“I knew that this was it. This was going to change my life. I was gonna be the mom [tears up]…the mom that I wanted to be for my little one. I was gonna be the wife that I wanted to be for my husband. And I was gonna love me back. I was gonna have Cristina back. And that was [breathless]…that’s what I love the most about the Thrive experience…is that I’m me.”
Can you make out what she says at the very end as her voice breaks?
If Shan’ann was in financial difficulty previously [and she was], the solution seemed to be fairly simple. Move someone in and scrimp. She did this in 2015 when they went bankrupt. She moved in her parents for 15-16 months. Presumably this “saved” money in child care fees, and by pooling resources, food and meals could be cheaper when the expenses were shared by four rather than one or two.
How would you like to live with both your in-laws for over a year?
When Shan’ann had neck surgery, Cristina Meacham came to stay for two months in 2017.
So in 2018, when they were scraping the bottom of the barrel again, there was an easy solution in the offing. Do what she’d always done. Move someone in and piggyback until things improved.
That someone turned out to be Josh and Cassie Rosenberg, just another family of Thrivers [a mom and pop team, and their kids], who could pool their resources. This plan wasn’t just theoretical. We know this because on Saturday night [August 11] when Watts was wining, dining and [doing other things] with Nichol Kessinger, Josh Rosenberg sent Watts a text to ask if everything was okay – could they still come and stay at the house.
Josh had good reason to be uncertain if the plan was still in the offing, He knew because Cassie knew that Watts and his wife were arguing. If they arguing, where did it leave them?
Watts didn’t respond to Josh until the next morning – Sunday [August 12] – and when he did he said it was cool [even though it wasn’t cool at all]. Watts said they could move in, but wanted to know when.
Watts then lied to Josh about something else – he pretended he knew what it was like at the Rockies game.
It’s important to see the texts between Shan’ann and her pals Nickole and Cassie in context to get a real sense for how the idea of moving in with Shan’ann [to provide support, perhaps help pay the bills and take care of the kids] came about.
It’s clear – and to some extent understandable – that Shan’ann, Nickole and Cassie had formed a formidable alliance of three, and they meant business. Fuck him was the general theme of it. Fuck him and take the house. Even though the house was in Watts’ name, they figured they could sort of bully their way into it and taking charge, and at the very least, taking the kids and getting half of what the house was worth. Fuck him!
Perhaps under normal circumstances Watts would have crumbled and turned the house over to his wife and whoever she wanted to stay over/rent/cohabit or whatever. But these weren’t normal circumstances. This situation this time around definitely wasn’t going to work for him and his mistress.
The red arrows and circles in some of the final texts below point out specifics of the conversation to move in to casa Watts, and also how Weld County deals with alimony and splitting the house, even if it is in the husband’s name.
“I have enough to worry about with the world out there I’m not going to worry about family. I will just remove it.”
These images are of a for sale sign on the lawn of the Trinastich residence. It’s also possible if the for sale sign was on the lawn during the six weeks Shan’ann was away, Watts could have been nudged – almost on a daily basis – to contemplate whether he could keep his home. And we know where that calculus took him, once he took time to do the math.
Below is Shan’ann’s final ever message on her phone:
On iPhones do text messages and WhatsApps [or messages via the internet] appear on the same screen? If so, then why did Watts’ message at 07:40 not appear on Shan’ann’s phone? Could it be because the phone was off, or because the router wasn’t connected, or is there another explanation?
At 01:32 in the video below, Shan’ann absently tells her husband, “She wants more marshmallows.” Watts immediately responds and exits out of the background. The whole video is worth watching, if only to get a sense of how Watts is basically there but not there. He tries initially to contribute, but ultimately is excluded from the video, even though the two children are often addressed directly. Watts is never addressed. He’s never asked:
“Hey Chris, what do you think?”
Instead he’s often addressed in the third person, as if he’s not actually there.
At 5:02 Shan’ann turns the camera onto Bella and says, “You’re cuter than daddy. We’ll just have you…talk to the crowd.”
Cindy Watts has thus far been dismissed as little more than “the monster’s mother”. In some of the few interviews she’s given, she’s said she didn’t like the way Shan’ann spoke of him to her, and possibly didn’t like the way she spoke to him.
At 03:48 in the raw video of Cindy Watts, she says:
Christopher was…[shakes her head with agitation] always seemed anxious. And he…er…when she needed something, I mean he would run. He wouldn’t walk, he would run. He would get it. He just always seemed to right there…a-at her beck and call.
REPORTER: Did that seem odd to you?
Very odd. It was very odd. He just seemed nervous.
Has Cindy highlighted something here that was a real issue for her son, or are her comments unreliable exaggerations?
Page 58 of the Discovery Documents highlights an insight from someone who actually lived with the Watts family for two months in 2017. That’s a lot of inside access. Cristina Meacham refers to Watts getting aggravated while hanging a picture by Shan’ann’s input. She also mentions Watts feeling Shan’ann was often putting the kids first, ahead of him.
In the video cited above, that appears to be the case, doesn’t it – the children brought forward while he is pushed to the background.
Earlier on Monday afternoon, while standing in the alcove near the stairs with Deeter sitting in a pool of sunlight behind him, Officer Mark James offered Watts his card and suggested Watts call him if anything came up.
[Scroll down to the bottom for the video of the call.]
By 21:00 that evening Watts hadn’t called the cops to report anything, or to ask for anything. So Officer James called him.
This call was made prior to Watts’ Sermon on the Porch the next morning. It was effectively Watts’ first version where he explained both the trip to North Carolina and how that may have led to their “separation” taking effect that morning and Shan’ann’s disappearance shortly afterwards.
When Watts refers to separation we assume he means separation, but Watts is really using this word symbolically [in terms of his own psychology] as a euphemism for death. He knows it’s a permanent separation. But in his own mind, separation is a nice safe term to acknowledgesboth worlds, the fictional world he’s selling and the reality change in his circumstances [wrought by him].
He uses the same symbolic euphemism to the FBI when he tells them “I only hurt her emotionally…” and later, when acknowledging the murder itself: “She hurt them so I hurt her.”
She hurt them -> I killed her -> [Father does a double-take at the word kill] -> I hurt her
Intuitively Watts seems to be talking about his parents here. She hurt them [during the tree nut meltdown] and so he killed her. He’s telling his father this, and saying because she hurt them, he “hurt” her. It sounds reasonable except when you replace the word “hurt” with murdered, and the fact that he murdered both his daughters too, it’s not reasonable in the least.
But this sort of bald-face lying, tailoring and customizing of a version to make it sound just right isn’t new to true crime though. It’s classic to true crime.
What this shows is how a murderer tries to minimize his actions, and his words, by softening them, just as evidence is softened, minimized, concealed, covered up or lawyered into oblivion.
Interestingly, during the almost seven minute long phone call, the first number Watts gives Officer James is Addy Molony’s. These are supposed be friends Shan’ann may have left with the kids to be with. But Addy doesn’t even live in Colorado. The third name he gives the officer is Cristina Meacham. She’s in Hawaii!
In the end he only gives James four names, and each name is like pulling teeth. Officer James nevertheless follows-up by calling each of the four names Watts has pulled out of a hat. Through them, a portrait of what’s really going on gradually pixelates into something sharper and more specific.
An affair. Facebook deleted on Thursday. Did not want baby.
In the phone call Officer James also asks Watts to elaborate on their marital problems. Watts makes three very big statements in response to James’ open-ended question:
“I could never really be myself…”
“She could never see me…”
“Right now it’s hard to be in this house right now…”
The Discovery Documents misspell her name as Christina Meechum. Cristina is a regular on Shan’ann’s Facebook profile, and appears to have lost a lot of weight while using THRIVE. Her witness statement is particularly valuable because she lived in the Watts household while Shan’ann was having surgery to her neck.
“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.”