It’s important that we look and pay attention and listen for the family dynamics beyond the sensational headlines and forensic evidence in the Chris Watts case. Authentic family dynamics aren’t always easy to see, especially not by outsiders, and especially when there’s a scenario of keeping up appearances as there are here.
Family dynamics are the key to understanding what happened here. To address that, we must listen to the why of the thing, the human desires that are there but hidden. If we do, and if we learn to see and recognize these impulses that are not so different from our own, then that’s something that can be salvaged from this awful end to a mom and her innocent children.
But what is it we’re supposed to see exactly?
Part of how we begin to see those human desires in others is to understand our own. Why are we interested in this case to begin with, and not any other case? How does our wiring work, and what does it tell us about us? About human nature?
As part of intertextual research on the Casey Anthony case, specifically along the lines of why parents intentionally harm their kids, I came across a truly despicable crime. Heather Jones didn’t only torture her 7-year-old stepson over a period of months, she posted selfies of herself doing so on Facebook. She documented her abuse, apparently enjoying the approval of a private group of Facebook pals.
Those images stored on her iCloud have since been made public, and they’re truly heartbreaking. Over a period of weeks filled with pain and suffering, the light gradually went out of that little boys eyes. And then the father bought pigs and fed the child’s body to them.
When the cops were called on a domestic dispute, Heather – trying to implicate her husband who’d fired a gun at her – told them to search the property. She said they’d find human remains. It took them more than a day, but eventually the police did find remains, a few small bones. It would take weeks to prove that they once belonged to a little boy who’d not been seen for several weeks.
As horrible as the Jones Case is, it’s somehow horribly predictable as well. The parents lived in a pigsty, they acted like pigs, they expressed themselves in a vulgar way, and so clearly, they weren’t living in a fairy tale. So when things turned ugly, even macabre, it’s shocking but it also feels inevitable, even familiar.
If true crime voyeurism is based on horror alone, this grisly story ought to be a favorite.
What fascinates us about true crime is the same thing that troubles us, and truly terrifies us. It’s when we realize how close to home a crime can be to our lives that we become truly uncomfortable.
It’s when we see a fairy tale, a beautiful couple, the sort of setup we all want, and then realize it’s not real and we’ve been duped that we begin to wonder about or own lives, and our own attachments to our very own fairy tales, don’t we? Beneath the fairy tale these people with perfect lives have somehow been living a lie.
And this is how that lie ends. It’s shocking, but it’s also a warning sign.
All of us have our own fairy tales, and they’re important to us. They’re an idea about the world, and how we wish it to be, and how beautiful and happy and loved we wish to be in it. It’s about belonging, shining, thriving and living life to the full. It’s about living the best life. It’s about the good life. But what is the good life? And why is it that right next to good things and fairy tales are evil things and monsters?
The bigger and better the fairy tale, the more lavish and picture-perfect the homes and neighborhoods, the more handsome the man and beautiful his wife, the more adorable the children the more difficult it is to reconcile when a nightmare unfolds inside of it, or perhaps because of it.
This is why the JonBenet Ramsey case is still so deeply unsettling and compelling more than 20 years later. It’s why Madeleine McCann, the sweet 3-year-old daughter of two attractive well-to-do doctors who vanished in Praia da Luz Portugal while on holiday, still disturbs Britain more than ten years later.
Chris Watts and Shanann looked the part of a fairy tale. The smiles looked real. The colorful photos looked happy. But none of it was. Those patches on the arms in so many photos suggest something wasn’t quite as it seemed, even when everything else looked just right. And what that does, is it asks us to look at what was really going on there, and then dares us to look at our own lives. Is any of that stuff in our lives? If it is, beware. Re-examine your fairy tale. Make sure it’s real and realistic, and not just for you, for those you share your living space with.
Below clip is from this article.
Learn the lesson of what happened here or it could happen to you.