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Tag: selling the house

Why were the Watts Family Finances in Ruins?

While researching TWO FACE ANNIHILATION it’s become more and more obvious what’s missing from the Second Confession. The word “finances” appears just once, on page 17 of the CBI Report.

Ever since he sold his 4-wheeler for less than what he owed on it, Shan’ann wouldn’t let him do anything with their finances.

The word “debt” appears on the same page which deals with the cops quizzing Watts directly about the business of selling the house. Also a single instance of that word.

Most of the bankruptcy dealt with credit card debt from their wedding.

The word “money” also appears only one time on page 21.

His mother initially believed his father was having an affair because he couldn’t account for missing money.

Many are uncomfortable assigning blame – one way or another – for why these horrific murders took place. Are we less uncomfortable assigning blame for the financial mess they were in?

Although it’s clear Watts didn’t take much if any responsibility for his own finances [and only he is to blame for that], the fact that Shan’ann took control didn’t make matters any better. It also seems having gone bankrupt once before hadn’t been much of a check on whatever was going wrong behind-the-scenes.

Personally I don’t think it’s helpful taking sides in the financial equation either, as regards the Watts. Whether we say it was all Shan’ann’s fault, or all his fault, or that they were both at fault, the fact remains that a financial malaise appeared to hang over them – like a dark cloud – from as early as the beginning of their marriage. Why?

What seems to me to be more helpful is to understand how human psychology, with all its flaws and idiosyncrasies, plays into a pattern that adds up either to financial gain or ruin. It also seems reductionist to simply blame MLM. How is it to blame?

Today on a television show dealing with budgeting advice, I caught a clip by Maya Fisher-French, an award-winning financial journalist, that I thought really resonated with the Watts story.

Fisher-French was making a simple but profound observation about how human psychology plays into our approach to money through our sense of fulfillment, and overall gratification.

Her point was that when we try to save, we tend to focus on denying ourselves small things. We may scrimp on a latte, or hold ourselves back from buying a candy bar. We may – like Shan’ann – elect to choose a cheaper meal at a cheaper restaurant.

Fisher-French’s point is that when we reward ourselves, we do so disproportionately, spending thousands on a holiday, or hundreds on new outfits.

We can see how the Watts household was geared towards making small savings in certain areas [order your free Thrive pack today, at a discount], while splurging in other areas: a really big house, an expensive car, one exotic holiday after another.

The damaging thing about MLM is that it encourages exactly these enormous extravagances, and links them to the idea of “Thriving”, and having a better sense of self.


It even reverses the idea of saving in small doses by overpricing their products, and then simultaneously offering “unbeatable” bargains and discounts.

MLM’s message is you can live in a castle! You can have the luxury car! You can travel to your heart’s content! Don’t let anything [like not being able to afford it] stop you because you deserve it!

Fisher-French’s advice is to make a list of those things we deny ourselves on a daily basis that “hurt”, like that extra spoon of sugar in our coffee, or a dessert at a restaurant, and swap that around with our unworkable and unaffordable reward system.

She recommends saving on the big things rather than scrimping on the little ones as a more effective way of staying financially safe and sound. The idea is to connect our sense-of-self to daily, ordinary things, rather than to attach ourselves to bigger, unrealistic extravagances. In other words, financially we need to occupy and live in the real world.


Shan’ann had a plan to deal with the debt situation – but Chris Watts wasn’t going to like it, not one bit

If Shan’ann was in financial difficulty previously [and she was], the solution seemed to be fairly simple. Move someone in and scrimp. She did this in 2015 when they went bankrupt. She moved in her parents for 15-16 months. Presumably this “saved” money in child care fees, and by pooling resources, food and meals could be cheaper when the expenses were shared by four rather than one or two.
How would you like to live with both your in-laws for over a year?
When Shan’ann had neck surgery, Cristina Meacham came to stay for two months in 2017.So in 2018, when they were scraping the bottom of the barrel again, there was an easy solution in the offing. Do what she’d always done. Move someone in and piggyback until things improved.
That someone turned out to be Josh and Cassie Rosenberg, just another family of Thrivers [a mom and pop team, and their kids], who could pool their resources. This plan wasn’t just theoretical. We know this because on Saturday night [August 11] when Watts was wining, dining and [doing other things] with Nichol Kessinger, Josh Rosenberg sent Watts a text to ask if everything was okay – could they still come and stay at the house.
Josh had good reason to be uncertain if the plan was still in the offing, He knew because Cassie knew that Watts and his wife were arguing. If they arguing, where did it leave them?
Watts didn’t respond to Josh until the next morning – Sunday [August 12] – and when he did he said it was cool [even though it wasn’t cool at all]. Watts said they could move in, but wanted to know when.
Watts then lied to Josh about something else – he pretended he knew what it was like at the Rockies game.

It’s important to see the texts between Shan’ann and her pals Nickole and Cassie in context to get a real sense for how the idea of moving in with Shan’ann [to provide support, perhaps help pay the bills and take care of the kids] came about.
It’s clear – and to some extent understandable – that Shan’ann, Nickole and Cassie had formed a formidable alliance of three, and they meant business. Fuck him was the general theme of it. Fuck him and take the house. Even though the house was in Watts’ name, they figured they could sort of bully their way into it and taking charge, and at the very least, taking the kids and getting half of what the house was worth.
Fuck him!
Perhaps under normal circumstances Watts would have crumbled and turned the house over to his wife and whoever she wanted to stay over/rent/cohabit or whatever. But these weren’t normal circumstances. This situation this time around definitely wasn’t going to work for him and his mistress.
The red arrows and circles in some of the final texts below point out specifics of the conversation to move in to casa Watts, and also how Weld County deals with alimony and splitting the house, even if it is in the husband’s name.

“I have enough to worry about with the world out there I’m not going to worry about family.  I will just remove it.”

These images are of a for sale sign on the lawn of the Trinastich residence. It’s also possible if the for sale sign was on the lawn during the six weeks Shan’ann was away, Watts could have been nudged – almost on a daily basis – to contemplate whether he could keep his home. And we know where that calculus took him, once he took time to do the math.
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Below is Shan’ann’s final ever message on her phone:
On iPhones do text messages and WhatsApps [or messages via the internet] appear on the same screen? If so, then why did Watts’ message at 07:40 not appear on Shan’ann’s phone? Could it be because the phone was off, or because the router wasn’t connected, or is there another explanation?