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

Tag: doll wrapped in plastic

Who Wrapped the Doll in the Twister Mat, and Why?

The doll wrapped like a dead body in the twister mat feels like a message, doesn’t it? Given how close to the murders the doll was staged, and the ominous visual of the life-size doll, the wrapped doll is a material factor in this case.

4F25D5C200000578-0-image-m-55_1534476317511

In fact right at the time Watts confessed, his father Ronnie told FBI Special Agent Grahm Coder about the doll. He said it wasn’t the natural thing for a child to do, implying that Shan’ann had done it, perhaps as a taunt or a warning to her husband.

Fullscreen capture 20190203 092427

Ronnie’s theory to the FBI was that:

  1. The murder of the children was planned [premeditated] by Shan’ann.
  2. Shan’ann posed the image and purposefully chose the words “I don’t know what to think about this…” as a warning and a threat.
  3. Shan’ann had lied that Bella had covered the doll in the sheet.
  4. He felt Bella would never do such a thing based on his experience of her behavior.

Ronnie’s theory made some sense, but it shouldn’t be missed that it conveniently provided a theory for his son’s innocence precisely when he needed it most. Like many folks currently shrieking about shadows and shapes, a single image posted on social media isn’t proof of anything. It isn’t forensic evidence. At most it’s a piece of a larger mosaic. If the piece means something, it will help reveal the rest of the mosaic, rather than stand alone blinking a singular, disconnected message within the mosaic.

50360334-little-goldfish-in-water-wearing-shark-fin-to-scare-predators

Often an outrageous conspiracy theory pokes through the surface of the water like a shark fin. It appears to be an incredible distinct possibility, except, beneath the surface of the water the fin doesn’t connect to anything. In other words, there’s a fin but no shark. Most conspiracy theories work like this – they talk a big game but end up being toothless.

The doll image isn’t quite as irrelevant as the shadow and shape-shifting stuff. The doll image involves everyone in this story, and is part of the dialogue of the most important people in this story: the murderer, the victims and the murderer’s #1 confidante.

Watts’ response to his father’s theory is important to note as well:

  1. Watts doesn’t provide much information, except to say he was aware of the incident and recalled that Shan’ann made fun of the image, and thought it was funny. Watts doesn’t disclose what he thought, and as far as we can see, he made no comment on the image himself, or if he did, removed it when he deleted his Facebook account. We also know at some point close to when Shan’ann posted this image, Watts Googled how to delete his Instagram account.
  2. When Coder asks Watts if Bella “did it” Watts answered he doesn’t know, because he “can’t recall”.

In effect, Watts – either by design or by default – is reinforcing the idea that Shan’ann was responsible for the picture. He doesn’t say he thinks Bella would’ve or could’ve or might have done it. There is a slight undercurrent to his reference of Shan’ann laughing in the face of the picture. It seems a subtle jab at her, undermining her as an undermining and sometimes mocking personality. If Watts murdered her to get revenge for her killing the children, then his lack of anger and mild response – his nonchalance – to Shan’ann’s supposed jeering isn’t appropriate.

They key to solving this mystery lies in Ronnie’s remark:

“I was around Bella and she would…never cover a doll’s head like it was a body…”

Due to the very special circumstances of this case, we’re able to be around Bella too and thus we can see how she behaves around dolls and toys. This is how we try to connect the shark fine to a jangle of possible dots below the surface. We don’t take the fin as evidence and run with it. Instead, we try to connect it to something bigger. Not one other image but a body of evidence that adds up to something.

Now, to begin with, the scene for the staging of the doll is the downstairs lounge. It’s on the couch against’s the wall, rather than the main living room couch. In other words, it’s not the couch in this picture.

29063424_10155283297836935_3455006825337993045_n

It’s also not the couch in this picture.

Fullscreen capture 20181010 090902

It’s not the couch in this picture.

19030373_10154602065526935_7720760333142097493_n

It’s the two-seater couch peeking out of the left edge of this picture.

17884637_10154434732776935_4572439382284294184_n

This is a view of the television and of Bella from that two-seater couch.

17861802_10154441147171935_3737150667620003667_n

This is a view of the couch from the main couch. Note the small table on the one side of the two-seater couch.

fullscreen-capture-20180911-095845

Here’s a view of the same couch from the floor. Notice the small table beside the couch.

14079782_10153791295206935_8982973437850985365_n

Now that we know where the couch is, we can see it’s an area where Bella and Ceecee not only were likely to play, but also sit. And we can see that life-size doll was also located near this particular couch in several photos and videos.

hqdefaultfullscreen-capture-20181211-080914

Sometimes the doll is upstairs.

fullscreen-capture-20190126-223759

Other times the doll is downstairs closer to the front door lounge and dining room.

Girls really giving daddy a workout! lol push-ups with 70 wiggly lbs. This was like the 20th video and probably his 50th push up 😂 lol #Thrive + #DUO #DaddyHulk

Posted by Shanann Watts on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 

“I was around Bella and she would…never cover a doll’s head like it was a body…”

What was your knee-jerk, gut response when you first saw the doll wrapped in the twister mat?

Mine was that Watts had been intently watching a lot of true crime in the lounge on television while Bella played. Bella, taking her cue from what her daddy was watching, imitated something on television to get her father’s attention and approval.

Obviously this initial response was based on knowing [at that time] virtually nothing about Bella, knowing nothing about the ongoing nut anxiety, and knowing little about Bella’s habits and the family’s sense of humor. Does any of this really matter though? It does. These dynamics are important, but it takes a long time to figure them out.

When we take the time to try to understand the dynamics, a few things become apparent that begin to play into that mysterious image.

We see several instances of Bella imitating one or both of her parents.

fullscreen-capture-20181022-190828fullscreen-capture-20180929-2033541

This is what happens when you take ThriveK! 💪🏽🤣#ThriveK

Posted by Shanann Watts on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

It’s also debatable whether Bella wouldn’t cover the head of doll or toy.

17499389_10154405086971935_1290853657284651311_nfullscreen-capture-20190126-22343515621671_10154120275121935_6327879018615692579_n

In many of Shan’ann’s posts, she has pictures of her children in weird sleep poses, many from the baby monitor showing Ceecee in particular climbing under her blankets or sleeping face down.

fullscreen-capture-20181011-08594523031417_10154976545626935_611012459106510509_n17884536_10154441801461935_3983396163800961873_n18447343_10154519436391935_8035362839672327898_n

As for the idea of covering up the face with anything, the children were often seen wearing masks, and at one point Deeter was also recorded crawling into the long sleeve of a sweater. During that recording Shan’ann says: “Bella would get a kick out of this…”

19961096_10154720647486935_1624817151677150288_n

Fullscreen capture 20181022 152720

Dieter is stuck in the robe. 😂😂😂😂

Posted by Shanann Watts on Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dieter is stuck in Bella's robe! 😂😂😂😂

Posted by Shanann Watts on Thursday, April 13, 2017

Since Chris Watts sent the image to Shan’ann, it’s likely he did so because Bella asked him to. Perhaps Bella wanted her mom to see it because she thought Shan’ann “would get a kick out of it” [and if that was the plan it worked].

It’s not likely Watts sent the image to Shan’ann either to implicate her, or himself. This is sort of the main thrust of the conspiracy shark fin – that either Shan’ann or Chris Watts deliberately staged an image as warning that they might commit murder unless X, Y or Z, and then went through with it despite the fact that it had been posted in the public domain, onto social media.

Was Watts wasn’t aware of Shan’ann posting this image to Facebook? It was posted at 11:46 local time. Less than two hours later on August 9th, Watts scrubbed his Facebook account.

Fullscreen capture 20190203 120635

An interesting question is whether he knew about the image and continued with his plan regardless [similar to the hitch of the flight delay], or whether he didn’t know. Another possibility is that he did know, and didn’t like the aftermath of the nut incident, where Shan’ann’s family started talking about a dead body and the kids having one another’s backs. We know shortly after deleting his Facebook his father asked him about it, to which Watts responded:

“Yes sir, liberated myself!”

Fullscreen capture 20190203 121351

This indicates the degree to which Watts felt exasperated with and perhaps imperilled by Shan’ann’s social media.

We also see many signs of Bella staging with toys, blankets and dolls, many of these instances are on the same couch as the life-size doll, and in the same room.

Fullscreen capture 20190107 174207

If Bella did stage the doll, what was she trying to do? One possibility is she was playing a game of imaginary hide and go seek with the toy and perhaps with Ceecee.

Another possibility is she was trying to communicate some message to her mother, either to amuse her as mentioned earlier or, possibly, to send some sort of urgent but unconscious message.

If it is the former, Bella may have learned that her mother got a kick out of seeing children, adults or dolls sleeping with or without blankets over their heads, and Bella simply wanted to share the joke with her mother.

The elder daughter had spent several weeks back-to-back with her mom, which was plenty of time for mom and daughter to develop a rapport, particularly around a particular subject.

Perhaps Bella had gotten in the habit of covering her own head with a blanket when the sun rose in the early summer mornings, or, if Shan’ann had cried herself to sleep over the past week, perhaps Shan’ann herself had covered her face in the mornings.

fullscreen-capture-20181212-010018

fullscreen-capture-20181212-010038

If it is the latter, and Bella wanted to share a more serious message, we know in the last days of her life, Bella was concerned that Ceecee might go to sleep and never wake up. That was an artifact of the nut debacle, which had clearly traumatized the older child.

We know Bella had confided in McKenna as late as the last night of her life that she was worried about Ceecee eating coconut and never waking up. Bella was so worried about this she couldn’t sleep when Ceecee went to sleep.

When Agent Kevin Koback spoke to McKenna he asked her if Bella had any concerns when she babysat her on Saturday night [August 11].

KOBACK: Was there anything that was concerning, that you heard?

MCKENNA: Um…Bella just…she sat by me and she was really concerned that…her little sister fell asleep before her, so she sat on the couch with me for a while. And she actually told me something. She said, ‘Can I ask you something?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ ‘My little sister has, like…’ She told me if she eats coconut she’ll never be able to see her again. So I’m guessing that the littlest one has a severe allergy. And that’s what they told her, that if she eats that she’ll never be able to see her again. She was really upset by that. 

KOBACK: Bella was?

MCKEANNA: Yeah.

https://youtu.be/aVyIhosbNzI?t=769

We also know from Watts’ evidence that although Bella went to bed much later than her sister, she would up first and went to wake Ceecee up.

Fullscreen capture 20190203 103335Fullscreen capture 20190203 103612

17425857_10154370795631935_2937316712576246528_n

We also know that far from Watts sending images to Shan’ann, he was far more likely not to send images to her, and also less likely to post images to Facebook. In fact the final request made by Shan’ann to send images of the sleeping children wasn’t honored by Watts – instead he simply resent images he’d sent of the girls eating and playing from earlier in the day.

So the likelihood that Watts staged the doll and took the photo is slim. It’s more likely Bella demanded that he send the image to Shan’ann, perhaps as a message to her mother that she was worried about her sister and needed to confide in her, and be comforted [just as she needed that from McKenna].

585510540-awesome-funny-shark-hd-wallpaper

We also know that Watts was cold and standoffish to his children, so Bella “reading” something unsettling in the ether was based to some extent on real and mythical undercurrents,. The nut emergency was [arguably] overblown, just a case of the older sister picking up on her mother’s paranoia. But the other aspect that was unsettling was she wasn’t getting the soothing she needed from her father when he mother was away.

Perhaps in a sense the doll covered up was a kind of self-portrait, a sculpture of suffocation and agony that Bella couldn’t explain or give voice to, but nevertheless felt. It’s difficult to imagine her father, given his murderous premeditations right then, didn’t see any symbolism in the doll turned into a mummy. Perhaps he sent it on because he knew what it meant: that Shan’ann had unnecessarily traumatized both his children, turning them against his parents, and ultimately declaring them unfit parents while expecting him to babysit.

Bella’s concerns about Ceecee would also have made her difficult to babysit, and difficult to put her to bed, something that would have irritated the adulterer when he wished to have long conversations with his mistress.

Fullscreen capture 20190203 113640

Conclusion

When the FBI asked Watts if he thought Bella staged the doll, Watts answered that he couldn’t recall. Since he sent the image to Shan’ann at 11:44 on August 9th, and since Shan’ann’s response was that Bella did it and she couldn’t explain it, it means Shan’ann didn’t do it. And since Watts was home, and the doll was staged in the most communal room in the house, how could he not know who did it? If he didn’t do it, and Shan’ann didn’t do it, who’s left?

In the same way that Watts “implicates” Shan’ann in the staging of the doll, he also implicates her in the staging of crime, and murder of his children. It’s the coward’s way out – to accuse or manipulate by not providing evidence to the contrary, evidence only he had.

21317690_10154838070796935_2812654725264112755_n17796094_10154405086981935_5346536108484461217_n6576206-6423321-Watts_drove_to_the_field_where_he_pushed_Bella_and_Celeste_throu-m-1_154302511585329063424_10155283297836935_3455006825337993045_n

16681667_10154272309031935_8795716272526672131_n17759993_10154443039991935_8214253012160391801_n

More: Bella and Celeste Watts: how were they murdered?

How Happy were Celeste and Bella?

Shan’ann’s OTHER response to the doll wrapped in the Twister Mat

Bella and Celeste Watts: What if the cause of death WASN’T strangulation?

Bella and Celeste’s Last Supper

“She wants more marshmallows.” “Okay.” – More Insight into the Watts Family Dynamic

Discovery Documents Interview with McKenna Lindstrom + Audio [5th Tranche]

https://youtu.be/i0oYgD4-MNw

Chris doing push ups with the girls on his back (Bella 37lbs, Celeste 32lbs, Koral 23lbs)

Posted by Shanann Watts on Monday, September 25, 2017

Deeter goes to Hospital, Baby Monitor Footage, Bella putting doll under Green Blanket, Shan’ann mocks her husband and the Trip to Punta Cana – Watts Family Photos February/March 2017

fullscreen capture 20190126 220234fullscreen capture 20190126 220407fullscreen capture 20190126 220654fullscreen capture 20190126 221000fullscreen capture 20190126 221558fullscreen capture 20190126 221810fullscreen capture 20190126 222055fullscreen capture 20190126 222352fullscreen capture 20190126 222549fullscreen capture 20190126 222642fullscreen capture 20190126 222959fullscreen capture 20190126 223435fullscreen capture 20190126 223447fullscreen capture 20190126 223456fullscreen capture 20190126 223506

Notice in the image below, the sheet in the background is of the same type used to dispose of her body.

fullscreen capture 20190126 223519fullscreen capture 20190126 223733fullscreen capture 20190126 223742fullscreen capture 20190126 223759fullscreen capture 20190126 223821

fullscreen capture 20190126 225724fullscreen capture 20190126 224750fullscreen capture 20190126 224811fullscreen capture 20190126 224818fullscreen capture 20190126 224821

Here we see Bella wrapping her father and her doll in a blanket, which goes some way to showing that it is possible she wrapped the doll in the twister mat. 

fullscreen capture 20190126 224832fullscreen capture 20190126 224904fullscreen capture 20190126 224953

If Watts was a dutiful husband, this sort of thing couldn’t have been very encouraging especially posted on social media. Scroll down to read the comments.

fullscreen capture 20190126 225000fullscreen capture 20190126 225233fullscreen capture 20190126 22523912715540_1147876411891718_7942309722678540846_n16406616_10154260191191935_7129305167162223685_n16508036_10154267280226935_3763570565861446616_n16508373_10154268619606935_5676290531780481762_n16508586_10154267658511935_2877982672408958495_n16603054_10154272309091935_396696241975259182_n16649090_10154264139646935_9185325604051474096_n16649279_10155159036898825_569256189078270122_n16649413_10155159232278825_4883118725719454734_n16649507_10154268619611935_8619102668850229754_n16681667_10154272309031935_8795716272526672131_n16681739_10154275413266935_8006077108593500405_n16684081_10154275802456935_5718805632763039615_n16730524_10154276367766935_3874644490305540275_n16730548_10155158912708825_7793629625929828630_n16797652_10155159177423825_2075101194510433777_o16806838_10155158722178825_6148503775624963325_n16807553_10155159245363825_822033776084809160_n16807794_10155159143708825_756387160405594545_n16831109_10155158836603825_5639915854840153099_n16831137_10155158729393825_2320997877410461421_n16831909_10155158916778825_7063520556289341163_n16832126_10155159146438825_1999804796780441471_n16832130_10155158836218825_107112413657218611_n16835878_10155159184188825_4398921814149072357_o16836010_10155159173888825_5594047714806148971_o16836418_10155158807843825_9097140981477587286_o16864075_10155159149788825_1903260820006790678_n16864519_10155158794963825_7677446319984726717_n16864795_10155159213338825_3857714610061050505_n17264567_10154370795536935_8994660968333250579_n17309180_10154374667261935_4708321320779719614_n17353618_10154370795576935_8814634100701070735_n17362697_10154370795661935_8375299344569760535_n17362733_10154372372731935_6803231957631642743_n17424599_10154370795541935_1953794152543528102_n17425857_10154370795631935_2937316712576246528_n17425990_10154374635481935_2729126897782853981_n17457296_10154377397016935_851879370339708108_n

This kid cracks me up

Posted by Shanann Watts on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My love my everything! #WeThrive #ThrivinCouplesHaveMoreFun

Posted by Shanann Watts on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Can you tell mommy is home?!?! My lap is full! They ONLY want mommy! 😉😝😂😘🙈 #MomLife

Posted by Shanann Watts on Thursday, February 9, 2017

Team Promo for $300 cash. #TeamRockstars

Posted by Shanann Watts on Wednesday, February 8, 2017