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

Highlights of 2019 – and what to expect from the Chris Watts Case [and TCRS] in 2020


2019 was an incredible year, in many respects, for TCRS, especially in its coverage of the Chris Watts case. Half of the 10 narratives in the TWO FACE/SILVER FOX series were written in 2019, including Book 8, one of the best books of the year – OBLIVION [available for Kindle and in paperback].

I wrote OBLIVION a week after returning from a month-long trip through Europe in May.  The trip started in Portugal, on the 12 year anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. The 10-Part Netflix series certainly galvanized my interest in the case, which led to my 4th book on the McCanns – DEEP INTO DARKNESS.


Unlike some other YouTubers who’ve elected at the end of December not to continue covering the Watts case, I will be continuing coverage of the Chris Watts case in 2020, including the ongoing series What Else Do We Know? which reviews the timeline in the same chronological order as information came out, and as it was recorded right here on CrimeRocket.

I will also complete the analysis of the original Oxygen epsisode featuring Tammy Lee, so look out for that on YouTube.

On the Patreon channel I’m covering The Atkinson Transcripts, and we’re currently at #5 of 5 episodes.

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2020 represents a milestone year for TCRS in two respects. Firstly, it’s the 130 year anniversary of the death of world’s most famous and expensive artist – Vincent van Gogh. I’ll be doing a series on the Last Journey of Vincent van Gogh in June and July this year. In that series I’ll be sharing my journey of the famous artist’s final two months in France, when he travelled from Arles in the far south, to Auvers in the north, near Paris. I travelled the same way, and also by train, in mid-May 2019.

Secondly, 2020 is the year TCRS output reaches 100 books. This is likely to happen by around June, and although the last four books aren’t certain just yet, two are likely to be Chris Watts books.

These two:

WEDDED HUSBAND, WEDDED WIFE is likely to come out in late January/early February, while POST TRUTH will be out closer to June/July.

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A Lifetime Chris Watts movie and another REELZ documentary about the friends’ versions of events both release on the same day in the first month of the new year – January 25th. TCRS will be reviewing and analyzing all new statements and footage, so look out for that.

In the JonBenet Ramsey case, a 16 episode Apologia podcast The Killing of JonBenet – The Final Suspects will be debunked in a series of episodes on YouTube and Patreon.

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In 2020 I will also be doing a 10-Part series on the TCRS Patreon channel discussing and debunking the £20 million Netflix series The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann [the most popular show in 2019 on Netflix].

I also hope to bring out a follow-up narrative to DEEP INTO DARKNESS DEEPER INTO DARKNESS sometime in 2020. DEEPER INTO DARKNESS covers the discoveries I made in Praia da Luz during the ten days I spent investigating and photographing the scene inside and around the Ocean Club, and speaking with some of the locals.

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My pick of the best 5 books of 2019 are below. Do you agree with them? How many of these 5 books have you read? One thing I’ve emphasized in the YouTube video version of this blog is for readers who read my books to get into the habit of reviewing them. Positive or negative, long or short, every review matters. I use your reviews to improve my product, and where appropriate, to market my work to other readers. I get a lot of readers contacting me directly telling me how much a particular narrative meant to them. Thanks for that. It will mean so much more if you share those feelings where the product is sold. More reviews means more sales, and more sales means I can continue a series longer. The opposite is also true. Fewer reviews equals fewer sales, and the temptation to abandon a series.

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One last thing. In 2020 I intend to transition away from the sort of book-writing output I’ve maintained for the past 16 years [16 books per year]. Besides travelling to the US, I want to bring out more shorter books – which I call Kindlets – dealing with quick analysis of new crimes and newsworthy commentaries, like this:

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If you have any ideas for Kindlet-type narratives, be sure to share them on this page.

What were your highlights and lowlights of 2019 on TCRS and in the true crime genre in general?


  1. Juliew

    Lots to look forward to then – for me the highlights will be the analysis of the Netflix McCann series and other stuff you mention about the case. And also the 2 further Watts books to come. Agree with top 5, though I liked annihilation as much as oblivion. The frazee book I read not having a vast amount of knowledge of the case and I was left gobstruck at what some women will do for a man to stay in the orbit of a man they are enamoured of and to please him. That, the Norah Quoirin book and Christmas Star are truly excellent books. Hope you don’t move away completely from full length books, but after 100 I can see that maybe some shorter projects are in order! The only one I haven’t read mentioned above is the Incel book – partly because I had to have the concept explained to me (what, they’re angry because women won’t sleep with them and they’re saying so ? Doh -That’s an own goal and will make sure that none ever will!) I appreciate there may be more to it than this😕. Anyway happy new year and thanks for all the mega interesting books and content so far, and looking forward to what is coming up in 2020.

  2. Juliew

    Ps suggestion for kindlet – Heidi Broussard, however that pans out (& I’m still not convinced that we ‘re not in a pregnant pause stage, with more to come out about other involvement. It may at least act as a learning opportunity for one person about why domestic violence is not the way to go in future).

    Claudia Lawrence ? A chef at a UK university who set off for work early one morning and disappeared off the face of the earth. Rumours about possible clandestine relationship before she disappeared.

  3. richard

    Claudia Lawrence is a very interesting case.
    Suddenly disappear and nothing found at all. no body. nothing.
    Then there was speculative stories that she was a man eater and had numerous relationships with married men, which at best sound plausible and at worst unbelievable.
    This would be an interesting case for Nick but I suspect there is very little information to delve into.

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