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Cadaver Dog Search Beyond Saratoga Trail

This footage provides an excellent contextual sense of the sights and sounds of the neighborhood beyond the big brown house on Saratoga Trail. Note the pumping jack near the estate at 24:47.

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  1. Sylvester

    I re-watched this same dog #1 going into the house. When the dog went into the basement it had quite a few barks and alerts to the bed area. The Officer – not dog handler – pointed out there was a sleeping mask on the bed. That struck me as odd. And, it looked to be a purple satin sleeping mask. When the dog gave several loud sharp barks the handler said “he’s picking up on her scent.” Dog #2 is the cadaver dog. Dog #1 is a dog that smells stress, altercations, etc. – different skill set the handler said.As you may recall Dog #2, the cadaver dog, did not alert to the bed. It occurred to me that Sha’nann could have spent a few nights in the basement. Men don’t usually put on purple satin sleeping masks, do they? The reason I think this is a comment one of the Rzucek’s made that when Chris joined Sha’nann in NC and after they had gone to the beach, Sha’nann slept on the couch. Not Chris. Chris slept in the bed, Sha’nann took the couch. Also the bed is neatly made when the dog is taken downstairs. Pillows propped against the headboard. Of course it could have been made anytime before – like before she left for Arizona. Dog #1 gave alerts to the bed specificially. Dog #1 I don’t think, is a cadaver dog.

    Of course when Chris is giving Nichole Kessinger a house tour in July he points out that he has been sleeping in the basement but he lies frequently, and would want her to think he just couldn’t stand to be around his wife so he took the basement. I admit, she would want to be up near the kids but she had no reason to fear before the last weekend, and even then. Now I’m wondering if the stains on the top sheet and smears on the pillow cases might have been Chris’s stains. From what I don’t know – but if the sheets and pillow cases had been tested, and I’m sure they were, and the DA still doesn’t know where Sha’nann was killed then those stains and smears may have had nothing to do with the murdered three people, other than the bottom sheet was used to transport.

    • JC

      Sylvestor, I didn’t realize there was a purple satin sleep mask on a made bed when they took the dogs in. On Monday, during the initial walk-through of the basement, the bed was unmade and looked slept in. So that means CW was really busy with changing sheets and making all 4 beds in the house on Monday night. The body cam was so fleeting when they checked the bed area initially that I paused and re-watched that short piece of the video several times. I think the officer actually made note of the unmade bed later in his report. I also think I saw a black suitcase on the bed in the basement on Tuesday that wan’t there initially on Monday. Did you see or notice that? CW wasn’t allowed back into the house Tuesday night to finish whatever he started with that, and he was told the house would be under surveillance all night. He may have considered packing up and getting the heck out…but I’m just not sure about that suitcase since everyone kept moving things around, and we can’t know who for sure.

      The other thing that stands out to me is that they really focused on the upstairs and bedrooms, but didn’t spend much time looking at the basement. CW seemed quite comfortable showing everyone around in the bedrooms upstairs, and even took the officer into his walk-in closet. But CW certainly didn’t lead anyone into the basement when he was showing them around the house.

      And here’s the other thing that stands out to me – and I don’t know if it really has any significance – but during Tammy’s interview of CW, right before his polygraph, she asks him to name ways that a person could kill another person. He starts out naming common things like stab, shoot, use a weapon…but then he says, “lead them into a trap.” That’s kinda a weird thing to think of if you’re not a combat veteran or a hunter, right?

  2. Sylvester

    Good eyes JC! It would be helpful of course if I had everything catalogued in chronological order. I think the first video would be Nikki and Nicholas at the house, waiting for Chris to come let them in, and the officer. Then Baumhoven (sorry my spelling) standing right by the suitcase and blue – “bookbag”? which has since disappeared from any videos. Then the dog handlers. As Dog #1 is led downstairs he gives multiple sharp barks, over by the black garbage bag on the window, and notably by the bed. I know I did see the grayish-black small suitcase on the bed. I thought since he was supposedly sleeping in the basement it might have been his suitcase from the NC trip, as he alluded to or outright said he was sleeping in the basement the brief four nights or so after they returned from the trip. Yet I did see a made up bed and a purple satin something on the bed I figured to be a sleeping mask, as the officer (not dog handler) pointed out. Dogs didn’t come in until Aug. 14. Chris’s porch interview is taking place when you can hear a dog barking – not Deeter. I’ll have to review the officer’s first search of the basement to see if the bodycam shows a rumpled bed or a made one.

  3. Sylvester

    Okay, just looked at the K9 search of the basement again and the bed doesn’t look made, it’s turned back, however I do see the sleeping mask, and a suitcase. And the officer points out the mask with her flashlight. This Dog#1 is a trauma dog, and it seems to be going really nuts under the stairway, by the black curtain or trash bag over one window and the bed area. Dog handler says “he’s picking up on her scent”, as I don’t believe they would have given the dog Chris’s scent since Sha’nann and kids were supposedly missing.

    First officer who does a search of the basement body cam shows everything the dog handler and officer sees.

    • kcann216

      Could it be possible that Chris was sleeping or awake waiting in the basement and Shan’ann came home, knowing he’d be there and went down to talk to him or confront him and everything went down from there?

      • JC

        It is nearly soundproof, and nobody would see anything through those windows. And the trauma dog picked up her scent in 2 places. Seems possible to me that something occurred down there.

  4. kcann216

    The worst part of this (at this point in time), is the fact that these families must sit and wonder how and why and why and how, every single day. There is only one person that knows and he’s a coward.

    Why won’t he just make a full confession? What does he have to live for, integrity? Sparing his family the fact that he killed his babies with his bare hands? The world knows he’s a monster already, I suppose he just cannot admit it to himself.

  5. Aaren Caudill

    I have a dumb question – wouldn’t it be very difficult to carry/pull/move a dead body UP the stairs, from basement to main floor? I feel like the basement is a bad idea because of that. Maybe i am overlooking his potential upper body strength or the adrenaline one runs off while covering up some murders they just committed… ?

    • nickvdl

      Shan’ann weighed only 143 pounds [65 kg]. Watts was a strong, fit, 33-year-old. So carrying wasn’t a problem. Shan’ann’s body showed no signs of damage besides contusions to her neck muscles. Having said that, if she was dragged anywhere inside a sheet, in theory the sheet would have weathered physical exposure to surfaces, though only to a point.

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