The post below is from a local who lives in the Frederick-Boulder area.
I have just finished reading Drilling Through Discovery and I had no intention of sending you these comments until you posted this: “For true crime to be any good it has to be accurate. If any of the facts are wrong, if small details are slightly off, the whole narrative becomes unreliable. In this respect I sincerely value feedback from readers or critics who point out material inaccuracies.” I wholeheartedly concur so below are a couple of observations.
I noticed three inaccuracies in the book. Two I don’t consider “material” but the third might qualify.
1. The green cigarette lighter was found in the passenger side pocket of the work truck not the Lexus.
2. I could be wrong but I don’t believe Nick Atkinson found Shan’ann’s watch if in the book you were referring to her Apple watch. It’s ambiguous as to who actually did find it. (Discovery Document page 411). I cannot find any statement indicating Nick Atkinson found it.
3. Nickole Atkinson did not know the passcode to Shan’ann’s iPhone. Nickole was on a conference call with Sandra Rzucek and Cassie Rosenburg. Nick Atkinson states in his interview that Cassie suggested the babies due date as a possible passcode. On Coonrod’s bodycam footage you will see Chris Watts ask Nickole if she knows the code and her reply is no. She then talks on her phone and suggests the baby’s due date.
#2 might be considered material due to the question of why Chris Watts would leave her Apple watch there if that’s where he hid it. Along with the sheets in the trash I am unable to sort out why he left those things to be found on 8/15. Need a Rocket Scientist to determine if there’s any significance.
Lastly and not related to your book, I continuously read people stating that the only bruises on Shan’ann’s body were the on right side of her neck. That’s inaccurate. Chris Watts attacked her from behind, his left hand around her throat and his right hand covering her mouth and nose. Shan’ann’s Autopsy Report states, “There is a linear array of variably sized, purple black circular defects which extend from the inferior aspect of the chin, along the jawline, up the left aspect of the face, towards the left temporal area”.
He had to be gripping her face pretty damn hard to leave fingerprint bruises along the left side of her face. The attack was pure power and violence. If I’m interpreting the autopsy correctly he effectively smothered and strangled at the same time but I never see this mentioned anywhere so maybe I’m wrong or maybe it’s not significant.
I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I still don’t agree with your theory of how this murder played out but your insight as to why Chris Watts committed this atrocious act is absolutely captivating. At first I was so focused on “how” the murders happened (it’s the pointy-eared logic that drives me) but I’ve become so much more focused on the “why”. That’s the question that really has significant value. That’s the question I can’t answer. You can. It’s why I still follow.
My response to #2 is that logic suggests Nicolas Atkinson found the iWatch if he found the iPhone, and if the iPhone and iWatch were both below the cushions on the loft couch [Discovery Documents, page 468].
It also stands to reason that the cops would not be forthcoming about the fact that two crucial items of evidence weren’t found by them, but rather by a teenager who was doing a better job “investigating” the scene than they were.
There is also the issue that the discoveries of evidence items by a minor on a crime scene could be considered inadmissible in a criminal trial, and the initial processing of the crime scene regarded as “botched” as a result.
In terms of #3, one could argue the point, but the fact remains that it was via Nickole that the cop was able to unlock Shan’ann’s phone, not because Watts volunteered the code.
In an “upstairs in bed smothering” attack, it would be unnecessary to put hands around the neck or throat, as the head could simply be squashed face first into the mattress, and also covered with a pillow. The focus then would be on gripping the back of the head and neck to prevent it from turning and getting an unimpeded gulp of air.
The problem with a bed attack, besides that a bed is like a giant sponge for body fluids and tissue [none of which were found], is that someone writhing on a bed is much harder to subdue than someone pressed against a harder surface. Limbs can slip downwards out of the vertical grip whereas on a hard floor, that’s not possible. Hands can also reach for the edge of the bed, get a grip, or for a weapon on a bedside table. This is particularly likely if the victim is laying on the side of a double bed.
Given that Shan’ann was pregnant and big busted, it seems unlikely that she would be lying on her stomach when attacked [if attacked in bed] which means she’d have to be turned, which means she would be woken up, which means she should have had the opportunity to scream and the opportunity to begin to fight back. This calls into the question of a surprise attack in bed.