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Thomas Mollett’s Forensic Report on Shan’ann Watts’ Post Mortem Blood Alcohol Level

Immediately following the release of the autopsy reports on November 19th, I contacted Thomas Mollett, a forensic investigator, fellow true crime author and friend, and asked him his opinion on Shan’anns Blood Alcohol Levels. They were found to be three times the legal limit for driving. How likely was it, I asked, that these apparently high levels were from “normal” decomposition?

SUPPLEMENTAL

Autopsy reports show Shanann Watts, daughters were asphyxiated – TimesCall

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Pathology is an extremely complex science, and many factors play into the biological processes that occur after death.

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The three basic pillars one uses to calculate whether the BAC is “normal” or not are related to:

  1. the time the body is exposed to the elements [here time of death is a factor, unknown in this case, but with a relatively short window either way]
  2. the ambient conditions of the body [temperature, humidity etc.]
  3. circumstantial evidence is also a vital tool to gauge alcohol content, including eye witnesses, Shan’ann’s drinking habits, and her appearance in the Ring camera footage when she arrived home [described but not released thus far]

During our first communication I miscommunicated to Mollett that Shan’ann’s corpse was recovered after only 48 hours, which I guessed wasn’t enough time to reflect the high alcohol levels found. This was an initial error on my part; it took closer to 70 hours for Shan’ann’s corpse to be discovered and exhumed.

Based on this initial miscommunication, Mollett also believed the BAC level was likely higher than a natural rate [which as I say, was also what I suspected].

I asked Mollett to investigate the BAC levels and I’m grateful to him for doing so in detail. Obviously part of his thorough investigation corrected the original 48 hour error.

Below is Mollet’s unabridged report on the BAC levels.

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11 Comments

  1. Helen

    I think Chris tied Shanann to the bed after she fell asleep, put a pillow case over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, made sure she watched through the monitor how he smothered Bella and Celeste, and then came back to the bedroom to strangle her.

    • BAMS13

      You’re going to get in trouble from Nick now… lol.

      • nickvdl

        Bams, can I let you take it from here? I can’t always be the one cracking the whip 😉

        • BAMS13

          Haha! Always happy to try and exert my low ranking power anytime. You’d think those virtual whip cracks can be heard loud and clear though. 😉

  2. Syzia

    Helen took it to the next level here

    • Marie

      Oh yes syzia, I agree

  3. Karen

    Well, that report certainly cleared up so many things. Now we know. The body certainly is a fascinating animal in death as much as life. I do know that when officer Coonrod was in the kitchen he didn’t have a peek in the sink to see if there were breakfast dishes in there to find out if the kids had eaten so we couldn’t see if there was a wine glass. Nor did I see any at all throughout his whole walk through the house. Thorough report

  4. Sylvester

    “Important moments at Watt’s well site” is really stunning. I hope everyone can blow it up on a computer monitor rather than a cell phone. You really get the sense of vastness of that site – miles and miles in every direction of land dotted with wildflowers. The tank battery site even seems dwarfed in proportion to the land. As the drone makes it’s lazy pass from the air you then see the sheet, hugging the scrub. Look a little closer and you see the black garbage bags. It was rather stupid of him to discard the sheet on top of the land after it had fulfilled it’s purpose to conceal and drag. Same with the garbage bags. Maybe he thought in the vastness of the land those items, like his family, would simply vanish.

    • Karen

      Sylvester, do you know if they sent the drone out before Chris said anything or after? For the life of me, I can’t remember. Thank you kindly

      • Recovering Baptist

        It was before. They said on the news here in Colo. that a drone search revealed a sheet and freshly disturbed earth.

  5. Chip

    If she was drunk it would certainly help to explain how he was able to strangle her so easily without a fight. Maybe that is why he didn’t mention it to the police.

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