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Tag: bottom of the stairs

The 102 References to the word "Alert" in the Chris Watts Discovery

When I wrote the first book in the TWO FACE series, I was convinced that the cadaver dog evidence would be instrumental in solving this case. I was also certain Chris Watts made a fatal error in allowing the canine units into his home. This suspicion seemed to be confirmed by the loud barking of these dogs while he was giving his Sermon on Porch. I assumed those barks were the dogs alerting to cadaver traces. I was right. And wrong.

It’s true that Jayne Zmijewski’s K9 alerted in several places. But Jeff Hiebert’s K9 did not. For there to be “reasonable cause” to suspect a crime, an alert requires corroboration.  This may be physical evidence, or a second dog showing a strong alert separately but in the same area. If this happens it’s considered “confirmed”.  But this didn’t happen in the Watts case.
In fairness to the dogs we have to acknowledge that in this instance the dogs weren’t just scenting for one cadaver but three, and making it even more complicated was the fact that all three cadavers occupied the search area in life, which had been extensively cleaned prior to the search. Adding to this was the possibility that scented items were contaminated by Watts himself.
Although the shoes of the children were used to scent off, it appears these had been washed and touched by Watts.
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Normally the brief for a cadaver dog is simple: find evidence of a dead person. In the Watts case the dogs had to identify the dead, and there were three identities to juggle in their noses.
When the discovery was made available, I made a beeline for the cadaver evidence but was sorely disappointed at how iffy it all was. Watts obviously had reason to be confident in letting the dogs in. He’d prepared and processed the house from top to toe. It’s not that he completely boggled the animals, just that he compromised the crime scene enough to produce a confusing and contradictory result. The dogs were interested in something, but they couldn’t agree on where. Nevertheless it’s a mistake to assume there were no alerts. The word “alert” appears 102 times in the Discovery Documents. Let’s examine a few of them:
1. Cadaver Alerts
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2. Vivint Security Alerts
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3. Transactional Alerts
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4. Chemicals/Drugs causing reduced alertness and impaired muscle coordination
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5. Ordinary Alerts [Notifications]Fullscreen capture 20190222 135848

6. Missing Endangered Alert
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What both dogs have in common is that they both alerted to the basement stairs. According to the discovery, one dog alerted at the bottom, the other at the top, or both at the bottom. The Discovery Documents are somewhat inconsistent and unclear on this information.


Look Closer at the Wrought-Iron Railing At the Bottom of the Stairs [UPDATED]

There’s already one nonsensical conspiracy theory based around distortions in the Trinastich surveillance video, that Watts had an accomplice. So I want to be careful not to add to the nonsense.

The video, which is flagrantly defamatory in its accusation, has since been removed, as it should be.

In Shan’ann’s Mother’s Day video shot in the lounge of 2825 Saratoga Trail on May 13th, we can clearly see the bulging lattice in the second-last wrought-iron wrung from the very bottom is intact.

We also get an up-close view of the impression of the carpet as it normally appears. We can see that the carpet does have certain areas of shading, produced by dirt, foot traffic and cleaning.

In video footage of the K9 handler searching the lounge on August 14th, the lattice seems intact. Although, compared to the two above it, it seems less intact – if that makes sense. This could just be a distortion in the video, and as we all know, motion and digital can and does produce fine distortions. So I’m not sure we can rule that out.

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There are two more images which appear to show the left hand whirl of the lattice has been damaged, even ripped open. Fullscreen capture 20181207 112341

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Fullscreen capture 20181208 135439Fullscreen capture 20181208 135429Fullscreen capture 20181208 140916-001Readers are encouraged to do their own detective work in this regard. Unfortunately none of the Bodycam footage hovers for any length of time around this crucial area of the house.

Personally I don’t undertstand it. Shan’ann’s suitcase was the last artifact of herself she left behind, indicating her final movements when she arrived home that fateful night. So why not look carefully at the damn suitcase, and that area of the stairs!


UPDATE: At 07:26 in the video below the bodycam footage is clear and unambiguous – the lattice at the bottom is intact.

The footage also shows excellent close-up video of the staircase carpet, but unfortunately not at the bottom of the stairs, or to the right of the railing.

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