Chris Watts: Voted most likely to succeed in the Class of 2003

“This was one of the smartest students I ever had. The guy had a photographic memory. His biggest passion outside of automotive was NASCAR. He knew chapter and verse, everything you could ask about NASCAR. Anything. In fact, I told him before he graduated, I said, ‘Chris, if I ever had a student who was going to be tremendously successful, it’s you.’ He wanted to work his way up and be on a NASCAR team. Probably a crew chief.”

Those who know Watts described him as a remarkably intelligent youth. In 2003, he and another senior at Pine Forest placed third at the N.C. Automobile Dealers Association competition in Winston-Salem, receiving a certificate and a $1,000 scholarship to Universal Technical Institute and NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville.

A remarkably intelligent mechanic?

A genius multiple murderer who was caught and arrested within hours of committing his perfect murder?


Now that’s a glowing endorsement. Of course everything is relative. “Smartest” student? Compared to whom?


PICK OF THE CROP: Chris Watts’ sophomore picture. That’s him in the middle row, two thumbs right of the central black line.

Joe Duty remembered his former student as extremely introverted and quiet. Watts would sit in class and hardly say a word, Duty said. Others who remember Watts from high school described him as a boy that every girl had a crush on, but shy and awkward.

Most of the above info is sourced at this link. The more we find out about Chris Watts, the more he seems to fade from view.

Which makes one wonder [hit play below]…


3 thoughts on “Chris Watts: Voted most likely to succeed in the Class of 2003

  1. We had a guy in our high school who was voted most likely to succeed. He was the class valedictorian. A year later once he had gotten to college, he was found (after lying in his apartment for over a week) dead from inhaling freon. For sport. The strange thing was no one had checked on him or noticed him missing for a week.


  2. I think this calls into question the definition of success and/ or “most likely to succeed.” Moreover, the potential to succeed can be defined in broad or narrow terms. In Chris’s case, it was defined in narrow terms based on his ability to readily recall and summon information then apply it to a specific function, in this case repairing cars. I believe broader success, e.g., the ability to succeed in business or to successfully function in organizations or family units, requires emotional intelligence, which, given his isolating introversion, Chris lacked. In addition to hampering his professional life (he likely worked mostly alone in the oil fields in a lower paid position) and personal life ( Shanann probably construed his introversion as weakness, as his being a perennial “loser”).I believe it hampered Chris in executing his crime: anticipating how quickly Shanann’s disappearance would cause concern in her social community and how his emotionless interview would draw suspicion in light of the “disappearance” of his pregnant wife and two children.

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