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A Red-Brown Stain on the Central Porch Cushion – and why we need to take a closer look at those Weatherproof Outdoor Cushions

We’ve discussed the porch cushions before, and the pendulum has swung from a supposedly suspicious pattern-interrupting-arrangement on the porch to the realization that the cushions were arranged like that anyway when Shan’ann arrived home.

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But we’re still left with what appeared – and sounded like – interest from the cadaver dog when the dog ventured into that area. The interest was such the handler lifted the central cushion.

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You can watch that moment here.

Or listen here.

Now, in fairness, nothing is mentioned in the discovery about alerts on the porch. What is mentioned is the odor of cleaning chemicals, and the fact that Watts had placed his daughters’ shoes on the back porch. These were subsequently used to scent off, weren’t they?

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It struck me as odd that the shoes were wet and that Watts said he had put them outside to dry.  At the same time Watts had done the laundry and seemed to have vacuumed his home overnight too. Although the report claims shoes were used to scent off, it’s not specified which shoes. Were the shoes outside used or shoes from their wardrobe?

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Now, we know for a fact that there was at least one cadaver in the truck, and from an investigative perspective, it’s reassuring that the dogs showed interest in this area. This confirms where there is interest [where there’s smoke] there was something suspicious, and probably a cadaver [there’s fire].

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It’s for this reason that Rocket Science finds the interest on the porch significant. Just because the arrangement isn’t different doesn’t suddenly make the interest on the porch go away.

In a video posted recently, the cushion scenario was dismissed within a perspective where Shan’ann was killed first, and thus, if the cushions were already outside then, and the pattern unchanged, then why would they be relevant?

But in a scenario where the children were killed first in the home, we can see how and why the cushions might be used. They’re in the basement as it is, they’re weatherproof and waterproof, and easy to clean and wipe down. And we know Watts was cleaning. Since he put wet shoes on the back porch to dry, why wouldn’t he do the same with wet, newly washed cushions on the front porch?

The cadaver traces or bodily fluids in this scenario come from the children.

Something else I noticed simply by paying more attention to the Sermon on the Porch, was what appeared to be a slight, translucent red-brown stain on the middle cushion. When I zoomed in it didn’t appear to be an Armchair Detective-ism.

Do you see it?

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Look closer.

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Were the cushions ever tested for blood or DNA? Perhaps they should have been.


  1. Sylvester

    Yes I do see it. And that’s the cushion that isn’t lined up with the other two. It’s an odd way to arrange them. It isn’t decorative-artsy either, as placing it on the horizontal makes it uneven with the other two at the edge not to mention the back cushions are gone and no logical reason why they would be.

    • Erica Robinson

      I see it.
      Looking at those couch cushions, a man did that, it’s a total man thing to do. Shannan, being OCD, would never in a million years put those on wrong

  2. Ralph Oscar

    The excuse for why the shoes on the back porch were wet was because they’d been at a backyard pool party that fateful Sunday, but the shoes could easily have been wet because they’d taken a spin through the washing machine with the other laundry.

    Having a hard time imagining what Chris would have used the outside cushions for *inside* – I guess I don’t have the true crime rocket scientist mindset. Also, there may not have been any back cushions – one of the unpleasant features of outdoor furniture is that a lot of it has seat cushions only.

  3. Ralph Oscar

    Comments above got me curious – I went and had a look at the Google maps street view of the house. Take a look – this is from the screen shot of the image from Sept. 2012:
    The light rectangle to the upper right is an artefact – ignore.

    Compare the couch image to this one from after the murders:

    Looks like a much *thinner* light-colored top to the settee, doesn’t it?

    It looks to me like that outdoor couch had back cushions – what do YOU think?

    • Rose DeJernett

      It looks to me that in 2012 there were maybe 2 chairs as apossed to a couch with cushions. Idk just my opinion

    • Gina

      Ralph, the outdoor couch did have back cushions. When the police were in the basement with their body cam you can see the cushions stacked in the corner. My first thought was they were put away inside because the wind would blow them away. but why were the bottoms left wouldn’t they blow away too?There was a convo about a trash can being blown down the street so there was some strong wind.

      • Ralph Oscar

        I also have outdoor furniture with cushions, and if I feel there is a need to bring *some* of those indoors because weather, I bring them *ALL* indoors.

  4. Ralph Oscar

    I’ve changed my mind – the Sept. 2012 picture of the front of the Saratoga house shows two chairs; they must have been replaced with the settee sometime between then and 2018. Image:

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