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Tag: vehicle

What Car did Nickole Atkinson Drive? And Does it really Matter?

“What Car did Nickole Atkinson Drive?” This was one of the unexpected questions I was confronted with when trying to visualize the final moments of Shan’ann’s life, when Nickole drove her home from Denver International airport in the early hours of August 13th, 2018.

It was an agonizingly difficult to answer in early September, when I was writing THE MAN UNDERNEATH CHRISTOPHER WATTS.  I knew how I wanted to open the narrative – which became a series of 9 books – and I needed Nickole’s car to do that. What car did she drive? At that stage there was no bodycam footage. It wasn’t even certain what color or what type of vehicle Niockole’s car was.

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It took a thorough search of Nickole’s Facebook timeline to come across a small handful of references to her car. Like this one.


And this.45491553_10210933259042030_2880445844564213760_n

In the screengrab of a video [below] it’s almost possible to see the brand of the vehicle on the steering column.

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When I posted an audio excerpt of the book onto YouTube recently, some listeners were quick to point out [obviously with the benefit of the bodycam footage] that Nickole’s car isn’t a “battered Mitsubishi”.

Some said it was a Chevy Malibu, which isn’t a bad stab at it except the rear lights don’t line up and the logo is very prominent.cc_2019chc110006_02_640_gaz

It does look like it could be a Mitsubishi [see below], but it’s not. When I reviewed the data I wondered what made me think it was a Mitsubishi to begin with?

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Well, it was this image.

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The first time I saw this image, I looked closely and saw the Mitsubishi name and logo, and GT on the right hand side. But I should have looked even closer. Above Mitsubishi was the word DART although the font made it hard to make out. Was the D an O or a 0? Was it 0art? The letter “E” was also peeking out beside Nicolas’ star-spangled shirt. That ought to have been a clue too.

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As one YouTube commenter rightly pointed out, Nickole’s car is a DODGE DART, a vehicle that was discontinued in 2016. The image below is missing the GT but the one below it has the GT on the right, just as Nickole’s car does.


Although there are a couple of permutations of the Dodge logo, and often in either red or black, the Mitsubishi logo is still pretty distinct.

This [below] was the original post.

In the scheme of things, the make and color of Nickole Atkinson’s vehicle wasn’t relevant to the facts of the Watts case, but it’s still important that True Crime Rocket Science gets the details [even the unimportant ones] right.

A Quick Word on Chris Watts’ Work Truck

How many vehicles did the Watts family own? We know Shan’ann had a new white Lexus. Chris Watts had a “work truck”. Wasn’t there a third vehicle? Well, there should have been, since Shan’ann bragged early on about both of them earning their Thrive auto bonuses straight out the gate.


When the police impounded Chris Watts’ the work truck [as described in the first TWO FACE book] it was this vehicle.


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It doesn’t look particularly new or particularly spiffy, does it? This truck A Ford is also referred to in the 2015 bankruptcy filing, which means it may be at least three years old, but more likely even older, probably a 2012 – 2014 model.

[Update: The Ford work truck is a 2015 model, so it may not be referenced in this filing.]

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We know that when the Watts’ moved to Frederick from North Carolina in 2012, it was part of a work transfer for Chris. He worked as a mechanic at a Ford Dealership, and Shan’ann worked in internet sales for the same company. Hence the Daily Beast quoting Greg Alore about the dynamic he observed between his married employees at the Ford dealership.

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It’s likely Chris Watts got his “work truck” from the Ford Dealership, and perhaps Anadarko assisted with the payments when it became “their” work truck, when Chris Watts started working for them as an operator in early 2015. That was the year they filed for bankruptcy [06/05/2015], and the year their second child Celeste was born [in July 2015, about a month after the filing].

The truck appears to be a 2012 Ford Super Duty F-250 SRW Lariat. It has a retail value of about $33 000.



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It’s also possible Chris Watts used his auto bonus to help pay for this vehicle, and it’s entirely probable he was still paying the vehicle off six years after buying it, perhaps on a hire-purchase type deal.
No other vehicles besides this vehicle and Shan’ann’s vehicle appear in their social media. What this shows, possibly, is a clear difference between the approaches of the husband and the wife to spending, and to financing – including big acquisitions.

In keeping with his personality, Chris Watts seemed more conservative in his spending. And in keeping with Shan’ann’s mushrooming extroversion, she seems to be less conservative in her spending and saving choices.

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