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

Random Question for a True Crime Guru Badge [#1] [Updated + Answered]

It’s time to check where the regular visitors [and lurkers] at this site fall in the True Crime Rocket Science hierarchy. Are you becoming a guru, or are you still learning the ropes?

The best questions in true crime are always the simplest. One of the simplest questions that emerges time and time again in try crime is why? Yet it is virtually never answered, or even addressed fully.

I won’t torture you with such a difficult question. Even after four narratives, the answer to why isn’t short, and although it’s been comprehensively addressed, it can never be fully understood. The best we can do is study a case from every conceivable angle, become experts at it, become encyclopedias of accurate case facts and compelling probabilities, and use these tools to master the criminal psychology at play.

How accurate is your encyclopedia on the Watts case?

Let’s find out.

At what time did Watts arrive home from CERVI 319 on Monday August 13th?

To assist you I’ve provided a screengrab of the applicable part in the Discovery Documents [page 2126]:

fullscreen capture 20190103 203424

Pick one of the five possibilities below, and in the comments, explain your answer:

A. 14:02

B: 14:10

C. 14:13

D. None of the above.

E. The exact time Watts arrived home is unknown. 

Good luck!


ANSWER: 14:07:44.

The three screengrabs below show not only the moment Watts, Nicholas Atkinson and Nate Trinastich leave 2825 Saratoga Trail together to show Coonrod the surveillance footage, but as Coonrod heads that way he turns and sees Baumhover arrive.

Baumhover’s arrival on the scene coincides with Coonrod’s exit.


These screengrabs are from the final moments of Coonrod’s bodycam footage following his arrival at the Watts home.



  1. Cheryl Filar

    I hate being the first one, but here goes: Bottom line I think it’s D—none of the above, because A through C do not establish the exact time he arrived home. I eliminated E because although other referenced times in the screenshot do not establish the exact time of his arrival, there may be other documentation, unknown to me (a known unknown?), that does. In other words, just because I don’t know doesn’t mean it’s unknown.

    I’m probably totally off, but, oh well—there’s my shot at immortality—lol. I’m sure I’m not a Guru, but I am keenly interested just the same!

    • nickvdl

      Well done for going first Cheryl. A for effort.

      I’ll give you feedback later when a few other brave souls have tested their mental mettle.

      It’s quite funny how we’re all very clever until we’re tested on exactly that. Then when everyone is watching, we remember we’re fallible. We might be wrong! Yes. But it’s not the end of the world to make mistakes. It’s the end of the world to be too afraid to…

      As a narrator, I can tell you, I am constantly reminded on how much I don’t know, and I have to spend hours and hours digging for what seems to be the most obvious info – including this. Sometimes you find what you’re looking for, sometimes you don’t, sometimes it doesn’t exist, and as you say, sometimes it’s there you just don’t know it’s there.

  2. Cheryl Filar

    Thanks for consoling me, Nick. 🙂

  3. Sylvester

    D. None of the above. Based on the body cam time stamp when the officer (Coonrod?) was at the house and Watts first pulled up to the curb, and a UTC conversion chart for Zulu time, none of the answers above are correct. Even if you count his “arrival home” as running under the garage door which adds one more minute, none of the above.

  4. CelesteW

    I’ll say D – None of the above

    He arrived 2:07. They were inside for 7 min when the fone was found and turned on which shows 2:14.

    Fingers crossed 🙂

    • nickvdl

      Celeste, you win the first Guru Badge, well done.

      D is correct, but you have to properly motivate your answer.

      Cheryl and Sylvester, you both did a decent job, but you failed to provide the *actual* time. Celeste, you did, and you may have made the grade as a Rocket Scientist if you provided the seconds as well.

      2:07:44 PM

      This information is out there but tough to find. It’s available in some versions of the Discovery Documents under the GPS data. Sylvester could possibly have extrapolated the same time from the bodycam footage clock [Zulu time] but didn’t.

      Nice going guys. See what a tough discipline this is!

      • Sylvester

        Yes, I could have – I knew it was 2:07 but I lacked the confidence in the final analysis. Congratulations Celeste for going the extra mile and that’s what it takes, doesn’t it!

  5. Cynthia Landrum


  6. CelesteW

    Yay!!!!! Thank you.

    I took the time on the above document (2:14), counted the amount of minutes they were inside up until fone was found and subtracted the 7 min.

    Well its almost midnight in South Africa thought to keep it short and sweet. 🙂

    Next time ill go into detail – very lazy typer

  7. Sylvester

    You know what’s so interesting – Watts specifically asked Nickole not to break down any doors or call police. But because he was taking so long to get home, they did anyway. Even so Watts feels compelled to elaborate on his not-so-truthful story that he blew through stop signs in order to get home. If only we had cameras showing exactly what all he did from the time Nickole called him to the time he arrived curbside – it would be a beautiful thing. I love the last line of your paragraph above – “sometimes it’s there you just don’t know it’s there.” There must be alot of blind alleys in your work and yet, perseverance is the name of the game. I’m not kissing your butt, I just admire your work ethic!

  8. Carl

    D… the time stamp on the footage showed 20:08 Zulu time when Chris walked up the driveway, and the times stated on the discovery sample are listed in mountain time I believe. The listed choices are way after or way before he was seen pulling up to the house, as well as the 1414 choice being minutes after Shanann’s phone was turned on after Chris found it in the sofa

  9. Shannon

    I’m going to say D. But at 14:26 Chris tells Christina, the police are here. Call you when I know.

  10. Mustang Sally

    Well done, Celeste!

    Cheryl and Sylvester, you may not have earned this badge but I’m certain you would each have a chest full of quite a few others already. I love reading your posts.

    • Cheryl Filar

      Thank you, Mustang Sally. Likewise!

  11. Sylvester

    Thank you Mustang Sally – one of my favorite songs of long ago!
    I ran across something odd, wondering if anyone noticed it – on p. 1769 of the docs, there were two google searches on Watt’s black iphone pin #3387 – “how to delete instagram account” and a search for “80mg oxycodon” which was spelled incorrectly – should be oxycodone. Next page down between 8/12-8/13 was when he did the search for the “Battery” lyrics – Metallica. Did anyone else notice a search for oxycodone or wonder about it?

    • Pasha

      Wow…..I never noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out. That is an extremely high dose of oxycodone and usually only given in extended release form and even then it’s for terminal cancer patients or maybe someone with severe long term chronic pain…..really severe. When I just googled it I saw where someone suggested that it be from leftover meds from Shan’ann’s cervical disc surgery. If it was, then I could tell you this – the 80mg consisted of multiple pills (not a single extended release pill) because no surgeon in his right mind would prescribe anything more than 10mg instant release oxycodone pills for post surgical pain related to discectomies. Was Chris thinking of drugging Shan’ann with all these pills? Wow…..he must have been even dumber than I initially thought.

    • Mustang Sally

      Mine, too! 😉

  12. Sylvester

    Or the children, Pasha.

  13. Mustang Sally

    Good golly, miss molly! If he had access to that kind of narcotic, he would not have had to smother his poor kids! I’ve been prescribed OxyContin (the time-released brand name for oxycodone) in much lower doses and that stuff will kick your butt! Abuse the medication, especially at that dose, and it’s deadly. Is it even available in the US in anything but the time-release variation at that dose?

    Also, wasn’t there some question about the accuracy of the time on the bodycams in general? I thought I remembered reading something about the unreliability of the bodycam clocks. I’m sorry I cannot recall where I read it at the moment! To be clear, I’m not questioning the veracity of the answer. I’m more curious if it was confirmed by cross referencing verbal statements, time Shan’ann’s phone was powered up (as phones seem to have very reliable time data), and the GPS data from CW’s truck? Was that a factor considered at all…the info. from his truck? Wondering if the GPS data was available or considered reliable as it also doesn’t seem to factor into whether the guy in the orange shirt can be conclusively identified as CW or not.

  14. Karen

    On the video “Chris Watts Exposed” at 45:51as officer Coonrod walks from the hallway and as you look into the living room there are a bunch of pink items lying on the floor. Possibly a blanket the girls may have been using to lay on the floor to watch tv

    • nickvdl

      Good observation Karen. I saw that too. It’s unfortunate he didn’t spend more time just absorbing the scene. The lounge/kitchen is another possible area where the children were killed.

      Someone made a stunning observation on the TCRS Facebook group today. She was saying when Chris Watts entered his house he didn’t call out for Shan’ann or the kids. Though I guess in fairness, no one did.

      • Karen

        I find it ‘interesting’ that Shan’ann and Kessinger were both left handed

Leave a Reply

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