The Rzuceks want the public to stop talking about the Chris Watts case. 27 years after West Memphis 3, 25 years after the OJ Simpson case, 23 years after JonBenet Ramsey, 17 years after Laci Peterson, 15 years after Steven Avery, and 12 years after Casey Anthony – there’s a need that the Watts case receive special treatment. That no one report on it.
Less than two years after the Watts Family Murders the Rzuceks want the coverage of the case to…well…go away. They want people to move on.
I’ve said this before, Shan’ann Watts public profile on Facebook has provided ongoing fodder for the media and social media. If the Rzuceks really wanted coverage of the Watts case to go away, they could simply shut down Shan’ann’s Facebook, or else set the account to privacy. They haven’t. Instead, they seem to have taken over Shan’ann’s Thrive account.
One wonders whether these folks petitioning against freedom of speech [to think and express oneself freely] live in a fantasy bubble. If they wanted rumor control, they ought to have followed due process of the law and allowed this case to play out at trial. That wouldn’t have changed the interest in this case, but at least it would have carved certain undisputed facts in stone. It was always ill-advised for the victims’ family to give the perpetrator what he apparently wanted so easily – a plea deal – without making sure law enforcement knew exactly what happened. Almost two years later we still don’t, and that’s the problem. It’s this uncertainty that continues to feed the colossal hamster-wheel of public curiosity around this case.
But reading between the lines, the issue doesn’t feel as much about concerns over storytelling around this case, but the Greeley-based legal eagles being left out of the storytelling projects going on, and more pertinently, the money making. Isn’t that their job in the first place? Aren’t they there to collect any revenues made through Chris Watts as part of the civil suit settlement? Chris Watts has agreed to pay them $6 million, but that money can only be made if Chris Watts participates in a production, or a book, one way or the other, and he hasn’t done that. In Cherlyn Cadle’s case, Watts simply wrote letters to the author and left her to spin these into something.
The Rzuceks and their legal representatives need to actually produce something themselves if they wish to profit in some way, rather than focussing on either shutting other productions down or trying to piggyback or interfere with independent productions. If they have a story to tell, they should tell it. That’s the best way of influencing a narrative.
Like all high-profile cases, this one can’t be controlled but it can and should be more authentic than the storytelling circus its become.