On August 8th, the day Shan’ann arrived home from North Carolina she texted her friend Taylor Welch:

“Chris said we are not compatible anymore. He refused to hug me. Said he thought another baby would fix his feelings…he refused couples counseling. Before I left [we couldn’t] get enough of each other. He said he had a lot of time to think…I’ve cried myself to sleep over a week now…

A week prior to sending this message Shan’ann, Chris Watts, the girls and Shan’ann’s father Frank were unwinding at Myrtle Beach. They spent 4-5 days at Myrtle Beach, the venue where the couple spent their third date, where Watts proposed and where they went on honeymoon.

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At the time, when they got married, Watts was under the impression Shan’ann might not be able to have children.


We know that during the week Watts spent with his family in North Carolina, Kessinger was Googling wedding dresses, checking Shan’ann and her husband’s Facebook accounts and constantly sending nude selfies of herself to Watts, and Watts was hiding these in his Secret Calculator app.

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In the video below the sky above the beach is cloudy and grey. On the sunless shore the disconnect between the parents is palpable. The magic is gone. Watts is there, looking tanned and toned in his orange beach shorts. He’s there but also not there. He’s stiffly trying to do what he’s supposed to be doing, but he’s wishing he could be somewhere else. As small waves wash in Bella runs away while Ceecee tentatively faces the lines of approaching foam. Bella keeps getting away from him. She’s afraid of the water.

Shan’ann’s father is also there, perhaps also aware of the iciness between his daughter and her husband. He seems to maintain a discreet distance, hoping it will sort itself out.

Watts stands in the wet sand for a long time, seemingly in a delirium, wishing he could somehow make all this unpleasant conflict go away.