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Tag: July 9 meltdown

The “Death Practices” of Chris Watts

Most people – whether murderers or not – engage in ritualistic “death practices”.  What the hell is that? Well, it’s something like this:

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Most of us are less extreme in our rituals. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest or use a parachute to play games with fate. Smoking a cigarette will do. Eating foods you know you shouldn’t is what most of us try to get away with.

Some “death practices” are life affirming. They remind us we are alive, and encourage us to appreciate being alive, and perhaps being with someone else. But some “death practices” are less controlled, and more self-destructive. They may start as disassociation or disconnection, and ultimately lead to a downward spiral.ecba5bb7c9de2cb810dfa0aa8f793242

To understand the mind of a murderer, and the the mechanism of “death practices” for someone like Chris Watts, think about some of those things that you consider crossing the line, in terms of rituals, especially risky rituals. Let’s call them forbidden fruit. It might be cheating on a partner, or stealing from your business partner, or doing things on your phone or computer you probably shouldn’t. It might be having sex at work, or sex with a prostitute, or sex with someone who is married. Or indulging in an addiction of some kind. Whatever it is, a would-be murderer starts to feel the same temptation – about murder.


Wherever the thought emerges, it becomes progressively reinforced or stimulated by circumstantial and subjective factors. Eventually the stimulation becomes self-sustaining. At that point the “death practice” slides into the background, because the time has come to execute on the fantasy of killing.

There is much more to say on the subject, but a blog post is not the place to do it. It deserves a chapter and a lot more context. But to give you some idea of the context we’re talking about, in terms of Chris Watts, some of the factors stimulating the idea of “death practice” [even only in a theoretical sense] included:

  • the pregnancy, and the realization at some point that he didn’t want this living thing to come into the world. In other words, he wanted the baby not to exist. This was one of the most powerful psychologies that framed many of the others that followed.180817063954-colorado-woman-pregnancy-video-full-169
  • the sicknesses of the children. Bella and Celeste were less healthy than the average children. It may have had something to do with their mother being a Lupus sufferer.
  • the life-size doll wrapped in the twister mat.0_Chilling-final-photo-Chris-Watts-pregnant-wife-took-of-their-childrens-barbie-doll
  • the “near death” spiel that was Nut Gate. This was a real test case for Watts to feel out the psychology of serious harm coming to his youngest daughter, and then experiencing some of the emotions firstly in himself, and in others around him. It’s likely this “death practice” reinforced or even awakened his feelings about needing to get rid of his other child – the baby.
  • the bankruptcy in 2015, and the financial malaise that overshadowed the enormous brown house hulking over Saratoga
  • Bella’s trauma after being told her sister might not wake up after eating coconut is another example. When exposed to this, Watts may have entertained the idea of one or both children surviving the death of someone else, and deciding against it.maxresdefault
  • other “death practices” include the sequestrating of data on his phone, including nude photos and data into his Secret Calculator app, closing himself emotionally [and sexually, and in terms of general communication] from Shan’ann. Shutting down his Facebook account.
  • going to work and working with dangerous chemicals, and being reminded on a daily basis of life-threatening aspects at work, would also nudge him further and further forward into the miasma of murder that was gradually forming in Chris Watts’ mind…


Why did Chris Watts keep his head bowed when his mother turned to address him in court?

At 01:27 in the clip below, while Cindy Watts is making her statement beside the wooden lectern in court [under the chaperoneship of Denver attorney Jean Powers], she abruptly turns to Watts who is sitting behind her.

 “We love you, and we [turns, sobs] forgive you son.

But he doesn’t look up at her.

Does he blame Cindy for Shan’ann’s July 9th meltdown and for fomenting the early breakdown in their relationship?