Chris Watts’ “photographic memory” provides a unique window into his mind, and his psychology

There’s something very unusual about Chris Watts. He has what a former teacher has described as “a photographic memory”. What criminal psychology teaches is not to look at the thing itself, but at the things surrounding it. So although we ought to understand and make sure whether the terminology is accurate, what we can say broadly is that photographic memory is often associated with introversion, and social dysfunction.

Think Sheldon Cooper. Smart, but badly out of whack in ordinary social settings, and even worse at engaging with the opposite sex.

The “photographic memory” [also known as eidetic memory] tends to involve shared traits, including lefthandedness. Was Chris Watts left-handed?

More interesting in terms of this case is the psychological connection between “photographic memory” and the inverted personality. It may explain why Shan’ann said Chris Watts “has no game”. If it was a real problem, it may have irritated Shan’ann and she may have felt her husband was weak, when it was more a question of wiring than his attitude to her or to her marriage.

Watts arraignment hearing

GREELEY, CO – AUGUST 21: Christopher Watts is in court for his arraignment hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in Roggen, Colorado. Watts faces nine charges, including several counts of first-degree murder of his wife and his two young daughters. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

TWO FACE is available exclusively on

Chris Watts: Inside the Criminal Mind

What goes on behind closed doors? What happens underneath appearances, edifices and facades? Knock, the Bible says, and the door will be opened. So let’s knock on the brown door at 2825 Saratoga Trail.

frederick-community-12vo_frame_0 (1)

Today we’re going to deal with one of your questions on #Shakedown. It’s this idea that there’s “no why”.

Fullscreen capture 20180918 113903.bmp

There is a why, and it’s behind that door. Just because the door’s not opening, doesn’t mean nobody [and no why] is home. Is there a way we can get inside, without the door being opened? Actually, there is. But before we open that door, let’s look at part of Diana’s question:

“…when a pregnant woman is murdered or mysteriously just disappears, it’s almost always the father of the unborn child who’s responsible for her death/disappearance….”

This casual remark is startlingly close to the essence of what we need to get at, and why we can’t see what we need to see, why we can’t get in the door. The reason the door is staying closed isn’t because the door won’t upon, but because we’re not open. We must open our minds.

Taking Diana’s statement, the reason we’re defeated at the door is because we see this case through the prism of our own minds.

…it’s almost always the father of the unborn child who’s responsible…

If we want to see into Chris Watts’ mind, then we have to let go of what we know, of our standards for ourselves, our realities, and be open to someone else’s. In this case what that means is:

…it’s almost always the father of the unborn child who DOES NOT WISH TO BE responsible…

And then, in the aftermath of the crime, we see that habitual flouting of responsibility writ large. He won’t admit what he’s done because he can’t, because he’s been living a lie. For us, reality has caught up with him, but when you’re living a lie, reality never catches up, and liars – especially murderers – make sure it never does. That’s why they commit murders, to escape their reality.

All of this is very loosey-goosey though. What are we really dealing with though? Practically? We enter the door of Chris Watts mind by using a key I call True Crime Intertextuality. It’s a tool we use to begin profiling our killer’s psychology. We use it to decipher not only who he is, but who he isn’t.

Let’s use Diana’s first example. Christopher Coleman. How like Chris Watts is Coleman, and how like the Watts crime, is Coleman’s crime?

The Coleman Case

An attorney for Christopher Coleman, who was convicted of strangling his wife and two children in May 2009, is requesting a new trial.

Coleman was found guilty in 2011 of strangling his wife, Sheri, 31, and their sons, Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9, in their home in Columbia, Ill. He was sentenced by a judge to three life terms without possibility of parole.

But this week — almost seven years after that conviction — Coleman’s appointed attorney Lloyd Cueto Jr. filed a petition arguing that the jury’s verdict hinged on four explicit photos that were not properly reviewed by the court.

The photos were exchanged between Coleman and his then-mistress, Tara Lintz.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Coleman wanted to leave his wife to marry Lintz. Exposing his adultery, the prosecution said, would have jeopardized Coleman’s $100,000-a-year job as bodyguard for televangelist Joyce Meyer.

Prosecutors argued that lurid emails, texts, photos and videos between Coleman and his lover showed Coleman’s motive to kill his family and indicated the emotional intensity of the affair.

Defense attorneys asked that the images be banned because they could prejudice the jury against Coleman due to their explicit content.

Judge Milton Warton opted to allow some of the images but specified that the genitals in the photos be covered with black bars.

But during deliberation, thumbnail versions of the images that were not censored were let into the jury room on the back of a foam evidence board, according to Cueto’s petition.

The thumbnails included time stamps that were not entered into evidence, Cueto said.

Multiple jurors later told reporters from the TV show “48 Hours” and the Post-Dispatch that reading the time stamps with a magnifying glass was a turning point for some of the jurors in the 15-hour deliberation.

The dates on the photographs indicated they had been taken as early as October 2008, in contradiction of testimony by Lintz that the affair began two months later.

Ferrari told the Post-Dispatch the jury also came to believe the time stamps showed Coleman was deleting photos while police were interviewing him on the day of the murders.

Ferrari said several jurors were initially unwilling to find Coleman guilty, but the vote shifted after the discovery of the time stamps.

Coleman’s attorney argues the jurors should have never been able to see those dates and times.

“The jurors made their decision based on something that was never admitted into evidence,” Cueto said.

Cueto’s petition also points to the omission of other evidence during the trial including fingerprints and a shoe print that may have cast doubt on the prosecution’s narrative of events during the trial.

Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann must now review the petition and decide how to proceed, Cueto said.

Hitzemann was not in office during the trial that captivated the local community in 2011 with its combination of sex, religion and violence.

The region was so transfixed by the courtroom drama that the Monroe County Circuit Clerk told the Post-Dispatch at the time that there was a waiting list of 165 area residents hoping to sit in on the trial. The eventual jurors were bused in from Perry County.

Clearly a single news story about a murder is nowhere near sufficient if we’re looking to produce a psychological blueprint for our suspect. But we’re not trying to do that just yet, not exhaustively anyway. All we want to do right now is get a handle on the basic criminality.

A quick gloss through the red highlighted text below confirms that in many [but not all] respects, the Coleman case is a reasonably good fit for the Watts case. We can tick the following boxes:

  1. The manner [or mechanism] of death, for both Sheri and her two sons Gavin and Garett was the same – death by strangling. Follow this link to see the difference between cause of death and manner of death.
  2. The murders took place inside the residence.
  3. There was a secret mistress involved.
  4. The secrecy was important to maintain – Coleman stood to lose his job if he didn’t keep it secret.
  5. The adultery was well-established. It wasn’t merely a fling, it was a serious relationship.
  6. Coleman wished to establish a new life with a new wife but for known and unknown reasons, felt he could not do that in a conventional manner. The known reason is that he stood to lose his job. The unknown reason has something to do with religion.
  7. Coleman’s employment [as a bodyguard to an evangelist] was an important feature in the case.
  8. The motive according to prosecutor’s was the emotional intensity of the affair. Whether this is accurate or not, we see that emotional intensity on top of other key factors can trigger family murders.
  9. The lifespan and seriousness of the affair was undermined and underreported by the mistress, which is indicative that not only was Coleman reluctant to acknowledge what he’d done, but the mistress as well.
  10. Coleman was actively removing evidence while he was being investigated. Much of this involved destroying digital artifacts, especially photos.
  11. Jurors were initially unable or unwilling to find Coleman guilty.
  12. The court case ultimately turned on a factor that wasn’t even part of the court evidence [which had to do with the timeline of events, and also Coleman and his mistress lying about that particular aspect].

In sum the Coleman case involved a toxic combination of sex, religion and violence. We may say the odd element in this mixture – in terms of the Watts case – is religion. But before throwing the baby out with the bathwater, wasn’t Thrive the “religious” element in the Watts case? In Two Face I compared the activities of Le-Vel employees to those of a cult. With most cults it’s difficult to leave, and the costs associated with leaving – and staying – are enormous.

Another aspect that’s similar is the age and to some extent, the appearance of the victim. Sheri was an attractive blonde mother, 31 years of age. Shan’ann was 34, brunette and also attractive. Appearances – vanity – with regards to sexual attractiveness and the perceived sexual attractiveness of the murderer spouse, often figure highly in family murders.

The key element in the Watts case missing from the Coleman case is that Sheri wasn’t pregnant. Now let’s examine a case where the victim was pregnant.

The Hacking Case

The reference case below is longer and divided in two parts. It’s not necessary to read the entire script, simply gloss through the highlighted text.


7/19/04 Salt Lake City, Memory Grove Mark Hacking talks to the media on the first day his wife Lori is reported missing. He has now been arrested on charges of aggravated murder.

 Brian Hamilton became friends with Mark Hacking when they worked together in the children’s psychiatric unit of a Salt Lake City hospital. He said Hacking loved to entertain the kids at the hospital.

The couple had just learned Lori was five weeks pregnant, friends say. And they were about to embark on a cross-country move to North Carolina, where Hacking said he would be starting medical school“It seemed as though they had their life planned, chapter by chapter,” says Hamilton.

On Thursday, July 15, Lori emailed the Hamiltons with their new address. But the day after she sent the email, Lori received a phone call from the University of North Carolina. She left work early in tears. Apparently, she’d just learned that Mark’s big plans for medical school were all a lie. He’d never even enrolled with the school.

A few days later, on Sunday evening, the couple went to a convenience store. It’s the last place where anyone would see Lori Hacking alive. As seen in surveillance footage from later that night, Hacking returned to the store around 1 a.m. – but this time, he was alone.

Now that Hacking has allegedly confessed to killing his wife while she was sleeping, people wonder, after seeing these images on the surveillance tape, had he just murdered his wife? Or was he about to?

The next morning, Hacking reported his wife missing. He said she never came home after going for an early jog in nearby woods. Hacking said he went searching for her, but later that day, police learned that he’d been shopping for a new mattress before he called 911. That was the first sign that Hacking’s concern for his wife was all an act. And it was the first of many lies to come.

“My name is Mark Hacking,” he said in a press conference. “And I have so much gratitude today for the friends, the family, the officers, the search-and-rescue people. Everybody. It’s just been the worst day of my life; it’s good to feel some comfort from the community.”

Later that night, Hacking was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after he was seen walking around outside, naked. “He kept his shoes on – his sandals – that’s not generally something we see in someone truly psychotic,” says Candace DeLong, who was an FBI profiler for 20 years.

Does she think he was faking his condition and setting up a defense? “I think there’s a very good chance he thought that might work,” says DeLong. In the days following Lori’s disappearance, while hundreds of volunteers searched for her, it became apparent that Hacking had been making up stories for years.

“We were under the impression that Mark had been accepted to medical school and just found out a few minutes ago he never even applied to medical school at North Carolina,” says Mark’s father, Douglas Hacking.

In fact, Hacking had never even graduated from college. He stopped attending classes at the University of Utah three years ago, and Lori, and Mark’s family, found out.It’s a story that’s never been reported in detail.

“His mother called their house and left a message asking why he wasn’t enrolled in school, ’cause she had attempted to pay the tuition and it wasn’t– he wasn’t in the — enrolled,” recalls Hamilton. Lori heard the voice mail first, and when Hacking came home, she confronted him. He took off in his car, and when Lori couldn’t find him, she called the Hamiltons. “She was just crying on the phone,” says Hamilton. Lori later found out Hacking was at a hotel an hour away.

“We didn’t really think anything of it because the next day, Jennifer talked to Lori and she said, ‘Oh, yeah. Well, we went and we reconciled things and made up,” says Hamilton. “And the way that it kind of played out was that he had made a mistake or he had forgotten to register. I think that’s how it went. We thought he went back to school.”

And apparently, so did Lori. And from then on, Hacking’s lies just got bigger and more elaborate. “I remember for the last two-plus years, the extensive preparations for medical school,” says Lori’s brother, Paul Soares. In fact, Mark went so far as to fly to Manhattan, and pretend to interview for medical school, while staying with his cousin. “He got up in the morning, put his suit on — like day before, she drove him by where Columbia was, so he’d know where it’s at,” recalls Soares. “And– left– went to do his interview and came back a few hours later and talked about the interview and how it was.”

“He talked a little bit about his deception to us, how it all got started a few years ago,” says Mark’s father, Douglas Hacking. “He has two brothers who are high achievers. He felt pressure to excel as well.”

The real tragedy is that many believe Lori would have loved Hacking, no matter what he did for a living.

“As long as he was doing his best, she would have loved him with all of her heart,” says Soares. “And he didn’t have to be a doctor, a president — whatever it was. As long as he was doing his best, she would have loved him.”

And Hacking may have been the only person who didn’t truly believe this.

“Failure just was not an option. It almost seemed like– he couldn’t handle the idea of letting her down,” says Hamilton. “Basically, I think that maybe he was just so sad or so distraught about the idea of letting her down that maybe something did snap. I mean what that was, I don’t know.”

There’s a lot there, but it’s not the half of it. We’re looking for more insight into Hacking’s psychology, and we find plenty more of that here:

According to Mark’s friend Paul [no surname given], Mark Hacking’s double life began when he was not accepted into a bachelor’s degree program at the University of Utah. Rather than tell his father that he had been rejected, he pretended that he had been accepted.

The desire to please his father, Paul said, was driven by a sense of inadequacy. Mark Hacking’s father is a successful pediatrician. A brother is also a doctor and another brother is an engineer.

Paul said Mark Hacking’s father – who he claimed to have known well for years – was not overbearing or demanding, and did not create the pressure Mark supposedly felt. Paul described Mark Hacking’s father as a wonderful man.

At any rate, when classes began at the university, Paul said that Mark Hacking bought the requisite textbooks and studied them, while telling his wife, parents and friends that he was a student. Paul claimed that he and Mark Hacking were routinely together during the time Mark was supposed to be in class. This happened semester after semester.

According to Paul, the entire charade was meant to keep Mark Hacking’s father from learning about his son’s academic difficulties. When asked why Mark Hacking lied to his wife, Paul said of Lori Hacking, “His wife is … the stereotypical ‘good Mormon girl,’ and she would have told his dad.”

The description sounded contemptuous as Paul said it. He also said that Lori Hacking would have been angry that her husband had lied to her. Which was apparently the case on the last weekend of her life. On Friday, at work, she accidentally learned from officials at the medical school her husband claimed to have been accepted to that he was not a student. The couple had made plans to move across the country the next week so that he could go to school.

Co-workers describe Lori Hacking as being very upset. And Paul says that when he went to the Hacking apartment on Sunday night Mark Hacking told him that he and Lori had argued angrily earlier in the evening. He also said the Hackings had argued other times in their marriage as well.

“She is a little spitfire,” Paul said of Lori Hacking. The description, again, sounded contemptuous as Paul said it.

He described Mark Hacking as extremely agitated that night. Paul said that he seemed frantic and at his wits end. The upset, though, was primarily from the fact he feared his wife would tell his father about his fraud, rather than that she had said she wanted a divorce.

Another previously unreported aspect of this story, if Paul’s account is correct, is that Mark Hacking – after claiming to have graduated from college – worked as a psychological counselor, something which he was apparently unlicensed and unqualified to do. Paul said that he and Mark Hacking had discussed Mark’s fears that he would be caught for that and sentenced to “five years in prison.”

Paul said that he counseled Mark Hacking to “disappear” for a couple of years, to escape his lies. Paul said that when he returned his father would be so glad to see him that he would forget about the deceptions. Additionally, the institution where Mark Hacking had supposedly performed the illicit counseling would sweep the matter under the rug, to avoid the embarrassment of having employed an unqualified person.

Paul also said that family statements that Lori Hacking was pregnant at the time of her murder are true. He said that Mark and Lori were ecstatic when she became pregnant. “He did not do this because she was pregnant,” Paul said of the murder.

Paul also said that Mark Hacking did not use drugs or alcohol, but that, rather, “He fits the stereotypical sociopath.”

Paul said that when he first heard media reports that Lori Hacking was missing he presumed that she had left Mark. Later that day, however, when he saw Mark Hacking on TV, claiming that his wife was missing, he said he knew Mark Hacking was lying and he turned and told his wife so at the time.

Concerned, Paul went to the volunteer search headquarters and told a police officer that he knew Mark Hacking and believed that he was lying. The officer took Paul’s name but did not seem interested. Paul was eventually interviewed by police a week later.

Paul also said that, contrary to rumors, he did not believe Mark Hacking was involved with pornography. And while Mark Hacking told Paul that he believed in his family’s Mormon faith, he felt that he couldn’t live it, but would later on, repenting of his wrongdoing.

Paul said that Mark’s plan was to move to North Carolina and pretend to go to medical school. He intended to keep up that charade and eventually “graduate” and go practice medicine with fraudulent credentials.

There more than twice as many boxes to tick here, than in the Coleman case. We won’t tick all of them, but let’s pluck the low hanging fruit and then see how the Hacking case stacks up to the Coleman case, and why Watts is more like one than the other.

  1. It’s one thing to talk about someone “living a lie”, isn’t another to actually see how it might play out in their lives. It’s impossible to feel the drama, desperation, intrigue and emotional intensity in the idea of someone else living a lie. But when we see the extent of it, and the absurdity of it, and the scale of how it plays out, we see just how destructive and consuming something as simple as a lie is. In Hacking’s case, the lie was that he was [or could be] successful. In the Watts case it’s the same. Of all the analysis posted on the Chris Watts case on Shakedown, this one is one of the most important, and the most overlooked. We see where he came from, not only humble beginnings but dirt poor. He wanted to keep his house, keep his idea of success, and Shan’ann was destroying it.
  2. Inadequacy. In the same way that some people are inadequate about their weight, or being bald, or being poor, or being unsuccessful, it doesn’t tend to mean very much unless it’s you. Unless the inadequacy is yours. Often we laugh at the inadequacies of others, but do we laugh at our own, or tried to hide them? The more inadequate people are the more they lie. The more lies the more the tendency to live a lie. And the murder is just a natural end to that process, which is why after the murder, it’s so easy to lie about what happened as well.
  3. Our identities – who we are – are built on what we do for a living. Chris Watts either felt a sense of crisis about what he was doing, or what Shan’ann was doing, but probably both. It’s not a one-way dynamic, it’s a two way dynamic.
  4. Curiously in the Hacking case, the murders have nothing to do with a mistress, though one could argue that the secret medical school fraud was his mistress. It’s the thing he felt guilty, insignificant and inadequate about.
  5. We see a mirror in the confining Mormon faith on the one hand, which artificially forces the marriage to remain in place, and the contempt Mark apparently feels for his demanding Mormon wife. An analogy for this in the Watts case are the artificial forces of the Thrive cult, and the impact of strictures and expectations that had on him. In the Hacking case, the Coleman case and the Watts case, there’s a an overarching belief system that causes the men to feel trapped into their own lives.
  6. Hacking didn’t murder his wife because she was pregnant, but the pregnancy undoubtedly had an impact of the dynamic, heightening expectations, stakes and the levels of alertness and aggravation for all involved.
  7. In the Hacking case we see a clear precedent for a scenario of lies which he got away with [the psychological counselling] and this then sets the tone for a much bigger set of lies. It’s unclear what set the precedent for Chris – whether it was the MLM, or his own sexuality, or the affair, or some subset of deceits we don’t know about yet.
  8. In the Hacking case there’s also the initial suspicion that Lori had left her husband because of acknowledged marital strife. In the Watts case there’s no sign of marital strife in the narrative until Shan’ann’s dead. Then it’s invoked as something that happened on the morning of her death. Had they  really never argued? Or was this pressure to pretend to never argue the real pressure cooker in the Watts family dynamic?
  9. Hacking apparently believed in his family’s Mormon faith, but couldn’t live it. Chris Watts probably found himself in the same dilemma. He believed in the idea of his marriage, but couldn’t live it. Why not? Refer back to point 1.
  10. Many of us look at the Watts case, especially the interview on the porch, and we can clearly see that his goose was already cooked then. But that’s not what we need to see to figure out this case, and the man underneath Christopher Watts. See – he couldn’t see it. There were so many lies he was still buried under them. In the same way, even though Hacking couldn’t hack medical school, he had every intention of pretending to enrol, pretending to take classes, pretending to graduate and pretending to be a doctor. He had no problem with that. The problem was, his wife did. She was exposing him for the very thing he was trying to hide – a fraud, a cheat, an imposter, a victim of his own inadequacy. When the lie is big enough, the desperation can be just as big to defend it.

That’s ten, that’s enough.

There should be some inklings, by now, what lie Chris Watts was trying to defend. It wasn’t a small lie, which is why he went to such extraordinary efforts to do what he did.

Between the Coleman case and the Hacking case we have plenty of blueprint material. One family murder involves a mistress, a mother and two children [but she’s not pregnant], while the other has no mistress and a pregnant mother, but no children. The one case involves the fear of losing a job and an income, the other involves a man who’s afraid to lose an idea of himself. 

While Watts and the Watts case is similar in many respects to both Coleman and Hacking, it’s obvious that Chris Watts is much closer to Hacking’s psychology than Coleman’s, isn’t it?  What this reveals is that unlike Coleman, Watts wasn’t stuck in a religious or quasi religious dimension, in fact, the crime probably happened because of it, to extricate himself out of it.

Fullscreen capture 20180917 112038

Like Hacking, Watts felt contempt for Shan’ann. The thing burning him, see, was that she was exposing his inadequacies – as a man, as a father, as a success, to the world [via Facebook, via the marriage, via the whole parenting debacle].

Despite her glowing endorsements on Facebook, Shan’ann had confided to a friend that “he has no game”. Well, he was determined to prove that he did.

Did he?

Has he, so far?

Fullscreen capture 20180918 162730

Fullscreen capture 20180907 111718

Two Face is available exclusively at


Shakedown response to the 2nd Review of Two Face

It’s the nature of true crime writing to get trolled, and troll reviews. It’s especially frustrating when apparently well meaning readers leave reviews like this:

Fullscreen capture 20180916 135715

Frustrating because at the same time CNN is knocking on your door and considering whether your work is worth featuring on their show.

Fullscreen capture 20180916 135853.bmp

Do you think reviews like that make HLN want to do an interview? If it was me, I wouldn’t.

Obviously less than one month after the crime has been committed there’s not going to be much evidence out there, especially with the police department in Frederick on lock down over leaks. If Two Face proves anything it’s how much we can know and find out from the available evidence before it’s fielded in court.

It’s also the purpose of this blog to provide updates on new evidence as and when it occurs. One example is the fact that the Watts children were last seen alive on Sunday at a birthday party held by Jeremy Lindstrom in Erie, and Chris was also there. These updates are published regularly at this link.

It’s the purpose of the second book in this series to place all these updates and collect all the available evidence in a follow-up narrative, a second book building on the efforts and analysis of the first.

In sum then, this is how I feel about reviews that kick you between the legs for making the first effort at an analysis. Hopefully better ones are in store.

“Why wasn’t Shan’ann’s body dumped into the oil tanks as well?”

Did Chris Watts feel differently about his pregnant wife compared to his children? Does the fact that he dumped his children into enclosed tanks but buried Shan’ann in a shallow grave reveal anything about his psychology?

The answer, at least in my view, is yes – and no. Dealing with the “yes” aspect would require an entire chapter. For that please refer to my book Two Face.

What I will say here is that it’s significant that in Chris Watts’ own version of events, he didn’t kill his children, Shan’ann did that. We may shake our heads dismissively at that claim, but if we do, we’re missing the point. In his own version of events he admits to being angry at Shan’ann, and he blames her for killing their children. What we have here isn’t necessarily a matter of fact, but symbolism.

In his mind Chris Watts may or may not have rationalized that Shan’ann’s behavior in a particular area/or areas doomed them as a family. That Shan’ann was killing him, in some particular way. In Two Face I go into some detail into how and where this psychology is rooted and what it means in this case.

Now let’s get back to the original question, but dealing with the flip side of it.

Does the fact that he dumped his children into enclosed tanks but buried Shan’ann in a shallow grave reveal anything about how his psychology differed towards her vis-à-vis the children?

No, and here’s why.

If he could have gotten away with it, Chris Watts would have dumped his wife’s body into these tanks. What he was trying to do was permanently erase all traces of all four of his flesh and blood family – Shan’ann, Niko, Bella and Celeste.

Scott Peterson also went to a huge amount of effort to permanently erase Laci and Conner from the world. In Peterson’s case he fashioned several concrete anchors from scratch, and attached these to all of Laci’s extremities. After several months, the anchors still held, but the body broke lose when the tissue underneath had been chewed or rotten away.

When Laci’s remains washed ashore and she was discovered by a couple walking their dog [the dog mde the discovery], it was a headless, handless, legless cauldron of ribs. Scott Peterson intended Laci to never rise from the bottom of San Francisco Bay. The same applied to his unborn child. If the murder is cruel, the burial is arguably just as callous.

download (1)

In Chris Watts’ case, the enormous interior of these fuel tanks, warmed by the sun and filled with corrosive, tissue eating chemicals, would theoretically have done the job of making all four of his family members vanish permanently much sooner than a body submerged in seawater, or dumped off the side of a road in a damp tropical forest.

Fullscreen capture 20180911 144446

If Chris Watts could have fitted Shan’ann through the hole beneath the silver access hatch, he would have pushed her down into it.

Fullscreen capture 20180911 144453

A cursory glance at the access hatch makes it appear about a third to twice the size it really is. Although the mushroom-shaped cover is roughly 40 centimeters wide, the inside of the hatch demonstrates how it contours inward to form a plug. The rubber housing on the upper and lower edges are of vastly different widths, indicative of the tapering interior of the tank’s access funnel.

Fullscreen capture 20180915 101246

What this means is that the width of the outer “mushroom” isn’t the width of the interior access point, in fact the mushroom is about twice as wide.

I apologize if the examination below seems insensitive. Obviously what happened to Shan’ann and all the Watts children was heartless, grotesque and horrific. We do this analysis in order to understand what happened to Shan’ann, and why.

When we review images of Shan’ann taken in mid-July and late July, there’s simply no way she would fit through such a narrow opening.37368479_10155567194621935_4924269615061663744_n



When we examine the hatch and compare it to the human scale [see below], we see the width of the maintenance worker’s thighs. Although they’re reduced because of the angle turned to the camera – he’s still unlikely to fit through the hatch. His shoulders are even wider.

Although one could argue that the maintenance worker might be taller and larger than Shan’ann, what the image with the maintenance tech clearly shows is how very narrow the access pipe actually is. No adult is going to fit through there! That access point is roughly the width of an adult man’s hand opened like a star +- 25 cm. It’s barely wider than a human head.

Fullscreen capture 20180915 101246-001

Perhaps a more pertinent question is this:

If Nickole Atkinson didn’t raise the alarm on August 13, could Chris Watts have gotten away with murder?

In other words, assuming the bodies were never tracked down to the CERVI 319 site, and if Chris Watts had more time to dispose of evidence [Shan’ann’s purse, cellphone, medication etc] after the murder, and if he was able to cover his tracks sufficiently so that the time of death became more and more stretched out and uncertain, and if the bodies were ultimately never recovered, could he – would he – have beaten a murder rap?

Fullscreen capture 20180913 192327

Christopher Watts: What else do we know? [UPDATED]

Fullscreen capture 20180902 042115Below is a rough collection of media snippets and information collected on Christopher Watts. This list will be updated so be sure to leave a comment with anything  you know that should be added to it.

Mid-to-end AUGUST 2018

  1. Christopher was seen barbecuing by himself by a neighbor at 19:15 on August 12, the night before the murders.
  2. Shanann’s flight was unexpectedly delayed by three hours. That’s why she arrived home at 01:48 on Monday, August 13th.
  3. In the days before her death, Shanann shared fears with friends that Chris was cheating on her. She also complained of not feeling well.
  4. On May 7 2018 the Watts family appeared in Strive magazine, the official magazine for Thrive brand promotors.
  5. In the article Shanann articulated how she turned herself inside out to make others happy:  “My role was as a caretaker and to make people feel better, yet I was wiped out…I was working 65 hours a week and was also taking care of my kids. I rarely got any sleep, but my passion for wanting more for my kids was stronger than anything else.”Fullscreen capture 20180830 105234
  6. Nicole Atkinson, the friend who last saw Shanann alive, attended the same business trip.
  7. Atkinson described the last time she saw Shanann, after dropping her off from the airport: “She went inside, turned around and waved at me and shut the door.”
  8. The parents faced a hefty court fine with Wyndham Hill Master Association Inc.a homeowners association.  They were due in court on August 24 to face a lawsuit for a $1,533.80 debt. An attorney was not listed in court records for the Watts.
  9. Shanann had a doctor’s appointment on the same morning of her murder. She was expected to hear her unborn child’s heartbeat for the first time.
  10. The doctor’s appointment was at 10:00.
  11.  They planned to name their unborn son Niko.phszust2m82qbwe
  12.  A petition started by friends demands that Colorado adopt a new law, named “Niko’s Law,” to make the killing of an unborn baby like the Watts’ son first-degree murder. If passed it will recognize an unborn 15 week old foetus as having the legal right to life.
  13. Another friend had arranged to meet Shanann on the day of her death. Shanann never showed up.
  14. A drone spotted a bedsheet in a field near the oil tanks.
  15. The sheet matched the pattern of several pillowcases and a top sheet recovered from a kitchen trash can from [Watts’] residence early that day.
  16. Christopher worked for Anadarko Petroleum Co.
  17. Shanann worked for Le-Vela, a company that sells Thrive health and wellness products.
  18. She worked at Le-Vel since January 2016 and had become a successful brand promoter, rising to the 80K level.
  19. Christopher’s income was close to the $60K mark in 2018.Fullscreen capture 20180830 105129
  20. Shanann had been with her children visiting family for six weeks before her work trip. She then returned home on August 7 and left again for Arizona on August 10, leaving her daughters at home with her husband.
  21. Shanann’s father is Frank Rzucek Sr., the most prominent family member to speak out about the events thus far.
  22. On July 31, Shanann wrote enthusiastically on Facebook about her August plans.“I’m so excited about August! Girls and I Fly home August 7th! I fly to Scottsdale Aug 10-12 for an amazing weekend with my Le-Vel family! Gender Reveal for Baby Watts #3! Our team is having lots of success, growth both personally and business, several new friends starting their Thrive Experience and lots of new Promoters who decided to change their life! Lots of excitement, Lots to be Thankful for!” 
  23. Photos taken of the Watts family on a family trip to a trampoline park in Myrtle Beach days before the murders appear to show Christopher disengaged. The photographer, Michele Greer, also said she didn’t see Christopher talking to his wife.AD-PIC-Ring
  24. Shanann was 34 years old when she died. She was a year older than her husband.
  25. Christopher Watts was originally from Oklahoma.
  26. In recent times, the Watts family had undertaken overseas trips and appeared to be going through a more prosperous phase. These included vacations to New Orleans, Toronto, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Las Vegas and San Diego.
  27. Christopher’s colleagues seemed to be aware that he was having an affair.
  28. Their list of assets included their home valued at $400,000, a 2006 Ford Mustang with more than 97,000 miles on it, wedding rings and a dog, which they valued at $5.
  29. The list of creditors included Ford Motor Company and Toys “R” Us.
  30. Their debts included $11,245 in student loans, according to Denver U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
  31. Choice Recovery in Columbus, Ohio, was seeking to recover $740 for health and chiropractic services.
  32. Byron Falls, who bought Shanann Watts’ house in Belmont, west of Charlotte, said the Watts family had been in a hurry to sell and left behind the furniture as part of the sale.
  33. The Watts appeared to be going through a rocky period when they moved from North Carolina to Colorado in 2012.
  34.  The address of their home in a quiet subdivision 10 minutes drive east of Frederick, Colorado: 2825 Saratoga Trail. Fullscreen capture 20180824 133722Fullscreen capture 20180824 133737Fullscreen capture 20180824 133754
  35. On June 22nd Shanann wrote on Facebook: “Success is my best revenge!”
  36. On August 8th, 5 days before the murders, Shanann posted the following message on Facebook:“Two loads of laundry, dusted the whole house, cleaned the refrigerator and pantry, went grocery shopping to two stores with the kids, took Celeste to a doctor’s appointment, emptied seven suitcases and three backpacks, fed kids a ‘million’ times, showered, went through six weeks of mail, washed the kitchen floor, cleaned up a kids’ disaster and repacked my suitcase for Arizona this Friday. All while four months preggo!”
  37. Four-year-old Bella has been described as a talkative child, for her age.
  38. A pair of women’s shoes that had been kicked off lay by the front door.
  39. A suitcase, apparently from her Arizona trip, stood at the bottom of the stairs.
  40. The bodies were dumped at a work site 40 miles east of the family’s home.
  41. The oil site has been identified as CERVI 319 with GPS coordinates 40.21624374, -104.36667Fullscreen capture 20180824 135343Fullscreen capture 20180824 135415Fullscreen capture 20180824 135428Fullscreen capture 20180824 135435Fullscreen capture 20180824 135442Fullscreen capture 20180824 135449
  42. 5b7c03833cccd121008b45d6-960-5555b7c02cb3cccd12b008b458e-960-480Fullscreen capture 20180824 135911
  43. The girls’ bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days.
  44. The bodies of the children were submerged in separate tanks.
  45. Shan’ann was buried near two oil tanks.
  46.  Watts worked at the location until he was arrested.
  47. The Watts couple married in North Carolina less than six years ago, in 2012.
  48. They moved to Colorado soon after getting married.
  49. On Tuesday, the day before his arrest on Wednesday August 15, Watts issued a televised plea for the return of his wife and daughters.  The plea occurred on the morning after the murder.
  50. According to Chris Watts’s 2015 paycheck he was paying $1.20 per month in Child Lie Insurance, and $3.00 per month in Spouse Life Insurance.Fullscreen capture 20180827 222035
  51. Murder is punishable by death in Colorado.
  52. After his family went “missing,” Chris didn’t stay in their empty house alone. Instead, Nick and Amanda Thayer opened up their home to him.Fullscreen capture 20180830 105609
  53. Shanann had a dog called Deeter. In one interview, a dog barks and Chris Watts reacts disproportionately. Dogs also played a role in the Scott Peterson case. Laci had a dog called McKenzie.Fullscreen capture 20180830 105444
  54. According to Amanda Thayer, Shan’ann had only jokingly mentioned suspicions of Chris having an affair.
  55. “Honestly, she wasn’t worried, but when your husband doesn’t answer his text messages, as a woman, your thought process just goes to the wrong things. It was never a serious concern of hers.”- Amanda Thayer
  56. Shan’ann met Chris online during “Dark Period 8 Years Before Murder” – People
  57. “I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, and I also believe people are placed in our life for a reason.”- Shanann Watts Facebook post, April 2018.
  58. In the half-hour Facebook-Live clip posted below, we get an inside glimpse into the Watts household. It’s an extended view. In the first few minutes Shanann comments about her younger daughter’s restlessness: “This child does not sit still – ever!”
  59. At ten minutes into the clip Shanann says: “No matter what you do, you just have to love what you do. And I love what I do.” When she tries to illustrate it with examples, Shanann thinks and apologises for rambling. It’s an interesting moment, because one can’t help wondering – are you really happy?Fullscreen capture 20180830 110112
  60. From the same clip: “I will continue not letting the haters get in my way. I will continue not to be discouraged. I will continue not letting people judge…me, or what I do. I will continue to not let people influence my decisions on what I do in life. I will continue fighting…for my children.For my husband. For myself.” [Shanann seems a little tearful here]. “And nobody’s  gonna hold me back…from…my future. My kid’s future. No one’s gonna tell me the right way of living life. No one’s gonna tell me what I should and shouldn’t do for a job. Like…if I’m bringing in income and taking care of my family then I’m being a better mom than I’ve [with emphasis] ever been because I’m here….You have to be strong, you have to be confident…You have to be you at the end of the day.” What does she mean by this? Chris is in the room with her – is she saying what she’s saying purposely to communicate with him?4F9D664500000578-0-image-m-16_1535840566890
  61. “You’re on top of the world when you surround yourself with people that make you better. Like, they don’t bring the bad outa you, they bring the good outa you. And from that point on I fought like hell. I worked my tail off. I busted my butt. I was never a big…um…dreamer sort of thing, cos…I-my insecurities brought me down. But I was single for a long time [gulps emotionally] and my goal was to buy a house. I was tired of paying someone else’s mortgage, because you know that’s what you do when you rent. And…I wanted to buy a house. Aaannd…I wanted to buy a house that I could resell one day and make a profit off of. And so I worked and worked and worked and worked. I lost a lotta friends because a lotta my friends were still young. And I was 25-years-old when I built my first house. My family doesn’t come from money, we always worked hard for what we had. And…I did. I bought my first house at 25-years-old. And that was the biggest accomplishment I felt I’ve ever done because it felt like I did it by myself. I did it by working my tail off [laughs]. And…um…I had that to show for it. Ummm…and then I met Chris. Uhh…my health challenges happened. Um…I was diagnosed with uh…um…health challenges…[gulps emotionally] and…then I met Chris. I met Chris because of those health challenges. Um…my friend actually sent me a friend suggestion for him. It was actually from his cousin’s wife. And…um…I deleted it. Like…I’mm not interested…I don’t wanna meet a guy. Um, so I deleted her friend suggestion for him…” This has echoes of Laci writing a message on a note, or was it a napkin, and Scott throwing it away. That lives can turn, can be made or broken, on such fickle behavior, such small moments is frightening.
  62. “I was diagnosed two months later…and I went through…I would say…one of the darkest times of my life because things just got scarier. Um…worse. I thought my life was crumbling underneath me and I didn’t know which way to turn. I didn’t have a lotta friends at the time because [dog barks]…friends I did have I lost because they didn’t understand that I looked perfectly fine, and I felt horribly inside. Uhm…horribly. I felt a lot of discomforts. A lot of aches. A lot of bad moods. Ummm…I met a lotta friends online…aannnnndd in the part where I gave up on everything, I quit my job [it was kinda temporarily] of nine years. I just said I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. You don’t understand me. You don’t understand what’s going on in my life and I quit. And…I…gotta friend suggestion-friend request from Chris.” Smiles.2_THP_CHP_220818SLUG_0951JPG
  63. “I was in a really really really bad place, and I gotta friend suh-friend request from Chris on Facebook. And I was like – uhhhh, what the heck. I’m never gonna meet him. Accept.”
  64. “Well one thing led to another and eight years later we have two kids, [gushes breathlessly] we live in Colorado and he…he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. And because of my health challenges. Because I got so sick, I let him in. And he only knew me at that time. He knew me at my worst. And he accepted me.”
  65. “And [brushes the hair off her face]you know, through your vows, like through sickness and everything…he’s been there. He was the one who let me lay on him and fall asleep for 3-and-a-half hours, on his lap, while he had to pee. Um…he is the best thing that has ever-ever happened to me.”
  66. “Know that no matter how hard life gets. No matter how low you feel, know that deep down, like in your heart, that’s there’s a purpose, there’s a reason – for everything. We may not understand it at the time. It’s hard to understand it at the time [laughs]. I’m telling you, when I met Chris I pushed him away. I gave every excuse for him to run [looks at the sky] …I gave him an out every single day. I gave him an out. And if you guys know my story with Chris, you know I gave him an out. I mean, he went to my colonoscopy. I…tortured him. I rejected him. I pushed him away time and time and time again. But when I cancelled dates – last minute – cos that’s how life is with my health challenges, you cancel things last minute and it’s hard for people to get, it’s hard for me to understand, but – he stuck around. And he stuck around because…he was the one for me. And he…is amazing. And I can’t tell you how wonderful he is.”Fullscreen capture 20180902 053300
  67. “But on top of all of that, when I got sick I reached out to support groups online. And I built relationships with so many – so many people that have similar health challenges or the same, and we’ve built a relationships stronger than some relationships I’ve known for over 20 years. Some that I’ve known over – my whole life. And these people are in my life for a reason.”
  68. “Life happens [Dog barks, Shanann snaps her finger]. So write down all the things you think are bad in your life. All the negative in your life. Write it down. [Sniffs]. But then I want you to…on the other side of the paper, write down what has happened in your life that you’re grateful for. The third step is – take a pen and mark over, like the connect the two things that happened.”
  69. -5:30 – -5:00: “Do you see what I want to do here. I want you to connect the negatives with the positives in your life. And when you look at that, life becomes so much brighter. Like [glances up], so much brighter when you can do that. So, you know, sometimes we have to reassess. Like…reassess our life, like…[glances sideways]…sometimes we feel like life’s attacking us. And when we do, we have to sit back and look at the big picture. And it may not be something right away, and if it’s happening to you right now, you may not see the big picture. You may not see it until six months down the road, or what the connection is. But when you do, it’s gonna all make sense. It’s all gonna click. And you’re gonna be like, why was I beating myself up for no reason at all! Like no reason at all! At all. “
  70. On August 2nd, two weeks before the murders, Chris seemed indifferent to his wife and children.
  71. “I’m living proof that something good comes out of everything negative. Something good comes out of everything you don’t want.”
  72. Unconfirmed on August 28 [and probably not true]: Chris Watts may have been having an affair with an ex-stripper, a man. More here.
  73. Shanann was suffering from the auto-immune disease lupus, which causes fertility problems and high-risk pregnancies. Longevity is also curtailed. More here.
  74. On August 29 People provide teasing “corroboration” that Chris Watts was a serial adulterer with both men and women, claiming: A source close the investigation tells PEOPLE that Chris has had relationships with both men and women outside of his marriage. That may or may not be. If the man claims to have been in a 10 month relationship with Watts, doesn’t he have a single selfie, or a photo taken at Watts’ place? If he had, that story would be gold to the tabloids. So where is it?
  75. On August 30, some popular support becomes evident for Chris Watts. capture 20180830 110306
  76. Chris Watts’ fate lies in the hands of District Attorney Michael Rourke. Colorado law gives prosecutors up to 63 days after a defendant’s arraignment to determine if the death penalty will be sought. According to The Coloradoan, Chris Watts’ arraignment has not yet been scheduled.  Rourke would not say whether he was considering capital punishment in the Watts case.
  77. Chris Watts and Shanann were seeing arguing earlier in the summer of 2018. One could say “all couples argue” but this argument becomes relevant and important given what ultimately happened to the other half of that couple. It would be useful to know what they argued about and if Shanann ever told anyone. According to People:“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.
  78. After initial reports that Watts showed no emotion, on August 31 a “second” source reported that he’d seen Chris Watts in jail, that he was “in mourning” and that it [grief?] was starting to “sink in”.Fullscreen capture 20180901 174423
  79. Shanann Watts’ friend, Ashley Bell, told KDVR the “gender reveal” party was going to be held at the Watts’ home on Saturday 18 August in the town of Frederick, north of Denver. Shanann and her children were murdered early on Monday morning, August 13.0_Screen-Shot-2018-09-01-at-175313
  80. Shanann’s funeral, along with her children, was held at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Boles Funeral Homes oversaw the service.
  81. A tribute from her younger brother Frankie Rzucek read: “She was born to be a mother, boy was she ready. She couldn’t wait, she was my mum x10. Growing up she was a perfect role model. he was ready to take on the world, and we know she did.”
  82. Frank Rzucek described his daughter at the funeral with two words: “Pure love.”Fullscreen capture 20180902 031138
  83. Colorado is one of 12 states without a law broadly allowing for homicide charges in the violent death of fetuses.
  84. From the funeral nomenclature it’s clear that her name is spelled Shan’ann. Apologies for previous posts and mentions that spell her name otherwise.funeral-for-slain-colorado-family
  85. There may be further “evidence” on Trent Bolte, the alleged gay lover of Chris Watts. The problem is it’s also from Trent Bolte. And since it’s from Bolte’s own Facebook account, and no other media are covering it, it seems less and less likely that Bolte has anything to do with the Watts family. Personally I still don’t buy the Trent Bolte gay lover theory,  but here goes. On September 1, “pasdar” posted this on redditI’m not convinced he is telling the truth, but he apparently posted on his Facebook page that he met with detectives on Friday night and provided DNA samples, buccal swabs and texts that he exchanged with Chris. He also said that they took towels that apparently had Chris’ DNA on them. Also took a gold chain that Chris had given him for Valentine’s Day. The detectives also told him he could have been next, that Chris was plotting against him because he blames him for breaking up his marriage after Shan’ann found texts from him to Chris on July 4. Could it be true? I guess time will tell. Shan’ann was is NC on July 4th, so how did she see the texts? (Unless that’s when Chris was visiting or she somehow had access to his texts). Also, he’s been broken up with Chris since April and he still has used towels laying around? But if it is true, it shows how messed up this guy was that he could portray this devoted family man to the world…
  86. “You are always Daddy’s little girl.” – Frank Rzucek
  87.  “From a young age I always knew my sister was going to be successful and nothing would stand in her way.  She was born to be a mother. Boy, was she ready! Closets were full even before she knew she was pregnant. She couldn’t wait. She was my mom, times ten — whether either one of them wanted to admit it. She had ambition in her eyes and wanted a great life for her children and herself. She was ready to take on the world and we know she did.” – Frankie Rzucek. Notice the mismatch between Frank’s message and her brother’s. Funerals are all about sentiment, and it may be unkind to read to deeply into emotional messages, but it’s also at funerals where a crucial aspect is revealed – the identity of the victims. What we get here is this contrasting idea of someone who is prepared and ready, and someone who is, in a sense, still a little girl. It’s not necessarily the case that murder victims are naive. Sometimes killers are cold, cruel and callous no matter how paranoid their prey. But in a family murder, we really do have to look at the idea of naivete and vulnerability. Were either of these adults really ready to take on the world? Were they really ready to be married? Were they really ready to be parents? Was the one more ready than the other in one area, and the other less ready than the other in another area? If we consider this idea from the perspective of the two meeting on Facebook, it casts further aspersions on their experience of real life and real love. Couldn’t they meet the right people in the real world the “right way”? Or is meeting people on Facebook with a view to romance the new normal? If so, how do we tell what’s not normal on social media?
  88. A colleague of Shan’ann’s mother told WRAL that the couple “was having problems” and that Shan’ann’s mother, Sandi Onorati, told her that Shan’ann and Chris were planning to separate. It may be that Shan’ann was continuing to peddle a fairy tale on social media simply to make money.29356853_10155301443531935_2056223877480710542_n
  89. According to The Daily Beast 2 friends said Shan’ann had confided in them that Chris was cheating on her:Two of Shanann’s friends said she suspected Chris was cheating on her. Amanda Thayer told Denver7 that Shanann thought infidelity was “a possibility” but had said Chris wasn’t a player. “At the same time, she was like, ‘He has no game.’ He didn’t have it with her when they first met… She did everything,” Thayer said.Nickole Atkinson—the last person besides Chris to see Shanann alive—told ABC Newsthat Shanann “entertained the idea” that he was unfaithful. “He wasn’t being the loving Chris that he normally was. He wasn’t touching or hugging or doing stuff like that. He wasn’t being as attentive to the girls as he normally is,” Atkinson said.
  90. Chris’s friends described him to The Daily Beast as reserved, smart and gentle, and a man known to get along with anyone. In other words, a charmer.
  91. Brandi Smith, a high-school friend, told The Daily Beast:“Everyone liked him. It’s actually amazing how many people that knew him have completely turned on him and think he’s this monster when he hasn’t even been convicted…Chris found himself as a father. Those girls brought him to life and out of his shell. He’s not a crazy person. He’s not a violent, abusive or mean person.I’ll be broken if he’s convicted and it was a lie but there’s a chance… and it’s not fair that he’s being crucified.”29186423_10155288612946935_1268208797811270593_n
  92. But why was he in a shell to begin with if everyone liked him?
  93. “This was one of the smartest students I ever had … the guy had a photographic memory. He knew chapter and verse, everything you could ask about NASCAR. Anything.” — Retired automotive teacher Joe Duty, on Chris Watts
  94. Smart – but how smart is smart in the context of an auto mechanic?
  95. “It’s amazing that my husband and I have created more memories in the last two years than we did in the previous eight,” Shan’ann in STRIVE article
  96. Shan’ann boasted of Chris’s fitness progress—he went from a pants size of 38 to 32 in 201830531330_10155361111806935_9176125835195452045_n
  97. In a June Facebook post, Shan’ann discussed grocery shopping for Chris, who would be a “bachelor” for five weeks while the family was gone. He joined them for the last week of the vacation.
  98. “He was very passive … She was very aggressive with him. Bossy. Do this. Do that. Telling him what to do. Dominating the relationship.” — Greg Alore, Shanann’s former boss
  99. Now some evidence on Bolte that’s not from Trent Bolte, but from his brother. The fact that The Daily Beast is citing this is significant:When reached by The Daily Beast, the man’s brother said the story was true. “I know my brother saw a different side of ‘loving’ Chris Watts,” the sibling said, adding that Chris “gave my brother his first lip botox injection.”The alleged lover told HLN that Chris “portrayed himself as this victim” who “would be shunned and he wouldn’t be allowed to see his girls” if he came out as non-heterosexual.“He told me that he was the victim of emotional and verbal abuse, and he was trapped in a loveless marriage,” the man said. “And he didn’t know any way out because of the kids.”
  100. Why did the Watts family move to Colorado in the first place? Alore said the Wattses moved to Colorado after Chris accepted a job as a mechanic at the dealership in 2012. Shan’ann was hired by the company’s internet sales department and, according to online reviews, was a talented salesperson.
  101. “Shannan went out of her way to find the vehicle I wanted, as well as tirelessly went back and forth to get me the payments that I needed to get me into a new car. She was never pushy, and while I know she really wanted to sell a car, she never tried to sell me something that I didn’t want,” one customer wrote in April 2013.
  102. Linda Biggers, a realtor who listed Shanann’s home, told The Daily Beast she believes the couple moved because Chris got a job out West. “I think she wanted to get married and move to Colorado with him,” Biggers recalled. “The house was hers; it wasn’t his…. She just had a really beautiful home, it was beautifully furnished.”
  103. Shan’ann King hurried to sell her residence and left furniture behind as part of the sale, the buyer told the Associated Press. A deed for the house was signed in August 2012 while Shan’ann was living in Colorado, property records show.
  104. Bella Marie was born in December 2013Fullscreen capture 20180902 060044
  105. A month before the birth of Celeste in July 2015 the couple filed for bankruptcy
  106. In April 2017, Shanann announced was leaving her job at the children’s hospital to become a full-time stay-at-home mom working for the Le-Vel supplement company, which makes Thrive dietary patches.
  107. On her one-year anniversary with the brand, she told Facebook friends she was “broke” when she started Le-Vel.
  108. “Sometimes when you have children and your relationship starts to deteriorate a child could help repair it.”28685662_10155277238066935_736420060843828971_n
    — Chris Watts, in a YouTube video on ‘Relationship Deterioration and Repair’
  109. March 15, 2018: Had about 2 hrs of sleep last night. I couldn’t sleep, I had a lot on my mind with girls surgery today. Took my 3 simple steps and I feel good! Love my Thrive. I can be awake and focused for my girls.29178395_10155294619281935_8657499981552997243_n
  110. May 7th post by Shan’ann of her husband: “Someone’s thrivin’…Up for work at 4am. Just got home and now mowing the grass. #likeaboss#helovesme
  111. June 15: “Chris, just said he’s been more talkative since he started #Burn! Talking to random strangers. #Hesaintrovert.”
  112. “I am really feeling the need to ‘gift’ this to my hubby for Father’s day!” one of Shan’ann’s friends commented. In response, Shan’ann joked, “Gift it then leave for the day.”
  113. Frankie Rzuce: “They were always well-dressed and well mannered. [Shan’ann] taught them to be brave and independent, just like Shan’ann. She was very successful and independent, before any man came along — and that’s just the way she wanted it.”
  114. Despite Shan’ann’s independence, Rzucek was always concerned about the distance between them. “I always worried about her and the girls being so far because I couldn’t protect them. Growing up, she was a perfect role model. She had a lot of friends and was very popular, which made it hard for me being her little brother trying to protect her from heartbreak and other things. She moved out at 18 and never looked back.”


  1. By early September, just three weeks after the murders that rocked Colorado, the Chris Watts case has become “an obsession” on Facebook.Shanann painted a portrait of the perfect family on social media. Homemade videos and photos she posted show what seemed to be a doting father and happily-married couple.“Eight years later, we have two kids, we live in Colorado and he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Shanann said in one of her Facebook live videos promoting her business.Other videos show Chris playing with Celeste and Bella while Shanann can be heard from behind the camera laughing and playing along.But that picture-perfect image was shattered when Frederick police along with Weld County prosecutors arrested Chris Watts for killing his own family and unborn child and then allegedly hiding their bodies at a Weld County oil and gas site where he worked.People from around the world are now combing through Shanann’s Facebook videos for answers or any clue to help them understand how a family who seemed so happy could end this tragically.
  2. According to an arrest affidavit Chris purportedly said he “went into a rage” and strangled Shan’ann. This is Chris’ version of what happened. It’s the “heat of passion” defense, but is it true?
  3. A source who has spoken with Watts in jail tells PEOPLE that the 33-year-old suspect was “aware” of the funeral proceedings, but had no input in it. “He knew better than to suggest anything,” the source says.People
  4. Cadaver dogs are the reason Chris was forced to confess. When they were brought into the home they alerted to all three victims, which proves all three were murdered inside the home.
  5. …detectives believe Watts killed his children first and then killed his 15-week pregnant wife, the Daily Mail reports. According to police documents, Shan’ann was killed on August 13, the same day she returned home from an out-of-state business trip. The charges allege that Watts killed Bella and Celeste “between and including August 12 and August 13”. One way to determine if the children had been killed earlier is to test the cadaver traces. A stronger scent would obviously indicate an earlier death.

  6. The Daily Mail has mistakenly reported the following image as the last of Shan’ann Watts while she was still alive. Fullscreen capture 20180904 070950           In fact there is a more recent but blurry image of her here taken at the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill.  Fullscreen capture 20180904 065522Shan’ann Watts’ final social media post appears to be after 18:30 on August 12th, in Tempe Arizona. It was a comment following a power outage in response to the above image.Fullscreen capture 20180904 065609
  7. Scenes of the interior and exterior of the Watts home…Fullscreen capture 20180904 065932Fullscreen capture 20180904 074713Fullscreen capture 20180904 074754Fullscreen capture 20180904 074802Fullscreen capture 20180904 075121Fullscreen capture 20180904 075311Fullscreen capture 20180904 075649Fullscreen capture 20180904 071921Fullscreen capture 20180904 072218Fullscreen capture 20180904 072221Fullscreen capture 20180904 072224Fullscreen capture 20180904 072246
  8. Status on September 4th:Since he was put in jail, Watts has been placed under watch protocol, which is better known as suicide watch, and must be checked on by a detention officer every five to 10 minutes.Several times a day, someone enters Watts’ cell to make sure he is still alive and still in custody. There is also a cell check every day, in which he has to be completely searched.For one hour each day, Watts is allowed out of his cell, into a room where he is the only person present. He has also been denied access to television and is not allowed to have reading material in his cell.
  9. Chris Watts had “a lot of secrets…Every day, we learn more and more about him.” – People
  10. Was the fact that Chris was younger than Shan’ann a factor in his wanting to get rid of her the way he did? What’s the inference in a younger man with a slightly older women pregnant for the third time…?
  11. Is it possible for a small screen to capture a scenario of an adult strangling an infant?
  12. September 5: Another woman has come forward saying she had an affair with Watts, and that they met on tinder. Not sure whether to put much faith in it, but if true, the allegations of rape fantasies show he did not like to be dominated as he was in his marriage. It also suggests he fantasized about strangling his wife long before he did, which feeds into premeditation and sadism.
  13. September 5 according to People: The co-worker with whom Colorado triple murder suspect Chris Watts was allegedly “actively involved in an affair” at the time his wife and daughters were killed has been opening up to police. He had initially denied the work affair to police, his arrest affidavit alleges. But authorities said they carried out a two-day investigation and confirmed the cheating.
  14. Shan’aan’s social media output dropped drastically in the month she was murdered. Did she suspect a serious deterioration in the family dynamic, or was she starting to experience it?Fullscreen capture 20180909 073322
  15. Shan’ann Watts appears to be related to the actor Peter Onorati.

16. Arie King is the brother of Shan’ann’s first husband. Arie King told in mid-August 2018: “I am sick over it, honestly. Any family she has here in North Carolina, we are heartbroken.” What was her first husband’s name and occupation? Why did they divorce?Fullscreen capture 20180911 105020

17. The following neighbors have been identified thus far: Colleen Hendrickson, Ann Watt and Bette Marcoux. According to Marcoux:

Watts’ truck was on when she left for the gym early Monday. She goes to the gym at 5:15 a.m. five days each week, she said, and hadn’t noticed him heading out somewhere at that time before. The night before, he was barbecuing, she said.

18. Public records show that they were each arrested multiple times in North Carolina – he three times and her 15 times – but the charges in the arrests are not known. – Daily Mail, August 17. This could explain why the couple left North Carolina in such a hurry, and sold their house with all their furniture still inside. On the other hand, it’s possible the Daily Mail confused Shan’ann Watts with Shannon Ann Watts, a 28-year-old woman arrested 3 times and facing 16 charges in North Carolina.

This snippet was provided by one of the regular visitors to this blog, thanks Pauline.

Fullscreen capture 20180911 070235Fullscreen capture 20180911 070240Fullscreen capture 20180911 070242Fullscreen capture 20180911 070249Fullscreen capture 20180911 070252Fullscreen capture 20180911 070254

19. More reason to believe Chris Watts could be bisexual comes via a profile posted on Adam4Adam, and the profile picture, showing a man with a goatee. The couch in the rear of the picture also looks like the same couch the 3 foot doll was modeled onto.

Unless he updated his waist size [last login was April 2008] but didn’t change his age, the waist size is also off.

The area code for Denver Colorado is 80205. Check of this profile for Bi-Guy #80205. Star sign Gemini [21 May – 21 June] Chris Watts’ birthday is May 17, 1985.Fullscreen capture 20180911 100656

Fullscreen capture 20180911 092955Fullscreen capture 20180911 093041

20. The Walk to the top of an oil tank & Actual Photos of Anadarco Oil Tank Site.

Fullscreen capture 20180911 144446Fullscreen capture 20180911 144453Fullscreen capture 20180911 144510Fullscreen capture 20180911 144601

21. Police have found hundreds of hairs in the trunk of Chris Watss’ truck. It sounds like hair fragments, which suggests the hair was cut or shaved. If true, it’s a clear sign of processing a body, which invokes the idea of planning and premeditation.

22. Published on September 10th TWO FACE – the first definitive account of the case.

137. Defense attorneys for a Frederick man accused of killing his wife and daughters have filed a motion asking the government to investigate whether the prosecution has made extrajudicial statements or tried to prevent the spread of prejudicial information. What this means is the authorities are accused of leaking evidence to the media and thus potentially prejudicing a jury trial.  Stan Garnett, the former district attorney for Boulder County, said it is not unusual for the defense to raise such issues early on, especially in high-profile cases.

While it’s standard to point out potential to prejudice a jury , Garnett said the wording of the motion — requiring “the government” to investigate the issue — is unusual.

It raises an issue, as the district attorney’s office is part of the executive branch of the state.

“If you’re asking them to be investigated, who would do it?” Garnett said. –

Fullscreen capture 20180912 063042

23. 18CR2003 The People of the State of Colorado v. Christopher Lee Watts case archive.

24. Ashley Bell, a close friend of Shanann Watts who owns a tanning salon, said she got to know her because she was a customer.

Bell said the gender reveal party was supposed to be held at the Watts’ family home on August 18. Amanda Thayer’s daughter Emily was also meant to sleepover at the Watts’ home that weekend.

140. “He didn’t have a plan. Things unfolded so quickly that he was trapped with no alternative but to cooperate with the reporters [in his TV interviews]. I don’t think he anticipated that a friend of his wife would so quickly alert authorities to her failing to show up for a scheduled medical appointment and was not at the house on Monday.” – Philip Stinson, criminologist

Agree? Disagree?

25: Nickole Utoft Atkinson found out Chris Watts planned to separate from Shan’ann on the morning she disappeared, when she called him to find out whether he knew where she was.

“I didn’t find out that they were going to separate or anything like that until I called Chris that morning,” she told ABC (who credited her as Nicole Atkinson). “When I called him [August 13 at noon] and asked him where she was, that’s when he told me and I basically told him that that wasn’t my [concern] at that particular moment, because it wasn’t and that their business was their business, that they would either work it out or they wouldn’t.”

26. “He was defending himself, but it just didn’t make sense.”Nickole Atkinson

27.  “Things were not how I would think that they were…supposed to be…I guess. I had [inaudible] look in the garage, to see if her car was there and it was there, which was like peculiar, because Shan’ann doesn’t [shurgs] like go places without her car, usually, because both of the girls have car seats.  The front door was locked different to the way it normally was. The girl’s beds weren’t made. Shan’ann was very OCD. Everything in her house had a place. Everything was labelled. If something was out of the ordinary it was really out of the ordinary for her.”Nickole Atkinson

Fullscreen capture 20180912 153406

28. When Chris Watts told Nickole Shan’ann was on a playdate with the kids, she immediately wondered why she’d go on a playdate without her car, and why did he know she was on a playdate but couldn’t say who with.

“He just kept saying that he didn’t know where she was and that she was on a playdate. But he couldn’t give us the name of the friend. I knew he had something to do with it the day I was at his house with him, but I didn’t want to think that. Anyone in their right mind will start piecing things together and think something had happened, but you don’t want to go there. You want to believe the best in people.”Nickole Atkinson

29. “I know that Chris and her were having some issues about three weeks prior to everything happening.” Nickole Atkinson [But three weeks prior she was in North Carolina with her folks and he was in Colorado].

Watch the interview here.

30. Nichol Kessinger’s father appears to be Dwayne Kessinger, Chris Watts’ boss. The  image from his LinkedIn page still exists on Google cache, but appears to have been recently removed from his profile.

Screenshot_2018-09-12-17-39-02 (2)

Fullscreen capture 20180912 190926Fullscreen capture 20180912 191032Fullscreen capture 20180912 191050

31. September 12: Motion to obtain clear and visible Polaroid photograph and digital photographs of both Chris Watts’ right and left hands.

Fullscreen capture 20180913 121243

32. Kirk Nurmi [who defended Jodi Arias] weighs in.

33. On September 11 an unsubstantiated rumor on Twitter that Chris was involved with a Thrive colleague of Shan’ann’s surfaced. Josh Rosenberg appears in several images from the San Diego trip. This doesn’t appear to be credible line of inquiry.

34. Chris Watts does appear to have been actively cheating on his wife. Was it with one woman or several? Was it with women, or women and men? One thing is clear, he was paying an inordinate amount of attention to grooming himself in the lead up to this crime.

35. Trent Bolte – the man from Wyoming who claims to have had an affair with Chris Watts – has produced communications suggesting an affair between the two men. Previous screenshots of texts appear to have been fabricated so there’s some reason to believe these might be too. It ought to be very simple to prove whether they were in a months-long relationship – a photo of the two together.


Bolte provided CrimeOnline with screenshots of text messages between him and Watts that appear to support some type of relationship with Watts. Bolte said they were the first text messages he and Watts exchanged away from the MeetMe app. The messages differ starkly in tone from screenshots circulating on social media, purporting to be messages between Watts and Bolte. Bolte is aware of the images that have circulated and insists they have been fabricated, pointing out that the messages indicate the two men met on Tinder, which Bolte says is not true.

36. Chris Watts had been telling neighbors “fairly recently…in the week preceding the murders” in an “offhand way” that they’d been thinking of selling their Colorado home.Ellen Killoran

37. Chris Watts is very specific at turns during his porch interview. He refers to Shan’ann arriving home at 01:48 [that’s very exact] and Nickole Atkinson calling him at 12:10. He also describes Shan’ann going to bed at 02:00 but not getting much sleep. In a police interrogation he said they’d discussed separating at 04:00 that morning. When he descibes himself leaving, he’s vague – it’s between 05:15 and 05:30. In fact he left at 05:37. This specificity is indicative of planning. He’s finely tuned to exact times, just as he had to be to the evolving pregnancy and the deteriorating numbers on their balance sheet.

38: CHRIS: I mean…could she have van- [interrupts himself]. Could she have just taken off, I dunno. But if someone has her and they’re not safe, I want them back now.

He starts off saying “could she have vanished” then tailors that to something better: “Could she have taken off? Could someone have taken her…” He’s doing this to seed the audience’s mind with the most credible alternative to what’s actually happened, to what he knows has actually happened.

39. As part of ongoing research into this case, I contacted a guy I’ve known since school who went from being in law enforcement to working for the oil and gas industry. I sent him information on the Anardarko oil site, and asked for his input on what the conditions are inside a tank. I will address some of the insights in a separate blog post, but a few things that stood out from our discussion included the following:

  1. Only an oil maintenance worker would have the tools/know-how to access and open the tanks. This would in theory limit the chances of discovery by anyone else to almost zero, at least while Watts was in charge of that particular site. This also explains why Watts initially repeated the words “vanished”. He wanted people to think that’s what had happened, because that’s what he intended to happen.
  2. The maintenance of the various oil sites are scheduled, sometimes with annual checks, sometimes once every 5 years. If Watts knew the schedule, and especially if the checks had just been completed for the year [or if Watts himself was responsible for performing them] then he could theoretically supervise and control the access and information regarding his own crime scene.
  3. The interior of the oil tanks is fairly static, with natural gas sequestrated through outlet sieves. These sieves could theoretically be blocked by human hair, and human hair could also theoretically be glued to the lid of the tanks. This might indicate a need to remove excess human hair, and possibly also clothing.

40. More photographs of Chris Watts with Shan’ann during her other pregnancies.


41. When were Bella and Celeste last seen alive? From early reports it seems this could have been at a birthday party in Erie on Sunday, August 12.  Erie is less than 20 minutes drive east of Frederick.

Fullscreen capture 20180914 194937

The Watts’ home on Saratoga Trail was about half that distance to the Lindstrom’s house in Erie.

Fullscreen capture 20180914 195153

The party was held by Jeremy Lindstrom for his 5-year-old son. Chris Watts was there, and so were his two daughters.

poster_74856d16646e4fafa6042f7c3f166821 (1)

Murder suspect Chris Watts and his two little girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celste, were just at Lindstrom’s home for Jeremy’s little boy’s birthday party. The girls were happy. They were normal. And, so was Chris. Or so it seemed.

“He would reach out and help anybody that needed help with anything,” Lindstrom said. “He was a good mechanic if you needed help with your car – he’d help you. If you needed help with furniture, he’d be over there in a heartbeat to help you out. You don’t know what, when, why, where or how everything goes weird.”

42. Should the DA pursue a death penalty in this case?

Will they?

According to Colorado law, a district attorney has 63 days from the date of an arraignment to determine whether to pursue capital punishment in a murder case. An arraignment hearing isn’t on the docket yet and won’t be scheduled until Watts’ next hearing in November. – Denver Post


43. Photos of Chris Watts as a young man:

44. More photos of Shan’ann during previous pregnancies and the aftermath after giving birth.

45. Chris Watts isn’t talking to his family, even though he has nothing else to do except sleep all day. He’s not allowed reading material or television, and has virtually no one to talk to except the prison guards who look in on him every 15 minutes as part of an ongoing suicide watch.

If Chris Watts isn’t talking to family this may be because:

  1. He knows [and perhaps they do too] that calls are monitored, and that anything they say over the phone can and will be used against him [or them] in a court of law.
  2. He doesn’t want to talk to them [for the above reason and perhaps other reasons].
  3. They don’t want to talk to him.

We know Chris Watts’ dad flew in to see his son at around the time of his arrest and confession. We don’t know much more than that – who Watts senior is, what he does etc. We do have a photo of him at the house on Saratoga Trail, however.

46. Shan’ann’s father was in court during the initial hearing, and was memorably emotional about the fate of his daughter and granddaughters. Chris Watts’ father, evidently wasn’t in court, even though he possibly was in town. Interestingly, neither of the mothers were in court, perhaps because they couldn’t all afford to travel.

47. On September 17, 2018 District Attorney Michael J. Rourke vehemently opposed the release of autopsy reports on the basis of “injury to the public interest”. As the motion notes, autopsy reports are public documents, so Rourke is likely to have an uphill battle withholding them from the public and also from the media, until November.

The motion is explicit in that all three victims were dead when they were moved from the crime scene [the Watts residence]. The District Attorney notes that the cause of death has not yet been made public. I’m not sure that’s accurate.

Police and prosecutors have not said officially how any of them died, though court records suggested they were strangled. – Denver Channel

Besides that, Chris Watts has suggested the same and that irrespective of who committed murder, it was murder by strangling. Possibly this isn’t accurate, but even if it isn’t, the defense attorneys will be in possession of the same facts. It may be that by going through the motions of putting forward this motion, the District Attorney wishes to be seen as being responsible and conservative, as opposed to purposefully and recklessly leaking sensitive documents.

Given the high profile nature of this case, it seems a stretch to imagine October will go by without even a redacted version at least being made public, as occurred in the Ramsey case which also had a sensitive autopsy-situation.

In the Ramsey case it took as long as seven months for portions of the autopsy to be made available, prior to any hearing. In that case there was an army of lawyers and a reluctant prosecutor’s office holding the tides at bay, and ultimately they succeeded – the case never went to criminal court.

An example of a redacted autopsy report [although minimally redacted] is the autopsy of Travis Alexander, the infamous murder victim of Jodi Arias.

Back to the Watts case: the District Attorney, through this motion, also appear to be concerned about autopsy results tainting witness testimonies and “impacting” potential jurors. By handing this over to the court, the prosecutor’s office effectively keeps their side of the story clean, and the onus for the release then lies on the partiality of the presiding Judge.

Fullscreen capture 20180919 003554Fullscreen capture 20180919 003611

48.  HLN’s Ashleigh Banfield interviews Richard Hodges, a former college roommate Chris Watts. This is going back more than 13 years – approximately 2003 – 2005. What was he like? “Straight as an arrow,” according to Hodges. It doesn’t seem like he intended this as a double entendre on the word straight.

Hodges describes Watts as very dedicated, and he does look the part of the dedicated husband – washing dishes, mowing the lawn, keeping fit etc. But Hodges goes further, describing Watts as a dude that didn’t go out partying when everyone else did. He was “very hard on himself” according to Hodges.

Banfield raises an interesting point when Hodges admits he was the closest to Watts out of their group of friends, and that even they weren’t really close. They weren’t Facebook pals either.

“Chris was quiet. He was pretty reserved. But not in like…what I would say a negative fashion….He was more of the kind of guy who you become friends with…out of like…happenstance. We were obviously friends because we were in classes together, and that’s how we ended up meeting. He very very rarely went out with us, so maybe that contributed to it…He wanted to get those good grades. He wanted to do well. So he would never do anything to jeopardize that like partying, or drinking…”

163. Just in from the Longmont Times-Call, a daily newspaper serving Northern Colorado, prosecutors are asking the court to order Watts to provide ink footprints [as opposed to fingerprints]. This is according to court documents filed on September 18th.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke wrote in the motion that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has “developed possible bare foot impressions” from “items of evidence.” The items of evidence are not described in the motion, but Rourke does say they were collected at the scene where police found the bodies of 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her children, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. – Longmont Times-Call

49. Ashleigh Banfield interviews a tech expert on the data her Apple series 3 watch may have stored [automatically uploaded to the cloud] in the last hours of her life. Apple watches automatically record movement and effort level. Both Shan’ann and Chris had these expensive Apple watches. Banfield raises a good point. The data rests in the cloud for 30 days, and that period has now passed since she died. Have prosecutors managed to extract the data in time?

50. In an order oddly dated two days from now, Judge Kopcow denies Chris Watts’ request to investigate leaks by the law enforcement.

Fullscreen capture 20180922 003621

166. Chris Watts has also refused to consent to DNA tests citing lack of probable cause.

Fullscreen capture 20180922 003537

51. Chris Watts case: Expert says ‘trace DNA’ could be found on daughters’ bodies – this turns out to be lousy clickbait, with a play on the word “could”. The article isn’t about stating that trace DNA was found as fact, but that it could [foreseeable] be found. The news cycle seems to be slowing down and drying up.

The only useful point in the above article notes that both sides are being very thorough because this is lining up to be a death penalty case.

52. In the same way that the Denver Channel appears to be using suggestive language to lure clickbait, the Daily Camera is at as well.

Their article on Chris Watts defense attorneys accusing the DA of “withholding evidence” is actually another version of the story that the DA don’t want to release the autopsy evidence to the public.

53. If his adultery [adulteries] played a significant role in why he committed murder [murders?], then Chris Watts must be aching to see his lover/lovers. But to do so could wreck his legal case if the “list” were made public. Something of a conundrum, right?

A judge has denied the request of an accused Colorado killer to keep the names of all his jail visitors under seal. – Daily Mail

54. The autopsy results must be submitted to court no later than today [under seal] – September 25th.

The prosecution meanwhile is already doing all it [can] to keep the autopsy reports under seal…

55. Meanwhile, on HLN:

The above discussion analyses the importance of bruise patterns on the children’s necks. In the Amanda Knox case, the bruises on Meredith Kercher’s neck were so clear, investigators were able to tell that they matched the size and shape of a woman’s fingers. But it’s no as conclusive as a fingerprint unless there’s DNA present as well.

Far more key, in terms of evidence, will be the autopsy results, particularly the food contents of the girls’ stomachs. It could turn on whether the birthday cake treats from Sunday were still in their digestive tracts or not when they were killed.

56. Many were expecting the arrival – if not the release – of the autopsy reports today. At noon the Denver Post confirmed that according to the prosecution, the autopsy reports were not available.

57. According to the Coloradoan the court has ordered WELD DA to release autopsy results to Chris Watts’ attorneys.

58. There appears to be unprecedented interest in gaining access to the autopsy results of the four victims. Not only have media made their intentions clear, but members of the public as well. Media is apparently calling the Weld County Coroner’s Office on a daily basis.

Fullscreen capture 20180925 221128

59. Shan’ann made a Facebook page for Bella when she was born. From the list of 38 friends on Bella’s page, some are family and several list themselves as “Brand Promoter at Le-Vel”. The page lists her favorite sports teams as the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her favorite music as Bruno Mars. Final activity on the page was on May 24th, 2014.

Fullscreen capture 20180926 155815

60.  Chris Watts isn’t supposed to have access to any media reports, but apparantly he’s aware of how “infamously famous” his case has become, including internationally.

Watts has said he feels the public doesn’t know the full story, the source says. “He feels like no one understands him, and nobody knows what happened,” says the source. “He thinks if they did understand, they’d realize that he’s not the monster everyone says he is.”People

My personal view is that he’s right that most people don’t understand who he really is, but I’m not sure that makes what he did any less monstrous.

61. Large moving truck arrives at Saratoga Drive. Shan’ann’s father Frank seen moving a bed-frame and mirror into it under police supervision. An unknown 30-year-old woman was with him.

62. More than ten days after posting my analysis on the access hatches on Shakedown, HLN has decided to cover it.

Some factoids that emerged from the interview with the petroleum engineering professor:

  1. CERVI 319 was producing about 200 barrels of oil per month.
  2. The expert believes liquids were shifted from one tank to another in order to gain access from the bottom, which he says requires not only a lot of technical knowledge but also requires a certain amount of time. He doesn’t specify how much time, but one can assume it would take weeks to fill the tank even a little, rather than days or hours.
  3. It would take three months to fill the tanks naturally.
  4. HLN notes what Shakedown indicated earlier, that the access hatches are too small to place an adult inside. Fullscreen capture 20180915 101246-001
  5. HLN believes they were also too small to fit the children’s bodies in.
  6. The professor suggests the clean-out manways [plural] at the bottom had to be opened to dump the bodies, a rigorous process involving the loosening and refastening of a large number of bolts.
  7. The time to unfasten and refasten the bolts [presumably for both manways]? The professor estimates an hour.
  8. That’s an eternity at a crime scene trying to get rid of three bodies with the sun coming up..

Fullscreen capture 20180928 025708

Fullscreen capture 20180928 030254Fullscreen capture 20180928 030347Fullscreen capture 20180928 030356

The only problem with this line of questioning is this, which is a screengrab taken from the video below, depicting a bird’s eye view of the setup similar to CERVI 319.  Fullscreen capture 20180916 104213

If that’s an access ladder it suggest there’s enough space not only for a child, but for an adult technician to descend into it. Here’s another diagram showing the internal ladder but not connected directly to any access hatch.

AST Ladder Illustration Side View

It’s difficult to make out on the HLN image; the angle doesn’t show a stairway leading to the top of the oil tanks, and clearly there was one. The reverse angle does show the staircase.

Fullscreen capture 20180928 030347copter-tuesday-am2-1052am-anadorko-oil-tanks_frame_511341copter-tuesday-am2-1052am-anadorko-oil-tanks_frame_48344 (1)

The below image is of a “floating roof” tank. Although that’s not the sort of tank design at CERVI 319, the design in the floating roof does allow for a hatch with a ladder through it.


Fullscreen capture 20180911 144446

63. Image of Deeter posted to Shan’ann’s Instagram.

Fullscreen capture 20180927 163805

64. HLN interviews Matt Francis, Shan’ann’s high school teacher. Francis describes “being very impressed with how she did Facebook Live…and how she’d become such an encourager”. He also describes Shan’ann as having come a long way. “You’d be amazed at how far she’s come. She’s a wonderful, beautiful human being…she was a very insecure young lady who didn’t have a lot of friends when I met her at 14-years-old.” She was also teased a lot – humiliated – while in high school.

Francis pronounces Shan’ann’s name as Shanna ‘ann, and says she didn’t correct his mispronunciation of her name in three years.

Francis also describes Shan’ann as “thriving” while under her tutelage. Methinks he’s just another dude that’s drunk a little too much of the MLM Kool-Aid.

Fullscreen capture 20180928 214702

65. Chris Watts is inmate #360519 in a Greeley Colorado jail cell.

66. HLN noted in late September that Chris Watts made numerous complaints to the Judge about press leaks. He referred specifically to many complaints but apparently had no comment about People magazine articles discussing his affairs, including with another man.

67: “Listen, everything about this case is over the top. And I think it’s because nothing about this case makes sense. You don’t typically have an accused family annihilator with a background like Chris Watts, with a wife like Chris Watts, with children like Chris Watts. With Facebook pages like Chris Watts. A guy like this who everbody, I mean literally everyone who we contacted, has said, ‘This is not…the guy.”Ashley Banfield, September 29th, 2018

There’s as good a description as you’ll find for a man with two faces.


1. TWO FACE BENEATH THE OIL is published on October 1st, 2018, exactly 3 weeks after the first book in the K9 series. The second book digs far deeper into issues of identity, backstory and the motives for the murders.

The second book also presents a possible scenario for the murder of Shan’ann Watts, including where in the house it may have taken place, and how it was executed.

2. It appears CERVI 319 is situated on the Guttersen Ranch, a 35,000 acre-ranch 10 miles sutheast of Kersey, which holds Guttersen’s family homestead, barns.,outbuildings and horses. The ranch also is a working cattle ranch with about 3,000 head of cattle that run between Guttersen’s and an adjoining ranch to the east.

Watts bodies found at oil site

3. The autopsy reports of Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste were released today [October 2nd] by the Weld County District Court in Greeley, Colorado. However, as per Judge’s order, the autopsy results remain under seal because of potential “substantial injury to the public interest.”

4. Motion for an emergency hearing. This appears to be about time-sensitive inheritance law. Shan’ann died intestate [without leaving a will], and so, under normal circumstances the surviving spouse would inherit. Life insurance policies of Bella and Celeste will probably be disputed.



[Fact Counter #185]

Fullscreen capture 20180830 110408Fullscreen capture 20180830 192916

TWO FACE is available now at this link.

Two Face Chris Watts Updated

TWO FACE II is available now on

Fullscreen capture 20180921 224552

TWO FACE III is available on Amazon now at this link.

Two Pollyannas