Audio version available: https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/196441871758442/?vh=e&d=n
Let’s pick up where we left off! To see part 1 click here:
The next story I wanted to discuss is that of a currently missing eleven year old boy named Gannon Stauch. This story is unfolding in Colorado just like the Watts case, but that’s not all they have in common. There was also an interview by Gannon’s stepmom, the last person to see him alive, and no surprise she was coined the female version of Chris Watts. Seems the new thing to do is automatically compare &/or liken every television interview to Chris. Chris is not the first, or the last to give a television interview, not really understanding why everyone tries to compare every interview to only Chris’s now. The step mom’s interview was nothing like Chris’s, and anyone who has followed the case should immediately be able to see that. Her interview had its own unique awkwardness that left many with the mindset that she’s a cold blooded child killer.
Here we go again, with the public making automatic assumptions about a parent connected to a missing child. We recently discussed how in the Broussard case, Shane Carey the father of Margo and fiancé of Heidi, was deemed guilty by much of the public based off his interviews too. There’s also the Harley Dilly case. The public was ready to hold a hanging of his entire family in the town square and still are, despite his death being ruled an accident after being found in a chimney. There was another case before Christmas that didn’t end in tragedy, but a miracle. Two young siblings ran off during a barbecue at their home when their dad ran inside for some food. The public instantly called out the parents because they felt the story didn’t add up. They wondered how did two children suddenly vanish with no trace. A few days went by and the children were found alive! They were in a pump house in the woods for days and only found during a search of the area. They were checked out by the local hospital and deemed totally fine. It was a true Christmas miracle and the public was left feeling so relived they started to apologize all over public posts for thinking the parents were involved. Here’s the Christmas miracle story: https://www.news4jax.com/news/2019/12/17/search-for-missing-children-nears-critical-48-hour-mark/
Back to the Gannon story for a moment. The step mom gave an interview as I said, and his biological parents both spoke at a press conference. It’s rather fascinating how people can all watch the same thing but come to different conclusions. This shows very little can be known from these public outreach type of interviews. I felt Gannon’s mom was putting on a bit of a Broadway production trying to come across as a passionate loving mother. For many, the press conference of the father seemed fake as he seemed to try to wipe invisible tears, until the end when genuine upset can be seen. I never did see a single tear from Gannon’s mother but again, very little can be told by that alone. The stepmother’s interview sounded very selfish and came across dubious, especially considering she didn’t show her face as she had her back to the camera. That can be perceived as trying to hide her body language, but she could have just been trying to protect her identity. The only takeaway from all three parents speaking publicly is that there is a lot of family drama. Nothing like your kid missing for all your dirty laundry to be aired for the public to see. Yikes! Family drama doesn’t mean any of them became a killer. At minimum, it definitely appears this solemn time could cause another divorce in the future between Gannon’s stepmom and father.
There are several reasons I am bringing up Gannon.
1) To help raise awareness that he is missing at the time this post was written.
2) To discuss their media interviews as I just did.
3) I am about to disclose.
We should be rationally minded and keep our emotions in check when following cases of missing children. I know this can be hard, especially if you are a parent. The goal while a child is missing should always be on how to help, where to help, spreading the word etc., the more time that passes focused on the wrong thing can put risk to the child. Every investigation being handled by any law enforcement will have the facts held close to their vest as to not jeopardize the investigation. Presuming or deeming someone guilty can very much damage a person in many ways. Depending on the insinuations or accusations made, could be forms of defamation or even slanderous. Try giving these parents the benefit of the doubt at first. Doing such does not mean you are defending, or sticking up for anyone. It’s simply hoping for the best outcome but preparing for the worst. This week I was accused of being the step mom’s friend or family. I was told I am sticking up for a child killer, and more. All of this simply because I pointed out that everyone could be way off base by the history of public opinion in other cases.
It is not a discussion if you shut down someone who views it a tad different than the majority. The step mom may very well be involved in his disappearance, but she also may be entirely innocent. Innocent until proven guilty is a lost notion these days in the age of social media. I will publicly declare in this post if anything was to ever happen (knocking on wood) I will not agree to a polygraph, I will demand a lawyer as it is my right, I will cooperate to a degree, and I will not give a television interview. None of this means I am guilty. I hope my family and friends reading take note of that! Law enforcement sets their eyes on a person of interest, and sometimes lose focus, which could result in the wrong people being arrested, charged, false confessions, or conviction. Exercise your rights and protect yourself. I have often wondered how differently the Watts case would have gone had Chris not cooperated, not given his interview, and lawyered up right away. For more information about Gannon Stauch see here: https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/search-underway-for-11-year-old-boy-missing-since-monday
Press conference I mentioned can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/KOAA/videos/157147839039306/
Stepmoms’ media interview is here: https://www.facebook.com/TrueCrimeJunkiesTCJ/videos/131791437989520/?vh=e&d=n
There are many groups already formed all over Facebook you can easily find too.
Since I began writing this post a development unfolded in the search for Gannon. A neighbors video surveillance footage caught the last image of Gannon alive the Monday morning he vanished. The video goes against the original story told by the stepmother. Here’s the problem though, the footage isn’t of good quality. It appears to many it’s the stepmom helping Gannon into his father’s truck. The truck leaves, returns four hours later, and at first glance it appears Gannon does not get out. Unfortunately, the video is worthless for law enforcement as it can simply be said he got out of the other side of the truck. You also cannot tell for sure if it’s Gannon. You can’t tell if it’s the step mom, or a male helping him in, if it is him. There are several who think the footage shows a clear as day tall man with a duffel bag over one shoulder. The video is now being highly overanalyzed all over social media groups. Since the video can easily be explained away it really is worthless, especially in a trial. A fair jury would say there’s no way to know who it is for sure, and since it’s from one angle there’s no definitive way to know if he got out. It certainly doesn’t look good since it doesn’t match the original story that his step mom gave of the last sighting, which was that he left for a friend’s home on foot on Monday. It remains to be determined if the stepmom is involved, and it is quite possible she is. That wasn’t my point, my point was to not jump to conclusions based off of emotions until more information is disclosed, and analyzed.
I recently received my first jury summons, and unfortunately could not participate, so was excused. I was disappointed because I have always hoped for that opportunity. I feel I would be a fair juror and worried that whoever took my place would not be. When I am in social media groups and people are so quick to convict someone in their minds, I always think please do not let any of these people serve on a jury. It is actually scary!
I think there are certain stories where assuming the worst, or considering the parent is involved would be a fair assumption. Let me give an example of one of those stories. Have you all heard about the two missing Idaho children? I’ll link you the story, because wow is it intense. Once you read the story I think you will see why in this particular story, presuming the mother is involved is a fair assessment. There’s more than just body language, and a strange interview to come to that conclusion.
The next story I want to discuss is another that reminded me of the Watts case, but for only one reason. That’s the story of Rachel Henry who allegedly killed her three small children. Noticed I wrote allegedly. Well, Henry did confess to killing her children and the evidence is pointing in that direction. Going off what we’ve discussed about false confessions though just recently, I will deem her innocent until proven guilty. Henry gave a very detailed account about killing her children, one by one, in their home. Which by the way, Henry said her son who was just three years old attempted to save his one year old sister instinctively. That should give pause for people to think of Watts’ second confession about a meek Bella, almost five years old, sitting quietly with no mention of any attempt of her trying to help her baby sister. Anyway, one article had quotes made by the children’s great aunt, one quote said “I thought maybe she had overdosed the babies. She was always giving them medicine, even if they weren’t sick.” Sound familiar to everyone? It should, it has been discussed many times throughout the Watts case about Bella & Celeste Watts receiving unnecessary medications, even a medication to help them sleep possibly too. Here’s the article: https://www.azfamily.com/news/great-aunt-of-the-kids-killed-by-their-mom-at/article_5c1a468a-3d99-11ea-8781-732ada4a5cc2.html
Not sure how her case will unfold, however I highly suspect mental illness was at play. It is also a possibility that she suffered from postpartum considering she had three babies in three years. To learn more about that case read here: https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/phoenix-police-mother-arrested-after-admitting-to-killing-3-children-at-home
If the case does indeed factually involve mental illness, postpartum or both, or even more, it’s a case we want to spread awareness about, and the signs of, to others who may be suffering.
Next on roster is a story out of Michigan about Ryan & Rachel Hamm. I watched this story on A Netflix docu-series a few nights ago. It was intriguing enough to give it some attention, and you will see why.
Rachel & Ryan married in 2007. Ryan had been married prior, but the marriage only lasted about six years, and he had no children. There’s no real explanation as to why his first marriage ended, but what little has been discussed sounds like something shady may have been going on with Ryan at a job he worked at during that time. He had gotten himself mixed up with the wrong people & things, also around the same time he came down with Crohn’s disease, and some say IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) too. Anyway, in the midst of mysterious business dealings and being sick he met Rachel who would later would become his wife.
Their marriage started off with everything on the surface appearing to be fine and normal. Rachel’s family was not very fond of her new love interest because some of the interactions they’d witnessed between the couple. They loved Rachel so tried their best to be happy for her. Not long after they met they became engaged, and from that point the family turmoil started to grow. There were a series of events involving Ryan’s outrage and inappropriate behavior at family parties and get togethers that had transpired. Those incidents damaged any form of deep relationships from forming and even created an awkward tension within the extended families every time an event was planned. From family and friends accounts it appeared that Ryan was mendacious, also very controlling and demeaning of Rachel, their overall observations were that he was abusive in every way except physically. Unfortunately, Rachel did not see it, as most on the receiving end of an abusive relationship do not.
The more controlling Ryan became as they ventured into married life, the more Rachel lost. They moved many hours and towns away from friends, family, jobs, and basically started a brand new life. Once they moved Rachel got herself a job as Cook at a local restaurant, called Larry’s Sports Grille. She had trained and aspired to be a professional chef in a fancy restaurant one day, however that never came to pass as their family grew to include the birth of their first child, an adorable little boy named William. With William came more control she relinquished to Ryan. Ryan got a job at a local newspaper company, called The Atlantic Community. He was making a decent livable salary but, between the two of them a respectable wage was coming into the family home, definitely enough for them to afford a good comfortable way of living. This all sounds familiar doesn’t it? I know that’s why I wanted to share it. Let me continue! It gets even more interesting. Ryan wanted more though, he never felt satisfied. He wanted a boat, snowmobile, motorcycle, and he had dreams of a much bigger home right on a lake. The problem was, his actions were counterproductive to the vision that he held. Ryan got heavy into gambling, which was a local interest for many. He quickly got involved with the gambling scene in their area, and he made a ton of new friends. The life his gambling friends seemed to lead gave Ryan the illusion that he could live like them too. Giving up his steady good income job at the The Atlantic Community he became a full time gambler. Rachel was not exactly thrilled with this decision, but wanted to be a supportive wife, and stood by her husband’s side.
While Ryan was chasing down a lifestyle that didn’t really exist, Rachel started to lose even more of what was important to her. She had already given up her family, friends, old hometown, her old job where eventually she would’ve had the opportunity to be a chef apprentice. That was only the beginning, she went on to give up even being a cook and switched jobs when William was barely a toddler. Ryan had urged her to change jobs and even sought out potential leads for her. One panned out through his gambling crew of friends and Rachel landed a job. This job was working at a coffee warehouse called Cool beans, it was less money, but had a better schedule so she was able to be home more for their son, William. Rachel had agreed thinking a smaller income would not be detrimental, not realizing the extensive debt they were already in, because Ryan controlled the finances. I mean her husband urged her to switch jobs, she assumed it was because he knew they could afford to make that decision.
Their second child was born 14 months after their son, this time it was a girl named Arianna. Over the next couple years Ryan’s gambling increased. One summer he told Rachel they were making enough for the kids to go to summer camp. The children had gone and were out of the house much of the summer, despite Ryan being home all day and not really needing to send them off. Ryan worked in the evenings, so the children could have been home. Rachel started to wonder, but trusted her husband, besides even remotely questioning him would start an argument Rachel didn’t want to endure. Guys, I am not kidding! Isn’t this all so familiar?!
During all this, Ryan invested in a brand new car for himself. Around the same time, Rachel gave up her car because her job had a perk that after a 18 months with the coffee company you were able to use a company car for to & from work. Ryan became increasingly demeaning as time passed. He was often putting Rachel down, talking about her weight, never giving her credit for anything she did, constantly trying to make her look stupid in front of friends, and she started to lose basically everything that involved their children or life. Even Ryan’s family and friends noticed how Ryan treated her, but no one would say anything or dare get involved.
Rachel started to grow increasingly lonely, feeling she lost control over any part of her life. She would look in the mirror and not even recognize herself anymore. She had no real friends to turn to, and the ones she did have, she didn’t think would remotely understand. One day, at that very job her husband had helped her get, a man a few years younger asked her out on a date. She immediately thought there’s just no way, and declined! The more shifts this new coworker Michael had with her, the more Rachel started to feel a little like herself again. She couldn’t understand how she was able to even entertain the thought of accepting the invite, but Rachel finally agreed. They went on a few dates, secretly of course. Ryan picked up on the difference in his wife’s demeanor. He started to question, hound, attack, and demand why she was so different. Rachel being confused about all that was happening dismissed any claims of her being different. The more she did though, the more Ryan grew distressed, trying frantically to regain control over his wife. Ryan knew in order to maintain the life he was striving for and keeping all his secrets in the dark, especially everything he kept from the people he loved, he needed to make sure Rachel didn’t leave him. Rachel made it very clear that her main concern was not wanting to miss their beautiful children lives, even though their relationship had hit a low point. Ryan couldn’t regain control, he couldn’t punish her financially, he had no leg to stand on to take their children from her, his desperation grew even more. Much like the desperation that grew within Magen from the Broussard case. He was spinning out of control, and at a rapid rate. Every red flag was there that this marriage was in one way or another not going to end amicably. One of the last things Ryan asked his wife was “Rachel if we didn’t have the kids, would you stay with me?” Three days after that question, Ryan threatened her that she would lose their two children in court, and he had plans to move them out of state, after she had confessed she wanted a divorce. In the same week, just four days after telling her his plans to take their children, their son William, daughter Arianna, and Rachel were dead.
The last thing I want to discuss, because it matters in regard to True Crime discussion, is the Super Bowl. This series seems to be a mixture of current affairs and true crime, a little change never hurt anyone. Wow, views of the halftime show were split right down the middle. I hadn’t seen the show yet when my friends statuses started to roll in. I was laughing at my diverse friends list of people who had good and bad things to say. I told them I would watch, and give my analysis to them after I made a post about the huge split I was seeing. I am NOT about to break down my halftime show analysis to you, so don’t worry. I only shared that with my friends on Facebook, and this isn’t the platform for that. That being said here’s why I even brought it up.
I read all my friends opinions and views before watching myself. I watched with the intent to not only dissect it, but to try to see it from all my friends point of views. When I finished watching I was able to see why some were very upset and why others absolutely loved it. I sat in my thoughts as I drove my kids to school and took into consideration the concerns about the show. Those concerns varied from trafficking, illuminate, demonic influences, raunchy, not family friendly, etc.
You know whose opinions I took into consideration the most? The ones who presented their argument in a respectful manner that weren’t dismissive with their words to those who didn’t view it the same way. The ones who presented their argument in a thought out well written way. Not only presented it kindly, but had “evidence” to back it up. With all these thoughts in my mind, I ended up having an opinion that was different than rest. I wasn’t for the show, and I wasn’t against it either. I was able to see the good things, and the bad things. I was able to see each of my friends viewpoints, and on my analysis post I was able to even defend their views even if I didn’t totally agree with them. But, something even more amazing happened on my post! Adults had an open discussion that was very respectful and everyone was able to express themselves without attacks. Those who didn’t see it the way others did attempted to try to! This is how I feel about the Watts case specifically, and honestly, even some other cases. I am able to see both sides of the Watts case even if I don’t fully agree with one specific side. I can see why one side feels as they do and if they present it in a detailed manner, it gives me an opportunity to reconsider certain aspects. Taking the time to listen, or read, what someone has to say allows us an opportunity to open our minds. I am grateful for that post, because maybe people will start to listen or read with the intent to understand, instead of instantly reacting.
Here is the kicker! My post went phenomenal, so civil and even a few laughs. Then I scrolled my feed, and saw that other friends had written their own analysis. Theirs though either went one way or another, not middle of the road like my post was because, I had looked at both sides. In their comment sections there were much different responses. People were arguing, attacking, dismissing, laughing at others opinions, and even blocking their friends over those different opinions. Do I react to things I see or hear? Absolutely, we all do! I want to grow as person and I strive for that daily. Writing this blog has really opened me up to be able to process information, try to understand others viewpoints, and ultimately be able & open to see why people feel the way they do! What an opportunity it has been for me, I hope to continue to grow as this blog continues. I told one friend, “I can see it both ways” and her reply was, “You are better than me, because I only see it from my viewpoint”. We had a laugh, but I am not better. I am simply learning that not only one opinion, viewpoint, or speculation is all that matters, they all matter. I have learned to look at everything as a whole, and in context to open my mind to a new way of thinking.
Almost forgot to give you a link to the Ryan & Rachel Hamm story. You can see that here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.insider.com/chris-watts-murder-timeline-2018-12%3famp
Did I get you, or did you figure it out right away? I was indeed kidding, the entire story is made up. I wanted to see, and hear from you, what your thoughts were while you read the story, if you took any mental notes that the story sounded familiar but the roles were reversed, from a different gender standpoint. I am also curious if people read this story/case and their minds came to a different conclusion. The gender bias in the Watts case has always blown my mind, even little details like some of the things Shanann would say publicly about Chris. If some of those comments were Chris saying it about Shanann, so many people would be outraged. I sense a gender bias blog post in the future needing to be done.
Until next time…