True Crime Rocket Science is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on 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. Through cogent true crime analysis, especially into criminal psychology, we have a unique opportunity to learn to understand those around us, and principally, ourselves.
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December 11th, 2018
At Friday’s news conference, Gore told reporters he knows some observers are skeptical of his department’s conclusions. But he defended his homicide team, calling them “as good as any in the state or the county.”
“They’ve got 100 years of experience,” he said. “We have no reason not to follow the facts, follow the evidence, and follow the interviews where they lead us.”
Greer, the Zahau family attorney, told reporters that the sheriff’s department had barred him from the news conference. Speaking outside the department’s conference room, he claimed it is “impossible” that fair, thorough review of the evidence could again conclude that Zahau killed herself.
“That tells me there’s something corrupt in the (Sheriff’s) process,” Greer said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever know that (that corruption) is, but it’s not a logical conclusion. There’s something here that is motivating (the Sheriff’s department) to do the wrong thing.”
Before the news conference, Greer told NBC 7 that it’s possible that Sheriff Gore and other department executives were influenced by Jonah Shacknai’s wealth.
Gore responded with a measured but forceful denial. “I never took any money from Jonah Shacknai in my election or re-election campaigns. That’s just not the way we operate,” he said. “And to be quite honest, I take personal offense at that, at impugning the reputation of this department, one of the best in the country.”
“This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment…
Harrowing photos and written report detail the painstaking process of retrieving Chris Watts’ two daughters from enormous oil drums three days after their father murdered them and dumped their bodies – Daily Mail
Despite his desperate pleas, the last discernible words the transcript records for Khashoggi are:
“I can’t breathe.”
The transcript notes more noises, and several more voices.
One of those voices is identified on the transcript by Turkish authorities as belonging to Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, the source says.
Aside from Khashoggi and Mutreb, he is the only other voice identified by name on the transcript. As the transcript continues, it is clear Khashoggi is not yet dead.
The transcript notes the noises that can be heard on the tape, almost in the manner that subtitles describe moments in movies where there is no dialogue.
Then, the transcript notes other descriptions.
Tubaiqi is noted giving some advice to other people in the room, apparently to help them deal with the appalling task.
“Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me.”
During the scene, the transcript notes at least three phone calls placed by Mutreb.
The transcript does not specify the moment Khashoggi dies.
December 9th, 2018
1. Download link for SECOND MAJOR TRANCHE OF DISCOVERY DOCUMENTS
December 8th, 2018
Investigators working on the disappearance of a pregnant Frederick woman and her two young daughters amassed a staggering amount of evidence – thousands of pages of documents, hundreds of hours of video footage, dozens of recorded interviews.
All of it was used to build a sweeping case against Chris Watts, the 33-year-old man who ultimately pled guilty to killing his wife and kids in a deal brokered by his attorneys to spare him the possibility of facing the death penalty.
But even as much information as it provides, it does not answer the biggest question of all: Why did Watts decide to strangle Shanann Watts, his wife of six years, and smother the couple’s little girls, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3?
When Watts family neighbor and Shanann Watts’ friend Nickole Atkinson was looking through the Watts home with Frederick police Aug. 13, she said she tried not to touch anything.
It had been hours since Atkinson had sent several unanswered texts to Shanann, since Atkinson had called Shanann’s husband, Christopher Watts, since Atkinson had gone to the doctor to beg them to tell her whether Shanann made it to her scheduled appointment.
Jesus, it’s December and they can’t even get the facts straight that Atkinson was Shan’ann’s friend not her neighbor. Clueless media!
So when she walked into the Watts home with Christopher and police at the very beginning of a missing persons-come murder case, Atkinson said she had an eerie feeling. That’s why she tried not to touch anything.
“Because at that point, bad thoughts were going through my head,” Atkinson told investigators in a newly released audio recording.
“They’re silly little things, but why would he strip the bed before he went to work if Shanann was still sleeping in the bed (as Watts told friends, family and investigators),” Atkinson said.
It turns out, Atkinson’s eerie feeling was correct. The family wasn’t on a play date; they had been murdered by Watts. Shanann was never around to make the kids beds Aug. 13. And the master bed? Investigators would later find a fitted sheet matching that bedding near the tank battery north of Roggen where Watts had dumped his families’ bodies.
There was more. Atkinson watched a neighbor’s camera footage from early that morning. It was 5:18 a.m., and Watts had backed his truck up into the garage and loaded something into the bed.
“That’s when my mind went bad — really bad,” Atkinson said. “What would he be loading up at 5:18 in the morning? And Shanann yells at him (when he uses the garage) because the garage wakes up the (girls) and the girls’ bedroom is right above the garage.”
In one exchange, Shanann tells her friend Watts wasn’t wearing his wedding ring, and he had changed his phone’s background photo to sand dunes. Unknown to both Shanann and Atkinson was this: Watts had spent time at the sand dunes with his mistress while Shanann was in North Carolina with the girls.
Shanann told Atkinson she would tell Watts to find a place when they got back from North Carolina, and she told him she was going to put the house on the market and takes the kids out of school to save money.
In a series of texts about a week before she would be murdered, Shanann laid out her thoughts on Watts’ posture toward the relationship.
“He’s obviously not in it. He’s not fighting. He’s not in love. He’s checked out.”
Shirtless Chris Watts seen in evidence photos taken just moments before his arrest for murdering his whole family – revealing the giant Metallica tattoo across his back- Daily Mail
2. Killer day in court: Rohde hit by triple whammy of setbacks – TimesLive
Susan Rohde’s estate has paid R2.9m to her husband, Jason, to fund a defence that failed when he was convicted of murdering her.
This was revealed on Wednesday by the administrator of Susan Rohde’s estate, David Anderson, who was giving evidence during Rohde’s sentencing proceedings in the High Court in Cape Town. Rohde is the estate’s beneficiary.
Anderson told Rohde’s advocate, Graham van der Spuy, that there was only R80,000 in cash still available for distribution, and that he would be unable to finalise the estate until Rohde’s criminal proceedings were concluded.
He said Susan’s mother, Diane Holmes, had offered to loan the estate R500,000 so that it could continue to fund the education and maintenance of the couple’s three daughters.
Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk handed Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe confirmation from Stellenbosch University that the Rohdes’ twins, Alexandra and Josie, who have just written their matric exams, had been accepted to study there in 2019.
Anderson said annual expenses for the twins and the Rohdes’ eldest daughter, Katie, were expected to amount to about R250,000 a year.
He told the court that a Liberty Life insurance policy on Susan’s life, which named Rohde as the beneficiary, was expected to pay out R2.6m. When this amount reached the estate the financial pressure it was facing would ease.
Anderson was the first prosecution witness to testify in aggravation of sentence for Rohde, who was convicted on November 8 of murdering Susan at Spier, in Stellenbosch, in July 2016.
Proceedings were delayed when power cuts hit the high court at 10am. The court sitting resumed after 12.30pm. Rohde arrived in court in handcuffs after spending the last four weeks in Pollsmoor prison.
Anderson was followed into the witness box by Dr Naeemah Abrahams of the Medical Research Council. Abrahams is a global expert on femicide, which she described as the killing of women by their intimate partners.
December 7th, 2018
Sandra said the estrangement seemed to have been going on for a “few weeks, maybe a month.” Chris acted “just cold as ice,” she said, not replying, not responding.
“I just said, ‘Give him space,’ you know,” Sandra recalled. “But little did we know.”
In the end it wasn’t the best advice, was it?
“I’m not going to blame the kids for a disconnection or anything, but yeah, we focus on the kids like, all the time,” he told an investigator. “And like, as our relationship got longer and longer, I could feel that disconnect.”
Chris then went on to say that he and Shanann didn’t have deep conversations anymore.
Chris Watts transferred to new facility in Wisconsin – kare11.com
December 6th, 2018
1. In the video below, Shan’ann Watts’ pants are in the laundry. Watts picks them up and shows them to the K9 officer. Thank you to Sylvester for providing this link.
CNN begins using the proper spelling for Shan’ann Watts. People magazine have been using it for some time now.
Ronnie Watts Talks About Shan’ann…
OVERVIEW: Rohde denied bail, heads back to prison – News24
December 5th, 2018
1. “Chris Watts seemed like a genuine guy” – CNN
Chris Watts’ Mistress Nichol Kessinger 2nd interview (FULL VIDEO)
2. WATCH LIVE: Jason Rohde sentencing
December 4th, 2018
1. Chris Watts transferred from Colorado to an out of state prison, sources say – Denver Channel
Why is there so much secrecy regarding this case?
Four sources confirm to Denver7’s Jace Larson that Chris Watts was transferred from the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, where a new prison inmate goes after conviction, to an undisclosed facility out of state. The Colorado Department of Corrections inmate locator shows Watt’s location as the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, but this is no longer the case.
Police respond to First B&E Call [Daytime, August 17]
Chris Watts Watching Neighbors Security Camera Footage
What is the state Bar investigating?
Earlier this month, the State Bar’s probable cause committee ordered the Bar attorneys to prepare a formal complaint against Martinez. He is alleged to have given false testimony to the Bar and alleged to have revealed the identity of a juror in the second Jodi Arias murder trial, which Martinez prosecuted in 2015.
Dishonesty is a cardinal sin in the legal profession, and if an attorney or a law enforcement officer is found to be untruthful, it casts doubt on all of his or her cases. And jury identities are protected by law. The media is barred from photographing or identifying jurors without their permission.
Martinez gained national attention and devout fandom from those trials, the first of which was live-streamed in 2013. Arias was convicted of the 2008 murder of her sometime boyfriend, Travis Alexander. But two different juries failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether to sentence her to death.
America may get its most intimate look yet inside Robert Mueller’s secretive Russia investigation in the next four days, with a series of disclosures that have the potential to be greatly damaging for President Donald Trump.
Court filings focusing on Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Tuesday and his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Friday could offer tantalizing new details of Mueller’s deep dive into the 2016 campaign.
If the special counsel lives up to his reputation, his filings will feature surprising revelations and rich texture to color the picture he has already painted in indictments and witness testimony of a culture of endemic dishonesty in Trump’s orbit about multiple, so far unexplainable, ties with Russians.
He may also begin to add context and answers to some of the intriguing clues he has dropped in a probe that has so far seen three people sentenced, one convicted at trial and seven guilty pleas and has charged 36 people and entities with a total of 192 criminal counts.
With each twist of the investigation, a fascinating trove is building of hints and implied connections, odd coincidences and apparent shady links between key players that is crying out for explanation.
December 3rd, 2018
Frederick’s Chris Watts became infamous nationwide thanks to sweeping coverage of his arrest and subsequent conviction for killing his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, three-year-old Celeste and four-year-old Bella.
But a civil suit filed by Shanann’s parents, Sandra and Frank Rzucek, and brother, Frank Jr., on behalf of her estate seeks to ensure that his name recognition doesn’t turn into cash. The document is accessible below, and its language echoes that of a complaint that the family of another murder victim aimed at arguably the most notorious alleged American killer of the past century.
“It has a lot of similarities to the suit Ron Goldman’s family brought against O.J. Simpson,” notes Tom Grant, a partner in Greeley’s Grant & Hoffman Law Firm, which represents the Rzuceks. “That’s its intent — to make sure Chris Watts is never able to profit from his evil acts.”
I can’t imagine Watts is the type to write books, or have books written about himself. He’s not an actor or a showman to the extent OJ was and is, but that’s not to say he’s not been putting on some kind of act for God knows how long.
Typical mainstream media. Can’t provide a location or any particularly useful data.
Watts gave mistress cards, love letters in weeks leading up to murders – Greeley Tribune
At the above link, scroll down to the extended version of Watts’ arrest video and processing into jail cell.
2. The astounding Putin-MBS high five – CNN
Reporters have been tweeting out jokes about what the two men must have saying. “You would be happy too if you just got away with murder,” wrote Aaron Blake of The Washington Post, as he offered his caption.
3. Vincent Van Gogh, young and old – Apollo Magazine
December 2nd, 2018
As concerned messages and calls about his missing wife lit up his phone and the bodies of his daughters sank in Weld County oil tanks less than 100 feet from his truck, Christopher Watts planned his new life as a bachelor.
He called his daughters’ preschool to unenroll them. He exchanged text messages with a real estate agent about selling the family’s large Frederick home, the house that made them seem like any other suburban family. Minutes after speaking with his mother-in-law, who was wondering about Shanann Watts’ well-being, he searched online for coupons to Aspen resorts, phone records released by investigators show.
He looked up the lyrics to a Metallica song, the chorus of which includes: “Pounding out aggression/Turns into obsession/Cannot kill the battery/Cannot kill the family.”
Hours had passed without anyone hearing from Shanann.
“What the heck is going on with you guys that she would totally shut out everything?” a friend texted. “It’s not like her.”
Watts tried to allay everyone’s fears. He asked them not to call police.
Cellphone data obtained in the investigation into Colorado murderer Chris Watts show he was looking up ways to marry his mistress and the lyrics to love songs in the days before he killed his pregnant wife and their two kids in August.
The data was included in a batch of nearly 2,000 documents obtained by the Daily Mail in a Freedom of Information Act request this week.
The cellphone data showed Watts striking up a romantic relationship with a woman he met at work, Nichol Kessinger. He entered her phone number into his phone on June 14, and they started dating while his wife, Shanann Watts, and daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were away for most of the summer visiting family in North Carolina.
Chris Watts’ phone data showed that he had his first phone call with Kessinger on July 7, and a week later they visited a Mustang museum together. Four days later, Kessinger started sending him seminude photos of herself, according to the data obtained by the Mail.
That same day, a worried Shanann Watts sent a slew of texts to her husband saying she had realized “what’s missing in our relationship!” and accusing him of not reciprocating her feelings and effort. The following morning, Chris Watts made several Google searches between 8:41 a.m. and 12:07 p.m., including, “When to say I love you,” “When to say I love you for the first time in a new relationship,” “What do you feel when someone tells you they love you,” and, “How does it feel when someone says I love you.”
During an interview with The Denver Post earlier this month, Kessinger said that she started dating Watts at the end of June and that he told her he was in the final stages of his divorce. She said she didn’t know that he was expecting his third child with his wife.
On July 28, investigators wrote in documents that Watts and Kessinger traveled together to spend a night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Two days later, Watts started looking up “love letters” and lyrics to love songs.
The next day, Watts flew to North Carolina for the final week of his family’s vacation.
On August 4, while Watts was away, Kessinger spent two hours looking for wedding dresses on Google.
On August 8, a day after the family returned from North Carolina, Watts searched Google for topics related to “marrying your mistress.” Meanwhile, Shanann Watts had started confiding in her friends that her husband had become distant and they were having issues.
In the five final days of her life, Shanann Watts Googled couples counselors in her area and bought relationship self-help books online, according to the documents.
Meanwhile, on August 9, four days before he killed his wife and kids, Chris Watts looked up the price of an Audi Q7. That day, his wife left for a quick business trip to Arizona. The following day, he spent the morning arranging a babysitter to look after his girls so he could attend a Colorado Rockies game the next day. In reality, he went out on a date with Kessinger.
2. A Masterpiece Stolen From Auction House Walls – Mutual Art
December 1st, 2018
On that same day of July 25, less than three weeks before the Aug. 13 murders, Watts Googled, “What do you feel when someone tells you they love you” and “How does it feel when someone says I love you.”
During this period, Shanann desperately tried to salvage the couple’s crumbling marriage, prosecutors have said, citing pleading text messages and self-help books she got for her husband, including one he threw in the garbage.
Four individuals brought the legal challenge to this decision, with the support of the campaign group Hacked Off. The four were phone-hacking victim and former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames, the Bristol schoolteacher Christopher Jefferies, who was wrongly accused of murder, and Gerry and Kate McCann – the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann.
At a hearing earlier this month, the four argued that in November 2012 the former prime minister David Cameron made a “clear and unambiguous commitment” that the second part of the inquiry would go ahead. Their lawyers said that commitment, made at a meeting with Jefferies, Mrs McCann and Hames, meant they had a “legitimate expectation” it would proceed.
But Lord Justice Davis said Cameron made “no such promise” in the meeting and that it was unacceptable that the case was based on a covert recording of the discussion, despite participants having agreed that what was said in the meeting would remain confidential.
The judge said he had a great deal of sympathy for the claimants but that sympathy could not override the law and the legal case failed “at almost every level”.
November 30th, 2018
1. Full video: Chris Watts tells father and investigators about deaths of his wife and daughters
At 1:07:17 Watts is asked if one of his co-workers should go out and retrieve the bodies of his children from where he dumped them in two large fracking tanks. He answers, despairingly, “No, no, no, oh God, no…I can’t have that.” [Sobs].
See – not everything we know about the world’s most famous artist is true. And this is just the beginning.
November 29th, 2018
1. Second Major Tranche of Video/Photos Download Link [Servers currently down].
Video of Chris Watts’ confession to his father released:
Shanann Watts` parents file wrongful death lawsuit against Christopher Watts
A total of 66 video files were released on Thursday, including the video of Watts loading his truck. See below.
3. Willem Dafoe on Becoming Vincent Van Gogh: “You Want a Living Painting, Not a Museum Piece” – Hollywood Reporter
When preparing to play van Gogh, what research did you do?
I read biographies, of course. I had seen Lust for Life and the [Robert] Altman film [Vincent & Theo] years ago. But when you make something, you really want to forget those things. You can’t copy them. It’s the idea that to express what a work of art is you have to make another thing. There are parallels to what you learn in painting: It’s not about likeness.
Did anything you learned about him surprise you?
How steeped he was in a spiritual quest, which is usually short-handed as a kind of madness. He tried to be a man of God early in his life, so that was surprising to what extent he was always having a dialogue with his God through nature. For someone that was so socially awkward and had so much trouble communicating with people on a social level and famously had trouble with women, had trouble with physicality, intimacy, he was a very compassionate person. He felt distance from people, but he loved the soul of the worker. He talks much about how you have to live like a peasant to paint peasants.
What do you hope van Gogh would think of the movie?
I can’t even think about that. Who knows?
November 28th, 2018
Kessinger also wanted to know about the book deal Amber Frey got, and how much money she made.
November 27th, 2018
Huge 3 terabyte tranche of photos, video on Watts case to be released in days.
2. Why Do Filmmakers Love van Gogh? – The New Yorker
November 26th, 2018
3. Rohde’s daughters fearing for their own future – report – TimesLive
Something very wrong with those words: Making a Murderer Star…
November 25th, 2018
METALLICA LYRICS GOOGLED SHORTLY AFTER MURDER – Ultimate Classic Rock
The report then printed the entirety of the words to the Master of Puppets track, which begins, “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.”
Watts, 33, strangled Shanann Watts, 34, and smothered their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste before sunrise in their home in Frederick, Colo. He then disposed of the bodies at the oil and gas company where he worked.
Note: in the oil and gas industry a “battery” refers to an installation of identical or nearly identical pieces of equipment (such as a tank battery or a battery of meters).
2. OJ Simpson is spotted spending Thanksgiving on the Florida beach – Daily Mail
The Nevada Department of Corrections granted OJ an out of state travel permit for November 17 to 24, which means he’ll have to return to Nevada by Sunday, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“While in Florida, Mr. Simpson is required to adhere to his parole conditions and remain in contact with his parole officer in Nevada,” Florida Department of Corrections spokesman Patrick Manderfield told the newspaper.
Among the conditions of Simpson’s parole are that he not drink alcohol “to excess,” he said. However, that didn’t to stop Simpson from drinking what appeared to be a tropical cocktail garnished with a lime and strawberry while strolling on the beach Friday.
Dressed casually in athletic gear and a sun visor, OJ dined with his children and others in the group on a busy outdoor terrace overlooking a marina.
November 24th, 2018
Chris Watts confessed to dumping bodies in a ‘freakin’ oil tank’ – New York Post
The Colorado man who butchered his pregnant wife and two toddler daughters told police he was “not a good man” as he confessed to coldly dumping their bodies in a “freakin’ oil tank,” according to documents released this week.
Notes from interviews released Wednesday by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office show how investigators got Christopher Watts, who was sentenced to life in prison last week for the heinous killings, to confess after he failed a polygraph test.
For two days, Watts, 33, maintained that he had no clue what happened to his wife Shanann, 34, and their two daughters, after they went missing on Aug. 13.
He told investigators he missed reading to Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, and that it was difficult to be at home without them, the documents, posted by The Denver Post show.
When the interviewer, at one point, asked Watts to describe all the ways a person could make someone disappear, the Watts gave a short answer — and then giggled.
In a polygraph test, Watts didn’t tell the truth each time he answered “no” to whether he physically caused his wife to disappear, if he was lying about the last time he saw her, and whether he knew where Shanann was.
Later, Watts admitted he was having an affair with a woman named Nichol Kessinger, the documents show. Investigators told him to be honest and “get everything off his chest.” That’s when Watts asked to speak to his father, Ronnie Watts, who was in the police department lobby.
Christopher Watts failed a polygraph test before investigators were able to pressure him into confessing that he killed his pregnant wife and hid her body, as well as those of his two young daughters.
“She hurt them…And then I… hurt her.”
#JasonRohde: Report reveals children’s heartbreak – Weekend Argus
November 22nd, 2018
1. Discovery Documents [REDACTED] 1960 Pages
First picture of Chris Watts and Nichol Kessinger together emerges.