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

Watts Family at Myrtle Beach, August 2018 and the Tension is Palpable [VIDEO]

On August 8th, the day Shan’ann arrived home from North Carolina she texted her friend Taylor Welch:

“Chris said we are not compatible anymore. He refused to hug me. Said he thought another baby would fix his feelings…he refused couples counseling. Before I left [we couldn’t] get enough of each other. He said he had a lot of time to think…I’ve cried myself to sleep over a week now…

A week prior to sending this message Shan’ann, Chris Watts, the girls and Shan’ann’s father Frank were unwinding at Myrtle Beach. They spent 4-5 days at Myrtle Beach, the venue where the couple spent their third date, where Watts proposed and where they went on honeymoon.

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At the time, when they got married, Watts was under the impression Shan’ann might not be able to have children.


We know that during the week Watts spent with his family in North Carolina, Kessinger was Googling wedding dresses, checking Shan’ann and her husband’s Facebook accounts and constantly sending nude selfies of herself to Watts, and Watts was hiding these in his Secret Calculator app.

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In the video below the sky above the beach is cloudy and grey. On the sunless shore the disconnect between the parents is palpable. The magic is gone. Watts is there, looking tanned and toned in his orange beach shorts. He’s there but also not there. He’s stiffly trying to do what he’s supposed to be doing, but he’s wishing he could be somewhere else. As small waves wash in Bella runs away while Ceecee tentatively faces the lines of approaching foam. Bella keeps getting away from him. She’s afraid of the water.

Shan’ann’s father is also there, perhaps also aware of the iciness between his daughter and her husband. He seems to maintain a discreet distance, hoping it will sort itself out.

Watts stands in the wet sand for a long time, seemingly in a delirium, wishing he could somehow make all this unpleasant conflict go away.


  1. Caro

    I wouldn’t wish the emotional turmoil Shanann went through on anyone. Her husband’s cruelty combined with his parents evil manipulation would have been enough to send a sane person over the edge.

  2. Kaye

    If this was a Facebook Live video, I wonder why it never posted to her page? Or possibly it was deleted at some point?

    All children are hesitant to go in the water when it’s their first time at the beach. I just wish her dad could have just said, don’t worry about filming all this, just have fun running back and forth from the waves.

    It is depressing that this was what their last times as a family were like. Chris pretty much kept his back to Shan’ann the whole time.

  3. Charles Edison

    The kids seemed to want Their grandpa yelling for him and breaking away from Chris. They had been away for several weeks and were used to being away from him. He seems rigid. As Nick says tension is abound so the kids def would pick up on that. Bella seemed to detect it more. The night before she was murdered she wanted her mom. If Chris were detached this and with the fued with his family and wife, made him justify his resentment. Shanann was not perfect. But she was not leaving that house and she would have fought him throughout the divorce and years after. She would have become a single mom that supported herself by Level. That’s great marketing. Chris was the one who needed them all to vanish because his lies were caving in.

    • ganana

      Only the people at the very top of the multi level marketing (pyramid scheme) scams like Level/Thrive make any money. These mlm things wreck people financially.
      The 80,000 per month sales numbers were from Shan’an’s entire “downline”. And the sales are mostly to promoters like Shan’Ann and her downline, and they are basically forced to buy the stuff and continually promote it, and to pressure everyone they know to join the pyramid. Many drop out once they see what they are into and must be quickly replaced with new promoters, or else the pyramid will collapse and take everybody down with it. This is a cruel, predatory business that should be regulated.

      • CBH

        💯 % agreed!

    • thetinytech2018

      She made next to nothing and was probably losing money (you need to buy a couple hundred a month to remain a part of their scam) “working” for LeVel. The average rep makes less than $6000 a year, and that’s not taking into account what they have to spend in products or anything else. Shan’ann would’ve had to stop playing pretend on the computer everyday like she did when she was married and get an actual job. She wouldn’t be able to get a place by herself, they were upside down on that mortgage and had no equity in it, plus they were a few payments behind on it and were on the brink of foreclosure. They had already declared bankruptcy within the past 5 years, and Shan’ann couldn’t even get her name on that mortgage because her credit was a disaster. She couldn’t get a mortgage with wrecked credit, low/no income and no down payment, and she couldn’t rent with her past evictions plus she had no first, last and security to give. Throw all that together and it means she most likely would’ve been living with her mom and dad and soon to be three kids. She would’ve had to attempt to get a real job if she even hoped to pull herself and the kids out of the hole she put them all in, but then she would’ve had to admit that she was lying to everyone to get them to sign up for her crappy MLM, that her life was in shambles as was her marriage and financial situation, which she wouldn’t want to do.

      When it comes to LeVel, I can’t find sympathy for Shan’ann there. This was her 5th or so failed MLM that she dumped money into just to get nothing in return, and she had no problemlying to others about the financial hole this scheme put her in. Instead she actively recruited others. If she didn’t learn by MLM #2 that pyramid schemes will bankrupt you, than she probably would have never learned.

      • KerryA

        I think you paint a very realistic picture of the situation Shanann found herself in. There would be no good choices left for her if Chris was gone, it would only be downhill from here. (Even if Chris stayed, they were getting close to the edge and adjustments would need to be made). If you watch the LeVel vacation video where she is in a white hat with Chris wanting to board an airplane, it’s pretty obvious that she would not take well to a ‘downsized life ” They lived in a nice neighborhood with presumably good schools, a sensible move would have been to put Bella in a nearby public school for kindergarten and change Celeste to a couple of mornings at a nursery school I don’t understand why they would have continued to send the girls to that expensive school they clearly couldn’t afford ?? That seems to have been a large factor in his mind since his first call after disposing of them was to call the school and cancel their attendance

      • Shey

        Shanann made as much or more than Chris at the time of her death. This mlm was NOT a failure for her. Even Chris admitted this time was different. They made an ok living but not a 2700.00 a month house payment, primrose price school kind of $. I’m not sure why everyone wants her to be this mlm hun failure but it simply wasn’t true.

        • Ralph Oscar

          Okay, if Shan’Ann’s little MLM venture were so wildly successful, where did all the money go? They were several months behind on their mortgage payments and they had not paid their HOA dues in so long that the HOA was preparing to take them to court – they had a court date within a few weeks after the murders. If Shan’Ann was so successful at the MLM game, why was this her SEVENTH MLM? If she was able to make money MLMing, why did she switch so frequently? They’d just filed bankruptcy in the summer of 2015, you know, just a few months before she dived into Thrive.

          They were *drowning* in debt. And not because Shan’Ann was making so much damn money.

          • Sylvester

            To say it in a softer way, with MLM companies you have to weight the costs of staying in. You must order a certain amount of product every month to be considered “active” – that is, to continue to make a commission on all of the other people you have convinced to come in to the fold. Then there’s the trips. Qualifying for the free trips isn’t really free, as those under you as well as yourself have to keep shelling out in order to make it possible. And all the while, you are not contributing to social security unless you voluntarily pay into it. Frequently you must give away your product, in order to tempt someone to try it, or make up gift bags or however you do it. There was also the “looking good” factor. She felt she needed to look successful to be successful. Along with that came spending money and buying things on credit she really could ill afford.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “She would have become a single mom that supported herself by Level. ”

      Fat chance. Only in her delusions.

      Look – if Shan’Ann had been making income, would they have been several months behind on their mortgage, a year and a half behind on their HOA dues (and facing a lawsuit from the HOA that could have foreclosed on their house), AND had all their credit cards maxed out?

      Face it – Shan’Ann was all about the *image*, and there was nothing behind it. Thrive/Le-Vel was her SEVENTH MLM, you know. If any of the others had enabled her to make money, don’t you think she would have stuck with them?

  4. VS Chinmayi

    I saw about 3 minutes of the video. Mom is just busy shooting on her phone a video for her social networks. The only people who are remotely trying to engage with the kids are Chris and Shan’Ann’s dad. Mom is just busy with her phone.

    • Sally D.

      Totally agree — her toddlers are making their first visit to the beach and ocean, and rather than enjoying it with them, she is on Facebook. I guess she did eventually sign off, but geez. You could say she was doing it to avoid interacting with Chris, except it had been such a constant for too long a time. Definitely a different sort of vibe here than in the previous videos, very weird. Even Shan’nan’s dad looks uncomfortable.

  5. Sylvester

    “next summer we’re going to take them to Cabo” – Shan’ann said that? Like there is just unlimited funds available to do whatever in life you wish even though the mortgage is due, the association dues haven’t been paid, massive credit card debt, Primrose school. But yeah, Chris is switched off.

    • CBH

      She was delusional about money to the point of being pathological.

      • Sylvester

        Again, I agree CBH. It must be some kind of pathology. Her parents seem reluctant to offer her any kind of meaningful coaching – regarding her spending or her marriage. Wonder why the hands off? Did she have some kind of unspoken ground rule with them that whatever she did in life was her business? If I need help I’ll ask for it? Most families I know are authentic with each other. If you can’t be authentic with your family then who can you be authentic with.

        • CBH

          Right; it’s certainly quite possible that she learned inauthenticity and magical thinking from her family.

      • thetinytech2018

        She had a childs grasp of financial responsibility, if that. It was almost like she thought you could spend whatever you pleased, even if you can’t pay because that’s what bankruptcy is for. I’ve met a few adults that think like this, and they seem to think credit cards are free money. It’s very very strange to me that a adult can be this naive. Enrolling the kids in a school that was $5000 a year would be tight on Chris’s salary (Shan’anns “job” didn’t provide much, if any income) let alone a school that was 4-5 times that amount. Just one month of the kids tuition would pay the outstanding balance their HOA was suing them for. They were about to be foreclosed on and had missed multiple mortgage payments yet Shan’ann decides to go off for 6 weeks on vacation? She can say she was taking the trip to drum up more sales but let’s be honest here, she wasn’t doing any of that and was doing even less work in those last weeks than she had in the months prior. The financial irresponsibility demonstrated by them when you’re about to have an extra mouth to feed on top of the kids you already have is just extraordinary. She didn’t curtail her spending, she didn’t try to consolidate the debt, just kept on buying whatever she wanted when most people wouldn’t be able to sleep at night due to the anxiety and would be cutting everything but the electric and water.

        In one of the texts prior to this she asks Chris if he wants the NFL package upgrade from DirectTV because football season is starting soon. That’s called the NFL Sunday Ticket and it’s an additional $295-$350 a SEASON depending on what package you get. Is she kidding? Where did she think this money was coming from? I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such a cavalier attitude towards finances when your family is about to be without a home.

        • CBH

          Agreed. I believe this out-of-control delusional attitude toward spending on her part was the driving force behind CW’s decisionsto kill. He should have gotten a lawyer and therapist to confront Shannan years ago.

    • ganana

      She was living in a dream world. So sad.

      • Cheryl Filar

        TinyTech and ganans—agreed!!

      • Mustang Sally

        They both seemed to be living in a dream world.

        • Shannon

          Shanann living in a dream world. Chris had no idea what was going on till those 5 weeks. But he did state he started hating her about a year before.

      • Mustang Sally

        Why did Chris have no idea? Because he was living in his own dream world where he took no responsibility for financial matters. He also believed he could have his affairs, wipe out his family, and start over again with a clean slate so to speak. That’s not a dream world?

      • nancyjames3358

        The “Le-vel” of self-deception by both parties in this story is off the charts.
        Had they stayed in their dream world, rather than devolving into this fool’s paradise, the ending would be different.

    • Cheryl


      • Cheryl Filar

        I was agreeing with Sylvester’s comment above. My comments:

        This is the most painful Watts family video I believe I’ve seen. Chris is detached or detaching from the children (possibly in preparation for their murders and/or because he’s focused on his mistress): listless arms hanging to either side of his well-toned body; half-heartedly reaching for the children’s hands, and, when he’s not doing that, his hands are cupped in tense fists. In the meantime, Shan’ann, as usual, is engaged on her cell phone, yapping with acquaintances while recording the event. In doing so she interrupts the moment by comparing Myrtle Beach to those of the Caribbean, which, according to her, have much more beautiful waters due to their clarity and color. While this comment is likely intended to let her audience know she’s familiar with the Caribbean and therefore has visited an exotic destination, it demonstrates her failure to appreciate the wonder of the moment, which is it’s Bella’s and Cece’s very first time at the beach–and, as it turns out, their very last. The only adult who actually attempts to live in the moment is Shan’ann’s father, Frank, who, only a few days later, will have to relinquish his daughter and grandchildren to their graves and his formerly trusted son-in-law to his penal vault. Absolutely heartbreaking and horrendous.

    • DCFan1911

      I think the Cabo trip was another Le-Vel “Lifestyle Getaway” – – so it would have been partially paid for the company (though they’d undoubtedly have had some airfare costs).

    • ncam619

      I noticed during shanann’s parents 20/20 interview they stated shanann had “the perfect life”. her brother even said during his police interview that shanann made $500k/yr when she lived in N.C. is delusional thinking hereditary??

      • CBH

        At the least, delusional thinking was part of the dysfunctional family dynamic; Shannan was encouraged where she ought to have been challenged.

    • Mustang Sally

      I wish I could simply “like” comments! This site and my iPad will not allow me to do that! Great comment, Sylvester.

    • LaraLeon

      Imagine his rage, knowing that he was the real breadwinner and her pretending to all her audience that the lavish lifestyle came from her MLM. She wanted to portray she was the smart one making all the money and him with “his little brain” was not the one making all the money. She was! And I bet a lot of her audience believed that. She had her qualities and she really loved her daughters (not sure she loved him) but she seemed to have a problem with money and with the truth. Remember they mentioned she had embezzled money on her other job, with the cars? And her parents really believed she built a house by herself and was so successful at age 25. Either they are very naive or she knew how to sell a lie really well. I remember in one of her videos near Christmas she tells her audience “i love to help people” …So, for you to help me, i mean let me help you….Oops!

  6. nancyjames3358

    Interesting how Ceecee repeatedly approaches CW, then stops dead in her tracks and goes the other way. And poor Bella, as robotic as CW.
    Two kids with parents glued to their cell phones. One yapping, the other texting.

  7. Lynda Gallien Pringle

    Remember Shan’aan’s reaction to the nut incident? She was likely quick to anger. I doubt that her parents would risk alienating her (and risk not seeing their grandchildren) by giving her any sort of advice she would find unpleasant. The person to have done this was Chris but it appears he just lived in the present. I’m a spender like her so I understand how easy it is to become undisciplined about expenditures but at least I have a strong-willed husband who will call me to task if he sees me going off the deep end.

  8. Clean Queen

    After watching many (too many) of Shan’ann’s videos, I am kind of in awe at how different the whole vibe is in this one. Shan’ann is clearly not her thrivin’ self. You can feel and hear the stress and tension in her voice. She just seems…sad.
    If you go back and watch one of her typical videos, the contrast is very defined.
    Chris is about as lively as dirt. And unfortunately, Shan’ann still doesn’t get it. Imagine the financial ruin they were in and here your spouse is telling the world that next year you’ll simply just go to Cabo. Chris must have been exploding this whole time, and unfortunately, dangerously, he kept it all inside. Until it was far too late.
    I agree with the comment above. Shan’ann’s relationship with money truly is pathological. Bizarre.

    • Sylvester

      Here she’s saved $2500 over the 6 weeks away by not having Bella and CeCe in daycare but does it go toward getting caught up on the mortgage and association dues or to pay down the credit card debt? I suspect it was used on a vacation for 6 to Myrtle Beach, yet when Chris uses airport parking and spends $130 it’s a cardinal sin.

  9. Shannon

    Well that was boring.
    Wonder why her dad there?
    Even with tension, she’s still on phone. If she was really aware, the depth her marriage was in. She didn’t show it.

  10. LW

    CW is like a statue. And Shan’ann doesn’t film him from the neck up hardly at all.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “CW is like a statue. And Shan’ann doesn’t film him from the neck up hardly at all.”

      I was going to comment on that last part as well – when CeCe goes over to Chris and takes his hand, that would have been the normal time to pan up to Chris’s face to include him in the tableau. But no.

      • LaraLeon

        passive aggressive move

      • Ralph Oscar

        “passive aggressive move”

        Good point, LaraLeon. The comments here that Shan’Ann wanted to document their girls’ first time at the beach and in the ocean, so that they could look at it later and relive that fun time and it would be a wonderful memory for them all – what about Chris? Wasn’t Chris supposed to be able to look at it later and relive that fun time? She didn’t show his face once, did she? Maybe from a distance as he’s approaching the waterline with Bella – can’t really remember – but when CeCe goes to him and he’s got both girls by the hands, that was the perfect time to pan up and get his reaction. To document his participation in this fun time.

        And Shan’Ann didn’t.

        • Shannon

          With her not videoing his face. Later when he might look at it, he will notice how she doesn’t show his face. I noticed that right off the bat,, funny she’s not getting his face. She’s being Mean.
          I think she could be quite vindictive if she wanted to be.

      • Mustang Sally

        Definitely passive aggressive. She and Chris were not getting along and she was not including him in her attempt to be joyful. He was the reason she was upset…avoidance and denial are as effective as passive aggressiveness here, I’d say.

  11. CBH

    Off topic, but just was noticing online the amount of people who believe Watts had to have killed before, and are trying to link him to an old North Carolina murder. I think this is ridiculous; they’re acting as though he’s a serial killer like Ted Bundy, when there was nothing random about his crime. How many serial killers also wiped out their wives and children? Very disconcerting, that people seem unable to engage in inductive or deductive reasoning…

    • nickvdl

      CBH it looks like by far the majority of folks will believe whatever they want to believe, just provide a nice hook. It’s the reason tabloids and fake news are so popular. It seems in our society as soon as a lot of people think something, massive herds join the stampede. They think what everyone else thinks because everyone else thinks it.

      • ncam619

        You’re right. How many idiots believe that crap about “2 jeans” and shadows?? 😂😂

      • Cheryl Filar

        “It seems in our society as soon as a lot of people think something massive herds join the stampede. “The Day of the Locust” by Nathaniel West comes to mind. In the novel the herd destroys Hollywood because they are disillusioned with it, because the fantasy it promotes, which is ultimately the American Dream, does not reflect their bitter reality—that of the Great Depression. As their disillusionmaent increases, they seek relief in the sensational, in spectacle. Rather than destroying the edifice of the Hollywood dream factory, the herd is now destroying the infrastructure of truth—facts and analysis—to create an alternative, competing, and ultimately more comfortable reality. In the Watts case, many want to believe that only monsters annihilate their families. To perpetuate this “truth,” the monster has to be made still more monstrous by willfully imagining further crimes that transgress the boundaries of the truth established by the case’s known facts. Paradoxically, because of its insistent amplification of the monster’s already terrible deeds, the herd itself becomes a collective monster—one that, because of its assault on truth, poses more danger than the murderer(s) it seeks to destroy.

    • Cheryl Filar

      Good comments, CBH. It’s as if systematically murdering your wife, two children, and one gestating child isn’t enough for the social media maw to chew on. They have to be fed more: Ronnie Watts at the crime scene distinguished by his white tennis shoes; Nichol Kissinger at the Watts family loading dock distinguished by fuzzy pixels of long dark hair and slender legs; and finally the spectral shadow of a still-alive Bella being loaded into Chris’s work truck and, presumably, later shoved alive into the oil battery. Behind all of this phantasmagorical speculation is a fundamental distrust of authority, I.e., law enforcement and, by extension, government. It’s True Crime’s version of Info Wars.

      • CBH

        Very well stated. 👍🏼

      • Sideaffected

        I think it’s not distrust of authority, but distrusting the wrong authority. There are people (I hope who aren’t legally adults) who are genuinely mad the FBI hasn’t responded to his “findings”. I doubt he actually sent things to the FBI, I think he realized that Americans think everything he says is true and are now paying him for it.

    • Clean Queen

      CBH, thank you for pointing this out! It is bizarre to me how so many people seem unable to use critical thinking, or even common sense!

  12. Mustang Sally

    Shan’ann to Bella, “You’re okay; Daddy’s got you.”

    • Sara Smile

      @Mustang Sally Right. Ugh, the irony! Horrifying.

  13. Ralph Oscar

    Wasn’t CeCe having the best time? She was soooo cute! By comparison, Bella seemed quite depressed or at least non-neurotypical, somehow. Just *standing* there. And wow – Chris was ripped!

    Kind of sad that Shan’Ann wasn’t playing with her children but was instead just filming them. Sure, you want to get some pictures, but it shouldn’t be the alternative to interacting with the children.

    • Sally D.

      I agree Ralph! CeCe looked like such a fun little girl, and so adorable. Bella, however, not so much. In the later videos, she appears thin, pale and very moody, and reluctant to participate in anything (the one of CeCe playing in the rain in North Carolina comes to mind). This one looks uncomfortable for all of them except CeCe, who was just havin’ fun!

      • CBH

        Bella being older (nearly 5) was beginning to show obvious signs of being the victim of a toxic environment in the parental home. Little did she know just how victimized she would be.

      • Ralph Oscar

        “Bella, however, not so much. In the later videos, she appears thin, pale and very moody, and reluctant to participate in anything ”

        Well, Shan’Ann did say that Bella’s allergies were “kicking her butt”, so she could have simply not been feeling well from the different climate/environment.

    • KerryA

      Yes!! Watching Celeste was so nice and reminded me of my twin girls when they were young ( the problem with them was getting them to leave the beach and fishing them out of the waves!!). Celeste got into the spirit quickly but Bella never seemed to make a step forward. She certainly strikes me as reticent and anxious child, especially at that young age.

  14. Diana

    I’ll describe some of the comments here by using a word Nick uses quite often – Simplistic. Its seems Shan’ann is never given the benefit of the doubt in favor of – Poor Chris! Shan’ann spent all the money while he bottles his rage until he exploded! Or – “Such a shame it’s the kids first time at the beach and instead of enjoying it with her girls, Shan’ann is filming them!

    As for Shan’ann blowing all the money for Primrose School or maxing out credit cards…..Why does Chris get a pass? He’s just as much to blame for the sorry state of their finances as Shan’ann, especially after filing bankruptcy a few short years ago! If he asked Anadarko to do direct deposit of his earnings into an account with his name only, I’m sure they would’ve complied, Shan’ann couldn’t have done anything about it either. While I realize the point is to see what’s going on under the surface to try to figure out why they all had to die, not all, but, some of the remarks here have turned the discussion into nothing more than Shan’ann bashing. Shan’ann overspent. Guess what? Chris did too. Rarely are there any comments as to why Chris allowed this to continue due to the complex relationships they both had not only with each other, but with others as well. Again, the view by some here is too simplistic imo. Shan’ann blew all the money. And?

    As for Shan’ann not enjoying seeing the girls swimming in the ocean for the first time…..No one here knows what happened prior to the filming. How do we know whether Shan’ann sat in the sand with the girls first, then went and got her phone to start filming? You don’t. I get that we’ve seen her record “AHA” moments in real time, but we have no idea that’s what happened here. Stop assuming. Remember, Shan’ann posted only a handful of videos in the last week’s of her life, so I would say it was anything but business as usual for her.

    • Mustang Sally


      I often think Shan’ann is judged very harshly based on just her videos. For someone who took copious videos and photos of her children, it’s hardly a surprise she would want to capture that moment, her girls first experience at the beach, to reflect back on in later years. I’ve seen many posts when she is doing just that – reflecting back upon a time she remembers with happy tears…because she has the picture or video. I also imagine they spent several hours at the beach that day alone; there is much we don’t see. Mom was very hands-on with her girls. It’s hard to be hands-on with a phone in one hand, so when she puts it away, all her focus is for her family. She’s also been demonized for seeming to be oblivious to her marital woes because she’s filming her children…maybe, just maybe, she’s putting their needs before her own and trying to ensure their first visit to the beach is as happy as she can muster under the circumstances. However they have come about, circumstances Chris is directly responsible for introducing. In this scenario, it is the mistress casting all the clouds, shadows, and doubts. This week? His mind is on NK. There is no room for anyone or anything else.

      • nickvdl

        She’s also been demonized for seeming to be oblivious to her marital woes because she’s filming her children. >She was virtually oblivious to the affair until the very end. I think the more prescient question, and I realize people hate to think about this, is what may have driven Watts to have the affair in the first place.

        I get that people will scornfully assert Shan’ann’s innocence etc. This is about a simple marital question. Why did Watts cheat on his wife? One might say because he’s a jerk and a monster, and Shan’ann was perfect. If we’re a little more honest, and we apply the Watts dynamic to other marriages, we see a very typical scenario where both adults are on their phones a lot. It’s probably fair to say that Shan’ann was on her phone more than he was, and more than most.

        Shan’ann shouldn’t be demonized for that, but the rest of us ought to be aware that in a relationship, being constantly on one’s phone is a huge turn off. It creates a real disconnect in relationships, and in families.

        If both adults are on their phones less, they notice each other and themselves more. When one adult is on the phone a lot, it gives the other opportunity to be on their phone too. One may be on their phone for the “right” reasons, but even so, if that amount of time is a lot, it allows a lot of opportunity for the other party to do something they shouldn’t be doing.

        Nickole Atkinson said in a Facebook Live video after Shan’ann’s death something to the effect of: “If something is wrong with your marriage, please, please, get off your phones…”

        • Shannon

          Excellent Analysis. Nick.

      • Mustang Sally

        I definitely agree with you and I was alluding to whatever reason CW chose to have an affair with my comment, “however it came about…” I also realize SW was unaware of his actual affair, but her instincts were telling her that something was seriously wrong. As a woman, however she may have denied it, whomever she may have denied it to, and whatever excuses she may have used to reassure herself (ie “he has no game”)…the possibility was in her mind. She was clearly doubting herself, becoming more introspective, and readily defending the suggestions to others that he might be having an affair. It was definitely in her head.

      • Mustang Sally

        I have never said and won’t say Shan’ann is innocent of any culpability within her life, marriage, or financial woes. She clearly has her share of responsibility. I’m not trying to exonerate her from anything; just trying to keep a balanced perspective out there.

    • Caro

      Totally agree. It disgusts me how Shanann is bashed over & over. There are 2 people in a marriage. What was her husband doing about the finances, everything?! NOTHING

  15. Duttdip

    I won’t read too much into every small thing. Maybe Bella was different. Maybe she would have turned out to be more academic-minded. My two boys are poles apart.

    • silkwoodlit

      Yes! My sister and I are 13 months apart. I was the older one. Brown, curly hair and brown eyes like Bella, slimmer build, and my sister with blue eyes and blond hair. I was the worrier and my sis the carefree silly one. Now in our 40s, I have sought more education (by a lot), and she’s still fun and has her shit together at the same time. I’m more brooding with an exclusivity about friendships and she’s kind of superficial-ish and will befriend just about anyone but a very good person. We both found our way.

      There’s no sense in trying to read so much into Bella’s tentativeness, etc. And I am trying to convey the parallels I see with these two siblings and myself and sister, with birth order and other factors at play.

      Tragically, we’ll never know what they could have developed into. But it’s ghoulish of some speculative folks to read so much into personality and behavior variations. I just wish so much he had given them a chance to become who they were meant to be.

  16. Sylvester

    Listening to “Will” again on youtube “411 Now”. I like him as he’s very conscientious, has done his research and hasn’t had lip injections. I’m also very appreciative of the extensive research that has gone into this blog and the NVDL books. Anyway, he did a financial rundown on the Watts couple and said she had the house in NC custom built for her, it was not Leonard King’s money – it was her own. It’s odd her parents don’t mention anything about their financial situation or her past history with getting in over her head. Will states she made a mess of things and ran up credit card debt and had bad credit such that the house in Frederick had to be purchased in Chris’s name only, through JP Morgan Chase bank. That when Chris got the job with Anadarko they took him around to look at houses with what they could afford, and Shan’ann wouldn’t hear of the smaller more economical houses, but instead wanted to buy new – and big. Also, he says, they still owed approx. $17,900 on fertility treatments for both girls, and there was $25,000 left for her neck surgery that hadn’t been paid. How in the world could she think they could continue on this way – declare bankruptcy again? So I’m of agreement with CBH that she was partially delusional, and also that there was learned behavior with Bella having multiple fears – including about death. A toxic environment.

    • Mustang Sally

      I had read about the outstanding debt for their fertility treatments and her neck surgeries as well but couldn’t source the information! Those are whopping sums and were not discharged in their bankruptcy claim. The amount of debt hanging over their heads was shocking in comparison to what income they had. Something catastrophic was in their future, neither seemed prepared to address it practically, rationally, or with any sense of responsibility.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “How in the world could she think they could continue on this way – declare bankruptcy again?”

      They’d just filed bankruptcy in 2015; there would not be another until at least 2023.

      “That when Chris got the job with Anadarko they took him around to look at houses with what they could afford, and Shan’ann wouldn’t hear of the smaller more economical houses, but instead wanted to buy new – and big.”

      That reminds me of this woman I knew in the early 2000s. While she wasn’t into MLMs, she *was* into the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” scam. In a nutshell, if you go to college, get degrees, and work hard for a corporation, you’re an idiot moron loser. The smart way to live is to amass as many properties as you can and then you’ll be rich-rich-rich! So she boasted of having five properties and sneered at us, living within our means. She also considered it a point of pride that she would *never* live in a house that was not new. She and her husband had bought a house in the late 1990s or something and, when they sold it a few years later, they made $30K profit. So they bought a bigger house. As the housing market run-up proceeded apace, as soon as their house appreciated, they’d take out a home equity line of credit and buy another house. And as that house appreciated, they’d take out another home equity line of credit on that house, and buy another. One time, they bought a brand new house and, upon closing, turned the keys directly over to a realtor and walked away with $10K for their trouble!

      But then the collapse of 2007-2008 happened. It turned out that, for all of their rental properties, they’d gotten those junk ARM mortgages, and the rates started ratcheting up. She confided that, on just one of their rental properties, they were losing $2000 per month due to the higher mortgage interest rate. She couldn’t sleep. And, instead of being able to just sell at a profit like in years earlier, all their properties were under water. They ended up short-selling all their properties, and, before their credit scores tanked, purchased a very nice but small condo. Of course it was new.

      Meanwhile, we stayed put, paying our boring fixed-rate mortgage, rode out the financial problems of 2007 and 2008 and, when we decided to sell and move in 2015, I remodeled it from top to bottom – “flipped” it, essentially – and we walked away with over $250K profit. Her situation has not recovered. So much for “Rich Dad Poor Dad”.

    • Ralph Oscar

      Sly, do you recall Will mentioning anything about Shan’Ann’s parents having a bankruptcy, too? Is there any chance they helped her buy that first house of hers and ended up taking the fall?

    • Marcie

      Any debt from “fertility treatments” would have been discharged in the 2015 BK. There are only a few medical debts listed, and they are for small amounts. Shanann got pregnant within 3 months after marriage. She got pregnant again within 1 year after giving birth to Bella. Had she been prescribed a fertility drug, it was probably the common and cheap Clomid – which is the first course of action. There was no 17k in fertility treatments.

      Also, I doubt there was a 25k bill for Shanann’s autumn, 2017 neck surgery. The BK docs show Chris paid $476.67/mo for health insurance. That was his contribution before Anadarko’s. They had a Cadillac policy. No way would their responsibility be 25k.

      Based on the BK documents, Sandra Rzucek’s letter to the DA, and assertions they had high medical bills when in fact they had fantastic health insurance, I think Shanann used “medical debt” to cover up reckless spending.

  17. LaraLeon

    And CW knew it would be impossible to persuade her to take the girls out of that school. In one of her texts she says “It is difficult to take care of them but with school is easier”. So he knew what he was going to have to deal with…….

    • ncam619

      I never realized how little time they were spending with the girls (besides the summertime). Their school day was from 8-4 and they went to bed at 6 or 6:30 (which seems early imo). That gave them literally 2 hours/day to spend with them. They were toddlers who went to school 5 days/wk 8 hrs/day. It just seems unnecessary. Shan’ann mentioned that she did all of her thrive calls when the girls went to bed. Then what was she doing during the day???

      • Shannon

        I wondered what she did all day by herself. There were times when kids were napping. Maybe on the weekends also. There was no reason for the daycare. She didn’t want them around and she was trying to keep up with the Joneses.
        To me, the whole situation is chaotic.

      • Ralph Oscar

        Well, we’ve seen plenty of pics of her going out with NUA for manicures, and plenty of shots of Shan’Ann’s always perfect fingernails – that’s part of it.

  18. Sylvester

    It seems as though Watts was feeling very discontent around Feb.-March 2018 as that is when he had the fling with Amanda McMahon. I have to wonder if there were others in addition to her and before NK. I don’t think anyone else is going to come forward. The Christmas video where he’s dressed as Santa Claus, he doesn’t seem the least bit happy then either so that takes us back even further. Go back even further to his wedding day. I don’t see any smiles from him. Imagine your wedding day and your dad (and best friend) and mother boycott it. His marriage got off to a pretty bad start I’d say.

    • Mustang Sally

      That last one remains a true mystery to me. His parents are so against his marriage that they are willing to devastate their son by boycotting that significant moment in his life even going so far as to help meddle in that invite fiasco. He has chosen the woman he wishes to love and honor and they, in essence, say, “Sorry, Charlie; we don’t agree and you’re on your own here.” BUT they will stand in a courtroom and tell their son how much they love him, will stand by him, and forgive him for murdering his wife, his two daughters…their grandchildren, and his unborn son…their grandson?!

      They won’t stand by him at his wedding but they will stand by him for murder.

    • Shannon

      I wonder who payed for that wedding. . I noticed long time ago, Chris not smiling in the wedding pics. I read somewhere, god knows where. Apparently even then they weren’t really getting along that well.

      • Mustang Sally

        I read something to that effect as well. Maybe it was Nickole’s transcripts? Not sure but said Shan’ann had shared only twice in their marriage had things been difficult between her and Chris…the time just after their marriage and the time just preceding the murders.

        • Shannon

          Yes, your right. That’s where I read that.
          Thank you. ((*-*))

      • Mustang Sally


      • LaraLeon

        Judging by his communication speech video back in 2002 we can see he was already unhappy then. Complaining about a relationship with your significant other. Perhaps they were never happy together, just going with the motions

  19. LaraLeon

    Sorry, I meant to say 2012, not 2002. Too bad we cant edit our posts

  20. Dr.Watson

    I remember the detective asking Chris what happened to the money for the house payment?? Chris says ” Shannon told him she mailed it to the wrong address”. You can tell he believed her. She made that story up.
    She used that excuse many times. That was such an obvious cover up on her part. He also believed most of their bankruptcy was for medical bills as well. She knew she could manipulate him . She did not make diddle squat. She used his money. She was such a shallow person. So in-authentic. She cared only on what other people would think. Very insecure. She herself did not know who she really was. Why? Because that would require work in finding it out, making her very uncomfortable. That would take courage on her part for self evaluation and introspection. She can never admit she is wrong. Ever!!She was unwilling to look at her own issues or inner demons It was every body else who was always the one who was wrong. One way not to have to face yourself and not deal with it is to distract yourself. Excessive face-timing, self gratification, fanaticizing she is someone she is not. As long as she was on that phone pretending, she could play out her fantasy and feed her low self-esteem and ego. Turn phone off she would have to deal with her real thoughts. So she distracted herself with excessive shopping and spending money she did not have. I also am convinced she embezzled that money from her job. Her parents as well in listening to them seem to not be willing to be forthright in things. The apple does not fall from the tree. Nature or Nurture?

  21. Dr.Watson

    Cause and Effect. For every action there is a reaction. BTW. She took out a loan to pay for the wedding. Right from the get go she began married life by getting something she could not afford.

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