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

Tag: premeditated

“When he got back from North Carolina, that’s when he officially told me we’re getting a divorce and we’re gonna put the house up for sale.” – Nichol Kessinger

The quote from Nichol Kessinger comes at 3:21:04 in the clip below. It’s from Kessinger’s second interview, close to the end.

Kessinger adds that over the final weekend, Watts also informed her that they were putting the house up for sale [something she adds a few seconds after the first quote].

What this clearly indicates is when Watts returned from North Carolina on the evening of August 7th, he knew then what he intended to do. It seems clear then that the premeditation was in place at least 1 week prior to the murders, but given Watts’ standoffishness in North Carolina with Shan’ann, it possibly started during the first week of August while in North Carolina, when he was away from Kessinger.

Chris Watts: The Plea Deal Document and the Second Confession Don’t Jibe

It should be noted that the plea deal includes the legal prescripts AFTER DELIBERATION in three instances, all three relating to three separate counts of first degree murder. The document is explicit in explicating  deliberation as not only an intention to commit a crime but:

…the decision to commit the act has been made after the exercise of reflection and judgment concerning the act…[it is] never [an act] committed in a hasty of impulsive manner.

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During the sentencing hearing on November 19th, 2018, the district attorney stated clearly and categorically [listen at this link]:

“The evidence tells us this, the defendant coldly and deliberately ended four lives, not in a fit of rage, not by way of accident, but in a calculated and sickening manner…”

But Watts’ Second Confession however, which appears not to have been analyzed, criticized or second-guessed either by law enforcement, or the district attorney, or by Investigation Discovery’s Family Man, Family Murderer, or by the media, contradicts this version.


In the Second Confession Watts says repeatedly he was in a rage and snapped when he killed Shan’ann. [CBI Report, page 8].

He had never been angry before and this was like the epitome of being angry. He had rage and lost his mind. [CBI Report, bottom of page 12].

He was shaking and didn’t know what had happened.[CBI Report, page 8].

He didn’t know what to do and didn’t know what he had done.[CBI Report, page 8].

He wasn’t in the right state of mind and wasn’t in control of his thoughts or actions. [CBI Report, page 8].

The original plea deal document is available at this link.

More: “Chris Watts Just Snapped” [October 4th, 2018]

Chris Watts describes the reason he killed Shan’ann Watts: “I just snapped” [AUDIO Part 1+2]

Chris Watts claims “Rage” was the operative emotion that made him wipe out his family. But this is what a genuine “Rage” Annihilation looks like…


Why the Second Confession Scenario as Dramatized in FAMILY MAN, FAMILY MURDERER is full of crap

The murder of the Watts children at CERVI 319 as Dramatized in FAMILY MAN, FAMILY MURDERER

Two Questions: Is Watts telling the truth in the Second Confession, and did he really *plan* such a poorly executed crime?

I received this comment from a reader today and I think it reflects what many people are thinking about.

I’ve read the first 2 parts of your book Two Face on my Kindle app. First I want to say that I love the in depth analysis you’ve done concerning the marriage and psychology behind the Watt’s marriage. I’ve read and seen several articles, tv shows, and other media formats and no one gives this case the insight that you do.

When I began following the case and saw Shan’ann’s Facebook videos, the law enforcement body cam footage, and Chris’s interviews with the media and police, I saw the exact same things about the family that you did. Being a mom, I was appalled by Shan’ann’s constant video coverage of her family for the scam that she was peddling. It was painful to watch the shallowness and neglect that she put upon these kids, not to mention how she used and belittled her husband. Shallowness is the only term that would describe this family.

My question to you is now that Chris Watts has come out with this new story about how he killed Shan’ann and then took her and the girls who were still alive, to the oil site and killed the kids there, does that make you believe that perhaps it wasn’t premeditated?

I guess the first thing I should ask is, do you think he’s telling the truth?

In my opinion, the fact that this was a sloppy, boneheaded carryout of a murder, leads me to believe that it wasn’t planned. That he snapped, killed Shan’ann and then had to deal with the kids as an afterthought.

Did he know that his neighbor had a camera that showed his driveway? If so then why did he overlook this if he had a plan to murder them all in the house? If I was going to kill my entire family and try to get away with it, I wouldn’t do it in a place that was equipped with video cameras. I wouldn’t do it on a day when my wife was supposed to be going to a doctors appointment. I wouldn’t use a vehicle that had GPS tracking to dispose the bodies and I would definitely not use my workplace as the site to get rid of the bodies.

Even the way that the bodies were disposed of to me shows hastiness not pre-planning due to the fact that he dug an easily detectable shallow grave, put the girls through an 8 inch in diameter hole in the tanks which would have been very difficult and gruesome, and then left behind the bedsheet that he wrapped Shan’ann’s body in. That shows rushing, hastiness, not pre-planning.  That is if we are to believe his story about how he carried out the crimes.

It does seem like it could have been planned because he insisted on working alone at the oil tank site, but again, why try to fit this murder in on a day that you had to go work. If he planned it why would he come up with a story that she went to a friends house but that you don’t know who the friend is?

Why leave her phone and purse in the house? The kids medicine and car seats?

If I planned this I would want all the evidence gone and all loose ends dealt with before I did anything else that day. The suggestion of I’ll commit the crime then come home after work and deal with getting rid of evidence makes no sense to me.

Chris Watts: Premeditated Murder started at 17:06 on Sunday Afternoon + Kodi Roberts Texts & Audio Interview [23rd Tranche]

At 17:06 Chris Watts texted his co-worker at Anadarko, Kodi Roberts to say he was going to go to CERVI 319 to inspect a possible leak first thing the next morning. Does this mean at 17:00 he’d decided for certain he was going to commit murder? Or had the idea been stewing in his mind before then?

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Were children still alive when he sent that text? These questions and many more are dealt with in the fourth TWO FACE book RAPE OF CASSANDRA.



If Bella and Celeste’s Bodies were Dismembered or Processed then a Plea Deal – if you’re Chris Watts – starts to make sense

Chris Watts has maintained from the start that he had nothing to do with the deaths of his daughters. Shan’ann killed them, he claimed in his confession. Even to his parents he apparently maintained this psychological distance, telling them “after what she did” there was no way he was going to bury the three of them together.

If Chris Watts killed and dismembered – or chemically processed – the remains of his children, then we can see how this case going to court could play out very badly for him.  The dismemberment theory isn’t wild conjecture by any means; we’ve just seen the same scene [a missing person’s case become a premeditated murder case with missing dismembered remains] playing out in international media while the Watts case was in legal limbo.

Taking on the defense perspective [I realize many are allergic to even hypothesizing this, but at TCRS we explore all possibilities], if Watts is able to win some credit with a potential jury it may be through portraying Shan’ann as an obsessive, compulsive, controlling, abusive partner.

So he might win some sympathy with a jury. On the other hand, if he liquidated his own children it’s difficult to see there being a stitch of compassion for him, especially given the fact that he murdered his wife while she was pregnant as well.

Anything can happen at trial, of course. The Casey Anthony case proved that a slam-dunk case can be undone with a rigorous defense, especially if and when the parents come to the party. The Anthony’s managed to create “doubt” on two important aspects at trial that otherwise seemed certain. Remember the “odor of death” in the car becoming the odor of pizza? Remember the repeated Google searches for Chloroform that Cindy Anthony said she performed [even though she was at work at the time]? It was enough to create doubt in the jury’s mind, if no one else’s.

The two big difference between the Watts case and the Casey Anthony case are:

  1. Casey Anthony never confessed to anything. Not while being interrogated, not to her parents, not to the media, not at trial. Never. Casey Anthony was offered a plea deal and incredibly, refused to take it. Thus far Chris Watts has done all those things that Casey Anthony didn’t do.
  2. Caylee Anthony’s remains took around six months to recover by law enforcement. By the time an autopsy was conducted, the little girl’s remains were entirely skeletonized. This favored the defense case because it couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt [in the jury’s mind] that Caylee was murdered, or even how she was murdered. Was she given an overdose of chloroform or Xanax? If she was, the evidence [as the jury saw it] wasn’t sufficient.  In the Watts case the girl’s remains were located almost immediately, though crucially, it took four days to recover them even after authorities knew where they were.

We assume that the four days of recovery simply involved the time it took to drain the almost full tanks, but I believe that’s a mistake. Theoretically, if the bodies had been dumped intact from above through the thief hatch, they could have been fished out just as easily.


Again, if the oil tanks were almost full, and the bodies were suspended whole inside, all one needed to do was stir the tanks slightly, or reach in with a noose, rope or lasso wrapped in plastic to prevent fiber contamination [CERVI 319 is situated on a cattle ranch] or a blunt curved object like a Bo Peep staff. And that’s if bodies don’t float naturally to the surface. Would they in the case of crude oil is the key question?

And if cadavers do float, wouldn’t Watts have wanted to prevent that from happening? If it was a premeditated murder, wouldn’t part of the thinking have involved preventing the bodies from becoming easily visible to a passing glance inside the tanks through the opened thief hatch?

Were they intact but anchored?


In any event, it seems the District Attorney has withheld the autopsy reports for two reasons. One, to allow the hysteria around the case to die down. And two, to use it as a bargaining chip [potentially] with the defendant. To hold the reports in his hand, to tell him “we know exactly what you did to your children” and to offer him the opportunity to go to prison quietly, without disgracing himself or his family any further at a very public trial.

Watts pleaded guilty

7/10 People Fooled By Chris Watts’ Version of Events [POLL]

Chris Watts told investigators he had an argument with his wife before killing her. Makes sense, right? And if he said he had an argument, that part must be true. If he also killed the children, did he have an argument with each of them too? Okay so maybe he did. So why did his argument/s then matter and not the hundreds of arguments they’d had on any other day?

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The question of argument basically addresses the issue of whether this was premeditated murder or not. 7/10 people say it wasn’t premeditated murder, that Chris Watts simply got into an argument and became emotional. He’s that kind of guy. In other words, 7/10 people believe Chris Watts’ version of events. If the Colorado jury that’s going to decide on this case is anything like the majority of people, the prosecution may have a difficult case on their hands.

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What do you think? Argument or no argument?

Intuitively people are on the right track. There tend to be arguments precipitating murders, which is why true crime is chock-full of murder-accused who deny this. OJ Simpson. Scott PetersonCasey Anthony. Burke Ramsey. Amanda Knox. Oscar Pistorius. Henri van Breda.

The issue isn’t whether their were arguments, but when they happened. We know there were arguments.

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But we should be cautious taking Chris Watts’ word – for anything. Here’s why.

In excerpts from the affidavit below, reading between the lines, Chris Watts is careful to describe a “quiet” argument. In other words, they’re confronting one another about separating and about his affair with his work colleague, but neither him nor Shan’ann are raising their voices at 02:00 or 04:00 or whenever this emotional conversation was supposed to have happened.

If it happened, did anyone hear it? The neighbor who heard how the tone of the dog’s bark changed in the day, could they not hear raised voices in the dead of a summer night?

When, in the history of confrontations between couples about cheating has the aggrieved party not raised their voice? And yet the affidavit uses words like “began talking” and “civil conversation”. It was “not an argument” because he “told” Shan’ann this and went to “speak” to her about that.Fullscreen capture 20181028 030600

What about Shan’ann? Did she respond to being told and his speaking by telling him things in return, and speaking in a civil tone in her response? There’s nothing here about how she’s speaking or responding to being told – in the wee hours of the morning after her business trip – sorry honey, I’ve been cheating on you, I’m done.

His first story in his Sermon on the Porch was that they had this quiet conversation and Shan’ann simply said, ‘Okay then, I think I’ll go visit a friend today.’ The affidavit is an adaptation of that ruse, and not a good one.

Knowing what we know about Shan’ann, that she was pregnant, that she was an extrovert, that she was the dominant factor in the relationship, that she was the more emotional of the couple, and what happened during her first marriage [see below] does this quiet, civil conversation nonsense ring true? It shouldn’t.

What Chris Watts is playing for in his affidavit is a credible excuse for why no neighbors heard arguing that night. Either they argued quietly, the first couple in history to do so, and the first family murder to take place after a polite conversation in history, or it was a premeditated murder and it was silent for that reason.