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

Tag: CCTV

Gates, Conoco Gas Stations and the Mystery of the Man in the Orange Shirt

When British tabloids reported that Watts – or someone that looked like him – was seen wearing an orange shirt and buying a breakfast roll at 08:00 on Monday morning in a convenience store, legions rose to debunk the footage. IT’S NOT HIM! they screamed.

I suspected it could be.

The fact that Weld County released the footage to begin with suggested the District Attorney thought so too.

Intuitively, in terms of the timeline,  I knew it was possible because there’s a gas station and convenience store right there in Roggen. The first time I came across it was while researching the drive to CERVI 319.

As part of that research I found this video; the visit to the gas station is documented at around the 13 minute mark.

When the videographer turns off the road to visit a Conoco gas station which is right in the area of CERVI 319, he mentions the station is right beside a Guttersen CERVI ranch gate.

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That gate is only just visible to the right of the grey pole in the screengrab below. It has small, white signboards attached to it. Fullscreen capture 20181229 174859

Below is the same scene zoomed in. The videographer assumed the area behind the gate is also part of the large Guttersen ranch, but it’s not. The large Cervi ranch borders the even more massive Guttersen ranch. Both ranches have hundreds of fracking pads scattered across the landscape.

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In order to get to the gas station and the Cervi gate, one has to exit the highway and take the overpass to the other side.

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Conoco’s Facebook page provides a handy map with directions to the gas station.

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While there are hundreds of Conoco gas stations in and around Denver, there’s only one in Roggen.

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The gas station is situated on Frontage Road, about 10-15 minutes drive to or from CERVI 319.

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The gas station is also clearly en route to CERVI 319 from Saratoga Trail, or conversely, heading back.Fullscreen capture 20181229 165858

The other aspect to consider: if it was Watts,  should he have been hungry by 08:00 on August 13th? If he’d last eaten at around 19:00 [during his chicken barbecue on the porch], and particularly if he’d been up all night committing and covering up three murders, then after the dumping, digging and disposal, he was likely to have developed quite an appetite when it was all over.

All over was likely to be close to 07:30-07:40, which gave him around half an hour to get back to the store for breakfast. That fits the timeline perfectly.4221396001_5974669446001_5974665781001-vs

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It’s important to note that the layout of this store is different to the one where he is wearing a white shirt. It’s not the same convenience store.

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The other aspect that stands out in terms of the orange shirt, was Officer Coonrod’s bodycam footage. When Watts is standing with his back to his wardrobe, the color coded shirts behind him show a hanger with nothing on it right by the orange shirts.

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At the same time, there also appears to be a gray or black shirt missing from the wardrobe. There’s another hanger missing there too.

This line of inquiry is interesting because it suggests Watts may have changed his clothing three or four times that morning. It made sense to change out of the black shirt and jeans, because these were likely to be dirtied by sweat, dirt and possibly other body fluids and fibers.

He may also have dumped clothing and/or materials on his way home at the dumpster at 6507 Black Mesa.

Watts making multiple changes to his clothes also implies he’d do the same to Shan’ann after her murder. The change of clothes is intended to get rid of evidence transferred to the clothing during the crime and/or dumping of the bodies.

In a way the many changes of clothing make sense. It’s like the leopard trying to change his spots, and that’s exactly what lay behind this crime. Watts was trying to craft a new life for himself. Putting on a new shirt was almost like becoming someone else. If anyone spotted a guy in a dark shirt running around CERVI 319, or standing atop the tall tanks, well, they wouldn’t think to link him to the guy in the orange shirt…

Far from not thinking his crime through, Watts was trying to think of everything. He arguably got many of the technical aspects right, but failed dismally at the social game. Not only could he not explain where Shan’ann had gone in a convincing way, he failed to predict  human behaviors, including how Shan’ann’s best friend and her son would respond to her disappearance.

He also seemed to overestimate his own social game, or as it turned out, lack of.

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Further reading: The Story Behind the T-Shirt Chris Watts was wearing during his Sermon on the Porch

Chris Watts: “Most Likely to Spend Daddy’s Money” and other T-Shirts

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Above image courtesy Jamie Kripke.

Chris Watts caught on CCTV camera on the night of his last date, moments after his final tryst with Nichol Kessinger [Updated]

After their meal at the Lazy Dog on Saturday night [August 11th], Watts and Nichol Kessinger had their final intimate encounter.

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From her home Watts drove to his home, but stopped at a gas station on the way to draw babysitting cash for McKenna Lindstrom.

Below is a map showing the route from Watts’ home to Kessinger’s place on Claude Court.

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The closest gas station on that route is at 3768 State Highway 52.

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McKenna described Watts that night wearing a white-t-shirt and black jeans.

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The screengrabs below are from 22:19 to 22:22. McKenna and her mother Jennifer said Watts arrived home late that night, at around 22:30. He’d agreed to be home by 22:00.

49406806_1964528103665165_5599934577075290112_nAt first glance the brunette on the right in the screengrab below appears to be Nichol Kessinger. But the label on her shirt and the fact that she appears later with her back to the camera, counting notes for him from behind the counter, suggests she was a convenience store worker.49255985_2155889497802959_104945537307901952_n

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Many thanks to a follower of CrimeRocket who brought this info to my attention, but asked to remain anonymous.

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Chris Watts CCTV footage August 13, 08:00

Digging holes, burying bodies and dumping children into oil tanks is hungry and thirsty work. About an hour and a half later Watts was buying something to eat.

Interestingly, Watts has 3 different outfits on the same day.

There’s the orange shirt.

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The black shirt [and apparently no cap].

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And the long-sleeved grey shirt [sans cap]. The glasses below also appear not to have the orange tint of those in the first photos.

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Video footage from the convenience store CCTV can be viewed at this link.