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Tag: affidavit

Letecia Stauch Faked a Polygraph Test – Leaked Affidavit

Law enforcement have evidence that Letecia Stauch used to try to con people into believing she’d taken and passed a polygraph test when she hadn’t. Letecia supplied both the questions and answers to the faked test. Two of the questions included:

– Did you participate in any way in causing harm to your stepson?NO

-Did you participate in any way in causing the death of your stepson? NO.

The affidavit explicitly  concludes:

“In 71% of false reporting of a homicide, the reporting party is responsible for the murder. Based on Letecia’s internet history, it is reasonable to assume she was unhappily married to Mr. Stauch, and had some degree of resentment towards the family as a stepparent….two days before the murder, Letecia appeared to be researching a move to another state, [and] to a two-bedroom apartment.”

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Read the full 32-page affidavit here.

Spot the Differences: Another Exercise in Intertextuality

Think the Watts Family Murders are bad? How about a quadruple murder involving a brother stabbing his brother’s wife and children to death, shooting his brother multiple times in the back and head before setting his brother’s house on fire.
The Watts case and the Caneiro case are nothing alike, right?
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From the Daily Beast:

Outside the mansion, Keith’s body was found on the front lawn, with a gunshot wound on his lower back and “four shots into his head.” Jennifer Caneiro, who was found inside on the stairs leading to the basement, also sustained a gunshot wound to the head as well as “multiple stab wounds to her torso.” Sophia was found on the stairs leading to the second floor, while her brother’s body was in the kitchen. Both sustained fatal stab wounds.  “This one is the most brutal cases that I’ve seen in my experience here,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a press conference at the time.

It takes a little digging to get to some of the basics, such as that an email was the trigger and the fact that the crime was executed at night. From

Keith forwarded that email to a relative about 7 p.m. the night before he was found dead with his family, according to the affidavit.

About seven hours later [approximately 02:00], neighbors’ surveillance cameras captured headlights and a white colored SUV, believed to be a Porsche, leaving Paul Caneiro’s Ocean Township home and arriving back two hours later at about 04:00. Authorities allege that’s the night Paul Caneiro, 52, traveled to Willow Brook Road in Colts Neck where he killed his brother and his brother’s family and left the secluded mansion ablaze.

So our ballpark figure for when this crime happened is around midnight to 01:00. Agreed? So we have two parents and two young children [Jesse, 11 and Sophia, 8] inside the house when they were attacked. And it’s late at night. Were any of them murdered in their beds? I can guarantee you the perpetrator would like you to think so.
Without even looking at the merits of the case, we can see a similar defense emerging as the one Watts used. How was Caneiro involved? Why he was at the house trying to save the family! [Just as Watts was innocently heading up the stairs when he saw Shan’ann murdering his brood, and he only killed her to “save” them.]
And sure enough, Googling “Paul Caneiro save” you get this, from

Family members of Paul J. Caneiro may describe for a judge his efforts to save them from the fire he is accused of setting at their Ocean Township home just hours before his brother and his family were found murdered at their Colts Neck mansion, his attorney said.

Defense attorney Robert A. Honecker Jr. said he plans to meet with his client’s wife and two daughters either Monday or Tuesday to discuss the possibility of their testifying at a detention hearing designed to determine whether Caneiro will remain in jail without bail to await trial.

“If they do testify, it’s anticipated they will describe the events that they observed in the early morning hours of Nov. 20,” Honecker said. “It’s anticipated they will describe his efforts to save his family from the fire.”

Authorities have not yet released the cause of death of the wife and two children, and Honecker said he hasn’t learned anything more about how they died.”His arrest was related solely to the alleged arson at his residence.”

Whereas Watts concealed his family in oil and dust, Paul Caneiro used flames. Like Watts, Caneiro was initially charged with suspected of a lesser crime at first. But there’s something else glaringly obvious that these two crimes have in common. Do you see it?
You don’t even have to look closely.
Below are two images of two houses. Anything about them that’s sort of similar? That’s true crime intertextuality for you.
More: Bullets, money trouble and a bloody glove: Affidavit lays out Colts Neck quadruple homicide
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Why is there a U-Turn in Chris Watts’ Version of the Murder?

Why does he go downstairs “for a moment”, and then return? We’ve looked at this particular area before in: Think You Know the Chris Watts Case? In Which ROOM Does HE Say The Murders Took Place?

The U-turn is a recurring theme in the schema surrounding the Watts family murders. On the night/morning of the crime, Shan’ann was returning home from a trip to Arizona. She went, she returned. Chris Watts backs his truck into the driveway [a kind of U-turn in itself], before he heads out.Fullscreen capture 20181109 121052

When Nickole Utoft Atkinson called the cops, Chris Watts had to return from the work site, but Nickole herself was also returning to the house after dropping Shan’ann off only hours later.

The whole Thrive business is based around the idea of making a u-turn in your life, or put otherwise, turning [or re-turning] your life around.

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In his affidavit he says he spoke to Shan’ann not once, but twice.  He talks to her, goes downstairs then returns [up the stairs] to talk to her again. But it’s important to note this is the version he gives during his “partial” confession.

His first version is that he woke up at 05:00, had a conversation about marital separation. He wanted to initiate it. It was a civil conversation and they weren’t arguing.

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But Officer Coonrod isn’t convinced by Watts story. In the affidavit, Officer Coonrod calls for assistance, and Detective Baumhover responds. Baumhover begins by conducting a thorough search of the house. It’s during this search that he finds Shan’ann’s cell phone, not out in the open, but hidden between two cushions on a sofa in the loft area. The fact that it was hidden indicates he wasn’t supposed to find it right then, but he did.

So the cops look at Shan’ann’s phone, still on the scene, and something on the phone [or not on the phone] convinces them that Chris Watts’ story – the timing of it – isn’t right. And so they return to the question about when he was awake. Let’s face it, WhatsApp and other social media log online activity. So it may have been possible for the police to quickly establish that Shan’ann’s phone either showed activity after 02:00 or even shortly before 05:00.

In any event, after finding her phone, Chris Watts is asked to return to his story [still on the scene], and this time he moves his timeline back by an hour. From waking up at 05:00 to informing her 04:00 [which implies that’s when he woke up]..

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On November 1, I published a post on the slip-of-the-tongue that we all missed. This was the slip where he repeats the word “barely” three times:

REPORTER: And then, the day she was back, I mean…?

He starts answering with a stutter.

WATTS [Shaking his head, a slight flash of teeth as he smiles]: I lef-I left wor-for work [glances left] early that morning like 05:15, 05:30 so like [holds out his hand]…she [shrugs]… barely let me in [glances up], she barely got… barely gotten [blinks] into bed pretty much.

No wonder he was so nervous on Tuesday morning, the cops had returned, this time with dogs, and he already had to get his story straight with the media, based on fine-tuning it with the cops the day before.

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Hudson is also referred to twice in the affidavit, that he “drove off to a work site near Hudson” and that he went to “a job site near Hudson to check it.”

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Hudson isn’t really giving the cops anything to work with. It’s 20 miles from CERVI 319, whereas Roggen is less than 3.

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The checking of the job site sounds like he had to go there because of an anomaly. He’s checking. So the dumping of the bodies could both be explained 1) by the anomaly he went to check on, and b) the dumping of the bodies causing the anomaly. One body in each tank would suggest [and could possibly be explained] by some coincidental change in product coming out of the ground.

As the operator tasked with maintaining the remote site, he could – essentially – come up with any story he wished. Maybe the thief hatch had come loose, maybe the product had gotten super-heated over the weekend, baking in the summer sun and causing a gas discharge.

And then, of course, there is the plea deal, which is a U-turn on the confession. All of it reinforces the U-turn that Chris Watts was trying to effect in his life. He was trying to get out the marriage. He’d changed jobs after a lifetime of being a mechanic [just like his dad], he’d turned around his weight, and he’d already found someone else. Niko, though, was threatening to ruin the U-turn, the return to the man Chris Watts wanted to be. So Niko figured he’d U-turn Niko, which meant U-turning Shan’ann, and his daughters had no place in the aftermath, so they had to be U-turned as well.

A U-turn is by definition a course correction, so that one is going back to where you originally started from. That’s what he wanted. Ironically, the plea deal did just that. Chris Watts swapped the jail he was in [for the rest of his life] at #2825 Saratoga Trail, for prison, for the rest of his natural life.


Chris Watts: The Gamechanging Video Surveillance Footage – where’d it come from?

Nathaniel Trinastich is mentioned twice in Chris Watts’ arrest affidavit; once in the actual narrative and once as a witness. It was Trinastich who provided investigators with the gamechanging video surveillance that showed not only Chris Watts backing up his truck and leaving on the morning of the murders, but also that no one else left the Watts home that morning.

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The semantics of the affidavit are worth noting: Nicole’s vehicle is shown leaving and Chris Watts’ truck is observed hours later backing into the driveway and leaving. But the Trinastich home isn’t opposite the Watts home, it’s adjacent on the right.

So how the heck did the surveillance camera see anything?

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Google Maps is hinky when it comes to newly rising subdivisions. The satellite images above do show the Trinastich home at 2905 Saratoga Trail. Despite the odd numbering, 2905 is indeed next to 2825. But Street View doesn’t show either house at ground level. We’ll get to that it a moment.Fullscreen capture 20181028 174323

Notice how the house on the left of the Watts home blocks out a view of #2825 because of the way the building extends forward onto the front lawn. So from the garage and front door on that neighbor’s side, there’s no direct line-of-sight to the Watts garage and front door.

The other house – Trinastich, on the right – has no such problem. In fact the garage is almost level, just slightly back from the Watts garage, which means a camera is set slightly behind the Watts driveway – an ideal position to spy on late night fumblings in and out of the garage.

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In front of the Watts home and slightly to the left is a T-junction, which also means both houses opposite have limited line-of-sight of the front of the Watts home.

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Those houses opposite on Steeple Rock Drive are oriented towards each other but away from the Watts house.


The foliage beside the Watts’ garage on the boundary with the Trinastich property also interrupts line-of-sight, but at night, a camera wouldn’t need to pick up anything more than the illumination of headlights as they move onto and off the driveway, and that’s what Trinastich’s did.

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A 39-year-old Nathaniel Trinastich is listed on

This is him:


This image and the two below were posted onto Nathan Trinastich’s Facebook page.

Now let’s orient ourselves on what Trinastich’s house looks like, as well as the neighboring houses on the ground.

The two houses on opposite shoulders of Steeple Rock Drive are familiar from the two hailstorm videos Shan’ann recorded on June 18 and 19.

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Street View, as mentioned, got to Saratoga Trail before the Trinastich home went up and before the Watts home was built as well.Fullscreen capture 20181028 181224

Fortunately there are a few images of the outside of the Trinastich home courtesy of Nathan Trinastich himself.

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Below is a nocturnal view of the blue-walled house in front of the Watts and Trinastich homes taken during the candlelight vigil.


The Trinastich home was kitted out with the same garage door design as the Watts house, including the small square windows along the top of the doors. From the zoomed in image below, there doesn’t appear to be any doorbell camera fitted to the front door, at least not when this photo was taken.

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If the Watts family were Steelers fans, the Trinastich’s were big Denver Broncos supporters.

I was able to trace the anonymous image of a couple paying their respects at front lawn of the Watts home to an orange Bronco’s cap in Trinastich’s home, posted on social media. More than likely the couple are the Trinastichs who’ve walked over from next door to inspect the toy memorial.

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These neighbors [below] on the other hand are clearly not the Trinastichs.

One of the best views of the Trinastich’s home – which is dwarfed by the Watts mansion – is from this unusual view.


It’s still not evident where the surveillance camera was situated at the front of the Tristnatich home. It may be, like the Watts come, through the front door if the camera was installed later, perhaps even at the same time the Watts family installed theirs.

Read more about the front door latch and camera here.

Perhaps Chris Watts didn’t see Trinastich’s camera or consider it because of the large leafy tree plumb in front of the house on the front lawn. That tree was obviously in full flourish in mid-summer when Shan’ann and the children were killed.

It may also be that the camera was a dashcam, but then the arrest affidavit has made an error. There is a censored section in the affidavit that may or may not refer to a dashcam.

In my opinion, the censored text refers to the Trinastich street number. A dashcam with the car parked facing the garage would also be unlikely to provide a rear view.

It’s also possible, since Trinastich’s an outdoors-man, that he used a camouflaged camera.

7/10 People Fooled By Chris Watts’ Version of Events [POLL]

Chris Watts told investigators he had an argument with his wife before killing her. Makes sense, right? And if he said he had an argument, that part must be true. If he also killed the children, did he have an argument with each of them too? Okay so maybe he did. So why did his argument/s then matter and not the hundreds of arguments they’d had on any other day?

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The question of argument basically addresses the issue of whether this was premeditated murder or not. 7/10 people say it wasn’t premeditated murder, that Chris Watts simply got into an argument and became emotional. He’s that kind of guy. In other words, 7/10 people believe Chris Watts’ version of events. If the Colorado jury that’s going to decide on this case is anything like the majority of people, the prosecution may have a difficult case on their hands.

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What do you think? Argument or no argument?

Intuitively people are on the right track. There tend to be arguments precipitating murders, which is why true crime is chock-full of murder-accused who deny this. OJ Simpson. Scott PetersonCasey Anthony. Burke Ramsey. Amanda Knox. Oscar Pistorius. Henri van Breda.

The issue isn’t whether their were arguments, but when they happened. We know there were arguments.

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But we should be cautious taking Chris Watts’ word – for anything. Here’s why.

In excerpts from the affidavit below, reading between the lines, Chris Watts is careful to describe a “quiet” argument. In other words, they’re confronting one another about separating and about his affair with his work colleague, but neither him nor Shan’ann are raising their voices at 02:00 or 04:00 or whenever this emotional conversation was supposed to have happened.

If it happened, did anyone hear it? The neighbor who heard how the tone of the dog’s bark changed in the day, could they not hear raised voices in the dead of a summer night?

When, in the history of confrontations between couples about cheating has the aggrieved party not raised their voice? And yet the affidavit uses words like “began talking” and “civil conversation”. It was “not an argument” because he “told” Shan’ann this and went to “speak” to her about that.Fullscreen capture 20181028 030600

What about Shan’ann? Did she respond to being told and his speaking by telling him things in return, and speaking in a civil tone in her response? There’s nothing here about how she’s speaking or responding to being told – in the wee hours of the morning after her business trip – sorry honey, I’ve been cheating on you, I’m done.

His first story in his Sermon on the Porch was that they had this quiet conversation and Shan’ann simply said, ‘Okay then, I think I’ll go visit a friend today.’ The affidavit is an adaptation of that ruse, and not a good one.

Knowing what we know about Shan’ann, that she was pregnant, that she was an extrovert, that she was the dominant factor in the relationship, that she was the more emotional of the couple, and what happened during her first marriage [see below] does this quiet, civil conversation nonsense ring true? It shouldn’t.

What Chris Watts is playing for in his affidavit is a credible excuse for why no neighbors heard arguing that night. Either they argued quietly, the first couple in history to do so, and the first family murder to take place after a polite conversation in history, or it was a premeditated murder and it was silent for that reason.