It happens on the second night of the interrogations, at roughly seven minutes into the fifth hour [after seven total hours including the previous night]. Interestingly, Agent Coder doesn’t ask Watts at this point if he’s cheating. He does the opposite.
For several minutes leading up to this moment, both agents reinforce Watts’ ego, telling him what a good man and father he is, and how much everyone likes him. Coder, choosing his moment, then tells Watts there is something they know he is lying about [besides the polygraph].
It’s a significant moment, and even a breakthrough, not because Watts has told them anything they don’t know, but because it was the first big step in getting him to tell the truth, a big truth, after countless hours of back-to-back lying.
Once the truth of the affair was revealed, and it was important to have him “confess it”, it was easier to lead him towards volunteering more information about his family.
Shan’ann wasn’t murdered in her bed – she never made it up the stairs.
But the trilogy was written months before the Discovery Documents came out. The trilogy was written before it emerged what clothes Shan’ann was buried in, or the 02:30 credit card purchase, or the stains on the sheets dumped into the trash were revealed.
So do the scenarios presented in the first three books still hold up now that we’ve seen the inside of the house in vivid video detail? Thanks to the latest release of evidence, we’ve been able to see into the crime scene literally hours after the cover up was completed, through the eyes of Officer Coonrod on the 13th and Officer Katherine Lines [the dog handler] on the 14th [after Watts had time to do more cleaning and covering up].
With RAPE OF CASSANDRA, the 4th book in the TWO FACE series, I’ve been able to integrate vital aspects within the enormous tranches of Discovery Documents and video and audio of the actual confession. These insights have moved the narrative forward, allowing for the fine-tuning of the original hypothesis.
For example, there’s an important clue in the screengrabs below that shows Watts wasn’t only lying about Shan’ann killing the children [that part of his so-called “confession” is false], but he was also manipulating his interrogators in terms of telling them when and how he killed Shan’ann.
In a very low tone, Watts tells his father what [supposedly] happened. It’s so quiet, Ronnie has to lean forward to hear his son. Nevertheless, the mikes in the room pick up exactly what he tells his father.
Chris Watts’ confession came early; surprisingly early. What got him to confess? Was it guilt, was it a change of heart, was it because he hadn’t thought through the crime? Is it because he was stupid? Or had Nickole caught him – essentially – red handed?
It’s actually none of these. Chris Watts didn’t confess because he didn’t have to, he confessed because he had to.
Although Nickole Atkinson’s witness testimony to the cops was damning, it didn’t in itself prove that anyone was dead. In the same way the vehicle, phone and purse in the house didn’t prove anyone was dead either. The video surveillance footage didn’t prove anything either.
So what did?
When the cadaver dogs entered the residence while he was giving his interview, Chris Watts seemed pretty confident. But when a cadaver dog alerts it means only one thing:
A PERSON HAS DIED HERE
It was the early introduction of the dogs, therefore, that produced the big breakthrough in this case. By adding this element to Nickole’s early alert, and the video footage, and the personal effects in the home but the victims “vanished”, the cops had very good reason to believe harm had come to Shan’ann and the children – and it had.
In TWO FACE I provide a precise explanation for exactly when and how these events played out, and that when confronted with this evidence, Chris Watts had no choice but to throw in the towel and confess.
Was his confession completely truthful, or did the fox from Spring Lake have another trick up his sleeve? That’s the question investigators are still asking, and what will form the meat and potatoes of the upcoming criminal trial.
Book 4 in the TWO FACE series, one of the best reviewed, is available now in paperback!
“Book 4 in the K9 series is a must read for those who enjoy well researched and detailed crime narratives. The author does a remarkable job of bringing to life the cold dark horror that is Chris Watts throughout the narrative but especially on the morning in the aftermath of the murders. Chris’s actions are connected by Nick van der Leek’s eloquent use of a timeline to reveal a motive.”