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Interrogation 101: The Good Cop, Bad Cop Routine worked like a charm with Chris Watts

The confession seems so easy now, in hindsight, doesn’t it? Like taking candy from a baby. Well, it’s easy to say that in hindsight. In fact, Watts only cracked after about 10 hours of questioning. 4 on Tuesday the 14th, and 6 more the next morning. There was also a polygraph test, which turned on the pressure, and Watts father Ronnie, waiting [like a carrot] for the operative moment to provide comfort.

Besides all this, the male and female interrogators – both well trained agents – were engaged in a kind of psychological warfare with Watts. They were leading him down a path, and to be frank, he was trying to lead them too, and to some extent he did [because his confession was ultimately only a partial confession].

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The moment the agents leave the room and Ronnie replaces them, and vice versa, is also carefully timed. When Ronnie leaves, it’s just as he starts talking about hiring a lawyer.Fullscreen capture 20181201 150510Fullscreen capture 20181201 150512

In the Discovery Documents [page 606] the narrative is flipped around, where Ronnie leaves the room and then mentions a lawyer. In reality, it’s when he mentions the lawyer the agents come rushing back in. This is one reason why the narrative isn’t a proper transcript, but a summary written from a “third person” perspective.

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Don’t laugh but the same Good Cop Bad Cop routine both worked and backfired in the classic confrontation between Batman and Joker in The Dark Knight. Batman thinks he’s getting what he wants, and he does get information, but he’s ALSO being played.



  1. julinka1981

    I think detectives were amazing but they really did not need to put the thoughts in his head as what happened,after all they gave him ammunition to completely blame Shannan and giving us only part confession-we all know this didn’t happen-he has lied continuously and badly and is so easy to read how blatantly he lie., They could go different direction and pretend they already know Shannan and girls didn’t get out of the house alive etc.I know looking back now,everyone is clever to pinpoint faults but this whole plea deal and interrogation left a very bitter taste for everyone.Unfortunately,we won’t find the real truth as it wasn’t a part of a plea deal.He won’t retract the plea deal as he accepted he is guilty now ,so sadly it is just us speculating the real reasons.

    • nickvdl

      we won’t find the real truth>>>That’s what true crime authors are for.

  2. Shannon

    Interrogation, can he say he was cohorsed.
    Spelling might be wrong.

    • Ali Franco

      Coerced 🙈

  3. Diana

    Police will do almost anything to avoid that nasty “L” word! Had the “L” word been invoked we would DEFINITELY been waiting for the big trial to begin! But either way, there would still be those that believe Shan’ann killed the kids, and those who maintain Chris killed them. I don’t think a trial would’ve even settled that question for many.

  4. Maura

    If I were SW’s family I would want a trial to show the world the double life CW was leading and all of his motives (Nichol and his Finances are two big ones) to annihilate his family. I would want people to discard his lies that she killed their kids. The photos in the Secret Calculator and all of the evidence should do that already including where he dumped his kids.

  5. nan

    Award winning performances by all.
    Always fascinating watching another mute man leading double life fake coming clean. Arrogance or stupidity the reason for lack of a lawyer. Could Papa Ronnie have know something before the big reveal-sure had zero reaction to his son’s version of events.
    Trophies go to the detectives!

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