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Connecting the dots to Chris Watts' Second Confession: What's Going On?

Part of the mission of TCRS – in fact a very big part – is figuring shit out before anyone else does. This isn’t easy, and it’s a risky business because in time one can just as easily be proved wrong. But if we’re as smart and as informed as we believe we are [and there are quite a few true crime gurus here, as well as the odd true crime Rocket Scientist], then we have to be brave, step forward and take on the challenge. So let’s do that.
What we know so far about this “second confession”?

  1. Three of the key investigators and interrogators in this case flew to Wisconsin to [insert the preferred term here] Chris Watts.
  2. This occurred on February 18th, 2018
  3. Chris Watts has taken a plea deal, and since November 19th his status on that hasn’t changed.

All of that is stating the obvious, with the key riddle what word to put inside those brackets.
The less obvious but nevertheless logical aspect to this is the timing of it.  I noticed the chronology of the meeting corresponds very closely to when HLN broke with exclusive doorbell footage of Shan’ann Watts’ final moments when she arrived home. Did it have something to do with that? Had online chatter finally gotten under the skin of Weld County? Possible. Not likely.
Digging deeper into the chronology, into the basic legal status of this case, we’re aware that even though the criminal trial has reached the end of the road, another legal process is currently underway. And on February 13th we heard that Chris Watts wasn’t going to oppose the civil trial against him.
Just as he did during the interrogation and the sentencing trial, Watts has caved on his own story and given his full-co-operation [apparently]. He’s behaving like a “good criminal”, if there is such a thing. One could almost say he’s being a “dutiful son” just as he was a dutiful husband and father right up until the murders, or just dutiful, except it doesn’t appear Watts’ father is too happy about where things are going. He’s expressed “confusion” just as Watts’ mother did ahead of the plea deal.
Remember that?
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But there’s a strange mismatch here.  Watts’ parents don’t seem to know what’s going on, or approve of what’s going on, while at the same time Ronnie is getting in some positive PR saying his son his reading the bible and everything is over and done with. I’m sure they wish it was, but the case isn’t over and done with. Far from it.
Clearly, Watts denying killing his own children [and their grandchildren] makes them look less bad, and their son too. So it’s in their interest to “believe” in his innocence, and not be interested in further developments even though at the sentencing hearing, the opposite was said:
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Read more on this at this link.
Note that Watts’ parents don’t say they accept that Watts had committed the murders [plural], the unnamed representative says this for them, on their behalf.  There also seems to be seeding of the mob by letting them know an explanation might come out at an appropriate time and manner.
Well, this is the appropriate time, and we’ll get to the appropriate manner in a moment.
Of course immediately after the sentencing hearing, what happened? The Rzuceks through their attorney filed their civil suit. On the same day.
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Note how the Denver Post article above was published on November 27th, eight days after the wrongful suit was filed. By delaying the announcement someone is trying to muddy the processes underway behind the scenes. Obviously announcing the suit on November 19th would gain maximum traction and provide the public and the media with something to “look forward to” as it were, going into Christmas. But that’s not what this case wants. It doesn’t want attention. Justice yes. Public interest no.

Read more on the filing of the civil suit at this link.

District Attorney Michael Rourke gave interviews throughout the afternoon and evening of November 19th, following the sentencing, and either pleaded ignorance of the status of the Rzucek family, or he was ignorant.
Given the closeness between the DA’s office and the Rzuceks, it seems difficult to believe the DA’s office wouldn’t know about the civil suit, giving the high profile nature of the case and the mere fact that as prosecutors they’re pretty familiar with legal protocols and processes. Even so Rourke assured the public then that “he will never tell us the truth about why…”

There is also the mismatch between Frankie’s response to the news of the second confession and Watts’ father’s response. Frankie appears emotional as is often the case with Frankie on social media, but there is a sense of righteous indignation in his post – see, I told you Shan’ann was INNOCENT. 
Shan’ann’s innocence isn’t in dispute, certainly not here at TCRS. So coming back to the riddle, what happened on February 18th at DCI?
Watts wasn’t interviewed. He wasn’t interrogated either. And since his legal status hasn’t changed since the sentencing, or since the interview, it is possible he provided information on the crimes he was accused of committing. And I think he did so through a deposition.
Although Coder, Lee and Baumhover are present, probably there were a number of lawyers present as well. It’s interesting, if it was a deposition, then the way it’s being communicated in the media is as a confession, which is kinda misleading wouldn’t you say? [The Greeley Tribune describes the information as “revealed in an interview to law enforcement…”]
The deposition process may allow the lawyers involved in the civil trial to conclude the legal process almost as a formality, with most of the hard work happening behind closed doors.
In the Ramsey case, which also never went to trial, there were also numerous depositions of John Ramsey and his wife Patsy.
We also saw OJ Simpson deposed prior to his civil trial, although he went on to testify at his civil trial, with disastrous results.

More: Why the Civil Case Against O.J. Simpson Would Never Be Enough – Vanity Fair

The intention here appears to be to shutdown media coverage or public interest by having Watts not appear in court, and stirring up enormous public interest all over again. This way, that scenario is mitigated. Clearly a civil case concluded against Watts in this manner is not enough, but we await the details of Watts’ testimony on March 7 with interest nonetheless.

I want to thank one of the commenters here – William – for his contribution to the ideas expressed in this post.
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  1. Laura Thompson

    Makes sense that it was, in fact, a deposition. It would be helpful if we could see more of the visitors log, which would list any attorneys present at the same time as the law enforcement officials.

    • William

      I don’t think he would have to have an attorney present- he would certainly have a right to one being there but he could have also waived that right, especially if he is not contesting the civil suit. Just as he dismissed his attorneys when they told him they would fight for him if he wanted to go to trial, I think Chris is resolved to taking his punishment and owning up to his sins. Remorse, repent and redemption is what I think he is on a mission to do.

      • CBH

        Why are the officials interested in this, though?

  2. Sideaffected

    The deposition makes a lot of sense. That’s really the only thing that makes sense to me. The only other thing that would make sense would be that they are aware of the accusations against Nichol and people’s continued belief in bogus circles that SW killed the kids, but it seems unlikely that they’d travel to WI to interview him for that reason. It seems like a more formal reason.
    If you go on YouTube or other blogs or podcasts, however, it’s all coming together for everyone-he is finally telling the truth about Nichol’s involvement. And instead of quietly arresting her and then telling us, they’re just teasing us before her arrest. And even if he doesn’t tell, it’s because he’s a liar anyway. So she’s never going to be acquitted apparently in the eyes of the public. Some of these channels (or one anyway) is actually a criminal defense attorney’s who I usually like, but its content lately is “who’s the most hated woman in America-NK or Krystal Kenney?” And more people say NK. I can’t begin to express how annoying this is.
    WHY are people so obsessed with Nichol and why do they WANT her to be involved? They admit they will be disappointed if she’s not involved (presumably b/c they think she’s getting away with something). But I think it’s more than that. They would be disappointed if they knew 100% that she had no foreknowledge or involvement in the crime in any way. Why? Is it because they feel their own relationships are threatened? Have they been cheated on with a Nichol and, hurt, somehow jump to “she’s capable of murder”? I admit when I read the “Amber Frey” stuff in the discovery about money, my thought was her moral compass is a little off. But I’ve never thought it made sense in any way that she had anything to do with it. So why do so many and what is the problem? Are they that insecure? Is it sexism-can they not just place the blame squarely on a man’s shoulders? It seems everyone has a woman to blame for this-SW, NK, Cindy-as the “real” killer.

    • Liz

      So why do so many and what is the problem?
      I can’t answer your question, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down or stopping, does it? So many people are obsessed with this case, including me. I didn’t even know about this case until the sentencing and then started backtracking to see what it was all about, and haven’t been able to unthink about it since. I am hoping when I finish all of Nick’s books, I can lay this to rest and get on with life. Some people will never be able to put it to rest, such as the Rzucek family. It almost seems for NK to continue, she may have to fake her death. I’ve never seen anything like this before. The redacted Discovery files online, the Youtubers, FB, the digital age are all playing a part in it. It’s sort of like a Reality Show gone off the rails.

    • CBH

      I think it’s that they don’t like NK. Therefore, to have her involved and arrested would be gratifying. Also, it would make the case more understandable (he would never have done it alone) and more exciting.
      I think it’s too late now for a statement that she was not involved, as far as social media goes. They’ll always believe she’s guilty just as millions believe Amanda Knox is guilty even though she was acquitted by the courts. If Knox can ignore this so can Kessinger.

    • Duttdip

      First of all, I do not think NK was involved in the crime. Yes, she has the same likeability as Hillary Clinton, but demeanor often leads to perception that’s hard to explain.
      The one thing I cannot absolve her for is her participation in frenzied sex while asking CW to make up with SW. Pardon my oriental conservative social values, but that’s a strict NO-NO. If she was indeed encouraging CW to make up, then she knows that he is not 100% over the line, and you do not spread your legs if the other person is not 120% over the line. She may not be a murderer, but definitely a ‘lech’ in my eyes.

    • Ylime

      Why are they interested in her? Because she lied. She lied many times. I don’t think that she killed any of them, but had she come out with the truth right away, (and not deleted her phone), people would not question her involvement.

  3. William

    Thanks Nick for putting it all into perspective, you truly have a gift for not just writing but the way your mind works, so intricate and thorough, is perfect for analyzing true crime. I can’t remember where I heard that the agents and FBI guy would be going back to talk to Chris again, but that is what led me to believe it could be a deposition because usually there will be several taken, especially in a complicated case like this. And it just makes sense why the Rzuceks would be planning their next move.

  4. William

    Also it makes sense that they flew out to him to take the deposition, because he is a high profile inmate so for security reasons you wouldn’t expect them to bring him out of the prison if they didn’t have to. And it is my understanding that they requested to meet with him, so I could see why Ronnie was taken aback at this news and wasn’t prepared in advance- though the Rzuceks seem like they had a heads up on the meeting and were just waiting to see what Chris said.

  5. CBH

    So as a deposition is basically giving sworn evidence,
    Watts is simply adding evidence through sworn testimony in prison. His attorneys had to have been in attendance. And presumably Agents Lee and Coder and the other official did the questioning.
    One wonders how in-depth and detailed this is likely to be?🤔He needs to clear NK so she can extricate herself, but I wonder if he will give any comprehensive details as to his own psychological state and the etiology of the crimes?
    I don’t expect public interest in this case to fade any time soon. Outside of the conspiracy theory mobs who will never let go of their suspicions, there will likely remain as much interest as many still have in the Knox, Ramsey, and McCann cases. Even though these cases were never really “solved”, and the Watts one is, I still think there will always be a haunting aura around it.

  6. Jerry Manziel

    Big Ronnie Watts is still saying his son didn’t kill those baby girls……in addition to suggesting his son can now quote and recite the entire bible verse for verse.

  7. William

    Hello Nick I just came across this information, it could be very big news if this is the same Watts with just a typo of his first name. There’s a video from Twisted True Crime- they researched Weld County Court Records and there’s an entry for a Christerpher Watts for a rule 35(c) hearing, which is a post conviction relief, to be heard on 6/14 by the same court that handles the case. Here’s the video, let me know what you think.

    • Liz

      Wowsers! That gave me the chills.
      I don’t think it is him.

    • nickvdl

      I’ve done some records searches as well and there are many Christopher Wattses. Also many Shannon Kings and so on. This one is for El Paso so probably not a match, but kudos for trying.

  8. Duttdip

    I see a very similar pattern between Chris’s crime, his first confession and his second confession. That the man cannot withstand pressure and has a very low breaking point.
    1. The crime was a result of immaturity and inability in handling family pressures. Yes, Shanann had her shortcomings, but majority of “real men” would not find themselves in the blind end that he found himself in. And he gave in to the pressure.
    2. The first confession was a result of the pressure created by the detectives. He could not withstand 5 hours of interrogation, where as OJ and Scott Peterson lived full lives with hardly any signs of guilt.
    3. The second confession would be the result of moral pressure created by the 3 Rs : rumors, relatives and religion. He just can’t take it any more.
    Bottomline; He’s chicken hearted, and has hardly manned up to face any pressure. The prison is his most secure place to be in.

  9. Maria

    Could it be that they found evidence on NK and told him if he didn’t confess what really happened they would arrest her?

  10. Sarah

    The omission and/or embellishment of his placement on top of Shanann during their last conversation decides whether it was murder in the first degree or second degree.

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