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

Look Closer at the Wrought-Iron Railing At the Bottom of the Stairs [UPDATED]

There’s already one nonsensical conspiracy theory based around distortions in the Trinastich surveillance video, that Watts had an accomplice. So I want to be careful not to add to the nonsense.

The video, which is flagrantly defamatory in its accusation, has since been removed, as it should be.

In Shan’ann’s Mother’s Day video shot in the lounge of 2825 Saratoga Trail on May 13th, we can clearly see the bulging lattice in the second-last wrought-iron wrung from the very bottom is intact.

We also get an up-close view of the impression of the carpet as it normally appears. We can see that the carpet does have certain areas of shading, produced by dirt, foot traffic and cleaning.

In video footage of the K9 handler searching the lounge on August 14th, the lattice seems intact. Although, compared to the two above it, it seems less intact – if that makes sense. This could just be a distortion in the video, and as we all know, motion and digital can and does produce fine distortions. So I’m not sure we can rule that out.

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There are two more images which appear to show the left hand whirl of the lattice has been damaged, even ripped open. Fullscreen capture 20181207 112341

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Fullscreen capture 20181208 135439Fullscreen capture 20181208 135429Fullscreen capture 20181208 140916-001Readers are encouraged to do their own detective work in this regard. Unfortunately none of the Bodycam footage hovers for any length of time around this crucial area of the house.

Personally I don’t undertstand it. Shan’ann’s suitcase was the last artifact of herself she left behind, indicating her final movements when she arrived home that fateful night. So why not look carefully at the damn suitcase, and that area of the stairs!


UPDATE: At 07:26 in the video below the bodycam footage is clear and unambiguous – the lattice at the bottom is intact.

The footage also shows excellent close-up video of the staircase carpet, but unfortunately not at the bottom of the stairs, or to the right of the railing.

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More: The suitcase at the bottom of the stairs


  1. Eleni

    I check for your new book 3x a day.

    • Nick


  2. Sylvester

    HLN’s analysis of this case is “he didn’t just kill his whole family because he was in love with another woman. This is a sick sick man with a sick brain.” Well as long as the experts think that way then no further analysis is needed, we can all just pack up and go home. It’s a lazyman’s way out.

    • Nick

      Lol. Pathetic.

  3. Kaye

    In this video where an officer is inspecting the stairs you get more glimpses of the railing. I think that it’s a design that looks more “open” depending on which angle you look at it.

    • Marie

      That is a good shot of the rail Kaye!

    • Kaye

      Looks like the FB page I got this from is no longer working, but the video is also on YouTube. Particularly at the top of the stairs you can see the “open” or “broken” look yo those parts of the railing:

      • Nick

        Yup. False alarm. This is a great piece of video thank you. At least this aspect has been cleared up now.

  4. atschmid5322

    So I assume you think Shanann was killed at the bottom of the stairs because of the discoloration of the carpet? And that the house smelled like cleaning products? Are you suggestion Shanann lost control of her bowels inn the throes of death? Is that common? There was no bloodiness of the body, right?

    What is your thinking?

    • nickvdl

      Well there’s a lot more to it than that. The bottom of the stairs theory came about in September, long before the document dump. So I was very curious to see the bottom of the stairs. I expected it to be highlighted in crime scene photos, but no area of the house has been. Also expected the dogs to alert there, but they didn’t really alert anywhere. They did show a mild interest in the stairs, possibly because it was an area where Deeter sat on August 13th, possibly there’s more to it than that.

      I go into a lot more detail why the stairs are likely, and how the crime was executed, in the TWO FACE series.

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