Part of the mission of TCRS – in fact a very big part – is figuring shit out before anyone else does. This isn’t easy, and it’s a risky business because in time one can just as easily be proved wrong. But if we’re as smart and as informed as we believe we are [and there are quite a few true crime gurus here, as well as the odd true crime Rocket Scientist], then we have to be brave, step forward and take on the challenge. So let’s do that.
What we know so far about this “second confession”?
- Three of the key investigators and interrogators in this case flew to Wisconsin to [insert the preferred term here] Chris Watts.
- This occurred on February 18th, 2018
- Chris Watts has taken a plea deal, and since November 19th his status on that hasn’t changed.
All of that is stating the obvious, with the key riddle what word to put inside those brackets.
The less obvious but nevertheless logical aspect to this is the timing of it. I noticed the chronology of the meeting corresponds very closely to when HLN broke with exclusive doorbell footage of Shan’ann Watts’ final moments when she arrived home. Did it have something to do with that? Had online chatter finally gotten under the skin of Weld County? Possible. Not likely.
Digging deeper into the chronology, into the basic legal status of this case, we’re aware that even though the criminal trial has reached the end of the road, another legal process is currently underway. And on February 13th we heard that Chris Watts wasn’t going to oppose the civil trial against him.
Just as he did during the interrogation and the sentencing trial, Watts has caved on his own story and given his full-co-operation [apparently]. He’s behaving like a “good criminal”, if there is such a thing. One could almost say he’s being a “dutiful son” just as he was a dutiful husband and father right up until the murders, or just dutiful, except it doesn’t appear Watts’ father is too happy about where things are going. He’s expressed “confusion” just as Watts’ mother did ahead of the plea deal.
But there’s a strange mismatch here. Watts’ parents don’t seem to know what’s going on, or approve of what’s going on, while at the same time Ronnie is getting in some positive PR saying his son his reading the bible and everything is over and done with. I’m sure they wish it was, but the case isn’t over and done with. Far from it.
Clearly, Watts denying killing his own children [and their grandchildren] makes them look less bad, and their son too. So it’s in their interest to “believe” in his innocence, and not be interested in further developments even though at the sentencing hearing, the opposite was said:
Read more on this at this link.
Note that Watts’ parents don’t say they accept that Watts had committed the murders [plural], the unnamed representative says this for them, on their behalf. There also seems to be seeding of the mob by letting them know an explanation might come out at an appropriate time and manner.
Well, this is the appropriate time, and we’ll get to the appropriate manner in a moment.
Of course immediately after the sentencing hearing, what happened? The Rzuceks through their attorney filed their civil suit. On the same day.
Note how the Denver Post article above was published on November 27th, eight days after the wrongful suit was filed. By delaying the announcement someone is trying to muddy the processes underway behind the scenes. Obviously announcing the suit on November 19th would gain maximum traction and provide the public and the media with something to “look forward to” as it were, going into Christmas. But that’s not what this case wants. It doesn’t want attention. Justice yes. Public interest no.
Read more on the filing of the civil suit at this link.
District Attorney Michael Rourke gave interviews throughout the afternoon and evening of November 19th, following the sentencing, and either pleaded ignorance of the status of the Rzucek family, or he was ignorant.
Given the closeness between the DA’s office and the Rzuceks, it seems difficult to believe the DA’s office wouldn’t know about the civil suit, giving the high profile nature of the case and the mere fact that as prosecutors they’re pretty familiar with legal protocols and processes. Even so Rourke assured the public then that “he will never tell us the truth about why…”
There is also the mismatch between Frankie’s response to the news of the second confession and Watts’ father’s response. Frankie appears emotional as is often the case with Frankie on social media, but there is a sense of righteous indignation in his post – see, I told you Shan’ann was INNOCENT.
Shan’ann’s innocence isn’t in dispute, certainly not here at TCRS. So coming back to the riddle, what happened on February 18th at DCI?
Watts wasn’t interviewed. He wasn’t interrogated either. And since his legal status hasn’t changed since the sentencing, or since the interview, it is possible he provided information on the crimes he was accused of committing. And I think he did so through a deposition.
Although Coder, Lee and Baumhover are present, probably there were a number of lawyers present as well. It’s interesting, if it was a deposition, then the way it’s being communicated in the media is as a confession, which is kinda misleading wouldn’t you say? [The Greeley Tribune describes the information as “revealed in an interview to law enforcement…”]
The deposition process may allow the lawyers involved in the civil trial to conclude the legal process almost as a formality, with most of the hard work happening behind closed doors.
In the Ramsey case, which also never went to trial, there were also numerous depositions of John Ramsey and his wife Patsy.
We also saw OJ Simpson deposed prior to his civil trial, although he went on to testify at his civil trial, with disastrous results.
More: Why the Civil Case Against O.J. Simpson Would Never Be Enough – Vanity Fair
The intention here appears to be to shutdown media coverage or public interest by having Watts not appear in court, and stirring up enormous public interest all over again. This way, that scenario is mitigated. Clearly a civil case concluded against Watts in this manner is not enough, but we await the details of Watts’ testimony on March 7 with interest nonetheless.
I want to thank one of the commenters here – William – for his contribution to the ideas expressed in this post.