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The Atkinson Transcripts – Watts told Nickole on Monday morning: “Would you please leave and quit messing with my doors?” [#12 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.

Listen to in-depth analysis of part 12 on Patreon.

“Chris wasn’t himself at all. Yelling at the kids more often, and just not himself.”

The twelfth part includes:

  • While the whole Watts family was in North Carolina in early August, Nickole collected the mail. She was surprised by how much it was, most it apparently bills and expenses. It’s possible when Shan’ann was in North Carolina without Watts, he collected the mail and he was unpleasantly surprised.
  • Shan’ann saved around $2 500 during the five weeks the kids were in North Carolina and not in school.
  • Curiously though Shan’ann often claimed she was a stay at home mom during her promotions, Nickole suggests both girls were at school five days a week.


The audio for the above transcript is available here.

The thirteenth part deals with Shan’ann buying Watts a book and writing him a love letter.fullscreencapture20181205072638


  1. CBH

    It’s very obvious that Watts planned on hiding or disposing of the purse, shoes, keys, meds, and car, and simply wasn’t counting on anyone being able to see that her car and these items were still there, destroying both the play date story as well as the running off after an emotional conversation story.

    He then had to go with an abduction story which cast suspicion back on him.

    Had Shannan’s flight not been delayed, making him rush with the burial, and if NA and her son hadn’t searched so thoroughly and alerted 911– both of these factors which he never anticipated– things would have unfolded much differently. Even if the garage door had not had any windows, and if the shoes and purse had been put into a closet, NA might have believed that Shannan and the kids were simply put.

    • Teresa

      I don’t believe Watts had a plan at all. He knew Shanann lived on Facebook and spoke constantly with friends and family. Did he really believe she wouldn’t be missed for a whole day? How would he explain leaving work early to return home to further stage the scene, which had to include getting rid of her car, (with the car seats) luggage, clothing, toiletries, medications, purse, etc? Even if Shanann had returned home “on time”, he would still have had to do all the above with just 3 extra hours, perhaps 4.

      • nickvdl

        So do you think the District Attorney was wrong about it being a premeditated murder? Do you think he just snapped?

      • CBH

        But do you believe with Nick that it was premeditated? He must have felt that once they went “missing” he would be suspected but they’d be unable to prove anything and wouldn’t think of the oil tanks ( he surely intended to return to Shannan and put her in also).

    • Teresa

      Yes, but if all three were killed “on time”, Watts would still have had to move their bodies and get rid of the Lexus. Presumably, he would have loaded them up in the Lexus (sans a GPS tracker) along with medications, clothing, baggage, etc., then driven them to a disposal site (perhaps Cervi 319) but would then have had to get rid of the car. Where would he have left the vehicle and where? He would have had to hide it in order to make his scenario of Shanann getting fed up and leaving plausible, AND he would have had to walk home after “dumping” the car, unless he had an accomplice, which I don’t believe he had.

      • CBH

        Well, if he had done exactly what he did do 3 hours earlier and hence finished at Cervi 3 hours earlier, he would have had time to go home and move the items, preventing NA and the police from being immediately alarmed. The car was trickier. Don’t know what he intended there.

  2. CBH

    ^^I meant simply OUT.

    • DCFan1911

      I think he would have bought himself days, maybe weeks of freedom if things had gone according to his plan, but would ultimately still have been caught. The circumstantial case would have been strong enough to prosecute, even in the absence of the victims’ bodies. Had jurors seen the security camera footage that showed Watts loading his truck at 5:27 a.m. the morning of the family’s disappearance, followed by no indication of anyone coming or going from the house until Watts’s return later that day, that would have been enough to indicate that Shan’ann, Celeste, and Bella had not left the house alive that day. Combine that with the obvious financial motive and the ongoing extramarital affair with NK establishing a clear motive, and you’d have had a solid case for murder. Prosecutors would also have pointed out that Watts arranged to visit Cervi 319 that morning, which was out of the ordinary, and pointed out that he easily could have dumped the bodies into oil tanks where they’d have dissolved pretty quickly.

      • CBH

        All true. So what on earth was he thinking?

      • Ralph Oscar

        If Chris could have gotten into Shan’Ann’s phone, he could have been sending out the kinds of text messages that would have reassured everyone that all was well. He could have replied to NUA that he (as Shan’Ann) had rescheduled her Dr. appointment originally scheduled for that morning because she was too exhausted from traveling and just wanted to cocoon at home with her girls, whom she’d missed. He (as she) could have mentioned that she wasn’t up for any visits, which would have been understandable, her having gotten in so late the night before. That would have bought him precious days – extra time to clear the murder scene (the house) and get Shan’Ann’s body hidden better. I suspect he was planning on dismembering her and shoving her into the oil tanks with their girls – the crude would dissolve all the evidence in a matter of days.

        But Shan’Ann had unexpectedly changed her passcode, and Chris didn’t know what it was…

      • Ralph Oscar

        “Prosecutors would also have pointed out that Watts arranged to visit Cervi 319 that morning, which was out of the ordinary”

        Except that Chris had been called by his company the day before (if memory serves) and asked to go out and check Cervi 319 first thing that morning. He didn’t just go there on his own volition; his company had assigned him that visit. Nobody would have questioned that.

        • Brittany Grantham v

          His coworker was actually assigned that site and Chris overheard it and then volunteered to go to the site; being one that always “helps” out and is such a “nice guy”. He heard of an opportunity to be alone at the site and he weaseled his way in under the guise of being the helpful nice guy

      • Ralph Oscar

        “pointed out that he easily could have dumped the bodies into oil tanks where they’d have dissolved pretty quickly.”

        WE know that, because WE have access to Chris’ confession, in which he provides that information. I don’t think anyone would have suspected that he had stuffed the little girls’ corpses in through the thief hatches. For one thing, those were only, what, 8″ diameter openings? A lot of people would assume that was too small to fit the bodies. Did the police even realize that the thief hatches existed as a possible point of access to the tanks?

  3. Sylvester

    Why did he act on his cockamamie thinking.

  4. Diana

    When you think of the lackluster job Prosecutor Rourke did in demanding Watts spill his guts for the so-called deal he got, it makes me wonder what would’ve happened if the bodies were never found. Rourke just wanted this case to go away as fast as possible. There are so many “missing” people that were likely murdered, but prosecutors do nothing because they don’t have a body, Rourke strikes me as one of those prosecutors. Some will prosecute without a body, but the majority in the U.S. do not! If Watts had more time, if Nickole listened to Watts and left his home, if the police had not been alerted, so many ifs! CWs downfall was Nickole and her son Nicolas!

    • mitzi2006

      I toss that around too, making him say what happened. But could anyone really believe what he says.

  5. Shannon

    Well, I’m glad he asked her to leave his house. I wonder if she did.
    At one part, she mentioned a List, like all the females made a list of things between them, to either ask if keep record….of the events.
    The “what if’s” would have been interesting. But because Shanann was so vocal, it wouldn’t have lasted for to many free days for Chris. Maybe he didn’t realize exactly how much she was on the phone and what she told her Thrivers.
    Daycare, 5 days a week. The kids always seemed to be napping at home? What was she doing all day… herself then.
    She wasn’t making any money.

    • EllTee

      Shannon, what do mean by this “list?” Is it mentioned in the Discovery somewhere? You have gotten my curiosity up, and I don’t remember reading about this list, whereas I thought I was decently familiar with what is in the Discovery. Inquirin’ minds wanna know! 😁

      • Shannon

        Hello EllTee.
        It up above in the Post. Nicole mentioned that Cassis told her to make a list. I guess with all the different stories Chris told everyone.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “But because Shanann was so vocal”

      Typically, yes. But notice that her video output had dropped to nothing by July/August. Shan’Ann’s public presence, her footprint if you will, was disappearing. She was still in touch with her friends via text, phone calls, and Facebook, but Chris could have kept the texts and Facebook posts going for at least a few days before anyone got really suspicious.

      But he couldn’t get into her phone because she changed the passcode…

      • Shannon

        I meant Shanann was vocal to her few thriver friends about the last few months about her marriage. Since they knew alot, her away, her coming home to marriage problems. If they hadn’t heard from her, something wrong.
        Rzucek is a Polish name, not Italian.

  6. Shannon

    Interesting comment about nothing.
    You need to Read all the posts and comments. I could go on and on about the “facts” about this case.
    But you know what, I had to learn about this case and so do you!
    Good luck

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