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CRIMECON: Nancy Grace explains why the slaughter of a Colorado family captured America’s Attention

Nancy Grace is right. In order to study a case, to really get to grips with it, you have to spend a lot of time reading, listening and thinking.

When asked her opinion on the Watts case Nancy answered:

“He had it all,” she said. “He had this gorgeous wife, Shanann. He’s got the children, Bella and Celeste, beautiful. They always wanted a boy. They’re having baby Nico. He’s on the way. Beautiful home.”

She noted from the outside it looked perfect.

“It looked like a postcard,” she said. “It was perfect. When you look at somebody like Chris Watts in court, this picture perfect setting, it’s hard. It’s like the mind is tricking the eye. You’re seeing one thing but the evidence tells you something different, that he in fact is a cold-blooded killer who killed his own children, so I think that’s the fascination. It’s like trying to put together a Rubik’s Cube. You can’t sort it out in your head.”

All of that may be true, but all of that is the surface layer stuff, the optics,the artifice, the superficial.

I get what she’s saying that one can’t put the dichotomy, the duality together, but given enough analysis and thought, we can figure it out, and arguably TCRS already has. In the first Rocket Science book, published in September 2018, only weeks after the crime, we were already looking at a different portrait of the Watts family.

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To understand these crimes and these case we have to get away from projection and transference. We have to stop imposing ourselves onto these cases. We have to let the cases and criminals speak for themselves.


  1. methatis

    Very true. We can’t look at it as if we were in their shoes. We can’t say “you had it all, you should have just appreciated it and gone on” or “if I were you I would have just been grateful” First none of us have ever been pushed that brink. None of us ever felt they had to walk on egg shells, planning each and everything we would say in fear of our spouses anger or fear of being made fun of. We aren’t them. We haven’t lived in their shoes. We don’t know what pushed a person to that point. I’m grateful I haven’t. But this case like so many others proves not everything is as it seems, no one has it all, no one’s picturesque life is close to achieving, Facebook pictures are not an accurate account of what goes on behind closed doors. The facade that was shared on line was just that. The reality was you had a pussy-whipped husband who feared being made fun of by his wife, who was afraid to even talk, they were broke, with a floundering marriage, bankrupt, facing foreclosure once again, yet a wife who wanted to keep up with the jones’ where they lived way beyond their means, facing a divorce. The online persona and pictures were just a mask hiding the actual turmoil that happened between two adults and the walls of a house of cards they couldn’t afford. It’s heartbreaking looking at the facts behind the case.

    • nickvdl

      You also can’t be reductionist like the DA was in this case, and say: “Why didn’t you just get a divorce?” The real question is why he didn’t, and why he felt he couldn’t.

      • methatis

        Sadly neither of them could muster up just a retainer for a divorce lawyer and you know damn well doing an EZ divorce wasn’t going to happen. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. To steal a line from a song CW created his own prison metaphorically prior to the crime and turned it into a self fulfilling prophecy.

    • Jane Stullman

      You are absolutely right! He had all of those problems in his marriage that lots of married people have. People get divorced everyday over the issues that plagued the Watts marriage. What makes one person walk away and then another brutally murder his entire family with his own hands. My sister is an introvert who was married to an extrovert who mentally abused her for years. He would humiliate her in front of others and make everything look like he was doing all the work and she just followed his orders and did what he told her to. She got out of the marriage but because they shared young children she continued to be tied to him and continued to suffer financially and emotionally. Her husband would say horrible things about her to their children. It only ended when they were grown and out of high school. I wonder if Chris Watts saw the same scenario coming if he chose to divorce Shanann? Especially if he chose to stay with his mistress. Wouldn’t the issues they had just continue, but just in a different way?

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