If he has two faces, does the same apply to his sexuality? Is Chris Watts bisexual or isn’t he?
Looking at the tabloid media narrative, two mistresses – a man and a woman – have already come forward claiming they were in secret affairs with Chris Watts. Not so secret now, but how do we know if either are true or not?
Tabloids are tricky. They do spread a lot of gossip and innuendo, but where this is done maliciously, they can be sued. As such they have to tread a fine line.
Looking at the semantics, it’s often a quick study to find out if the tabloids are cynically trying to milk a story, or whether there’s real smoke somewhere, and all they’re doing is trying to fan the flame of interest for all its worth.
Tabloid coverage of high-profile cases isn’t the fake news many people believe it to be.
While researching the JonBenet Ramsey case, I was surprised by how much tabloids pay private detectives to get some purchase on a high-profile case.
Tabloids can be a valuable resource for information, the difficulty is being able to separate the wheat from the chaff and yes, there’s plenty of chaff to sequestrate.
With that in mind, let’s briefly look at the two mistresses that have come forward so far.
The Other Woman [besides the co-worker]
- They met on Tinder. Since we know Shan’ann and Chris Watts met on Facebook, and Chris Watts is alleged to have met his boy mistress on an online app too, this holds water.
- The mistress said she was unaware Watts was married or had children. This might be the mistress covering herself from criticism, but the boytoy said the same thing. If true, it shows the extent to which Chris Watts could have been capable of lying to many people simultaneously, and although he may felt he was “getting away with it”, that doesn’t mean he was a good liar.
- According to the Daily Mail the mistress “got the suspicion that she was not the only person he was intimate with during their sex-fueled relationship.” The male lover said the same thing. The licentiousness seems to reflect the same profligate attitude to their finances.
- ‘He would put his hands on my throat during intercourse.’ This is, at least in theory, a psychological match for a repressed, socially inhibited introvert who has subconscious and sexual fantasies of dominating others, of reversing his daily powerlessness. The sexual strangling is coincidentally also a match for how it appears all three of the victims were annihilated.
- ‘He had a rape fantasy. He was very kinky.’ This also goes to the idea of domination, and violent domination. If true, then we have the psychological nuts and bolts for an extended period of premeditation. If he had violent sexual fantasies as a rule, then why wouldn’t he have homicidal fantasies – the latter addressing the need to escape his domestic debts and obligations?
‘When we had sex, it was very animalistic. He just zoned out into a different person.’ This alter ego scenario matches the idea of a perfect picture family man, and a murderer. One moment we see a neat, presentable husband and father smiling while lying to the media about his vanishing family on his porch, the next he’s in an orange jump suit.
‘He wasn’t the kind of guy who would cuddle and watch a movie.’ But there is evidence of intimacy or warmth between Shan’ann and Chris Watts, as well as between him and the children. He’s also generally seen as likable but reserved.
Nevertheless there is a pattern of warmth alternating with standoffishness. Chris Watts could be warm and loving one moment, and off the next. We saw that right in the beginning, in his not-quite-right demeanor on the porch contrasting with the unemotional, deadpan man in court. But others have commented on it too, including Michele Greer, the witness who saw the couple at Myrtle Beach weeks before the annihilation. And Nickole Atkinson, who said “Chris wasn’t his usual loving self.” We see a similar pattern of emotional disconnect from Scott Peterson in the weeks prior to Laci’s death. This is a clear sympton of premeditation, where the murderer has not only thought about what he intends to do, but begun to prepare himself emotionally, cutting himself off from the flak of inevitable feelings once the damage is done.
- According to the Daily Mail: Watts would visit the woman near her home, which was 30 miles away from the house he shared with wife Shannan and their daughters in Frederick. Although this doesn’t address where they met, it suggests they met somewhere other than where they both lived. This suggests the mistress had children or was also married.
- The relationship with the anonymous woman was meant to take place in May and June, immediately prior to the 6 week trip Shan’ann made to visit her family in North Carolina, and also during the initial weeks of Shan’ann’s third pregnancy.
Although a second mistress is hardly needed to corroborate whether Watts was cheating when he admitted he was actively cheating with a co-worker, the question is whether the tabloid article is trustworthy. Is it? Are the tabloids on our side?
The Other Man [besides the other woman, and the other mistress]
Although the other man in this equation seems to fit the bill for saucy tabloid gossip, if anything this aspect is more credible on the surface than the second mistress, not less. Crimeonline, HLN and CNN have covered Trent Bolte’s alleged link to Watts.
Below we’ll deal with CrimeOnline’s interrogation of Trent Bolte:
- Trent Bolte claims that he had a ten-month affair with Watts that ended this spring, not long after the 28-year-old Fort Collins resident learned that Watts had lied about being married. He said the affair, which began when the two met on the dating app MeetMe, continued for a short while after he discovered Chris had been lying. The ten months suggests the homosexual aspect wasn’t insignificant, assuming it’s true. The Fort Collins reference doesn’t seem to be right. Wasn’t Bolte from Casper, Wyoming? Irrespective, even the distance to Fort Collins creates an impression that Watts went to some trouble to keep his “dirty laundry” hidden, or some minimum safe distance from his happy home. On the other hand, it may be that there were no available gay men in the small town of Frederick, and so Watts had to look further afield. The distance to Casper seems quite far though, a factor that raises some doubt about the credibility of the claim.
- During that time, Chris Watts reportedly claimed to Bolte that his wife Shan’ann, who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her murder last month, had been verbally and emotionally abusive. There is a ring of truth about this, but we should exercise caution. Just as the public has access to Shan’ann’s videos, so do potential imposters claiming to have inside information into the inner workings of the relationship [John Mark Karr pulled the same scheme in the JonBenet Ramsey confession hoax]. Interestingly, the female mistress echoes the idea of abuse. There’s certainly a smoky psychology here for a man who feels maligned by his spouse in private, so much so that he needs to act out [role play] a kind of fictional turning of the tables.
- Chris Watts allegedly told Bolte that Shan’ann “treated him like he was stupid” and made him feel inadequate in front of his children. This too has a ring of truth, but could be based on Bolte’s own interpretation of publicly available content. Whether Bolte’s assertion is true or not, we know Shan’ann did repeatedly make snide remarks to Watts even while on camera.
- Bolte discovered Chris had been dishonest about his family circumstances, [and] said that Chris “played the victim” and continued to reach out to him, insisting that he was in a bad situation with no idea how to get out. Also true, but what matters here is Chris playing the victim when let’s face it, he’s cheating on his wife [with someone while she’s pregnant], and given what eventually happened to the Watts family, he’s clearly not the actual victim and yet he felt he was. A clear source of being made to feel like the victim is if he had a secret that he was unwilling to share, but as a result he was being taken through the washer because of it. Shan’ann may have misinterpreted his coyness for weakness, or even spinelessness. She may have had no idea how many skeletons were hiding his closet, or the extent of his “other face”. The scale and scope of these murders suggests there was a significant secret life going on, beyond the norm of other married men cheating on their wives.
- Bolte indicated that he trusts very little of what Chris Watts told him, and said he would not be at all surprised if he had been carrying on multiple affairs. According to a police affidavit obtained by CrimeOnline, an investigation found that Chris Watts had been having an affair with a co-worker. Since then, another woman has come forward in an interview with Radar Online, claiming that she had an affair with Chris Watts after meeting him on Tinder. The idea of multiple affairs sounds right, irrespective of whether Bolte is credible in this scenario or not.
- Bolte said when he was recently questioned by FBI agents they accused him of “leaving something out,” which he insists he is not. He also said that lawyers for both the prosecution and the defense had attempted to track him down at his parents’ home in Wyoming. If the FBI aren’t completely convinced of Bolte’s truthfulness, or lack of, should we be?
- The Fort Collins man, who works in healthcare, said that law enforcement agents initially reached out to him and that he cooperated with questioning. He said he wasn’t sure how investigators learned of the relationship. Obviously they learned about him because he went on national television.
- CrimeOnline confirmed that the man we spoke to on the phone is the same person who owns social media accounts belonging to Trent Bolte. Bolte provided CrimeOnline with screenshots of text messages between him and Watts that appear to support some type of relationship with Watts. It’s possible to fake text messages, so why not provide photos? It’s difficult to believe – if they had a 10 month relationship – that there wouldn’t be a few selfies between them.
- Bolte said they were the first text messages he and Watts exchanged away from the MeetMe app. The messages differ starkly in tone from screenshots circulating on social media, purporting to be messages between Watts and Bolte. Bolte is aware of the images that have circulated and insists they have been fabricated, pointing out that the messages indicate the two men met on Tinder, which Bolte says is not true. So even in the Bolte narrative, there are sub-narratives about fabrications, further raising doubts about credibility.
- He has denied claims, reportedly made on social media, that he was paid for the HLN interview. But Bolte did say that Chris had given him some money while they were together. He said that Chris gave him cash on a few occasions when he was in need of financial help, and that Chris offered the money while also stating that he was struggling financially himself. Bolte said that in addition to the cash gifts, which he believes totaled around $1,000, Chris Watts bought him expensive skin care products at Sephora. Bolte said Watts paid in cash. Bolte seems like an opportunist, and as a male nurse-type, seems like the sort of character who might be in need of a financial boost. If he did receive money from Watts, it’s possible if there was a real affair, it was a paid arrangement.
So what is the #tcrs assessment: is Chris Watts bisexual or not? At this point, it’s too early and too close to call. There doesn’t appear to be sufficient direct evidence to support Bolte’s affair as fact. At the same time, there appears to be some circumstantial evidence to suppose that Chris Watts may have been bisexual [with Bolte or with other men]. There’s also the fact that Chris Watts had made a concerted effort to groom himself and improve his appearance, especially in the months leading up to the murders.
Was there a high degree of licentiousness in Watts’ life? It appears so, doesn’t it? The same thing was true in the Peterson case. Scott Peterson denied the affair until Amber Frey came forward, and the tapes were made public. The licentiousness speaks to the idea of a double life, and of living a lie. Besides that, licentiousness is an eloquent mirror for the idea of repeatedly doing things in secret that you’re not supposed to do and getting away with it. This builds confidence and can set the stage for a criminal act.
Perhaps the biggest clue that something was rotten in the state of Denmark is the fact that Watts first denied then admitted to being actively involved involved in an affair with a colleague. In true crime, you never see suspects volunteering incriminating information about themselves unless it’s to distract from other even more incriminating information.
The Ramsey Ransom Note is a classic example of volunteering of useless information. It’s job, spanning three pages, was to do exactly that – to distract from something worse. And for all intents and purposes it worked.
So if Chris Watts didn’t have to volunteer this information about an affair with a colleague, why did he? What was the smokescreen for?
My guess is a) the co-worker would have volunteered the information if he didn’t, especially if her father knew about it too and b) the volunteering of the affair was meant to hide other affairs, and quite possibly affairs with other men as well.
The other aspect to consider is a familiar pattern in true crime. Theories in the run up to trial inevitably abound, but they often peter out just as quickly as they rise up. What we’ve seen here is the simultaneous reinforcement not only of one affair but three, and one of those affairs is an admission by the suspect himself.
His use of the word “actively” is also an important flag. Actively is unnecessary to add unless it’s to create the impression that he’s so busy in one affair, how could he be active in several?
Finally: Is Watts’ idiosyncratic introversion just a coincidence, or was it based on heightened privacy concerns? Facebook and social media tend areas where secrets like sexual orientation can and inevitably do leak out, sometimes with devastating consequences. His barely functioning social media wasn’t the problem though. Was hers?
Did Shan’ann have her finger on that trigger when she was murdered? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. #tcrs