Public Opinion

Audio version now available here: https://fbwat.ch/1sBfTPWCCrJJzmPH

This was suppose to be the ending to, “Letters from True Crime Case Analysis Part 16” seen here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/15/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-16/

It turned out to be much longer than I had expected to be so, I’ve made it its own post instead. Two days ago, I received a comment on the blog’s page from someone who has clearly never read any of my other blog posts. This commenter made a false accusatory comment about the motive behind that post containing questions. All of my posts have questions! Here is what the comment said, “When an author asks the reader a bunch of questions, that is called insinuation and I really dislike an author making insinuations. That is a cowardly way of to both make a point and not have to deal with the fall out.” My quick reply was, “I really dislike when someone makes an accusation that is false. This blog isn’t for you it sounds like. Questions are asked many times throughout every single post, it is done to spark critical thinking, for people to consider different possibilities, and is part of discussing true crime where the truth is unknown. And, of course to open minds which is needed for human growth.”

We should always ask questions, and want to be asked questions too, it challenges us to think. We can not learn, or grow as humans if we are not posed questions. On social media, we ask questions in groups, don’t we? Yes, we do, and the blog is no different. I explained the blogs real motives, and also the intent in this part one of a series I published a few months back: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/06/22/vast-reasonable-doubt-part-one/

I think it is rather amusing the reader happened to call me a coward, and right as I was uploading pictures that bother a lot of people. I clearly am not a coward, for many reasons, one being I have the guts to discuss things that many people want us to turn a blind eye at. Overall her comment was entirely false, but it is okay if a reader is not a fit for my approach or writing style. When you open yourself up to the public you will get public responses. Normally I would consider this private however, you will see why I even shared that information with you as we continue through this post. Let’s discuss the fascinating thing called, public opinion.

Harley Dilly, a teenage boy out of Port Clinton, Ohio, was found deceased less then a week ago in an unoccupied home in his neighborhood. Not only his neighborhood, but just right across the street from his home where he had not been seen for weeks. Harley was located, and recovered from inside a chimney, his death has been ruled an accident. Several days later, the autopsy results were released, and manner of death was compressive asphyxia. It’s a very tragic & unfortunate turn of events. It’s actually more common for something like this to happen than one would think. Harley’s mom said he didn’t want to go to school that day, and it seems he decided to skip, so needed a place to hide out. He likely knew the home was unoccupied and set his sights on getting inside somehow. This decision cost him his life. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be his parent, and finding out your son was feet away from his home, trapped, and needed help.

Having said that, for weeks Harley’s parents, more specifically his mother, have endured intense public scrutiny. The majority of social media groups had convicted them in their minds, many seemed to just be waiting, even anticipating, for word they had been arrested. Even a decision to go out to dinner when their son was missing was highly attacked. As if humans, can’t eat, drink, go to the bathroom, or pick their noses when one of their loved ones were missing. No one stopped to say, maybe they were hungry and simply didn’t have the mindset to cook dinner. No, this meant they must have killed him. Except, they didn’t kill their son.

Their son made a very poor judgment call, and it was his actions alone for why he is no longer here, as sad and heartbreaking as that is. Despite that, the groups still aren’t satisfied and are questioning every little detail of how he could have climbed into that empty home. It’s almost as if they want it to be a crime, but the reality is that not everything is a crime, sometimes it’s just an accident. Others are wanting the parents held responsible for Harley attempting to get in this home, and some are condemning the police department, calling for the firing of the police chief for not checking inside the home sooner; (the first check they did not go inside as there were no signs of entry). Why? They want someone to pay for what happened to Harley. The facts don’t seem to matter. As to exactly who some of these people want to pay? Just someone, anyone living will do. Someone did pay for Harley’s death and that person was Harley, he paid with his life. It’s hard for the pubic to admit that all their speculations were wrong, so they are challenging the ruling.

This is not the only recent story that the publics opinions, and their speculations were off base. You might remember me discussing the recent story of Heidi Broussard, and her infant daughter Margo. I spoke about this story at the end of Part 15 in this book series. You can find that post here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/22/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-15/

I said I would do a blog post about the Broussard case, and that will likely be the next post, after this one. Anyway, Heidi went missing with her newborn two week old daughter in middle of December 2019. A week later, Heidi was found deceased inside a duffel bag in the trunk of a car at her “best friend” Magen’s place of residence. Little baby Margo was found alive in the care of Heidi’s “best friend” inside the home. In a twist that most didn’t see coming, Magen had an elaborate lie going on for a long time that she was due with a baby too, and even had the same due date as Heidi. When Heidi went into labor, there was her “best friend” right in the delivery room with her to welcome baby Margo. Just two weeks later, Magen took that mother and daughter to fulfill a lie she had started. A lie that wasn’t stopped, spun out of control and quickly turned into desperation, and that desperation was so intense it didn’t matter whose baby she had, any would do. Magen is being held in her local county jail awaiting a hearing scheduled in February. As of now, she has yet to be charged with the actual murder of Heidi Broussard, but murder charges should soon follow. Prior to them finding Heidi and Margo at Magen’s residence, Heidi’s finance Shane Carey gave several interviews to the media. These interviews sparked public interest, and everyone was screaming that Shane was the new Chris Watts. The majority of social media groups had already convicted him in their minds. Except, Shane is innocent and had nothing to do with their disappearance, or Heidi’s murder. The groups on social media do not seem to care, and have continued the discussions that maybe he was in on it. When absolutely nothing points to Shane having any involvement.

Two months after the Watts family murders occurred, a young girl was kidnapped from her home after an intruder shot and killed her parents. Jayme Closs is her name, and after 88 days of being held captivate by her parents killer, Jayme was able to escape and found someone to help her. Prior to her escape, during those 88 days, social media groups were wild with all sorts of speculations. Some thought it was actually Jayme who killed her parents, and she was hiding out. Others thought Jayme must have been killed after being kidnapped, and her body left elsewhere. There were even many who believed Jayme helped to plot, and execute a plan to murder her family. Well, as it turns out Jayme was a victim and found alive, after an arduous escape . She was held in her captors cabin for those 88 days, after witnessing the brutal murders of her own parents. Even after she escaped, and her captor confessed, there were still many who believed her to be involved. They figured the investigation would eventually show her involvement, but the evidence didn’t show that.

That’s three widely known stories in only 18 months where public opinions, and speculations were inaccurate. Even when it is proven their opinions are false, the public refuses to accept the facts. Death is hard to accept. Harley Dilly’s parents, at this point, have been completely cleared as their son’s autopsy reflects it was a tragic accident. Shane Carey, as of now is innocent, and the evidence does not show he was involved in any way. Jayme Closs’s captor was sent to prison, and she is attempting to try to regain her life. They are all trying to regain their lives, each a life that will never be ‘normal’ again.

All three stories, with facts and evidence, at least for now have cleared individuals who were wrongly accused by the public. The rash emotional reactions to a story of loss including children has triggered denial of the facts. I could probably do an entire blog post on stories where someone was falsely accused during an investigative period, maybe I will.

What’s my point? There is public opinion, and then there is a jury who are presented the facts. Doesn’t really matter what the public believes, it all boils down to the jury, when and if it goes to trial to decide if someone is guilty or not guilty. Even then, jurors have a history of being wrong too sometimes. Thorough examination of the evidence, and it analyzed to the fullest is key.

How many other stories has public opinion been wrong about? Actually proven wrong with facts, evidence, and/or rulings, not just confessions? I am going to guess plenty. What if the majority of public opinion is wrong about the Watts’ case too? In the Watts and Dilly cases, there was a heavy presence of the people involved on social media platforms. This gave the public a deeper look into the dynamics of those people, their behaviors, and personalities. It can still be misleading to go off of what is presented. As we can see in the Dilly case, the public, despite analyzing Harley’s YouTube videos ended up wrong about what ultimately happened. The Watts case at first glance on the surface, the content we were able to view seemed innocent, and normal. A closer look at the words, actions, behaviors, and posts of Shanann Watts alarmed many across social media in many countries around the world.

In part 16 of the book series we have been working through we had discussed body language briefly. I shared a quote seen here:



When the news broke about the Watts case there was one particular photo that sparked the public to be outraged, shocked, and disturbed over. That photo was included in many news articles, blogs, YouTube videos, and Facebook groups. It garnered almost 800 comments on the original photo, it was shared 1754 times, and who knows how many comments on those, plus there have likely been screenshots taken and shared all over as well. If you guessed the photo that I am speaking of is the creepy three foot doll, sprawled out with its face covered and the feet sticking out, atop the Watts’ loveseat just days before the murder, you are correct! I usually avoid all discussions about this photo, because it seems to trigger a debate that ends in knock down drag out cyber fights. To present my overall point however, I have to discuss it. I am prepared that discussing it may bring a negative response however, it is a part of the story.

This will be a controversial post from this point forward. If you have never read any of the many blogposts I’ve written prior to this one and jump to attack me in a comment on my official Facebook page based off of this one post, I will delete the comment. In order to fully understand the words below will take needing to know what I usually write about, the intent I have in writing, and the reasons I write. If you’ve been reading all along you will understand, and I appreciate that you take the time to read what I have to say.

You can read the, “Letters from Christopher” book series here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/12/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-1/

Here is a new series we began last week: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/07/never-say-never-part-1/

This link will give you all other past posts: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/29/all-in-one-place/

I want to share some screenshots of just a few comments that had been left under that creepy doll photo. They’re located on Shanann’s profile, and were made within the first few days of the case.

You can see the rest of the hundreds of comments if you would like here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155616213426935&set=a.10150584531431935&type=3

As exhibited in the gallery, the photo appalled, disturbed, and left many people totally creeped out. These comments are on a photo of a doll under a twister mat. Did you see what I wrote? A DOLL. The public screamed about how it was a sign of premeditation, a warning sign, a red flag, sick, and twisted. Some commenters were clamoring about it being proof of what had happened, before even knowing what had happened, that Shanann and the girls were deceased. What the public did not know however, was that just two days prior Shanann had taken this photo of another doll with no head, shown below, and posted it on her Facebook page. This photo though was set to private, the other as we know was set to public.

Riddle me this; if a picture of a doll resembling a deceased child covered up in a morgue caused such intense outrage, why is it that when pictures of actual children are seen in the same and similar positions it’s somehow defended, justified in an odd kind of reasoning, or even blown off as no big deal? Bella & Celeste Watts slept in a very similar way, with pillows and blankets, and it is highly documented all over Shanann’s profile, as you will soon see below. Blankets and pillows are not the only items over their mouths, faces or even their entire heads that had been photographed by their mother before being posted to social media. It shows a pattern of behavior, of not only the children, but more so the one behind the lens who allowed it, and even approved of it in an enthusiastic way in her Facebook posts. It is usually instinctual and common sense at a minimum for most people, that when you see a baby or child covered in a manner that impedes their ability to breath, to remove the item/s rather than to capture that moment in a photo to share on social media.

Shanann researched, and implemented a sleeping method called ‘Babywise’. That method is highly discouraged and advised against by the American Association of Pediatrics, doctors, and other organizations. It is widely known that babies and young children should not be sleeping with linens or stuffed animals that are large and/or fluffy, or multiple items at one time that can easily get tangled and cover their mouths, noses or heads impeding their breathing ability. Hospitals typically warn parents about this very thing when they give an overall lesson on the do’s & don’ts soon after birth. Pediatricians give the same speech at the first visit, and also reminders at follow up visits. There are printed pamphlets about it and even posters on the walls in various places new parents frequent when taking their baby’s for health care needs. These warnings are the norm all over the world, not exclusive to one area. There is endless educational material all over the internet about the dangers, and some horror stories about of tragedy about what can, and does, happen when babies are left with items that are inappropriate in their cribs when sleeping. Not only is it common sense to know this and not allow it to happen by taking precautions, it is literally plastered and warned about in writing and verbally, at nearly every turn for new mothers. If Shanann researched how to train her children to sleep on a schedule, why did she ignore the ‘HOW’s’ on safe sleeping for babies? Safety is just as important, if not more so, then how much sleep one is able to get, and certainly more important than a photo opportunity. Again, I ask why is the majority not up in arms over the way she provided their sleeping arrangements? Why is there such quick defending of the person taking the photo rather than defending the children who are helpless and do not know how they were sleeping dangerously? Why are so many ‘okay’ with this? Let’s take a look at all the items that covered those beautiful girls’ faces during their much too short time here on earth. This will include their noses, mouths, entire heads entangled &/or even their necks; and children that young are not able to wrap an item around their neck that way it is done in the photos. For those who follow the blog you may recognize some of these pictures from previous blogposts.

Click first pic to open album, and press arrow on right.

Miscellaneous strange posts in relation to strangling, choking, smothering, suffocation:

Bella doing the same to a baby doll, but no alarming caption from Shanann.

On the infamous creepy doll photo Shanann’s caption read, “I don’t know what to think about this…” and in the comments she said, “At least they covered the body together. At least we know they have each other’s back.” Her caption implies she was creeped out by the girls covering their doll in that manner, and her comment shows her mind automatically went to death because she called it a body. Why? Does no one find it bizarre that she made these comments about a doll fully aware of how she allowed her daughters to sleep? I find it extremely bizarre, and many others do as well. The children, and Shanann, were dead just four days later. Coincidences exist, but not everything can be chalked up to that.

If you are one of the people who were outraged over the creepy doll photos, do these photos of children covered the way they are bother you too after seeing them? If you view these photos as innocent, are you able to at least see why it makes others feel uneasy? Would it bother you if you left your child in the care of someone else and came home to see them covered like that? If they do not bother you at all, does that change when you take into context that Shanann claimed the children had asthma? Both girls had asthma, and Celeste had EoE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) which is an inflammatory disease so, both girls had difficulty breathing. The child with two breathing conditions is in the majority of the photos I presented, Celeste. Shanann accused her mother in law of trying to intentionally kill her own granddaughter with nuts, but Shanann allowed her asthmatic daughters’ to sleep with blankets over their heads, even when they were sick. That’s quite hypocritical no matter how many people want to spin it. Shanann was also heavily into essential oils, and many oils can be problematic for those with any type of breathing difficulties, especially children. I personally love essential oils, and my whole family uses them. I have nothing against oils as long as they are being used in a safe manner. They should be limited and researched when it involves small children with breathing conditions. Here is a link to using essential oils safely with children: https://www.usingeossafely.com/essential-oils-and-children/

Read caption.

Here are some comments from the public about the children sleeping similar to the doll picture:

Before we continue, here are a few links about America’s safety guidelines for sleep, which are very much the same in other countries too, and one about the sleep training method she used called, Babywise:

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Announces-New-Safe-Sleep-Recommendations-to-Protect-Against-SIDS.aspx
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/safesleep/index.html

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-some-parents-dont-follow-the-safe-sleep-recommendations-for-babies-201509288362

https://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/08/15/SafeSleep081516

https://www.aappublications.org/content/14/4/21?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep12yr.html?WT.ac=ctg

I only included the safety guidelines for America since that is where Shanann lived during her life, and where many of my readers are from. I am aware that other countries have safety recommendations which may differ slightly, and I encourage you to look those up. Please share the links I provided if applicable to where you reside to spread awareness. One of the links I’ve provided speaks of how many parents do not follow the recommendations. Not following them does not mean that it makes it okay, just because others do what Shanann did and tragedy has not struck does not mean it won’t. The more someone does something risky the greater the chances become of the odds turning against them. It also means many parents are ignoring the research and results that was thoroughly conducted to give us guidelines and measures that will keep our children safe. Better safe than sorry, and we do not have to learn the hard way. We all follow car seat safety guidelines or I least hope so, right? It would be reckless to put our helpless children in a car sitting on a seat, because it is more cozy. That is choosing comfort over safety, and our jobs as parents is to keep our children safe.

These guidelines discuss that at the age of one year old a child may be given a small child sized pillow and a small child sized blanket. It does not condone multiple thick heavy large blankets, adult sized pillows, or multiples of any of these items at once, and certainly not covering your child’s entire head. Celeste appears in many of the pictures above to be about one year of age however, the date on the posts prove otherwise. Bella is very young in many of the pictures, and definitely during infancy (first year) where a lot of what we are seeing is considered unsafe. For example, consider the picture of Celeste in her crib with a monitor next to her head. At a quick glance, many do not see what is wrong with the picture. That’s an electric device that can short circuit or overheat at anytime sparking a fire. The cord is also in the crib, and within Celeste’s reach. We all know how babies grab with their tiny hands and move their arms around, it is a natural reflex and one of their first. She was three months old at the time, it’s an age when babies learn to reach for objects, making that cord a strangulation hazard. Two safety concerns with just that monitor alone in the crib. Celeste was swaddled, but that does not mean she could not wiggle out of it. Being swaddled does not matter, especially when Shanann has a picture of her, seen here at only 3 weeks old that she had wiggled out of her swaddle.

Shanann commented on picture that she had wiggled out of her purple swaddle. Celeste was three weeks old in this picture.

Another observation, many of these pictures are seen with large blankets over their heads that are right next to the crib bars. If those children moved enough to get the blanket from their bodies to their heads, then they certainly were able to get the blanket caught on or looped in-between the bar before pulling it up to wrap the blanket around their heads.

Bella & Celeste miraculously escaped accidental suffocation or a smothering death prior to August 13th, 2018. Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bags, hands, and any other type of item placed just so in front of their face that causes them depletion of oxygen could have easily caused smothering. There was only one person in that home that showed a pattern of repeatedly taking photographs of the children in dangerous and compromising positions that could have resulted in a much sooner tragedy. That person not only allowed it, but also found it cute & funny enough to take the photo, then post it and comment in a joking manner along with laughing emoji’s on social media. Where is the instinct to help the child? Prevent it from happening again? And teaching siblings safety and respect for one another at a young age? Just because a child may sleep like that once or twice does not mean that it is safe to continue to allow it. It would only have taken one time and a mere few minutes for an accident to happen.

Some will argue that Shanann had a baby monitor to watch them, therefore it was okay. Part of that is correct, she did have a mobile baby monitor. She did not seem to really pay much attention to the monitor though. In this instance shown in the photo, Celeste was left long enough to get poop all over herself and her surroundings. If Shanann had seen her on the monitor she would have had time to stop it from going further than it did. Aside from that, going back to an excess of large soft items in their cribs, monitor or not; strangulation, smothering, or suffocation can all be completely silent. You may glance at the camera monitor and everything appears to be normal, but your child could be slowly losing oxygen without any signs, especially if you have accustomed yourself to seeing them tangled up in blankets.

Please do not be upset with me. These are Shanann’s own words, pictures, and posts. This is what we the general public see, and what makes many of us feel trepidatious and rattled. I cannot blame anyone for being distressed viewing these pictures. Personally, the pictures make me feel ill, and when seeing them together as a whole, they give me high anxiety. My children are all above the age of three, and I still instinctually remove any items from their faces when they are sleeping.

Why does all this matter? I am sure that is what you are thinking right now. It matters, because that’s exactly how the children died; smothering.

It also matters because this is all pertinent information. It would also all have come up had there been a trial, because that is what lawyers do, they dig up all pertinent information to present to a jury.

Am I saying these posts and comments along with the photos Shanann documented on social media are proof that she killed their children? NO. Do not misunderstand me or misconstrue my words. When looking at crimes, the need to look at the full picture and to gain its context is of the utmost importance. Obviously, it begins with looking in depth at all available direct concrete evidence, if there is no evidence it is imperative to look at circumstantial evidence and start connecting the dots. Society depends on it, individuals depend on it. Our Justice System needs to work efficiently and properly for every case. The children seen in these photos may not be here anymore, but there are many parents who may be able to learn from this to help their children.

Chris is not the person behind the camera capturing these pictures of their children. If he were the one behind the camera, would the public be saying he had a sick fascination with his children being in compromising situations and in danger? I would bet money they would. If he had taken these photos, would people be outraged screaming that these were red flags and that the people in their everyday lives around them had missed? I believe they would. When the autopsy report came back with the cause of death as the girls being smothered, would the public have expected the prosecution to present these photos? I would have definitely expected them to do exactly that.

Circumstantial evidence : Is Evidence that establishes a motive, person had an opportunity to commit the offense, reviewing the accused’s state of mind at the time of the offense, proof of the accused preparing for the crime, accused having items that could be used to commit the offense, examining their mobile records, social media, credit card usage & Internet searches, the accused has committed similar crimes around the same time the alleged offense occurred, bizarre or peculiar or suspicious and/or retorts and behaviors, similar patterns of past troublesome behavior. Summed up, every one of these photos should be taken into consideration in the overall timeline and sequence of events to garner the most logical and plausible incident that took place on August 13, 2018.

We started this post off by discussing how the publics’ opinions and speculations are oftentimes totally off base with what the end result is. With the Watts case, nothing has ever been proven by means of direct evidence to prove who did what on Saratoga Trail that fatal morning. That’s an actual fact: we don’t know. You might think you know, but you don’t. No one knows with certainty, well perhaps one person does but he is spinning tales faster than everyone can keep up with it seems. It very well could be that the majority of the public’s opinion is completely wrong with the Watts case too, and the case is no exception, just like others. Most of the public does not follow crime stories as intensely and as closely as some of us do. They mostly go off what the main media outlets present, and accepts their representations as fact.

The creepy doll photo is a prime example of seeing something in the media without the backstory included and the public formed an emotional reaction to that photo. They heard a woman and her children were missing, the husband did a strange media interview, and there was a super eerie photo posted just days prior. It was later revealed there was an established pattern of similar behavior within the Watts family home all along. The case was becoming more bizarre by the day, which attracted people that were new to following true crime cases. When the girls sleeping conditions were revealed in the photos we’ve been discussing here, in a bulk format all over social media, some people took notice and paused and yet others had become intrigued they had also already formed an opinion from seeing what had been aired by media news stations. Once opinions are formed it is very difficult to penetrate through the barrier they have put up to present a differing scenario and possibilities. Their view and opinion is firm and set in their belief of what happened and often a refusal to open their minds to consider other possibilities is absent. In general the public is not influenced by social media groups. At the point the pictures of the children came out, months later, the narrative had already formed by the popular media. The photos of the girls sleeping arrangements caused outrage too although, this time it was misdirected anger at the people who found the countless photos unsettling. In the grand big picture of it all, the autopsies revealed the children had been smothered. Coincidence? Absolutely could be. No one knows, but since it shows character traits, a pattern, peculiar behavior, and includes what is being claimed as the possible murder weapon ( the Yankee blanket) it does matter to discuss. It would also be a normal thing for it to have been discussed at length, at a trial, but I digress. I do not think the much of the public would have been able to handle this case going before a jury. Just look at the emotionally charged comments across social media platforms.

It often feels as though Shanann is victimized more than Bella & Celeste have been. As little girls, they are the only entirely innocent souls. With all the sides that have formed within the case discussions, the side that seems to be in last place is team Bella & Celeste. What happened to those girls’ matters, and what happened during their short lives matters too. Full context is needed to examine the case, which includes both of their parents and what happened through the years, months, and days leading up to their tragic deaths & the abrupt end of the entire family.

Society has conditioned us to “not speak ill of the dead”. Think about going to a curmudgeon’s funeral, you don’t see people taking the podium to say, “ You know what? Honestly I loved him, but he was ________”. It’s no surprise to see people automatically wanting to defend Shanann, and honestly I can’t blame them, as that is what we are taught. Over the last 17 months since the discussions began, one of the most common statements in Shanann’s defense that I have seen is “I do that too” and “There is nothing wrong with that”, and several other similar types of statements. Suddenly it dawned on me one day, from a psychological standpoint it makes total sense as to why they defend Shanann so steadfastly and adamantly, because it means defending themselves. As I said in the “Never Say Never” series, just because you do it too, it does not make it the right thing. I think it’s human nature to instinctively defend someone who may have similarities with ourselves. If you are still around discussing this legally closed case, then you are around for the same reason many of us are; the truth. If you feel the truth has been unveiled in its entirety, then it’s safe to move on into greener pastures. Not all of us are pacified by the official narrative, or have closure on what happened to that family. We will analyze, and discern what may and may not be relevant. We will discuss this case, and others old and new, whether what’s being said is disliked or liked or neutral. This is true crime discussions and they have been happening for centuries, only the format in which they are discussed has changed. Most times the facts and speculations are not unicorns, rainbows and butterflies.

Speaking of discussing the case, another turn of events unfolded as I was writing this post. With no real notice word spread quickly a couple days ago that Shanann’s parents were holding another press conference later that day. The last press conference they held was done in front of the Watts home on Saratoga Trail in July, with Shanann’s father & their lawyers. The public majority believes the media & law enforcement narrative, which resulted in a lot of support for Shanann’s family. Chris’s possible innocence of killing their children is not a popular opinion accepted amongst the majority so, his family are vilified due to the public believing their son killed his entire family. That being said, I have no doubt both families receive unnecessary cruelty, and by that I mean in the form of what the true definition of harassment is. There’s always a few bad seeds in a bunch who lack sympathy & empathy, and even some that bait for a reaction. From my experience following the case I have hardly seen hate towards the Rzuceks, but most certainly have seen it against the Watts family. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist or happen to the Rzuceks.

The first press conference involved discussing online harassment. According to the new press conference they held, the prior one did help them to weed out some of the online harassers. I would never condone the harassment of a family who has endured the unimaginable. It is never okay to harass anyone, and is illegal too.

The second press conference that occurred last week, wait hang on a minute here. This is feeling a lot like Chris’s confessions. We often talk about Chris’s first confession, second confession, and third confession. Now we are talking about this family’s first press conference, second conference, and let’s not forget 20/20, and Dr. Phil. This case gives me and others a massive headache. Anyways, this second conference was again about online harassment, but with everything else about this case that was not all.

Before I break down my objective thoughts about the press conference: 

-Shanann’s family are victims.

-They lost an entire family as they slept states away.

-They did not ask for this to happen or for their lives to be turned upside down.

-I am certain they are in deep grief, and mourning.

-I am certain that waking up everyday to the realization it wasn’t a nightmare is horrendous. Some days they may even wish they had not woken up.

-I am not heartless, and I am able to sympathize with what they have to endure. I have no idea what it’s like, and hopefully won’t ever know.

-This should not have happened, and their loved ones should still be here.

Here is the press conference link for anyone who may have missed it: https://fbwat.ch/1fV6DTWBML94dosg

Did I make that clear enough before I begin? As a member of the public these are my objective thoughts of what was discussed during the conference, and I know for a fact that many feel or view it the same way. Here we go:

1. Lifetime Movie Network did not need permission, nor need to consult either family to make their movie. The story is considered public domain, basically anyone can make a movie of the endless information that has been released to the public. They’ve known about the movie since August, but waited until a week before the movie debut to speak up about any thoughts that may have concerned them. While I agree it does not appear to be an accurate depiction, and Lifetime missed the mark, they did portray it as they perceived the story to be. Probably similar to the way people that don’t know in depth details about the case see it. I am sure it is painful to know there is a movie debuting about the life, and murders of the people you love. Unfortunately, with a case as widely known as this one has become, it was bound to happen. Likely many movies will be made, and all from a different viewpoint. There are already several books, and more in the making. There is nothing they can do about it. They cannot control the narrative and force the public to stick to what they believe to be the truth. Nor should they try as it is an exercise in futility.

2. At the press conference they mentioned a law about defaming a murder victim. That is highly unlikely to ever happen. Shanann is not the first, nor the last publicly known victim of murder who will be discussed in a good, bad, or indifferent way. Discussing her own words, the posts and pictures she took the time to create and put on her social media, her behaviors that she recorded and posted for anyone to see, and her actions that are recorded in different documents is indeed discussing facts. Speaking truth is not defamations, and you also cannot defame or slander someone who is deceased. Shanann left a sizable social media footprint, and she tried too hard to portray a certain image, in spite of that many were able to see through the imaginary perfect image. If anyone tainted Shanann’s image it was Shanann herself when she made the decision to open her life up to the public. The family continued in this public display with the decision to broadcast the funerals to the public. When you open the door to the public they will help themselves. Going even further in trying to preserve her image, and silence discussions about her just makes people wonder what they want hidden so badly. It sparks more interest not less. We are lucky citizens here and are afforded the Constitution and the First Amendment.

3. The lawyers also spoke about harassment the family has received. Which by the way, no proof has ever been shown of any true harassment in the legal sense, or of any that has been documented to having taken place. Although, I am sure some forms of it exist. Seems the public as a whole has been blamed for a few peoples unsavory comments and perhaps even some minor actions. If you are going to accuse the public of harassment you need to be sure it really is harassment, and that you provide proof of these claims. If it’s a few individuals, out of literally millions, and you are addressing them as members of the general public that is unfair to the majority who are not committing any kind of infraction. When they spoke about the different forms of harassment I nearly fell off my seat when it was said that even discussing Shanann killing the kids was harassment. That is definitely not harassment, and again they cannot control the narrative! They cannot stop opinions, speculations, or interrupt freedom of speech. People will always talk about this case, and many others, with varying different views. These discussions happen in coffee shops, hair salons, bars, homes, etc., They are also discussed within social media groups, YouTube channels, blogs, Reddit, Facebook, etc., and they are not meant for the eyes of either family. In order to join social media groups many of them have a statement that say it is not a place for friends or family members. It is easy to disguise oneself online though and it seems that is exactly what has been happening in order for them to be privy to what is being discussed. They should not be seeing, hearing, listening, watching, or engaging in any of the discussions. If they are seeking it out, it is not the public’s fault. They have a choice to not see any of it. They also have the choice to tell anyone who may send them anything from these platforms to refrain, and stop immediately rather than condemning the public for having discussions. If they read this blog, or you send them this blog it is most definitely your fault and theirs alone if the decision is made to read it.

4. I am sure while watching TV it is heartbreaking to have a trailer appear on the screen about the murders of your beloved family members. The great thing though, is in this day and age you can choose which channels to watch. They can choose not to even have cable and instead can purchase Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming TV. If they decide to keep cable, they can block individual channels. There is choice, and when you have a choice you can have control.

5. The lawyers also made a point to say the family has not made money off the television broadcasts they participated in but, neglected to mention they did make money from fundraising sites, merchandise, restitution, and more. I mean, how else does the public think they are paying for a team of three attorneys? They were not wealthy enough to afford such attorneys prior to this tragedy. The Watts family it would seem does not even have, and likely can’t even afford one attorney. The attorneys should know, based off our constitution, that much of what they conveyed for the family was absurd. I have to wonder if they agreed to it because it provided publicity for their law firm. I am also reminded that their son (Shanann’s brother) has been all over YouTube collecting money and other things of value too, for well over a year.

You too can now #shinelikeshanann! Oye Vey!

6. They discussed merchandise being sold and said they are not a part of the vendors who are currently selling it. Meaning, only so called endorsed by them merchandise should ever be purchased, which also translates into selling things for a profit. I follow this case very closely, and have never seen anyone but the family selling merchandise. I am curious to see this supposed merchandise. Is it really about not buying merchandise, because people are profiting? Or, is it because they aren’t profiting?

7. After speaking about how hurtful it is for them to see the movie trailer that airs for two minutes during commercials, the lawyers were asked if the family would be watching the movie. The answer contradicts the claims that the two minute trailer was harmful. He said he didn’t know, then continued on, basically saying that it’s been discussed but no final decision has been made. Why on earth was this not a hard and fast, unapologetic NO? Why watch it?! Beyond that, they say the trailer is hurtful yet they are considering enduring the entire full length movie. It is not in their best interest to inflict further heartbreak to see such a movie. If they watch it, then it will not be Lifetime’s fault. The movie was made for public entertainment and public consumption, not for any other purpose whatsoever.

8. It was asked if the family is contributing any personal input to any other broadcast type productions. One lawyer replied he wasn’t at liberty to say. This was not a NO which means we can likely expect more to come, and the family has contributed to other productions. The lawyer went on to say, “ they (the family) would be happy to assert control & power.” Wow! They cannot assert themselves into a position to control the public, or what the public wants to do with a very public story. Which means, unfortunately for them, loss of power.

9. Overall the PUBLIC press conference was filled with contradictions, confusions, and was rather absurd. They ended with a request for the PUBLIC to stop discussing the case, and move on with their lives. Know the song titled, “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now’? That is word for word how the conference felt. Seems they only want our attentions when it is on their terms. It is a bit ridiculous to claim one broadcast victimizes them all over again, but then continue to show up on PUBLIC platforms. People are still talking about the Peterson case from 17 years ago, Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, Nicole Brown Simpson, and the list goes on. People cannot move on, because Shannan brought us into the family’s lives with her social media footprint. There is a feeling of connection to the family now. People want the truth, the facts, and some closure. More importantly in my opinion, the story is very relatable, and has so many lessons that can be taken from it. The discussions will continue, and this blog will not stop discussing any of the facts about the case. We will continue speculating, sharing opinions, and asking questions too.

10. Here is the final objection before I wrap this up. It was mentioned they would be willing to pursue legal actions when and if necessary. They sure seem to spend a lot of time doing tv shows, keeping up with any and all merchandise that might be being sold, holding press conferences, meeting with their three lawyers, working on a law that would be a Constitutional failure if entertained, and now even considering enduring litigations. More time spent than they seemed willing to spend in a courtroom on a quest to find out what happened to their grandchildren, and their daughter. It is known they were highly motivated for wrapping the case as quickly as possible.

If they believe in their hearts, minds, and the pit of their stomachs that their daughter is innocent of any crime, why do they care what other people think? How are someone’s thoughts, typed words, or spoken words of any concern to them? Just last week a member of the family said, “We know the truth and that’s all that matters”. Okay, then why the press conference telling people to stop discussing the case? The comment included, “everyone has free will” which contradicts the attempt at asserting power over what the public says or does? They are attempting to try to preserve Shanann’s memory when their memories of her are all that should matter.

My takeaway, based off everything I have analyzed throughout this case, is that their press conference exhibited strong traits that Shanann possessed.

Control – This was confirmed by everyone who knew Shanann, and even herself in words & actions.

Power – Which is what she had gained from controlling every single aspect of their life.

Attention seeking – This should be self explanatory just look at her social media presence.

Sympathy seeking- This can be seen in all Shanann’s endless posts about herself, and the children’s illnesses. Her texts also show sympathy seeking, which differed in degree depending on who was on the other end. And, how about all the posts about her monster children, and seeking sympathy for being a mom.

Disconnect from reality – She tried so hard to present the perfect image, but evidence shows something entirely different. Example: Santa video.

Deflection- That summer alone she deflected any conflicts to Chris, his mother, his father, and even his sister, who was guilty by association. She never took any responsibility for her part in what happened within the family. Shanann also deflected much of the marital issues to Chris, and it took weeks for her take any sort of responsibility. Even then though, she downplayed her contribution to the demise of the marriage as “itty bitty things.”

At the end of the day, no matter what happened on that fatal morning, control & power was at the root of it all. There was far too much control unfolding within the the family dynamics. One wanted & gained all control whilst the other allowed & relinquished all of it. Both adults are at fault. If you go with the first confession it would translate to a woman who could not handle losing control over their lives, so much so that she had a death grip hold of it out of desperation. Making what happened a final act of control and power. If you go with the second confession, or even the third, or any other future story where Chris makes claims that he killed his children, thusly fulfilling his nickname of an evil monster then the translation in that case is that it was due to trying to exert power. That sadly resulted in a literal power struggle that ended in violence, and yes, deadly. Why repeat the cycle of trying to gain control & power over this entire story when those are the very two things that destroyed the family to begin with? Break the cycle, and allow this story to be used for the greater good. There was more at play in this family than an affair. Much more. That affair occurred, because the marriage had already started to spiral into breakdown territory.

The power of choice. Remember the commenter we discussed at the beginning of this post? That person had a choice to read the blog, to stop reading it, to leave a comment, or to never read it again. I had the choice to ignore, engage, reply, hide, or block. My decision was to reply, because if they stick around for other posts at that point it is no longer my fault if the content bothers them. I hope someone within Shanann’s family circle guides them to the easiest solution, which is to remove the public from their eyes & ears, instead of trying to remove the public’s voice, or make new laws. While they are victims, and relatives of those involved in the story, the fact is that what happened that morning is not theirs to try to control. They seem to be more upset at the public discussions than they are Chris Watts himself. Why is that? Oh, no I just asked another question.

Until next time…

Letters from True Crime Case Analysis (Part 16)

Audio version now available here: https://fbwat.ch/1AS2tx28ztCJmgGF

One minor correction after audio done was Shanann left 8/10 not 8/11 for Arizona. Slip of the finger.

Dear readers and listeners,

We are back to the series about the “Letters from Christopher” book by Cheryln Cadle. We took a small detour with the “Never Say Never” series and we will be continuing that series again soon. You can read or listen to that one here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/07/never-say-never-part-1/

Cadle’s book has caused quite a stir for several different reasons. The plagiarism aspect we discussed in part 15 was the cherry on top of the entire ordeal. I considered stopping this series, but we have made it this far, we may as well finish it. There are several chapters that are mostly copied from the Discoveries so, we will not bother covering those chapters. Here is a link to the prior posts in this series for anyone new to the blog: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/12/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-1/

For anyone who needs access to the Discoveries, because they are new to the case you can view those here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16JKE6DEzoOBQUGhiyjJqzX-ZhKLn9R9o/view?usp=embed_facebook

Let’s begin, and get right back to where we left off in part 15.

-True Crime Case Analysis

Since it has been a few weeks since part 15 was published let me share the last section of the book we covered:

Chris’s letter ended, and Cadle took over, adding her thoughts about that tragic morning.

“After Christopher killed his family and drove away, Nikki texted him to look up the song by the Metallica band called, “Battery.” I challenge you to look up up the full lyrics of the song. I find it interesting that we should believe it’s only a coincidence.”

—Chris did not dispose of his family’s bodies and drive away. He was at that oil site, Cervi 319, for a few hours with coworkers. All of them as a group did not move on to the next oil site, two miles away, until 9:39 a.m. on August 13th. There is no way to know if Nichol K. texted him or not about the song as her text messages had been deleted. There was outrage at the fact that Nichol had deleted text messages, and people wondered what she had to hide. This matches up with what we’ve discussed in part one of “Never Say Never”, about how we cannot know what we would do in a situation such as Nichol’s. She was dating a man, and suddenly his entire family was missing. We have all seen news stories, and movies, to know it doesn’t look good that the two were engaging in an affair. Chris & Nichol barely knew one another, and self preservation could & probably would have kicked in. Beyond self preservation, and how an affair would look to others, there’s also the fact that there was likely sexually explicit texts contained on her phone that had been exchanged between them. Who would really want anyone to see that? Talk about embarrassing!

I do not know what I would have done in her situation, but have thought of several reasons why one would delete that information. Nichol received further backlash for looking up, “ Can cops trace text messages?” and “How long do phone companies keep text messages?” and finally “Difference between text message content and text message details?” These searches were done on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. in the evening. Nichol contacted the police on Wednesday 8/15 after informing her father about the situation. Why are we so quick to question other’s motives rather than give them the benefit of the doubt? So many people tend to think “Guilty until proven innocent”, remember it is actually “Innocent until proven guilty”. Have you ever deleted something, quickly regretted it, and scrambled to see if you can recover it? I have! Maybe, she deleted it quickly and when she realized the family still had not been found, she then decided she needed to contact police about the affair. The google searches were possibly conducted to see if the cops can get the information they would need back as a means to help the investigation. I feel the need to reiterate that this is a possibility, not a certainty of what & how it happened, because we do not know what actually happened. I do not know how things transpired concerning this matter, only Nichol & possibly her father know. I am also not saying what exactly I do believe, because I am not even sure. I strive to stay neutral, unless otherwise stated at the end of my blogs. I am simply stating that this, or any number of other scenarios, are possible. Perhaps if there had been a trial we would have heard all the details of what happened concerning this matter, and so much more in every aspect of this case. Please, just keep in mind that none of us knows exactly what we would, or could, do in any given situation. Never say Never.

This Metallica song “Battery” has been talked about endlessly in groups and all across social media. It can mean something, or it can mean absolutely nothing at all. I enjoy the song “I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie”, that does not mean I agree with the lyrics or that it means anything to me. To others, song lyrics are very deep, relatable, and meaningful. Chris was a Metallica fan, why would he need to look up the lyrics anyway? Or the meaning of the song? Surely, a staunch fan would know what the lyrics were and/or what they meant. Here’s what the lyrics are:

Lashing out the action, returning the reaction

Weak are ripped and torn away

Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower

Battery is here to stay

Smashing through the boundaries

Lunacy has found me

Cannot stop the battery

Pounding out aggression

Turns into obsession

Cannot kill the battery

Cannot kill the family

Battery is found in me

Crushing all deceivers, mashing non believers

Never ending potency

Hungry Violence seeker, feeding off the weaker

Breeding on insanity

Circle of destruction, hammer comes crushing

Powerhouse of energy

Whipping up a fury, dominating flurry

We create the battery

After a little Google search, I found this explanation for the song lyrics:

“The theme of the song revolves around the San Francisco thrash scene of the 1980’s. The prominent club played by Metallica was on the Old Waldorf located at 444 Battery street in downtown San Francisco. The tone of the song is one of familial ties and the positive release of energy through the common interest of metal. The lyric, “Cannot kill the family, battery is found in me” is a statement that while society at large doesn’t understand the scene, those within it (i.e. “the family”) will fiercely defend it as a show of solidarity against the glam scene that was popular in the Los Angeles area.”

Does it mean anything that he looked up the lyrics? I don’t know. Is it possible his mind was racing a hundred miles an hour and he needed a distraction? Possible. Is it possible he was talking about Metallica with coworkers while at the job site, and couldn’t recall some of the lyrics? Maybe. Is it possible he looked up the lyrics, which takes you to the audio to play the song? Another possibility. Did Nichol ask him what the song meant, and it’s just a coincidence? Anything is possible. There are so many reasons as to why he might have looked up the lyrics. There are also many ways one can interpret these lyrics, and it will mean something different to each person. When I read these lyrics the very first line doesn’t equate to family annihilation, but rather, could go with his first confession “Lashing out the action, returning the reaction”. Personally, I take that as reacting to someone else’s reaction. It may mean something different to you. The theme of the song I quoted and translated, could be, that the world wouldn’t understand what had happened that morning, or why. Who knows. No one knows why he looked it up, and with his ever revolving stories we will likely never know why.

Chris looked these lyrics up at 10:10 a.m., while at the second oil-site location with coworkers, and after calling their realtor, Anne Meadows. He was at that location until 12:57 p.m. that day.


Here is summary of what he told detectives about the song in his second confession :

Chris’s Internet search does not reflect that he looked up the meaning behind the song, but showed the search was for the lyrics. Chris told detectives he didn’t look it up going to or from the oil site after the murders. He is right, he wasn’t driving, but he did look it up. According to his Internet results, it was late morning after the murders while on location. In that second confession Chris made it seem as though Nichol had asked him prior to that day, and he just happened to look it up later. Here’s my problem, why did the detectives accept this answer? I am a nobody who knew that the search was done from the oil-site after the murders, yet Chris told them it was not from the oil-site after the murders. It was! Why and how did they not know that information to reply; “But Chris, your internet searches showed you did”.

I’ve never seen anyone say “Maybe, it was Shanann’s favorite song”. Everyone discussing the case automatically jumped to it being a negative thing that he was searching the lyrics. Shanann’s profile reflects the fact that she enjoyed Metallica as well, and to my surprise some of the band members use Thrive. No, I am not kidding. See the following:

In this video that Shanann put together for Chris’s birthday post on Facebook, it contains a song by Metallica called, “Nothing Else Matters” seen here: https://www.facebook.com/507111934/posts/10154530085756935/?d=n

So many possibilities…

“After Christopher wrote this letter to me, I asked him if he really put the girls in the oil batteries so he could make sure they didn’t get back up the second time. He replied, “Yeah, it seems.”

—It seems? Is this all a guessing game now because of his poor recollection of the series of events that morning? Chris’ nonchalant reply to Cadle completely cancels out any credibility of his original claim, which was the same; that he put them in the tanks so, they couldn’t get up a second time. Either that was the reason, or it wasn’t.

“Christopher went back to work that day like it was a normal day.”

—Not sure what Cadle means by “back to work” he didn’t go back to work. Chris went to the oil site, disposed of his family’s bodies, and then continued on with his work day once coworkers arrived.

“Later the morning of August 13th, 2018, Shanann’s friend, who had dropped her off the night before, came over to the Watts’ house. She and Shanann were suppose to go look for a car for her to rent through Thrive.”

—Cadle is talking about Nickole Atkinson. It was a rumor that Shanann and Nickole were gonna meet up to go look at cars for Nickole that day. Did Cadle even listen to Nickole’s police interview? What Nickole said in her actual interview with detectives was that usually after a Thrive trip, Shanann would get pumped up, and would want to meet up with her to do business. Another local friend of Shanann’s said in a discussion group that she and Shanann had plans to meet up for a playdate that day. Shanann’s friend Cassie told detectives that Shanann tried to get an earlier flight out of Arizona on Sunday. Cassie explained that Shanann wanted to get home sooner, because Bella & Celeste were to start school the next day, and she would be tired. That makes no sense if Shanann had made plans with two different friends the following afternoon.

In another part of this series, I said it seemed that Shanann was really hung up on the now infamous Lazy Dog Salmon dinner. It would make more sense that she was eager to get home due to that dinner and finding out details, rather than because she wanted to get home to avoid being tired the next day. I mean if she woke up early, dropped the girls off, then went to her doctors appointment, she could have then gone home to nap. Why look to change the flight, which costs money, instead of just cancelling the plans with friends? Shanann never did change her flight, as we know, as a matter of fact she had gotten home even later than previously expected. She did not cancel plans with friends for the next day either.

“She had not heard from Shanann that morning, after she had texted her several times. She contacted another friend, who also usually heard from Shanann every morning. That friend became very worried when she heard others had to tried to contact her also to no avail. Shanann had not reached out to anyone, and was not on Facebook all morning, which was unusual. Her friend was concerned maybe she was sick and passed out. She knew the girls were too young to get help.”

—One day I plan to do an entire post on just Shanann Watts’ friends, and their behaviors throughout this entire ordeal. It is far too much to cover in depth for this particular post. We have seen Shanann’s text messages, and from the ones disclosed to us, I didn’t see her sending anyone morning text messages every single morning, as they claimed she normally did. Nickole Atkinson said that while Shanann was away in North Carolina she wasn’t on Facebook as much, and her profile reflects that to be an accurate observation. I understand you cannot see that her profile reflects that as I can. Nickole did say it though, and if you don’t trust me, then wonder why Nickole would say that if not true. If her Facebook posts were minimal, and texts don’t reflect their claims about contacting them every morning, why were they adamant to police at first that it was unlike her?

People in general have specific patterns of behaviors, but Shanann was also described as very regimented. I am sure that is a correct assessment however, Shanann had not been in her normal day to day routine since June of 2018. When Shanann returned to Colorado after weeks away the Watts’ marital issues were active and in full force. Shanann was only home Wednesday & Thursday before she departed for Arizona on early Friday morning 8/10. She had barely any time to settle back into her normal routine, and likely the marital strife was hindering any adjustment back into a form of normalcy. Again, why were her friends so worried?

After Nickole spoke with Cassie, and both women became concerned, Cassie sent a text to Chris. This is what she said, “Shanann is in a very bad way emotionally, and I’m worried about her…I know you are having issues, but I don’t know to what extent, but I do know I have never seen her so broken to an extent I am worried.” Wait? I thought they were worried Shanann was sick, and passed out at the house? Because that is what the police were told, but here, Cassie clearly states that Shanann’s emotional health was of concern, not her physical health. Why? What was going through Cassie’s mind about Shanann’s emotional state? And why was she considering the possibility that something happened in relation to her emotional well being? Her text to Chris sounds like it’s in code, like a way to say she was worried Shanann may have been suicidal.

“She could see Shanann’s shoes that she had worn the night before sitting by the door. Shanann wore those shoes every time she left the house. She was convinced something was wrong.”

Nickole did tell detectives that Shanann always wore those black flip flops that were sitting by the door. Here’s the problem, how does anyone who didn’t live with Shanann, know what she wore every single time she left the house? Without living there, or being with Shanann every time she left the house, there’s no way anyone can know that positively. Shanann had an entire shoe closet for Pete’s sake, that her father built for her, so an abundance of shoes to choose from. Nickole was aware of her shoe closet, and even told detectives about it, why was she so adamant the flip flops by the door were alarming?

“Thank goodness she was persistent, or it may have been days longer before the police could have pieced everything together. This just shows how good it was that Shanann was connected to a lot of people, what a benefit that ended up being.”

—Shanann’s connections with Thrive led her to know a lot of people, but I am not sure if that was a “benefit” or “good” in the overall picture. Her connection with Thrive took her attention away from her family & marriage. The trips, Bella and Celeste in daycare 45 hours a week, always attached to her phone, neglected the family’s finances, she even admitted to penciling in family time, etc. . .

I am also not so sure that had Nickole A. not gone by the house that morning, that it “could have been days” for the police to piece it together. The school would have noticed the girls’ not in attendance, and her family FaceTimed the girls every evening. There would have been the matter of trying to explain to Nichol K. that his family, whom he flew back to Colorado with, is suddenly not around now. Neighbors in police interviews said they noticed Shanann and the girls were away over the summer, any of them could have noticed they had returned, then suddenly they were gone again.

There were hurdles Chris would have had to jump over to stay off police radar for days. No evidence was found that Chris was trying to flee the area either. The prosecutor tried to imply at sentencing that the Aspen trip was secluded and a place he planned to go after the murders with Nichol K. It turned out when the Discoveries were released that Chris was not trying to flee with Nichol to Aspen. It was Shanann who planned, and booked that trip for them. I wouldn’t consider Aspen as “secluded” or a place one would flee to after murdering their entire family. Mexico, Panama, South America? Sure, but not Aspen located in the same state. When he did get on police radar it is not like he would have gotten away with all this. He left his family’s bodies at a work location, which logically thinking points to it being an act of not premeditated. I have said in other blog posts that Chris knew those tanks got checked often, and that his truck had GPS. At some point, Bella & Celeste would have been located, and when they were it would have pointed right back to Chris. The dots would have been connected that his last known location when his family vanished, was at the very location their bodies were found. He might have gotten a few extra hours to collect his thoughts, but the second he left his family at that site his time was ticking down fast.

“In his mind he could not believe how quickly they had found out she was gone. That was not something he thought about ahead of time.”

—This is incredibly hard for me to believe. Chris knew his wife, her daily routine, how many people she spoke to on a daily basis, what times she spoke to friends, and of course that she was attached to her phone. In his porch interview, Chris said the words “her people”, which was not said passively about how she always answered the phone calls of her Thrive friends. Chris was well aware of her connections through Thrive, which had taken over their lives. On top of that, Chris was aware the girls were headed back to school, and of course how grandparents would be waiting for those exciting first day of school pictures. Was Chris really surprised how fast someone realized they were missing? I don’t see how this is plausible at all given the context of his awareness of Shanann’s normal daily activities.

Who starts to frantically panic when a friend is missing for only a few short hours? Shanann’s mother called the girls’ school before Chris even did early that morning. Why? Two hours later, she called Chris, at only 10 a.m. By this time Nickole had already texted Shanann three times. By 11:46 Nickole texted Shanann, I am very worried about you I am coming to your house.” Which was before even knowing Shanann had not made it to her doctor’s appointment, Nickole found that out an hour later.

Consider full context here for a moment in this timeline:

1:48 a.m. Nickole dropped Shanann off at home

7-7:30 a.m. was the normal average timeframe Shanann took the girls to school

8:15-8:30 a.m. Sandy had contacted the school. Why would she call the school if she couldn’t get in contact with Shanann? Why not call Chris first instead?

8:30-8:45 a.m. Chris now called the school

10:28 a.m. Sandy makes her first text to Chris who then called her back

10:51 a.m. there was another call between Sandy & Chris

11:46 a.m. Nickole is very worried, and on the way to the Watts home

12:43 p.m. Cassie texted Chris about Shanann being emotionally broken to the extent she was worried

12:47 p.m. Nickole sent another text to Shanann, after learning she’d missed her appointment.

Cadle continues to write; “Shanann had a doctor’s appointment at 10:00 and Shanann’s friend knew her well enough to know she would never blow off her doctor’s appointment.”

—I think her Thrive friends thought they knew their friend, except they didn’t, or couldn’t have. Several of these Thrive friends didn’t even live locally to Shanann, had never been to her house, or maybe only visited once, they only knew her a little over the two & a half years of her Thrive involvement, and some had only met her in person in that past year. If you listen to their police interviews though, they all speak as though each were her best friend, and knew her every move. Some of them had not even met her daughters, Bella & Celeste. How close can you be if you’ve never been to her house, met her kids, or her husband? Despite all of this, every one of them were adamant about certain things they could not have definitively known. Examples:

1) The flip flops we discussed earlier, and Nickole adamantly saying Shanann wore those every time she left the house, and not being able to definitely know that.

2) Nickole claimed Shanann always made the girls’ beds. How would she know whether or not Shanann made the girls’ beds at all, let alone everyday? Was Nickole there at their home every single day inside the girls’ rooms to know that? Nope.

3) Several friends said Shanann would never leave without an Epipen, but unless they saw inside her purse every single time she left the house they couldn’t know that.

4) Nickole said she wouldn’t go anywhere without the girls’ car seats, and even said to the detective, “Who has spare car seats just laying around?” The cop agreed with her that no one does, and chuckled. Well, Shanann did have spare car seats. In the Discoveries, it mentioned that not only were carseats in the Lexus, but there was also spare car seats on the side of the Lexus, right there in the garage. It is not far fetched that a friend of Shanann’s could have had extra car seats for her and she left with them, or there were even two that Shanann herself took from her garage. We know that is not what happened, but it was not out of the realm of possibility at that time. Back to main point though; how would Nickole know Shanann would not have taken the girls without their car seats, unless Nickole was at the home every single day to know what she would and wouldn’t do?! Nope, Nickole couldn’t know.

That is just a few quick examples, and there’s plenty more.

“The officer commented to Christopher that he couldn’t imagine what he was going through. Christopher did not seem to have any emotions and did not seem to respond in an appropriate way. His facial expressions did not change and when they did, he would smirk or smile inappropriately, showing a lack of empathy, especially when speaking of his girls. His voice remained low and even-toned and his nonverbal cues were very apparent. Christopher had an erect and tense posture, with his arms crossed the majority of the time. He lacked eye contact, and kept looking around appearing nervous.”

Only a two week difference between pictures. The one on right is the body camera footage that Cadle is referencing.

—For clarification purposes, in case you cannot tell this entire quote is Cadle’s own observations, interpretation, and opinion of police body camera footage. Did you notice it is noted that the officer said to Chris, “ I cannot imagine what you are going through?” We just talked about that statement in the, “Never Say Never” series! Yet, the rest of this quote is all Cadle judging Chris’s demeanor as if she knows how one should act, speak, or present themselves in a situation she has not ever been in before. This entire paragraph in this chapter is a prime example of what was discussed, and here’s the link to that series in case you missed that one: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/07/never-say-never-part-1/

To cover this book quote, we need to remember that Chris did know where his family was when these videos were recorded. As it was unfolding, we did not have access to the video, and saw them months later after knowing he had part in whatever transpired. We do know at minimum Chris was guilty of something.

With that in mind, let’s now learn about body language in connection to murder suspects or persons of interest. In an article for the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Dr. Brian Fitch, Ph.D., a lieutenant with the Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff’s Department was quoted as saying, “There is no universal sign of deception. Many individuals believe they can detect when a person is lying because of the way a person shifts around in their seat or avoids eye contact. But this kind of behavior could also indicate shyness, nervousness, a medical condition, or simply be part of their typical demeanor.”

Wesley Clark, a retired detective with 22 years on the job, and founder of LIES, LLC (Linguistics Interrogation Expert Services) a company that trains law enforcement in investigative interviewing detecting deception and accessing credibility said, “No matter how good a person is or how long they have been doing investigations [no one can automatically tell when someone is lying]…but it looks good on TV to say they can.” When asked, “What about not being able to look someone in the eye-is that a common sign of lying?” Clark answered, “There is no research that supports that. Actually, the research counters that—because a lot of people believe that to be true. If you believe that, then when I ask you a question you are going to lie and you are going to look me in the eye.”

The interviewer then asked, “And are there body-language tells?” Clark answered, “People talk about analyzing body language, but they read too much into it. They are guiding tools. What we look for is behavioral stuff that changes in a person’s baseline. We look at how a person normally communicates, carries their body, talks with their hands and uses expressions. Once you’ve done that when you are asking your relevant questions, you notice: Does the behaviors change? It’s not necessarily indicative of deception, but it guides the investigator because something has changed with their comfort level.”

Let’s compare how Chris carried his body before and after August 13th, 2018 with a few side by side analysis.

Cadle says he lacked eye contact, but body camera footage shows otherwise. Chris even looked the reporters in the eyes during his interviews, and even with investigators during his interrogation. She said he spoke low and even toned, but if you listen to his father speak he is the exact same way. If you watch Shanann’s videos he talked that way too, and everyone did say he was on the quieter side. Cadle said he was tense, why wouldn’t he have been tense one way or another? If innocent and his entire family is missing, one would be tense because of the fear of the unknown. If he was guilty of something he would be tense, because of fear of what is going to happen. How is one suppose to display empathy through body language, especially when you are distracted by cops combing through every crevice of your home?

Exhibiting empathy through body language is a significant part of the commutation process. Chris was not communicating with his missing family to display any empathetic body language towards them. Cadle said he kept looking around nervous, who wouldn’t be? Guilty or not isn’t it normal human behavior to look around at people in your home? If he tuned them out, and stared into the distance that would have been an issue too. If he cried, screamed, or caused a scene that would have been a distraction and an issue too. There is no guideline for how one should present themselves in these circumstances. With public opinion, you do not win either way. One husband will give a media interview when his family is missing, and is convicted in the minds of the people, but another husband declines an interview and that means he is guilty too. Cannot win.

“He would wake up in his dream and all the lights in his house were on. They were on upstairs and downstairs. Then in his dream he would realize he was all alone, that his family was gone, and it was just him. The dream gave him an awful feeling; somehow, he knew that dream was going to come true. Was it his mind preparing him? Or was it god’s warning? Sure enough, the night of August 13th, the night after he had just killed his family that morning, he said he turned off all the lights and went to bed. He woke with a start and realized all the lights in the house were on. He knew he had turned them all off before lying down.”

—For five weeks, Chris was alone in their large home on Saratoga Trail. Sure, he was visiting Nichol’s apartment, and stayed with her in the evenings much of the time. He did however, have to go home to take care of Dieter, get clothes, and workout. There are also a few instances where Nichol and Chris had a conflict where he had returned to his home. Every time Chris walked into that home for whatever reason, he was alone for five whole weeks. Was the dream preparing him? Depends on whether or not you believe he even had a dream like this. In his police interview and media interviews, he said he left all the lights on that evening of the 13th. Which is the opposite of him now claiming to Cadle that he turned all the lights off, and when he woke they were all on. Chris really seems to talk often about dreams, nightmares, visions, and visitations, even hallucinations. With how many times he has spoken in this way, how can he decipher between what really happened and what is just in his head? What is going on in the mind of Chris Watts in his prison cell? I would really like to see a psychological evaluation done. Should be noted that officers noted the lights were on all night as Chris had said in his police interviews in August. No mention of them being all off prior to that.

Cadle continued, “He laid downstairs the rest of the night. He was creeped out; he could feel the spirits in the home.”

—This seems too far fetched to me that he was thinking about spirits back in August, within hours of the tragedy. He reconnected with God later, and many of the references to spirits, evil, and darkness talk are all connected to the Bible, which is the only thing he had access to during his time in Weld County Jail. This would be more of an in hindsight thought, if the dream is even true.

“On August 14, the day after the murders, Shanann’s friend, who still didn’t know what happened to Shanann and the girls, reached out to the media for help. She did not ask Christopher how he felt about it first. She called them and then told him they wanted to do an interview. Christopher did not want to do an interview, and sought advice from a friend, his friend told him it might not look if he didn’t do the interview. So, he agreed to meet with them if they would come to his house.”

—The first reporter that had met with Chris gave an interview shortly after he was sentenced. In that interview, she described what it was like to interact with Chris, and how the interview came to be. She named the friend who had contacted her, and that friend was Nickole Atkinson. It is no surprise to me that Chris did not want to do the interview. He did not even like to be on Shanann’s Facebook live videos, was introverted, and quiet. The interview was definitely out of the comfort zone for someone with a personality like Chris’s. With all we know about his personality, it is no surprise either that he submitted to the interview. Chris really didn’t seem to know how to say no, is passive, submissive, and avoided conflicts. What intrigues me the most about these tv interviews is:

1) Shanann’s mom said on the TV program 20/20 that she did not want Chris to do the interview, but she was glad he decided to do it in the end. Why on earth would she not want him to do that interview? I cannot find a single reason for advising him not to do it, or even to feel as though he shouldn’t do it. At this point, she was already trying to push the cops to look at Chris. There was even a phone call made from her to police in the early hours of the day of his interview, she told cops he might pour oil on the bodies. Unless, she was worried Shanann did do something, and was concerned the investigate would switch to Shanann. Other than that, why NOT do the interview? It seems apparent that many of Shanann’s friends were concerned about her emotional state, so why would her mother try so hard to accuse Chris of such an act? And so soon?

2) Our behaviors can rub off on the people we are around or talk to the most. There have been studies of it, you can look them up. Calling the media just after 24 hours for Chris to give an interview, without asking if he thought it would be a good idea first, is quite frankly disrespectful. Let me point out another friend who seemed to cross a boundary, and even the detective’s summary said this friend chastised Chris. That friend was Cassie who said, “My only concern is your damn wife, and her well being” and “So unless you want the police to bust your damn door down you get home and check on your family.” Chris told her he was on his way and not to call police. Cassie replied, “Nikki and I know what state she was in all weekend and we want to see she isn’t in the house, because this is seriously a concern.” It appears to me that from being in the presence of Shanann all weekend and hearing how she spoke of him, and also having spent some time with Shanann and Chris in the past, that how Chris was treated by Shanann had rubbed off on her friends in the ways they were treating him. There was a lack of empathy and inquiry about how he may have felt doing an interview, being given orders, and even ultimatums. What if he was entirely innocent, and Shanann had done something? Did anyone ask how he was doing too?

While we are discussing how everyone was treating Chris that day:

Chris arrived home that day, and entered the home through the garage. Nickole, her teenage son Nicholas, and Nathan could have all followed behind Chris and entered through the garage door. They didn’t, and Chris never said they couldn’t. There was a minute lapse in the body camera footage from when he entered the garage door, and when he opened the front door. While they waited on the porch, Nickole was on the phone with Shanann’s mom. The phone call was on speaker, and Nickole had asked the cop if they could go in. The cop replied that he needed Chris’s permission as he was the homeowner. At that moment, Shanann’s mom said in a very stern demanding voice, “Nikki I give you permission to go in my daughter’s house.” Technically and legally it was Chris’s house, but both adults did live there as a married couple, making it the home of both of them, and their children. The fact she said, “my daughter’s house” shows not only a lack of respect for Chris, but it also disregards him as a husband and father that has provided that house for his family. It also mirrors Shanann’s behaviors towards Chris in how he was treated within the family. Let’s not forget, Shanann would not even allow him to hang a picture on the walls of their home. Again, what if Chris was entirely innocent? He was being ordered around, demands placed on him, dismissed, and disrespected by all the people closest to them.

I understand that those who believe in Chris’s full guilt couldn’t care less about him being disrespected, and I can understand that feeling. The problem is though, their initial concern was not about Chris and what he may have done, at all. It was Shanann they were highly concerned about, her emotional state and maybe what she had done while being in such a high emotional state, and it was not until after his arrival home that their focus seemed to switch. If they were initially so concerned that her emotional, mental, or even her physical well being caused some type of catastrophe, why treat him in this manner? Were they acting this way, because they knew he did something? Unlikely, as no one could have expected this from him and no one said a bad thing about him. Or, was it learned behavior from hearing Shanann speak about her husband and having witnessed Shanann with Chris? I am going with the latter. I know Chris’s word is not fact, but he did claim to Nichol K. that the kids had started to mimic Shanann too, and kids are not the only ones who mimic.

I usually end these posts in the book series with a letter from me with an overall point. We are near the end of this book series, and have maybe one or two more posts to cover the book in it’s entirety. We spoke in this post about body language, and behaviors before & after a crime, briefly. In keeping with that, I am going to make a new post about behaviors that have piqued the interest of people concerning the first confession. I will include educational material to go with what I share.

Back soon with that post…

Never Say Never (Part 2)

Audio version now available here: https://fbwat.ch/1gkdUbikOuIWMFqD

Welcome back, again! Hopefully, you have processed everything we’ve discussed in part one, and ready to gain more knowledge. Knowledge is power as the saying goes. We are going to jump right back into false confessions.

Let’s begin!

Arnett Gaston a clinical psychologist and criminologist at the University of Maryland College Park, on voluntary type false confessions, “Voluntary false confessions often arise from a toxic psychological brew of obsession, delusion, guilt, or self loathing.”

Dr. Jack Vaeth, a psychiatrist with the Sheppard Pratt Health System, said “Another common reason people own up to crimes they didn’t commit is a sense of guilt about something they did do.”

The most common type of false confession is the coercive compliant form directly resulting from an interrogation with law enforcement. Voluntary false confessions are harder to find, because if they are doing it to cover up for someone else, why tell anyone? If they are doing it because they feel guilty, why tell anyone? If they falsely confessed because of self loathing, why tell anyone that? I am sure you get the point. There could be many voluntary false confessions by innocent types of individuals in prison right this moment. Coercive compliant false confessions are the most commonly heard of type, because usually the confession is recanted, they fought in a trial, or the verdict is/was appealed. In other words, they were proven to be innocent later. A cognitive psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, explained the persuaded type of false confessions with a perfect analogy, “False memories are like a Wikipedia page that can be edited by you, and others.”

Further she said, “Once people believe something to be true, their imagination kicks in, and they begin to visualize the situation using past experiences from themselves, others, even movies. When the patchwork of memories get stitched together and internalized, truth and fiction become indistinguishable.”

Still think you would never confess to something you didn’t do? College aged students participated in a (Shaw 2015) study, and 70% of the participants were able to be convinced they committed a crime. Not only did they confess, but also gave a full blown detailed account of the crime.

That’s quite scary, especially when you take into account everything we’ve discussed at the beginning of part one of this series. We are all very different people who handle and respond to matters, situations, and circumstances, in vastly different ways. Why is it that despite that, so many participants came to the same conclusion? Makes you wonder how many people are sitting in a prison cell right now who still believe they committed the crime they were convicted for, but are entirely innocent! The persuaded type of false confession.

Going with the theme of sayings, you all should know, “Eye for an eye” right? Some people are convinced in this concept, and others are fully opposed to it. Charging and convicting someone for a murder is an attempt to take their life in exchange for taking someone else’s. This can happen either through a long term prison sentence, life without parole, or the death penalty. Eye for an eye. Ironically, in the coerced false confession type category, law enforcement are allowed to lie to seek a confession, which then results in the suspect lying to police. Doesn’t make any sense, does it? Lie to gain a lie, both sides creating one spinning tale of lies, all while seeking a life for a life during an interrogation. Seems in an interrogation room, and courtroom you are guilty until proven innocent, and once you confess you are guilty until you jump through rings of fire to prove your innocence.

Let’s say someone gave a false confession to a murder, whether coercive, voluntary, or persuaded. The case went to trial, their confession was the biggest piece of evidence, and the innocent was convicted. They were given life in prison without possibility of parole, or death sentence. Stan V. Smith, a forensic economist & expert on compensation for exonerations said, “In some respects, the wrongly convicted may actually suffer a loss greater than death. It’s not just the years they lost and the mental anguish of being incarcerated wrongfully. Your earnings are going to be impaired for life. It’s also like being thrown into a time warp.”

The next statement on the list from part one was, “He is not covering for Shanann, a person would never go to prison for rest of his life for someone else.” Well, the voluntary false confession proves this statement wrong. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the very reasons for voluntary confessions. It happens enough to have made it to a list of types of false confessions, only three types, but that’s just off cases experts were eventually made aware of. How many voluntarily go to prison for someone else who take the truth to their grave? How can we know if the entire point is to cover for someone else’s crime? Why would someone want to cover for someone else’s life, and sacrifice themselves? I, personally can think of few reasons: love, guilt, regret, fear, self loathing, or repaying a favor or debt. Technically, if someone gave any type of false confession and was convicted, they went to prison for someone else’s crime. This is a little different than intentionally and deliberately choosing to lie with the motive to cover for someone else.

Speaking of, “Taking it to grave” which is another known saying:

The new study, released in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed 1 in 25 sentenced to death in the U.S. are innocent. “Tells you that a surprising number of innocent people are sentenced to death,” said Samuel R. Gross, the lead author, in an interview with Newsweek. “It tells you that a lot of them haven’t been exonerated. Some of them no doubt have been executed.” In his study it showed that more than half of the innocent people sentenced to death in the past 41 years are unaccounted for. Probably wondering why I am bringing up wrongful convictions when we are talking about false confessions. Well, if you recall in part one I listed the following statistical finding: 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA involved also false confessions. In that post, it was also listed that false confessions are the leading cause of false convictions in homicides. How many are sitting on death row who gave any type of false confession? How many took it to their graves? How many fought all the way to their grave, or the defeat gave them no more will to live?

We will never know. But, someday it could be someone you know.

The next statement on the list from part one of this blog series was, “I would never take a plea deal if I wasn’t guilty.” It actually flabbergasts me when I stumble on these comments in discussion groups. Where does one even begin with this? How about starting with a statistic: 97% of criminal cases end in plea deals. That leaves only 3 % of criminal cases going to trial. Never say never.

The reason this statement flabbergasts me is, because they seem to think there’s no reason one would take a plea deal if innocent. When there are many reasons why, and for some people it’s multiple reasons not just one sole reason. As we’ve discussed, we simply cannot know what we would do in a circumstance where a plea deal is even being considered. Let me do another comparative to the Watts case, then I’ll list reasons why others may take plea deals.

-Chris had 9 charges stacked against him. Prosecutors charge individuals with as many charges as they can, so it keeps the assumed perpetrator in jail. It is also done to leave wiggle room for bargaining a deal later. They charged Chris with every possible thing they could. Fighting 1,2,3 charges is a whole lot more feasible than, 4,5,6,7,8,9 of them. If Chris’s defense would have been exactly as his confession then, he already owned 5 of those charges. That still left 4 charges to fight! When you admit you did more than half of the charges against you, how difficult is it to prove to a jury you didn’t do the rest? I would imagine not easy at all.

-Chris had public defenders, and they work for the state. Basically it is state versus state. We know Chris was broke financially at the time of his arrest, and his family did not have the funds needed to supply him with a criminal defense lawyer. When a case is so widely known the price of a defense lawyer can skyrocket, even more if you want a prominent one who has a good track record of acquittals. With a private criminal defense lawyer you have more defense possibilities, resources, and an array of experts. They also tend to have more experience to handle cases of this magnitude.

-It would have been years before his case went to trial if it had been a death penalty case, which would have been years of proceedings for both families, witnesses, and friends.

-Waiting around for his trial would have left him in the Weld County jail, where his presence was definitely well known. His own life was in danger there from other inmates, to the point he had to be entirely secluded during his 4 month stay. Waiting, again, would have resulted in years of isolation from any human contact except, guards & lawyers. Can you imagine? Any clue what that must feel like? For weeks, months, the idea of doing that for years?

-We have discussed over, and over, that Chris is/was submissive, passive and avoided conflicts at all cost. That’s not really up for debate, even Shanann recognized this in him. A weak personality would not be able to handle the long trial process. It takes a very strong individual to fight. It’s you versus basically everyone else. For a man who wouldn’t fight with his wife, not even when she tried to provoke him, why would anyone expect him to fight against the jury, judge, prosecution, and public? In hindsight, it makes total sense why someone like Chris took a plea deal.

-Chris was in solitary confinement for a lot of his stay in the Weld County Jail. Anything is better than solitary it seems, and we will get to solitary confinement soon.

Now let’s discuss why people in general take plea deals. Obviously, some do because they are in fact guilty. Tara Burke, a psychology professor at Ryerson University said, “Sometimes the accused may feel the evidence against them is insurmountable, or may not want to cause further harm.”

For those who are innocent, the stacked evidence could just be circumstantial, not irrefutable concrete proof. The fear that the circumstantial evidence would be enough to convict you, and not wanting to take that chance, is a reality for many.

“The cost of defending yourself against serious charges is very, very high. There are a lot of people who are just not able to do that” says Sandy Garossino, a former prosecutor.

Maddy DeLone, Executive Director of Innocence Project said, “Our system makes it a rational choice to plead guilty to something you didn’t do.”

The general public who have never been in the position to decide whether or not to take a plea deal cannot comprehend how it is a rational choice. Plea bargaining is also a coercive process that makes innocent people feel they have no choice. Going to trial is a tremendous risk, and it’s completely unpredictable what the result will be. Some people are gambling addicts, while others find the concept of gambling to be risky, and imperil.

Many states that have capital punishment use sparing a person’s life as a threatening means to try to seal a plea deal. Taking death off the table as a tool shows there’s more concern for a notch on their belt, instead of facts, and truth seeking justice. Randomly, I stumbled upon this article about Colorado using removal of death penalty in plea bargains when researching plea deals. Here’s the link: https://www.enddeathpenaltyco.org/plea-bargain and also found a Colorado timeline on the death penalty history in Colorado: https://coloradosun.com/2019/03/04/timeline-the-death-penalty-in-colorado/

From website Fairtrials.org, “Trial waivers is a process not prohibited by law under which criminal defendants agree to accept guilt and/or cooperate with the investigative authority in exchange for some benefit from the state, most commonly in the form of reduced charges and/ or lower sentences.” Otherwise know as a, plea deal. They go on to say that trial waivers have a place in our justice system, but without any safeguards can cause injustice. Here’s some points they further shared against trial waivers/plea deals:

-An estimated 20,000 innocent people are in prisons after taking a plea deal.

-There is an inequality of “arms” and a lack of transparency when deals are made behind closed doors.

-Public trust in justice can be undermined.

-Gives up your rights to have the case against you tested by an impartial court and to have the actions of the police scrutinized. Without fair trial protections, you can end up with a stacked deck in favor of the prosecution.

Here are two interesting info graphics from their site:

To relate this to the Watts case, Chris had the death penalty taken off the table during the bargaining phase. Here’s the problem though, in Colorado with the state of the government he would have not been put to death for a very long time, if ever. On the day of Chris’s plea deal it was actually Election Day, and one of the governors who was leading in the polls is adamantly against the death penalty. At the press conference after the hearing, the prosecutor said there was an original offer to which he countered that he wouldn’t take anything less than all the charges. In exchange, he would remove death penalty. Wow! We have never seen that original offer. After Chris was sentenced, two weeks later, there was another press conference. The prosecutor was questioned about the two plea deals, and his answer was there was only one. This confused a lot of people, because that contradicted the previous press conference. He was right though, it was only one plea deal. A deal meaning the terms that Chris agreed to, and signed. There was bargaining, but that isn’t a deal until it’s hashed out and made official. This seems to have been left out of a lot of discussions about the case, overlooked, even ignored, or maybe some weren’t paying close enough attention. We should all wonder what Chris originally wanted to plead guilty to for the prosecutor to have to counter with the fact that he wouldn’t take anything less than ALL the charges. Oh, and that person leading in the polls that is against the death penalty, is now Governor.

What deal did Chris really get in taking a plea deal? Sure he had death penalty removed, but that was never really something that would have become a reality. Chris actually gained a lot by not gambling. For one, he saved loved ones further harm, time, and stress having to deal with the court proceedings for years. He avoided a conflict of mass proportion which is a huge gain for a man who avoided conflict, no matter the cost; like the cost of the rest of his life spent in prison. Just a few short weeks after Chris was officially sentenced, he was transported out of state, away from the Weld County Jail which had become his own personal hell. That’s a lot to gain, and likely made the deal very appealing.

Throughout the Watts case, Chris’s family has been under a lot of scrutiny, and criticism. I am not gonna get heavy into that, but I bring it up for a reason. One of the things often said is that the Watts are in denial. We have no idea if they are in denial, simply because we are not them. Further, how can anyone deem them in denial when the truth has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt? On the other hand, from a different view, isn’t a plea deal a form of denial? Meaning, isn’t a plea deal denying the facts to be put forth at trial? Those facts that would possibly lead to the truth? Especially after everything we’ve now learned about plea deals, interrogations, and all the facets that lead to plea deals.

As far as Shanann’s family, the District Attorney told the public that her mother asked him, “Why didn’t you accept it already” when speaking of the offer on the table. Their daughter had been accused, by Chris. Accusations against their daughter and eagerness to put an immediate end to the case, and avoiding any aspect of truth coming out in a court of law, can be seen as a form of denial. Denying that the statements he made originally couldn’t possibly be true. But, what if it is? Now, I am not saying either family is in denial, please don’t misunderstand me. What I am saying is; how can we deem only one side of being in denial, when the entire plea deal process is denial of true justice in & of itself, from all parties involved?

Now let’s discuss solitary confinement. Whether for weeks, months, or years it can lead to severe symptoms and issues. I saw one case while researching solitary confinement of a man who spent 44 years in solitary confinement, and was then released. Can you imagine going from solitary confinement to the outside world? Especially without being weaned back into society slowly? Anyway, there is extensive research that has been done, and here is some of what one may experience in solitary confinement:

-Isolation panic or anxiety

-Clinical depression

-Question who they are

-Declining cognitive functions including memories and concentration

-Hallucination

-Hypersensitive to large places, sounds, and touch once out of solitary

-Negative overwhelming thoughts

-Psychosis

-Suicidal

-Desperation

-Shrinks parts of the brain, including the hippocampus which is responsible for memory, spatial orientation, and control of emotions. Per Sandra Schank, a psychiatrist

-Active imaginary life (vivid mental imagery) per David Pearson, a cognitive psychologist

-Obsess uncontrollably as if their mind didn’t even belong to them over tiny details or personal grievance

Here’s some health symptoms: headaches/migraines, sweating, dizziness, heart palpitations, hypertension, weight loss sometimes to the extreme, digestion issues, and abdominal pains

Just like with anything else, not everyone will experience all of these issues listed, some will experience many of them, others a few, some maybe none at all. I think 23 hours in a small cell that is as long as your bed would definitely cause some form of suffering or harm, even if minimal. Now, let’s say you are in that cell and are one of the people who are experiencing some of those symptoms that are listed. Are you imagining? Then a plea deal is offered to you. That plea deal will get you out of your current circumstance, not right away, but eventually. Maybe, you are experiencing memory or cognitive issues. You take the deal, because you are not in the right mental frame of mind and cannot process such a life altering decision.

Dr. Richard Smeyne , a professor of neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University said about solitary confinement, “Looking at the areas of the brain involved in the sensation and motor behavior the neurons shrunk after one month by about 20%, and by three months, 25%.”

Terry Kupers of the Wright Institute, and prominent critic of solitary confinement said, “What we’ve found is that a series of symptoms occur almost universally . They are so common that it’s something of a syndrome. I’m afraid we are talking about permanent damage.” He likened the symptoms to those seen in soldiers suffering from PTSD. The conditions are so similar, and from studies about soldiers, show it severely alters pathways in the brain.

From USA Today, “Even more harmful to the ideas of justice is holding someone in isolation prior to trial. This has a powerful effect of forcing innocent people into taking a plea of guilty, as some will do anything to stop the torture.”

Seems one tragedy can lead to another tragedy.

Chris Watts took a plea deal, and was sentenced in November of 2018. The entire case was wrapped up in three months. It’s not common for a plea deal to be in place, especially before even making it to a preliminary hearing. In fact, it’s practically unheard of. By the beginning to the middle of December, Chris had already been transported out of Colorado. It appeared to the public that the case was finalized, and nothing more would come from it. February 2019, on Presidents’ Day, the lead detectives from three different agencies (FBI, CBI, FPD) who had worked on Chris’s case appeared in Wisconsin where he was located. This has always left my mind to wonder if there had been a discussion before they made the trip. For three different agencies to put forth the expense and time to fly several states away for a closed case just doesn’t add up when they have many open cases. Chris was under no legal obligation to speak with any of them. Oftentimes plea deals require allocution, but Chris’s deal did not require that of him. For those who do not know what allocation is, it’s when a defendant explicitly admits, specifically and in detail, his actions & reasonings for reduced sentence. Prosecutor Rourke said they waived allocation, because they all agreed they would never believe what he had to say.

Never say never.

Suddenly, there was a change of heart and the three detectives flew out there to hear what he had to say. Isn’t that interesting? It is almost as if they knew for sure Chris would talk to them. They likely didn’t fly all the way there to hear Shanann killed the kids again, especially not after his plea deal. Chris maybe recognized that as well, because what would be the point in traveling there if he stuck to the original story. Although, there are people who do believe the purpose was for that, and that they wanted more details about the first confession. Then there are others who think they went to see about an accomplice. I’m convinced they didn’t go out there to hear that Shanann killed the kids again. All of this to say, that meeting was another form of an interrogation. Imagine having to go through that, again! Sit and listen to the audio of that meeting, it was very interrogative, besides the giggling exchanges towards the end. We had one interrogation in August, and had another in February for an additional almost five hours. Cheryln Cadle also did a form of interrogation for her book when she met with him for six hours over two occasions not long after he already gave a second confession. Then add in any calls they exchanged in between the two meetings, and of course his supposed letters too.

I was diligently writing this post, and to my surprise I received Chris’s intake form from Dodge Correctional Institute dated January 2019. It was just a few pages, but only one section stood out to me seen here:

The documents quoted Chris as saying, “Honestly, I am still trying to piece it all together myself.”

This intake form was done a month prior to his meeting with the three detectives when they visited him in Wisconsin. During that second confession, Chris told the detectives he knew right away what happened and had told his lawyers the truth. If he was still trying to piece it together months later, how did he tell his lawyers anything? January there’s a claim he was still trying to piece it all together, February he met with detectives, and in April he told Cadle an entirely different story. I would say this explains why his story keeps changing, because he maybe hasn’t pieced it all together or does not remember.

Next sentence says, “He is trying to distance himself as much as he can right now from that moment.”

As I just said above, but also he went on to talk to detectives about that moment for five hours, and agreed to an entire book about that moment with Cadle.

Next section about his current attitude says, “He has been told to appeal it but is not in the right frame of mind to do this right now.

If Chris was not in the right frame of mind after being sentenced, how was he in the right frame of mind to agree to a plea deal to begin with?

“He doesn’t want to make people go through the process for just 2-3 years.”

Wait, if he is fully guilty, why would he even try to fight it? See how he also weighed the options? Put families through the process to save himself 2-3 or just take the deal so everyone including himself can heal.

There was one other statement not in the screenshot above that stood out to me. It says, “When discussing his current offenses with Mr. Watts he showed emotions at the mention of the victims and appears to still be processing the crime.

How many times have people said Chris has never showed emotions? Even during his sentencing with tears rolling down his face there were many who claimed he had no emotions. We have seen Chris a handful of times since the tragedy occurred, and have no way of knowing what emotions he shows when not in front of a camera. This statement discredits all the opinions that say he has no emotions.

When I discuss false confessions I don’t take the information and only apply it to false confessions during interrogations. False confessions can be held all the way through conviction, even to death. Apply the information to all three of Chris’s confessions. Yes, there are three total confessions. The idea pushed by Cadle that her book was just an extension of his second confession is false. Second confession, was a snapped rage domino effect type murder spree explanation. That is not what her now deemed non-credible book entailed. Three confessions, one man, one confession on video, one in audio, and one in written form. Which are you suppose to believe? I am going to end this series with some information from a website called, Police Watch Magazine. Keeping all three stories at the forefront of your mind and viewing his confessions of “interrogations”. Here’s some rather fascinating statements from the website, and the link: https://www.policechiefmagazine.org/i-did-it-confession-contamination-and-evaluation/

“False confessions come about through a combination of factors, including vulnerability of the suspect, the interrogation tactics and questioning style that are used, and, most importantly, tunnel vision on the part of the investigator.”

“Contamination is a concept well known to law enforcement. Officers wear gloves at crime scenes and separate witnesses so they do not share information…contamination has been identified as the third step in obtaining false confessions.”

“Contamination is usually found in cases where, due to the investigator’s sincere belief in the suspect’s guilt, tunnel vision and the accompanying verification bias kicks in. In other words, the interrogator begins to focus on signs of guilt, ignoring or explaining away any evidence to the contrary.”

Recall in Chris’s second confession, there really didn’t seem too much focus on Nichol Kessinger. Yes, he did speak of her, and they did ask about her. In Cadle’s book though, Nichol seemed to be the primary focus, and guess what Cadle believes? If you guessed she believes Nichol is at fault or involved, you are correct. Tunnel vision. You know when Chris used the word “nutgate” in the second confession? Remember him talking about how his family had told him about Shanann’s text messages? How his lawyers told him what Nichol said in her interview? Those examples all show contamination at some point between the first and second confession. I am sure there was more disclosed to Chris’s ears between the second and third confession too.

Here’s my favorite part of the article: “Since confession evidence can be so powerful, and tunnel vision plays such a huge role in many false confessions, an evaluation should be performed by someone outside the immediate investigation. A “devil’s advocate” should be assigned the specific role of challenging any assumptions made by the investigators, and their interpretations of the evidence.” And, on that note . . . . . . https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/29/all-in-one-place/

Never Say Never (Part 1)

Audio version available here: https://fbwat.ch/1E51JI7BHAUpojlN

This blog post is a detour from the series we have been covering about the “Letters from Christopher” book by Cheryln Cadle. We absolutely will be finishing that series despite the confirmed plagiarism. We made it to part 15 in that series already, so may as well finish it. If you are new to the blog you can see that series starting here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/12/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-1/

If you want access to other blog posts not connected to the book series you can view those here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/29/all-in-one-place/

I assume that most of my readers are of legal adult age. I will also assume that most of you have experienced the trials & tribulations associated with life, some more, some less, and to varying degrees than others, naturally. Have you ever had a preconceived view about something? Then experienced that something and you turned out to be not only wrong but also a bit dumbfounded when you experienced it? Then the whole processing of your thoughts versus the reality type of scenario? Let me give you some examples:


I think most of us remember going for a job interview or an orientation for a job? Afterwards, maybe you were given a tour of the job-site and listened to all the perks you would receive working for the company? You left feeling excited for what you believed would be a great place to work? Only to start working there, and within the first few weeks realize it’s nothing as you imagined.

Have you ever considered a career path thinking “Wow being a _____ sounds amazing”. Maybe you had a hobby you wanted to turn into a career. Only to start that career and quickly realizing you made a mistake, and it’s nothing as you expected?

Do you have children? Can you think back to the thoughts you had about what it would be like to have a child one day? How you would raise your child? Only to have a child/children later, and realize it’s a whole other ballgame to have an actual child to care for. I can relate to this one! I ate just about every word said about how my future children would be.

What about going in for a minor surgery thinking you will be home the next day and everything would go smoothly? Except, every surgery runs a risk, and something went terribly wrong?

How about you met someone, fell in love, and started to plan a life together? The plan included four children, but then you found out you could not even have one biological child together?

If you are woman who was able to carry your own child, do you remember envisioning what labor would be like? Only to realize while in labor, “Whoa, this is nothing like I had imagined”. Maybe, you had envisioned a natural vaginal birth, but there was an emergency which resulted in a C-section?

Those are just a few examples, and there’s plenty more! I think you get the idea, life happens. Maybe you’re even thinking of your own scenario now too. Let me give a few examples of some things that maybe you have never experienced:

A –Loss of a parent

B –Loss of a child

C–Been in an abusive relationship

D-Been in the military

E–Been homeless

F–Death (a no for everyone since you are here reading)

Without experiencing these examples ones’ reactive thought can easily go to:

A–It’s been five years I would have moved on already, or gotten grief counseling.

B–I would be focused on my living children, and not forgetting them.

C–I would never stay in an abusive relationship, just leave.

D–Why are they complaining about deploying? He/she voluntarily signed up for military they knew what they were getting themselves into.

E–It’s not that hard to get a job and find a room to rent. Go apply at McDonald’s that’s what I would do.

There are people who think like this, and even some who would not hesitate to say it to someone. Their thoughts and/or comments come across as callous, but they’ve never experienced the situation. So, how do they really know how they would handle any of those things happening to them? They actually don’t, even if they convince themselves that they do. We are so quick to assume we know exactly how we would handle any given situation. We can only have an idea of what we may, or may not, do based off of who we think we are, and what we think that situation is like. Imagine if we were able to predict our every single word, movement, and action in every situation we have never experienced! Life would be a breeze, right? We would not make any mistakes (or learn) because we predicted how we would handle a situation. I would say it would be a bore as well.

In the age of social media, it seems nothing is off limits to sharing with our friends, family, and even the public. Most of us have scrolled our social media feeds and seen a post by someone enduring an experience, something, we personally never have. The comments on these posts are usually to the effect of, “I am so sorry for _______. I can not imagine what you are going through”. It has become almost automatic to say it without much real thought and empathy behind it. The reality is that little snippet of the statement, “I cannot imagine” is the absolute truth! We need to experience something firsthand in order to fully understand it. Sometimes even when we do have firsthand experience, it can be hard to relate to another. Why? We are all individuals, and each of us handle, react, process, and deal with matters in different ways. Have you ever heard someone say, “I was in that same situation and I didn’t handle it like that?”. The person is usually judging how someone else handled the same situation. Just because that person didn’t handle it in the same way doesn’t mean the other person is wrong. Ever heard someone say “I do that too?” referencing another person, as if just because they do it too, it suddenly makes it right? Well, there are people who go around kidnapping children. If you do it too, guess what? It doesn’t make it right. Clearly, there are certain things in our lives that we all know are wrong, committing crimes for example. From the time we are little kids most of us are taught what’s right, and what’s wrong. What seems to be overlooked is what one parent deemed wrong another parent maybe, deemed right.

As individuals so many factors come into play for how and why we think, act, react, process, handle, and view situations. Our upbringing, parent(s), education, experiences, adulthood, etc. all contribute to how and why we become who we are. None of us will handle an event or experience in the exact same way. We need to let go of expecting other people to be, and behave, just like us. Let go of thinking you know the answers to a situation you have never dealt with before. It’s presumptuous, and dare I say insensitive, to think we know how we would behave differently than another when you have never been in their shoes. Which leads me to another saying, “Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes”.

I think you get where I am going with this. I am not here to lecture you all like a professor, pastor, or parent. I am not an expert, nor a professional, and I certainly do not have all the answers. I do however have experience discussing true crime cases. I have learned how to view information with a less presumptuous, emotional, and closed mindset. Even with my experience discussing and following cases, I too sometimes resort to an emotional reactive opinion. Matter of fact, I briefly did it with the Watts case! Boy, have I learned so much from the Watts case. I took the opportunity to learn, which helped me grow. Just stay out of my search history.

I enjoy sitting back in true crime groups and observing the discussions. It’s almost like watching a human experiment take place at my finger tips. To see the way people engage, express opinions, different perspectives, how they view and process the information. I value different opinions and views, if we all shared the same opinion life would be pretty boring. Right? There are certain statements though, that catch my attention. Those are the ones made in a matter of fact way, definitively written, &/or very broad blanket type statements.

Since this blog was started while discussing the Watts case, I want to list some commonly said things all over the discussion groups.

-A person would never hide a deceased body if they weren’t the one who killed them. Chris would have called 911 if first confession was true.

-Chris is guilty, because a parent would never confess to killing their child/children if they didn’t.

-I would never take a plea deal if I wasn’t guilty.

-He is not covering for Shanann, a person would never go to prison for life for someone else.

Never say never.

These types of statements are the kind that catch my attention. I set out to research these types of statements to see what the information & data shows. In the year 2020, when information is so easily accessible, incognizance becomes a choice. Sure we can go around spewing our opinions, but if there’s information that contradicts that opinion, the opinion loses credibility. While there may be information that contradicts one’s opinion they may still say, “Well, I know I still would never.” That’s where I would refer someone back to the beginning of this post. Again, never say never without experiencing it.

One more thing before we begin!

Princeton University psychologist, Erin Pronin, conducted several experiments about self-perception. The overall conclusion was that:
“Contemporary psychology has fundamentally questioned the notion that we can know ourselves objectively and with finality. It has made it clear that the self is not a “thing” but rather a process of continual adaptation to changing circumstances. And the fact that we so often see ourselves as more competent, moral and stable than we actually are serves our ability to adapt.”

This next part fits everything we have discussed so far in this post, it’s an example from the Watts case.

During Chris’s interrogation, Tammy (FBI agent) told Chris that if she ever loses her son in a store for ten seconds she goes into a panic. She even went so far as saying Chris’s reaction to his missing children was “weird”. Yes, we all know Chris knew where the girls were in hindsight. However, it was, and still is, troubling to me to hear that anything other than panic means someone is wrong in a similar situation. I wrote a post a few months back titled, “911” you can read that here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/08/22/911/

In a quick summary, at some point in that post I discussed my own husband’s reaction to our children getting hurt. I disclosed how I am the calmer one trying to manage the crisis, and he’s a deer in headlights. That’s only when our children get hurt, or are in distress. On the flip side if we are out, and our child is out of my eyesight for 3 seconds I immediately panic. Our roles reverse, and my husband is the calm one carefully looking around, springing into action, and reminding me its gonna be okay. Thankfully, this has not happened very often. With three kids however, you can imagine each have given me a scare at some point. In this situation, I can relate to Tammy’s statement, but my husband wouldn’t be able to relate with her. Does it make it wrong that he doesn’t panic? Absolutely not! Would he be distraught after few hours, or days? Sure! Although, based on what I know about him as a person I can only guess his behavior wouldn’t be to the likes of many. I’m sure the other half wouldn’t like how I panic, instead of calmly looking for my child. You cannot win!

Let’s go back to common statements that have been said all over social media since the tragedy that unfolded on August 13, 2018. Keep in mind, we can only locate stories that people have written about on the internet. There are some stories that catch the media and public’s attention more than others, and very few become as widely known like the Watts case has.

When you research about people hiding the bodies of people they didn’t kill there’s a common theme, fear. Here are some of the reasons I found for hiding a body:

-Threatened by the person who committed the murder.

-Fear of the person who committed the murder, but absent of a threat from that person.

-Witnessing a murder, and did not call the police.

-Helped hide a body to protect/help someone you love, because you fear them going to prison.

-Witnessed the murder, and feared being blamed for it.

-Fear of getting in trouble with authorities. This can go for someone who maybe has a warrant, or was doing drugs at the time of finding a body as examples.

-Reporting a death means loss of money or living arraignment.

If the first confession in the Watts case were true, then fear could definitely explain the hiding/disposal of the bodies. That’s not the first time I have mentioned Chris’s aftermath decisions would have been a product of fear. Fear leads to panic which leads to fight or flight. It’s sounds completely irrational to hide a body because you fear getting in trouble with authorities. Someone is definitely not rational in a moment of true fear. In the first confession, Chris did take on responsibility of not only murdering his wife, but also the hiding/disposal of three bodies. At minimum, we know Chris is guilty of hiding/disposing of the bodies, that’s really not debatable. They were exactly where he said they were, and he even got which tanks the girls were in correct. In a trial, they would have needed to prove he hid/disposed of them, but that would not have been hard to do. Anyways, Chris was GUILTY. Therefore, in that first confession scenario he would fit:

A) Fear of getting in trouble.

B) Witnessing the murders, and worried about being blamed.

C) Witnessing murders, but didn’t call the police.

For the second & third confession scenario it would be because he was guilty of all the crimes. Chris knew the hiding/disposing of the bodies would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Chris told, Ronnie, his father that when he brought up crime of passion. Later, Chris had nine charges stacked against him, but with the first confession he already had taken on 5 out of 9 of those charges already.

Let me share some stories of people hiding the body of someone that was murdered, by someone who didn’t commit the murder. Also, a few stories of those who found dead bodies and hid/disposed of them.

-Wesley Murphy killed his 7 year old relative with a rough wrestling move. Wesley’s mother (Sherry Murphy) discovered the 7 year old (her second cousin) on her living room floor upon arriving home. Sherry left the boy’s body there for a few days, before putting his body in a bin in her basement to protect her son.

-Tolayo-Flores found his friend dead in his mother’s garage where he had been living. Tolayo and his friends had used drugs in the garage the night before he found him deceased. At first he thought his friends was just sleeping, but then saw his friend in the same position later. Once he realized his friend was deceased from an overdose, Tolayo-Flores wrapped the body in two plastic bags, and hid him under a mattress & insulation in the garage.

-Brandon Glenn and his wife Melina Moore got into a heated argument in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve 2014. As Melina walked away from the argument, Brandon open fired killing her. Brandon’s mother, Bettye Adams, loaded Melina into her car with intent to transport her to the nearest hospital. According to Adams, sometime during the drive she changed her mind out of fear of murder being pinned on her. Instead of seeking medical help for Melina, Adams drove back to her home, and put Melina’s lifeless body behind the wheel of her car. Hours later, Adams called the police saying her daughter-in-law was found shot to death in their driveway.

-Omar Lopez testified against Mayra Chavez, the mother of his daughter, Kimberly. There was a history of abuse inflicted on Kimberly for years. Twice the mother lost custody of her daughter in prior years. Lopez tried intervening once, but it only made it worse for his daughter. Fearing losing his daughter to the system permanently, he never reported the abuse. One day, Chavez swept Kimberly’s feet from underneath her causing her to fall backwards onto her head. The fall resulted in Kimberly suffering seizures, and no medical attention was sought. Kimberly succumbed to her injuries without medical care. Out of fear of going to prison, Lopez drove his daughter to Mexico where he dug her a shallow hole with his hands.

-Reuben Hamilton initially told police he didn’t know the whereabouts of friend, Garland Spence. Hamilton later admitted that Spence had overdosed on heroin. He placed Spence on the floor of his basement, and pushed bed frames up against him to conceal him. Hamilton also admitted to throwing Spence’s cellphone in a sewer, and threw his wallet away. Hamilton said he didn’t want to leave his friend out on a street somewhere, and didn’t call authorities due to having an active warrant.

-Angela Shock hid the death of her boyfriend for weeks. She needed a place to stay, and money. He had been her only support which led to concealing his death. The autopsy revealed he died from medical issues, and no foul play was found. The article I found on this case had a quote from her lawyer which read, “Some things probably could’ve been avoided but you know in the eyes of love or in an emotional state you probably don’t know what to do in a state of shock.” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and with this story we can add desperation, and survival to it too.

-Elizabeth Quate was sentenced this year to prison for hiding her 6 year old daughter Alysha’s death that occurred in 2014. While staying at a woman’s shelter in 2019, Elizabeth told the shelter that her husband Jason had been prostituting her. When police were contacted, the cops were also told about Alysha’s death, and the whereabouts of her daughter’s body. Alysha’s body was found in a plastic container in her father’s garage. Quate told her parents and police that Alysha died after being struck by her father (Jason) while she was eating, which caused her to choke on her food. Alysha was on the floor shaking and convulsing before dying. Later, her father Jason admitted to exactly what Elizabeth had said he done.

-In 2010, a young mom hid not only her pregnancy but, that she had given birth in her bedroom. Believing the baby girl to be a stillborn, Amanda Hunt panicked, wrapped a towel around the baby, and hid her under the bed. For four months, she moved the baby’s body to several places throughout the home. At one point, the baby’s body was even behind a garden shed. Hunt’s mom was the one to make the grim discovery after noticing a smell coming from her daughter’s closet. Her parents were the ones to contact police. Hunt thought the baby was deceased as she did not cry or move when born. Hunt’s mother was just in the next room the evening she gave birth in her bedroom. Hunt’s lawyers said she panicked, and felt there was no other option. The judge was quoted as saying, “There’s been no evidence to show this was anything other than a reaction to the circumstances to which you found yourself.”

-In 2008, Heather Wardle’s son, James, had an epileptic fit and died. Wardle panicked, and hid his body in a suitcase in her garden. James’s father was growing suspicious because he tried to speak and visit with his son for roughly four months. Wardle, knowing the walls were caving in and that she had no more excuses left, ended up hanging herself in a woodland area near the home. The autopsy report was inconclusive, but the body did not show any foul play. A family friend said Wardle was an independent woman, and was proud of being James’s main caregiver. It’s believed she blamed herself for his death and had a mental breakdown without him.

-John Clifford Torney helped hide the body of his month long girlfriend, Peta-Ann Francis’s daughter, Nikki. Nikki was just two years old at the time of her death. Autopsy concluded she had repeated hard blows to her abdomen. Torney said that Francis said she had gone too far with Nikki, and she wasn’t breathing after throwing her on the bed. Having only been dating Francis for a month, and fear of being implicated for the crime, Torney helped hide Nikki’s body. Her body was found in a roof cavity of the home. Francis at the time was being monitored by child protection officers, and was not handling motherhood well. Torney did get charged with the murder as he feared, but was acquitted as evidence pointed to Francis.

-Ashley Meadows, on January 16, 2011 called her mother, Tila Meadows, into her bathroom. Ashley, pale and shaking, showed her mother a baby wrapped in a t-shirt placed in a bag inside a garbage can. The mother looked for bruising, and saw none. Tila helped her daughter clean up the blood from her feet, and then wrapped her granddaughter in a cloth to place her in a box. The box was left in a storage building on the family’s property. The next day, the baby inside the box was moved to a cave. Tila said she helped her daughter cover it up to protect her daughter, and keep her husband from finding out.

How many people call 911 that are indeed guilty? I can think of quite a few well known cases where the convicted guilty individual was the one who prompted that 911 call. Oftentimes, 911 calls are played during a trial. Not calling 911 does not equate to guilt and calling 911 does not equate innocence.

Do you see how many of these have fear as the underlining cause for their actions? There’s plenty more stories I have saved, and remember these are only a small sampling of ones that have been reported on, and easily found. Let’s move on to the next blanket “never” statement often seen in discussion groups.

Next on the list is, “Chris is guilty, because a parent would never confess to killing their children if they didn’t.” This one is a little harder to find, due to the fact we can’t possibly know how many in prison have lied. They could be sitting in a prison cell right now, and no one knows they are innocent, except themselves of course. There could also be some who are innocent, but trapped in the appeals process that we don’t know about. False confession exonerations account for over 30% of exoneration cases. It’s far more common, than one would realize. With organizations such as the Innocence Project, and with advances in DNA the numbers are rising even more. There are also a lot more people bringing awareness to false confessions, like the new series all about it on Netflix, and rumors of a book in the works. There’s a plethora of reasons for false confessions. Sadly, many have been on death row, and later executed, before their innocence would ever be known. If people falsely confess to killing their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, spouse, best friends, etc., it’s likely many confess to killing their children too. Let’s review some cases involving confessions of one’s child.

– The death of Victoria Marten was a brutal murder, sadly her whole life was horrific. Her mother, Michelle, was addicted to drugs. Michelle claimed she allowed men to rape Victoria before her murder. Michelle, her boyfriend Fabian, and Fabian’s cousin Jessica Kelley were all initially arrested for her murder. Michelle once in custody told detectives that Fabian, Jessica, and herself had participated in the abuse, drugging, rape, and murder of her own child. Much later during trial, evidence came to light that proved Michelle and Fabian were not even present when Victoria was murdered. While they were out buying drugs, Jessica & an unknown male, raped then murdered her before removing her body from the apartment. Michelle arrived back home and her daughter wasn’t there. Hours later Jessica brought Victoria’s body back to the apartment. Jessica then attacked Fabian, and Michelle as they slept. A psychologist said, “Michelle’s low level of cognitive functioning, and an eagerness to please investigators made her vulnerable to a false confession.” The District Attorney was asked about Michelle, claiming she allowed the rape of her daughter prior to her murder, “It was from prior assaults, and Michelle had actually reported those to police.” Why did it take so long to get the truth? “Key evidence had been mishandled, or went untested which was uncovered upon review that I ordered after I took office four months after her murder.” Seems the guilt of choosing drugs over her daughter before her murder, maybe led Michelle to falsely confess her guilt. That visceral feeling of guilt could easily have produced her false confession.

-In 2008, Adrian Thomas confessed that he threw his infant son on the bed three times. Thomas’s son, Matthew, was pronounced brain dead at the hospital earlier that day from a head injury. The hospital told the police, and that’s when they began to interrogate Thomas. Not only did he confess to throwing his infant on the bed three times, but said he did so during an argument with his wife. Thomas went to trial, and was convicted. His case was appealed on grounds of a false confession, and he was granted a new trial. In the second trial, the medical examiner told the jury that Matthew had subdural hematoma[s] which is usually caused from being violently shaken. A Chicago specialist, Dr. Jan Leestma said, “Matthew died of septic shock, because of bacterial infection.” An expert in child abuse, Dr. Patrick Barnes said on the stand that, “The scans that he examined of brain swelling and blood on the brain of the infant were old.” He even said it could have occurred during child birth. Barnes told the jury that the infant was born premature, which placed Thomas at greater risk for bleeding on the brain as had been found. Thomas was found not guilty in his second trial.

-Kevin Fox admitted to killing his daughter, Riley, and spent 8 months in jail. Kevin had picked up his children around 1:30 a.m. on June 6, 2004 from their grandparent’s house. He was too tired to carry them up to their beds, so he laid Riley on the couch, and Tyler was laid on living room chair. The next morning, Tyler, woke his father to tell him Riley was missing. After checking with neighbors to see if they had seen her, Kevin called the non emergency line to the police. Riley was found in a creek a mile from the home. After the police were alerted about her body, they pulled the parents down for questioning. It was hours before the parents even knew Riley had been found deceased. As time went on, the detectives would come by to visit with the family. They seemed friendly, and even played catch with their son. Months later, they again brought both in for questioning, after an eyewitness had video footage of a car similar to Kevin’s headed towards the creek area. Kevin couldn’t explain the footage, and even his wife started to wonder if he was lying. He took a lie detector test in the middle of the night, and the detectives told him he failed.

At this point, Kevin had started to question himself, and ultimately confessed to the murder. His story was exactly the information that had been released about the crime, and didn’t contain any details that only the murderer would know. They arrested Kevin without testing the DNA found on Riley. Kevin’s brother worked across the hall from prominent lawyer, Katherine Zellner, and asked her to look the case over as he believed in his brother’s innocence. Turned out the DNA did not match Kevin, and charges were dropped. It was not until over five years after Kevin’s release when they zeroed in on a, Scott Eby. In May 2010, while serving time for a sexual assault on a relative, an FBI agent asked Eby to submit a sample of DNA. Days later Eby tried taking the easy way out and wrote a confession letter about killing Riley before attempting suicide. He failed the suicide attempt and later took a plea deal in November 2010 for the rape and murder of, Riley Fox.

Why would Kevin admit, in detail, to his daughter’s murder when he was innocent? When reviewing false confession cases many have said they had started to question themselves, and thought maybe they had blocked out the crime. Kevin was urged by his family to hire a lawyer but Kevin said, “I felt I had nothing to hide and thought a lawyer would make me look guilty. I was raised with the idea that authorities were good people, and should be respected. I trusted the detectives.”

-Ashleigh Watterson took the stand at her trial and told the courts she confessed to killing her infant daughter, because she wanted to be locked up. She wanted to spare her family more trauma of criminal proceedings. The charge against Watterson was for attempted murder of her daughter Sarah when she was deprived of oxygen in 2010. Sarah died in 2012 from unknown causes, not part of the charges against Ashleigh. Prior to giving birth to Sarah she had had another daughter who died from SIDS. There are some articles that speak of her never seeking help after that loss. Ashleigh was quoted as saying, “I felt tiny compared to the investigation against me. Because, I did not want to commit suicide, I thought of a way of ending the whole turmoil for my family by falsely confessing.”

Mark Watterson testified at her trial five years later saying, “Ashleigh spent an enormous amount of time and energy devoted to Sarah’s care.” Lawyers attacked the doctors who were overseeing Sarah’s care accusing them of dismissing Ashleigh’s concerns about her daughters health. Dr. Callaghan, who examined Sarah at a hospital in 2010, declared the baby healthy, admitted on stand, “Ashleigh had previously lost a baby to SIDS, so we thought it was more related to her mental health.” The following month Sarah was back in the hospital after the infant suffered cardiac arrest. At that time, the family requested a new doctor since they had been previously dismissed. In Ashleigh’s confession, it included blaming the devil and being possessed, as well as saying she tried three times to kill her daughter. She was found not guilty.

-Sabrina Butler falsely confessed, then was falsely convicted, and sent to death row for the murder of her son. Sabrina was just 17 at the time, and was released from prison when she was 25. Her mother fought for her innocence, and hired new lawyers, who took the case pro bono. It all began in 1989, when she found her nine month old son, Walter, not breathing. Butler scooped her son up and ran to a neighbor’s apartment looking for someone to do CPR. One neighbor started CPR on Walter, and showed Butler how to do it. Butler continued to give him CPR all the way to the hospital which resulted in bruises on his chest. The bruises are what prompted police to question Butler about her son’s death. Just 24 hours after losing her son she confessed to detectives.

Once the new lawyers took a look at the case, they collected the witnesses’ who saw Butler giving her son CPR. The autopsy also concluded the child died from a hereditary kidney condition, there was not even a murder. Butler has since been quoted as saying, “There will always be people who want to advance their careers by putting people to death. Some of those people will be innocent, like me, and most of them will be poor, isolated and African American or Latino.” She also shared that she had a lot of bitterness and anger at the people who railroaded her onto death row. She quickly realized that was only hurting her, and exchanged it for love & happiness.”

Psychiatrist Robert Galatzer on why parents falsely confess to killing their children, ‘The parent is likely overwrought and enormously distressed, and in some sense feels guilty even though they’re not guilty.” Lets discuss one more story which is the case of, “Monster Hobbs” which was his coined name after he falsely confessed. His real name is Jerry Hobbs, despite confessing to killing his daughter and her friend he was actually innocent.

-Nancy Grace told viewers that she was sure Jerry Hobbs was guilty of murdering his daughter, Laura and her friend Krystle, on Mother’s Day of 2005. The two young girls, ages 7 & 8, were last seen riding a single bike around some woods in their area. When nightfall came and the girls were not home, it was clear something was wrong. A frantic search ensued throughout the entire night, and by morning it was Jerry who found the girls deceased. 48 hours later Hobbs was arrested for the two girl’s murders after falsely confessing. Jerry was an easy scapegoat, because he fit three common suspect criteria: he found the bodies, previous criminal record for assault & drugs, and was a family member to the other murdered girl.

Our initial reaction, and notion is that no parent would confess to murdering their child. Cases are stacking up here and it illustrates levels of psychological breakdown, defeat, and manipulation.

Jerry’s confession was incoherent, and very vague. The police even typed it up for him, here’s what the document he signed disclosed: “He was angry, the document said, because his daughter Laura was supposed to be home – having been grounded for stealing $40 from her mom – but she was out on her bike with Krystal. When Jerry found them in the forest preserve at Beulah Park, he supposedly flew into a rage, punching Laura to the ground. Nine-year-old Krystal supposedly pulled out a knife and tried to defend Laura. Jerry supposedly took the knife and then stabbed Laura 20 times and Krystal 11 times.” Can we all say wow?

Evidentiary swabs from the girls were submitted to a crime lab and they did find partial male DNA under the two girl’s fingernails. Since Jerry had already confessed the District Attorney deemed the DNA to be unrelated to the case. It seems if a case has a confession any conflicting evidence is dismissed, explained away, or brushed to the side. Once a case gains momentum on a certain path it increases the difficulty to take a different route. Initially, the girls’ bodies had not show any sexual assault and the autopsy reflected that. However, later Jerry’s lawyers submitted the swabs to their own independent expert. To their surprise the swabs came back with spermatozoa which got overlooked, because of Jerry’s confession. To sum up the rest of the story, they ran the DNA and got a match. A man by name of Jorge Torrez who was in a Virginia prison for other rape and abductions.

The kicker is they would not have linked Torrez to the Hobbs case if the DNA had been initially tested. If they had, it would have come up blank, because Torrez was only arrested in February 2010, and that’s when his DNA was retrieved for another case. Virginia takes DNA samples when you’re arrested, but Illinois does after conviction. Jerry went home after five years in prison.

I am gonna make this a series, as there is so much to cover about false confessions, plea deals, and our justice system. I want to end this part with information about false confessions. One day I took a long thorough personality test, and one of my results was being a loyalist. The description of a loyalist explained me perfectly. In the middle of the description it mentioned being perturbed by injustice. That’s spot on! There’s something about a situation that is incredibly unfair and not right that hurts innocent people that makes me both angry, and sad. We’ve talked a lot about the Bible on this blog as of recently due to Chris Watts’ letters in the book series we have been analyzing. There’s a Proverbs verse, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” I believe in TRUE justice, and not just when someone, anyone is in prison for a particular crime. So, when it comes to false confessions you can only imagine I become passionately loyal to the spreading of awareness.

False confessions:

From Psychology Today, “Most guilty people never confess to a crime, so why would an innocent person? Some take the rap to protect someone they love. A few do it to get attention, or convince themselves that they really are guilty. The majority happen during the perfect storm of vulnerable defendants and coercive interrogations.”

Some scientists say voluntary false confessions can be given to gain notoriety. Other reasons are, because of feeling guilty for past transgressions. Inability to distinguish fact from fiction, or to help protect the real criminal.

From Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law:

Three psychologically distinct types of false confessions are:

Voluntary – absence of coercion 

Compliant – professes guilt in response to extreme interrogation 

Persuaded- occurs when a suspect comes to believe they did commit the crime.

Voluntary- a desire for fame, need to expiate guilt over imagined or real acts, inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality, pathological need for acceptance, or self punishment, desire to aid and protect the real criminal, to provide an alibi for a different crime, to get revenge on someone else.

Compliant- response to police coercion, stress, pressure to terminate or escape from interrogation. These are knowingly admitting guilt when you know you are innocent.

Persuaded- when an interrogation causes an innocent suspect to doubt himself, his or her memory, becomes persuaded or convinced he/she did the crime. At some point, the suspect will experience cognitive dissonance due to not being able to reconcile between knowing he is innocent and if the police are being truthful.

These false confessions, as previously discussed, lead people to presumption of guilt. Which is exactly what can be seen and demonstrated in true crime groups with statements such as: “I would never confess to a crime I didn’t do” or “He admitted it, so he is guilty.” This presumption of guilt taints everyone’s opinion: officials, media, public, jurors, even family. Each part of the system builds up against the individual making the investigative trial process much harder, and even grow cold. A false confession suspect is more likely to stay in jail waiting for a trial, charged with the crime, pressured to plead guilty, and often also convicted.

Despite the research, and analyzing many cases over the years in regard to false confessions it is still unknown how frequently they occur.

From Crime Report, “Innocent people are particularly unlikely to invoke their Miranda rights naively believing the truth will set them free. False confessions are so powerful that they convict innocent people even in the face of exculpating evidence.”

From Pjmedia.com it states, “That investigating officer’s performance is not based on the amount of crimes, but on arrests. There’s a misconception that a wrongful arrest will correct itself through the trial system, but most jury members hold a prevailing belief that innocent people don’t confess to a crime they did not commit.”

Now that is extremely important, read it again. Awareness can break this prevailing belief that innocent people don’t confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Many of you, myself included may one day be called to jury duty. Someone else’s life will be in our hands. Information gives us education, and knowledge which helps spread awareness. The more awareness the more a long held belief can be broken.

Defense attorney, Jane Fischer-Byrialsen explained, “Any time you do an exoneration case where there’s been a false confession, its like trying to ride a tricycle uphill. Everybody’s already against you, the persons already been convicted by a jury, the judge thinks he’s guilty, the jury thinks he’s guilty. Now you have to convince everybody that they’re wrong.”

Saul Kassin, PHD, said, “It defies intuition to think innocent people would confess to a crime they did not commit. But, research has shown that everyone has a breaking point.”

From Research Gate, “False confessions are often involved in wrongful convictions and are sometimes made to protect someone else perhaps as a way to reciprocating past favors. Experimental research has neglected to investigate false confessions made to protect someone else, including among adolescents who can be particularly vulnerable.”

Confessions are extremely damaging it can be difficult for a defendant to recant, or explain why to a jury. This goes back to it being hard for people to understand why someone would falsely confess. Problem is there is psychological research showing otherwise. One study by Kassin and Keichel showed 69% of participants falsely confessed to crashing a computer program after being accused of doing such.

Another reason jurors favor confessors over recanters according to the American Philosophical Association, “It affects the perception of others. This would include eyewitnesses, alibi witnesses, and forensic experts.” This actually caught my attention, and I will relate it to the Watts case. For starters, when Chris confessed on 8/15/2018 the media circulated that he confessed to killing them all. We all know that was entirely false, but as members of the public we didn’t know that was false until FIVE whole days later. The affidavit had been sealed, and it wasn’t until after he was formally charged that they unsealed it. That was when it was disclosed that he did not confess to killing them all, and the public was left that long with the presumption of a full confession, guilty. This would have definitely tainted potential jurors. If it is already hard for people to break the thought that a confession means guilt, what happens when they think a suspect fully confessed only to see that it was a partial confession? Food for thought, and something we will never know thanks to Chris’s plea deal. While discussing the affidavit, the summary of the confession on the affidavit had false information. It was typed that Chris said he had seen Bella blue on the baby monitor. That was later proven inaccurate when the Discoveries were released, and we were able to watch the entire interrogation. It also said that Chris claimed the girls were strangled, but when you watch the confession he didn’t really seem sure how they died.

Continuing on with false confessions here are a few more facts from The Innocence Project and FalseConfessions.org:

-False confessions are the leading cause of false convictions of homicide.

-In 30% of DNA exoneration cases the defendant made incriminating statements, delivered a confession, or pled guilty.

– 92% of false confessors are men.

-Multiple false confessions to the same crime were obtained in 30% of the cases, wherein one false confession was used to prompt others.

-According to the Innocence Project, 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence involve a false confession, and many of those false confessions actually contained details that match the crime, details that were not made to the public.

-If approximately 27% of the total number of exonerated cases involved a false confession, and if 10% of the two million men and women imprisoned in the United States are innocent, as estimated by the Department of Justice, than we can gather that as many as 50,000 of their convictions involved false confessions. That could very well be someone you know.

A murder takes a life, and death ends a life. False confessions often take a life, and false conviction can end a life. We will pick this up where we left off. We are gonna finish off the common statements from the Watts’ case, discuss plea deals, solitary confinement, and more. I wont keep you waiting long…

Part 2 now available here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/08/never-say-never-part-2/

All in One Place

First three links are all one series.

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/05/22/the-curious-case-of-the-watts-family/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/05/28/answering-some-comments-emails-%e2%9d%a4%ef%b8%8f/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/06/03/keeping-my-word/

Vast Reasonable Doubt is a five part series. Each part will take you to the next part of the series.

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/06/22/vast-reasonable-doubt-part-one/

I never got to finish Inception to Conclusion series seen below, but plan to soon.

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/07/15/inception-to-conclusion-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-watts-family-1-of-2/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/07/26/inception-to-conclusion-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-watts-family-2-of-2/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/08/15/screenshots-some-contradictions/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/08/21/wanted/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/08/22/911/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/09/17/where-the-truth-lies/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/09/20/facebook-page/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/04/lies-truth-and-books-oh-my/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/05/lies-truth-and-books-oh-my-part-2/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/06/body-language/

As of 12/29/2019 there have parts 1-16 of the following series. Each post will give you a link to the next.

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/12/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-1/

https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/182879919781304/?d=n

https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/175262530543043/?d=n

https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/176005700468726/?d=n

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/01/20/public-opinion/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/02/04/coffee-chat-part-1/

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2020/02/20/persecution-part-1/

Letters from True Crime Case Analysis (Part 15)

Audio version available here: https://fbwat.ch/1rDwIrKHSx6JBmTm

Dear readers and listeners,

Welcome back, again! Part 14 of this series about Cadle’s book, “Letters from Christopher”, was packed full with facts from the Discoveries.

You do not want to miss that here’s the link: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/10/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-14/

Here’s the link to Part 1 for those new to this series: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/12/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-1/

This is the case that doesn’t end, it goes on and on my friends. Sorry, if you have the song stuck in your head again. Seriously, what is with this case, and the constant developments that unfold? It seems as though every week there’s something new to cover and discuss. This week is no different! Let’s get started, but this time we are gonna cover more than just Chris’s letters. I want to discuss the plagiarism accusations that were uncovered about Cadle’s book, and also a recent story in the news that’s being compared to the Watts case.

-True Crime Case Analysis

In the last week, it has been brought to the attention of thousands of followers of the Watts case that there was plagiarism involved with Cadle’s book. Since the news broke, Cadle has apologized to an author by the name of, Anne K. Howard privately. Anne’s attorneys and publishing company have struck a settlement with Cadle. The book will be pulled off all selling sites, the publishing company Dorrance will not be allowed to print anymore copies, and all proceeds will be given to Anne. The book will only be able to be published again if, and when, all plagiarism is removed and the title changed. Since the deal was struck, Anne has shared on the YouTube channel “Crime Talk” with lawyer Scott Reisch that another [unnamed] author has also contacted pertinent parties as a possible other victim.

Even the weather report was copied as you can see above. Looks like the cover may have came from another book as well. There are many other examples floating around, Anne K. Howard’s book is called, “His Garden: Conversations with a Serial Killer”. I admit, I had never heard of this author or her book but I am suddenly intrigued to read it, apparently many others are as well. To see more examples search on the platform YouTube, and search for “Cadle plagiarism” there are plenty of videos about it.

As we have journeyed through the book together in this series analysis there were many parts of the book, if not all, that just were not handled with care. For starters, Cadle pushed her opinion continuously through the entire book, and it’s clear and evident what she believes now. It’s fine to have an opinion, but a book of this nature that was supposed to be a third version of events, it comes across as inappropriate. Many times her opinions were stated in a matter of fact way. You were left trying to figure out if what was written was true or not. Other times, you couldn’t even tell what Chris said versus what Cadle’s opinion is.

When we get to Cadle recapping what Chris shared with her there was basic information that was inaccurate. The worst of all of it was how Chris, who is now a known liar, mentioned being a story teller too, everything he said was taken at face value. To make matters even worse Cadle copies the Discoveries, which is free to everyone, but did not use those same documents to fact check what Chris told her. One prime example was that Chris told her he took the creepy doll picture while Shanann was away in Arizona. This is with certainty not the truth. As I mentioned in another blog post, Shanann left 8/10, and the picture was posted on her Facebook on 8/9. Shanann could not have posted a picture Chris had yet to even take. It would have taken seconds for Cadle to fact check this piece of information. It didn’t stop there though, throughout the book everything Chris shared with Cadle, it seems she did not check once, never mind double checking, or verified any of his words.

Cadle also seemed to not have pushed further for any clarification of his claims. Not even when he gave two conflicting stories about drugging Shanann did Cadel seek to find out why the story changed. This is NOT seeking truth! Was she hearing what she wanted to hear? I mean it made sense in her mind. Why seek further clarification if what he is sharing fit her opinion, right? Everyone has an opinion, but if facts contradict your opinion it doesn’t hold weight. After all this, to add insult to injury, now we have plagiarism at play.

No matter what everyone’s opinions are of what happened, the fact remains that this story is about real lives! Cadel’s book comes across as being done carelessly, and has now made a mockery of the case too. The jokes are endless all over social media, and even in the review section of the book on the Amazon website in regards to the plagiarism. It’s understandable that one would jump to write a book if presented with an opportunity but, much thought, research, and time should be put forth before proceeding with one of this caliber. Cadle talked about her moral responsibility to share, which happens to be one of the parts she plagiarized. This leaves me to wonder if she considered moral responsibility at all, or just felt that sounded like she did, so copied it. A book about a major crime while committing a crime is a quite disturbing.

I take my time with each blog post I write to ensure I am being careful as to not cause any further harm. I read them several times before publishing, and make sure I am handling the story & my words with care. I stick to the facts of the case, the video & audio evidence, critical thinking, and speculative language. The goal has never been to push my opinion, or to have a platform of people who all agree. I ask questions, discuss facts, bring up points people may have not considered, and attempt to do a process of elimination in search of a clear view of what happened.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” -Arthur Conan Doyle

The innocent children, Bella and Celeste, involved in this case deserve the full truth and nothing less. This is exactly why I would never have seized a book opportunity with Chris where it involved ANOTHER story to add to the confusion. If I did, I would have made sure to ask all the right questions, and that it matched the small amount of facts we do have. I wonder if Cadle had in her mind the right intentions, at least I hope she did. At the end of the day though, I believe she jumped to get the book out quickly while the case was still in the headlines. Unfortunately, this book of hers is the result of rushed work. More lies, confusion, hurt, and now add plagiarism to it all. I am not here to make Cadle feel any worse, but my hope is that she learns from this experience. At minimum, I hope other future True Crime writers use it as an example of how not to handle something so sensitive in nature to so many people.

When the plagiarism was brought to light, Cadle initially tried to deflect the blame to one of the mourning families involved in the case. Cadle claimed of having been sabotaged, and even said Chris was in on it. It’s like witnessing a child throwing an object and when asked why they threw said object the child answers ”it wasn’t me, someone else did it”. Obviously, since a settlement was reached privately between the women, Cadle has quietly admitted guilt. We have yet to see a formal public apology, which is also in the agreement. Now people all over social media are questioning the entirety of the book, and for good reason. By entirety, I mean even Chris’s letters to Cadle have been called into question, which we can see not many letters were actually shared in the book at all. Chris may or may not have written the letters. Given all I’ve said above I think it’s absolutely plausible to consider the letters are fake. That being said, here is what caught my attention about the letters, and now I am considering an entirely different possibility.



As you see above in the pictures from Part 14 of this series Chris wrote twice in one letter, “This was a nightmare.” He also mentioned a dark screen and being “in” the nightmare. Why is that important? Well, not trying to nitpick his word choices but if this was a reflective story moment I would expect it to say, “It was a nightmare”. The use of the word “this” gave me, and others after I pointed it out to them, the impression that Chris is recounting a nightmare he had to Cadle . I am now left wondering if the context of his letters were left out intentionally. Regardless, if this was a nightmare or not, I cannot reconcile this new story at all with the facts we have available. I am of this realm and cannot get on board with claims that the children resurrected from the dead, and not much else of the twisted dark tale either.

The first letter to Cadle began with Chris bringing up a vision he had before August 13th. You will notice this part is not in bold text.





You see where it says, “you’re correct?” Right before that he wrote:

Chris wrote that, but then went into a vision he had that came to pass first. He then jumped to talking about the murders. Chris abruptly stopped, and began to talk of his spiritual visit. Vision, nightmare, spiritual visit all have a common theme, do they not? Well, I googled, “Dreams, visions, spiritual visits, and nightmare” out of curiosity. Of course, no surprise to me every link that came up was religious, or bible based. Here’s a few of the links I found:

http://tearstojoyministries.org/site/mobile?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftearstojoyministries.org%2FDreams_Visions_Nightmare.html#2779

https://www.meethope.org/online-series-posts/2018/2/12/new-blog-format-cktly-xrh4k-55xga-wy769-xmfxe-pzxpm-bnxht-77t3m-8fmkd-chwme-3awh9-sg4nj-epwkr

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gotquestions.org/amp/Bible-nightmares.html

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2016/03/17/what-does-the-bible-say-about-bad-dreams-or-nightmares/

Seems strange his letters would involve a mixture of visions, visits, and then murder. Cadle said after that letter she had a lot of questions for Chris. She never shared what she asked Chris though, and we have no idea if maybe she even fed him details inadvertently. She didn’t seem to push for further clarification if I base it off the response he gave. Cadle took his words at face value, and shared his next letter. This time she didn’t bold the text which is odd since it was supposedly about the murders. That letter is when he mentioned twice, “this was a nightmare.” Then “looking through a dark screen.” Last, “I was in this nightmare, and it wouldn’t let me out”.

Not only do we not know what Cadle’s follow-up questions were, we also do not know what was discussed in their phone conversations, and prison meetings, nor have we ever seen all the letters written between the two. Without those conversations we can not know if this dark screen & nightmare talk was exactly that, simply a nightmare. The big picture and the context is crucial for transparency, and for understanding the exact implications and intent. This book debacle from Cadel is starting to feel a little like a nightmare itself as we wade through its contents.

One aspect that is very fascinating to me; is now that Cadle has lost all credibility, so has the book. People are back to discussing wild conspiracy theories that also don’t match any of the facts. I think it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around either parent harming Bella & Celeste. They would rather believe men in black suits showed up, kids drowned alive in the oil because Chris couldn’t bare to kill them, the altitude in Colorado caused Chris to snap, or that evil temptress must have done it.

When Shanann walked into their door at 1:48 a.m. three people were inside the home. By 5:17 a.m. just 3 hours and 29 minutes later three people left that house with Chris, either dead or alive. I heavily covered the claim about him taking his children alive to the site not adding up against facts, and logistically doesn’t make any sense in Part 14.

One walked into the home with three inside, and one walked out with three in tow. There’s no proof anyone was in the home prior, or after. That brings us to two people only that are capable, unless Dieter has some explaining to do. With all the darkness, potions, and crystal talk Cadle has done, and all the psychics involved with this case, why hasn’t anyone brought in a dog psychic too? I mean cute little Dieter is the only one to know the truth. At this point, I would believe him over anyone or anything else.

Next, let’s get back to the book and finish Chris’s letter.

“I could not believe they came back to life.”

This has been said many times since the first part of this series; Bella & Celeste Watts did not come back to life. Could he have failed the initial time? Sure. Both kids? Far reaching, but small possibility. Both survived, woke up at the same time, walked across the hall together at precisely the same time, and were walking around with no symptoms of hypoxia? No! It simply did not happen. There is a term named after Lazarus from the Bible called, Lazarus syndrome. It’s incredibly rare and includes failed CPR, so would not apply to Chris’s tale:

Here’s a link to all the characters in the Bible who came back to life: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.gotquestions.org/amp/raised-from-the-dead.html

“I was still shaking, and in a sweat, and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest. I didn’t know what to do next, I didn’t even know what I was doing, nothing made any sense to me. I had not planned this out carefully enough. I remember just feeling so angry, a feeling an emotion that I had never felt before.”

This entire part can easily fit the first confession scenario. Shaking, and sweating from the adrenaline, panic, fight or flight rush. Heart racing trying to figure out what to do next. Claims of not knowing what to do next, but wants you to believe he planned the murders. Feeling so angry like he never felt before, because of what had happened.

In an August 12th text to Addy, Shanann said the following, “I say things sometimes just to get him to react in any way since he doesn’t react and that’s not good.” Who says that’s not good? Expressing emotions is a good thing, but reacting is not needed if you handle feelings in an emotionally healthy way. Shanann was a reactor and she wanted him to be the same way. Somehow, and for some reason, she thought everyone should react and it was a good thing if they do. Shanann really believed this to the point of even trying to provoke him to no avail. For two weeks she was begging for him to talk and fight with her and came up empty. She knew he was not one to react, yet she kept pushing and pushing. What happens when someone is so desperate for a reaction, any reaction, and nothing is working? A new plan is formed, a different way to receive what you want so badly.

Every time Shanann tried to get him to talk, fight with her, or react in those two weeks, Chris expressed feelings about Bella & Celeste. We have discussed the examples, but let me share them again. “Your response last night was, “I don’t want to lose the kids!”. Another text, “That’s what you said last night…you didn’t say you didn’t want to lose us, you said you didn’t want to lose the kids”. Couple or so texts later, “You haven’t fought for me this week. It’s only the kids”. To friend Cristina, “He said nothing, he just said I love the kids…” I wouldn’t really say that he said “nothing” when he expressed love for their girls. It was just Shanann he hadn’t expressed his emotions about. A few texts later to Cristina, “He responded I don’t want to lose the kids. I walked away in tears since I couldn’t take anymore”. Chris definitely was not reacting the way she wanted him to.

How many fathers walk out on the entire family? It’s quite frequent, and we hear it all the time. Of course a woman/mother would be upset to be losing their spouse but, generally there is relief that he still wants to be involved with the children. Chris repeatedly told her he loved the kids and didn’t want to lose them. Shanann recognized the children were all he cared about, and the only ones he was showing concern & emotions about. She found his trigger. The attacks against him didn’t cause him to react, the attacks against his family didn’t work, the constant badgering didn’t work either. His only reaction to it all was, he didn’t want to lose Bella & Celeste.

Shanann at this point of the text exchanges had been keeping the girls from their grandparents. She spoke of moving them out of state and away from their father. Mentioned fighting for full custody with no grounds to do such, and attempt to keep their girls from him. She even attempted to keep the girls away from a woman in her 90s, their great-grandmother. On top of that, when speaking of moving out of state, Shanann said not North Carolina. We can add her parents, and sibling who the children were being kept from too. All while also saying, repeatedly, she could not do it alone with three kids. Then why shut out every single person who loved those little girls, and who would & could help? It makes no sense. Don’t get angry at what I am about to say, but if someone is capable of all this, which would have made the children collateral damage, what else are they capable of? Where does the line get drawn? Or was there no line she wouldn’t cross?

Back to the quote from the Cadel book. Imagine for a second the first confession is true. Now think about if you told someone, over and over and over again, how much you loved your children & didn’t want to lose them. Next, think about that person harming the ones you expressed you care about, in fact, the only thing you’ve expressed caring about. That would certainly trigger what he said, “I remember just feeling so angry, a feeling an emotion that I had never felt before”. Without a doubt, that would be a feeling you NEVER felt before.

“I opened the hatch, and I was surprised at how small the opening was. I lifted her up and down into the hole. I remember as I was lowering her body, that I would never see her again, but instead of love I had always had for her, numbness was in its place. I could not feel anything for her…. I heard a splash as she hit the oil.”

—It should go without saying, that clearly the oil tanks were not the way to handle any of this. I understand and recognize this part of the story upsets a lot of people. I won’t dismiss anyone’s feeling on that. Some people view the disposal of bodies in a different way. Neither side are wrong in how they view it. The other side says people hand their kids over to strangers to be burned into ashes. The reason that’s acceptable is because it has been accepted as normal in our society. In other cultures they have all sorts of burial practices that would outrage the majority in this country. The oil-site was a cattle ranch with animals that roam the land, it was August in Colorado so hot weather. Had they been given the same spot as Shanann their bodies would have been exposed to the elements. Some have pondered if they were more protected in the tanks. In the heat of the moment, adrenaline pumping, panic, and a time crunch, some can see how using the tanks came to be. Quite honestly, no matter where he left them you would always have someone, or many people outraged. Sadly, there have been far worse ways in which bodies were handled after death. Which leads to me to say, to some people the children were already deceased, and their body was simply a shell. I think everyone would be outraged had the children been alive when they were put in the tanks. [The autopsies prove they were not alive when they were put in the tanks]. There’s no right or wrong view.

Did Bella & Celeste deserve better than that? Absolutely !! What they deserved was their lives! The oil aspect of this case definitely swayed public opinion, and I believe contributed to Chris’s plea deal. There should be more concern for why the children were deceased in the first place. Had they not been killed the oil tanks would never have even come into play.

Moving on to the quote from above about the tanks, it doesn’t make any sense why Chris claims he was shocked at the size of the hatch opening.




Chris has been working for Anadarko for many years and was even in a leadership position. Co-workers coined him “Rain Man” as seen in the photo above. This was due to Chris visiting a site once and remembering it. Surely he had seen the hatch opening before, and I find it hard to believe he didn’t. Let’s just say he never did, why would he climb that long staircase with a child’s body presuming he could get them in? What if he got up there, and there was no hatch at all? Not buying the claim of being shocked about the size of the hatch.

Chris is trying to claim he felt nothing for Celeste, and that he was numb, as he lowered her into the tank. This claim contradicts another one of his claims, he said “I remember as I was lowering her body that I would never see her again”. If his brain thought about never seeing her again, he wasn’t numb to his emotions. Furthermore, why would that moment be when he thought about how he would never see her again? If he killed her it would be in that moment that he knew he would never see her again.

In his first confession, it was Bella he heard make a splash. Chris said that after saying he felt like Bella’s tank had less oil. Now he is claiming he heard Celeste splash. For the record, Celeste’s tank did have a lot more oil than Bella’s.

“Bella was harder to get down the hole. Her arms and shoulder did not want to fit through the hole, so I had to force her through the hatch. They told me they found a tuff of blond hair; I suspect that’s when that happened.”

—For reference:


The blonde hair was found on the east tank as seen in the first photo. The east tank contained the body of Celeste Watts confirmed in second photo. The hair was Celeste’s whom was definitely blonde headed, not Bella’s hair.

While Celeste was younger in age, she was stockier than Bella. Here is a picture of the girls, summer 2018.

Both pictures, roughly, give a good idea of the girls’ sizes next to one another. Look at the head size, shoulders, and width of their bodies. When you put a pool float on what do you do? You raise your arms right? This is what Chris had claimed in his first confession that he had done. By the looks of the girls sizes at that time, it appears like Celeste would have been harder to enter. Hence, the blonde hair. Hair falls out regardless, and they never did share how much hair was actually collected. Could have been three strands for all we know.

“I did separate them purposely. I was trying to get them as far away from Shanann as possible. I guess I put them in the tanks to make sure this time they didn’t get up. I don’t know why except for the anger I felt.”

—Oh, Chris. He says he did separate them on purpose but ends with “I guess” it was to make sure they didn’t get up. Guessing isn’t a fact. Either he knows why he did or he doesn’t. In the middle of this book quote, he mentions wanting them far away from Shanann. Why? Why would he want them away from her? Even if mad at her, because of the buildup over the years, it doesn’t make any sense as to why he wouldn’t want them near her. Not only not near her, but according to him he wanted them as far away as possible. The only way this fits is in his first confession.

The girls being in separate tanks would not have changed anything. In his second confession he brought up how Frank said Chris had separated them even in death, which Chris then said it wasn’t like that, I wasn’t trying to separate anyone. In his first confession he said he wasn’t thinking at that point, scared out of his mind, and didn’t know what to do. Which is it? Had Chris put the girls in the same tank it would not have changed anything. It’s not like the girls could have saved one another and climbed the walls of the large tanks. If he put the girls with Shanann, or near her, it wouldn’t have mattered either unless the choice to separate was psychologically based. Again, that goes back to the first confession.

“…she was standing in the way of me being truly happy with someone I wanted to be with. Had I not killed them, when I got home that afternoon from work, Shanann would not have let me in my own house. She would have locked the doors, or had the locks changed to show me she was in control still. I would have had to make a scene, which is something I did not want to do for the neighbors to see. I had to put the girls in the tanks so they wouldn’t get up the second time.”

—Hmmm. Killed his family to avoid having to make scene in front of the neighbors. Really? That’s exactly what happened Monday. The entire neighborhood knew the family was missing, cops, detectives, FBI, CBI, dogs canvassing the neighborhood on Tuesday.

It does sound like something Shanann would do in regards to locking him out. It matches what Frank said about how his daughter would never leave that house, and Chris would be in handcuffs before that happened. It matches Chris’s other story of standing up to her, but being kicked out of the house for the night. It also matches, once again, her text messages. She told friend Cristina:

To friend Sara, Shanann said:


So it is believable Shanann would have retaliated or been revengeful in any number of ways. I am not sure Shanann & Chris could have ever amicably split with zero issues. Shanann had texted about moving the kids out of state away from him, and even that she would fight for full custody. Financially she couldn’t hurt him any further than what was already done. The only way she had to hurt him was through the children, even in a divorce. Given she was punishing his parents by keeping the children from them, it’s believable she would have done the same with Chris. It wasn’t just words she was spewing because she was emotional. Everyone, including friends and family, confirmed Shanann was very controlling. There’s no way I can see her ever being okay with shared custody where Chris could do what he wished with his time with the children. There’s also the factor of Shanann not wanting his parents to see Bella & Celeste. Chris would have been allowed for the girls to visit with his parents. I don’t think Shanann would have been handled that very well.

The text to Sara was on August 8th, do we remember what happened that day? I have covered that day a lot through this series. That was the day of the ultrasound. It was the day after he rejected her, and that’s the day Chris told her they weren’t compatible. He told her it wasn’t working, and she asked if he meant divorce. Chris answered, “well not right away” which means yes. Immediately following that, she told Cristina she would fight for full custody. This is the same day Chris is claiming she threatened him with losing the girls.

Shanann tells Sara, “Told him this morning not to come home today if he can’t tell me the damn truth on what the hell is going on.” Well he came home and told her as she had demanded. Shanann didn’t like the truth, which was that he no longer wanted to be married to her. The reaction was to threaten him with losing his kids. Remember Shanann thought reacting was a “good thing”.

Shanann would have been a speed bump standing in his way of being with Nichol. She wasn’t in the way, and he could have been with her. It would have been severely bumpy and rocky, but he technically had his foot out the door on 8/8. That foot got slammed in the door the second she threatened him with losing the kids. That should lead everyone to think about how he said repeatedly, for weeks, how he didn’t want to lose the girls, fought for them, and loved them. Take into account, that after Shanann threatened him, the next day he changed his entire tune. Why on earth would he kill the children making it so that he would never see them again, permanently? Makes no sense. I bet some will say it’s a coincidence he changed his tune, and all his words were lies about loving them. Well, Shanann didn’t seem to think they were just words or fake. Many texts show she was very upset that his only focus was the kids.

“I think she had given birth.”

—Not enough time had passed for him to have seen if Shanann had given birth. The second confession he said he hadn’t seen that, so why leave that out in that interview? It had only been roughly two hours at this point when he buried Shanann at he site.

Cadle took time to find, and take someone else’s work, but didn’t take mere seconds to see if it’s possible he saw Shanann gave birth. As seen in the above picture, about what transpires after a pregnant woman is deceased.

“She landed face down, I remember being so angry with her that I was not gonna change how she landed.”

—Why was he so angry with Shanann at the site? He killed her, succeeded, was free, and fulfilled his “plan.” Another of his statements that don’t make any sense . The only way it does make sense is if he was mad at what he said she had done in his first confession. Mad she was in the way of him being with Nichol, and being mad she kept him from his parents as he said, it just doesn’t fit. If that’s true he would have felt relieved to be rid of her, and free to do what he desired.

Shanann was attached to her phone, this is a fact. Everyone who knew her said this, even her ex-husband said she was the same way years prior. Chris was also well aware she always answered “her people”. He knew her patterns, and behaviors too. I don’t think there’s any possible way he thought he would get away with it. Someone was gonna notice, and quickly. The oil site points far more to spur of the moment too as discussed in this series.

“I just realized I murdered my daughters twice. I still don’t understand how that happened, because I know they were dead the first time.”

—Chris knows they were dead the first time he claims. Same way he said earlier in the letter, he knew Shanann was dead when she relieved herself. How did he know they were dead the first time? Impossible he killed them successfully the first time for him to know he did.

“My entire life lay there on that oil site.”

—What an understatement! His baby girls, unborn son, and wife laid all over the site. One life for sure ended that morning right at that oil site. His own.


Chris had nine charges stacked against him. In his plea deal he accepted all the charges, because the DA said he wouldn’t take anything less than all. He was sentenced with five life sentences. Ironically, on that oil site laid five lives. Chris may not have physically died, but he may as well have.

(I am fully aware he was not charged for his own life, but pointing out the irony)

Dear readers and listeners,

Stopping there with the analysis of Chris’s letter. I want to discuss another case that caught my attention this week. No other case has really caught my attention since the Watts case. That has changed! Some, if not most of you, may have heard about the Heidi Broussard case out of Austin, Texas that gripped the headlines this week. For those who haven’t here is a link: https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/week-passes-since-south-austin-mother-her-newborns-disappearance

When this story gained traction, groups popped up all over social media. It was the interview of Heidi’s boyfriend on the news that caught everyone’s attention. Sound familiar? Same thing happened in Watts case! So many people were ready for a public hanging of Shane Carey in the town square just by going off his interview. Let’s hope those people never receive a jury summons. As it turns out, Shane was not involved in her disappearance. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/12/21/mother-disappeared-with-her-newborn-police-found-her-body-kidnapping-suspect/%3foutputType=amp

I won’t lie my initial reaction to the video left me feeling uneasy. Link to one of the interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO2MQBIqjYk&feature=youtu.be

These are a few platforms that jumped on the comparison wagon:

That’s in addition to the thousands discussing the missing mother & daughter duo who were screaming Shane’s guilt. I cannot blame them for doing such, although I think it’s a good lesson. This is one of the reasons I plan to do a blog post about the Broussard case.

I know that interviews can bring out nerves in people, which results in odd behaviors. I was not ready to convict Shane, even if his interview left me unsettled. It’s very unique story in its own right like the Watts case. The reason I briefly wanted to discuss it was, because what has happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”


Notice I bolded “PROVEN” guilty it doesn’t say if they confess they are guilty. I understand that statistically speaking a spouse (male/female) is typically involved, but we shouldn’t be going around thinking all are. No two cases are alike, and sometimes not everything is as it may appear.

I’ll be back after the holiday to continue this series, and a bonus blog post about the Broussard case.

See you then…

Letters from True Crime Case Analysis (Part 14)

Audio version available here: https://www.facebook.com/102475607821736/posts/162611131808183?vh=e&d=n&sfns=mo

(Note: after audio was complete I fixed a minor mistake which was 1 hour 6 minutes drive to 1 hour 8 minute drive)

Dear readers and listeners,

Welcome back! Let’s continue to analyze Chris’s letter to Cadle in the, “Letters from Christopher” book. It is hard to read these letters because it was not pointed out to Chris that much of what he is saying does not match the facts. If anyone feels a sense of closure from this book, then you have not been paying close enough attention. Revisit the Discoveries, review body cam footage, and/or read all the blog posts on this site. While it is difficult for any of us to know what truly happened, everything being said should make sense, at least somewhat. Let’s begin…

-True Crime Case Analysis

Part 13 was split in half, and we left off at this point in Chris’s letter here:

I commentated about this statement underneath the quote, but just giving a reference of where in his letter we are going to begin.

“I was wrapping her up in the bedsheet when the girls came walking into the room. I don’t know how it can be possible but they both were up and walking around. I knew if Nikki and I were going to be together, I had to kill all them.”

Both girls survived being smothered to death with a pillow? They both woke at roughly the same time? Both were able to walk across the hall together? What happened to it being just Bella who walked in, and Celeste woke a short time later? I mean that’s what he said in the second confession to the FBI, CBI, and Frederick Police Department (FPD). I know he is trying to claim he didn’t tell them the whole truth but, if Celeste woke like Bella, why not say that in the second confession?

We’ve already covered, several times, the medical term called Hypoxia. A refresher to what some Hypoxia symptoms are:

  • Confusion
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Wheezing

These symptoms would have been seen after being deprived of oxygen. Bella & Celeste both had a history of breathing issues, which likely would have exasperated these symptoms. They did not just get up and start walking around as if it was any other morning.

Take notice of the fact that Chris offers no explanation of what his reaction was to seeing his children alive standing in his room. As though it’s just his two daughters appearing slightly off, that he claims he tried to kill, showing up in the master bedroom. Chris says it in a very nonchalant way, claiming he knew he had to kill them all if he was going to be with Nikki. Hold up though, he did think he had killed them all already. Remember, Chris said when he strangled Shanann that he knew he couldn’t let go, because she would keep him from Nikki. My rebuttal was that it was ludicrous, because in his mind, in that version, he had already killed the kids. Dead children would certainly be the cause of him no longer being able to be with Nikki, not whether he killed Shanann at that point in time because remember, again, in his mind the children were already dead. Chris is making it seem like both girls walking in was the defining moment that changed it all, but it wasn’t. He claims he had already tried to kill them once before.

“I wrapped Shanann in the sheet and Bella kept asking what was wrong with mommy. Both girls started crying. Both girls looked like they had been through something. I knew it was because of being smothered. I could not comfort my girls; I had no desire to. I think I told her mommy would be okay, she just didn’t feel good.”

—It doesn’t take a long time to wrap someone up in a sheet. Did the girls walk in before, during, or after he wrapped Shanann in the sheet? Chris says they both looked like they had been through, “something”. He then says he knew it was because of being smothered. Well, if events happened the way he said, what else could it have been? And, why say “something”? Under normal circumstances humans wake from sleep disheveled in general, right? The girls would not have necessarily looked any certain way aside from the normal disheveled look but, again, he says “both girls looked like they had been through “something”. At minimum, if events unfolded as he claims in the book Bella & Celeste would have been physically affected and showing symptoms of a smothering attempt.

Just twelve hours prior to all of this, at the birthday party they attended, Celeste fell and Chris comforted her. He had a desire and instinct to tend to, care for, and comfort Celeste. A mere 12 hours later he claims he had no desire to comfort either of his girls as they began to cry. If you have children you know they don’t just stop crying. Imagine, for a minute, the scene he is trying to paint. Chris claims he attempted to kill both children and they both miraculously survived, he failed, and/or they resurrected themselves from the dead. On top of that, both girls awake at an hour they normally were not. Bella (and Celeste too?) walking into the room, and the mommy Bella had been waiting for was there. Daddy is wrapping mommy in a sheet. Do you think a child would just stop crying without being consoled in a situation such as this? Personally, I have children and none of them would just “stop” crying on their own. I cannot even get them to stop crying over their smooshed bread without consoling, or distracting them. Let’s cover the next quote, because there’s a reason I am mentioning the crying stopping.

“I tried to carry Shanann down the stairs, but I lost my grip on her twice and she was too heavy for me to carry. She fell to the floor, and I ended up kind of sliding her down the stairs. The girls were just kinda running around the house, and watching me with scared looks on their faces. Bella started to cry and when she did Celeste started whimpering. What a nightmare this was.”

—I am beginning to think it may have been an actual nightmare he is writing about, and not what actually happened.

Back to the crying, so both girls had been crying prior to him maneuvering Shanann’s body down the stairs. The girls magically stopped crying without any consoling, and began to run around the house. Oh wait, no, they were watching him, scared. Which is it? Amazing these two children went from crying to running around as their father manipulated their mothers’ body, and even claims to have dropped her twice in front of them. Neither child asked again if mommy was okay from daddy dropping her twice? Then Bella starts to cry again, but Celeste with all this transpiring only whimpers?

We have seen these girls in a lot of videos, and have a pretty good idea of their personalities. We saw how they behaved in situations that made them upset or unsure. This behavior he is claiming of the children doesn’t appear to be who they were at all. To be honest, it doesn’t match children in general. My three year old would be screaming at the top of his lungs for me. At minimum, he would have been heavily crying, and consoling would have been the only way to make sure not to alert the neighbors. During his interview, Frank Rzucek told a story about the girls chasing Shanann to the bathroom while they were at the airport that same summer, in June, 2018. He had to chase both girls, and when he caught up to them, Bella was screaming at the top of her lungs for Shanann. Frankie Rzucek also said in his interview that Shanann would go outside just to talk on the phone, and the girls would scream and cry for her. Shanann didn’t even FaceTime the girls when she went on Thrive trips, because it would make the girls cry. Chris said this, but her friend Karen also confirmed these details in her interview. In watching Shanann’s videos, I observed anytime the girls were unsure, cranky, tired, scared, or nervous they would kick their legs, run, hide, scream, or cry.

Adding even more to all of that, Bella & Celeste had very strict bedtime schedules their whole lives, being up earlier than usual likely would have had them groggy & cranky. Groggy cranky children usually turn into whiny crying puddle of messes who won’t stop crying and sobbing.

Why didn’t Chris kill them right there and then? While Shanann was still laying in the bed in the sheet. His next line is, “This is the reason I killed them first, so they did not have to witness any of this.” Why let them witness it then, why not just kill them in a panic on the spot? He had the prime opportunity right there in the house. There was no rush to get Shanann downstairs and outside into the truck. If the girls were alive he took a big risk when he left the house to retrieve his truck leaving them inside, remember, supposedly crying and running around. Once he got Shanann downstairs, why not do it then? Another opportunity. Chris would have had multiple timeframes to complete his so-called planned mission in the home without any need to take the girls with him.

Example of the shape he was in. This photo was taken the week prior.

I want to continue that thought, but first let me talk about Chris’s claim of dropping Shanann twice real quick. Shanann was supposedly in a sheet which would have helped his grip if pulled tightly. Chris was in shape that summer, and has history of working out with weights. Anyone who has used weights knows the firm grip you must have on the handles to make sure not to drop the weights. An average untrained male can lift 135 to 175 lbs. Shanann would have been under this amount even accounting for what is referred to as “dead weight”. From their bed to the staircase was not a long distance at all, at what point did he drop her not once, but twice?

Back to the not killing the girls a second time in the home, and taking them alive with him. I did not believe this in the second confession, and I still do not.

Shanann walked in at 1:48 a.m. The next time there was motion detected downstairs was at 4:23 a.m. When Chris confessed the first time his story actually matched with the 4:23 a.m. scenario. If Chris woke at 4:00 a.m., as he typically did to work out, they argued for roughly 20 minutes, then went to make his lunch, it would be around 4:23 a.m. By the time Chris heard something, ran upstairs, everything unfolded, panic took over, and he exits the home at 5:18 a.m. to pull up the truck. See how that fits the time perfectly? (See pages 599-610 in the Discovery document.)

If Chris got downstairs at 4:23 a.m. with Shanann’s body, then what did he do? He did not exit the home until 5:18 a.m., there is a missing 55 minutes period of time. Bella & Celeste walking around after a smothering attempt, downstairs hanging out with their dead mom on the floor, and scary evil daddy for 55 minutes? No crying? No screaming? No sleeping? Nothing?

What makes it even more ridiculous is that’s 55 more minutes on top of the 1 hour and 8 minutes to drive to the site. That’s 2 hours 3 minute of being with his children he thought he’d killed. That’s 55 minutes he had to kill them successfully a second time, if that’s what he really wanted to do without taking any risks.

Cervi 319 while a remote location was a leased location on a cattle ranch property. Other companies, not just Anadarko employees, visited the property for a variety of reasons. Chris’s coworker Troy actually ran into another company while back at the oil-site the next day, you can find this in the Discoveries. Chris had coworkers headed out to the site that morning, and he was aware of that. Chris texted them all a few times to get the coworkers’ ETA, and even tried to call them. The call times were during the drive he claims he had the children alive with him. Children are not typically quiet, especially when we need them to be for a phone call. Chris had no idea if the kids would be heard on his call or not, as kids are unpredictable. Let’s say he successfully connected to a coworker and the person on the other line heard the girls. How was he going to explain that?

Other coworkers were headed to another oil site on the property just 2 miles away. They could have easily just shown up at Chris’s location without any warning. Chris was strapped for time, the sun had risen, and he would have needed to have major hustle in his steps once he arrived on that location. Hiding the bodies quickly is more believable in that time frame than committing double homicide and also disposing of three bodies. That’s an added 7-10 minutes. The way Chris described it, it probably would have been even more time. Got Shanann out of the truck, then dragged her to near her final location. Left her deceased body out in the open, and returned to the truck. Got in the truck killed one child, got out, walked way over to the tank holding Celeste then climbed the steps, and inserted Celeste into the tank. Climbed back down the stairs, walked back to the truck, got in again, killed the other child, exited the truck, walked back to the stairs, climbed up the stairs again, and inserted Bella. Climbed back down the stairs, and now walks way over past his truck to where Shanann is still laying out on the dirt. Now after all that he dug a hole. Left behind a sheet, two bags, and a broken rake.

As you see in Chris’s GPS, he backed the truck up at 5:18 a.m. and idled, the time period was 27 minutes. This puts Chris leaving the home at 5:45 a.m. The GPS then shows him arriving at Cervi 319 at 6:53 a.m., which means it was 1 hour and 8 minutes, and a total of 47 miles he traveled. Chris left Cervi 319, and traveled only 2 miles to the other location with his coworkers. There are conflicting times given on when his two coworkers arrived at Cervi 319 earlier that morning, it was somewhere between 7:15-8:00 a.m.

Coworker Troy told detectives that Chris’s car was parked by the well head. His GPS does not show his truck moving at all once at the site. You can see the location of the well head in the above picture, and it’s distance to the tanks and Shanann’s grave. Troy found the location of Chris’s truck to be odd, because he was there to fix a leak.

Based on all this information, I simply do not believe the children were alive. These are documented facts from GPS, phone records, motion detectors in the home, and text messages. All of which seemed to be forgotten, or ignored, when the team of investigators spoke to Chris in Wisconsin. It was also not researched, or reviewed by Cadle either, as she supposedly communicated with Chris to get the “truth.”

Adding even further, Chris took 27 minutes to the load the truck. If it was as simple as putting Shanann’s body in and telling kids to follow, why did it take so long to leave the house? If the kids were alive you would think there would have been angst to get them and get going on the road ASAP. It was as if he slowly brought each body out one by one, as he went back and forth inside the home. Frank Rzucek said in his interview that Shanann never opened the garage door until the kids were in the car. The children would take off running if the garage door opened, specifically Celeste. We have this video where the garage door is open, and we are expected to believe these two girls, both capable of opening a door are inside. The girls never attempted to come out to the garage, weren’t standing at the door crying, or screaming, didn’t attempt to run out to daddy crying, and were in the home alone with their dead mother in a sheet on the floor.

Chris was aware of his neighbor Nathan’s camera and all the neighbors confirmed Chris’s claim of car break ins. He had checked with Nathan when the car break ins occurred and even moved his truck closer to Nathan’s camera view. This is more than likely why he not only backed the truck up, but loaded on the drivers’ side of the truck. It is also why he left no gap from the garage to the bed of the truck. If the girls were alive, why go through all these steps to assure they were not seen, only to allow them to walk out as he claims? Remember above I said 55 minutes unaccounted for, and a 1 hour 8 minutes drive? Add in 27 minutes to load the truck and it brings us to 2 hours and 30 minutes that he would have been with the girls, that he claims he had already tried to kill. Minus the drive that’s 1 hour and 22 minutes to kill them and successfully avoiding the risk of them being seen on camera, heard on his calls to coworkers, coworkers arriving at site earlier than expected, and/or other random people & companies showing up to the site.

Logistically it doesn’t add up for me. While we are discussing the different stories let’s go back to first confession again.

Everyone keeps talking about Chris having been given the story of Shanann harming the children by detectives. Even the three agencies seemed to believe they gave him the story when he told them he “just went with it.” I have mentioned before that it simply doesn’t make any sense, as he blamed Shanann right away – straight from the oil site that Monday morning. First, by saying Shanann went on a play date with friends, and later, implying she left him when he found her ring on the nightstand. Another show aired a few nights ago, so allow me further clarify this idea he was fed that story. The idea he was fed that story has been brought up again, and discussed extensively across social media platforms. Chris texted Shanann at 7:40 that morning and said, “If you take the kids somewhere, please let me know where they are at?” This is implying the girls would be missing, because of Shanann. Chris told his friend, Dave Colon, Monday evening that he thinks Shanann left voluntarily with the girls and was hiding out somewhere. In her TV interview from November, Cindy Watts stated that when she first heard of them missing, she considered Shanann was somewhere hiding as a way to punish Chris. Let’s leave any opinions of Cindy Watts out of the discussion. The reason I mention this: don’t you think they expressed this to Chris? People typically don’t assume the worst case scenario of almost an entire family being dead. It is normal for that to not even cross one’s mind at first, especially when your son has no history of violence. It’s not far-fetched that a woman would seek revenge on a man who had an affair, or wanted a divorce. It’s happened many times before. There’s also the matter of the letter that was written and proven to be Chris’s handwriting. Whether he wrote it the day noted on the letter, which was 8/6, during that week, or whether he wrote it on 8/15, on the way to the police station, it pointed to Shanann. All of this was before Agent Tammy or Agent Coder even uttered a word to Chris about Shannan harming the children. The idea to push blame originated from Chris though, and not from anyone else when he texted Shanann at 7:40 a.m. that morning.

Do you still believe he was fed the story? It comes down to a couple of legitimate speculations: was it on his mind, because she did do as he claimed in his first confession, or he planned all along to push the focus/blame to Shanann? Either way, the claim of being fed the story isn’t really credible.

“As I was moving the truck, I realized that everything I thought about was about to be complete.”

—Wait! The children resurrected from the dead, he was far from complete when he pulled the truck up. Chris in this scenario would have needed to try to kill his children again, drive to the site, and dispose of all the bodies.

“I was angry with the girls that they were up and awake, and I felt anger for Shanann that I could have killed anything that got in my way. My hands were shaking so hard, and my knees were buckling under me. I felt like I was looking through a dark screen. It was too late. I was in this nightmare and it wouldn’t let me out.”

—We can not really see much of anything in the footage captured on Nathan’s camera. It’s been dissected over and over and over again. The reality is we simply have no idea what was going on. That being said, he didn’t run to his truck he walked. I didn’t sense anger as he manipulated the gas can over, and over again changing its’ location. For a man claiming to have planned this he sure didn’t appear on camera as prepared. Chris claims he could have killed anything that got in his way, but he didn’t. He didn’t harm Dieter the family dog, and he didn’t harm his coworkers at the site. We can not see any hands shaking, or knees buckling as he was walking back & forth to the truck. I would think if that were the case it would have made it awfully hard to drive over an hour in that emotional and physical state.

I am tempted to believe it’s like he is looking through a dark screen now more so than that morning. Is this all a nightmare he had? Sure it’s his words on a letter, but is he telling Cadle about a nightmare he had? Either intentionally or unintentionally? Having false memories, and using dreams & bibles to fill those memory gaps. Like we have discussed many times in this series you now know the meaning of the word, confabulation.

“I gathered my things I would need, such as my lunch, a shovel and a rake from garage, and something wanted me to take the gas can from the garage. I still do not why I took the gas can. The FBI asked me if I was going to take my own life, and I told them I thought about it, but honestly, no, I was not going to take my own life.”

—Where exactly, in the footage do we see Chris put a rake or shovel in the truck? Matter of fact, he told the cops over and over it was tools he put in. If he loaded a rake and shovel which are rather large objects, we should be able to see him placing them in the truck. I am certain working in the oilfield these things would automatically be in the bed of Anadarko work trucks.

Chris is admitting he lied to the FBI, CBI, and FPD in his second confession. He claims God told him to clear Shanann’s name, yet he lied to do that. Why not just tell the truth if the truth is Shanann didn’t kill the kids? If that’s the truth that would automatically clear her name. He lied. He was dishonest. He gave them a story. Another version.

What is most fascinating to me is that in all three stories Chris doesn’t seem to know how the girls died. In the first confession, it was he didn’t see Bella being harmed. He caught Shanann with Celeste, came in the room from behind and thought he saw hands on neck. We’ve discussed in this series that in a moment such as that it would be hard to really know what you saw. On a young child there isn’t much distance between a mouth and their neck, especially in comparison to an adult hand. Adrenaline pumping, anger overflowing, would result in a skewed view of what was seen. After his sentencing, the District Attorney said the most damning evidence was the girls were smothered, not strangled like Chris claimed. I say that’s not evidence at all! If he truly wanted to blame Shanann, and he is the one who killed Bella and Celeste, then he would definitely know how they died. Common sense says you would make sure to say exactly how they died. If I had been a juror I would have found it ridiculous to call that their key evidence.

In his second confession, he used the word strangle, but then spoke of using a blanket which is smothering. Now in this third story telling to Cadel, he says the first time he killed them was with a pillow in their beds, and that’s why the cause of death was smothering. Problem is, they supposedly didn’t die that time, so that’s not why their cause of death was smothering. This new version includes two objects (pillow & blanket) yet the girls had zero fibers found and no oil in their airways. I have searched high and low to no avail, but if someone finds a case where two children were both smothered with two different objects where no fibers were found, please share it. Again, take note, he is saying the reason for the cause of death being smothering was, because of his first attempt. That does not make sense.

Why can’t Chris remember how the girls died? I mean if he’s the one who killed them, surely he would be definitively sure.

Chris describes dragging Shanann out to the truck and lifting her inside. He then claims he went to the other side and pulled her through. In his second confession, he said that Bella followed him out to the truck to load Shanann. Now, this latest version, it’s she was inside with Celeste and her deceased mother by the door. Chris continued:

“I ran back in and cut some lights, told the girls to follow me. I was shocked later that day I was standing in the neighbors’ living room looking at their security camera video and thought everyone could see the girls walk up to me and I put them in the truck.”

—It’s been brought to my attention that Cadle has been a fan of the YouTube channel, “Armchair Detective” since the beginning of the case. Cadle was in contact with Chris before his interview at the prison with the FBI, CBI, and FPD. Chris had also heard about the discussions on social media platforms as he referenced, “nutgate.” It is absolutely possible, and more than likely, he was told about the YouTube channel creator by someone. That channel has overly dissected the loading of the truck video. The shadow talk started from that channel, as did Nichol K. being there, and let’s not forget they also thought Ronnie was there helping at one point. The shadow video that was created was implying someone walked to Chris so they were alive. Go figure.

Chris could not have been shocked to see that video in Nathan’s house. He was aware of the camera, had knowledge of its coverage, seemingly took certain precautions as to being careful so what he was doing exactly was not recorded on video. No surprise to him to be seen loading anything into his truck that morning. Maybe surprised at how quickly the cops were viewing it, but certainly not shocked as to its existence.

Look at what it says though in the quote. It says he told the girls to follow him, but then says they walked up to him. Were the girls following him or walking towards him? The shadow videos have clearly been tampered with many times. At the same time, any shadow you may see is from Chris’s own body walking towards the light. They had two lights on either side of the garage, a porch light, and don’t forget street lights too. The more lights the more shadows you will see on a surveillance video.

It makes zero sense that he would allow the girls to walk outside after all the steps he’d taken being so careful in regards to loading the truck. Chris knew his girls, specifically Celeste who was far from timid like her sister. I have seen people say that he picked Celeste up, and Bella walked because she was bigger and wouldn’t have been held. Let me debunk that. These pictures were taken in North Carolina the week prior to the tragedy, and have been shared in other blog posts as well.

Chris saying both that the girls followed him, and they walked to him is quite interesting. The shadow video that circulated prior to Chris saying this was about a child’s shadow walking towards him. If he was told about this video put together by the YouTube channel rather than seeing it then, covering bases of both walking to him, and following him make sense. Which is it? Let me guess, he made them follow him into garage and the girls quietly & meekly stood inside the garage whilst he walked to the truck, risking them running out, crying, screaming, and then they calmly walked to his arms.

Quickly carrying out bodies, especially small children and placing them in the truck is a lot less risky. Let’s say the garbage bags he grabbed weren’t for Shanann, and were maybe to cover the girls up. The bags being black would have made it harder to catch on camera in the still darkness of the morning.

Additionally, let’s not forget that the District Attorney, the arrest affidavit, and Shanann’s father all said he carried the bodies out to the truck. It was said they saw the footage, and Frank even added that he carried them out like they were trash. There is no additional footage we have not been privy to because, if there was any footage of him carrying live children there would have been no investigation. That would have been proof enough that the girls left in his truck. Suddenly, after Chris said the kids were alive when he left, back in February, the District Attorney changed his tune and said it matched the video evidence.

The agencies would have reviewed the footage from the original source on high quality equipment frame by frame. Nothing at that time was found that involved living children. Even during his confession with the three agencies, Agent Coder seemed taken back when Chris said the kids were alive when he left. Agent Coder went on to ask several times to be sure too. We already know Chris lied on that day, or he’s lying in the book, or he doesn’t remember! Another interesting point to make, is the children being alive when he left takes Shanann’s name completely off the table. Which was his goal right? I mean that’s what God told him to do, according to Chris. If that’s true then these stories of children being alive successfully completes God’s request. I do not know what the truth is and no one does. I am not here to solve the case, but to ask all the questions that no one has thought to ask! Why? There are usually some truths mixed in with the lies. I am not sold that the first confession was exactly as it happened, but logistically and analytically I can see the first being the truest. There are some things in the second confession that are plausible, but most of it didn’t add up to the facts. This new version seems to be a mission to make himself the most evil monster ever. I am not a fiction fan, and would take real over made up any day. I guess if you are a fiction loving fan this latest story is for you.

If you haven’t watched the show “Confession Tapes” on Netflix I highly suggest it. While the episodes are about confessions before conviction, the same concept can be applied for after conviction. If everyone keeps telling you that you did it, if everyone believes you did it, if people show up to hear you say you did it, guess what can happen? You can start to believe you must have done it. If you don’t believe me, again I suggest you watch a few episodes of the show.

One particular episode (season 1 episode 3) a man confessed three times. The jurors who were interviewed said they convicted him because “who would confess three times to something they didn’t do”. Turns out, many years later, after his conviction when the evidence was tested for DNA, he was innocent. We all think we would never confess to things we didn’t do, but we simply don’t know that without being in that situation.

This next screenshot is from a Healthline article: https://www.healthline.com/health/false-memory#why-we-have-them

Once Chris received his five life sentences, and transported to Wisconsin he likely thought that was the end. What happened instead was the agencies sought him out for further information. You really think they flew all that way to hear the first story again after he already pled guilty? Imagine thinking you can move on with your sentences, only to walk into a room with people you thought you’d never see again. They didn’t spare any time peppering him with questions after a little small talk introduction.

After that meeting, Cadle was already in contact with Chris and told him that she felt there was more to the story than what he told the agencies. The five hour audio was not enough for her, and she continued to ask him more questions. Suddenly now after her correspondence, a short while later the story changes again, and is contained in this letter we are analyzing. You think the FBI, CBI, FPD, and Cadle are the only ones who have asked questions? Absolutely not! I am sure he has stacks of letters, and I am sure anyone he speaks with asks too.

“I could not believe they came back to life. Now I had to deal with this again for the second time and Shanann.”

—Bella & Celeste Watts are not characters from the Bible, and did not resurrect from the dead. Chris had more to deal with then the girls a second time, and Shanann. Chris had to get to the site, commit double homicide, and dispose of all the bodies. Unless wait? Did Shanann resurrect too? Is that what he means? No, I am not serious.

Dear readers and listeners,

Our conscious mind is our thinking process, the analytical, rational, logical things. The 2 + 2 equals 4 part of our mind if you will. The subconscious is not logical and is our emotions, habits, automatic responses, feelings, instincts, impressions, and our memories. In regards to a memory; a thought, an image, or even an idea, real or not repeated often, or when emotionally charged, can become a real memory.

Sweet beautiful mild mannered Bella Marie Watts.

Chris said in his second confession, on his first run through of the story that Bella’s last words were, “Daddy, no!”. When he retold the story again at the end of the interview, he said he hears it everyday, “No, daddy!”. In Cadle’s book he wrote Bella said, “Daddy, No!”. If this is something he claims to hear everyday, wouldn’t you remember exactly how it was spoken? Some would argue, what does it matter? I get it, but it’s two small words that if haunted by it should be remembered accurately. Seems to me this is more of a subconscious reflection. After all, he said in the second confession he thinks back to that drive and wonders if he could have saved their lives. If the children were alive the proper word would have been, “spared”.

On August 6th, 2018 just 7 days prior to the murders Shanann texted Chris the following: “That’s what you said last night…you can’t even say why you are married to me. That’s a stab in the heart…You didn’t say you didn’t want to lose us, you said you didn’t want to lose the kids.” Chris responded, “I don’t want to lose anyone.” Her next text said, “This is the worst week of my life.”

Just the day prior to this exchange with Chris, Shanann’s friend Cristina asked her, “What about how you feel about him…do you see your life without him?”. Shanann replied, “What do I say.” Cristina said, “What does your heart tell you not your head”. To which Shanann sent a laughing emoji and said “I can’t put it in to writing.” Cristina tried some more, “Do you want him in your life? Do you want to fix things? Most important do you love him?”.

No answer. Simple yes or no questions ignored, but there was time to say yes to a Thrive call.

The entire family could have been saved many years ago with the proper help and guidance. Which would have spared this unbearable tragic ending.

I’ll be back hopefully soon…

Part 15 available here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/22/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-15/

Letters from True Crime Case Analysis (Part 13 continued)

Back to the Watts’ case and the letter Chris wrote to Cadle about the murders. In Part 12 we began to discuss the letter and left off here:

“I was numb to the entire world. I had literally taken my kids to a birthday party, played with water balloons, had an amazing time, sang songs all the way home, gave them a bath a shower, ate dinner, read bedtime stories and sang bedtime songs, and still nothing registered!!”

—Jeremy and Jennifer Lindstrom said Chris was “normal” at the party on Sunday, August 12th. He was typically on the quieter side and mellow they added. At the party Chris spoke of Shanann and him knowing the gender of the baby. They had plans of revealing the gender that coming week. Chris was watching the girls at the party as he normally did. At one point during the celebration Celeste fell off of the swing set and wanted her blankie. Chris went over to Celeste to comfort her after the fall.

Not from the day of the party.

In this same interview, Jennifer, disclosed that Shanann only agreed to another baby, because of how hands on Chris was as a dad. She further stated that Shanann said, “and he would always be there to help her.” It should be noted this interview was conducted before family & friends knew they were all deceased.

In one of Shanann’s Facebook live video’s, where she’s flipping through a cookbook around Christmas 2017, you can hear Chris upstairs singing with the girls who were in the bath. “Here we go Steelers here we go.” Singing songs with them seemed to be an everyday occurrence, a per usual happening. We know Chris read to Bella & Celeste every evening, and still does in his prison cell.

https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/10/05/lies-truth-and-books-oh-my-part-2/ Here in this post above I listed references of comparisons between what Chris was saying in his letters and the Bible. I pointed out that this last time spent with Bella & Celeste could be similar to the Last Supper. The Last Supper was supposed to be a joyous occasion until Jesus told his disciples that one of them would betray him. Whoever killed the children in the Watts family committed the ultimate betrayal. Isn’t that comparison fascinating?

Chris jumps ahead in his letter, leaving out any details of Shanann arriving home. “August 13th, morning of, I went to the girls’ room first before Shanann and I had our argument. I went to Bella’s room, then Cece’s room and used a pillow from their bed (to kill them). That’s why the cause of death was smothering.”

—Well, we’ve already discussed this a few posts ago; about Chris not clarifying whose bed the pillow came from. The girls’ cause of death was asphyxiation due to smothering. That’s correct! The problem is he makes no sense, because later he says they didn’t die on the first attempt. Let me clarify, he said, “I knew they were dead the first time.” Later he said, “they came back to life.” Why is he saying, “that is why the cause of death was smothering” if they didn’t die that time?

It should be noted that in his second confession, he actually used the word “strangled” whilst also speaking of using a blanket to kill them. Refer to pages 535-543 of the Discoveries and any of the video footage of Chris’s first confession you will see it was never actually confirmed how they died. Let me explain! Chris didn’t see what happened to Bella in his first recollection of how he saw her on the baby monitor and Shanann was already in Cece’s room. When speaking with his father he first said smothered, then strangled. His father Ronnie asked if Shanann had choked them and Chris kept talking but never answered. At the end of the confession to the detectives Chris said he wasn’t sure if it was one hand or two hands, because he came in the room from behind Shanann. Let’s play with that scenario for a second, if you have ever had an adrenaline pumping moment you know everything is a blur. You don’t think or notice much you just react. Whether it’s react and help your choking kid, or run to someone and apply pressure to a wound. Your mind goes to the matter at hand, instinctual and ‘fight or flight’ all together with adrenaline. If he ran in the room and came from behind it’s plausible he didn’t know exactly where her hands were. Especially, on a child’s sized body, the mouth and neck aren’t a large distance a part. I wrote about the possible reason in this scenario he may not have called 911 too here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/08/22/911/

Taking that further and making this case more confusing, the affidavit just said, “strangled” when really it was never confirmed by Chris what had happened. Not the only time either where the affidavit gave false information. The affidavit also said that he saw the girls were blue on the baby monitor. He never said that! Chris did mention the monitor and he did speak of the girls being blue. He did not however, specifically say “saw blue on monitor.” Let’s discuss the girls being blue as this has been heavily debated:

On top of all this District Attorney Rourke said the most damning proof Chris killed them was the fact he said “strangled” when they were smothered. If Chris killed the kids then he knew how they died. If he knew how they died he would have said how they died exactly, if he truly wanted to push blame to Shanann and get away with murder. It actually further proves that he may not have killed the children as it doesn’t seem he knows HOW they died.

“After I left Cece’s room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued. After Shanann passed, Bella and Celeste woke back up. I am not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella’s eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma.”

—“Back up?” That’s worded as though they had woken up once prior. Remember though, later in another letter he says, he knew “they were dead the first time.” Bella’s eyes were bruised, but not Celeste’s according to Chris. If you look at pictures of Bella she always had dark circles or bags around & under her eyes. Here’s a few examples:

8/8/2018 days before beautiful sweet Bella passed.

It would be plausible if it had been only one child that survived a smothering attempt. Both children not successfully succumbing to the smothering, and able enough to get out of bed seems far reaching. When your body doesn’t have enough oxygen, it causes hypoxemia or hypoxia. Without oxygen, your brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged in just minutes resulting in: Confusion, coughing, fast heart rate, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, slow heart rate, sweating, and wheezing. Keep in mind, the girls had history of breathing issues which would exasperate these symptoms. Nothing was noted about Bella’s eyes in the autopsy.

Chris was trained in CPR for adults, but not for children. His CPR training means he knew, regardless if it was an adult or a child, the signs of death & distress. If Chris smothered them twice, with two different objects, you would think there would have been traces of fibers. Oil was not found in the airways, which means it didn’t destroy any fibers. Find me a case where two children were smothered twice, once with a pillow, and a second time with a blanket where no fibers were found. I have looked high and low to no avail. I would even take smothered twice with the same object. In this case, he is saying two different children, two different objects, and two times smothered.

Chris’s next claim was about the Oxycodone. I have thoroughly covered the claims about the Oxy in several blog posts. If you do not recall that start at, “Where the Truth lies” blog post or read through this series from the beginning. I am not even going to go there again, except to say it didn’t happen. Chris had been asked about the Oxy and he simply gave an answer. He assumed it was being asked because the autopsy showed it however, the autopsy didn’t show it. He was asked due to the search that was deleted. If Oxy was involved at all in this story, it’s more plausible that it was Shanann who took it in place of her Imitrex. They never did find her Imitrex bottle that Monday when she went missing. Nickole Atkinson said she had it in Arizona, so it should have been easy to locate. While Oxycodone was not found in Shanann’s system, they never did do a hair analysis test.

Moving on…

“I don’t know if this was a spiritual visit, but I had a dream Cece was dancing next to the chair in my cell. When she was dancing, all of my folders started to move and I thought she was in trouble, so I said watch out, get away, watch out! Then I woke up.”

—This is not the only time Chris speaks of his deceased family members visiting him. Even in this dream he seemed to have an instinct to save Cece from a moment of trouble. Much like he did when the children were alive in various pictures and videos, you see him hovering over the girls. Sadly, I cannot say the same about Shanann. There are so many unsettling pictures where Bella & Celeste were in clear trouble and a picture was taken instead of instinctively helping the child.

I think it’s rather evident that Chris is experiencing confabulation and using the Bible to fill in the gaps. I think it’s possible that even his dreams may be a contributing factor to these tales he is telling. I would really like to see a mental health evaluation done as I do believe it would show mental suffering.

“After receiving this letter from Christopher, I had many questions, as you can imagine.”

—You think? I do too! All the wrong questions were asked, and further clarification seemed to fail. Whatever reply Chris gave was just accepted, spread throughout social media, and entered into this book, as truth.

“ I asked him about the Oxy. He told me first that he gave it to her twice. Once at her parents’, and second time right before he killed her. At that time, he told me that’s the reason she couldn’t fight back. Later when I questioned him about it again, he said he only gave it to her once.”

—Sigh. I know for a fact he was asked about the Oxy search by someone else that I know who writes to him. They asked months before this letter to Cadle and got a different answer than the two different stories he told Cadle. The story changed, because he didn’t give Oxy to Shanann. Two questions: Why didn’t she ask him why the story changed? Why did she not share her letters to Chris? I am sure Cadle kept a copy of her letters to him, since her goal was to write a book.

“One minute we would talk about downsizing the house and getting something more affordable in a more affordable town, then we would go back to me telling her I was going to get an apartment and move out on my own for a while.”

—This simply could not have happened. Supposedly when Shanann and Chris had their argument Chris was under the impression the girls were dead. Why would you be discussing selling the house and moving? Why would you be discussing moving out for a while? Bella and Celeste in his mind were dead.

“As she was crying, with her mascara running down her face, she told me she couldn’t make it in Colorado with three kids. Isn’t it weird I look back and what I remember so much is her face getting all black with streaks of mascara? There was no feeling coming from me as I told her I could help her, and she would make it.”

—Chris said he went to the girls’ rooms first and smothered them. Then the argument with Shanann happened. To reiterate again, at this point, in his mind the girls were dead. It doesn’t make any sense that he told her he would help her. Shanann used Younique makeup and from what I can see on her profile it appears she used Lash Boost. Younique is not cheap makeup, and nowadays most mascaras are typically waterproof. Even if it isn’t waterproof it doesn’t normally run down the face as much as it appears on the outside of the eyes. Worse, when you wipe tears away, and smudge it all over. I am not sure if she was still using the same mascara at the time of her death, but there’s no doubt, she was not wearing the cheap $2 dollar Walmart kind.

“Then she became very angry and was very upset and told me if I left her, she would not allow me to see the kids. She was used to getting her way and when she saw she wasn’t she would revert as always to anger and threats to get what she wanted. This time, though, I was not giving into her demands. That’s when my anger for her began. Years of her telling me what to do, and what not to do. Keeping me from my own family sometimes months at a time were over, keeping me in the background was over. All the weeks thinking about killing her, and now I was faced with it.”

—Let me get this straight, the children in his mind were dead, and he was angered because she threatened him once again with losing the kids and never seeing them? It triggered all his repressed anger towards her? Readers and listeners this makes no sense. Why did Cadle not push further for a better explanation?

“When she started to get drowsy, I somehow knew how to squeeze the jugular veins until it cut off blood flow to her brain, and she passed out. It was even easier than the girls. She laid there and didn’t fight back. I held the jugular for what seemed like a very long time. I watched my hands, and thought I should take them off her neck, but I couldn’t. I knew if I took my hands off of her, she would still keep me from Nikki.”

—If he stopped strangling her, she would keep him from Nikki? Nothing about the fact he killed the kids? I mean if he stopped, there would have still been the issue of dead children laying in their beds. Again, he thought they were dead! Who says the jugular? Such a strange choice in word usage, almost as if he has since read about strangulation. Was it that he somehow knew where to squeeze or was it that he happened to just grab her in the right spot close to her carotid artery? I am leaning more towards he just happened to grab the right spot. If the girls were smothered in their sleep, you know before they rose from the dead, then surely small sleeping toddlers would have been easier to kill. But, he’s trying to claim he was unsuccessful with both children. Shanann only had a 1cm bruise and nothing was broken.

It may have felt like a long time, but I don’t think it was long at all. The muscle mentioned in the autopsy is located close to carotid artery.

“They asked me why she didn’t fight back, it’s because she couldn’t fight back. Her eyes filled with blood; as she looked at me and she died. I knew she was gone when she relieved herself.”

—Chris is claiming he knew Shanann was gone, because she relieved herself. What did he look for in the girls to say, “they died the first time.” Clearly he was looking for a sign with Shanann, or so he claims. There was no petechia noted in Shanann’s autopsy. No portions of the autopsies have been hidden as it is public record. Here is what was noted about Shanann’s eyes during autopsy:

Did Shanann relieve herself? A question I have always wondered what the answer is. The sheets found in the home on the floor of the master bedroom were inspected by several law enforcement officers. You can see several detectives pick it up at different times, and looking it over with a flashlight. It was noted that nothing was found. If she had relieved herself on the sheet they should have at least been able to smell it. That evening Chris cleaned up and threw those same sheets in the trash knowing cops were coming back the next day. He later claimed he did it because she relieved herself on those sheets. Chris had told Nichol that he was washing the girls sheets Monday night rather than throwing them away too. If Shanann had relieved herself why not wash those sheets too? Knowing the cops were coming back the next day, rather than tossing them where they were easy to locate in the kitchen trashcan. It was after the sheets were exposed to the contents of the trashcan that they noticed what appears to be maybe eye shadow on the pillow cases. It was Shanann’s bed after all, and doesn’t necessarily mean the makeup was from that evening.

In the possible scenario that the first confession was right, and if Shanann relieved herself, was it on Celeste’s bed as he claimed? Is this why he washed the girls’ sheets? If he was cleaning up Celeste’s room, did he clean Bella’s room too out of habit? It’s plausible. The evidence leads me to believe Shanann did not die in their bed. I am not sure where she died, but it’s of course possible.

Dear readers and listeners,

Stopping there for now and I want to discuss confabulation that I mentioned in Part 12, and in this post. I think it may explain what is happening with Chris. I am not a doctor nor have I evaluated him, but going off the contents of this book, confabulation seems to make more sense than his letters.

Confabulation is the spontaneous or provoked use of inaccurate information to fill in memory gaps. It is distinctly different from lying because there is no intent to deceive. Confabulation can be found in healthy individuals as well as individuals with serious cognitive or psychiatric disorders. The issue plays an important role in mental health and forensic/criminal justice settings.

Confabulation is creating false information to fill in the memory gaps. It is something that occurs when a person does not know the answer to the question, but responds by offering an answer to it with no intention to deceive the one asking the question. For example, when asked specific details about a robbery, someone might inaccurately say that the assailant had a red car. Instead of admitting uncertainty, the victim fills in the gaps of her or his memory by providing false information. The person believes it to be true and does not realize or believe that they have poor memories. Further, the person typically has no knowledge that contradicts his or her statements. In this example, the person believes that they did see a red car. No additional information in the their memory contradicts their belief. They report what they believe is accurate. Alternatively, the person does not realize that she or he does not realize they simply don’t know if there was a red car.

Chris spent a great deal of time in solitary confinement when in Colorado. There are endless studies to date of the effects of living in those conditions. There are an equal number of studies showing the damage that is done to the brain in the day in and day out conditions of prison life. With his head in a bible consuming his brain it’s no wonder his tales sound like additions to the Bible in the year 2019. I don’t think we will be getting any real accounts that match the evidence from Chris. At least not anytime soon, but if he ever regains his true memory, who would even believe him? Here’s just one link on solitary confinement: https://mashable.com/2016/01/26/solitary-confinement-effects/

A man sitting in his prison cell writing the words, “I remember us all in elf outfits last year. Everyone was so excited. Your mommy and me loved every second of it.” Except the reality was :

Sure they eventually got a few decent pictures, but the kids excited? Loved every second? Negative memories are turning into positive ones on top of confabulation, and false memories.

“Connect the negatives to the positives and when you do that life becomes brighter.” —Shanann Watts

Like we’ve discussed at the end of Part 12 : https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/11/19/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-12/

Once again, it seems Chris and Shanann had something in common after parting by death. Instead of connecting the negative to positives, Chris is turning the negatives into positives.

I’ll be back soon…

Part 14 available here: https://truecrimecaseanalysis.home.blog/2019/12/10/letters-from-true-crime-case-analysis-part-14/