62-year-old Ronnie Watts is mentioned twice in the arrest affidavit. Chris Watts’ father was close enough to his son to be there for him [having flown in at short notice from Spring Lake, North Carolina] and to be his confidant at a critical time: immediately before his son confessed to the cops.

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We don’t know much about Chris Watts’ father besides that they both share the middle name “Lee” [and Niko was supposed to inherit that middle name too], that they still live in a modest cottage on Vass Road outside Spring Lake, that Watts senior is a mechanic, that they seem to have the same shoulder tattoos and that his son following in his father’s footsteps means something.

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We also see that Watts junior’s appearance is similar to his father’s – short head hair, neat goatee.

Ronnie’s current place of work in Fayetteville also bears a striking similarity to Chris Watts’ former workplace at large Ford dealership in Longmont.

The Watts family, as group, seems to have strong family values. Since Chris Watts’ social media is unavailable, there are precious few artifacts to go on. But the few that exist speak of closeness between father and son, and between the Watts-in-laws and the their son’s growing family. They even spent two weeks in the Watts home babysitting while the young couple holidayed in Punto Cana in the Dominican Republic.

However we may feel about Chris Watts and his crimes, he’s still someone’s son, he still has a mother, he even has a sibling we know virtually nothing about. We may not know or care about these dynamics, but in terms of trial optics and public feeling towards the defendant, they’re likely to be important. Will his family continue to support him no matter what? Scott Peterson’s family did. Casey Anthony’s family did [at least during trial]. James Holmes folks stood by him. Jodi Arias’ family…sort of…did.


When family support is unequivocal for an accused, it creates a weird dual universe. The whole Steven Avery spiel is a classic example of two separate contradictory realities playing out in the media and in court. There’s the reality of the trial, and there’s often a competing no-one-understands [fill-in-the-defendant’s-name] like we do reality, and never the twain shall meet.

If the above images are anything to go on, Ronnie is a devoted dad and will dutifully stand by his son in some capacity. Was he in court during the arraignment though? Shan’ann’s father and brother were conspicuously present in the front row. If Ronnie was in the house, no one saw him.

Cross Creek Subaru, Ronnie Watts’ workplace, is a short 13.5 mile drive from their home on Vass Road.

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Chris Watts’ parents and Sha’nann’s parents live and work fairly close to one another in North Carolina. Don’t be too quick to judge the parents of a defendant. If you were in their shoes would you support your own flesh and blood, or write them off, or support them surreptitiously and privately? Pray you never find yourself in their position where you’re called on to make that choice.

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