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

Look where the Defense Team's camera tripods are lying…

The strange thing about the Watts case is it sort of doesn’t look like a crime scene. The house doesn’t have that tape around it, so it doesn’t quite feel like a crime was committed, and it doesn’t feel like there’s a crime scene either. Are there any photos, by the media or the cops, showing crime scene bunting around the perimeter of the scene at 2825 Saratoga Trail?

Besides this, Weld County haven’t released any official police photographs from either crime scene. Generic bodycam footage yes, but no focused images directed at particular areas and items of evidentiary value [with the exception of the bed sheets and thief hatch].
And yet as we know, this was a very serious crime, a grotesquery.

We get a potential clue to where a defensive case may have gone [had their been one], and what they were looking at, by peeking through the front door on August 17th, and seeing what the media couldn’t.
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When a fellow comes down from upstairs, the first thing he does is move those tripods. The suit then stations himself right beside them, and folds his arms.
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Food for thought.


  1. kouldb

    It doesn’t feel like a crime has been committed? Really? You want to ask the family of the dead victims? Meanwhile, three have been enough photos & videos released already. What did you want to see, the grisly sight of those little girls’ bodies and/or their mother? Would that feel more real to you? Either way. No doubt you’d find more ways of blaming it all on her. Just as you did in the first two books you wrote. You’re truly a disgrace. No wonder the journalist who first contacted you didn’t give you any airtime. She had you figured as the charlatan that you are.

    • Sideaffected

      Admittedly I haven’t read the books, but I haven’t seen anyone here that thinks CW didn’t kill all of them. Obviously-the neighbor’s camera proves that to anyone with a passing glance at the case. Granted I do agree that some people are harsh on Sha’naan and there are some valid and not as valid points but no one thinks she deserves to be murdered unless they’re bat-shit crazy. I like her personally, a lot here don’t. But no one thinks she deserved to be killed and he is definitely not saying there wasn’t a crime scene. He’s saying literally, it doesn’t look like a crime scene, which is true. But I understand the desire to stand up for someone who can’t speak for herself. I just don’t think his point is to say “it’s her fault, she had it coming.”

    • mitzi2006

      It’s very unfair to say a writer is victim bashing because they’re analyzing both the victim and the perpetrators behaviours. Crime doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it’s got two sides. There’s a belief out there that you can’t speak ill of the dead no matter what. In fact we are all imperfect beings. Looking to the reasons why this happened is crucial to maybe preventing it from happening again. Motivation to commit the crime is the very thing juries, prosecutors and the public want to know. Shananns own parents wanted to know why, so do Chris’s parents, they stated they want to know. Even if she was perfect in some peoples eyes it does no good not to know his side, it’s why the investigators meet with them, they want to understand why and yes the how. Does that make them ghoulish? Your post has little to do with wanting the truth and more about bashing those who do want to know. By that standard I’m assuming you will not be reading what Chris told the investigators in this latest interview? You obviously read the articles, looked at the pics and saw the videos, why did you do that? For professional reasons? Unless you are a part of the legal teams, a judge or a writer you watched and read from an interest. Does that not make you ghoulish?

    • marielangford3311

      Kouldb, please put on your thinking cap! Nick has never been disrespectful to the victims of this crime. He encourages people to think. You may find that you will appreciate everyones opinions more if you try to take his advice.

    • Ralph Oscar

      Got any images showing crime scene tape anywhere around that house?
      Then go away.

  2. Sideaffected

    I actually don’t get it. Sorry, failed tcrs here. I know you don’t want us to be lead by the nose but as I’m visually-spatially challenged, can you give another hint? So he’s protective of the downstairs area but I’m unsure if the tripod is pointed upstairs or downstairs and what that would mean respectively. Are you hinting that they thought the crime happened upstairs or downstairs? They’d want it to be upstairs obviously. Of course this could be before they got any video evidence they were preparing to get but at that point would have been unsure of its existence or what it might entail.

  3. Sylvester

    The defense team might simply have wanted to set up the tripod and have the camera pointed at the large bins they have spread out on the livingroom floor – to photograph the items they were removing from the house. I don’t think it’s set up that way to put forth a theory a crime was committed on the staircase. They would have no way of knowing that since Chris had, at that point, not given any indication at all what happened right after Shan’ann entered the house. He was supposedly asleep.
    But the house has other eerie properties about it. It seems to “loom” from the front yard – big, dark, brown, windows where you can’t look in except for two door panels. When you go inside it has the feel of a mausoleum. Like no one lived there – literally and figuratively.

    • Ralph Oscar

      “The defense team might simply have wanted to set up the tripod and have the camera pointed at the large bins they have spread out on the livingroom floor – to photograph the items they were removing from the house.”
      The tripods I’ve had access to have all had a swivel top so you can mount the camera and then point it different directions without moving the tripod itself.

  4. Shannon

    I think what is being said here. No crime tape surrounding the house.
    Other then a few cop cars, it doesn’t look like a crime scene.
    You really wouldn’t think a Crime was committed.

  5. marielangford3311

    I believe that you are right Nick. He attacked her there at the stairs. I see a yellow marker at the foot of the stairs and what is the object laying in the floor? I thought I saw Deeter snooping around that in one photo. Also, the carpet has more of a stain at the foot of the stairs than we could see in other photos.

    • nickvdl

      100%. There a yellow marker at the foot of the stairs [5th bodycam image from top]]. It looks like there’s another one on the kitchen side of the central pillar which is clearly visible on the “cover” of the YouTube clip at the bottom of this post, but on second viewing it ‘s more likely the “pedestal” of the pillar.

      • Donkeykong

        Nick if this is correct, (I do actually think this is where he ambushed her) how would they know he possibly killed her there at bottom of stairs? What tip off would they have? Because I can’t imagine CW told them anything. Can anyone shed any light on this?

  6. Stacy

    I think the tape had been taken down since the scene had been cleared already.

    • nickvdl

      Have you seen any images of the house with crime tape visible anywhere?

      • Ralph Oscar


    • Shannon

      Crime tape stays up for awhile. Never seen any here.

  7. mitzi2006

    I always wonder if this case went to trial if they would have used Thrive at all in their defence.

  8. Stacy

    No I haven’t but that doesn’t it mean it wasn’t there. Are you trying to imply the murders didn’t happen at the house? What I do know is that I have listened to the officer’s bodycam footage and he made sure the scene had been cleared before he let the defense team go on with their duties. Thus my original point is that there would be no need for tape when the defense team was there. Do we know for a fact that crime scene tape is used 100% of the time if there is a natural barricade to the scene like an alarmed door and possible police guards? I am not saying it’s not used 100% but cannot find an answer to that question.

    • Shannon

      Oh yes, crime tape used 150% of the time.
      The cops screwed up in this case big time.
      Curious how could anyone see in the tiny garage windows. Wouldn’t it be dark inside? The kid would have to be on a car or ladder. Yet no one parks in driveway?
      In 6 yrs living there, they missed the mortgage payments 11 times.
      No acknowledgement of time of death, hair in truck, actual death and no pictures.

      • mitzi2006

        I think he did stand on his moms car, was it in his police interview or his moms, I’ve read and saw so much with this case I can’t clearly remember where I saw or read some of the information

  9. Diana

    I recall that CW didn’t park his work truck in his driveway because it left oil spots, but you know what I find odd? That nobody parks in the driveway at the Watts house even now! The video Nick posted shows CWs defense team investigators inside the Watts house. Whatever they drove there isn’t parked in the driveway. The police officer who arrived to see who’s inside the house doesn’t park in the driveway either. Weird!

    • Liz

      Everyone knows about Nate’s camera.

  10. Stacy

    Don’t know where my first comment went but if the scene was cleared there would be no need for crime tape.

  11. Stacy

    I still have not found an answer that states it has to be used. The closest I could find was some Chicago PD procedure that states to use it if needed. I believe on page 1410 of the discovery it states Nicole Atkinson moved her car up to the garage and let son stand on it to see if her car was in there. No idea if light was on in garage but I believe there is an access door that goes from the garage and it may also have a window thus letting light in. With the light shining in the windows on the garage door you could probably determine if a car was parked in there. I believe the time of death is an estimate based on when she got home and he lugged their bodies out. The girls’ advanced decomp would make it difficult to pinpoint an exact time for them. I am not sure they would have found any hair in his truck since they were transported in trashbags. Now I see the point of the post that possibly the crime scene wasn’t secured.

  12. Katy

    I found they all behaved rather strangely. Why was the one guy fasten up his shirt coming downstairs? What on earth were they up to in there?

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