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The Atkinson Transcripts – Shan’ann’s final call to Chris Watts on the night of August 12, hours before her murder: “He started working out while he was on the phone with me. So I just let him go.” [#11 of 15]

On the night of August 14, CBI agent Greg Zentner was dispatched to Boulder to interview the most crucial witness in the Watts case. The transcript below is an excerpt from a 72 page document spanning 3223 lines of text.

CrimeRocket is the first to reproduce and analyze this critical transcript in-depth. The entire transcript has been broken down into 15 sections.

Visit Patreon for in-depth audio analysis of #11 in The Atkinson Transcripts.

The eleventh part includes:

  • One of the earliest indications of infidelity.
  • Nickole describes the circumstances around Watts going to the “Rockies Game” [a lesser crime in the scheme of things but one he couldn’t get away with either].
  • Shan’ann’s also received security alerts from the house on her phone, so she knew when Watts was home and when not.
  • The fact that Shan’ann asked Watts to save the receipt means he had to have known he would have been busted shortly after Shan’ann returned home.
  • During one of Shan’ann’s last conversations with her husband he told her he didn’t want to talk to her because he needed to “work out”.
  • Nickole describes Shan’ann being in “a lot of [emotional] pain on the plane”, during the flight home. This suggests Shan’ann intended to confront Watts when she got home, and probably wouldn’t have been able to sleep even if she’d tried to sleep.


The audio for the above transcript is available here.

The twelfth part deals with Nickole’s knowledge of the Watts’ finances.



  1. mitzi2006

    Sounds like shan’ann was upset enough that she wanted to confront him if she had the chance but at the same time was desperate to calm everything down and fix it.

  2. mitzi2006

    I took the “pain” she was talking about with Shan’ann as physical pain because she described Shan’ann repositioning trying to get comfortable on the plane and also mentioned in prior interview that Shan’ann had been sitting a lot that day waiting for their flights

    • nickvdl

      If you read the pain thing in context, what is she talking about right before she describes the pain?

      • mitzi2006

        It’s on transcript number 2, starts at line 653….she’s describing physical pain

      • mitzi2006

        Yes, in this part she’s talking emotional pain, I realize that, but it’s at beginning of interview, the number and line I was meaning

    • nancyjames3358

      “Nickole describes Shan’ann being in “a lot of [emotional] pain on the plane”,”

    • nickvdl

      Whether you want to argue physical or emotional pain, the point is on the flight she was restless. This goes to the contention that she went home, got into bed and slept. She didn’t sleep on the plane.

  3. tbp

    If I didn’t know much about this case, that picture above, alone, sure says a lot.

  4. Sylvester

    Was he “working out” in the basement or doing something else in the basement that caused him to sound like he was working out. Things like lugging, wrapping, binding, going up and down stairs laundry or scrubbing. I wish I knew if on any of these phone calls from about 5:00 on Shan’ann heard Deeter bark in the background or what would have happened if she had asked for a picture of Deeter. Would he have been caged, or at the foot of the basement stairs.

    • nickvdl

      In one of these transcripts Nickole mentions Deeter being caged. It’s incredible to me that Deeter barking inside the house isn’t mentioned anywhere by anyone at the scene prior to 14:07 on the Monday, and I’m not sure Nickole even mentions it in this interview. It’s crazy because on her own version she says one of the reasons she went to the house was to check on the dog. In some of the bodycam footage you can hear Deeter barking inside the house before Watts arrived. It’s simply not verbalized or recorded. I’ve also not seen Deeter’s cage anywhere, have you?

      • Col

        Hey I remember seeing the dog cage or crate setting on the floor inside the interior garage door area. Right below the Vivent main panel. I think it’s on Officer Coonrod’s body cam footage. Chris Watts backpack is also there and it shows Coonrod going through it. This is after they open and close the main garage door to see how it works and how long it takes to close.

  5. Sylvester

    No, not at all. I sort of suspected maybe it was in the mud room – and I know I have seen the cage before but I don’t remember where. If Watts had any activity going on in the basement evening of the 12th I would think in any one of Shan’ann’s many calls to him she would have heard the sharp bark of her beloved Deeter, and wondered why he was so agitated. He could have moved Deeter to different areas of the house depending on where he needed to be, via his portable cage.

  6. Sylvester

    Thanks Col! It’s visible on the 08 13 18 1638 Body Cam video right at the 23:44 mark when one Officer opens the service room or mud room or interior garage room door while the other one is going through the trash.

    • Sylvester

      And – p.467 Agent Matthew Sailor CBI “we located a dachshund in a small kennel in the area near the garage pedestrian door, and placed the animal outside in the enclosed backyard.” Then p. 468 “prior to exiting the residence we let the dog back inside but were unable to secure him back in the kennel.” Just makes me sad that little Deeter was all alone in the kennel for God knows how long, in a dark house, then back into darkness running around by himself without his family and no one to comfort him after the horror he heard, or saw, or sensed.

  7. Kate

    He emotionally tormented her on her last days in this world. She was pregnant with their son my God…that selfish, evil sub human of a man-boy. I hope he rots in jail and is hell.

  8. Lynn Dee

    Asking to see the receipt for his dinner may have set him off. He knew at that point he would be caught in a lie and there would be a huge confrontation. Shanaan would not have gone directly to bed as she was stewing over the dinner charge. I don’t believe he killed her while she was sleeping.

    • nickvdl

      So Lynn do you think he decided to kill her after she asked to see the receipt?

  9. Georgia

    I remember seeing a cage on the very top of the high shelving in the basement photos, the ones that also showed the fridge, wall of plastic containers etc. I wondered then if he used it to contain him whilst he went about his plan.

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