Chris Watts was so dumb it took the cops three to four days to find the bodies of his victims, even though they had the GPS data and knew exactly where he went that day.
He was so dumb cadaver dogs couldn’t find any clear cadaver traces in the home, or any other clear and unambiguous evidence.
He was so dumb even today we can’t say when, where, how or why the murders happened. Compared to other high-profile true crime, Watts outscores almost everyone else in almost every department.
Think about all the other ultra dumb moves in true crime…
1. JonBenet Ramsey Ranson Note
Patsy Ramsey’s three-page, ahem, I mean someone’s Ransom Note. It was called the War and Peace of Ransom Notes, it didn’t make much sense and whoever wrote it forgot to kidnap or collect the ransom. If there was a kidnapper, even if JonBenet died in their custody, the ransom could still have been collected. So why is there a Ransom Note, no kidnapper, no kidnapping and no ransom?
Patsy herself, a former Miss West Virginia, forgot to change the clothes she was in that night.
Easily missed in terms of the Ransom Note, Patsy also forgot to leave her fingerprints on it. Even she didn’t write it, if she picked it up to read it [and she said she did], why aren’t her fingerprints on it?
2. Jodi Arias’ Camera
After driving thousands of miles from Yreka California to Mesa Arizona and back to murder Travis Alexander in secret, Jodi left a camera at the crime scene. The camera contained timestamped photos of herself cavorting with Travis Alexander and also over 11 minutes chronicling his murder in the shower stall and hallway.
3. Oscar Pistorius “screams like a woman”
He shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death four times through a locked toilet door, then said he’d fired by accident and mistook her for a burglar. Pistorius claims the sounds of a woman screaming [heard by five different witnesses] was actually him screaming like a woman. Dumb as this was, the judge actually believed his testimony and found him not guilty of murder.
4. Henri van Breda’s 20+ minute EMS call
Although three of his family members were already dead, Van Breda’s younger sister was still alive when he called to report the emergency. Van Breda was on the line for more than twenty minutes despite the fact that his sister Marli, having sustained serious head and neck wounds from the same axe, lay upstairs hanging onto her life by a thread. It also appeared Van breda smoked three cigarettes while on the call, and some thought it sounded like he was chickling when he said his family were dead. Marli ultimately survived her brother’s axe attack.
5. OJ Simpson’s Bruno Magli shoes…
Had the “shoe evidence” been used at his original trial, would OJ still have been acquitted? Who knows. One glove was found at the crime scene and a matching glove at his residence in Rockingham, covered in blood and containing the genetic markers of Simpson and both victims, but that wasn’t enough. The shoeprint and circumstances around the shoe size was certainly overwhelming.
The list goes on and on, but the point is, all of these criminals either made silly mistakes in leaving behind evidence, or came up with cockamamie explanations about the evidence, or both.
Crime itself is stupid. It’s a stupid solution. But when we see crime that way we miss the most important thing – the human element. It’s the human element that leads to these terrible crimes being perpetrated, and it’s through the human element that we can understand them.
Like Watts, Amanda Knox also confessed to what seemed like a semi-bogus scenario [suggested to her by the cops] after a few hours of interrogation. Like Watts, Knox also courted a media storm because of her seemingly weird behavior after the crime.
In the list above, as dumb as all of these criminals’ ideas, executions and explanations are, more than half of the suspects implicated in these cases got away with it.
Think about that.
Of course, if there were elements of the crime that were executed well in the Watts case [such as the cover up inside the home] there were other elements that were just plain lazy.
The bed sheet left in the open field at CERVI 319 is an example, but then Watts couldn’t have imagined the cops catching up to him as soon as they did, or that they would use a drone to gain access to the remote area. Still, one has to wonder, how did the bed sheet get away from him?
Perhaps the dumbest thing about Watts Family Murders wasn’t so much the logistics but the crime itself. It may be that because his motive is so simple and simpleminded we regard this crime as so stupid, and this case with such contempt.
Besides that, Watts’ ability to stand up to scrutiny [in front of his neighbors, the media cameras, and in front of law enforcement] is probably the area where he lacked the most game.
Having performed for years with his wife to a captive multi-level marketing audience [not the most discerning audience in the world], perhaps he’d allowed himself to believe he was a convincing actor. The real world is quite different from the fictitious stew of Thrive on Facebook, however, where the only people buying what they’re selling are the promoters. Social media is an echo chamber at the best of times, but an MLM-themed echo chamber seems designed to addle the mind, and perhaps it did.
In the list mentioned above Jodi Arias, Oscar Pistorius and OJ were involved in similar stuff as the Watts family; Jodi in MLM, Oscar and OJ performing endless stunts as brand ambassadors for wellness brands/sponsors – but all eventually becoming actors in their own respective fairy tales.
Although Shan’ann was the leading actor in the Watts family, Watts eventually took that role over from Shan’ann. His Sermon on the Porch had to feel weird where he was the starring figure, as it were, after years of playing the extra to Shan’ann’s spiels. That morning she was the extra and this time he was talking for himself, and on her behalf, leaving out the stuff [like her pregnancy] that didn’t suit him so that he could sell his spiel.
When the fairy tale becomes real enough, a nightmare can’t be allowed to exist. What happens when a nightmare starts to infect a fairy tale? Can it simply be acted or pretended away, spoken out of existence by choosing the right words? It’s not just criminals who like to think so. The reality is we’re all trying to make our lies and fairy tales amount to something in the face of our own inevitable extinction.