The Enmity Against the Rzuceks Runs Deep – Shan’ann’s mother-in-law didn’t attend their wedding

At 1:27 in this video link, Cindy Watts says it so quickly it’s easy to miss it completely. “We didn’t attend because Shan’ann and I just couldn’t get along.” Hold on. Didn’t attend what?

Play it back and the reporter has just mentioned the couple married in 2012. So Cindy Watts didn’t attend her son’s wedding. Does the “we” refer to Ronnie and Jamie Williams [Chris Watts’ sister] as well?

Chris Watts' sister Jamie Lyn Williams

Jamie Lyn Williams, Chris Watts’ sister is the most secretive and silent figure in terms of the two families sucked into this case thus far.

That has got to hurt, though, if Chris Watts and Shan’ann’s big day was all about Shan’ann, and Chris’ family weren’t even there. Every time he sees a wedding photo, he remembers it wasn’t quite the perfect day the photos suggested it was.

The WCNC reporter says a word in response to the no-show by the Watts family at their sons wedding.

Tension.

Yes, there had to have been.

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We know in the months leading up to the murders, for Father’s Day [June 17th, 2018] Shan’ann posted pictures of her father on her wedding day. What memories [and resentments] might this have triggered in Chris Watts two months before the murders?

Shan’ann also posted a picture of Ronnie Watts on Father’s Day and paid tribute to her husband for being a great dad. She even printed a special t-shirt for him to wear on Father’s Day, and took a picture of him wearing it.

Mother’s Day fell on May 12th. On that day Shan’ann posted a picture of her own mother for Mother’s Day, gave credit to her husband for getting her the perfect Mother’s Day gift, and also posted a cartoon dedicated to all the important women in her life but nothing on Cindy Watts. Now we know why.

Cindy Watts interview with WCNC.com feels genuine, especially this part of the transcript. Let’s listen:

CINDY: I don’t…see…why he’s pleading guilty. I wouldn’t. I’d fight. I’d fight…but then you ask yourself, ‘Would a normal person put…dispose of the bodies the way that he did?’ It scares me to death [speaking softly, nodding] that he could have done all of this. 

That also echoes what Chris Watts said on the porch when a reporter mentioned a search dog going into the house, and the sidewalk crawling with cops and police cruisers.

WATTS [Licks lips]: I’m so happy that they’re here. Right now doing everything they can, it-it just scares the living crap out of me knowing it’s come to this. 

For me, this revelation – enmity between Shan’ann and Cindy Watts – reminds me of two aspects in two other cases.

Firstly, in the Casey Anthony case, Caylee died the day after Father’s Day. That day had to be hugely significant in her life because the father of her own child wasn’t around, and because her own father – then and there – wasn’t exactly father of the year, in fact for the previous months he’d been threatening to divorce Cindy Anthony and that meant they all might lose the house. [Ten years later the Anthony’s are still fighting to keep their home]. This suggests Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in 2018, in the Watts home, were hugely significant milestones, particularly with a third baby on the way. We also know on June 9th, Shan’ann had a massive meltdown at Cindy Watts home, an event that occurred plumb in the middle between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

If Chris Watts had simmering resentments, then the enmity between his wife and his mother could only have turned on the heat even further.

Secondly, my impression while researching the Scott Peterson case was that the Peterson’s didn’t think that much of Laci, or Laci’s family. The Peterson’s were fairly wealthy when Scott Peterson was born, and he was spoiled and treated like a Golden Child. A similar dynamic seems to have played out in the Watts family, minus the privileged status. Chris Watts was clearly seen by his folks to be a perfect member of society, loved and liked by all [just like Scott Peterson].

If Watts started to develop first enmity, then a murderous resentment towards his wife [no one is saying he was justified, just that those feelings had to have been there], then if his own parents disliked Shan’ann [as Scott Peterson’s disliked or felt superior to Laci’s] he may have felt he could get away with it. Maybe that’s putting it too strongly: that if he did what he did they wouldn’t blame him. No, that’s not quite right either. At the very least, he may have felt they’d be inclined to forgive him given their own difficulties with Shan’ann, and certainly, Ronnie Watts has already told the media, “If he’s guilty, I can live with that.”

At 58 seconds in the clip below Cindy Watts seems to have made peace with the fact that her son killed Shan’ann:

CINDY: He did kill her uh…[chews gum]…but for the kids, no. 

Two camps appear to be forming, those who support Chris Watts [in some way], and those who side with Shan’ann [as the innocent victim]. As soon as we intuit a reason, that is a motive, the Shan’ann camp get very angry. This is because Chris Watts is a psychopath, a monster and a narcissist – nothing more. There can’t be a reason or any underlying dynamic leading to murder, nor can there be any premeditation. It’s simply an act of madness.

They’re right of course, the murder of three members of one’s nearest and dearest is an act of madness, but that’s not the whole story. There can also be a rhyme and reason to insanity, and it’s true crime’s mission to find those rhymes and reasons.

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41 thoughts on “The Enmity Against the Rzuceks Runs Deep – Shan’ann’s mother-in-law didn’t attend their wedding

  1. Pingback: Christopher Watts: What else do we know? [UPDATED] | True Crime Rocket Science / #tcrs

  2. I do think that Cindy Watts may have some “mom denial” going on, but who could blame her really. I agree there are basically two camps – one pro Shan’ann and one pro Chris. I think the pro Shan’ann camp needs to remember that discussing WHY Chris killed Shan’ann is NOT justifying what he did. I would like to understand too, if he killed his kids, and I think he did, why he did it. Was it because they were an extension of Shan’ann? Was it for total freedom to have a fresh start? Was it because he was somehow saving them from something? For those who believe Shan’ann killed her kids, would it have been for one or more of the same reasons I listed for Chris? Sure gets ones mind in thinking mode!

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    • Yes, a lot of mom denial. I think she also said somewhere that she’ll fight for him no matter what. I think in a way the denial phase is actually over, meaning she’s had 3 months to process it, and now she’s starting to fight. I don’t think she’s fighting because she feels he’s innocent. She’s fighting because it’s her son.

      Expect a lot of aggression and animosity from the Shan’ann camp. They say it’s victim blaming, but a lot of the people who say that are also current or former MLMs and they identify very directly with her. So an attack of Shan’ann [any attack] feels like an attack of who they are, and their belief systems. For some of them they have a lot at stake in defending Shan’ann, they’re currently up to their eyeballs in their own MLM stuff, and they’re terrified of losing the gold mine they think this case has created for them.

      That said, I’m not sure I understand the camp [besides the family] who are championing the cause of Chris Watts. Other than wanting to see a trial, it’s difficult to see him other than as a very tarnished and very pathetic character.

      For my part, I’m interested in knowing more about the family dynamics, and the characters involved. Even though I’ve written three books, I feel we’ve barely scratched the surface, and I think there’s a great big pile of skeletons still stuck in the closet. I don’t think a trial is the only way of getting to those skeletons, though. But one way or another they’re coming out.

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  3. If all this has been brewing since the time of their wedding and even before then, you have to wonder whether the move to Colorado was a way to get away from it all. Didn’t Shan’ann say a few times that Colorado meant a “drama-free” life?

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  4. A mother not attending her son’s wedding is HUGE.

    I knew there had to be a wife vs mother prize fight going on after reading Shan’ann’s reaction to the nut incident with Chris’s mother.

    I thought it was odd. I get she had a problem and took offense to mom’s attitude toward the nut access, but to go on a Facebook rant was a bit much, imo. But I don’t live my life on Facebook and/or get my emotional validation and ego strokes online.

    I also do not think it is uncommon for a person to choose a spouse who mirrors the opposite of their personality. Chris may have felt caught in the middle and reacted by withdrawing from the field of battle, went mute, then AWOL, then the dark side.

    I, too, am interested in knowing more about the family dynamics, characters involved and MLM influence.

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  5. I think the whole family dynamics, along with the extended family, was just very toxic. I agree. Maybe they are a bunch of people with personality disorders, but even people with personality disorders have their reasons to do bad stuff and even justify every bad stuff they do. They really don’t wake up one morning deciding to abuse their kids, steal or kill.
    I like your take on this

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  6. Ditto, Nan. The families involved have interesting, if not dysfunctional, dynamics going on. It’s still not unlike other families and interpersonal relationships between MIL’s and DIL’s in so many marriages. I continue to be intrigued with the Lev-el MLM and their (or perhaps Shan’ann’s?) irrational buy-in to such an inevitable financial disaster. And the nut allergy was something that may have been just one more thing that served to accentuate the obvious animosity between Shan’ann and Cindy.

    Chris’ sister, Jaime (at least it’s likely his sister), addresses briefly some of these very topics in a forum a couple months ago. Although she deleted her account shortly after posting these comments, I do believe this was likely Jaime Williams attempting to defend her brother’s character and reputation. Let me end with saying that I don’t know what happened that night, but I think that it’s a tragedy we can all expect to learn from. If this is indeed his sister, she knew about his affair with Nickole Sessinger prior to the murders. Did Shan’ann know too?
    https://www.websleuths.com/forums/search/2228646/

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  7. It’s so difficult for me to fathom not getting along your, I’ll just call it same-sex in-law because it happens in both cases. I had a fantastic relationship with my mother-in-law. Granted I was only 15 when I married but I was married 20 years but we still had a great relationship until she passed, and I have 1 daughter-in-law and it’s the same way. Great relationship, so it’s hard for me to picture dynamics like what Shan’ann and Cindy had.

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  8. I didn’t get all with my In Laws at all. They were heavy drinkers. My family didn’t drink.
    The grew up in a low class family. I grew up in upper middle class.
    I just read that:
    Frankie William Rzucek
    Charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
    2 counts
    Oct 31 2015.
    Same year Shanann and Chris filed for bankruptcy.
    I’m sure there are many more Secrets on the Rzucek family.. .. side
    Also apparently Frankie receiving death threats and some really nasty messages..

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  9. I think over time with the unsettling dynamics in the house, Chris immediate family, her family, Chris parent, sister, all full of animosity towards each other, bothered Chris. Maybe for peace .
    He decided not to create waves. Over time her actions ,her treatment of him, his parents…. bothered him. But he was afaird to speak up..why… Shanann
    They were fighting, money problems ,being sued by the homeowners association. Her Thriving…a bomb waiting to go off.

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  10. A while back, I saw a video of Chris, Shanann, Bella and CeeCee with Chris’ parents. Chris had CeeCee on his shoulders and Shanaan was walking next to them. They appeared to be walking through an open mall – cafe’s, shops – the sun was setting.

    In front of Shanann was Chris’ dad holding hands with Bella and Chris’ mom walked beside his dad. Shanann was trying so damn hard to film a happy family moment, even calling out “Poppa or Grandpa.” Chris’ parents never looked back at her, waved or said one word. It was very obvious in the video that they didn’t like her at all. Their behavior spoke volumes.

    I think Chris became Chris by way of his mother. He went gray rock very early on in life to deal to cope with his mother. She’s a piece of work, that one.

    I’m familiar with Chris’ parental dynamic, where the father is the pussy, enabling his wife’s narcissism. Think of Ahab and Jezebel from the Bible. When I see Chris’ pictures from when he was younger, I see dead eyes. Nick has a pic on this site with him in a baseball uniform. Zoom in on his eyes. If you don’t get a chill, then I must be out to lunch. He had dead eyes as a lad.

    A pregnant woman in her 15th week, just getting home at 1:48am from a business trip, who was already in the separation process, isn’t going to “snap” and kill her two children. Chris Watts is a liar and like all sociopath narcissist did a smear campaign on Shanann. That’s what they all do – play victim.

    Do I think Shanann was a saint? No. I think the reason why she and Chris’ mom didn’t get along was due to that they were very similar. Shanann was always in control. I bet so was Chris’ mom. Shanann just stepped in his mom’s shoes and his mom, like any toxic mother-in-law, was threatened, and didn’t go to their wedding. What a shitty thing to do. It’s always about control with these women. I do suspend any judgement on Shanann. She suffered enough.

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      • My understanding is that the Rzucek family is being harassed by online trolls — receiving death threats, even — but not the Watts family. WHY???? Did you watch Chris Watts’ sentencing hearing? His despicable family took up more time than anybody. They jabbered on and on and on — AND THE WHOLE THING WAS CAUSED BY THEIR GOOD-FOR-NOTHING SON!!!! These people don’t even mention the precious children that their son killed — WORST GRANDPARENTS EVERRRRRR!!!! I have been able to skim through the 2,000 pages of investigation notes. My opinion of the Watts family is that they are some of the scummiest people in the world. They can go back under their rocks now — we have all seen enough.

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  11. I just had a thought.

    What if Chris’ hatred of Shanann was misplaced? What if his (unconscious) hatred and rage was really meant for his mother? Shanann got the wrath that was really meant for Mom-Watts.

    What if he married Shanann because, in some strange way, she reminded him of his mom?

    What if he killed his (beautiful) children because, in some strange way, he was killing that child in himself, the one he loathed and felt great shame for.

    By no means am I justifying his actions. His actions will never be justified.

    His mother made him a monster. And his father enabled it.

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    • I heard the same theory on Websleuths – that Chris Watts was actually murdering his mother. That argument falls apart when you consider Shan’ann and Cindy didn’t get along. If they got along great, then that’s a possible theory. But Cindy seems to have been quite down to Earth, simple and practical, and Shan’ann none of those things. It falls apart even further when you consider he didn’t only kill Shan’ann, but terminated the pregnancy and also killed his own children. So this is way more than some Freudian spiel to overcome a supposedly dominant mother. Shan’ann was the dominant force, definitely not Cindy.

      Killing his own child inside…I think it’s the opposite. He wanted his own wild child to have another run around the paddock. It wasn’t about killing his inner child but resurrecting it.

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      • I think it makes more sense the theory if CW hated his mother and transferred this hate onto Shanann.. I had a mother in law like Cindy Watts. The day that bitch died was the best day ever

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      • Cindy watts was toxic to that marriage. She looks horrible by what she said in the interview and sandi rzucheks letter in discovery of what went on. Ironic it wasn’t shanann who destroyed her son, this mistress is more involved than she tried to say, it was more her that helped destroy Chris’s life, she didn’t do it but telling him immediately to pawn her rings? There is also what woman called the school…his sister or mother or his mistress? According to sources in the know his sister and mother are behind this awful Facebook page and people from it send horrible stuff to shananns parents and police are aware and are investigating. I can’t imagine how shanann is the one being attacked but not his mother, sister, or mistress. I feel so sad for her family, they don’t deserve this

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    • Shanann was NOTHING like his mother. NOTHING. Do you think Shanann would place nuts in some kids ice cream when she knew they were severely allergic to nuts like Cindy Watts did to Celeste?? No damn way. Shanann kept trying to involve his family of ungrates – she should have told them to all fuck off when they didnt go tot he wedding and tried to sabatoge that as well

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  12. Agree with all of the above. Can I add that SW seemed like a classic shit stirrer too??

    CW looks miserable on his wedding day whilst she looks elated – she has her whole family there after all.

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    • Do not say one god damn bad word about Shanann. Do your research. Shanann tried to involve these in laws from hell. The sister wanted to get involved in the wedding planning nad volunteered to do the invitations. When no one was replying they were coming – Shanann found out it was because Jamie, his sister, had intentionally not mailed out the invites to sabatoge the wedding. THEY WERE ALL INVITED. THEY WERE ALL EVIL in not going. Cindy Watts was in a power game – that she couldnt win. The dumb bitch. I had a mother in law like her.
      And learn about all teh times they bashed Shanann in front of her and behind her back. Learn about the ‘nut’ incident that happened when Shanann took the girls to his family for a visit. OH NO NO NO – Shannan was way to good for this inbred family. She didnt stir the shit enough was her problem. She should have wrote them ALL off from day one.

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      • No need to be angry at me for trying to understand the family dynamics. I do think it was horrible that they didn’t go to the wedding. It’s practically unheard of unless family is estranged and in this case I don’t think any of them were. My thoughts are just that it’s a pretty big deal not to go to a wedding so it would be interesting to get all the facts. If it’s true that the sister deliberately didn’t mail out the invitations then shame on her as that is just wrong. Having said that, for CW parents to feel so strongly about Shann’an that they didn’t attend their own son’s wedding then there must be a whole lot more to this that we don’t know or understand. That’s all I mean. They still should have been the bigger people and just attended the wedding and “put up & shut up”.

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      • Pussy whipped? You sound like one of those men who spend a lot of time online whining on about women. Or if you’re a woman, you have submitted that you’re trash as a woman, from being subjected to those men who spend their time making youtube videos saying they don’t want women, but instead of leaving women alone, they spend their time trying to make women feel bad

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  13. The WATTS family that were inlaws to Shanann, all THREE of them, give all in laws a bad name. How could they be this stupid. The wedding? The wedding invitations the sister was in charge of but delibertely didnt mail out. The nut incident. The constant bashing of Shanann. Whatever amount of attention Shanann wasted on this family was to much. She was far to good for them

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  14. My question to Cindy Watts is who the hell would and could get along with you? You misfit husband and misfit daughter are the only ones who could and can.

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  15. Wow….boga….you must strictly be on shanann’s side.
    We don’t have to like or even try to get with *in-laws*….there could be many reasons behind…Why.
    But it does change the dynamics…
    Tension and stress.
    Both these families, had multiple discord amongst them all.
    To be honest, I firmly believe Shanann thought she was above all, when in reality …she wasn’t.
    She had many faults within herself.
    I’m not going to name them.
    But I think she’s was the Root of all Evil.

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    • Shananns the root of evil? This mother in law was rude to her the first time they met. Asking her mom about shanann not loving Chris etc. Read shanann watts mothers statement in discovery about other incidents. Blocking them on Facebook, refusing to come to Celeste’s birthday, sending her gift to Colorado rather than sending it over to her birthday party. I have a daughter in law, in my opinion the greater onus is on me to get along with her. We have a great relationship because of that. I had a wonderful mother in law and I take from her how to treat a daughter in law. We are different, but I love her dearly and if my son loves her I’m also in her corner then. She didn’t take away my son, I don’t own him. What she did do is add to our fami,y and gave me two awesome grandsons. I treat her like I do my daughter. Shanann should have wiped this woman from her life, says a lot about her character that she still had a single thing to do with this woman

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    • Nothing — ABSOLUTELY NOTHING — that Shan’ann did merited a death sentence. Chris Watts, on the other hand, killed his pregnant wife AND his two living children. He dumped their bodies like garbage. Uh, the root of all evil is Chris Watts.

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  16. You mentioned the Lacy Peterson case in passing, but the comparisons are far closer. Both were high powered women, both were the “in charge” types, both married passive, “easy going” guys who seemed to be OK with doing things their wife’s way. Both were their mothers “golden boys” and both mothers disapproved of their daughter-in-laws. Bothe women were pregnant and both were financially strapped. These men are what is know as “Family Annihilators”. It is a well documented mindset and interesting factoid, many of these murders take place on Sunday’s in August. They have no history with law enforcement,domestic violence or mental problems. John List is the best known example of this, but there are many others. Their rage is deep seated and ends in a final act of murder, which seem totally out of character to all who felt they knew them

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    • You’re right, many comparisons to be made. I’ve written a trilogy of books about the Peterson case, and a trilogy on the Watts case, so the similarities are all too clear. This blog is meant to make only passing commentary of numerous issues and insights. The books provide a much deeper and more thorough analysis.

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  17. I saw an interview with one of Chris Watt’s former mistresses, not Nichol but the one before her. The fact that he had several affairs while married essentially leading a completely double life which would include a lifestyle of lies to cover his tracks, speaks volumes to his character but I digress. His former mistress on Inside Edition said they watched the movie Shutter Island the first night they had sex. If you are familiar with this movie then you know the main character kills his wife after she kills their children. I believe that is where he got the idea of blaming Shannan. Unless you have ever been victimized by a narcissistic toxic family, you really have no understanding of the level of dysfunction happening to the targeted victim. Shannan was a threat to the Narc Family. She was scapegoat because she established boundaries. Was Shannan a saint? No, none of us are. She was human and had flaws just like all of us. Her only mistake was marrying into a toxic family. After after she is brutally murdered along with her children, her husband’s family is waging a smear campaign against her and trying to salvage their own public image. Despicable And completely typical Narcissistic behavior.

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    • Do you remember Neil Entwistle who tried to say his wife killed their child before herself? His father Clifford Entwistle has just written a book saying he’s innocent

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  18. As we now know, it took the Watts parents all of two seconds to give Chris a pass for killing Shannan. They even believed it was justified. It probably helped that her murder occurred shortly after a big blow up between Shannan and his parents.

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  19. Shanann’s family are so nice and normal compared to Chris’s. Shanann’s brother cared about everybody, saying he thought he had a brother, but Chris’s mother cared more about making excuses for him than what he did

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