No one can understand why Chris Watts committed murder. He must be a monster, a psychopath. He’s evil, that’s why this happened. No, none of those are explanations. We need to try a little harder than that.

Murder is an aggressive act. Triple murder is a very aggressive act, so aggressive in this instance it’s aggression mixed with sadism. Where does sadism come from? That’s easy. When someone takes pleasure inflicting pain onto someone else, it’s seen as recompense [in their minds] for a perceived slight. Sadism in other words is revenge for humiliation.

In the Watts case the sadism is extreme. It suggests the humiliation is chronic as well.

Of course as soon as we interrogate the authentic nature of the relationship, as soon as we see a controlling, dominant and often sniping aspect in Shan’ann’s personality, then we’ve crossed the line into victim blaming. Shan’ann is innocent and good, we’re reminded, Chris Watts is evil, he’s to blame and that’s all there is to it.

If you want to know why, then you ask questions. If you don’t want to know why, we can stand on the rooftops and all scream together how EVIL Chris Watts is, and in typical social media madness, see who screams the loudest or comes up with the best meme. Whoever screams the loudest wins, and then, that’s your answer. There’s your 21st century why.

Except for the minority of intelligent people in this world, that’s not an answer, unless your standards for figuring out criminal psychology are based on the reptilian brain. We need to be less primitive, simplistic  and black and white in our thinking than that.

So let’s try to be a little more sophisticated in our thinking.

The last week in the timeline leading up to the Annihilation of the Watts family is crucial. And what do we find during that last week? In Shan’ann’s own words on august 12th, hours before her murder, she confirms there was plenty of humiliation.

There was belittling…


In the week prior, from August 5th:

There was insulting, threatening and undermining him and his family to his face…


There was her claiming to be the dominant, controlling figure in their relationship at his expense…


There was her telling her friends he doesn’t have any balls, or any game…

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"He has no game." #ChrisWatts

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There was her wanting him to choose between her family and his own.


This venting wasn’t the only reason for the murders. Their cratering debt [a situation they both contributed to], his affair with Kessinger and hers with MLM weren’t doing their respective families or finances any favors. The reality is, as horrible and tragic as the murders of Shan’ann and her beautiful children were, it wasn’t an act of madness, or evil, or psychopathy. It was a human choice made by an angry, deceitful, cowardly but also humiliated man.