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

Tag: alcohol

Detective Baumhover's Review of Ring Doorbell Footage [58th Tranche]

The date of Baumhover’s legal warrant to look into the doorbell footage is worth noting. November 14 was just 5 days prior to the sentencing hearing, and after the plea deal had been signed. This suggests the detective gave some credence to the possibility that Shan’ann’s BAC may have indicated she’d arrived home inebriated.
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TCRS Assessment: Shan’ann’s post mortem alcohol level appears abnormally high

The word alcohol features 55 times in the Discovery Documents. That’s more than five times more than the word Le-Vel, the company Shan’ann worked for, and because she was returning from a  Le-Vel conference, Le-Vel actually forms part of the crime narrative.

The word pregnant appears 78 times across the 1960 pages.

From this perspective we can see that alcohol forms a fairly significant part of the crime narrative.


So what is the significance of alcohol exactly? Well, we’re not sure. The District Attorney has mentioned it as the key reason the autopsy reports were suppressed, and also, that the alcohol found in Shan’ann’s remains was “normal”, simply as a result of ordinary decomposition.

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Very, very consistent? I wasn’t sure about that so I checked with a friend who works in forensic science, including forensic medicine. Before I share what he told me, let’s review some of what we know about alcohol references in Shan’ann’s social media, as well as the Discovery Documents.

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The above message was sent close to August 4th, around 14 weeks into Shan’ann’s pregnancy, and just a week before her death.

On November 5th I posted on this site about Shan’ann’s possible alcohol use in Sneaky with Seltzer?

On January 14, 2017 Shan’ann refers to Chris having Activate [a Thrive product] with his “drink”, with dinner. It’s at 2:33 in the clip below.

At 8:52 and again at 19:23 in the clip below [dated November 27, 2016 ] Shan’ann tells her Facebook flock that her husband – who’s doing the laundry – “needs to get me my wine…”


Are there any other photos of Shan’ann drinking alcohol? The image below could be white wine. It’s unclear what impact alcohol would have on her lupus other than a sedative effect – taking the edge off and perhaps soothing the discomfort – and possible interactions with her medication.


From the Discovery Documents there’s a mixed bag from her friends, with some saying she drank a few times a week, to others saying she never drank. Make of these testimonies what you will.

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According to Addy, Shan’ann didn’t drink any alcohol whatsoever during the trips to San Diego or Arizona. Since Addy was a Thrive promoter and effectively a business partner of Shan’ann’s, I’m not sure whether we can place too much value in her statement.

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Thus far it seems unanimous. All the Thrivers thus far are saying Shan’ann never touched a drop of alcohol, and would never do so when pregnant. And she didn’t drink at all while they were in Arizona.

Nickole Atkinson however, has a slightly different story to the other Thrivers.

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The detective doesn’t mention whether Shan’ann had a drink on the three hour flight back to Denver. It’s not clear who sat beside who, and if Shan’ann did have a drink, whether anyone would have noticed.

shanann watts drinking wine

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Now, according to the autopsy reports there was an elevated amount of alcohol in Shan’ann’s mildly decomposed body.

According to my source, and I’ll try to get him on the record with a written statement identifying himself and his assessment, post mortem toxicology is seldom reliable because of post mortem redistribution. What that means is certain substances like alcohol diffuse through various organs and tissues as the body begins to break down, and this muddies the overall chemical picture, if that makes sense.

In his assessment, which is also the TCRS assessment:

“I doubt whether you can get to that level [0.128 g/100 mL]. Maybe a 0.02 from zero. You only have so much bacteria [in the gut] that can cause fermentation, so it would be very limited.”

To get an idea how much alcohol is involved, Shan’ann’s post mortem alcohol levels were roughly three times the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. This suggests she may consumed 4-6 glasses of wine in the hours prior to her murder.

Further analysis pending.

Spirit cooler i.e. Hooch / Brutal Fruit = 1.2 -> 1.9 U =0.02g ->0.035g
Cocktail = +/- 2 -> 2.5 (or occasionally even more) Units =0.04g->0.05g
Quart of Beer = 3.3 -> 4 Units =0.08g blood = 0.4mg breath
Double spirit = 2 Unit = 0.04g
Shooters – e.g. Apple sours = 1/2(half) Unit =0.01g
90 mls of 12% white wine (most white wines) = 1 Unit = 0.02g
75 mls of 14% red wine = 1 Unit = 0.02g

Legal Limits: Blood alcohol concentration = < 0.05g per 100ml.

Breath alcohol concentration = < 0.24mg per 1000ml