This is what we know:
- 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?