Psychology is the real Rocket Science behind True Crime Crime Rocket Science. So let’s put the money where it matters. The key enigma in the Chris Watts case is his mysterious sexuality. Unlock that and the real face of Chris Watts is revealed. So let’s do that.
The first step in true crime science is to acknowledge when we don’t know something. Unless you’re bisexual, the odds are you can’t begin to know who or what you’re dealing with. So we begin by admitting that what we want to know we don’t know, and what’s more, we’re wholly unfamiliar with it.
The next step is to study, research and find out what we don’t know. A great guide to begin this journey into criminal psychology is via cultural anthropologist, and Pulitzer prizewinner, Ernest Becker.
In Becker’s The Birth and Death of Meaning he refers in a chapter dealing with The Inner World to “all objects [having] interiority, even trees.” Objects with the least interiority, Becker states, are rocks.
Is it a coincidence that Shan’ann used precisely this term in ALL CAPS, with an exclamation mark, to refer to Chris Watts and her love for him on May 5th?
As Becker puts it:
…probably they [rocks] would have no more inner life than the idling of their atomic structures, but in these, as physicists have taught us, there is anything but repose…
The timing of Shan’ann’s ROCK! comment is worth noting in context. It came 2-3 days prior to her boosting him with #helovesme on Facebook, with a shot of him at work mowing the front lawn. Interestingly, he’s not even looking at her when she snaps the photo.
I’ve previously gone to some length to explain why May 7/8 is an incredibly significant moment in the Watts story. It’s the day – I believe – Shan’ann set up her pregnant video + t-shirt reveal. She posted it more than a month later on June 11th, but I believe the video itself was shot within days, almost immediately after conception.
In the collage below one sees the location of the mowing lawn image in relation to the “my ROCK!” ego stroke. Thrown in the middle is a nod to World Lupus day and a call to “hustle”.
What does Shan’ann’s pregnancy, and whether Chris Watts was really her rock or not got to do with the psychology of bisexuality? Well, everything potentially.
If you have a partner with a different sexual appetite to yours, then in particular circumstances it may be necessary to secure or anchor him [or her] into a particular role. How do you do that? Well, by giving him [in this case] a role. By giving him a t-shirt to wear, and by recording him in various role plays, by getting him to dance to your tune.
Recorded on June 11th, here [ABOVE] Shan’ann has her husband posed in a “Super Dad” shirt, demonstrating a patch on his arm, and advertising Thrive to promote her business. How is he being advertized? As a man eager to do housework. He vacuums, he mops, he does whatever Shan’ann tells him to do [although that’s no acknowledged here, even though it’s implicit].
In another instance 9 days later, Chris Watts is dressed again in a shirt given to him to wear and pose with. The shirt defines not just who he is, but his role: he’s a proud dad, not just that but a dad of two awesome daughters. It’s a message to her flock but it’s also a reminder, and perhaps an admonition, to Chris Watts directly.
Think about how these messages might play in the minds of a mistress, male and female? He’s someone else’s rock. He’s a proud dad? He’s doing his domestic duties at home?
If he has another life, if he wants another life, these broadcasts are potentially the death knell to them. Well, wasn’t that their purpose in the first place, to send a few messages in one, to hit the bisexual birds out there with one stone?
We haven’t even attended to the science or psychology of bisexuality, but what’s immediately clear is there may be a psychology in response to it too. If your spouse, your lover, the father of your child had a sexual orientation you were unclear, confused or insecure about, wouldn’t you want to nail it down? Wouldn’t you want to be clear on his role, and more, want him and the world to be clear about it?
Is that what this is?
According to Becker “we come into contact with the world through our exteriors” yet each of us walks about carrying with us a secret self. As Becker puts it:
We are somewhat split in two, the self the body…
But what if the body, the sexuality of the body, is part of the self. Well then, the self is even more secret, and the secret even more excruciating [or perhaps intolerable] as a result.
It was while researching the Ramsey case that I developed the science to figure out unknown unknowns. Although it seemed unknowable at the time, it turned out child sexuality isn’t an unknown unknown, but rather a known unknown. Bisexuality is the same.
Bisexuality is a matter of scientific fact, according to Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist and Kinsey Institute Research Fellowwho blogs at lehmiller.com:
1.) Bisexuality is real, and it’s not the same as being gay or lesbian. A lot of people deny the existence of bisexuality and assume that everyone who identifies as bisexual is secretly gay…
2.) Women are more likely to identify as bisexual than men/men are less likely to identify themselves publicly as biseuxual. It is also worth noting that the percentage of American men and women who identify as bisexual appears to be on the rise in recent years. This doesn’t necessarily mean that bisexuality itself is increasing; rather, it probably reflects growing comfort with acknowledging this identity.
3.) Bisexuals experience prejudice from heterosexual persons, as well as gays and lesbians. Bisexual persons are frequently the targets of prejudice, particularly bisexual men.
4.). Bisexual people do not necessarily have higher sex drives than everyone else. One of the most common stereotypes about bisexuals is that they are an extremely horny bunch.
5.) Being bisexual does not mean [being] equally attracted to both men and women. Being bisexual involves a capacity for attraction to men and women, but attraction to each sex does not necessarily have to be equally strong.
What does this mean in terms of the Watts case?
If bisexuality was a factor, it was likely not insignificant. The scale of the crime demonstrates that.
Many discussions on the Watts case repeat the same myth: he could have gotten divorced. Well, maybe you could. Chris Watts may have felt that if he’d gotten divorced Shan’ann couldn’t be trusted to keep his sexuality secret, and it was critical to him, I believe, that it be kept secret. Since their entire life was a constant soapie on Facebook, and since Shan’ann was constantly providing penetrating private insights into who he was, this threat had to be ongoing and very real to him. If he did have mistresses out there, for how much longer could they be kept in the dark if they were also on social media? And what if something leaked out from them? Their Thrive business was entirely predicated on perpetuating this happy family myth.
The other side of the equation is that Chris Watts wanted to divorce, wanted to leave, but felt locked-in. If leaving meant the whole world would find out about who he really was, then he couldn’t leave. But that didn’t mean he wanted to stay. And so, what could he do to resolve this impasse?
Remember, the oil industry is a masculine industry, one that might not so easily forgive or overlook the stereotypes of less than masculine men, let alone bisexual men. Who knows, perhaps Watts felt his boss wouldn’t like to find out his employee, and perhaps the dude his daughter was seeing, was “one of those” either.
Although the science indicates that bisexual men have normal sexual appetites, it doesn’t take into account normal human nature, or normal sexual appetites. Whether normal or not, a bisexual man in a heterosexual marriage is likely to feel one of his appetites repressed, and this may well lead to an above average drive in that area. Does that make sense?
Finally, and this I think is the key question in the Watts case, was he more attracted to women or men? If men, then the sense of impasse, of entrapment, of repression, had to be a lot more agonizing than if his was oriented to women sexually.
Since I’m not bisexual, I’ll put the question out there:
If you’re bisexual and in a marriage, and your partner isn’t “doing it for you” [as a person, as a partner, in bed, on the balance sheet etc], and if the experience is sufficiently negative, chronically off-putting, couldn’t this cause a bisexual person to gravitate more to the opposite sex of the spouse?
If this was happening in the months leading up to August 2018, and if Chris Watts’ exercise and weight loss and improvement in appearance and attractiveness fed into that, and if he was enjoying succor increasingly outside of marriage, then we can see how he would have wanted out not just as a husband, not just as a father, not just as a man, but as a bisexual man.