In June 2009 Shan’ann [then Shan’ann King] was named one of the co-defendants in a lawsuit against Dirty South and her boss Hisham Bedwan, among others. Bedwan also resembles Chris Watts, even down to the manicured grey hair and goatee, doesn’t he?
It’s unclear at this point if this lawsuit has anything to do with the allegation that 15 charges were filed against Shan’ann Watts at one time, or whether the three charges on Chris Watts are true, and if they are, if there’s any connection.
Rumors are circulating that Shan’ann was having an affair with her boss, and that this is what ended her relationship with the anonymous Mr. King. On his Instagram page, hot girls and hot cars alternate between specials for car parts.
What we do know for sure is the accessory store where Shan’ann worked was less than 10 miles south, literally just down the road from where Chris Watts grew up on Vass Road, on the outskirts of Spring Lake.
It makes sense if Shan’ann worked in a car parts store, and Chris Watts was an auto mechanic, that their paths would inevitably cross.
Maybe, maybe not, but if that’s how they did meet, it’s not the story she told on Facebook. If it is how they met, one can understand how she might want to keep this aspect of her life under wraps from the fairy tale obsessed Thrive crowd.
He was actively engaged in an affair with a co-worker
Shan’ann was pregnant at the same time
Shan’ann was telling her Facebook flock what a great husband and partner Chris was as late as May 2018
Shan’ann was communicating to her mother about their intention to separate
The six-week period Shan’ann spent in North Carolina – wasn’t that the separation?
If the six-week period wasn’t the separation, then when was it supposed to kick in and what would that involve? Selling the house, moving, taking the kids…?
What we don’t know is after the trial separation exactly what was decided?
Shan’ann was going to have a gender reveal party on the weekend after her death
Shan’ann continued to sell Thrive and was on a Thrive business trip on the weekend just before her murder
Shan’ann’s best friends seemed to know about Chris Watts’ infidelity but didn’t take them seriously
This suggests Shan’ann didn’t take Chris Watts intentions to leave her seriously as well. But that’s too kind. It wasn’t just a return to the default setting of business as usual. If he wanted to separate and she was striving and contriving to keep them together, then what contrivances were being used to lock him in, besides the pregnancy?
If they were negotiating for them to no longer be together, and Shan’ann was resisting, then wasn’t the murder a way of breaking the deadlock? Chris Watts got his separation, minus alimony and child support.
During Chris Watt’s infamous sermon on the porch, he appeared to let on that he and Shan’ann had argued prior to her trip to Phoenix on Friday August 10th. According to the Washington Post:
“This might be a tough question,” the reporter asked, “but did you guys get into, like, an argument before she left?”
“It wasn’t an argument,” Watts said quickly. “We got into a conversation, but I’ll leave it at that.” And then he talked some more about how much he missed them.
A conversation about what?
And those words I’ll leave it at that – it seems like he did, doesn’t it. He’d made up his mind.
Besides the semantics surrounding mid-August, there’s also the eye witness statement of Melinda Phillips published in People On August 31st, 18 days after the murder.
“I think they were always putting on a show,” says Melinda Phillips, who recalls seeing Chris and Shan’ann “clearly having an argument” in their driveway one day earlier this summer.
“Their body language was really angry, and they were just fighting back and forth,” Phillips, 34, says. “He was gesturing his hands and they were shaking their heads, and it was definitely an argument.”
“I didn’t really think much of it, because Lord knows that I’ve had the same arguments with my husband,” she continues. “They caught my eye and suddenly, everything changed. They stopped being so angry, and they started talking a lot more calmly. He even gave her a hug. Mind you, this was in the space of 30 seconds to a minute.”
“From a full-blown fight to hugs in less than a minute, it was incredible,” she says.
We know in his affidavit that he claims they argued that morning too, and that he wanted to initiate the separation.
Our overall impression of the dynamic between Shan’ann and Chris Watts was that she wore the pants, was somewhat pushy and controlling, but here it was him stepping forward, and it’s a big step. He’s saying he wants out. Didn’t Shan’ann push back by dismissing him and delaying the idea, and by trying to control the outcome. Perhaps she’d been doing that for several months.
Returning to what the neighbor Melinda Phillips saw, and her reaction, she seems to be suggesting that the “making up here” was mutual, initiated by both of them. At the same time she implies that in this instance Chris especially was fake, but that it was also part of what they were doing generally, putting on a show. They. Both of them.
It’s also Chris who first gestures wildly then hugs Shan’ann, as if she’s the more aggrieved party and he’s trying to justify himself, but then fashions a hasty peace in the name of neighborly optics. And of course, Shan’ann also wants good optics, for her Thrive business and perhaps privately and personally too.
Although she doesn’t say it specifically, when Phillips saw them, isn’t it likely Chris Watts saw her, and changed faces?
SHAN’ANN: And then we have our time to…um…enjoy each other. You know, um…watch TV, or…whatever it is we decided to do. Play games. Or Uno. Or whatever. Um…it’s quality time for me and him. Because you need that in a relationship. When you have kids, it’s always about the kids and we often forget about ourselves and our…significant other. So I think it’s very important and very vital that you spend that time with each other. And…we definitely get to do that now, and awake… We’re not sleeping. Um, or me listening to him snore, vice versa. So it’s been a blessing, with that….Chris works out in the field, very busy job. Um…that has to really challenge his little brain over there…My parents were my biggest sceptics…go figure. My mom and dad lived with me and I had to force feed it to them every single day.
Looking at his declining participation in her social media, when could Chris Watts have decided the Thrive thing wouldn’t save them from imminent financial ruin, but rather, was making their finances worse, perhaps actually ruining their lives?
What evidence do we have from the background of Shan’ann’s social media, that Chris Watts was no longer drinking the Kool-Aid? When did it start?
The timing of his crisis of faith in Le-Vel probably had something to do with:
When he got a job at Anadarko.
When he started his affair with his co-worker.
When the extent of their worsening financial decrepitude became clear.
When the Watts family were featured in Strive magazine [and if what the article purported was true or not].
Shan’ann falling pregnant in late April/early May 2018.
The six-week separation prior to the murders.
The 15 week milestone of Shan’ann’s pregnancy.
We also know that he went on a trip with Shan’ann and other MLM cult members to San Diego, so presumably if he went along he was still buying into it in late June. Or didn’t he have any choice? What are YOUR thoughts based on your observations of Shan’ann’s Facebook and Instagram posts?
Chris Watts appeared to be an attentive dad. We see him reading to his kids, horsing around with them, cutting their hair, blowing hot food to cool it down, even taking cake in the face while Shan’ann and and his mother-in-law looked on with a camera.
He also dressed up as Santa and took direction from Shan’ann in playing that role for them. So at face value, he seems to have a much closer bond with the children than with Shan’ann.
To be a MLM promoter means to be a Pollyanna. A Pollyanna is an excessively cheerful or optimistic person, but it goes further than that. A Pollyanna is overly expressive, overly extroverted, excessively [often annoyingly] optimistic. Think about that and contrast it with the idea of an introvert, and a strong silent type.
Since the Watts story is the story of a fairy tale that turns into a family holocaust, let’s do our due diligence and briefly examine the fairy tale classic Pollyanna. Once done, have a look at the three videos posted below. All three are set to kick off at compelling moments that show real cracks in the Pollyanna performance.
The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna but feels it is her duty to her late sister.
Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game,” an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be.
With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt’s dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. The Glad Game shields her from her aunt’s stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to “punish” her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy.
Soon Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville’s most troubled inhabitants to “play the game” as well… Aunt Polly, too—finding herself helpless before Pollyanna’s buoyant refusal to be downcast—gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else.
Eventually, however, even Pollyanna’s robust optimism is put to the test when she is struck by a car and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn’t realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she is told what happened to her. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly’s house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she at least has had her legs.
The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled and unable to walk well.
There’s so much there that fits like a symbolic blueprint over the Watts case, isn’t there?
Now consider the import of the videos below, and Shan’ann’s attempt to Pollyanna-ize her self, her life and her family in the name of a MLM company and product.
Is Shan’ann a genuine Pollyanna? Is she genuinely optimistic? It’s too easy to simply dismiss the MLM aspect as fake. It’s too easy to dismiss Shan’ann’s personality, as the victim, as irrelevant.
What happens, what’s the emotional cost when someone in a marriage and a household isn’t happy but pretends to be, and more pertinently, how does it impact on someone else in the same household who has a different personality? What happens when the person you married becomes someone else, and even that someone isn’t real?
The irony is, if Shan’ann became that to him, a stranger in his own home, he also became that to her, with monstrous and devastating consequences.
45 days after her murder, Shan’ann’s Facebook page, which was completely open to the public, is still completely open. This is unprecedented in a high-profile true crime case. It means anyone who wants to poke around through her life, looking inside her home, looking at her family and friends, can still do so. And people have. One 31 minute video posted by Shan’ann has already been viewed over 140 000 times.
As part of my research into TWO FACE I started noticing comments alongside these videos, including from key figures in this case such as Nickole Atkinson, not from several weeks prior but posted in recent days.
Everything posted on Facebook, including photos and videos, are matters of public record. Anything you say alongside those photos and videos could be used in a court of law, especially accusations and allegations against Chris Watts.
There have already been suggestions [malicious and totally unfounded in my opinion] that he molested his children. Although it’s doubtful specific members of the public could be held liable, what could happen is Chris Watts’ defense may claim his rights to privacy have been violated continuously, indiscriminately and excessively. It’s an open legal question – have they?
We may not care about the rights of a murderer, but we ought to care about the issue in a general sense. How would Shan’ann feel if she was still alive, knowing her life was on display post mortem? How do you feel about giving up access to our online identity? Would you? If she could speak from the grave, would Shan’ann still want her social media open and exposed to the world? What rights does a deceased individual have to their social media? Should all privacy and privileges be relinquished when we die?
It also begs the question, who has authorized her page to remain public and why?
I know more than a little about these issues, because as it happens, the very first true crime book I wrote was borne out of my exclusive access to the murder victim on Facebook. At the time I wrestled with the ethics involved, as well as the legal aspect.
As time went by, Reeva Steenkamp’s story was simply not addressed, and so, I took it upon myself to counter that with Reeva in her own Words. It was an instant bestseller, and it’s even possible the momentum of that narrative carried over into the trial narrative and eventually overwhelmed Oscar Pistorius’ dubious narrative. That book not only took the narrative away from Reeva’s murderer, it did so in a way that was authentic, it allowed Reeva to speak for herself when virtually no one else did, would or could.
The Oscar Pistorius trial was extraordinary in terms of how the victim was reduced to a non-entity, so much so that officially today Oscar has been found guilty of murdering an unarmed intruder, not Reeva Steenkamp. In court, during the sentencing phase, her father Barry took the stand and begged the court to release photos of gunshot wounds to her head so people could see her again, see her wounds, see what had happened to her.
But Reeva’s Facebook profile was private, accessible only to those who were already her friends when she died. In hindsight, I believe that was one of my most important books, but not everyone on Facebook is going to do credit to your story. And not everyone’s lives online are – for the lack of a better word – innocent. Here’s an illustration from Moneyweb, an online investment magazine:
…if someone consents to having their online assets retrieved by providing login details to heirs in their will, the heirs could be found guilty of hacking in terms of the service provider’s terms of service agreement.
Thus, in leaving digital assets to an heir, the first obstacle is access… A lot of service providers would inhibit a user from providing their login details and access to their accounts to other people. The second issue is the digital asset itself. There are various types of digital assets and the rights assigned to these assets differ…The rights assigned to an e-mail account varies greatly from the rights assigned to digital music for example. There may also be other difficulties: a user may not want their heirs to have access to all their digital data.
Booyens says she came across a case where a widow tried to access her husband’s e-mail accounts – purely to obtain records kept in the account. However, her late husband did not leave her any login details or consent to access the digital account. To overcome the issue, she hired someone to hack into the account and discovered that her husband was having an affair.
“Obviously her husband did not want her to get that much access.”
The same applies to this case.
But it also raises a much larger issue. Besides the public’s rights to their own online archive vis-a-vis Facebook’s almost automatic expropriation of it when we die, how does the law interrogate the labyrinth?
…Facebook and YouTube expressly state that the user remains the owner of the content that they post. Amazon and Apple on the other hand say that customers have a licence of use. This means that ownership does not vest in the user and therefore they do not have rights that can be transferred. Even where users own the content, service providers may still assign themselves a wide spectrum of rights to use the content royalty-free and worldwide or for sub-licensing and transfer.
But what happens to a user’s rights when they pass away?
Facebook gives users the option to decide whether they want their accounts to be memorialised, deleted upon death or whether they would like to appoint someone to administer their accounts. Similarly, Gmail (Google) offers an inactive account manager service which provides for the account to be deleted or for someone else to gain access. Users can specify how much access should be granted.
Where a user only has a licence of use of the digital asset, they don’t have the right to dispose of it, but what if they have ownership yet cannot access the digital asset?
Some authors argue that the Copyright Act has confirmed that the ownership of e-mails can be established, but access may still be a problem… In this regard, the definition of property may be wide enough to include digital assets in terms of the Administration of Estates Act, which means that the executor – which has temporary custody over the estate – can gain access to the digital assets.
But what about post-mortem privacy?
Booyens says that internationally, courts are having a really difficult time following one line of argument…legislation such as the Promotion of Access to Information Act could protect privacy after death and may deny heirs the right to access an account. However, the Protection of Personal Information Act only defines rights in terms of the personal information of a living person, suggesting that privacy shouldn’t be protected after death.
So here’s a prediction. The Chris Watts case when it comes to trial will likely set enormous precedents for how social media ought to be managed and maintained. It may well set the gold standard for how the law ought to treat the rights of victims online, when they are no longer around to defend their virtual lives.
8 inches. A petroleum engineer has told HLN that the access hatch in his expert opinion is too small to fit even the bodies of small children through. The crime scene at CERVI 319 just got a lot more complicated.
It makes an enormous difference whether the bodies of Bella and Celeste were dumped through the top of the drum or through the bottom. Much of that difference has to do with time, on the one hand, but if it required a lot of unfastening and fastening of bolts, and Chris Watts stepping inside the tanks, then the possibilities for getting his clothing covered in evidence [including oil] goes up significantly.
Was that why Chris Watts took off his shoes?
There’s also a remote possibility that one or both bodies of the children may have been altered in some way in order to force one or both of them through the narrow thief hatch at the top.
If the head could fit through, then a large amount of force and gruesome crunching of bones may have allowed him to dump the smaller child [Celeste] through the upper hatch.
What’s more, HLN‘s expert believes the opening of the manway hatches could have taken as long as an hour. That would be long, sweaty work that would have gone on until after sunrise. It may also account why Chris Watts effectively ran out of time when he was digging Shan’ann’s grave.
What’s also noticeable, and HLN didn’t comment on this aspect, are the clear residues of oil right outside the manway openings on the ground, especially below the tank on the far side.
The other tank also shows what appears to be a smaller black stain.
These stains could have been made by Watts, or by the cops, when they drained the tanks into order to gain access to them.
The amount of oil found in the drums when investigators arrived on the scene could also indicate whether they were completely or partially drained at the time, based on the rate of filling up over the course of four days.
Since it took a substantially longer period of time to locate/retrieve the bodies of the two girls after Shan’ann’s remains were discovered, it may be that there was a lot of oil in one or both tanks that had to be drained before the tanks could be properly accessed. This could indicate that at least one body may have been dumped through the thief hatch.
On the other hand, the time lapse could have been due to sourcing the appropriate technical assistance at Anadarko, and the red tape involved in getting permission to access a controlled site and system.
The autopsy results could shed some light on the question of whether there was forcing, processing or even dismembering in order to make use of the thief hatch. The continued reluctance of the district attorney to release the autopsy results is making this case more mysterious, compelling and disturbing than it already is.
We dig deeper into the oil tanks Chris Watts allegedly dumped his two daughters in. A petroleum engineering professor explains how he thinks Chris could have placed his kids into these tanks. pic.twitter.com/ovLAjKHTJK