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

Breaking: Interior photos of Chris Watts’ Ford Lariat Work Truck

Chris Watts’ work truck has appeared on the online vehicle auction site

Besides the exterior and interior photos, the VIN number 1FT7X2B67FEC57658 corresponds to that in the Discovery Documents page 614.

fullscreen capture 20190112 144542 provides some interesting miscellaneous detail on the truck:

– It has 74,472 Miles on the clock

– It’s exterior is described as “Caribou Metallic”

– It’s categorized as a fleet/lease vehicle

Watts’ Ford Lariat happens to be one of the enduring mysteries of the Watts case. The truck was used as an impromptu hearse to transport the bodies of his wife and two dead children. According to Watts, he placed all three bodies in the cabin portion of the truck, behind the front passenger seat. The Trinatich surveillance video appears to corroborate this element of his story – that all three bodies were loaded into the cabin for transport to the tanks near Roggen.

Yet despite the truck playing an integral role in connecting the one crime scene to the other, it appears not to have been made available to the K9 units [in terms of the interior], or if it was, that part of the investigation is off the record.

Far more evidence [or potential evidence] has been recovered from the truck than the SUV. According to the Discovery Documents, 13 separate items in the truck caught the interest of law enforcement.

fullscreen capture 20190112 143728

A few additional points that are worth noting:

  1. The truck was an “alternative fuel truck”, meaning it was powered by compressed natural gas [Discovery Documents page 814]. This raises questions around the red gasoline tank Watts was seen loading, and possibly pouring into the bed of the truck early Monday morning.
  2. Located in the front passenger compartment was a roll of black plastic bags.
  3. The front driver’s seat and front passenger seat were covered with canvas seat covers [These canvas covers appear to be missing from the SalvageNow photos].
  4. A potential DNA swab was taken from the steering wheel.
  5. In the rear seat were two large plastic bins containing various items including maps, paper work, safety equipment and work tools.
  6. Black rubber boots were found in the floor behind the front passenger seat.
  7. The front passenger seat is aligned differently, and with the backrest slightly more downward compared to the driver’s seat [in some images].
  8. The interior cabin and console is covered in a fine yellow dust.
  9. The dashboard console is fitted with an apparatus to hold/stow a work computer/laptop. Watts used [or referred to] this computer at CERVI 319 after digging Shan’ann’s grave.fullscreen capture 20190112 145551
  10. A disposable green cigarette lighter was seized from the door compartment on the passenger side of the truck. It’s not clear who this belonged to, as neither Watts nor his wife smoked. [Could it be Kessinger’s, Trent Bolte’s, Amanda McMahon’s or a co-worker’s?]

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The fuel gauge below appears to be around a quarter to half full. 49763002_10215224012408546_7046610090719182848_n49806311_10215224008888458_9012334175906168832_n49812730_10215224010368495_8165357807567110144_n49829585_10215224008648452_4147264908288851968_n49857681_10215224011608526_1791100297003663360_n49948336_10215224009608476_7792360208809852928_n50053184_10215224009848482_6415820222619451392_n50061169_10215224010088488_7534977808196435968_n50088516_10215224011248517_1082221223313670144_n50099182_10156036115938297_8983637467882061824_n50326156_10215224010568500_4031959287092740096_n


  1. Mustang Sally

    The eerie nonchalance of this vehicle being offered for sale so innocuously to an unsuspecting bidder suggests that CarMax or the like may wish to include another tidbit of information to their records of a vehicle’s history:

    Has this vehicle ever been involved in the commission of a crime of which a felony conviction/s was/were obtained, or otherwise have any notoriety associated with it of which a buyer might wish to be aware (such as transport of illegal contraband, substances, human remains, or any other objects of concern a buyer might deem objectionable…)

    • Mary

      I think it’s very important to let people know the truck transported 4 dead body’s, yes 4 shannon was pregnant the fetus (Nico) does count!.

      • Jorge

        Can someone please tell me how did he load the bodies into the bed of the truck his wife was dead cc is Celeste were alive we would have seen Shadows of him walking the girls to the bed of the truck

        • Meagan Guidry

          There is video of that.

    • Weloveyou Weloveyou

      There is one Qs that still bothers me… watts didn’t have too much time to kill and dig a hole/grave and open the oil tanks one by one….He said he kills one baby then carries her up and opened the tank and then has to close it, Nut by nut…..then go kill the other baby and carry her up and open the top nut by nut then close it nut by nut…how LONG did that take….I really think the kids were dead already…

  2. Sylvester

    I see there is space in the truck bed to squeeze two little garbage-bagged bodies down and out of sight by the silver tool boxes – or maybe IN the silver tool boxes. As for Sha’nann she could go in the backseat. Was she belted in thought? Would he care if she rolled onto the floor?

    • caseykaufman6922

      All 3 bodies transported in the cabin behind the front seats.
      Nick – is this cabin transport recent news or have I been living under a rock?

      • nickvdl

        I wouldn’t say it’s recent news. One could also infer it from the Trinastich surveillance video which has been out for some time now.

    • Janny Free

      He never opened the toolboxes

  3. sheis

    Aha! Here’s a perfect time to introduce this again! What ever happened to the hair that was reportedly found in the truck? It was mentioned on Ashleigh Banfield’s show back in September 2018.

    “Welcome back, everyone. I want to bring in Pat Lalama, a crime journalist who has been following this case. Pat, the material that People Magazine

    is reporting is astounding. Hundreds of hairs found in that truck. Take it from there.

    PAT LALAMA, CRIME JOURNALIST: Well, you`re absolutely right. It is stunning to me as well. So in that truck, where it`s presumed that he

    transported his pregnant wife`s body, the two children`s bodies, police sources tell People Magazine that they have recovered hundreds, Ashleigh,

    not a handful, not one or two, but hundreds of strands of hair. And as you can very well guess, this will be very significant in terms of the

    analysts, forensic analysts trying to determine if that will lead them to when exactly these poor people passed away. ”

    What color was the hair? “Strands” doesn’t sound like razor stubble. It sounds like longer pieces. Who had long hair? Just asking….

  4. sheis

    Also, the lighter. Did they take fingerprints from it? Would that be something they’d look at?

    • nickvdl

      Good question. It was reported on and then in the Discovery Documents – nothing.

      • Maura

        Would evidence such as multiple strands of hair found in the truck suggest Chris did some processing of the bodies and be part of the 200 pages of discovery not made public?

        • nickvdl

          That was what I thought. He had cut their hair himself on previous occasions. He may have cut or shaved their heads as part of a more thorough processing. But the autopsy seems to disprove that.

  5. CBH

    What would account for the hair found, then?

    • northlandfox

      My guess was he dropped them off at daycare or picked them up. His boss had mentioned if they made a stop or two wasn’t unusual just as long as the mileage wasn’t excessive or the company knew.

  6. tbp

    I came across this video of the neighbor’s garage camera on Yourtube. I was watching it at various timestamps. At the timestamp 12:45, you can see a small shadow coming from the inside of the garage. At that instance, you can see CW come from the front of the truck and pick up whatever the moving shadow was. He then proceeds back towards the front of the truck. At first, I thought maybe Deeter, but we know that Deeter was clearly locked in the basement when Ofc Coonrod showed up.

    I hope that this isn’t Celeste or Bella, and he put her in that tank alive. That thought is going to haunt me forever.

    I am wishing I wouldn’t have clicked on that youtube video. I will link it

    • nickvdl

    • Tiffany Mills

      Oh my god. I did not notice this before. This is so scary. You are absolutely right, somebody small/ short came towards the car and CW picked her up. This haunts me badly. You should consider calling the police in Frederick and point it out.

    • mindy

      There seem to be pieces of the linked video missing and some of it has been duplicated and looped in places as well as cut back in later in the video. I’m just now beginning to research this so maybe this has already been discussed previously. I’ve listened to and watched most of the interviews, etc. Read and watched many secondary videos/articles. I need to dive in to the released files.

      This entire case feels unsettling to me, as it seems like it does to others as well, even beyond the obvious nature of such a crime. It feels incomplete. And even beyond incomplete..I just can’t shake the feeling that Nicole is being protected from multiple directions.

      Questions like “is nicole kessinger’s father a cop” and “who is nicole kessinger’s father” and other discussion about who nicole’s father is seem to be conspicuously absent from the internet, which feels strange to me since all other family members have been discussed publicly in such fine detail. When I initially started looking at this in January, I did see two obscure comments in one of the discussion threads that speculated that he worked for Anadarko. And I saw one more comment that he is wealthy. But I never saw a confirmation of that and I didn’t think anything of it at the time since I had just started reading about this. The only reference to his identity that I can find now is a question asked on yahoo. But when you go to it it says that this comment has been removed. That feels strange to me since so much personal information about other people involved or interviewed has been released and re-distributed for public consumption, including phone numbers, digital passwords, and addresses.

      I also feel like a family friend of Nicole’s may have helped in some way…not necessarily in physically disposing of the bodies, but involvement. I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel that way yet so I won’t speculate here about it.

      Sorry for the wall of text. My comments will be shorter from this point. These are just my overall thoughts about this. This case is bothering me so much more than any other case I’ve ever researched before. I’m just not sure why specifically and that makes it frustrating. So many elements, behaviors, and official conclusions just don’t “feel” congruent.

      Thank you so much for all that you’re doing to gather this information here in this blog.

    • d

      Was someone else with him. I notice at the timestamp 1:19 the cab light goes on to indicate the cab door has been opened. But at that time CW is actually walking from the back of the truck. So he couldn’t have opened the cab door.

  7. Carol

    If Bella was alive when he lifted shadow into truck and she was murdered in truck, that would account for all the hair, she fought back, I’m convinced someone was in truck the whole time and it was them that suffocated the poor kids, the lighter might b used for quick small bursts of light in truck, if you watch beginning of video that’s time stamped when watts get out of truck lights come on, when he closes truck door lights go off, when he comes back out of house, carrying a ‘sleeping’ cece perhaps, the light in the truck comes on before he gets to open the truck door, am convinced somebody hidden in truck and they opened the door for him and did the killing, he didn’t go back to truck for another 4 min, enough time for poor baba to be smothered, don’t believe he did all this on his own.No cadaver odor found in house for kids, just the stress dog hitting on Bella’s room, such a frustrating case.

    • Bumblebee

      As far as the lighter, I think he was considering burning shanann’s body- or evidence such as clothing, blankets & toys, etc. He did bring gas cans that he loaded that morning….he may have needed a way to light the gas on fire.
      He was keeping that option open….

  8. Lisa

    He says the girls were alive and were sitting on the back seat and Shannan is on the floor. I say BS look at the room behind the two front seats they would of been sitting on her. He stacked them all on the backseat dead. He’s still lying. He took all the blame so that he would take all of the heat off of NK. He came up with a way more horrible story so the world would hate him and the world wouldn’t hate poor Nicole. I bet his lawyers either let him see her or talk to her on the phone before his plea deal and she told him he better not let her take any of the blame and go through an embarrassing and humiliating trial. Sexts, nude pictures etc… She was probably going out of her mind thinking about what was going to happen to her at trial and what was going to come out for the world to see( Jodi Arias) Worst excuse for a man ever! #NoBalls He’s so stupid he can’t see how NK played him like a fool and then deserted him taking no blame here whatsoever.

  9. sweetdeeisabird

    Nick, I think youre off about one thing here. I dont believe his car is powered by natural gas. I believe it is a ffv or flex fuel vehicle based on that photo above. It says FFV or gas/ethanol. That is powered by e85. The issue of ethanol in all 3 victims is resolved if you believe he first poisoned them with a rag or other thing. Shanann is unlikely to have been drunk and if you look at the 3 autopsies, the kids have “may be related to decomposition”. However, Shanann is not given that out. The ethanol isnt even addressed. This also explains the gas tank

  10. Saidee

    Why are none of the photos loading??

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