

    I know the red gas can was seized by police but was it tested at all? Did it have anything in it?
    This is very important to my research

    • nickvdl

      It was tested. We know it was seized from page 965 of the Discovery Documents, We don’t know what the results of those tests were. Add to the list of documents and evidence missing.

      • Sarah

        Someone already has put it.
        The weird thing is I’ve supported Chris from the very start thinking he couldn’t have done it but I’ve recently unearthed some info and with some research I’m believing he did it all and not only that it was definitely premeditated. I’d like to share my theory with you, do you have an email address or can I give you mine please

  5. Sarah


    Chris made up the lie about and/or used the fact that people were actually trying to break into their cars to come and review the camera footage at Nate’s house to see where what the camera could pick up. Parking the Lexus on the street accomplished two things: 1) Shanann couldn’t see when he left or came – as the garage was hooked to Vivint 2) he had an excuse to come and see the footage (he told Nate that’s why he was parking it on the street: to lure the criminals).

    This means two things: 1) it was no accident that he loaded the bodies on the other side of the car and that he knew it would not pick up what he was actually loading only that he was loading things 2) premeditation and planning occurring while Shannan was in NC (that’s when he parked the Lexus on the street).

    I don’t think he was nervous about Nate’s camera picking it up, but I do think he was flabbergasted that he had to review it only a few hours later in front of a policeman. He turned his back to the footage, I think, because he knew it wouldn’t show anything.

    • Ralph Oscar

      Do we have footage of Chris moving the truck out of the driveway and replacing the Lexus in the garage that Monday morning? Because when NUA, her son, and the police were there, the Lexus was in the garage. Or was the Lexus not parked out on the street while Chris was loading the truck?

  6. Freckles

    About the “living shadows”… I haven’t seen or heard anything about where Dieter was during the loading of the truck? I never heard CW asked this during his confession or I missed it. Dieter was known to howl whenever he was put into his cage when they would leave the house and I would imagine CW letting him walk about freely during the loading as opposed to risking the attention of the howling. So, perhaps the little shadows CW appears to bend down to was the dog? I came to this idea believing the girls were dead, as well as SW, when the truck was loaded as CW makes at least 3 trips to the garage.

  7. Ralph Oscar

    Do we have footage of Chris moving the truck out of the driveway and replacing the Lexus in the garage that Monday morning? Because when NUA, her son, and the police were there, the Lexus was in the garage. Or was the Lexus not parked out on the street while Chris was loading the truck?

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