On February 15 “new court documents” were revealed to the media about a possible motive in the Patrick Frazee-Kelsey Berreth case. The cops reckon custody was the main motive. It’s taken them awhile to figure that out, hasn’t it?
On December 23rd, almost two months ago at the time of writing, TCRS made a call on the motive in the murder of Kelsey Berreth. In fact the motive was mentioned in the very first paragraph of that assessment and infidelity was mentioned in a post on December 22nd.
I noted the strange circumstances surrounding Thanksgiving. Why would a couple who were engaged not be spending Thanksgiving together? Why was Patrick Frazee coming to pick up his daughter, and not his wife as well?
I will do more analysis on the Frazee case at some point, perhaps even a book, but first things first. Was custody a factor in the Watts case?
On the face of it, no. There are 44 instances of the word “custody” in the Discovery Documents, the overwhelming majority have to do with chain of custody issues affecting law enforcement, as well as evidence and cadaver collection.
In Nichol Kessinger’s lengthy interview on August 16th, she brings up custody a couple of times.
On page 1494 of the Discovery Documents, Shan’ann brings up custody [during her discussion with Olayinka Hamza, a lawyer from Glendale in March or April 2018]. She wants to know whether the custodial parents can be told where to live by a court, or whether a man can get custody. This discussion illustrates that even prior to the third pregnancy or the trip to North Carolina [or, arguably, the affair] Shan’ann knew her marriage was in terminal decline. This is difficult to reconcile with the glowing posts of her husband and marriage on social media at the time.
It’s interesting, in this respect, that Hamza recommended to Shan’ann to do everything in her power to save the marriage, rather than file for a costly divorce, and insodoing become embroiled in a long battle. It appears Shan’ann took this advice to heart. We know in the last days of her life, what with the self-help book, the getaway to Aspen, the counselling she had in mind, the letter she wanted him to write, Shan’ann wanted to avoid divorce.
But she was also ready to do battle.
On August 8th she told her pals Cassie and Nickole that if it came to a divorce, she would fight for full custody.
Significantly, this is the first and only time the word is directly linked to Shan’ann. The timing is important, given what happens next. Watts, who at the time had been away from wok for a week spent just one day at work, and then took the next two days [August 9th and 10th] off work leading to the weekend.
It may be that during these days off he and Shan’ann discussed the custody issue, and discussed divorcing. And as the battle lines were drawn, he realized he was standing inside a tank with excrement swilling around his heels, warming them, and rising inch by inch.
So he told Shan’ann “he wasn’t in a hurry” to get divorced, which made her think she could still convince him to stay.
She was wrong.
This taking off of work may have had a dual purpose. Firstly, to prepare for the battle he had in mind [triple murder]. And secondly, to muddle those at work about his whereabouts. If he appeared at CERVI 319 on Monday morning, the few operators he encountered there might not think that much of it, and those who didn’t see him may have assumed he was still in North Carolina.
It may also have been intended to muddle Shan’ann. To pretend that things were okay after all and raise the white flag, at least until she was out of town again.
In any event, on the evening of August 9th Watts [Shan’ann was due to fly out first thing the next morning] he appears to be car shopping online. If he was going to do away with Shan’ann, the Lexus would probably have to go, and then he was going to need a chariot to ferry his beloved around in. He couldn’t do that with the work truck. He was going to need some wheels. And fast.
Because Watts was a mechanic and a car nut, it stands to reason that wheels played significantly in his calculus at this stage of the game. But he had a problem. Could he afford an Audi? Because that’s specifically what he was checking. Not just an Audi Q7, but the prices of an Audi Q7.
A second-hand Q7 sells for anywhere from $22 000 — $80 000 depending on the year of the model. Watts said he could only afford $1100 – $1400 to rent an apartment. Does that include money for a car payment?
It appears to be a family car Watts is after, here, doesn’t it? At this point Watts was probably doing the math and realizing he couldn’t afford any of it. He couldn’t afford a divorce. He couldn’t afford to move out. He couldn’t afford alimony. And if he wanted to keep Kessinger and do things the right way, he was going to lose everything – his home, their vehicle, the kids, his reputation and with no money, probably Kessinger too.
Without going into too much detail, we know that the week of the disappearance, Watts and Kessinger had agreed to go and look for a new apartment for him [and the kids]. But then by Saturday night [August 11], Watts’ mood had changed and he was no longer interested in getting an apartment.
Watts did the custody calculations and realized he couldn’t afford to lose the house. He wanted the kids but if he fought for them he’d lose. And then he’d lose everything. It was either her and the kids [three kids], or Kessinger. Shan’ann made her choice. Then he made his choice.