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.
10 thoughts on “Chris Watts: The crime scene at CERVI 319 just got a LOT more complicated”
Can I ask how this information from the show ( the 8 inches) fits with your earlier blog post. I had a look at the photos and inner opening still looks wider than the 8 inch card that Ashley holds up. ( Compared to your markings comparing the two measurements and the engineer’s hip width.)
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Bear in mind the area below the hatch tapers inwards, so although it appears wider than 8 inches at the surface, below the surface of the tank it narrows down. It’s difficult to say for certain whether a small and smaller child would definitely fit through such a small orifice, or not. The problem that arises if you can’t fit a body through there is that this suddenly becomes a complicated and badly suited crime scene. If that’s the case, it may show just how lacking in intelligence Chris Watts was, or that Shan’ann’s flight delay badly threw his plans out of whack, or perhaps there’s more information out there that we’re simply not aware of at this point.
If the site was about to go through scheduled maintenance, and had just been drained/cleaned, and perhaps wouldn’t be opened or emptied again until several months later, then we can see how this may have been the imperative that stuck in Watts’ mind throughout. Make sense?
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Appreciate all you do
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3 trash-can like barrels on the ground here, then there’s the large round overflow tank on the ground still, seems like he could just pop off the “button” like top on top of the large tanks
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It’s already been noted that a tuft of hair was found on the theif hatch and considering Bella’s shoulder has shown discolouration, says that their bodies were manipulated. It is very possible. If an older male child/man can fit into a tiny window pane( that’s how burglars get into windows in our country) then I’m sure their little bodies can easily be manipulated into the opening.
It would be nice if she would shut up and stop interrupting him so he could speak.
We now know for definite that them babies were put through the thief hatch and he walked Bella up them steps to her death. Crying and begging for her life. She walked through hell to get to heaven. RIP Shanann Bella Cece Nico xxx
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