The critical question is what the autopsy reports say about Bella and Celeste’s stomach contents. If the children were killed shortly after a large dinner involving barbecuing steak, then it’s possible some of the contents may have remained intact in the upper gut. If there is stomach contents, it would likely be exculpatory for Shan’ann, and inculpatory for Chris Watts.
Going through what we know thus far in the Watts Case, food comes up a fair amount in the file dealing with the final hours of Bella and Celeste’s lives.
In the clip below, just before the 3 minute mark Chris Watts is asked about his relationship with this children. Instead of saying he loves them, and is worried about them, instead of grief he uses shallow, symbolic language. While shaking his head slightly he refers to his children as “the light of my life”.
In TWO FACE I compared this reference to the logo of Frederick – a lamp rising over the mountains of Colorado.
Watts worked in the oil industry, and his job was to put oil in lamps, and get the lamps of Colorado to burn with golden light. Given his financially constrained circumstances then, did he really see his own children, and a third on the way, as “the light of his life”, or did he see the income he was making at Anadarko, and the home he had in Frederick, as the actual golden light? And he wanted to keep the lights on at home, didn’t he?
What was preventing him from keeping the lights of his life on? What was a threat to him not only losing those lights, but the whole house?
Just ten seconds after his off-the-cuff “light of my life” reference, Watts cracks a joke about food: “Last night [stutters]…when they et – you know when they usually eat dinner I was like, I miss telling them, hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna to get your dessert…[laughs]…you’re not gonna get your snack after…I miss that.”
There’s a lot of tension and nervousness around this simple disclosure. He stutters, he waves his hands, he corrects dessert to snack, but when he laughs it’s the biggest and clearest show of mirth in the whole interview. Remember, Watts is an introvert, so showing emotion isn’t his style. And yet here he does.
He also waves his hands around as he talks about them watching television.
Through the entire interview Watts is deadpan, and has his arms folded across his chest. And yet here, talking about his relationship with his kids, he’s laughing, he’s expressive, he’s unfolding his arms to make hand gestures. It’s as if he’s relieved about something; a big weight has left his shoulders as opposed to being weighed down by the uncertainty of not knowing where they are, or losing them.
We also know Watts took the kids to a birthday party down the road in Erie on Sunday, August 12, and that later that afternoon he barbecued on his balcony. Was the last supper for his children the birthday party snacks [that’s another word he uses in the interview], or the barbecue?
…you know when they usually eat dinner I was like, I miss telling them, hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna to get your dessert…[laughs]…you’re not gonna get your snack after…
It’s possible that Watts is leaking the fact that they usually ate dinner but on the night of the murders they didn’t. But because he role-plays it, because he says “I was like…hey you gotta eat that or you’re not gonna get dessert…” and because he also misspeaks about them eating dinner on the 13th [they were dead already] and then corrects himself, it’s possible he did give them something to eat.
The correction of dessert to snack seems to suggest he knew they normally didn’t get dessert after meals, and people who knew the Watts and knew Shan’ann may have known this too. Whereas giving them snacks after dinner – well, there were plenty of Thrive branded cookies and cakes to choose from. Snacks.
If they had dinner and snacks it was unlikely to be after their bedtime between 18:00 and 18:30.
But in a premeditated murder [if that’s what this was], it makes little sense to feed your victim moments before you intend to kill them, unless the feeding plays into the death somehow.
hey you gotta eat that
The Last Supper could thus be used to sedate the children, or to poison them. The “light of my life” reference and the cuddling on the couch are at the top of Chris Watts mind during his Sermon on the Porch on Tuesday, the morning after the murders. Yet it’s unlikely he wanted to cuddle with his kids on the couch when there were some big sports shows on television that weekend. His flippant reference to whatever show they wanted to watch, his toss of the hand, seems to confirm that,
Chris Watts, as an oil man, was used to the idea of chemicals and processing raw materials – black liquid, gas, mud, sludge – into more useful forms. He may have seen his own children in the same way. That he was simply going to use chemicals to convert them into a form that was more useful to him, and would keep the lamps burning in the big house he loved so much.
If he did that to their bodies when they were dead [use chemicals to dissolve them], why not do the same to those bodies when they were living?