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Tag: Niko

Shan’ann Watts could have known the sex of her baby at 7 weeks

Shan’ann Watts was suffering from an autoimmune disease called lupus. In some ways, lupus corresponds to the very early stages of pregnancy – its symptoms may be difficult to diagnose.

One way to monitor lupus is through blood tests, including via skin prick.


According to WebMD:

Blood work…can also help monitor [lupus] and show the effects of treatment.Doctors often use the ANA test as a screening tool. Plus, looking at patterns of the antibodies can sometimes help doctors determine the specific disease a person has. That, in turn, helps determine which treatment would be most appropriate.

There are a battery of tests related to lupus, but the one that applies directly to Shan’ann Watts seems to be this one: Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APLs)

APLs are a type of antibody directed against phospholipids. APLs are present in up to 60% of people with lupus. Their presence can help confirm a diagnosis. A positive test is also used to help identify women with lupus that have certain risks that require preventive treatment and monitoring. Those risks include blood clotsmiscarriage, or preterm birth…


One 23-year-old lupus-sufferer, Tessa Shoemaker describes going through  “a billion finger pricks” en route to her diagnosis. What does this have to do with the sex of Shan’ann’s baby? Actually, a lot.

To begin with, lupus sufferers have an elevated risk of miscarriage, so vigilant monitoring is a given. I’ve maintained from the beginning that Shan’ann knew she was pregnant virtually immediately, probably due to her obsessive compulsive monitoring of her health in general.

Thanks to some of the stars following CrimeRocket we’ve established that besides knowing when she was pregnant, there was also a way for Shan’ann to have known the sex of her child prior to that doctor’s appointment she missed on August 13th.

According to

Parents dying to know the sex of their baby may no longer have to hold their breath until halfway through a pregnancy. A blood test can reveal a baby’s sex as early as seven weeks into a pregnancy, which is earlier than many doctors will see patients for an initial prenatal visit.


The blood test, called a cell-free DNA test, has been used by European doctors for years and has actually been available to American consumers in drugstore chains and online for a few years… The simple test analyzes fetal DNA in the mother’s blood, looking for traces of the male ‘Y’ chromosome. News of the surprising accuracy of the test (98.8 accuracy for a boy and 94.8 accuracy for a girl) was originally reported yesterday [August 10, 2011] in a meta-analysis of 57 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

 Doctors hope the test (which costs a few hundred dollars, including lab fees and shipping costs) will help families with a history of sex-related genetic disorders such as hemophilia (which tends to affect boys) avoid unnecessary invasive procedures, like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, that carry a small risk of miscarriage. And, in fact, in England, where the test is already in use, many moms are already skipping invasive tests, thanks to this blood test.

It’s certain that Shan’ann’s lupus treatment involved blood tests as a matter of course. She may even have actively monitored herself. It’s very likely then that she would have monitored the lupus side more closely because of her pregnancy, and vice versa.

The lupus aspect also raises the possibility of numerous medications being in the home – beyond the norm. If Shan’ann was skin pricking herself regularly as part of her own self-monitoring regimen, and if she had some pain medications stocked at home, then this may well have set the path to his murderous psychology. Pain medication in high doses can be used as a sedative, an anesthetic or a murder weapon.

This issue goers to motive. It’s vital to the narrative simply because if Shan’ann knew the sex early on, Chris Watts probably knew too, and the more he knew about the child in her womb the more he felt trapped or pressured by the baby’s relentless development.  Given the circumstance of this, that he knew more sooner rather than later makes sense.


Was Niko Buried With Shan’ann Watts?

Three coffins, not four. Three hearses, not four. Three graves, not four. And the unborn child’s name was Niko, not Nico.

PINEHURST, NC – SEPTEMBER 1: Frank Rzucek puts his hand on the casket of his daughter Shan’ann Watts, 34, before it is loaded into a hurse outside Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on September 1, 2018 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Family and friends gathered for the funeral mass of Shan’ann her daughters Bella, 4, Celeste, 3, and unborn son Nico. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

PINEHURST, NC – SEPTEMBER 1: The bodies of Shanann Watts, 34, her daughters Bella, 4, Celeste, 3, and unborn son Nico are taken from the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church to head to their final resting place on September 1, 2018 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

PINEHURST, NC – SEPTEMBER 1: Friends and family gather as the bodies of Shanann Watts, 34, her daughters Bella, 4, Celeste, 3, and unborn son Nico are taken from the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church to their final resting place on September 1, 2018 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

PINEHURST, NC – SEPTEMBER 1: Friends and family make their way from the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church after the funeral mass for Shan’ann Watts, 34, her daughters Bella, 4, Celeste, 3, and unborn son Nico on September 1, 2018 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

At the end of the funeral service at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina on September 1st, 2018, a video recording [see below] shows three coffins exiting the church.

The autopsy results aren’t available, but the funeral and grave site suggest that Niko’s remains were either removed, destroyed or buried with his mother.


Was Niko Buried With Shan’ann Watts?

It’s difficult to speculate what the norm would be in a criminal case, especially where an autopsy would need to be performed on both the mother and fetus. But generally speaking, if an early term pregnant woman dies: is the baby removed and buried separately?

The answer probably depends on a case by case basis. What is the the wish of the family?

In some cases, such as this one reported by The Sun, a young mother who died of cervical cancer had her baby sewn back into her post mortem and buried with her [as this was apparently her wish]:

…five-and-a-half months into her pregnancy [Scarlett De-Lacey, 18] suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital after suffering deep-vein thrombosis which caused a blood clot in her leg. Doctors were unable to save Scarlett or her unborn baby Rocco, and after delivering him by caesarean, sewed him back inside his mum for burial. Gayle, from Newport, Wales, explained: “Rocco was too young, legally, to require a separate burial and I was asked if I’d like him put back inside Scarlett.”

“I knew that was what she would have wanted, so they’d be together forever. Her baby was back where he belonged.”





It’s possible that 15-week-old Niko was also too young to “qualify” for a separate burial, as Colorado law currently only recognizes the rights of a fully-fledged person at a particular point post-conception. What is that point? Live birth.

According to Westword:

To be considered a person…a baby has to be born alive. As proof, t[lawyers] cited a 2008 case in which doctors performed a C-section on a woman who was five months pregnant when she was in a car accident that caused her placenta to detach from the uterine wall. A Colorado appeals court ruled that she could sue the driver who caused the crash because the premature baby lived briefly — even if it was only for an hour and six minutes.


Count 6 of the arrest affidavit states “the woman died as a result of the unlawful termination of the pregnancy”. Does this mean the fetus was removed from Shan’ann’s body, prior to the first burial at CERVI 319?

One reason for the murderer to do this would be contingent on rational premeditation: to break the link between the remains of a pregnant victim and and Shan’ann – assuming Chris Watts succeeded in getting away with her murder. Let’s face it, he thought he would as all would-be-murderers do.

In other words, by sequestrating the fetus from Shan’ann’s corpse, if Shan’ann’s remains were ever found, the absence of the fetus could “prove” it wasn’t her. In such a scenario her DNA would need to be destroyed too, perhaps through chemical means.

In the Scott Peterson case, the mother and child’s remains washed up a mile from one another. At the time, three months after Laci’s disappearance, there was uncertainty whether either cadaver was related to the Peterson case. It required specialized DNA tests to confirm the corpse as Laci and the smaller body as Conner’s.

Without access to the autopsy evidence, we can’t know for sure whether this grotesque processing of the corpse/s occurred or not. Given the efforts to dispose of the three bodies, all three in separate “graves” at a remote site under the cover of darkness, there appears to be some reason to suspect the defendant may have made the effort to remove the fetus before burial and disposal.

On the other hand, the affidavit makes no mention of blood evidence inside the Watts home when the first safety inspection was made. A removal of a living fetus, if it happened, would have been very bloody and difficult to clean up, especially if it occurred over a short span of time – only two to three hours in this case.

What’s in a Name?


At the grave site and in the funeral flyer, Niko’s name is spelled “Nico”. This has led some to speculate that Shan’ann named “Nico” after her “best friend” Nickole Utoft Atkinson.

It’s a nice story. Going through the media narrative it’s clear that the Watts themselves intended to call their son Niko. Niko with a K, not a C. This has led to speculation – not unfounded in my view – that the name-choice and the specificity of the spelling was a nod to another Nichol with a surname beginning with the letter K.

Niko with a K is unusual. I should know,  I’ve seen my birth name – Nicolas – misspelled over the years, but never as Nikolas, and almost never shortened as Nik or Niko.

There’s something else too. Celeste, the second-born daughter, took their mother’s second name. Niko was the first child to take Christopher Lee Watts’ middle name as his own.  Niko Lee may or may not have been a symbolic message to his mistress-in-waiting. Maybe if the third child was unplanned, as a gesture of good faith or his future commitment, or even as a kind of apology, naming his son in some way after his mistress may have sent a symbolic message to her.

If so, it wasn’t enough.

Significantly there appears to be purposeful changing of the spelling at the funeral and the grave of the unborn child’s name, as if to undo this intention. Either that or it was a simple mistake, a misspelling.*

Fullscreen capture 20181011 090022

*Shortly after the murders in mid-August, an effort was launched to initiate “Niko’s Law”. The ongoing petition is in aid of changing Colorado law so that it recognizes unborn children as people. As of this writing, the petition  has over 96 680 signatures.

TWO FACE is the definitive narrative on the Watts case available exclusively on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.