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

Chris Watts: Which Documents Are Still Missing and How to Request Documents from Weld County

It was HLN who made an open records request to Weld County for the doorbell camera footage of Shan’ann arriving home at 01:48.

Around the same time HLN contacted Weld County Courts, so did I. On February 20th I received a response to a request for Return Date of Summons [for the August 24th court appearance]. This was the email response I received:
Fullscreen capture 20190221 165032
There’s a fair bit of information I’m looking for since I have three more books to complete in this series. In no particular order:

  • Full autopsy findings
  • Autopsy photos
  • Police + CBI Crime Scene photos [Saratoga Trail – besides and excluding the bodycam video footgae]
  • Police + CBI Crime Scene photos [CERVI 319 – besides and excluding the drone footage]
  • Shan’ann Watts: Financial records
  • Shan’ann Watts: Criminal Records [North Carolina]
  • Police report re: forensic evidence and testing [sheets, carpet, blue glove, dustbin detritus etc]
  • Vivint records for July 4th and July 14th [dates Nichol Kessinger visited Watts home]
  • Police report re: cadaver dog examination of the interior of work truck
  • Police report re: internal examination of Lexus.
  • Transcripts of the interrogation subsequent to the “confession” leading to the plea deal.
  • Transcripts of meetings in November between Watts, his counsel and his parents.
  • Nichol Kessinger cell phone review and images.
  • Browser histories of home computer
  • Audio Interview Transcriptions

Anything you would like to add to this list?
For those who would like to submit their own records requests, please download and print this form, or leave your address and I will email you the attachment:
Fullscreen capture 20190221 165123


  1. CBH

    You might also add: Vivint/baby monitor recordings of the murders. Or is that just wild speculation and rumor on the part of certain YouTube persons, that these exist?

    • Sideaffected

      I think so. That is a theory harped on by “Armchair Detective” who also says now that in the doorbell footage you can see Chris peaking through the blinds based on shadows, and that in 5:30 am footage you can see NK picking up an alive child. Also cause of shadows.

      • nickvdl

        He’s conflating the light coming off Nickole’s break lights with Watts looking through the blinds [as if the light was on inside the house].

      • CBH

        Either he’s delusional, or he fabricates to get viewers.

    • Annette L. Wheaton

      I’m wondering, why though, Shanann’s mom told the police to look at the baby monitor and not to tell Chris about them?

    • thetinytech2018

      Vivint only stores the clips on their cloud for 30 days, if you have the cloud monthly subscription, and they’re only saved if someone downloaded them to a USB or similar external footage.
      The ring doorbell requires the monthly subscription in order to work, it used to be $3 a month or $30 a year if you payed for the year upfront. Im not sure what it is now, I just have them take it out on the same day every month. The fact that you need to pay for the subscription to the cloud to use the ring doorbell probably made it easier for them to get the footage and store it to a USB or external drive because after 30 days it auto deletes from their servers. With vivint, you can save up to 30 days of footage (from only four cameras at most) as well, but last I checked if you didn’t want to pay for the storage fee, you could save it other ways that weren’t on any of vivints servers.
      Couple that with the fact that he could’ve just deactivated the Vivint cameras that night and who knows if there is any footage. Idk if they had the infrared cameras as those are more expensive, and even so they can’t see that great in the dark, furthermore it’s possible to have the vivint alarm active but the vivint camera’s inactive. This doesn’t affect the ring doorbell (unless he cut wifi then it wouldn’t work but that didn’t seem to be the case) since the ring is its own entity that just integrates with multiple different brands of security systems (ADT and Vivint both offer ring but you still need to pay ring a monthly fee separate from the security system fee every month as they’re different companies).
      It’s very possible he either blocked the cameras from accessing the wifi (by logging into the router) or just didn’t charge them or turned them off/ disabled the ability to record. They didn’t have a hardwired CCTV system as those are wayyyy more expensive and can’t be accessed by a phone so people usually forgo those in favor of the cheaper, wifi connected cloud storage cameras. Both ADT and Vivints standard interior cameras need to be charged in order to work, so usually people put the cameras by an outlet so they can be constantly powered up, as opposed to the non- wifi accessible CCTV systems that are hardwired into a home’s electric and that’s another reason why the CCTV is more expensive.
      He could’ve just unplugged them/not charged them at all and they’d be off. I feel like he knew how to do disable them and had done so multiple times because (aside from it being quite easy to do) he had previously had NK over and Shan’ann was obviously unaware of that. Should she have got a motion alert on her phone from one of the cameras and seen Nicole, we may very well not even be talking about this case right now. That leads me to believe he toyed with the cameras often.
      I have one more question, I know Shanann and Chris claimed the cargo door of the garage didn’t open via the security system phone app, but did they even have that option? I ask because quite often, a sensor for the door from the house that goes into the garage is included, but the one that opens up the cargo door for the car to go through isn’t. Infact they’re usually anywhere between $150-300 extra and people don’t realize this. I worked for ADT HQ in Boca Raton for quite some time, and while I didn’t face a customer facing job I do know people often thought those two completely sensors were one in the same and couldn’t figure out why their garage door (where the car pulls through) wouldn’t open when infact they didn’t have that option. Usually they just had the standard sensor for the door that accesses the garage from the interior of the home.

  2. Squirrel

    Somewhere in the discovery docs, it says an Alexa device was seized during one of the searches. I’d like to know what, if anything, was recorded by that.

    • Jeanne Piwetz

      Didn’t they say they have proof CW unhooked all WiFi and dis connected Vivint

  3. Cheryl Filar

    Consider requesting Chris Watts’ finance records as well. Shan’ann’s more recent records will likely include Chris but I would ask for his separately, especially if they yield info about him pre-dating Colorado and possibly his marriage to Shan’ann. And, by finance records, does this include tax returns? If not add these because they would provide income information—a continuing subject of speculation per Shan’ann. A really good list already though. Thanks.

    • karen e hall

      He kept the WiFi modem in basement on shelf next to stairs

  4. Sylvester

    Thanks for being so so thorough! Yes, I can see that you want and need more than crime scene photos. I’m not sure that you didn’t include it above, but I thought I’d add “images and messages from Watts secret calculator application.”

    • nickvdl

      Assuming those exist. I’m not sure they do. But it would be good to make sure because they might.

      • Sylvester

        In the discovery documents they created a whole file on them – I think it was over 41 images.

      • Sylvester

        It’s occurred to me now that NK’s father paid to have any nude photos of her from Watt’s secret calculator, expunged. She was apparently sending him a few though during the Lindstrom birthday party as Watt’s texts her “My signal sucks so bad here. It might take a while to download your pictures.”

  5. Liz

    It just seems asking for things generically would not get a very good response as it would take an employee an inordinate amount of time to comply. Unless that is standard. Do you have to ask with a record number? I have noticed on the autopsy report in the Redacted Discoery, that there is a spot on the document that says Exempt to Disclosure and it is filled in with Yes.

    • nickvdl

      It’s probably easier if you’re a local and you can call and describe what you want. The Discovery Documents are chock-full of references to files that aren’t in the released discovery, including file attachments. I’m sure if one has the discovery they will have a fairly clear idea where to find what – probably mostly computer logged files for the hard copies.

  6. Cheryl Filar

    Addendum: per the finance records/tax returns for Chris and Shan’ann, I would consider designating time periods, or say all records dating back to X-date. This will make it clear you’re casting a wide net, so they will have to provide a reason if they can’t or won’t meet your full request. As you know, I worked government and specifically with EPA-driven environmental programs. Watchdog groups like Coastkeeper made sweeping data requests on a regular basis and always made sure to specify the parameters in their written requests.

  7. Anna

    Hmm…so – how does one successfully ask for information if one doesn’t know the “official verbage” to use to identify the information? Suppose, if money was no object and one wanted “everything” – what would that official question be?

  8. Sylvester

    Perhaps the friend who helped with photos of the house who lives in the Wyndham Hill subdivision would be willing to travel to Greeley and request all of the above. It would take several days to process the requests, then choose pick up versus mailed. To save on overseas mailing fees if the person would be so kind as to scan everything and email all documents, for a fee of course, you’ll have it. Then in due time, we’ll have it, and we should pay more per book for the information. Here’s hoping.

  9. Diana

    I’d like to see the report from the lab where the fetus was sent. Proof that it was male and proof that Chris was the father. I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere that Shan’ann was cheating on Chris and it wasn’t his baby. Of course I don’t believe that, But hey, anything’s possible!

    • Rachel

      @Diana That request is disturbing if not depraved. Are you seeing a therapist?

  10. Anna

    …I also wonder – and perhaps someone here has knowledge if how this all works – is there maybe an official “Table of Contents”? Ha! Wouldn’t that be nice!

  11. Liz

    Maybe the Netgear log on 8/12 and 8/13/2018?

  12. Kaye

    I would add the following:
    —GPS information from Anadarko regarding Chris’s truck for all of June, July, and August (if not possible, then just the tracking info for the dates of August 12 and 13
    —more detailed info on findings from the Apple iWatches and iPad

  13. Maura

    My additions are:
    1. Vivint Security Video and Audio for 8/12, 8/13 and 8/14.
    2. Ring Doorbell Video 8/12, 8/13 and 8/14.
    3. Netgear Router logs 8/12 and 8/13.
    4. Browser history of all tablets and computers.
    5. Apple iWatch records for CW and SW.
    6. Financial amounts from Payment Center where Chris used the gift cards.
    7. FBI Reports Summary/ Final Conclusion (I’ve read that FBI concluded these were premeditated murders and that the children were murdered first. Reports may detail their conclusions of what happened when and summarize premeditation.)

    • Clean Queen

      Maura, I really like the idea of requesting a final summary or conclusion by the FBI or CBI.

      • Maura

        Yes, they must have done a complete analysis of all evidence. If Vivint captured SW’s murder soon after she arrived home, that clears her of CW’s accusations that she killed the kids.

        • Annette

          The only thing that makes the theory that she was killed immediately be Chris not seem to be plausible, is the fact that her makeup was found on the bedding. Unless it wasn’t her makeup,but someone else’s? Or…maybe it was her makeup before her shirt trip to Arizona and the sheets just hadn’t been washed.

          • nickvdl

            We don’t know for certain if it was make-up.

  14. Caro

    Interesting. I’m curious why you think the calculator app images may not exist?
    Yes the Vivent recordings of the dates NK visited house would be interesting because she stated she ‘didn’t remember’ how she entered the house which would be very unlikely if she had only visited twice. I suspect she was there many more times.
    Thank you

  15. Sylvester

    Given the amount of discovery documents it’s really impossible, for me, to remember everything or even find something specific unless I start over. I take notes, but wouldn’t it be helpful if the Discovery Docs came with a glossary or an appendix or an index? Long ago I was looking for who exactly found the apple iwatch. Now I know it was not Nicolas A. – although he was such a huge help, finding the phone, etc. P. 467 in Matthew Sailor’s report 8/15/18 after getting a signed consent to search form from Watts at 0600 he met with CBI Crime Scene Analyst Dave Yockum, Det. Baumhover, FPD Officer Steve Walje and searched the home. “An apple watch determined to belong to Shanann Watts was located on a couch in the upstairs loft area, underneath the throw pillows.” It was Agent Matthew Sailor who found it. Stands to reason – on 8/15 they were tossing the place. Begs the question though, if Watts knew it was there the whole time he just must have just left it there, didn’t try to relocate it somewhere else. Before someone says she dropped it there Watts was meticulous. He knew everything about her and about his house. He couldn’t have removed it in any case, he spent all day on the 14th being interrogated. Night of the 14th he spent at the Thayer’s, only to have officers show up bright and early on the 15th.

    • Clean Queen

      Good idea! While I have not done this for the discovery documents, nor have I read all of them, I like to make my own personal table of contents when researching large documents. I’ll do this sometimes even if a piece already has a table of contents. Especially if I am going after something very specific.
      You are right. It would take starting over from the beginning in order to be thorough.

      • Sylvester

        Agreed Clean Queen. Many of the documents are folded- in out of sequence too. Officer’s notes and doodles are interesting as they are note-taking while on the phone with people or when they observe something. Just like anyone else, when we go back over our notes we tend to clean them up when the initial account is right when we notice something or hear something. These Agents and Officers, however, have a particular skill set and training that we’re not privy to. Watts also had a skill set – he was meticulous. I think although Shan’ann was organized in that she labeled everything she was likely a bit of a pack rat and bought things in quantity. It was Chris who made sure everything was neatly stacked, cleaned, and put away. Another thing regarding his attention to detail – go back on the previous few pages with still shots of the interior of the house. In their closet it looks like her clothes, and his, have been laundered, nicely folded, and placed on the bench inside the closet. There I believe you will find his long -sleeved gray t-shirt as well as the black one placed on top. Yes, he could have disposed of his black t -shirt but he also could have removed it from the truck and laundered it. Looks like he’s done a few of her clothes as well and folded them (center of the bench).

      • Sylvester

        It’s at 0:12 – might be an orange shirt in between too – gray, orange, black. He would want to keep his shirts, even it he has duplicates.

    • Maura

      Yes and they should have been organized in some manner with the duplicate documents in a separate area. Was it deliberately released like that?

    • Ralph Oscar

      “Night of the 14th he spent at the Thayer’s”
      Okay, since you brought THAT up, wasn’t that odd? Why was he staying somewhere else when he still had “work” to do at the house? That made no sense to me. Was it part of the scenario he was trying to present to look more…I don’t know – sympathetic? If his family were missing, he’d stay home and wait for them in case they came home!
      When a child disappears, the family often feels they can’t move to a different address, because if the child *is* able to come home, even after however many years, the child is going to come “home”, to the house the family lived in when s/he disappeared. So Chris spending the night elsewhere always struck me as a very odd detail.

      • Karen

        At the 8/14 interview with SA Coder, in the video just past the 2-hour mark, Coder asks Watts if he has somewhere else to go for the night. Watts says he was going to his friends. Coder states he cannot ask Watts to not go home but he is asking “if” he can stay somewhere else so that they can go through his house with a blacklight, etc..He also asks Watts that if he does go home would he call Coder first and tell him. That’s the night he stayed with the Thayers. Didn’t know how to post a link for ya.

      • angel

        Kessinger lived near the Thayers.

    • Sarah

      If you download the discovery to Dropbox you can search by keyword, makes it so much easier

    • Annette

      I believe he was there all night of the 13th alone. That is when he cleaned and made the beds. That’s when he told NK that the girls’ bedding stunk and I believe that’s when NK said they had a Skype conversation and she could see that he had no sheets on the bed. In an interview he said that the night there alone was awful and that he didn’t sleep much and kept all of the lights on in case they came home. So he would have had all night to do whatever in the house.

  16. Shannon

    Might as well ask for the whole file, documents.
    All that they have.
    Too bad, no contact person in that area.

    • Anna

      That’s what I’m thinking! According to the form the most they charge is $20.00 + redaction fee. If one were to request “all of it” that certainly would eliminate search times and whatnot, right?

      • Shannon

        If doing this person to person. It would be much easier. Because then you can look thru all and afterwards you would have to photocopy what you want. It does take time thou.
        I had to do this once go thru documents at a courthouse office. It took awhile, because I was looking for certain pages. By talking with the woman, I got more information on how to get different files.
        I only had to pay for them to photocopy for me.

  17. Kim

    I would like to see the Ring doorbell, router power dates, and security footage for the days that NK says she was at the house. That just seems so bold that he would take her to the house if there was a possibility a neighbor, or worse his wife, could have seen her enter and exit the house. Shan’ann was complaining about the security system – was that because her husband was turning off the router or otherwise interfering with the system?
    I would also like to see what DNA evidence, if any, were collected from the sheets and crime scene. I would also like to see what clothes the girls were wearing – were they outdoor shirts and shorts, or PJ type,

  18. KerryA

    As far as the autopsy reports, I would specify that you request the final and complete autopsy report (it would be issued 4-6 weeks after the autopsy date as they waited on final toxicology results). The preliminary autopsy report is basically what the pathologist dictated on the day of the autopsy, pending toxicology panels (general and specialized) and histological (tissue slides) results. The full autopsy report should include: findings from the autopsy, photos of the bodies before and during autopsy (many times including specific photos of injuries), a full toxicology panel and any specialized tests and pictures of histology (tissue) results. Also, most bodies are X-rayed before the autopsy begins, so there will be a summary of any fractures or bone-related abnormalities. Undoubtedly, the autopsy reports already released were shortened and summarized for public consumption. The actual autopsy report will be much more detailed and descriptive as well as including the above mentioned results. The science of bruising pre/ante/post mortem is fairly complicated and depends on a variety of factors. In homicide, strangling and smothering are both “asphyxia related” death which involve a cascade of events leading to death (hypoxia-hypercapnia-metabolic acidosis-organ damage-low perfusion-ventricular fibrillation-heart failure). This is a relatively ‘slow’ death as compared to a gunshot to the heart in which there is immediate cessation of circulation. Therefore, bruising is variable in these cases. However, tissue samples can be taken of the bruises and injuries which are much more definitive (if inflammation is present in the tissue it is pre or ante (around time of) mortem, if no inflammation is present, it will be a postmortem injury, like from being shoved in the tank). I am also wondering if ‘discolouration ‘ may not be bruising, but a ‘tattoo like’ effect with a postmortem abrasion and the depositing of pigment from the oil sludge in the tissue that was damaged. In any case, a full autopsy report will clear up a lot of these questions but I believe the actual crime scene/retrieval of bodies will be a separate forensic (CBI?) report featuring the coroner and pathologist taking possession of the bodies for further examination.

    • Clean Queen

      Kerry, thank you for another well written and informative post. It is fascinating hearing the perspective of a medical professional under these circumstances.
      I would have never thought to differentiate between a final autopsy report and a preliminary report.

      • KerryA

        Of course, and yes a final autopsy report typically takes 4-6 weeks from the date of autopsies (so in this case likely finished late September/early October) There are also subtleties in the wording the pathologist uses: “Probable” means most likely (but I can’t prove it), where “possible” is maybe/maybe not (but I don’t think it’s likely) etc. Sorry if I get boring, sometimes I think I am going on too much or getting too technical!

  19. K

    A person on interest to a criminal case in Colorado may petition the court to seal records. This would be a civil filing. The link is So it is possible that some records such as the secret app photos would be sealed. Probably someone could look at civil court dockets to see if any were filed. What I find fascinating is that so much information can be obtained in Colorado. This is not true for every state in the United States. Autopsy photos are not released to anyone unless they are a family member in my state, for example. How many murder cases have this much available information? The police cameras are great, they bring in so much information, too. This case would be great for a law school class.

  20. KerryA

    Yes, Colorado appears to have quite liberal laws regarding access to evidence in criminal cases. I remember reading in a journal last year that Colorado lawmakers had approved a bill to seal all juvenile autopsies but the governor had vetoed it. It will be interesting to see what is actually accessible and what other information will ultimately be released in this case.

  21. K

    One thing I am interested in knowing about is if there are any text messages between CW and SW that discuss their financial problems. All the text messages we have seen do not have any such discussions. I can’t help wondering what kind of conversations they had about the mortgage not being paid. Did they discuss their money problems in text messages?

  22. Liz

    Red Gas Can contents

  23. Luxurialism

    There won’t be any records/transcripts of the discussions between Chris/his parents/his defence in November – that info is not required to be part of discovery (which is essentially a prosecution document) & those discussions are held in confidence, completely separate to LE etc
    The only transcripts will be if LE had meetings with any of those parties

  24. TheDiplomat

    Does anyone know if this request was ever made? If so, can we also get copies of the received documents?

  25. Peko

    The meta data of the creepy doll picture: When and by whom it was taken.
    Vivint records for July 18 (NK phoned pinged in Frederick), July 29 (NK probably stopped by) and August 12
    Jim’s travel itinerary for August 13

  26. Cammy

    The recordings that Alexa captured on the day of the murders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *