“Fuck him!” “Fuck you and fuck you and fuck you.”

The word “fuck” appears 28 times in the Discovery Documents, two of those are from Trent Bolte [“fucking ridiculous”], but about half – perhaps surprisingly – aren’t from Shan’ann, but from Chris Watts. All of these instances from Watts occur in a few minutes during his “confession” with his father and FBI Agent Coder.

Did Chris Watts see any of the messages about him on Shan’ann’s phone?

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It was important to Watts to be thought well of, and clearly, Cassie and Nickole sided with their friend in solidarity against Watts, especially in the last week of Shan’ann’s life. If Shan’ann was against him, perhaps he thought he could handle that, but if she recruited her Facebook flock, what then? They could ruin his reputation in a public lynching, far worse than she’d just done to his mother on social media in early July.

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Page 605 of the Discovery Documents provides the following instance of Watts quoting Shan’ann – what she supposedly said on the morning when he supposedly confronted her about wanting to end the marriage:

Ronnie asked Chris what Shanann said that morning when he told her everything. Chris said Shanann asked him why and asked him why he wanted to give up. Chris said Shanann told him, Fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you.

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Frederick Watts murder

(Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

82 thoughts on ““Fuck him!” “Fuck you and fuck you and fuck you.”

  1. I have a feeling that Shan’ann probably did use those exact words when Chris rejected her sexually after they returned from NC and she said that she kicked him out of the bedroom. Chris just transposed her frustration at that time to their imaginary conversation when she returned from AZ.

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    • There are people who toss “Fuck you”s around like nothing, and there are others for whom it represents a line that’s been crossed. Did you ever see the George Clooney/Matt Damon movie, “Syriana”? In it, a young boy is killed in an accident overseas – the whole family is there. The father tries to pick up the pieces and continue doing his job, but his wife accuses him of selling out his dead son. That’s the final straw – when he says, “Fuck you.” you know the last thread holding their marriage together has broken.

      I don’t get that feeling here – I more sense Shan’Ann’s panic. She’s in full-on flight-or-fight mode and spoiling for the fight that she feels viscerally will fix everything. If she can’t win him back, she’ll win by taking everything. But she’ll win. With the flight-or-fight instinct, there’s an instinctual appraisal of the situation – can I win, or should I run? Shan’Ann’s subconscious appraisal of her circumstances led her to fight mode, but there’s always the chance that she understood all too well that she had nowhere else to go. It’s complicated, and there’s no guarantee that the subconscious weighing of the situation will result in an accurate appraisal, and just because Shan’Ann was throwing the “Fuck you”s around like confetti, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t still susceptible to Chris luring her into a trap by treating her kindly and attentively. That’s what she wanted most of all.

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      • Excellent interpretation Ralph. I think what you wrote is an accurate portrayal of how Shan’ann probably felt. And I do feel that Chris lured an unsuspecting Shan’ann into a trap – a death trap. I also agree that Shan’ann thought she would win the fight, after all, she always had before! She thought wrong this time and it cost her her life.

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      • CBH – interesting hypothesis. Shan’Ann was in the depths of despair from Chris’ distance from her and remoteness, and from there, if he’d even just embraced her warmly, she probably would have melted from relief and release. She would’ve been putty in his hands, at least temporarily. IF he had truly wanted her at this point, I think they might have been able to recalibrate their relationship and set a new normal. Her pregnancy would have provided a break from “Thrivin'”, and there was nothing Shan’Ann could’ve done to stop that. In between, she and Chris could have forged a new dynamic, one free of the fishbowl of cameras and Facebook and videos. If her sales dropped off because of her pregnancy, she might have turned that same disillusionment/outrage against LeVel. By the time the baby was born, who knows what her frame of mind would have been?

        If Chris had wanted to remain married to her and have that baby, the break from “Thrivin'” might have been the catalyst for creating a new reality for them in which LeVel was not welcome. I realize on a certain level that’s unlikely, given the fact that Shan’Ann was a veteran of no fewer than seven MLMs and so would be very likely to just dive into another once she saw Thrive wasn’t working out. But if she was able to realize how unhealthy the MLM scams were – all of them – and decide to get a real job and…oh, who am I kidding??

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      • That Shan’ann was ready to fight to keep Chris at that late date seems to indicate her lack of insight into her own attitudes toward him and how awful it was to live in her abusive bubble.

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    • She loved Chris so deeply in her videos, but quickly turned on him and devalued him when he began to assert his will. I know it’s not good to diagnose or label people from a distance, or to do this from the vantage point of a lay person with no expertise in the field — but she does fit the description of a borderline personality in some ways.

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  2. Going back in the timeline there was trouble in paradise for a long time. Wasn’t it around February 2018 Trent Bolte says he entered the picture? Then March Watts goes on a dating app and finds Amanda McMahon. Also in March or April Shan’ann visits the restaurant with her friend where she runs into Mr. Hamza and has a conversation about Colorado child custody disputes. He says might have been April. In any event he advises her to try and work things out with her husband as custody disputes and divorces can get very ugly. Apparently she does and they mutually decide to get pregnant. I know bringing another child into the equation was covered in Watt’s presentation but was he really listening to the words he was presenting? So I see a scenario at the Watts home where Shan’ann knows her salary and her stake in the house and her children and not wanting to leave Colorado to go back to NC might lead her to suggest to Chris that they try to have another baby. “When you want something……” When she wanted something. She may have convinced him she would be a gentler person while pregnant, not so demanding, she will keep right on working and afterall, look at all of the people she had signed up under her she was really making it – she would try and do better with her spending and use her LeVel money to help out more. And they could save on day care because she would stay home and do the care taking. So he agrees to it. But it wasn’t “his idea” per se. He only agreed. Then behind his back she puts Bella on the Primrose waiting list. He now knows he was cuckolded, duped, cajoled, it was a mistake. And she hasn’t changed a bit. She’s even more controlling. First ultrasound and he sends her a picture of a tornado out in the fields and says he can’t go. He doesn’t want to go. How was he going to get out of it. And that was in May. In June he’s noticed a pretty girl in the office. She seems interested in what he has to say for a change. She’s the outdoorsy type and he loves being outside and nature and hiking and sports. The only outdoor activity he’s had in the past few years is pushing a lawnmower with a baby strapped to his back. He’s coming alive after all these years. But she keeps pulling him down to where he was 8 years ago. With the sicknesses and controlling, the penciled in eyebrows and decorated acrylic nails. He wants a nature girl. He always did but now he knows for sure. He wants to be like the beautiful sunflowers with their faces stretched upward to the sun. Someone to tell him “you’re wonderful.”

    (if you read this, thanks for indulging me).

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    • Sylvester, Thanks for writing this, it is interesting to get a man’s take on the whole situation and what Chris may have been thinking. I am seeing the appeal of NK to him in a new light, I think both women were attractive but you are right, they were attractive in different ways. (Even in the Denver Post, NK is not excessively made up for these posed pictures and still quite natural looking). I personally feel that Shan’ann becoming pregnant may have locked him in more but that ‘nutgate’ changed these dynamics significantly. I feel that a ‘good son’ is mindful of his parents expectations re: family responsibilities. However, the public break and trashing of his family by Shan’ann that summer, and her refusal to allow the children to visit when Chris was there, may have cut the final string holding him back from splitting with her. Obviously, Shan’ann and his mother were quite alike in their spirited personalities and refusal to back down, but this could have been handled quite differently by all involved. If indeed Shan’ann planned to further ‘lock down’ Chris with the pregnancy, she played her cards poorly that summer and just further alienated Chris and made it easier for him to walk away from the relationship. Do you agree with this? Also, upon realizing that Shan’ann had misled him regarding how things would be with a third pregnancy, do you think this would cause an introverted man like Chris to boil inside rather than just accept it in defeat? He seems to have buried a lot but I’m wondering how a man would see this? Thanks

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      • Thank you Kerry. I like to play around with writing but I’m no NVDL. I like to crawl inside the brain and see what I can see if I were that person. He was just searching for some thing when he met Amanda but she didn’t knock his socks off then along came Nichol. Yes, I think it could have been more of a “what about if we try for a third child?” and he went along. Really unfortunate at the time he didn’t say we can’t afford it. But maybe he did. Whatever she said to convince him of a third child (I don’t think it was all his idea) if anything it made her worse. Later on she could say things like “I’m carrying your child” “I have had to deal with 2 kids for 5 weeks and I’m not feeling well” and “I could lose this child”, etc. I mean how is he supposed to react to that. I think she put him in a box, he was cornered, in so many ways. Watch that video at the airport again. Hugs his children, smile on his face – then look how it fades when he looks up at Shan’ann. In the Wolf back the wolves do everything to protect and ensure the survival of the pups. And so I am still grappling with his thinking with regard to the children.

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      • Ralph, you have noted an interesting scenario. Does anyone know if Thrive officially (or unofficially) cautioned\discouraged Shan’ann from promoting during her pregnancy? Nick has noted her dwindling Facebook videos that sumner which I had assumed was due to stress of the deteriorating relationship. Perhaps it was because Shan’ann found her marketing strategy destroyed and herself up against a wall re: the next 6 months or so of her pregnancy? If so, I wonder if Chris was aware of this and it’s implications re: future earnings?

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      • KerryA, what you have described is the scenario I find most compelling – with all the different facets you noted. While initally a “Thrive” pregnancy likely sounded to Shan’Ann like a clever way to expand sales and gain more distributors under her, when the reality slammed shut on that plan, it must have been devastating. How could she even *make* “Thrive” videos any more, even though this was required by LeVel? What would she do in a video now? Maybe she could make Chris the new star, with his newly buff bod and looking really healthy, but that wasn’t Chris’ jam – she’d made him a distributor under her, but it was pretty obvious that was all her idea and she was the one that maintained it (probably by allocating some of her sales to his account).

        If LeVel had been watching and had warned Shan’Ann that she must refrain from making pregnancy-related claims about “Thrive” (because they could get sued for making unsubstantiated health claims), that’s not the sort of thing Shan’Ann would have shared publicly, I don’t think. Would she have told her “Thrive” buddies? Maybe, but I think such news would be so shocking to Shan’Ann in terms of “What am I going to do with my business??” that she might not have gotten her mind wrapped around this new development enough to talk about it. How would she even talk about such a thing with her “Thrive” community?

        In case you missed that article: https://crimerocket.com/2018/11/02/shanann-watts-intended-to-brand-baby-niko-and-credit-thrive-for-her-perfect-pregnancy-but-her-plan-backfired/

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    • Great comments, Sylvester. I think Chris’s statement to Shan’ann (“When you want something…”), as you suggest, is key in determining whose idea it really was to have a third child. Shan’ann was a scrapper and a scammer. I think the third pregnancy was her last scam, her last effort to emotionally and materially embezzle the lifestyle to which she felt entitled. I also believe “when you want something” was the capricious current in the Watts marriage—a current that eventually plunged the entire family in its undertow.

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      • “I think the third pregnancy was her last scam, her last effort to emotionally and materially embezzle the lifestyle to which she felt entitled.”

        In one of his articles, Nick makes a case for Shan’Ann thinking she would brand her pregnancy as a “Thrive” pregnancy and her baby Nico as a “Thrive” baby. In that saturated market, that would be something to set her apart, cause people to choose to buy from her rather than from NUA or any of the other “Thrivers” in the area, *and* it would open up a whole new market demographic for her – pregnant women and women who wanted to get pregnant!

        You can see this in how CW and SW used fertility treatments to have Bella and CeCe, but SW publicly posted that she just got pregnant *naturally* this time – and so easily! – and of course it was due to “Thrive”. She’d started crafting her pitch already.

        And then she discovered that “Thrive” doesn’t recommend its products be used during pregnancy and doctors say to stay away from it. Record scratch. Shan’Ann was prettier and thinner than her fellow “Thrive” salesfolks, but now she was trapped – she was going to put on weight with the pregnancy, and she couldn’t even *use* her “Thrive” stuff any more! She’d inadvertently taken herself all the way out of the game, and nothing she could do about that! Disaster was looming.

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      • Spot on Cheryl. “When you want something….” you buy it, or maneuver someone to get it. I’m wondering now if the Dirty South embezzlement scam (if she was involved) was the reason they skipped town leaving a fully furnished mansion behind.

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    • Agree with everything you said Sylvester!

      The two kids Chris and Shan’ann had seemed out of control, probably acting out their own pain due to the situation in that house. Why would he want to saddle himself with another baby in this already chaotic situation? He probably did go along with her on this because it was dangerous to cross her. I just can’t see him, being a planner and a detail person that he was, really wanting to add to the crushing debt, the household chores, and the stresses of Shan’ann’s health problems.

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      • Also, given that both the children he and Shan’Ann had already conceived had significant and expensive health problems, common sense says that a third child from that same union is going to simply be more of the same. More health problems. More hospitalizations. More bills, more debt. More chronic debilitating stress. Less sleep! Less free time. Less freedom.

        I just can’t see it. I can’t understand why anyone whose two existing children had so many problems already would choose to add another child to that mix. Bella and CeCe had already tipped the equation to the breaking point, I’d think.

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      • Ralph – I can’t find it at this moment, but if you search around you’ll find that Shan’ann thought (and I quote) that “a child can fix a bad relationship”, which is quite frankly one of the dumbest things to come out of her mouth. Any successful partnership, therapist, etc.. will tell you that a child will and can strain even the healthiest of relationships. Lack of intimacy, sleep, money and so forth are just some challenges a new child brings and shan’ann’s ignorance to that fact just shows you what kind of juvenile thinking this woman had, from finances to relationships.

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    • If, as it appears from the videos, Shan’ann’s entire existence revolved around promoting the Thrive products, her fear of losing Chris may have had more to do losing the showcase she had created for the Thrive life than it did of losing a man for whom she felt obvious contempt.

      Shan’ann loved to be in the spotlight. The whole purpose of those multilevel marketing (MLM) meetings she attended was to showcase the promoters and get them pumped up. The promoters are mostly women. The little conventions provide homemakers and mothers an opportunity to dress up in their finest evening wear, take to the stage, and shine. What a difference these meetings are from the daily routine of housecleaning, bills, diapers, and snot. And the vultures at the top of the MLM scams know all this. The addiction to attention, the feeling of being part of a tribe, the illusion of making big money — that is the appeal of MLM.

      Shan’ann not only made those videos, she was wired into her phone much of the time. Her friends were other MLM’ers.

      When someone cheats on their spouse as Chris was doing – the real damage to the family is the *distraction* — the relationship takes the person away, even though he may be physically present. MLM had surely taken Shan’ann away from her family by occupying her mind every waking hour.

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  3. If he wanted a “nature” girl so damn bad, (whom after the hot sex cooled down would have probably dumped his boring ass) he should have been a real man and figured out a decent way of solving the problem. You don’t erase a wife and family, no matter how controlling, no matter how loud, no matter how acrylic her nails.
    He’s the asshole, people, not Shannan and those little girls. Get some perspective.

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    • @Gwen Agreed! These people on the CW ban wagon appear just as twisted and sick as CW in their reasoning! Good Lord, how quickly these people are forgetting that he was cheating on SW with BOTH woman and men years prior to the murders.

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      • Sara smile, you’re understanding of this case seems to be as basic as your name. There’s no “Chris Bandwagon” and is ignorant to act like Shan’ann was a great person. Did she deserve to die? Absolutely not and Chris is a coward. But a great person doesn’t get evicted for non payment of rent multiple times, pretend to have a job (thrive brought in nothing and cost them money) while their family is struggling so badly their about to be homeless, add another kid to the mix while refusing to get a real job with a real income, embezzle money from employers and run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with no intention or way to pay it back. Then she would try and rope others into the mess by being deceitful and telling them she made so much, meanwhile she hasn’t got a pot to pick in and is trying to profit off those about to be in the same situation.

        If that’s a good person in your eyes, then I feel bad you – even worse if you believe that she made money off that cheap scam while being all the way at the bottom of yet another pyramid. She sure loved those “get rich quick schemes” even though they left her broke and in debt.

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    • https://www.fastcompany.com/90219956/why-do-men-kill-their-families-after-colorado-husbands-arrest-a-look-at-4-categories

      This is a cut and paste from an article by Christopher Zara at the web site, Fast Company, that lists four types of men who kill their families. Chris Watts seems to fit all four of these descriptions.

      Self-righteous: These men hold the mother responsible, blaming them for a “breakdown of the family.” They also tend to highly prize their own role as family breadwinner.

      Disappointed: In these cases, the killer believes his family has “let him down,” or acted in a way that undermined the family.

      Anomic: These killers link the idea of family and economy together. If they become economic failures, they may see the family as no longer their function.

      Paranoid: These killers act out because they perceive an external threat to the family—often a social service or the legal system, which stokes fears that the children will be taken away. In these cases, the murder is motivated by a warped desire to protect the family.

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    • I lived with an emotionally abusive spouse for years, unable to *figure out* how to get free of him.

      Abusers of any kind pick their victims in the first place, then finish them off with unrelenting criticisms, contempt, emotional distance, cheating, financial abuse, isolation and many other ways.

      It was only when the situation threatened to turn violent where my sons could have been harmed that I *figured out* what had to be done. This kind of abuse over time gradually dims one’s view of the world until all is dark. The solutions that are obvious to everyone else are simply not seen.

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  4. The whole narrative from the prosecution was that CW had changed, and wanted a brand new life with NK. The entire blame was shifted to NK as the motive while ignoring all the information about SW that was negative. That was their focus, and to blame the victim in a voluntary manslaughter charge was not even considered probably because he did not call 911 and disposed of the bodies. I think it is plausible that SW killed her children but it still seems unlikely to me. However, I still feel an element of doubt that CW killed his entire family so I think he made a mistake in taking a plea. I can completely understand why Cindy Watts did not want her son to take a plea and wanted to talk to him. My feeling is that the main reason why this case is so fascinating is because nothing completely adds up. It still doesn’t make total sense, even with all the information we have and a guilty plea.

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    • K did you see Chris shaking his head “no” when the prosecutor was describing how Bella was killed. I actually think this could have been a real moment of truth from Chris because he knew Bella didn’t put up a fight that tore the frenulum in her mouth. I agree with the theory posited in one of NvdL’s books about the Watts case – that Chris killed the girls passively – drugging them or using some means where he didn’t have to risk that struggle– and that it was being shoved into the oil tank that did the damage to Bella.

      This is, I believe, why he shook his head ‘no’. Only he knew the truth— and struggling to subdue a four year old girl fighting for her life wasn’t in his repertoire.

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      • I looked at the sentencing video again and was mistaken about Chris shaking his *no* at that point. There was some barely perceptible shakes of his head at other times but mainly he comes across as someone breaking down and realizing the pain he has caused to so many.

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  5. I noticed while I was researching the Discovery Pages that Discovery Page 1892 Dave Baumhover is asking Nickole Atkinson if she knew if Shanann had asked Watts to wake her up in the morning of the 13th. Nickole said that Shanann had told her when she got home she wasn’t going to talk to Chris, as she knew he would be sleeping. Just thought that was interesting.

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  6. You can’t make up a scenario and act as if it’s a fact. Granted, there are certain situations where we have no clarity, we may have no choice but to fill in the blanks in those situations. We can guess what the true facts are, but again, an educated guess doesn’t make it a fact, especially when we happen to know the truth. Like most of us here, I want to know why Chris felt he had to murder his family. I do have a better understanding of why, but I still have a long way to go. I accepted Nicks challenge to not just accept the murders as a case of- “He snapped!” And the more truths that are exposed, the closer we’ll be to seeing the whole picture.

    Right after the murders I was in 3 different facebook groups discussing these murders. Shan’ann did not publically trash Cindy Watts to all her Thrivers and/or her Facebook friends. She had an admittedly spirited discussion in a support group she was in for parents of kids with allergies. I saw enough evidence in the facebook group I was in to support that. The mother in the support group posted the original conversation with Shan’ann and we discussed it with her as well. But hey, believe what you want if you only want to make “nutgate” totally Shan’ann’s fault. I’m all for looking at Shan’ann and Chris’s negative traits, but I’m not going to make it up as I go and bash either one just to bash. That’s not in keeping with trying to get a true picture of what happened and why. They both have plenty of character flaws without heaping pretend ones on either one. That brings me to the third pregnancy. Shan’ann says it was Chris who “started the convo” to have another baby. More importantly, Chris even admits he did in the Discovery Docs! He even goes on to admit how wrong he was to believe a baby can revive a faltering relationship. Again, you can blame Shan’ann for initiating the idea of another pregnancy, but that’s not dealing with the facts we have in front of us! Yes, Shan’ann was manipulative, but with the info we have in front of us, it doesn’t appear she tricked Chris into another baby to “lock him in” as has been suggested. Why not try to keep it real and stick with what appears to be factual?

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    • I’ve heard this “defense” a few times. Shan’ann didn’t publicly trash her mother in law etc etc.

      So…did Nickole Atkinson know about the nut incident? Yes, she did.
      Did Cassie know? Yes.
      Did Addy know? Yes.
      Cristina Meacham? Yes.
      Did the babysitter know? Yes.
      Did the Rzuceks know – all of them? Yes.
      Did Nichol Kessinger know? Yes.

      It was so non public Shan’ann blocked them on Facebook and then her husband blocked her. It was such a not a big deal, Chris told her a month later that she’d driven a dagger between him and his father.

      As Nick says, what matters is what Chris thought and felt and how he experienced it. Not what you say and think about it.

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      • Perhaps I am labouring under a false assumption here. Admittedly, I have no social media and only a vague idea of how Facebook actually works. However in my understanding, posting a private family disagreement on a Facebook group is in fact publicly posting it – is it not? If you are not privately (meaning speaking to the person you are disagreeing with directly) handling this – and posting to a group where this person is not present, is that not publicly discussing it with random individuals (Otherwise known as ‘airing your dirty laudry’ in public)? If Cindy Watts was not in this group, what was the actual point of posting this incident there? I fail to see the value in sharing a private family matter with others on Facebook who are not directly involved. Not only is it distasteful, but it is pointless, since this will not get you any nearer to a resolution with the person you are in conflict with.

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  7. Diana: I agree. Why is it OK to bash SW and call her names that rhyme with witch as was done on other posts? Isn’t that the same as labeling CW a psychopath or saying he just snapped?

    As you and others have pointed out, SW posted her MIL comments in a Private Facebook group that only parents of kids with allergies would see. SW said in one of her texts she was considering having a relationship with the in-laws in some way. If she and Chris had gone to counseling earlier, not when he was cheating, they could have worked on a compromise. Or found out sooner the marriage wouldn’t last before conceiving again. Before his latest affair. Or murder.

    SW texted her friends that Chris started the convo about having a 3rd baby. Why would she lie to her closest friends about it? She was happy with her two girls. If he suggested trying for a boy and she had suspicions he was cheating in the spring maybe she agreed because she loved him and thought it would make him happy. She was following that attorney’s advice to make her marriage work. Neither of them appeared to consider their finances and how a baby would impact them.

    Their dynamic wouldn’t work for me, but for most of their marriage her being dominant and him passive worked for them. She said in her texts that all was well between them before she left to visit family including sex. She was bewildered how he could change so much in the 6 weeks she was in NC.

    CW changed a lot internally as well as externally with his “Thrive” new body over months and never told her everything that bothered him. How could she fix what she didn’t know was a problem? He refused counseling when she brought it up since he was infatuated with NK by then. Maybe she had suggested counseling before but he wouldn’t go. They desperately needed financial and marriage counseling early last year before CW decided wiping out his family was his only and best way out.

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    • Maura I think the important thing to remember about who brought up the subject of a third baby is that not only does Shan’ann tell her friends that Chris did, but Chris tells the police the very same thing. So we have confirmation from Chris himself that he was the one who initiated the third baby too. It wasn’t Shan’ann trying to trick him into staying in the marriage

      Maura I have no reason to doubt the woman who came onto the facebook group that showed she was in the support group for moms with children with allergies with Shan’ann. She discussed the posts Shan’ann made about the incident as well. This happened immediately after the murders. Of course the whole world knows about it now, but I’m sure Shan’ann wound up telling all her friends about it after the fact considering all the other problems the confrontation caused between Shan’ann and Chris! Why would she tell her Thrive group? She wouldn’t. Besides, she barely posted, if at all, during her final weeks in North Carolina!

      I do feel at times that some people make discussion of the murders as “Shan’ann’s side” or “Chris’s side” or male against female. Its too easy to fall into that trap, I catch myself doing it too. But I do believe everyone who is on this forum in no way thinks Shan’ann, Bella or CeCe deserves what they got. Some may not blame Chris for cheating on Shan’ann, but I’m sure they don’t condone her murder.

      I agree Chris had no interest in fixing his marriage. At least Shan’ann tried, that’s more than I can say for her killer. I agree Chris changed as much on the inside as he did on the outside. I notice no one ever mentions how Shan’ann lost a good bit of weight as well. Too bad she didn’t get herself a sugardaddy on the side and dump the murderer! I still maintain that Chris was and always has been devoid of feelings when it came to Shan’ann and his kids. Look at the videos, he’s not kissing, hugging or snuggling his kids. He does things for them out of duty. He’s just a prop to do what Shan’ann and the girls need him to do. He has a short somewhere in his wiring.

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      • I still maintain that Chris was and always has been devoid of feelings when it came to Shan’ann and his kids.>>>This comes up a lot. The Heartless Psychopath Monster narrative. If Watts was so heartless and emotionless, why did he – like no high-profile criminal in history – confess and cave in as quickly as he did? If you watch the videos, when he confesses he’s pretty weepy.

        I don’t think you understand the concept of an introverted personality. Perhaps because you’re an extrovert. The reason Watts committed murder wasn’t because of a lack of emotion, but *because* he got emotional! He was emotional about the new love of his life, emotional about his wife and how she was treating his mother, emotional about the money situation, and emotional in the sense that he was so motivated to fix himself he lost a shitload of weight. He was also extremely emotionally conflicted about confronting his wife. How to do it?

        With so many videos and photos out there, it’s amazing that someone can look at this case [or I guess, not look] and go, Pah, I just see an emotionless void.

        One can’t conflate the crime with an entire person. If the crime is heartless, or monstrous, that doesn’t make an entire person a heartless monster. Probably the crime itself was Watts’ most authentic moment, and whatever emotion was driving him most when he committed it – fear, anger [or both] – the one thing he didn’t feel when he murdered his family was nothing.

        Watts was also emotional in court. Visibly emotional. Tapping his leg, wet-faced, tears visibly running behind his glasses down his cheek. Clearly he felt too emotional, too afraid, too much of a coward, to stand up in court and say anything on his own behalf. Not because he lacked feelings, but because he lacked agency.

        I’ve sat in on a lot of court days and it’s very rare to see defendants crying during sentencing, especially guilty young men. Not even Oscar Pistorius who bawled through his entire trial wept come sentencing. Did Casey Anthony cry [actual tears I mean] when her verdict was read?

        So the whole heartless psychopath narrative just shows a huge disconnect with the real people in this crime. Why this bothers me is in our trying to get to know these criminals, and the victims, what we want to do during the true crime journey is eventually turn the microscope around and look at ourselves. But if you can’t – won’t – see them as people, and can’t see their emotions [when they’re there], then you will never get the message behind this murder. And obviously, you’ll never get that gut sense of why it happened. Because emotions are the key to why all murders are committed.

        And so the true meaning of this crime will be lost on you.

        We only figure out the emotions when we figure out the people, and the dynamics between them. From what I’m seeing 6 months later, very, very few have figured out who the people are in this case.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Very well stated. When the crime first happened I saw so many posters on various social media venues launching diatribes about how Chris Watts was a textbook narcissist and sociopath, born with faulty neurological wiring, unable to feel, and having learned merely how to mimic feeling.

          I think contra wise that he was an empath and quite genuine beneath and despite his Two Faces.

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      • Nick how would you explain that many other men in really worse relationship, finances, etc didn’t wipe out their family? I think that in one and the same situation different people behave differently! Most of the people can’t kill another human being.

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        • You’re asking the wrong question. The question you want to ask is in what circumstances did the same or similar criminal activity play out as it did here, and what does that reveal about this criminal [and perhaps vice versa]. As it happens there is an excellent reference case in Scott Peterson. He murdered his wife who was almost nine months pregnant. There was also a mistress waiting in the wings, and money problems. Besides these obvious superficial similarities there are many, many more.

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    • They did go to counseling prior to his indiscretion. Do you know what happened? If they corrected his behavior, all was fine with the world, but if any suggestion was made to her about her elementary views and mindset she would exit the room and refuse to go back. That’s most likely what she did with doctors for the kids to, she saw a bunch of them before she got the answer she wanted re: the child’s asthma. That’s pretty much the definition of doctor shopping.

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  8. Diana, Thank you for keeping the focus on what is true and leaving out the personal bias and false accusations.

    Lots of SW bashing in these comments. Strange how CW gets a pass and so much blame placed on Shanann for everything that went wrong in the marriage. CW had issues long before he met Shanann. I suspect it began with his relationship with his mother. .A complete understanding of why he committed these murders can’t be done without starting at the beginning.

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    • In one way, you’re right. There’s so much content Shan’ann herself put up [in public] and very little from Watts or Kessinger for that matter.

      I do think you and many others approach this stuff the wrong way. It’s not about Shan’ann being wrong, or even Watts being wrong. It’s not about who is wrong or who is to blame. It’s about what happened. When we have an open mind, instead of limiting ourselves to a one-sided blame game, we see how everything and everyone is connected. So when you say Watts had issues before he met Shan’ann, so did Shan’ann. When you say you suspect his issues began with his mother, Shan’ann also had issues with her mother, and her cousin [and his parents] and with other people. Besides her Thriver buddies, she had very few friends in Colorado, apparently less than her introverted husband did. Some of Shan’ann’s problems may be due to lupus, which causes a host of problems and in chronic cases, sufferers find people don’t understand them because they don’t see the symptoms.

      I guess it’s also hard to sympathize with someone who is sick who is pretending each day how well and Thriving she is – if that was the case.

      One of the key reasons this crime happened is because the people involved in this story [people – plural] were liars, and living a lie. And they’re not alone, many of us are too – on social media, in our jobs, perhaps in our marriages and relationships too, and probably especially there.

      You say: A complete understanding of why he committed these murders can’t be done without starting at the beginning. – well, we have started at the beginning. Hundreds of blogs and 5 books, as well as genealogy reports and analysis of all the family members, even the dog. That’s why it’s very selective reasoning to say, Hey, please let’s not look at or criticize Shan’ann. No, let’s rather go to his mother and criticize her. It’s a biased approach, and TCRS takes a more holistic view. We’re not trying to be popular, or agreeable, nor are we “victim blaming”. We’re just trying to find out who all the people are in this case, what happened, and why.

      View this post on Instagram

      #ChrisWatts

      A post shared by Nick van der Leek (@nickvdleek) on

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  9. I certainly don’t see a lot of Shan’ann “bashing” on here. I see mostly thoughtful individuals who are looking at all aspects of this case in a pretty honest and genuine matter. Nick is right, a person cannot get to the bottom of a case like this if they are not willing to take an honest look at everyone. I think most everyone here agrees what Chris did was absolutely an utterly heinous and without excuse. In my opinion Shan’ann was a victim, but not blameless in the big picture. It’s quite a stretch to imply that taking an honest look at a woman’s life regardless of how it ended, is the equivalent of “bashing”. I really value this forum for all of the reasons listed above. I think it’s pretty rare to find a place like this where people are actually searching for the truth.

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    • This case has gripped my mind to the point of being a moderate obsession.

      It goes against my basic nature to not see things in a right/wrong, black/white, good or bad sense, but that is what characters in this horror story are. They are neither all one thing or the other.

      This story really does force a person to look inward; that is probably the real value of all these posts – a kind of therapy or catharsis or posting of our theses.

      I sometimes lose the connection to the Watts case and find that I have dug so deeply into my own psyche and my often painful family history that I begin to relate to him as just another damaged human being rather than a murderer.

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      • “This case has gripped my mind to the point of being a moderate obsession.”

        Yah, me too :b

        “It goes against my basic nature to not see things in a right/wrong, black/white, good or bad sense”

        This is unfortunately very commonplace – the dualistic model, the dichotomies. It’s either this or it’s that. One or the other. Only two possibilities, in a world painted in shades of gray and beyond. Intolerant religions indoctrinate in this way – you’re either with us, or against us. Insiders vs. outsiders. Saved vs. damned. On and on and on.

        The Academy Awards are coming up. Black Panther is poised to take several statuettes. I loved this movie for several different reasons (best Disney princess EVER!), but one of the most compelling, where it deviated from similar storylines, was in how the usurper, nicknamed “Killmonger”, was actually a nuanced character who had a lot of good motivation and great ideas. He wanted to help people! And even though Our Hero ends up taking back his throne in the end, he learns from his adversary and adopts much of his worldview, realizing he has a responsibility to others outside of his own sphere of influence.

        Similarly, we’ve got a victim here with quite a lot of dark attributes, and a murderer with lots of positive qualities. She’s unsympathetic on many measures; he’s sympathetic on many more. A lot of us, upon learning the details, feel more sympathy for Chris than for his victim, who lost her life! None of us is the kind of weirdo who revels in others’ pain or loves to see people murdered, I can guarantee you that! But when we look into the details – and there is a LOT, thanks to Shan’Ann’s social media obsession – many of us can relate far more to Chris than to Shan’Ann. Many of us would feel repelled by someone like Shan’ann, and the thought of having to *live* with her and be subjected to her video addiction? Intolerable!

        So on a certain level, many of us feel more empathy, even kinship, with Chris than with Shan’Ann. For myself, I’ve arrived at a place where I feel pity rather than contempt for Shan’Ann – I can now see how frightened she was, how few options she perceived for herself, how trapped she felt. And I can appreciate that she was trying her darndest to make a go of things – she desperately wanted to be able to contribute to her family’s bottom line. Shame it doesn’t work out that way in MLMs… I don’t see her as the villain here; if there was a villain that poisoned this family and that ultimately bears significant responsibility for what happened, it is LeVel and Thrive. Swindling people, ruining lives, destroying relationships – all by manipulating vulnerable people’s weaknesses. This is how cults operate. Why should we give any of them a pass?

        If this case had come to trial, you betcha the MLM aspect would have come out, and the impact on the family’s financial situation would have been right there for all to see, a train wreck no one would have been able to look away from. Which makes me wonder how it all got shut down so fast, and Chris moved out of state to shut down interest in the case…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I see Shan’ann as a victim of her own illusions—about Chris, about her unconditional love for Chris, about her belief that success could be achieved with alacrity, ergo her attraction to enterprises like MLMs that are built on hollow promises of easy money. In this regard she deserves some sympathy, because, like Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” her indulgence in illusion made it impossible for her to face reality.

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  10. We all lie. We lie to ourselves, and we do it enough and we get good at lying to others. When we see Chris standing in the water at Myrtle Beach I see a guy who was tired of living the lie. Probably sick to death of the lie his life was and he wasn’t going to play act any more. Why would he want to “save” that marriage. What would be the point of saving the lie that it was any more. And why would he want to welcome a new baby into the lie. The holy magnitude of all the lying. We’re all inauthentic. And we’re inauthentic about being inauthentic.

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      • Behind all that lying is the firm conviction that there is no other possible hope for redemption and success. Pretending it’s so will make everything work out! Fake it ’til you make it! If you just *believe* hard enough, you can bend reality to your will and force it to deliver what you want! If I believe I deserve it, the universe will serve it!

        WHY does this kind of thinking have such broad appeal? Could it be because our economy has changed so drastically that the kinds of jobs that enabled someone to build a life are no longer widely available, and there’s nothing to take their place? We already know that there is no state in the US where a person working 40 hrs at minimum wage can afford a one bedroom apartment. What’s become of the American Dream? When did that turn into working 80 hours a week? What quality of life is available given that?

        Enter the MLMs. They promise fat profits for minimal work, and they target women with small children – “You can make your own hours, work from home, and be there with your children! No more day care, no more struggling to make ends meet – we offer you the solution to all your problems! We are extending to you the magic wand that you can wave at your convenience to produce as much money as you want!”

        That’s a cruel, brutal lie. It destroys people. They don’t realize it’s a predatory scam until far too late. People lose *thousands* of dollars in these scams – that’s what makes those at the top rich: The suffering and destitution of countless faceless participants they’ll never know and never care about. Why should they care? They got theirs, after all!

        Shan’Ann’s only hope was that THIS MLM, with it’s “Thrivin’!” motto, could deliver what it promised. THIS one *had* to work – there was no other hope. Failure was not an option! She didn’t realize that she was buying a lottery ticket after the lottery had ended…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Nick, Thank you for your response. While I appreciate your opinions I disagree with several statements. It seems when anyone says anything in defense of Shanann there is backlash but favorable comments of CW are fine. I am not saying Shanann was blameless for the problems in their marriage or that her behaviors shouldn’t be criticized. I agree with you that Shanann had some difficulty with other people including her own mother and yes, she was controlling and the whole Thrive focus was a bit too much. However, she also had very strong support from others especially her thrive buddies. In fact, if not for Nicole’s persistence CW may well have gotten away with this. If CWs parents sincerely believed he didn’t murder the children why didn’t they immediately lawyer him up with a good attorney.

    You said, “Hey, please let’s not look at or criticize Shan’ann. No, let’s rather go to his mother and criticize her. It’s a biased approach, and TCRS takes a more holistic view. ” That is not what I am saying at all. Why is it okay to criticize Shanann but the minute anyone mentions his mother there is reproach. Why is analyzing and scrutinizing that relationship off limits and considered biased if we are taking a holistic approach? In my opinion, the constant sole focus and criticizing of just Shanann and all her faults as the cause or reason why CW committed these murders, didn’t have a backbone and or speak up is short sighted. While both women were important in his life arguably his mother was the most influential in shaping his behaviors and approach to relationships with women. As far as I can tell there has been very little scrutiny of the crucial early childhood relationships between CW and his mother, father and sister. Nor much focus on his adult relationship with his own mother and father. For instance, why did Ronnie resort to alcohol and cocaine after his son left the house. What was going on that he needed to resort to such an extreme coping mechanism because his son left. Chris admitted to having difficulty in communicating with his mother and noticeably didn’t want her there in Colorado only the father. Also, what family doesn’t attend their only son’s wedding? They couldn’t put aside their personal feelings about Shanann for the sake of their sons happiness. Imagine how he felt on his wedding day with no family there. That speaks volumes about the selfishness and lack of unconditional love CW faced with his own family. Could it be this is where he learned his own selfish, maladaptive behaviors which led him to believe that the only way out of a bad situation was to kill his wife and children.

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  12. It’s useful to dig around and find out why Chris Watts killed his family and to try and see him as multidimensional rather than THE villain in this story. There are lots of family annihilators in prison and more out there in the making. Something positive could come from seeing him as a human being who was overwhelmed by the situation he found himself in.

    Labeling him a psychopath or sociopath or a narcissist is too “pat” — it’s too easy and closes the door on the real story that was hidden behind the smiles and protestations of happiness. You said that Chris’s family dynamics haven’t been discussed all that much. That may be because his family system seems impenetrable from the outside. A closed system where his mother, with his father’s acquiescence, defined the family’s reality. I had a mother somewhat like that. My brother and I called it “living under the Dome”. Cross her at your peril!

    He lived 33 fairly uneventful years–His teachers and friends all spoke well of him. He worked hard and tried to rise from his blue collar roots and give his family something better than he had.

    He and Shan’ann were unequally yoked. Or not yoked at all, with both of the pulling in opposite directions.

    None of this explains the powder keg that he became, with debt, domination by women, lying, and secrets providing the match.

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    • Duttdip, Thank you for posting this video. I agree, it is very well done and one of the better videos out there. Takes a fair, balanced and in-depth psychological look at SW, N K and CW. Even delves into the parents. Definitely worth a watch.
      .

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    • She raises an interesting point – that Chris might have been hoping for a miscarriage. Around page 756 of the documents at Arrowhead Farms Watts said to Brown (a co-worker) when Brown congratulated Watts on Shan’ann’s pregnancy “do you want one?” 2 months prior to the murders, which would be June. It’s similar to Scott Peterson’s comment “I was kind of hoping for infertility.” So sending a cryptic picture of a doll wrapped in the twister plastic or telling Shan’ann he didn’t want the baby sent her stress levels into the stratospheres. And she was feeling dizzy and sick when she arrived in Arizona. But I don’t agree with this youtube poster that Chris was unstable before Shan’ann met him and throughout – I mean it’s just too easy an explanation. Because if he was, no one noticed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • While this certainly is an earnest effiort to analyze what led to the murders, it omits many facts. In doing so, it presents Chris as envious of Shan’ann’s extroverted personality and her attendant success because of his introversion and implied lack of success. Presumably Chris’s resentment and envy drove him into the arms of Kessinger, to whom he became addicted because she was willing to entertain anal sex. In presenting this narrative, the analysis fails to include and address the following: Chris had a full-time job with a reliable (emphasis on reliable) salary; Shan’ann was involved with several MLM companies that leave most promoters like herself in debt; not surprisingly, to catch up on the mortgage in mid-2018, which was three month in arrears, Shan’ann borrowed against Chris’s retirement savings versus the MLM bounty she was supposedly earning; Shan’ann publicly bullied and denigrated Chris—in front of her friends, MLM promoters, and their mutual families; not only was Chris the sole stable breadwinner, he was also the sole person on the mortgage, because Shan’ann’s poor credit history disqualified her as a responsible loan applicant. Given these facts, it is not reasonable that Chris was resentful of Shan’ann because he envied her “light,” success, and, most unbelievably, her independence. If the presenter’s analysis is “fair and balanced,” as some here claim, then it’s the Fox News version, which is known to say “fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you” to the facts when they conflict with a more palatable version of the truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely disagree. Shanann was faulty (as all humans are), but not at fault for the eventual outcome. One thing about Shanann is that with her “you see what you get”. Maybe the promotional videos are exaggerated, but show me one commercial that’s not. Does Geico save anyone 15% in 15 minutes? Does LeBron get his energy from Sprite? Anyone is perfectly within his/her right to find her insufferable, but her insufferability is out there for anyone to see.

        Chris, on the other hand, is the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. He cheated not only on Shanann, but on lot of people who knew him. If you do not like socializing at the MLM parties, don’t put your arms around the other MLM husbands and make them feel you are their best buddy. Cassie’s husband definitely thought so. If you do not like your wife’s ways and means, talk it out. Shanann’s 6 MLM jobs did not happen in outer space. He screwed like a rabbit, don’t tell me that over 6 years he did not find 5 minutes before or after those moments to express his disapproval. A marriage is not a freaking job, that you walk out and start looking for another gig (even in a job you talk to your Manager, HR,…). If you can’t talk, write. If you can’t write, convey it via a common friend. If you do not have a common friend, go to a counselor. If counseling does not work talk to her parents. His behavior is so outlandish and an outlier in terms of social norms (sociopath in other words), that it is indefensible.

        Any crime or even a suicide has a historical, social and psychological context to it. I can write 50 pages on the context that created bin Laden. The context should be used to explain it, but NOT justify or condone it. Maybe you folks don’t mean so, but you are overstepping into the area of condoning it.

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  13. I think she was furious with him because she didn’t expect that he wouldn’t miss her and the girls not. one. bit. while they were in NC all that time. I think that threw her into a tizzy as well.

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    • LW, I can see how she would be furious. For a long time, Shan’ann had been the pretty one (and she certainly was beautiful). Then Chris started getting prettier and with his new physique and confidence, he began to turn heads. She saw all that. And she had been the dominant personality, keeping him in the background in the videos. She was losing her status as he worked on himself.

      Add to that his growing contempt for her as manifested by his coldness. He was involved in an affair and she seems to have had a dawning realization that there was a third party in the relationship..

      She’s pregnant with a baby neither one of them wanted and her whole narrative with the Thrive products would have collapsed. She was killed just as she was realizing all this and he knew what coming– an explosion of volcanic proportions.

      If she exploded all over social media and the Thrive networks, NK would have known. Did Shan’ann and the kids have to die to keep Chris’s lies from spilling everywhere…as opposed to the family being killed so Chris could start a new life with NK? Protecting himself from the onrushing humiliation could have been a stronger motive than a plan living happily ever after with his girlfriend.

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  14. I really liked Ralph’s post above that we often adopt a dualistic view of things; the modern legal framework is built around the dualistic model of being “guilty” or “innocent”. There is no room for “guilty but….” As so brilliantly depicted in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, any crime has a social, historical and psychological context to it. The human brain is just a bundle of chemicals that reacts to the context, and at some point violently so.

    It is easy to blame Shanann because she overexposed herself to the world and came across as a material dream chaser. Chris being reclusive, didn’t. But it is not her fault that Chris failed to communicate his lack of appreciation towards her ways and means. It is like a pet pitbull that kills its owner because it did not appreciate being touched. But Chris was not a pet. He was her partner; he ought to communicate. He was the social outlier (sociopath in that sense); Shannon was not.

    When a liquid reaches boiling point, it is easy to blame the heat. But at the end of the day, the innate physical property governing how fast it reaches, is that of the liquid itself. Chris had a low boiling point.

    The neighbor said that he often heard the Watts screaming at each other. And then he retracted his statement. I think that some argument is healthy in any relationship. It would have helped the Watts dissipate some of that heat. Chris kept the heat within himself and allowed it to build up till it hit the boiling point.

    Lastly, on the topic of “victim bashing”, there are semantic differences between explaining something, rationalizing something, justifying something, and condoning something (in increasing order of being pro-Chris and anti-Shanann in this regard). Most people do not mean to condone Chris’s act, but a couple of folks do sound more towards the right end of that spectrum. I do hope that they do not mean so.

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