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On his way back to the crime scene, Chris Watts first went to look at a house recommended by his realtor… [Updated]

Shortly after burying and dumping the bodies of his family, Watts called his realtor, Anne Meadows, and told him he wanted to sell #2825 Saratoga Trail. He wanted somewhere smaller, he told her, but still wanted three garages.

Meadows called back and suggested a slightly more modest home just around the corner: #6508 Saratoga Trail.

Above: Footage from 6432 Saratoga Trail of Chris Watts heading North on Saratoga Trail at 14:01:31,  seconds after the call with Coonrod. Here Watts is heading towards 6508 Saratoga Trail.

On Tuesday morning after the murders, Watts told news crews on his porch:

“I was trying to get home as fast as I can, I was blowing through stop lights. I was blowing through everything just trying to get home as fast as I can because none of this made sense. I don’t feel like this is even real right now. It’s like a nightmare I can’t wake up from.”

But we know Watts first went to look at #6508 because when he arrived on the scene, Officer Coonrod’s bodycam just managed to capture him coming along Saratoga Trail, rather than down Steeple Rock Drive and into the T-Junction.

Trisnatich’s surveillance video also shows Watts’ truck departing for CERVI 319 at 1:00:17 going up Steeple Rock Drive.

His usual commute was from Saratoga Trail onto Steeple Rock Drive, then right into Wyndham Hill Parkway, then around the roundabout into Aggregate Boulevard and onto the highway either to Platteville or on to the fields beyond Hudson and Roggen.

#6508 is just further up the road from the blue swimming pool above left, or in the image below, just off center to the right. Note the already completed fracking battery opposite the house.

This is #6508 while it was still under construction. Images via Google Earth. It would be great to have an updated photo of #6508 and the new fracking battery under construction near #2825 from any locals in the area.

Fullscreen capture 20181216 031133


Via MattyB:

The GPS released (discovery page 555) does not show this stop. Does show that he stopped for 4 minutes at another house in the neighborhood (6507 Black Mesa) right before arriving back home. There was another page in discovery where they followed up and 6507 Black Mesa was a house under construction with trash dumpsters (blankies and stuffed animal disposal?), however the dumpsters had been landfilled prior to the follow up.

There is a single reference to 6507 Black Mesa. On page 555 the GPS data is illegible.

Although it’s conceivable Watts may have visited 6507 to dispose of evidence, it’s also not inconceivable that he drove via the address reference by his realtor, and took it in without stopping. In any event, he did not visit 6507 to evaluate the property as a home. This is the dynamic that’s being constructed here, which goes to motive.

Below are screengrabs of the Black Mesa site. The street view images show no houses constructed at the time, but a lone pumping jack already exists in the area.

If the GPS data is reliable and complete, it’s possible on his way home Watts slowed at the intersection, looked down and saw Officer Coonrod’s vehicle [which street view clearly shows would be visible from the Wynddam Parkway side of Steeple Rock Road], and then drove a loop to get rid of incriminating evidence.

Four minutes is a long time to be running around someone else’s property.

The route to dump the evidence takes Watts via the address mentioned in the text timeline messages by the realtor on the morning and afternoon of Monday. August 13.


  1. kacey

    This confuses me a bit because 6508 is bigger than their current home sq footage wise, or am i wrong?

  2. BAMS13

    In my opinion he did this in a feeble last ditch attempt to give himself another alibi. That other house is huge, family sized in fact, so he’s trying to make it appear as though they’re all still alive. “Hey, look everyone, I even like just went to look at another house for like me and the kids.”

    • Karen

      I, like, agree lol

      • BAMS13

        I couldn’t help myself there. Haha.

    • Ellen Ashlie

      It is the exact same house. That’s why I find this so creepy. Same builder, same square footage under air, same layout. Identical.

      • Jason

        The reason he was driving past the other house on Saratoga Trail is because his realtor was looking for comps so that she would know what to list as the selling price of the Watts home. CW had spoken to her and she said the house was similar and had either recently sold or was for sale and told him to go take a look at it to see if it’s similar. He wasn’t going to purchase the other house on Saratoga Trail.

  3. Maura

    I believe the house he drove by was similar to his house and under contract. The realtor was going to tell him what the buyer of 6508 paid so he could price his house.

    • BAMS13

      Yes, but the timing of that was conducive to what was going on that day. It wasn’t just about pricing his house.

      • Marie

        Bams, just like he left her clothes on the bed after officers had already been there. He is ” just helping out”

        • BAMS13

          Stupid. He clearly didn’t realise or think that the police officers might have body cams. Who comes home at 2am and neatly folds their clothes like that anyway? Most people just undress in semi darkness, throw clothing on the floor and collapse into bed.

    • bassekrokke

      Correct! I was just going to post this same comment …

    • AA

      You are correct. The realtor wanted Chris to drive by 6508 to confirm that it was the same model as his house so that she could get a comp to price his house when they put it on the market. 6508 is indeed the same model as his house.

  4. JC

    His realtor may have been trying to help him determine an asking price for his home for quick sale. If it’s a comparable home in his neighborhood he would price his own house accordingly. How he thought driving by that house before going home was a good idea is beyond me. His priorities were really messed up!

    • BAMS13

      It was done purposely to make it look like he has nothing to do with their disappearance. As if to say, hey I even went to check out another home for me and the kids… He was shitting himself by that stage as he knew what was ahead, pricing his home was the last thing on his mind at that point.

      • JC

        The home he looked at had already recently sold, and Shan’ann contacted their realtor to sell, not buy. I don’t recall he mentioned driving by the home to officers – he said he ran stop signs to get home fast so driving out of his way didn’t really jive with his concerned parent story he was telling everyone. But I honestly can’t fathom what he was thinking.

        • BAMS13

          I too am surprised by this story no matter what his reasoning might have been.

        • Karen

          Oh no, JC, he didn’t dare tell the officer he drove by there. He had to make it look good.

  5. Karen

    Boy oh boy! He really thought he had it all worked out!

    • Right44

      I suppose it never occurred to Chris that Shan nan’s friends would be expecting to hear from her after her visit to the doctor. Or did he think her friends would just call him when they couldn’t reach her and then just accept his “gone to visit a friend” statement?

      His lack of planning still baffles me.

      • nickvdl

        It’s possible he was going to use her phone to maintain a ruse that she was alive and somewhere when she wasn’t. Maybe he ran out of time. We know he texted her a fake message so it shows he was starting to leave digital breadcrumbs. If the cops weren’t called when they were, who knows what he would have pulled over the rest of the day.

        He obviously underestimated how upset Shan’ann was, and that she communicated this to Nickole, and he definitely underestimated Nickole’s spirit to get involved and raise the alarm.

      • JC

        I like to think CW desperately tried to unlock Shan’ann’s phone to impersonate her and reply to her friends texts. Don’t know if he had her phone in the truck with him, but I wondered if that could be one possibility it took him so long to get back home.

        When they entered the house and found the phone he told Nickole she had changed her phone’s pass code from 4 digits to 6 digits. How did he know if he hadn’t already tried to unlock her phone? Nickole immediately says, “Did you try the baby’s due date?” That must have been an “omg, I’m so stupid” moment for him.

        I hate to make light of a heinous crime, but it reminds me of every episode of Scooby Doo when they unmask the villian and the villian says, “And if it weren’t for Nickole and that meddling kid, I would have gotten away with it too!”

  6. Maura

    Texts between Ann Meadows and Chris Watts, Discovery Documents, Monday 12:27 PM:

    “Ann texted Chris that she was working on his home’s market analysis and asked about upgrades. Ann asked about a comparable model in their neighborhood and Chris agrees to drive by it when he gets home. Ann says it is under contract and she will call the realtor to see what it sold for to get a number.”

    I think it shows how desperate he was to sell the house. He cared about turning it into cash ASAP. Later, running this errand showed everyone else how much he did NOT care about his missing family.

    • Sylvester

      Maura, do you have experience with property management or real estate? I think your comments show that you do. And I tend to agree with you that he needed a comparable to see what he could get for his house. He had already told Nichole K. he could only afford $1100 a month for rent. And I don’t think he would want to live right around the corner from the death house. He should have been thinking though about how it would look to put his house on the market so soon after his family “went missing.” Or, what he could get for his house to pay for an attorney should he need one, and he did need one turns out.

      • Maura

        Sylvester, my husband and I had a rental property for years; my brother-in-law is a realtor and owns a few rentals. Our housing development has 85 homes and we get mailers from agents after they sell one looking to see if we want a market analysis.

        I read a lot of the Discovery Documents and went back to the conversation CW had with Ann Meadows after SW contacted her. If Chris had gotten away with the murders he would have liquidated everything including SW wedding rings and downsized to an apartment or condo. After selling the home and paying off debts he would have money left over from equity home had since he wouldn’t be paying alimony or support or splitting the proceeds with SW.

        It is amazing that after he murders his family Chris thinks he can carry on as if his entire family isn’t missing. Instead of being concerned for them, he’s starting the process to sell his house and pulls his kids out of the expensive daycare. He was desperate to get out of their financial bind.

        They both contributed to that bind as he bought the house with her, appeared to enjoy those vacations and he initiated the 3rd baby. It’s crazy that they didn’t do financial counseling, downsize after their bankruptcy and live within their means. Not have a 3rd baby until the medical bills are paid off.

        It’s horrifying that Chris could murder his family over wanting a fresh start with NK and not wanting to pay financial support for his family. IMO they are the top 2 factors that led him to murder.

      • BAMS13

        I think people are wondering why he went there when he did vs the reason why he did it…

  7. Shannon

    If would have had it worked out. Because of Nikole…he didn’t and couldn’t.
    Would have been interesting to see if it did work out…. hindsight

    • boycie

      It would’ve been interesting if the police backed off and placed him under surveillance. Would’ve seen him go out and get rid of her car, bag and phone. Wonder what else they would’ve captured him doing. They were really banking on a confession. He could’ve refused to co-operate and got a lawyer.

      • Ralph Oscar

        “It would’ve been interesting if the police backed off and placed him under surveillance.”

        That is what I would have loved to see. But he caved so quickly that there was no need.

  8. Jerry Manziel

    I CONTINUE to be shocked and amazed how this guy could ever think he could get away with this. I CONTINUE to be shocked at how this guy could smother his tiny young girls, one in a night diaper. Diabolical and stupid to the nth degree.

    • BAMS13

      I’m still shocked and confused. None of it makes sense and I doubt it ever will.

  9. Shannon

    61% of parents are responsible for child murders under the age of 5.
    450 children are murdered by their parents each year in the US.
    FBI report.

  10. MattyB

    The GPS released (discovery page 555) does not show this stop. Does show that he stopped for 4 minutes at another house in the neighborhood (6507 Black Mesa) right before arriving back home. There was another page in discovery where they followed up and 6507 Black Mesa was a house under construction with trash dumpsters (blankies and stuffed animal disposal?), however the dumpsters had been landfilled prior to the follow up.

    • nickvdl

      Thanks Matty. Useful info. Point is he didn’t go straight home, he had house hunting on his brain.

      • MattyB

        FYI in case you can make anything of the data ….. the GPS data is legible on the discovery documents on Denver Post website if you select the correct page and zoom in with their tool.

        Arrived at 6507 Black Mesa at 2:01:56PM.
        Left 6507 Black Mesa at 2:06:37PM
        Arrive home at 2:07:44PM.

        Just thought I would mention as that copy may cleaner if there were any other illegible pages.

        • nickvdl

          Hi MattyB

          Does the GPS data refer to any of the stops made at 08:00 on August 13th?

          A friend contacted me with the following info:

          This address appears on the CW Anadarko Vehicle GPS data twice and is adjacent to Conoco. He stopped here once in August and once in July. I have tried to screenshot the spreadsheet but it becomes blurry to read. Do you have the spreadsheets of CW GPS for July and August?

          Aug 09, 2018 3:47:34 PM 3830 State Hwy 52, Frederick, CO 80516, USA – Stops (4) minutes

          Jul 24, 2018 3:23:42 PM 3830 State Hwy 52, Frederick, CO 80516, USA – Stop (6) minutes

          • Karyn

            It’s a Starbucks

  11. nickvdl

    @JC I wonder what prompted Shan’ann to change her phone’s pass code, and when that happened?

    • JC

      @Nick Me too!

  12. Nick

    @MattyB Thanks Matty. Can you add the link here to that page?

  13. me

    Chris’ story is that Shannan told him she was taking the kids and going to a friends. Just because Shannan’s friends can’t get a hold of Shannan should not give Chris concern. He should be in no rush to get home. He was selling the house so driving over to see a house on the way home is no big deal because, as far as Chris is concerned, at this point of the day, she is not missing at all and she is gone to a friends.

    The only time Chris should be concerned is when her purse, medicine and phone are found in the house. But no one found those items until they were in the house. Shannan’s car being home meant nothing. Someone could’ve picked her up or she’s out for a walk or at the pool on a hot day. The front door being locked means nothing because she could’ve walked out of the garage door. Shannan’s shoes being by the door means nothing because she had many pairs of shoes. Shannan not answering the phone means nothing because she could be avoiding people since Chris told them Shannan was going to a friends because they were breaking up. Shannan missing a doctor appointment means nothing because she could be upset over the breakup.

    What should be of concern, and never is, is that’s it’s the first day of school for the kids so there is no way she would take the kids and go to a friends when the kids are required to be in school.

    Althuogh no one else knew, Shannan did ask Chris days before if he could take the kids to school with her and Chris said he would make that happen, but he never did, obviously.

    All of the police left Chris’ house on Monday but they had him under covert surveillance. Chris drove around the block to look at the 6508 Saratoga house at 5:48pm on Monday. I read in one of the police reports that the police covertly followed him as he did this but I can’t remember what page of the discovery the police report is on.

    • Karen

      It gave Chris concern because although no one yet knew what Chris had done, Chris knew what he did. If he would have said to Atkinson, “She’s at a play date I’ll have her call you later” instead of coming home, things may have played out differently. He let her steer the ship. You keep saying,” as far as Chris is concerned.” His first point of concern was seeing Atkinson on his ring camera and her calling him. Shan’ann’s car being home did mean something when she wasn’t answering the phone and the car seats were still inside the car. She could have gone out of the garage but she wasn’t seen on the neighbor’s camera. Her shoes by the front door did mean something because she wore those shoes every day. Her phone normally being in her hand all the time and “she never goes anywhere without it.” everyone knew she would have answered it. She wanted to go to her Dr appt to make sure the baby was okay so she wouldn’t have missed it. Maybe each one in and of its own wasn’t a concern but as a whole, big concern.

      • Maura

        I agree Karen. She had a lot of special occasion shoes but was always wearing those flip flops according to Nikki probably because of her pregnancy. I recall being pregnant and you’re feet swell so dressy shoes are harder to wear. She was OCD and stuck to a regular schedule which included texting Nikki daily and calling her mom. If SW had wanted time alone she would have texted her friends that. Nikki knew she’d never leave the house without her phone, kids medicines, her purse, etc. I think she would have rescheduled the doctor’s appt. instead of not showing up.

      • Mustang Sally

        Wasn’t it CW who actually called NUA first when he saw her on his ring camera to ask her what she was doing there? I don’t think NUA called CW at that time.

      • Ralph Oscar

        “If SW had wanted time alone she would have texted her friends that. ”

        It looks like CW planned to send those sorts of texts, but was surprised by SW having changed her phone’s password. He couldn’t get in to send the texts that would have kept the dogs at bay, so to speak.

    • Emmy

      “Someone could’ve picked her up or she’s out for a walk or at the pool on a hot day”.
      Chris deduces she wouldn’t go to the pool, it’s too hot.

      Right then and there the cops should have arrested him for felonious stupidity.

  14. Shannon

    Chris wasn’t expecting Atkinson appearing so soon…he didn’t realize how much she told her friends about everything in their lives. Because of her, he was unable to “fix” any problems after the murders. I wonder if he ever did know about Shanann’s posts and comments. I also wonder if he knew how much debt they really were in. That after house sold, bills paid….no money to buy a house. But Shanann might have lead him to believe they were ok for another house?

    • Maura

      The next door neighbor heard them fighting and Chris screaming at Shannan before she left for NC. He said Chris sounded crazy. I think they were fighting about their finances and he wanted to sell the house. Chris had to sign paperwork on the loan from his 401K to pay the mortgage and they had a court date in Aug. for their unpaid HOA fees.

      Shannan told the realtor to start looking for a house in 2 other towns and that they’d need to pay less than this one. The house Chris saw nearby was a similiar one under contract and the realtor was going to use it to price the Watts home. It’s a shame CW didn’t look for a good divorce lawyer instead of wiping his family out.

      • CB

        If this doesn’t sound ‘dumb’, it is amazing and a lesson for me that Shannan managed to communicate as best she could.

      • Chip

        I suspect she was a spendaholic. Look at how many times she posted a pic of her hand with one of those patches. I think the photo was more about showing off her fingernails, big diamond ring and that Lexus logo. Sad that she thought all that crap was so important. I bet the amount of debt they had was mind boggling. Imagine just trying to keep the kids in that fancy school and how much their clothes probably cost if she expected them to wear the best. just thinking of the electricity bill for that huge house makes me cringe. I bet they were borrowing from Peter to pay Paul constantly. I really feel like he just was not aware of how bad it was. She controlled everything, including him. I have known people like that, filing for bankruptcy numerous times and all the while trying to move and get new cars right before the bankruptcy so that their friends never know how desperate they really are. They always want to appear successful. Doing better than you.

      • Kingslayerwifey

        Her ring was fake, only cz’s not real diamonds, as in the last bankrupt process they valued the rings and the dog at $5.

        • Margaret 4500 Ottawa trail

          I beleive I heard the ring was 12k. The engagement ring. I think I heard it took all of his savings sounds like he never said no to her until he found that mistress and took a major turn. The whole the

      • Ralph Oscar

        “It’s a shame CW didn’t look for a good divorce lawyer instead of wiping his family out.”

        C’mon. Two small children with significant health problems; a wife with significant health problems; and another child on the way (who would likely be born with health problems, given the fact of the previous two) – if he’d thought of going the divorce route, he would have realized real fast that this “option” would have left him destitute.

        Some years back – I can’t remember the source, aside from it having been a column in the Sunday edition of the local newspaper – an ex-husband was writing in, suggesting that his stay-at-home wife should put the child in day care, get a job, and “tighten her belt” so as to need less money for him for herself and their small child. The lawyers – I think it was a married couple – writing the column told him that the family courts typically wanted to see the child kept in a situation as close to what was normal during the marriage as possible post-marriage, and that he should let them know if his family court judge ruled differently. The tone was clear: The courts wanted the child’s situation as unchanged as possible, and were not likely to consider the ex-husband’s obvious desire to keep more of “his” money for himself to be a compelling factor.

  15. CB

    Another GPS fact is that CW told his boss in advance that his GPS on the company truck (which was restricted home to work use) that if the boss NOTICED another location on the GPS more often (NK’s) it was because of marital issues and visiting a friend. It is in the youtube video with his boss. So CW was perfectly aware of GPS tracking. AND, when he trots up to garage he goes straight to her passenger door, opens it and does something … what? And I think he planted her phone in the couch because he is the one who found it there. I saw him get it and say ‘here is her phone’ …same as he found the ring.

    • mitzi2006

      I believe it was Nickole Utofts son nick who found the phone but I could be mistaken

      • CB

        Thanks, I stand corrected. I meant CW ‘planted’ it.

  16. Chip

    As far as Shanaan changing her passcode, maybe she had an old I phone for a while back when it only required 4 digits. Later they changed to 6. Maybe he wasn’t aware she had a newer phone.

  17. CB

    If you watch the video of CW arriving home, trotting to the garage, he does something at the car. He had time to mess with her phone too!

  18. Chip

    Ok, I’m sorry, But I did have to laugh at that last statement.

  19. Danny Bowman

    WHo cares about any of this spasticated stuff?

  20. Something Ain't Right

    Why is there nothing mentioned of the surveillance footage of their own home?

    • nickvdl

      Yes, that’s missing. It does make one wonder why, doesn’t it?

  21. monica

    This is a bit of an older comment but what is a “fracking battery”.?

    • Ralph Oscar

      A fracking battery is the equipment set up for a fracking oil-extraction operation. It’s used in the sense of an “artillery battery”, “an organized group of artillery pieces.”

  22. Novellino

    That man is a complete idiot. He had just killed the family and called his realtor saying he wanted to buy a new home and he replied to Cassie’s message “don’t call the police”. he’s not a monster but a complete idiot. And where did he hide the bodies of the family? near where he worked. he would probably go to live with kessinger a few days later, as if it were normal. But at this point I’m a little confused: he had a wife, two daughters, friends, a job, and a house that cost three hundred thousand dollars. This makes me think that in the United States to be successful in life you have to be a complete idiot. These murders did not happen because he was a monster, but ’cause he’s a complete idiot who lived in a society of complete idiots without culture. If he had used his brain he would have realized that killing was the worst solution and that the police would immediately find out what he had done. But for a complete idiot all that was normal. Probably all the people who are part of that story have behaved like idiots: Shanann who decided to marry a man like him; her friend Atkinson who was crying in front of the cameras but who really cared more about the job than finding her friend. Or better still, it made more sense to her to think of going to work instead of helping the police look for Shanann. Precisely because she too is a complete idiot. This story seems more fascinating than it actually is. it’s simply a story that came from idiocy and from the lack of culture.

  23. Emmy

    He is stupid AND a monster, and most definitely a narcissist, assuming that he’s smarter than law enforcement, including the FBI.

    • nickvdl

      I think you’re confusing narcissism with arrogance. Narcissism typically wants attention, and stands out for being excessively greedy to be liked, superior etc. The execution and clean-up of this crime was “better” in the sense of efficacy than most high-profile crimes out there. Virtually no evidence left behind, no crime scene, negligible cadaver traces, very few smoking gun-type injuries. And after all that people still think it wasn’t premeditated.

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