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Chris Watts not fighting wrongful death lawsuit – what does it mean?

Ever since his confession on the night of August 15th, Watts seems to have rolled over and…well not died exactly…but pretty much given up on mounting any kind of defense.

OJ Simpson mounted a huge battle during his civil trial, but the difference was, Simpson was wealthy and had been acquitted of the original charge. Watts cannot claim either of these privileges.

There are a few items worth mentioning that add to the Watts narrative. Let’s go through them briefly:

  1. This story on Watts is the first media story in February on Watts. In January there was some brief bleating in national and international media about Watts selling his house.
  2. Steven Lambert, an attorney with Greeley’s Grant & Hoffman Law Firm is representing Shanann’s parents. Presumably Lambert is being paid for his services based on a commission for whatever sums he wins on the Rzucek’s behalf.
  3. According to Lambert’s direct conversations with Watts “he’s not fighting this…”
  4. The lawsuit against Watts prevents Watts from making money from a book or selling the rights to his story. Presumably there are some folks out there that would prefer Watts didn’t write a book.
  5. Watts has no legal representation.
  6. We might “hear” from Watts in a hearing where a jury will decide how much to allocate to the Rzuceks. If other court appearances are anything to go by, we shouldn’t expect to hear much from The Introvert.
  7. According to the Daily Camera: Colorado law allows a multiplier to be applied if the defendant acted intentionally and with malice.

It’s likely any new information from this case won’t come from Watts himself, but might come from those close to the murdered Watts family. Don’t hold your breath, though.



  1. CBH

    What comes to mind immediately is that he’s given up and feels guilty. It seems to be his modus operandi: Recall how quickly he folded when the agent told him he had failed the lie detector test.

    It’s a known fact that a significant number of innocent suspects do fail these. This was the moment to inform them that he was done speaking to them without an attorney. Instead, the next thing you know he’s talking to his father and then it’s a hop, skip and jump away from labeling a photo of Cervi with a B, C, and S.

    He’s not a fighter. He submits quickly to fate.

    • Fred Gonzalez

      I came here to say pretty much the same thing. He had his one moment where he was assertive for once (as far we know, only time) and now he’s resigned to the fact that it’s over. I have no idea whether he feels remorse and maybe that’s part of the reason to not try to fight anything. I tend to believe he feels somewhat bad but nowhere near what I would expect a father who killed his own children should feel. I don’t know why but I also think a good part of him is comfortable with his new life there. I do think he will be a model prisoner, very polite, stay out of trouble, keep the cleanest cell on the block, follow all the policies and rules. And once in a while look at photos of his kids, maybe while yawning or picking his nose, but never breaking down with emotion.

      • CBH

        What you say resonates with intuition. He had his tour de force and he’s resigned now to his fate. I think he loved his children but is resolved not to dwell on the past.

        He may find happiness and fulfillment in prison. It’s quite possible.

      • Sara Smile

        @Fred Gonzalez Well put!

    • ncam619

      Chris also mistakenly thought once he failed the lie detector test he wasn’t allowed to leave. One of the first things he said to his dad was “the polygraph…i failed it. They aren’t gonna let me go”. He had no clue that he could’ve left with his dad right then and there (which is why the cbi agents ran in the room so quickly when Ronnie mentioned a lawyer) but instead, he foolishly confessed.

      • CBH

        Absolutely correct. Yes, he was like a lost child. More like a 14 year old in all things at 33.

  2. CBH

    Addendum: Even as he is announced at the County Jail the officer announces “one cooperative male”. Just as Shannan saw him.

  3. Sylvester

    ha ha CBH. He’s a Fatalist.

  4. Carolyn

    Makes a difference when his targets aren’t children under 5 or pregnant women. Free legs and a heavy lamp and Shanann would be home with her kids tonight.

  5. Shannon

    Well, he realizes he can’t bring anything to Jail with him. Only money. Most of that house was paid for by him. Including Shanann going into to his 401k, for mortgage payments. He should stand up and fight. He’s got nothing to lose. It might make him realize, this is real, his money, his house, his life. He could keep some, donate some.
    Stupid, stupid man. I’m disappointed in him. Not that it matters.
    I think he has resolved to himself, this is it. He’s not fighting for his rights. For himself.

    • CBH

      Fully agree. I think he should have fought for his freedom and finances and his right to start over before killing S and girls.

    • Lynn Dee

      There is no money. They were in debt up to their ears.

    • JC

      At this point the only asset CW likely has to his name is his 401K. Since the Rzucek’s had access to the house and the paperwork in their office, they would know exactly how much it’s worth. Their lawyer, Lambert, will be paid a third of any settlement they’re awarded so he must think it’s enough to make it worth his time and expense to sue for monetary damages. You would think someone in the Watts family would have thought to roll the money over into an investment and give Ronnie Watts power of attorney so he could access the money. Solid financial decisions don’t seem to be a strong suit in either family, though.

      • Shannon

        JC. .
        Yes correct. I don’t even know if Chris’s family went to the house to remove his belongings. No report of that. I’m sure there are things he would have wanted taken out…for whatever reasons. His family could keep as keepsakes.
        But Shanann’s family were there from the get go. They actually made more money off her stuff by selling it off.
        I don’t know how far away Chris’s parents live or hers from Chris’s house.
        Nothing is or seems right here.
        I don’t understand…..baffling.
        I hope her family gets nothing.

      • JC

        Shannon, have you ever heard the old farming jokes? Well, this old fella, a soybean farmer, hits the jackpot and wins the million dollar lottery! So, they ask him what he’s going to do with all that money. The old guy says, “Oh, nothin’ is gonna change – I’m gonna keep on farming’ my crops like I’ve always done – probably ’til the money’s all gone.”

        I think whatever money they get from gofundme and any lawsuits will get piddled away on the “Thrive lifestyle” they inherited from their daughter. They’ll spend it pretty fast on pyramid schemes, fancy cars or other stuff. It probably won’t last long.

      • thetinytech2018

        Neither family had any financial smarts, that’s for sure. I agree with what you said, and if her family knows they have any money – well, they’ll go after it. Shan’ann and her family seem to have a sense of entitlement, why? Well I’m not sure, but the minute they started using her death to shill garbage MLM snake oil I began to see them in a different light. Not only was it tacky and uncalled for, it’s yet another glimpse into why she was the way she was, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of grown adults that had such terrible financial acumen. They come from a world where credit means nothing, credit cards appear to be “free money”, get rich quick schemes count as real jobs and nobody ever takes responsibility for their actions. It’s a bizarre way of thinking, that’s for sure.

      • JC

        “…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of grown adults that had such terrible financial acumen.” You can say that again!

      • ncam619

        Chris also mistakenly thought once he failed the lie detector test he wasn’t allowed to leave. One of the first things he said to his dad was “the polygraph…i failed it. They aren’t gonna let me go”. He had no clue that he could’ve left with his dad right then and there (which is why the cbi agents ran in the room so quickly when Ronnie mentioned a lawyer) but instead, he foolishly confessed.

    • Ellen

      May be he realizes that 3 OTHER lifes were ended by him. He killed two small children and you are suggesting him to fight. Wow! To fight for what? For freedom? After he killed his own daughters?! WOW

  6. Liz

    Interesting that in the genealogy the guest poster had that 2 of Chris’ great uncles committed suicide. I’ll have to go back and reread, but it may have been these 2 relatives that one had a wife that died and the other had a 3-year-old child that died before they committed these acts. Yet Chris made the jump to killing both his wife and children with seemingly not a tear to shed. And accusing his wife of the murders of the children. I think that is the reason the Rzuceks filed the lawsuit. I certainly would not want a liar ex son-in-law blasphemising my dead daughter. The damage he has done to that family is unbelievable.

    I don’t think it was thought when the lawsuit was filed that Watts would answer. He could have a book written though and the Rzuceks would collect money or is that a false statement? if the Rzuceks win the lawsuit by default.

    • thetinytech2018

      You may be right but one if the reasons they filed suit was for money. Just like Shan’ann, her family saw Chris as a paycheck, a free ride, even if his earning potential was meager it was still more than any of them could ever acquire on their own. Just as Shan’ann thought she was entitled to take from Chris’s 401k, penalties be damned, her family is no different and doesn’t want anyone but them cashing in on this. If they intend to, her family will demand a piece of the pie. Why else would they start shilling her pyramid scheme garbage right after her death? Many other ways to honor someone without having to scan the general public, and since that brought in nowhere near the money they thought it would (probably very little) they’re now looking at other avenues before their 15 minutes are up. They were supposed to donate an allotted amount to a charity as well, yet to date they still haven’t. That’s pretty telling, no? They came in and took over her “business” (I know a pyramid scheme isn’t a business but I digress) yet can’t seem to come through on any of their promised obligations. Granted they just lost their daughter but that didn’t stop them from bombarding everyone on social media with “Buy this thrive crap because it’s what Shan’ann would’ve wanted!!”. Even Shan’ann’s “best friend” tried to use her death to cash in, having (and I quote) a “Killer Sale on Thrive”. Tacky and uncouth, but I wouldn’t expect much more from the lot of them – class is something that her family and friends didn’t possess apparently.

      • Shannon

        JC. No sorry don’t know the farmer story.
        But yes her parents are taking advantage of her death.

    • Ralph Oscar

      There are some states that prohibit criminals from profiting off their crimes. It’s on a state by state basis, and I don’t know what Colorado’s laws are on the subject.

  7. Sylvester

    Someone, some day will come along and write a best selling novel about his story – like Norman Mailer “The Executioner’s Song” or Truman Capote “In Cold Blood.” And it will be his story and it will be fascinating.

    • Ralph Oscar

      I hope it’s by NVDL!!

  8. Shannon

    Right. Hopefully no money left over. Which I don’t think there will be. This should be interesting.
    Shanann destroyed her husband and his dream. That is part of the “why” this happened.
    I don’t see Chris (idiot) telling his story to anyone. Why not, it doesn’t benefit him.

  9. Kathleen Caraway

    I have a feeling Watts is actually more comfortable in prison than he was living with his family. His one glory spell was the affair but the clock was ticking. The money time bomb was not just ticking but raging. Shan’ann was breathing down his neck, demanding receipts within MINUTES of when he took NK out for dinner. He had bathed, dressed, fed, partied and waited on his girls ad nauseum while his wife acted like she had a real job. His life was horrible. Too bad he couldn’t have coped realistically instead with awful depravity and cruelty. But really, who’d want to live his life?

    • Sally D.

      Kathleen, I totally agree with you. I’m sure that at this point, he couldn’t care less about the lawsuit, he really has nothing more to lose. There probably isn’t much left in his 401K, and I would guess that his parents send him money for the commissary, or however they work that. It doesn’t matter to him if there are proceeds from the sale of any of his personal belongings. He no longer has a family to leave things to or anyone to look after. In fact, even though he’ll never be leaving that prison, in his own miserable way he probably feels freer than he has in years.

  10. Shannon

    Kathleen and Sally.
    I agree, with him being more content with his life now. No worries.
    At least he got to travel, beaches, drinks, sun, moon, family life.
    I wonder if he fully understands and realizes what he has done in his life.
    Or if it’s locked away in the back of his mind.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “I wonder if he fully understands and realizes what he has done in his life.
      Or if it’s locked away in the back of his mind.”

      We don’t know how the day to day grind in between the travel, beaches, drinks, sun, moon, family life felt to CW. I suspect that the murders were an acceptable sacrifice even if he never got away WITH it because at least he got away FROM it.

  11. K

    I am wondering is there was large insurance policies that SW parents could get? I am not sure. CW had a 401k, and I would think that he had a substantial amount because he worked for many years even before marriage in a good paying field. The 10k that they withdrew would be another loan payment they had to make but there would be no penalty unless they did not repay it. So I am sure that the 10k is now taxable with penalty. The remainder might be sheltered in something for SW’s parents, I don’t know. Shannan would be the beneficiary because that is the law in the United States, anyone other than the spouse would to have a spousal consent form on file. I don’t think a lawyer would take the case unless there was a profit after expenses, so it may be a substantial amount if there is insurance money and if there is a large balance in the 401k.
    I wonder if CW is happier in prison but he has no choice but to accept his life and make the best of it. If not, he may end up like one of his relatives in the past, as that would indicate some type of depression. Suicide can run in families.

    • Eleni

      Scott Reisch put out an awesome video on this topic two months ago

      A 401K is optional and CW may have not been contributing from the start of his working life. I read somewhere that he only made $30K when he first met Shanann. If that is true, he would have had little to contribute.

      I could not believe one word from a book or interview by Chris Watts. It would interesting to analyze him a la “Sermon on the Porch.”

      Women will send money to CW in jail.

      Why do people fixate on the PayPal and belongings from the house that Shanann’s parents have/took? CW’s parents did not have “the face” to show up and collect any of his personal effects.

      • Shannon

        Well considering Chris’s parents weren’t running around Fundraising , like Shanann’s parents, who made close to 200.000.00. I guess they can afford to get her stuff.
        Maybe Chris’s parents couldn’t afford to do this. It’s just awful that they had no chance to go there and get some of his stuff.
        How would you feel.
        I hope SW parents get nothing from the house.
        The lawyer for her parents gets 1/3 of the sale

  12. Ellen

    This comment is for Shannon:
    ” It’s just awful that they had no chance to go there and get some of his stuff.
    How would you feel.
    I hope SW parents get nothing from the house.”
    I read your comments and I really can’t understand what kind of person could write such things. SW parents lost their daughter! They will never see her again.They will never talk to her again. They will never hug her again! CW parents can see their son. Even in jail, he is alive. Their son is still alive. This is HUGE difrence.

    • Shannon

      Your point is.

    • Eleni

      Shannon: We have no idea what is going on with Chris’s family. They may have chosen not to go to the house of their own free will.

      • Shannon

        So after them pleading and speaking with their Son. They don’t want his belongings.
        Maybe they have no Money to go there.

        Would you not want the things that belong to your child?
        Even though he killed, I think as a parent you would want. I know I would.
        But again…..a money issue.
        I’m over this issue.

      • mitzi2006

        Comments sound like it was fun for rzuceks to go to the house and collect belongings. I’ve had to do that too many times, it’s gut wrenching for everyone involved, I’m sure even the officers felt horrible as anyone with empathy would

        • Shannon

          Yes but remember her parents sold her stuff.
          We only hear about the Rzucek family in the news, not the Watts family.
          The Rzucek family only wants his money.If only his parents realized that they are Entitled to their Sons money.
          Go on my …my and type in all the Rzucek family, including Shanann…she has many last names. Sandy with a y….not i.
          You will be quite surprised.

    • mitzi2006

      Agree 100 percent with everything you said. They lost their only grandchildren as well, Watts still have two. They’d gladly stop all of it to have their loved ones back, for sure. People seem to equate watts family losses the same as rzuceks and so did Cindy….they can still talk to their son and get joy from their other grandchildren, rzuceks have none of that. I don’t begrudge them one penny they get. The hate for shanann is shocking to me, she often gets it worse than Chris

  13. ncam619

    I agree Ellen. That is just taking it too far. There is no comparison between parents who lost their child and grandchildren to murder versus parents who “lost’ their child because he made a premeditated decision to annihilate his entire family (including his innocent children) because of his own selfishness and stupidity. Chris had a choice, his wife and kids didn’t. Like you said, his family can still visit him. They’ll probably even see him more often then they did on the outside. He just went from one big house to another. Btw, if someone murdered MY family, there wouldn’t be any possessions left over for the murderer’s family to retrieve, because I would’ve destroyed it all.

    • Shannon

      The police were there when Shanann’s parents took her stuff. So I don’t think you would get a chance to Ruin things.

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