CRIME NEWS UPDATED DAILY

True Crime Rocket Science [TCRS] is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on anthropodicy, aporia and the science of man.  We find out why people do what they do by finding out who people are. And who is a function of identity, social dynamics and backstory.

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Through cogent true crime analysis, especially into criminal psychology, we have a unique opportunity to learn to understand those around us, and principally, ourselves.


This page is dedicated to coverage of current crime news, comments, discussions and brief analysis. Use this page for updates on America’s most high-profile criminal cases,  as well as to find your way to what’s happening where on True Crime Rocket Science [#tcrs].

Use the drop down menus above to source updated content on the Chris Watts case, as well as Patrick FrazeeJonBenet Ramsey, Jason Rohde and WM3.

Updates include new book releases, news of what’s coming soon, true crime documentary analysis and reviews, interviews and giveaways.

This page also serves as an ongoing archive for true crime news. Your suggestions for true crime news from wherever you are in the world are most welcome.

Follow TCRS on Facebook.

Author’s Amazon Page.


Guidelines for users of this site: Commentators are urged to examine and interrogate the merits of the cases covered here, rather than malign or attack one another. Argue the case, argue the criminal, argue the law or argue the facts instead of arguing with each other.


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June 19th, 2019

1. OJ Simpson’s Twitter debut sparks outrage and calls to action – The Guardian

2. Weinstein’s ‘Dream Team’ of Defense Lawyers Falls Apart – New York Times

One by one, the lawyers representing the movie producer against sexual assault charges in Manhattan have bowed out.

4. ‘Van Breda’s conviction was inescapable’ – IOL


 

June 18th, 2019

1. Did Van Gogh commit suicide, or was he shot by someone else? – LiveScience

Naifeh noted that there was no evidence linking the gun either to Van Gogh or to the manner of his death.

“What forensic evidence is there to tie Vincent van Gogh to this gun? And, even if there were forensic evidence tying Vincent to this gun, what does this say about who pulled the trigger?” he asked: “Those are the two big questions, and I do not see any answers.”

Although Van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world — one of his paintings of a farmed field, completed a year before his death, sold for $81 million in 2017 — he sold only one painting during his lifetime, for 400 francs.

The most expensive Van Gogh painting to date was sold for $82 million in 1990, the “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” from 1890. Gachet was the doctor who would ultimately attend his death later that year.

Fullscreen capture 20190618 0933222. Missing Colorado Mom Update: DNA Testing Of Tooth Fragment Allowed By Judge – International Business Times

3. Amanda Knox breaks down in tears in Italy – Reuters

4. Three easy questions that could help answer what happened to Madeleine – 9News


June 16th, 2019

1. DEATH AT THE MANSION BONUS: WAS REBECCA ZAHAU’S EX-HUSBAND EVER A SUSPECT IN HER DEATH? – Oxygen

2. Piers Morgan Tells Amanda Knox To Respect Meredith Kercher’s Family & ‘Shut Up’ – Radar Online


June 15th, 2019

1. Brad Murphree [an audio engineer] was able to detect what appears to be the sound of a second person present during Shacknai’s 911 call – Oxygen

2.‘I am not a monster, I simply am Amanda,’ says Knox on tearful return to Italy – CNN

Amanda Knox, Tearful and Angry, Speaks in Italy, Years After Murder Acquittal – New York Times

‘I’ve been portrayed as a psychopathic man-eating whore’  – Amanda Knox  breaks down in tearful first return to Italy – The Telegraph

Sobbing Amanda Knox reveals she contemplated suicide while in prison over murder – The Mirror

Amanda Knox feared attacks and accusations on return to Italy – BBC

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3. He’s got a “little gettin’ even to do.” – ABC

O.J. Simpson joins Twitter: ‘I got a little gettin’ even to do.’ – Chicago Tribune

4. Kelsey Berreth Murder Case: Tests Will Be Performed On Fragment Of Tooth – CBS Denver

5. Gun that likely killed Vincent van Gogh goes on auction – New York Post

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Van Gogh’s suicide gun up for auction – KULR8

“Van Gogh Pistol” Circus: Why Art Historians and Auctioneers should keep their long, crooked noses out of True Crime – CrimeRocket II

WATCH: Pistol ‘used in Van Gogh suicide’ on auction in Paris – News24


June 14th, 2019

1. ‘Calculated’ Casey Anthony Making A Movie With HER Side Of The Story — And Lots Of Sex Scenes! – Perez Hilton

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2. Authorities Said Rebecca Zahau Was Suicidal. But Were Her Words Twisted? – Oxygen

3. 5 Defendants Found Guilty On All Counts In ‘Justice For Junior’ Trial – CBS Local

4. People from around the world come for an OJ Simpson tour of Los Angeles in a white 1994 Ford Bronco – My NJ

Have you drunk enough of the Juice yet? – People


June 13th, 2019

1. The feedback so far on OBLIVION is positive.

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Read the first review on Goodreads.

2. Can The Hyoid Bone Unlock The Mystery Of How Rebecca Zahau Died? Paul Holes Thinks So – Oxygen

A Suicide No Longer: A Jury Finds Rebecca Zahau Was Killed at the Spreckels Mansion – AleidaLaw

The plaintiff’s forensic pathologist was none other than the famed Dr. Cyril Wecht, known for his consultation on other high-profile cases. Dr. Wecht performed a second autopsy on Rebecca on October 28, 2011, three and a half months after her death. Her body was exhumed and shipped to his facility in Pittsburgh. He found the cause of death to be asphyxiation due to hanging, and the manner of death “undetermined.” Revealing his findings on the Dr. Phil show, Dr. Wecht said there was a rush to judgment in the case and this “bizarre situation” demanded further investigation. 

Once retained by the plaintiffs for the wrongful death suit, Dr. Wecht did further investigation and came to a…definitive conclusion…At trial, Dr. Wecht testified, “In my opinion Rebecca Zahau’s death was a homicide. She was manually strangled, and it was set up to look like a suicidal hanging.” He found the fractures to her neck were more consistent with strangulation and questioned why her neck was not broken from the nine-foot fall. In attorney Greer’s closing to the jury, he said the drop hanging would have decapitated Rebecca, but since there was no fracture to her vertebra, it was consistent with someone slowly lowering her down. The bed only moved seven and a half inches. If she was falling, the bed would have moved significantly more.

Dr. Jonathan Lucas of the San Diego Medical Examiner’s Officer performed an autopsy on Rebecca on July 14, 2011, the day immediately following her death. He found the cause of death to be asphyxiation from hanging and ruled the manner of death a suicide. Although Dr. Lucas was listed by the defense as a witness for the trial and the defense informed the court he would be testifying, for reasons never disclosed in open court, he was never called. The defense instead called Dr. Gregory Davis, a forensic pathologist from Kentucky. He agreed with Dr. Lucas’ findings.

Dr. Lucas found Rebecca sustained neck fractures to her left hyoid bone, left thyroid bone, and the cricoid cartilage. Were these fractures caused from the length of the drop or were they from a manual strangulation, such that Rebecca was dead before being thrown over the balcony? Dr. Lucas found they were consistent with a drop hanging, and Dr. Davis agreed with this conclusion. Dr. Davis further testified with a manual strangulation, one would expect to see bruising and fingerprint marks. None were found on Rebecca’s neck.

The hyoid bone also featured in the Rohde trial:

Staged suicide‚ beaten-up woman: Pathologist’s verdict on Susan Rohde – TimesLive

Susan Rohde brutally beaten an hour before her death‚ says pathologist – Sowetan Live

Rohde questions police inquiry – IOL

The court heard the pathologist concluded Susan committed suicide because there was no “definitive fracture of the hyoid bone or the thyroid cornua” – an injury that usually [occurs] with manual strangulation.

The fact that Shan’ann Watts had no fractured hyoid bone is therefore noteworthy. How was she asphyxiated without injuring her?

3. Amanda Knox: Kercher family label her return to Italy ‘inappropriate’ – The Guardian

Amanda Knox writes a missive on Medium ahead of her speech in Italy accusing the media of a Trial by Media. Was it because of the media that she got convicted, or because of the media that she was exonerated? Or both? Or neither?

Amanda Knox, swarmed by media, returns to Italy for the first time since acquittal – NBC

Why Amanda Knox returned to Italy years after her harrowing murder case – Washington Post

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4. Slain wife’s sisters elated as Packham gets 22 years despite daughters’ plea – IOL

5. Court denies IAAF’s request to re-impose regulations on Semenya – Sport24

6. Cuba Gooding Jr. Charged With Forcible Touching of Woman, Police Say – Hollywood Reporter

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June 12th, 2019

1. ‘He Had It All:’ Nancy Grace On The Fascination With Chris Watts’ Case – Oxygen

2. Episode 3 of Death at the Mansion is this Saturday, June 15.

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SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER – what does it mean? – CrimeRocket II

Evidence From The Rebecca Zahau Scene That Raises Questions About If Her Death Was A Suicide – Oxygen

Was Rebecca Zahau’s Death An Asian Honor Suicide? – Oxygen

3. Amanda Knox Admits She’s Nervous as She Returns to Italy for 1st Time Since Being Freed From Prison – CNN

Amanda Knox: First return since leaving jail in 2011 – WantedIn Milan

4. Wife murderer Rob Packham gets 22 years – News24

Packham had inflicted more than one blow on his middle aged wife, who was of “petite stature”. He had broken the strongest bones in her skull, and “attacked her in the sanctity of her home”.

Judge Steyn also referred to the case of former property mogul Jason Rohde, who was also convicted of murdering his wife, and defeating the ends of justice by staging the crime scene to make it look like a suicide.

Constantia businessman Rob Packham sentenced to 22 years for killing wife – News24

6 quotes that stood out during Rob Packham’s sentencing – News24

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5. 10 Things Netflix’s The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann Leaves Out – Screenrant


June 11th, 2019

1. OBLIVION #9 Amazon Bestseller in the Hoaxes & Deceptions category.

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It’s June 2019. When is 2825 Saratoga Trail going to be auctioned off?

2. MADDIE TROLLS Madeleine McCann’s parents slam ‘despicable’ trolls bombarding them with hate mail after £11.75m probe gets extra £300k funding – The Sun

Madeleine McCann’s parents targeted by ‘despicable’ trolls after funding boost – The Mirror

3. Amanda Knox to headline true crime festival in D.C. this November – WJLA

4. 25 years after murders, OJ Simpson says ‘Life is fine’ – IOL

25 years later, OJ Simpson says he’s moving on – Star Tribune

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5. “Smallville” star Allison Mack pulled fellow actress into Nxivm Cult – CNN

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6. SHAMEFUL’ Jon Stewart Rips Congress During House Hearing on 9/11 Victims Fund, Gets Standing Ovation – The Daily Beast


June 10th, 2019

1. OBLIVION, the 8th book in the TWO FACE series is available now exclusively on Amazon Kindle.

Another YouTuber commenting on the enigma that is Chris Watts…

2. Amanda Knox is trying to drum up attention ahead of her trip to Italy. img-20190610-wa0000-1.jpg

3.  Helicopter crash-lands on top of building in New York City, killing pilot – CNN


June 9th, 2019

1. Coming soon, book 8 in the TWO FACE series.

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Some interesting speculation here from Armchair Detective. Why does the GPS data refer to Watts starting his truck at 5:18 but only backing it up to the garage at 05:27? Watts also refers to this exact time – 05:27 – while standing beside Trinastich’s TV. The Vivint data shows the garage door opened at 05:27.

2. Court ‘erred’ in convicting, sentencing Henri Van Breda – defence ConCourt papers – News24


June 8th, 2019

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1. Chris Watts: The Plea Deal Document and the Second Confession Don’t Jibe

2. Michelle Dewberry’s comments on Madeleine McCann search sparks big reaction – Hull Daily Mail

3. Gauguin blamed Van Gogh over ear incident – The Art Newspaper

4. Prince William’s Lawyer Tries to Suppress Rumors of Affair – Daily Beast

ROYAL RIVAL  Kate Middleton has fall-out with glamorous best friend and tells Prince William to ‘phase her out’ – The Sun

Fullscreen capture 20190608 213242dd73d741-6bdf-44a1-abde-6c4d3e886339The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend Gala Dinner To Support East Anglia's Children's Hospices' Nook Appeal


June 6th, 2019

1. Chris Watts said he told Shan’ann he didn’t love her anymore and then strangled her – CNN

Why would he need to “tell” her, and thus prepare her, get her defenses up before attacking her?

“I’m just finding this case too overwhelming…”

2. Rebecca Zahau death: Shocking details that convinced San Diego police that she hanged herself – meaww

My book on Rebecca Zahau is currently a #42 Amazon Bestseller in the Hoaxes & Deceptions category.


June 5th, 2019

1. A Theory about the Watts Case

2. A series of high-profile defamation cases have been brought against women in response to the outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations in the wake of #MeToo – CNN


June 4th, 2019

1. This isn’t new but nevertheless worth reviewing.

2. Scot Peterson, school resource officer criticized for his response during the Parkland shooting, faces felony charges – CNN

3. Five things to know about the Henri van Breda axe murder case – IOL

Judge erred in van Breda murder case, says triple axe murderer’s lawyers – IOL

Van Niekerk added at the same time it renders the State’s narrative, that he managed to attack his entirely family with an axe; engage in a severe struggle with Marli; and dragged Rudi around whilst the latter is lying in a pool of blood without stepping in any blood at all; highly improbable, if not impossible.

“If van Breda’s appeal against his conviction on premeditated murder is upheld but substituted for conviction on murder, it is also submitted that an appeal against the life sentences imposed also has a reasonable prospect of success,” she said.

The National Prosecuting Authority will file its replying affidavit next Friday.

4. Dutch girl, 17, who was raped as a young child, is legally euthanised at her home after contacting end-of-life clinic because she felt her life was now unbearable due to depression – Daily Mail

5. South African Wine Farmer in Land Dispute Is Shot Dead – New York Times

In South Africa’s Fabled Wine Country, White and Black Battle Over Land – New York Times

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June 3rd, 2019

1.‘Bombshell’ information from girlfriend of Chris Watts helped investigators – NBC

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2.  Swiss court suspends IAAF rules barring Caster Semenya – CNN


June 1st, 2019

1. Chris Watts Update: Convicted Killer Featured In A New Documentary Detailing the Murders Of His Family – International Business Times

Chris Watts’ horrific killings of wife and daughters still haunt investigators – The Mirror

True Crime Premieres this weekend – Washington Post

Death at the Mansion: Rebecca Zahau (Oxygen at 6) Zahau was found dead outside the home of her wealthy boyfriend in 2011.

Family Man, Family Murderer: An ID Murder Mystery (ID at 10) The story of Chris Watts, who killed his wife and daughters.

Truth Behind the Moon Landing (Science at 10) A dissection of popular conspiracy theories.

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2. Madeleine McCann Documentary on Investigation Discovery:

3. The cult of Manson is still going strong – The Times


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54 thoughts on “CRIME NEWS UPDATED DAILY

  1. I remember when this little Madeleine girl disappeared. I didn’t follow the story and haven’t read anything about it and I know less than 1/8 about what happened but when the reporter asked the McCanns “did you murder your daughter” why did the mother immediately look at the father as if to see what the answer is? Or should be? That looked like she was looking to him for the answer. I’ve done that myself when asked a question and I wasn’t quite sure what I should say, I would look at whomever I was sure knew the answer. Interesting

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen the unsolved McCann case is Britain’s version of the JonBenet Ramsey story. In my opinion it’s even crazier, because after eleven years and over £11 million pounds spent on searching for her, she’s considered the most expensive missing person case in history.

      The McCanns maintain their daughter is still alive out there – think of it as the kidnapping phase of the Ramsey case multiplied over years, and now the years are hitting double digits, but there’s still hope! The search continues! Oh and no Ransom Note.

      The Daily Telegraph in 2008 described the search for Madeleine as the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history.And yet cadaver dogs picked up cadaver traces inside the McCanns’ Ocean Club apartment – in the cupboard of the bedroom, behind the couch in the living room, in the garden under the balcony, in the trunk of the rental they hired a few weeks after the incident, on the key of the rental, on Madeleine’s cuddly cat [a favorite toy], inside the villa they hired and on certain items of Kate McCann’s clothing.

      If you’re interested in the Rocket Science analysis of this case, consider reading the DOUBT trilogy.

      When DOUBT was published in 2017, on the 10 year anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, DOUBT was a #2 bestseller on Amazon.co.uk’s overall True Crime category, edging out the McCann’s book throughout this critical period.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure you already know this but I don’t see it posted here. Chris Watt’s court appearance has been moved up from Nov 19 to next Tuesday Nov 6. Interesting how his appearance is now scheduled for Election Day. Is someone hoping there will be less media coverage/interest due to all the coverage on the election?

    Liked by 1 person

      • So far I’m rather disappointed in the presentation of the State’s heads. I feel VN placed too much focus on certain aspects and far too little on other (far more damning) points. Perhaps Judge Salie-Hlope’s constant interjection threw him off his game… I feel his overall argument lacked certainty and left far too much ambiguity (if that makes sense). How I wish our “learned friends” would put more effort into their delivery. I did enjoy reading your tweets and additional observations… It allows readers to see the bigger picture – the human picture.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think the Judge was also not happy. It’s a difficult horse to ride though, deliver quickly and succinctly but make time for being interrupted often…

      Like

  3. With so many major cases being ‘wrapped up’ this week (Watts, Rohde, Hannah Cornelius) I decided I needed something for the weekend. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into DOUBT. I’ve had so many opinions in the last 10+ years… time to see if they bear any weight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Weld District Attorney’s Office says it will release autopsy reports in Watts case after sentencing
    The Weld District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday confirmed it will release the autopsy reports for Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts following a scheduled sentencing hearing for Christopher Watts, Shanann’s husband and father of the two girls, who has pleaded guilty to killing all three.

    The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 19 and follows a Tuesday guilty plea entered by Watts in exchange for the death penalty being taken off the table in the case.

    Like

  5. Am I the only one here that thinks this has all been wrapped up so quickly is because Chris told his lawyers the truth and they went to the prosecutor with a deal (twice) and that’s why Chris just rolled over? I feel like I’m the only one who thinks he isn’t getting a trial because he doesn’t want one and just wants this to be done

    Like

    • Yea, I think he didn’t want all the info to come out, the fact that the neighbors camera never showed shanann ever leaving the house was all they needed. His truck was the only vehicle seen. Karma for him is it came out anyways in discovery being released. That interview with his parents when they were asked what happened to that boy they were describing and they replied he met shanann. So are they going to say now he changed cause he met Nichole? Who raised him that he could not seem to stand up for himself? His mother, she’s narcissistic and controlling as well

      Like

    • Maybe Chris ultimately wanted less publicity so as to increase his chances of surviving prison – low profile as it were, without details of the horrible killings of his children. He was intelligent but not smart – his attorneys may have pointed out that he could die in prison, sooner rather than later.

      Like

      • It didn’t work then, since i just read that an inmate was selling “Chris Watts’ semen-stained underwear” for $500 on Craigslist.

        Like

  6. Didnt the detectives double check the number Chris’s alleged male lover had for Chris against Chris’s cell phone numbers he had? He had a work and personal cell seems like it wouldn’t be hard just to verify the cell numbers.

    Like

  7. If Patrick Frazee is having a Public Defender represent him, from what I understand that means he wouldn’t have money to pay a lawyer. How does it work then with the Federal suit Kelsey’s parents have filed, if he has no money who would pay the amount they are seeking?

    Like

    • Does he own that property, though, or is it in his mother’s name? She lives on the property, too. Is there some reason Frazee would have put purchases in his mother’s name (tax break, bad credit, etc.)? If so, then a suit couldn’t touch that. I think it’s kind of complicated, as his mother might rely on that equipment for her livelihood. I dunno.

      Like

  8. Sometimes I think these lawsuits are filed more to make a point than anything else. Depositions can also show more than strict cross examinations in court. A “win” in one of these suits, if it occurs before the criminal trial, could help the prosecution pursue new leads. Plus, prevailing in the suit may even reduce the convicted killer’s chance of parole later on if there are bombshells in the depositions that can be publicized. It’s often all about public perception, and manipulating that.

    Like

  9. Maybe this was addressed somewhere else on here but I couldn’t find it. Why wasn’t Chris Watts guilty pleas on November 6th, 2018 allowed to be recorded like his other court dates?

    Like

  10. The most heartbreaking picture in the Watts story, to me, is the one above of little Cece hugging her Dad at the airport in NC. At that moment, she had days to live..

    I know how those little hugs feel…this is the purest love there is.

    Wonder if he remembers how that felt.

    Like

  11. @Nick I watched the video posted 1/23 about the Vivint Security and the camera that records data the homeowner can’t access or erase, but Vivint keeps for 3 months. Do you think CW was recorded carrying the bodies and police used this evidence?

    Like

    • Maura I think the cops are sitting on a lot of evidence.

      But I suspect Watts turned off the Vivint security between roughly 02:00 and 04:00. Same reason he probably turned off the router – to create digital black holes. It would be interesting to know if this turning on or off is logged anywhere. If he didn’t turn it off he may have “tricked the system”. For example placing a piece of paper over a motion sensor defeats its capability – simple, quick and easy to do.

      Like

  12. This is the person you just kicked out of your group… I come from a long line of convicted criminals. I spent years eye-to-eye counseling criminals in prisons (for free), have held the hands of killers who were terminally ill as they confessed their last before crossing over. I’m proud of this skill-set, but that’s not why I’m telling you this. I am telling you this for your benefit.

    Like

    • Ralph. The gay killer, no trial, jail. Hardly any info on this case. We don’t know where he killed them. He stangled, he staged the bodies, clothes, pictures. But no info on how he chopped up bodies. Only bones found in flower pots.
      Cops actually broke in after watching a guy go into his apt. The guy was naked, tied to the bed. He arrested.

      Like

  13. It was frustrating watching the trauma-sensing dog in the Watts basement on the video posted today. The bodycam work was so poor, it almost negates the whole purpose of that equipment. Put the damn camera on the dog, ffs.

    Noticed that the dog alerted at the area at the right of the base of the stairwell. Could Watts have lain in wait there when Shan’ann came home, the children already dead and stored in the refrigerator. Shan’an could have gone upstairs and not found anybody, then raced down to the basement where he waited.

    Being the clean freak he was, he could have prepared the area with sheets of plastic or just the bedsheets.

    Haven’t see any videos relating to the cadaver dogs’ findings in the basement.

    Like

  14. NVDL: pay no attention to the toxic “fans”! Your books and commentary are so fascinating. You said you may end the Watts coverage at the end of February. Does this mean the Annihilation and Oblivion books may not be available? Oh no!!!!!

    Like

  15. Nick, I agree with Susan.
    Don’t stop contributing your insightful, and incredible work!
    I look forward to reading your books!!
    I enjoy learning so much from the debates, introspect, and
    thought provoking style that you provide.
    Thank you for this!!

    Like

    • Thanks JH. I will be scaling down coverage of the Watts case from this point onwards. The books will continue though. I may cover the Frazee case next, later this month or I might not. Watch this space 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  16. There is another case that sounds intriguing to me but I know you have your hands full. Ryan Widmer, who was convicted of drowning his newlywed wife in the bathtub (2008?). There is doubt though – there have been 3 trials and he’s still appealing. There are similarities to Watts – the couple appeared so happy together, etc. But shortly after marriage he claims she stopped taking an interest in his career, she had OCD, she wouldn’t let him so much as pick out a can of paint for the house and she had a strange illness that caused her to fall asleep at odd moments. Which was his defense of course – she fell asleep in the tub and drowned. In interviews Widmer seems disconnected, almost happy. There is a book out about it called “Submerged” and the author has changed her mind as to whether Ryan is guilty or not. There is so much crime to research and write about, isn’t there? This one seems very interesting.

    Like

  17. Listening to the 2nd confession tapes…I’m feeling very uncomfortable about the collegial atmosphere. I also hear a lot of Shan’ann bashing.

    Like

  18. ‘Kenney reportedly told investigators that Frazee had called her on that day and said, “You need to get out here now. You’ve got a mess to clean up.”’

    That last bit would’ve pissed me right off. I would have said, “No, YOU’ve got a mess to clean up. Hop to it, buddy!”

    Like

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