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

Chris Watts Latest Videos – Canine Search, Initial Questioning [Extended], Watts Viewing Trinastich Surveillance, McMahon Interview, Breaking & Entering Call at Saratoga Trail

Right at the end of the Trinastich clip, after Watts leaves, Trinastich confides to the officer that something’s not right with Watts. He mentions him swaying nervously, as if standing on a tilting ship’s deck. He also mentions that he’s hear Watts having “flat-out” rows with Shan’ann.

Watts has absolutely no ability to hide his body language cues. His key tells are folding his arms, swaying, and curling his lower lip.

Fullscreen capture 20181204 080936Fullscreen capture 20181204 081008Fullscreen capture 20181204 081011Fullscreen capture 20181204 081024Fullscreen capture 20181204 081027Fullscreen capture 20181204 081030Fullscreen capture 20181204 081033Fullscreen capture 20181204 081036Fullscreen capture 20181204 081038Fullscreen capture 20181204 081045Fullscreen capture 20181204 081049Fullscreen capture 20181204 081120Fullscreen capture 20181204 081134Fullscreen capture 20181204 081203Fullscreen capture 20181204 081207Fullscreen capture 20181204 081212Fullscreen capture 20181204 081221Fullscreen capture 20181204 081229Fullscreen capture 20181204 081237Fullscreen capture 20181204 081256Fullscreen capture 20181204 081421Fullscreen capture 20181204 081452Fullscreen capture 20181204 081545Fullscreen capture 20181204 081555Fullscreen capture 20181204 081603Fullscreen capture 20181204 081649Fullscreen capture 20181204 081708Fullscreen capture 20181204 081710Fullscreen capture 20181204 081724Fullscreen capture 20181204 081729Fullscreen capture 20181204 081740Fullscreen capture 20181204 081745Fullscreen capture 20181204 081815

Link to Police searching house after reports of a woman seen going in the house.


  1. tbp

    Wow. Can he act anymore skeptical at the neighbor’s house? His plan started crumbling the minute he went home from work. I guess he didn’t realize how many people cared about his wife. In his mind, he didn’t care, therefore, nobody else would. That was his first mistake.

  2. Sylvester

    This is beyond interesting! Will watch the rest of it but the cadaver dog activity is telling. We’re a bit impeded here by the body camera jumping all around pointing at ceiling fans, etc. but as near as I could tell the dog gave alerts at the foot of Bella’s bed, not in Celete’s room, the right side of the master bed (possibly where we saw the big swirl on the mattress previously), not in the master bath, not in the laundryroom and looks to me like he trotted right on by the loft area. Dog was also whining at the stair area, and the area where the family caricature picture is on the wall – entryway? But the dog just goes crazy in the basement. “I’d lure them into a trap…..I guess.” Finally they leave and the camera shows a nervous Watts and a couple of Thayers. I’m also surprised the police would allow Watts over at Nathan’s to have Nathan show him what he’s got. But of course in the beginning they were searching for missing persons. Imagine sleeping down in a subterranean cave, a junk room, with just a flimsy dark pink Micky Mouse curtain over the window. Down there he could entertain very dark fantasies, ear buds blasting Metallica.

  3. Sylvester

    I love this Nathan T. guy. He says “Oh if there’s any action out there I woulda got it.” Watts just can’t control his tell tale side to side swaying, then his arms fly up to the top of his head where he leaves them there as if he’s just been told he’s going to be cuffed. The most interesting part though is when Nathan goes to a screen he’s been watching – it’s “National Geographic Wild” and I remember when they did their “life” segment. A fetus is shown full screen, Watts looks warily at it and says “she’s pregnant”. Oh really? You didn’t think to disclose that at the beginning? Next screen capture is a skull, then back to the street views. I woudn’t want to mess with Nathan T.

  4. Cheryl

    You pretty much captured everything, Sylvester. Interesting point about the dogs sounding at the basement and Chris later hypothesizing about trapping a victim in the interrogation. When Chris put his hands up over his head, it was as if he was preparing to be arrested on the spot. Just looking at his awkward mannerisms made me jittery. And the fetus morphing to a skeleton—absolutely eerie.

    • nickvdl

      The dogs sounding in the basement is big.

      • Cheryl

        I recall in an earlier blog you posed the question: What’s in the Watts’ basement”? Seems it may be a pivotal location in this crime after all.

  5. Sylvester

    And I just love it when he’s having his session over at Nathan’s house. He’s getting more and more nervous by the second. As Nathan is showing his camera footage (and very proud that he has it) Chris tries to do a little s’plainin’ “I’ve had issues with the other week when people were like stealin’ stuff from garages and stuff like that and I parked (then Nathan points out his footage again) He’s so nervous he knocks his sunglasses off his head onto his face – Chris continues “I could see someone trying to jimmy with a flathead screwdriver over there – it was just..” Nathan interrupts again, points at the screen. Chris trying to be conversational, helpful.

    I liked the body language of Nickole A. over at Chris’s house too, like she just finds him filthy, not going to stand next to him or ask him anything, knows he’s lying and isn’t going to answer questions so she buts in and tries to help. Did you spot the one motion detector in the livingroom – in the corner of the room on the wall up about 12 feet from the floor – or more.

    • nickvdl

      It’s so frustrating that the K9 unit bodycam which is so important is orientated upwards. The video is almost unwatchable and yet crucial.

      • Sylvester

        The officer – not the dog handler – is overly pre-occupied with the laundryroom, where as it turns out, the dog smelled nothing. some alerts are whining and panting, but others are sharp barks which when you put a set of headphones on is almost painful to hear, but I didn’t want to miss any of the side talking.

    • nickvdl

      On which wall is the motion detector?

      • Sylvester

        It’s in the corner where two walls come together in the living room to the left of one of the couches (if you are facing the couch) with with the turquoise and black and white throw cushions. You can really see it when the defense team is there. Smallish square on the wall in the “crease”.

      • Sylvester

        Oh God, my apologies, it’s to the left of the front door, as you come in, facing the front door – and up on the wall where the two walls come together, which if you are facing the couch against the wall it’s to the RIGHT of the couch, and just above one of the floor lamps. You can see it when the two cops come inside to talk with the attorneys. And that would make complete sense, to install one near the front door. I’m floored by the opulent lifestyle. Although Nathan’s house is still nice, it’s dwarfed next to the Watts house.

  6. Sylvester

    The first dog picks up on “something physical” or “something that is a trauma scene” according to the handler. She says “certainly when we came in downstairs it may have been an argumentative place” but that’s speculation on the part of the handler. Also I see what they mean about the basement stairs – I pictured the carpeted area from the front – no, those are wooden stairs. The dog is barking in the basement and the handler says “that might be her scent, it’s not cleaned up like the rest of the house” . At that point as the dog is going nuts in the basement they have designated that area as a prime area of interest and want to get the dog out of there and bring in another dog – a cadaver dog. So I hope there is footage of that. If the dog was barking in the master bedroom it could have been because Sha’nann’s scent was there, as she came home and changed. Found him not in the masterbedroom so ventured on down to where she thought he was, and he got her but good. Girls already dead? That was his trap.

    • nickvdl

      Oh I know about the corner sensor near the couch.

      You must remember, an odor doesn’t necessarily mean a person is moving around of their own accord. It can mean her murderer is moving her around. A scent in a house where they all lived means nothing. A cadaver odor means everything. My impression is that one cadaver dog showed interest and the other did not. It’s also not a good idea to have an army of people – and media – running around through a house before the dogs have a chance to sniff around. And someone should have turned all the fans that were on – off.

  7. Sylvester

    Okay, agreed. He could have done some “processing” down in the basement. But isn’t it interesting he has fans going in nearly every room stirring up the air molecules, airing every room? I also didn’t appreciate the other officer, not the dog handler, doing a running commentary instead of just videotaping the dog and keeping her mouth shut.

  8. Kaye

    OK, I’m prepared for any reaction to this post but I had a thought. It seemed that Dieter was down in the basement, not running around loose, when the police officer first enters the home. Chris goes right to the basement, opens the door, then it seems Dieter comes out because the police officer acknowledges the dog. Is it a possibility that the dog when alerting in the basement could have picked up on the intense distress that Dieter was exhibiting by being down there? Or is that a completely dumb idea? I’m not an expert on what these dogs do but if they are that sensitive to trauma, I’m sure Dieter was running around like crazy, out of his mind with worry.

    • nickvdl

      Are you sure about Deeter being in the basement when Watts entered the house?

      • Kaye

        I can’t think where else he would be. I watched the body cam footage of the officer who was on the scene before Chris’s arrival.

        He goes through the backyard to try windows—no sign of Dieter in the yard

        He opens the front door partially and yells into the house; the house seems empty. Dieter is not heard or seen.

        When Chris arrives he opens the garage door. Dieter is not in the garage.

        When everyone enters the house, Chris goes to the basement. Then you hear Dieter barking loudly and the officer says something like “hey, you’re okay.” I can’t actually see Dieter because the body cam doesn’t show the floor but I can’t imagine where else he was contained.

  9. nickvdl

    Well that’s interesting because for a long time I’ve been trying to figure out where the dog was according to eye witnesses. No one ever mentions it. It figures that the dog was in the basement if Watts wanted to minimize the noise. He knew he’d be leaving the dog alone all day [with everyone murdered], and these dogs suffer from separation anxiety pretty quick. Good observation. Do you know at what minutes and seconds the officer says that, and which video is it?

    • Kaye

      I don’t know how to provide a link to the video but it is a 45-minute video on the “State of Colorado vs Chris Watts” Facebook page. The description on the post says “more Police Cam video of Chris Watts being more interested in his phone while his family is ‘’missing’”— Chris opens the basement door at about 20:09. At that point you hear Dieter clearly and Officer Coonrod says something to Dieter shortly after that.

      This video is totally fascinating. You see Nickole, Nicholas, and the next-door neighbor interacting and putting together the pieces. Chris just grimly looks at his phone nervously throughout. He is also forced to speak to Sandi, I believe, on the phone at one point.

  10. Sylvester

    Kaye, it’s called Part 1 Watts Files: Consent and Prep for Dog Sniff – but it’s 8/14/18

  11. Sylvester

    Looks like he leaves the basement door open but doesn’t let the dog out so poor little Deeter just continues to bark throughout. Try this:

    It’s day two though

  12. Sylvester

    That didn’t work, so just try the title on youtube

  13. Kaye

    Hi Sylvester, I think you are referring to a different video. The one I am talking about above definitely was on 8/13–it is the body cam video of the officer who meets Nickole on that first morning to do the well check.

  14. Sylvester

    Okay – I’m looking at parts 1-4, starting on 8/14 – and Deeter is in the basement, as they open the door (two female officers) and he just keeps barking and isn’t let out. Officer remarks “it’s the small ones” meaning little dogs bite ankles, etc. This part 1 is when he’s telling the officers how much he misses having chicken nuggets thrown at him. Part 2 is bringing in the dogs and for that he’s put Deeter in the back yard. Don’t you just feel for the dog? And I think you’ve just solved something – I think the Deets might have been locked in the basement.

    • nickvdl

      Thanks Sylvester. Probably makes sense that he was in the basement when the cops arrived on the 13th, but would be good if we could confirm. The fact that no one hears him barking when they arrive means he had to have been sequestered somewhere.

  15. nickvdl

    Kaye I looked on the page, can’t find a 45 minute video. How you provide a link is you hover your cursor over the video, right click, SHOW VIDEO URL, and then select the link.

  16. Sylvester

    This is so cool Kaye, it’s it! That dolt locked poor little Deeter in the basement – at least while he went to work on the 13th. And Nicholas is correct, once Watts goes through the garage – which if he was thinking he should have pretended to try the front door first – he takes quite a bit of time to get to the front door and open it doesn’t he. When he gets upstairs he appears to be there before anyone else, and is out of breath – looking over at the loft couch, then at the bed, to make sure they don’t see something he forgot about. The thing is he had the ride home from work to calm himself and try and dot a few i’s but as Nick says, he just doesn’t have the social chutzpah. Compare his demeanor to Scott Peterson’s. Scott is defiant and quiet. Chris wants to appear likeable, hospitable and friendly.

  17. Sylvester

    And can you believe the massive size of the basement? The officer’s body cam just didn’t do it justice. That thing is a ware house, with two refrigerators. Still in all he’s been living in the bowels of his own luxury villa and that had to suck too.

    • Kaye

      I know; it is gigantic. I couldn’t help but equate the feel of the basement with what I think Chris’s subconscious is like: empty, creepy, and full of crap.

      Another weird thing from that video was watching how strangely Chris acted with his phone. He would completely ignore the officer for minutes at a time doing something on his phone but with no explanation or self-awareness of what a weirdo he was being. Maybe he was texting NK? Looking up sports stats? Googling “how to lie to a police officer”? who knows…

      • Sylvester

        He’s keeping his eye on Nickole A. though! Her little girl was allowed to go play in a potential crime scene (Celeste’s room).

      • nickvdl

        Thanks very much for sourcing this link Kaye. And if there’s ever a quote it’s this:

        “I couldn’t help but equate the feel of the basement with what I think Chris’s subconscious is like: empty, creepy, and full of crap.”

  18. Mustang Sally

    I missed this blog post in earlier readings; these comments are great! Awesome detective work, Kaye (!) with amazing follow through from Sylvester and Nick (of course).

  19. MoonlitDarling

    Okay… second dog alerted in the basement at a luggage bag that had been stashed away… I saw this bag in the original search video and commented on it as I have one the same… it has now been moved from the main bedroom to the basement.. wondering what the significance of this is.. what was second search dog trained to detect?

    • nickvdl

      We must be cautious in using the word alert ito of the cadaver dogs. The second dog did not confirm the “alerts” of the first, and although we know the bodies were transferred to Watts’ truck, none of the dogs alerted there. The alert you mention at the luggage pile in the basement is interesting, and may be something, but it’s not mentioned in the discovery. Another mystery in this case.

  20. MoonlitDarling

    My apologies.. was tired at the time of writing… I should have said “showed interest” instead of using the word “alert”.. I also didn’t state correctly that it wasn’t the “first search video” but the bag is on the body cam of the first responding officer in the bedroom… again.. my apologies…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *