Crime News – February 2019

February 28th, 2019

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1. Weld County to release “2nd Chris Watts Confession” on March 7th – Greeley Tribune

On Feb. 18, an interview took place between Watts and investigators with CBI, FBI, and the Frederick Police Department. Thursday’s release does not say where the interview took place, nor does it provide specific details about the interview.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation possesses documentation, including a written report and audio file from its interview with Watts. The information will be released to the public March 7. Although he pleaded guilty, Watts never disclosed how or why he carried out the murders. Sources close to the investigation say Watts has finally confessed those details.

Chris Watts tells investigators more details about the murders of his wife, two daughters – Denver Channel

Chris Watts provides new details on murders: Officials – ABC

Chris Watts’ father, Ronnie Watts, said his son did not tell him the details about the conversation, but Ronnie Watts told ABC News Thursday, “In my heart I know he didn’t kill those girls.”

Ronnie Watts said his son calls him every night and “knows the Bible inside and out.” “It’s over and done with,” Ronnie Watts said of the case. “I am confused why they [the investigators] went out there in the first place.”

2. What happened when Otto Warmbier was detained in North Korea?

3. HBO’s new documentary, which focuses on the accounts of two men who say Michael Jackson molested them when they were children, is a gutting film that tells the worst tale imaginable – The Ringer

4. Andrew Wheeler, former coal energy lobbyist, confirmed as nation’s top environmental official – Washington Post


February 27th, 2019

1.Chris Watts coverage starts at 2:14 in the clip below. Worth watching.

2. N.J. mansion fire: Man accused of killing brother’s family was allegedly losing his salary – NBC

Investigators have also found that a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured someone leaving Paul Caneiro’s home at about 2 a.m. on Nov. 20 and returning about two hours later, according to the affidavit. In that time, neighbors of Keith and Jennifer reported hearing gunshots.

Paul Caneiro had disconnected his own surveillance cameras at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, according to the affidavit. He told police that he may have disconnected the cameras because he thought they were causing the WiFi to run slowly, but investigators discovered that the cameras were hardwired, and did not run on WiFi.

Paul Caneiro About to Be Cut Off When He Killed Brother’s Family: Indictment – Daily Beast

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3. Geologists have finally found exactly where some Stonehenge rocks came from, debunking old research – CNN

“It remains one of the most remarkable instances of long-distance movement of megaliths in the ancient world, yet was curiously under-studied,” Pollard said. “I’m sure we’ll be back.”

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4. Meet the Woman Living in Boulder’s Notorious JonBenét Ramsey House – Westword

 “This is all speculative, but based on the feelings we got from being there, we never felt the Ramseys were involved” in JonBenét’s death. “My husband is a marriage-and-family therapist, so we understand a little about dysfunctional families. And if that stuff had been going on behind the scenes, I don’t think we would have felt that way in the home.”

5. In bad taste? Amanda Knox jokes about acquittal in murder mystery night post – iol

Bad taste is Knox’s defining trait, and is the reason why she clashed repeatedly with her British housemate. Years later, she’s still luxuriating in it.

Read the TCRS take on the Amanda Knox case here.

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6. Jason Rohde ‘sought to tarnish Susan’s legacy by simulating her death’ – Citizen

7. Making a Murderer: Steven Avery wins right to appeal – BBC

On Twitter, Ms Zellner said: “We are going to have an extraordinary number of constitutional violations when we are done. The [court of appeals] is letting us create an avalanche of evidence in this record. Higher courts rule.” Making a Murderer cast doubt on the legal process used in the investigation and subsequent court cases.

Avery previously served 18 years for another crime he did not commit.

The Halbach Murder Mystery series is available at this link.

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8. The 28 most consequential lines from Michael Cohen’s testimony – CNN


February 26th, 2019

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1. When a body is burned, cadaver dogs can no longer be used. So how does one find charred remains in a landfill? The same way dinosaur hunters and archaeologists look for fossils and buried treasures – by meticulous, systematic searching.

How investigators will search a landfill for Kelsey Berreth’s remains – CNN

It may sound like an impossible task: searching a quarter-acre of a landfill for charred, decomposed human remains three months after a person was last seen alive. But searchers are hopeful that they will find the remains of Kelsey Berreth and any other evidence that could shed light on her death.

Berreth vanished on November 22 from where she lived near Woodland Park, Colorado. Patrick Frazee, her fiancé and the father of their daughter, is accused of murdering her and tampering with her body.

A woman cooperating with law enforcement shared information that helped lead investigators to the Midway Landfill in Fountain, Colorado. Searchers will begin sifting through landfill detritus there on Tuesday and continue for at least 35 days until they make it through the area.

Beginning Tuesday, Woodland Park detectives and other law enforcement officials will search through an area of 686,805 cubic yards, the department said in a statement. Ten searchers are expected to work eight hours a day for 35 days to make it through the primary target area, which measures 135′ by 32′ and nine inches deep. The entire search area is 250′ by 125′ and 25 feet deep.

The estimated time frame could change based on their progress, Woodland Park Police Commander Chris Adams said.

An excavator will remove the trash to another location and lay it out in lines so that searchers can sift through the material, Adams said. “It’s a slow, methodical search. We don’t want to miss anything. I think we owe it to Kelsey and her family to — to be as thorough as we can,” Adams said. The process resembles the procedure that forensic anthropologists use to search areas.

Authorities begin landfill search for Kelsey Berreth’s remains – kktv.com

2. The video below talks about Chris Watts’ parents offering their son clemency in court. I believe it’s one of the reasons Watts committed the crimes and believed he’d get away with it, because he knew his parents would love him [and forgive, but most important, believe him] no matter what. On the night of August 16th, at around 20:00, Ronnie was telling his son he loved him, rubbing his back and embracing him, while the police were still searching for the the three bodies Watts had gotten rid of. If this doesn’t make a father angry, or doubtful, or hesitant in his love for his son, what would?

In the Oscar Pistorius trial the parents of murdered Reeva Steenkamp also forgave Oscar almost immediately. This is different because it’s the parents of the victim forgiving the killer. They said they didn’t wish to hold a grudge and were doing it out of their devotion to God. The problem with these public declarations is the public and the court is watching as well. If the family of the murder victim is so forgiving, who is the court to disagree [or so the thinking goes]. Oscar initially got off with a very light sentence.

In the Van Breda axe murder trial, many of his family members came forward to say they don’t believe he did this, and if they did they forgive him etc. There is something very distasteful about this. Would the murder victims be so forgiving? Should the court be so forgiving?

One aspect I don’t agree 100% with in the clip below is the selective way of blaming Cindy Watts for what she did or didn’t do [Shan’ann’s behavior towards her is regarded as completely irrelevant].

When Shan’ann went on Facebook and slandered her mother-in-law, a lot of what she was pissed off at wasn’t the nut stuff, it was Cindy saying “she needs to be tough, and to learn a lesson from that [not being given nuts]”.  This was what infuriated Shan’ann the most – being undermined and overruled. And yet a lot of that is what was happening behind closed doors between Shan’ann and her husband.

For any marriage to work, it requires two people making an effort and acting right, not just one. True crime isn’t about one aggrieved party, it’s about the dynamics in the marriage that led to the divorce [the crime]. To argue that a breakdown came only from one side isn’t an accurate picture of how the world, or society works.

3. Yesterday one of my books got “Review Bombed” by a toxic fan from this site. This is part of the advent of social media – organized dissent. As a result, I won’t be posting any further content on CrimeRocket today, and I’m currently re-evaluating continuing with the Watts coverage beyond the end of this month [February].

Star Wars 9 Is Already Getting Review Bombed On Rotten Tomatoes – ScreenRant

Star Wars 9 doesn’t come out for ten more months, but commenters are already review bombing the movie on Rotten Tomatoes. With Star Wars 9 still months away from hitting theaters, toxic fans are already at it again on the movie’s Rotten Tomatoes page, attempting to torpedo the film’s “want to see” rating by posting negative comments. Of course, none of the commenters in question have seen the movie, and Rotten Tomatoes has not as yet calculated an actual audience score. Many of the comments actually focus on lingering negativity over The Last Jedi, which was itself subjected to an organized campaign of Rotten Tomatoes trolling in an effort to hurt its score. Despite the campaign, The Last Jedi still went on to gross $1.3 billion at the global box office.

Captain Marvel ‘review bombed’: Rotten Tomatoes just took MAJOR action against trolls – The Express

A group of so-called ‘Marvel fans’, all white male, had taken to the site’s audience reviews section to blast the movie; taking offence to Brie Larson’s observation that almost all journalists she was encountering at film junkets were white males. When she said she wanted to help women and writers of color to get into those junkets, the trolls came out in force – claiming she was “anti white men” and that she “clearly doesn’t want me to see the movie”.

It was, of course, all completely over-the-top – and Captain Marvel isn’t the first movie to suffer a “review-bombing” on Rotten Tomatoes. Last year’s Black Panther and 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi – also perceived to be relatively progressive movies – suffered similarly. Captain Marvel’s audience anticipation score had plummeted down to a little over 20% at one point, but Rotten Tomatoes have now taken action.


February 25th, 2019

1. Chris Watts playing with Bella and Ceecee.

2.Why Do Women Fall In Love With Serial Killers? – Forbes

3. “David Payne is the biggest enigma of story…”


February 23rd, 2019

1. Inside the mind of a killer: Psychology experts discuss Chris Watts’ behavior following family’s murder – Denver Channel

2. Investigators to search Fountain landfill for Kelsey Berreth’s body starting Tuesday – kdvr

Authorities to return to Midway landfill to search for Kelsey Berreth’s remains, ABC reports – The Gazette

Colorado police to search landfill in Kelsey Berreth investigation, source says – CNN

Police Say Kelsey Berreth’s Fiancé Murdered Her In Front Of One-Year-Old Daughter – Refinery29

Kenney further testified that Frazee told her that Berreth’s one-year-old daughter had been present during the murder in a “playpen in a back bedroom of the residence.”

Despite an extensive search, investigators have not yet found Berreth’s body. They believe Frazee set her remains on fire and discarded of them in either a river or a dump.

3. Dianne Feinstein’s climate change discussion with schoolchildren gets heated – CNN


February 22nd, 2019

1. Video Shows Pregnant Shanann Watts Entering Home Before Husband Murdered Her – People

In the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 2018Shanann Watts was dropped off at her home in Frederick, Colorado. Wearing jeans and a black cardigan, she rolls her suitcase to the front door of the family’s house.

It is believed to be the last footage of the 34-year-old who was 15 weeks pregnant with her son, Niko. Hours later, she was strangled by her husband

Hours later? Really?

2. Jussie Smollett got lots of oxygen from CNN, other news outlets – No wonder people don’t trust the press – Fox News

3. Caster Semenya posts ‘fearless’ message, wishes wife Violet Raseboya happy birthday – iol

4. Willem Dafoe enjoying 4th Oscar nomination for van Gogh film – abc11

Van Gogh film, ‘At Eternity’s Gate,’ unknowingly displays Christian themes – Christian Post


February 21st, 2019

1. Video shows Shan’ann Watts shortly before death – CNN

Within hours — possibly even minutes — Shan’ann was slain, authorities have said.

Watts was sentenced to life in prison in November. Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke says his office continues to receive daily phone calls, emails and letters containing everything from conspiracy theories to suggestions on follow-up investigations. “This has certainly permeated the conscience of a big section of the public and we continue to get correspondence on a daily basis,” Rourke says.

Chris Watts: New footage shows pregnant wife shortly before husband killed her – The Mirror

The new footage was obtained by HLN through an open records request to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.

The video had not been previously released by prosecutors.

2. Justice Department preparing for Mueller report as early as next week – CNN


February 20th, 2019

1. BREAKING: Last Photo/Footage of Shan’ann Watts Alive [August 13, 2018/01:48] – CrimeRocket

What Is Chris Watts’ Life in Prison Like? – A&E

Chris Watts to Not Fight Wrongful Death Suit Filed by Wife Shan’ann’s Family – CNN

2. BREAKING: Patrick Frazee 10-Page Arrest Affidavit – CrimeRocket

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Patrick Frazee will face trial in connection with Kelsey Berreth’s death; new case details unveiled – Denver Channel

On Nov. 22 around 4:30 p.m., Frazee called Kenney and told her, “You need to get here now. You’ve got a mess to clean up,” Slater said.

“We lived such separate lives for so long,” Frazee told police during the recorded call.

He never called police to report her missing for the 10 days between Thanksgiving and when he talked with police, Adams said after the recording ended.

Tests confirmed that Berreth’s blood was found on the toilet, bathtub, trash can, parts of the floor and wall, vanity area, bathroom door hinges and electrical outlet. Slater said this evidence lead them to conclude she may have been killed in the bathroom. A bath mat was missing from the room.

In addition, a cadaver dog at the home alerted authorities to the back of Berreth’s car at her apartment complex.

An arraignment was set for April 8 at 8:30 a.m., with the judge giving Frazee’s defense attorneys time to go through what they said were more than 3,300 pages of discovery evidence in the case. The judge also ruled that the arrest affidavit for Frazee would be unsealed following Tuesday’s hearing — likely on Wednesday morning. 

Grisly account of murder of Kelsey Berreth provided by Idaho nurse -out there Colorado

When Kenney entered Berreth’s townhome in late November, blood was splattered on the walls, floor and children’s toys, said Agent Greg Slater.

Kenney spent three to four hours cleaning, bleaching the walls and floors, removing the curtains and couch pillows and hunting for a tooth in the air duct vent that Berreth’s fiance and alleged killer told her to find, Slater said.

Frazee allegedly took matters into his own hands, blindfolding Berreth with a sweater and bludgeoning her with a baseball bat. During the two months before the murder, suspected killer Patrick Frazee allegedly had urged Kenney three times to kill Berreth — once by drugging her macchiato as a way to “get rid of her” and two other times with an aluminum bat and a metal rod, Slater said.

Cellphone records from the day of Berreth’s disappearance showed that Frazee called his mother, Sheila, about 4:24 p.m, Slater said. His phone connected to the tower that services Berreth’s house.

At 4:37 p.m., Frazee called an Idaho number belonging to Kenney — also in the vicinity of Berreth’s home — and received a return call from that number a few minutes later.

Cmdr. Chris Adams told the court that the day after Berreth went missing, her phone and Frazee’s phone were “hitting off” the tower that services Frazee’s Florissant home.Kenney said she believed the couple’s daughter was in danger under Kelsey Berreth’s care and that she “couldn’t live with herself if something happened” to the child.

3. Lock up this ruthless killer for a long time, Jason Rohde prosecutor tells judge – TimesLive

4. Proposed testosterone limit ’flawed’ and ‘hurtful’, say Caster Semenya’s lawyers – Guardian

Caster Semenya’s lawyers have hit back at the IAAF on day two of their hearing at the court of arbitration for sport, claiming the world governing body’s proposed testosterone limit for women is “flawed” and “hurtful”.

The two-time Olympic 800 metres champion is challenging the IAAF’s revised eligibility rules for female athletes at the Lausanne-based tribunal in a landmark case for intersex and transgender women in all sports.


February 19th, 2019

1. Trauma/Cadaver dog alerts in basement

2.Preliminary hearing for Patrick Frazee set for Tuesday morning in Kelsey Berreth murder case – Denver Channel

LIVE UPDATES: Patrick Frazee allegedly told Idaho nurse to drug missing woman’s coffee – Gazette

Kenney went so far as to buy a caramel macchiato at the Starbucks inside the Woodland Park Walmart Sept. 23 and pose as a neighbor thanking Berreth for corralling her dogs that had gotten loose.

Berreth told Kenney, who used a bogus name, that she had not helped with the dogs but accepted the unlaced drink anyway. Slater said Frazee was angry when he learned the coffee hadn’t been tainted.

Kenney also told Slater that Frazee claimed Berreth was a “terrible mother” who was physically abusive toward their daughter and used drugs and alcohol. Frazee also allegedly told his mother to lie about Berreth in a campaign to paint her as a bad mother, said 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May. May also said Shiela witnessed the burning of evidence in the killing.

The testimony framed Kenney as a key figure in the investigation. She had previously accepted a plea deal in exchange for her testimony against Frazee.

Cellphone records from the day of Berreth’s disappearance detailed by Slater showed that Frazee called his mother, Shiela, about 4:24 p.m. His phone connected to the tower that service’s Berreth’s house.

At 4:37 p.m., Frazee called an Idaho number belonging to Kenney — also in the vicinity of Berreth’s home — and received a return call from that number a few minutes later.

Cmdr. Chris Adams, the prosecution’s first witness, told the court that the day after Berreth went missing, her and Frazee’s phones were “hitting off” the tower that services Frazee’s Florissant home.

Kenney was seen on surveillance video Nov. 24 at a Conoco in Florissant. Also captured in the video at the same time was Frazee filling up a 5-gallon jug of gasoline.

On Nov. 25, Kenney, 32, and Berreth’s phones simultaneously pinged in Grand Junction.

That same day, Berreth’s supervisor got a text from her saying she wouldn’t be at work and was going to visit her grandmother, Slater said. Kelsey’s mother, Cheryl, told Colorado Bureau of Investigations Agent Gregg Slater that Kelsey never mentioned the trip.

Cheryl also told Slater, the prosecution’s second witness Tuesday, that she got a text from Berreth’s phone Nov. 24 saying she’d call the next day. That call never came, said Slater.Sean Frazee, Patrick’s brother and a Colorado Springs police officer, dropped by Patrick’s house at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Adams said. Patrick was not home at the time, but when Sean arrived “a little later,” Patrick was there with his and Berreth’s 1-year-old daughter. Nothing was out of the ordinary, said Adams.Adams added that Patrick and Sean are estranged.

Berreth’s body has not been located. During Tuesday’s cross examination, Adams said on Dec. 4 a cadaver dog hit on a location on the ground next to a car parked in front of Berreth’s house. It is the only location on which a dog has indicated.

Family members reported finding blood when they went to Berreth’s house Dec. 6, Adams said. Adams also described a Dec. 2 recorded call between Frazee and an officer to the court. Frazee said to the officer that Berreth told him she wanted to end their relationship. She wanted “space,” he told police. “We’d figure out custody arrangements from there.”

In 2017, Frazee took Berreth’s gun, said Slater. The couple was arguing about finances when Berreth said, “Maybe I would be better off dead” and pointed the gun at her head.

Frazee’s mother was called by prosecutors to the stand Tuesday prior to Adams and Slater’s testimony. A judge ruled in favor of her attorney’s representation that she would invoke the 5th Amendment at the start of the hearing. He will rule again after a lunch break. Before Tuesday, the only possible motive for the presumed killing was found in an amended complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in the wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Berreth’s family against Frazee. In it, they claim Frazee, who had the keys to Berreth’s townhome, demanded full custody of their daughter and killed her when she refused.

The case, which has attracted a national spotlight, has also led to a custody battle over the couple’s daughter pitting Berreth’s parents against Frazee’s mother. A judge has granted temporary custody to Berreth’s parents.

Details revealed during hearing for Kelsey Berreth’s alleged killer – KRDO

Alleged poison plot, blood in bathroom: Gruesome details revealed in case against fiancé accused of killing Kelsey Berreth – ABC

3. MADDIE HOPE  Madeleine McCann disappearance taken on by forensic scientist who cracked Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor cases – The Sun

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The forensic biologist, 69, now wants to solve the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three when she vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007. She told the Sunday Times Magazine: “It would be extraordinarily difficult because it’s in a different country and you don’t know what’s happened to the exhibits.

“I’ve been involved in cases where it looks hopeless, so I’m not too daunted by anything these days. Every contact leaves a trace, it’s just finding it.”

British forensic scientist who ‘helped solve murders of Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor’ vows to try and crack the ‘extraordinarily difficult’ Madeleine McCann case – Daily Mail

4. A mother’s love: Rohde’s mom pleads for him – TimesLive

Be lenient for the children’s sake, Rohde’s mom begs judge – iol

Brenda – a shareholder in Lew Geffen Sotheby’s – and two of Jason’s friends gave witness to his character before his sentencing. Rohde, a former Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International chief executive, was found guilty of murdering his wife, Susan Rohde, and obstructing the ends of justice by staging her suicide.

Susan’s body was found in a locked bathroom off a room she shared with Rohde at the Spier Wine Estate Hotel, in Stellenbosch, on July 24, 2016. State advocate Louis van Niekerk put it to Brenda that testifying about her son’s character put her “in a terrible position as a mother”. He also suggested that there was an element of bias, to which Brenda replied: “I have just stated the facts. I am here to tell the truth and support my son.”

5.  Caster Semenya: South African runner’s appeal against IAAF rule begins – BBC

6. BTK daughter Kerri Rawson writes tell-all book


February 18th, 2019

1. Additional Information on Bella Watts’ Autopsy – CrimeRocket

2. Kelsey Berreth’s Parents: Custody Dispute With Fiancé May Have Turned Deadly – Daily Beast

Parents of Kelsey Berreth believe she was killed in a custody dispute – CNN

3. Jason Rohde cares about the needs of others, court hears – iol

He further told the court that Rohde was very intelligent and a very successful businessman and he (Livingstone) had never observed any signs of violence in Rohde in the years he had known him as a friend.

State advocate Louis van Niekerk told the court that the picture that the defense witness was projecting was completely different compared to what the court had found in Rohde’s character. 

“The court made some very harsh findings on his actions and also pertaining to his character related to the facts before the court. You haven’t read the judgment but I’m not going to take you back there. But it completely differs from the picture that you project here for us today compared to what the court said,” said Van Niekerk.

COURT HEARS LONG PRISON TERM WILL BE HARMFUL TO JASON ROHDE’S CHILDREN – EWN

The defense witness says the three girls adore their father [found guilty of murdering their mother] and she’s pleaded with the court to be lenient, for their sake.

4. Caster arrives at Swiss sports tribunal – Sport24

IAAF president Sebastian Coe, arriving at the court, said: “Today is a very, very important day. “The regulations that we are introducing are there to protect the sanctity of fair and open competition.” The chief advocate for Athletics South Africa, Norman Arendse, said Semenya would give evidence.

“The whole week is going to be important. Obviously the evidence will be evaluated and assessed at the end of the process this week. So today this is the start,” he told reporters.

The issue is highly emotive. When British newspaper The Times reported last week that the IAAF would argue that Semenya should be classified as a biological male – a claim later denied by the IAAF – she hit back, saying she was “unquestionably a woman”.

In response to the report, the IAAF – stressing it was referring in general terms, not to Semenya in particular – denied it intended to classify any DSD athlete as male.

But in a statement, it added: “If a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women. “Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level.”

Semenya is not the only athlete potentially affected – the silver and bronze medallists in the Rio Olympics 800m, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels. But it is Semenya, who also won Olympic gold in 2012 and has three world titles to her name, who has led opposition to the proposed rules.

Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General, said the case was highly unusual. “It is unusual and unprecedented because we never had a such a case at CAS,” he said. “What is going to happen I am not able to say, but it is going to be important for sure.”

South Africa’s sports minister Tokozile Xasa argues that the rules are “discriminatory”.

5. UK lawmakers: Facebook ‘intentionally and knowingly’ violated data privacy laws -CNN

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February 17th, 2019

1. Armchair Detective is at it again.

This time a post-it is being conflated as metadata “proving” Watts was “secretly” filing for divorce on August 24th in Weld County family court. Does Armchair Detective identify where he found the scrap of paper in the Discovery Documents [it’s on page 169].

This conspiracy theory is specific and thus easy to disprove.

August 24th was the date of their court appearance because they were being sued by the Wyndham Hill Homeowner’s Association. The original civil claim was filed on July 12th against the couple to be heard in the Weld County District Court.

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There’s also this from the Coloradoan:

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The local court’s own procedures describe a protocol of 30 calendar days allowed to pay fines, and after 45 days of non-payment a delinquency notice is issued.

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So an appearance roughly six weeks after the docket was opened fits with the protocols for delinquent payments on fines.

The delinquency aspect with Wyndham Hill makes sense given they were also behind on their previous three mortgage payments. They’d also received a letter from Chase Bank alerting them to their delinquent home loan. The monthly mortgage payment was $2700. At the time of the murders Watts had $2000 in his Chase check account, and $1500 in his USAA checking account. All credit cards were maxed out.

In other words, there is far more documented, timeline and procedural evidence proving the civil claim than a divorce. That’s not to say the couple hadn’t spoken about divorce, just that there is no evidence either of them had instituted any kind of formal process against one another. That this was in the offing over that final weekend, naturally, there can be no doubt.

So the overall premise of the Secret Divorce Conspiracy is catchy – that Watts secretly filed for divorce. But it misses the point. If Shan’ann didn’t know about it until the day of her death then he hadn’t actually filed for divorce. And the murders occurred not because he did file for divorce, but because he didn’t, told Kessinger he had but somehow felt he couldn’t.

Even in his interrogation/confession with the FBI, Watts said he told Shan’ann he wanted to separate, not that he wanted a divorce.

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Moreover the backwards slanting print-style handwriting on the post-it [similar to the writing on the other two yellow post-its] appears to be from Frederick PD  Officer Patricia Cochran’s notes, not a note or diary entry made by Watts himself.

The format of the Discovery Documents with regard to the Supplemental Reports, is that the cover sheet provides a date, time, location and typed narrative, signed off by the officer assigned to a particular task, along with attachments of all of their written notes and other digital data [bodycam footage, audio recordings] where applicable.

2. Possible motive for missing Colorado mom’s murder surfaces for the 1st time in wrongful death lawsuit – ABC


February 16th, 2019

1. Chris Watts and Steven Avery Interviews Compared

2.  Mommy’s little girl: Kelsey Berreth’s daughter Kaylee poses on a plane in first photo since the death of her mother while her father Patrick Frazee awaits trial on murder charges – Daily Mail

New Court Documents Reveal Possible Motive In Kelsey Berreth Death – CBS Denver

“Upon information and belief, Frazee had the motive to kill Kelsey in that he wanted full custody of [Kaylee Berreth] and/or Kelsey to leave [Kaylee Berreth] with him and Kelsey would not agree,” the amended civil complaint reads.

WATCH: Wrongful death lawsuit against Patrick Frazee reveals possible motive – kktv


February 15th, 2019

1. Nichol Kessinger’s messages with CBI Agent Kevin Koback

2. ‘We don’t know how involved she was’: Friend of Kelsey Berreth says Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney may have gotten too good of a deal – CrimeOnline

The tampering with evidence charge carries a possible sentence of 18 months in prison; three years if it determined to be aggravated, KOAA notes.

“A maximum of three years seems extremely light,” Haywood told the news station.

3. 6th anniversary of Reeva’s Steenkamp’s death – Pretoria Rekord

Oscar Pistorius bail hearing: Conflicting accounts – BBC

4. Trump will sign funding bill, declare a national emergency, McConnell says – CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was considering a legal challenge.

“I may,” Pelosi said when asked about the prospect of challenging Trump in court. “That’s an option and we will review our options.”

“The President is doing an end run around Congress,” the California Democrat added.
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February 14th, 2019

1. Below is a decent potpourri of quotes from a variety of folks about Shan’ann’s still unknown financial statements.

Lawyers: Shanann Watts’ Parents Lawsuit To Go Uncontested By Chris Watts – CBS

2. Berreth’s friend: Plea deal brings mixed emotions – KOAA

3. Cameron Kasky: How being a student gun control activist took its toll – BBC

4. A petition has been launched on Change.org to investigate Madeleine McCann’s parents.

5. Bill Cosby says he won’t feel remorse because he’s a ‘political prisoner’ – CNN

6. Jeff Bezos: identity of tabloid leaker is confirmed – CNN

7. Valentine’s Day is the six year anniversary of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius.

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8. The Devil’s Advocate?

The lawyer most famous for defending Oscar Pistorius is back in the limelight with two high-profile cases – Citizen

9. From the archives…


February 13th, 2019

1. Christopher Watts not fighting wrongful death lawsuit filed by Shanann Watts’s family after murder convictions – Daily Camera

Watts has not hired an attorney in the case and has not filed a single document in the suit since it was filed, court records show. The Rzuceks filed a motion for default judgment on Monday, court records show. A default judgment can be awarded if the defendant doesn’t respond to a suit, triggering an automatic win for the plaintiffs.

“He has failed to answer the case against him,” according to Steven Lambert, an attorney with Greeley’s Grant & Hoffman Law Firm, who is representing Shanann’s parents. Lambert said he expects the judge to make a decision on the motion in the next week or two.

If the judge finds that Watts is in default, the court will next have a hearing in which a jury decides how much money the Rzuceks should be awarded in damages.Watts likely will appear by telephone for that hearing, Lambert said. 

2. Nurse Who Hid Evidence for Accused Killer in Colo. Mom’s Murder Was ‘Very, Very Scared’ He’d Kill Her, Too – People

A frightened Kenney had confided to her friend Michelle Stein that she had a role in the coverup, Stein told CBS News. “I will just tell you Krystal was very, very scared,” said Stein. “Krystal’s a very level-headed, kind, fun-loving, happy-go-lucky person. She’s a tough cowgirl. But she was absolutely scared and extremely upset.”

Is that a good reason to help someone cover up a murder?

3. Parents still grieving one year after Parkland school shooting – wptv

12 months, since Parkland Feb. 8, 2019 1,149 young lives lost – Miami Herald

The 12-month period starting Feb. 14, 2018, saw nearly 1,200 lives snuffed out. That’s a Parkland every five days, enough victims to fill three ultra-wide Boeing 777s. The true number is certainly higher because no government agency keeps a real-time tally and funding for research is restricted by law…

4. Willem Dafoe Talks Offering a “Whole Different Take” on Vincent van Gogh in ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ – Hollywood Reporter

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Have you gotten any surprising audience reactions to the movie?

Just how it deeply affects people. People think they know about van Gogh, but this gives a whole different take on him. Julian somehow was able to get around this kind of cartoon of van Gogh as the tortured loser artist who didn’t sell a painting. He was able to tap into the joyous aspect of making the paintings, without going against the information we have. He was really able to tap into the joy this man must have felt in his prolific — troubled but prolific — years of almost a painting a day toward the end of his life.

William Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh – The West Australian

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5. 20 Documentaries True Crime Lovers Will Want to Stream on Netflix – CafeMom


February 12th, 2019

1. I don’t agree with the tone and many of the sentiments in this video, but some of the ideas are worth considering. The video also contains yet another instance of ordinary people labeling other ordinary people implicated or associated with a crime as a “psychopath”. Psychopath and narcissist seem to be the go-to terms these days for anyone you don’t understand or agree with. Probably when today’s teenagers argue, picking up a cue from their parents, that’s what they call each other. It’s juvenile and doesn’t belong in true crime.

2. Making A Murderer: Key Pieces Of Evidence The Show Leaves Out – ScreenRant

It’s instructive that this analysis doesn’t come from the mostly braindead mainstream media, but from a news site dedicated to reviewing movies and tv. It shows just how lazy and uncritical much of the MSM is these days.

A few highlights:

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Dassey’s Confession

Brendan Dassey’s supposed “forced” confession is shown in short clips on Making A Murderer, so viewers never really got to hear all the chilling details that came out of his mouth. The reality is, Brendan’s confession lasted for hours, and new portions of the transcripts have surfaced that are very specific and equally disturbing. Details of these transcripts include how many shots were fired into Halbach’s head, and how the entire murder was premeditated because she “looked good and was pretty nice.”

Child Molestation

While the Netflix documentary makes Steven Avery out to be a pretty harmless guy, it seems like he might be anything but, especially around children. One particular phone conversation between Brendan Dassey and his mother was cut from the documentary completely. So, what were they trying to keep hidden? According to transcripts of the conversation, Dassey told his mother, “I even told them about Steven touching me,” then mentioned his brothers had been touched by Steven Avery as well.

Red Flags

While he was in prison, Steven Avery planned the torture and killing of a young woman, and fellow prisoners who served time with Avery before Halbach’s death also claimed that Avery talked about and drew diagrams of a torture chamber he planned to build upon his release. The Appleton Post Crescent also included statements from two women who claimed they were raped by Avery, with an affidavit saying that Avery admitted his guilt to his fiancé.

Purchase TCRS’ take on the Avery case at this link.

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3. Amanda Knox Slams Hayden Panettiere For ‘Not Approaching’ Her Before Murder Trial Movie – RadarOnline

Hayden Panettiere portrayed Amanda Knox in the 2011 made-for-TV movie Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial In Italy – and she wasn’t a fan of the flick. On Knox’s podcast, she admitted she has “deep resentment” for the actress.

4. World’s biggest drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán is found guilty on all counts – CNN

After the jury left the room, Guzman waved and smiled at his wife, Emma Coronel, a former beauty queen and courtroom regular who smiled back and touched her hand to her heart.

“Good, thank you,” she said when asked how she felt after the verdict.

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Over two and a half months, the jury heard testimony about unspeakable torture and ghastly murders, epic corruption at nearly every level of Mexico’s government, narco-mistresses and naked subterranean escapes, gold-plated AK-47s and monogrammed, diamond-encrusted pistols.

El Chapo jury deliberations will stretch into a second week. Here’s why jurors may be taking their time.The prosecution’s case featured 200 hours of testimony from 56 witnesses. Fourteen of those witnesses — mostly admitted drug traffickers and cartel associates — cooperated with prosecutors in hopes of reducing their own prison sentences.

There were also surveillance photos, intercepted phone calls and text messages involving Guzmán, as well as exhibits of blingy firepower and bricks of cocaine that dropped with the force of potato sacks.

In contrast, defense attorneys called just one witness and focused on undermining the credibility of cooperating witnesses. 


February 11th, 2019

1. Some recent commentary highlighting Watts’ cowardice. Did his weakness as a man play into the heart of why these unspeakable crimes took place?

More conspiracies doing the rounds now in the Chris Watts case. Now it’s that Nichol Kessinger was pregnant with Watts’ child. The idea for this conspiracy seems to have spun up around the Thayers’ recently announcing their second pregnancy on Facebook.

2. Mom allegedly kills son, 2, by bashing him with rock in the veld – News24

The murder shocked residents on social media, with some commenting that conditions were dire in the town…

This illustrates how and why context is important. Happy, harmonious, authentic and cohesive individuals [and communities] are less likely to engage in crime than compromised, fractured, duplicitous and incoherent individuals [and communities]. Wider ranging environmental forces, especially if they are deteriorating, such as financial hardship or illness, can exacerbate the fault lines already present in the human psyche.  A pregnancy is a hybrid of internal and external factors that can overwhelm individuals and families if other burdens are already chronic and in play.


February 10th, 2019

1. The horrors of buying a house you can’t afford.

2. Valerie Reyes called her mom in panic. She vanished within days and her body was found in a suitcase – CNN

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3. Judge dismisses ethics claim against Jodi Arias prosecutor Juan Martinez – AZCentral


February 9th, 2019

1. More commentary on the Chris Watts case:

2. Zahau family attorney: “I anticipate Adam Shacknai will end up behind bars” – 760kfmb

Mark Larson talks to Adam Shacknai in studio – 760kfmb

3. White House refuses to meet Congress’ deadline on Khashoggi killing – CNN


February 8th, 2019

1. Idaho woman pleads guilty to tampering with evidence in Kelsey Berreth case – Denver Channel

“I learned Patrick Frazee had committed a homicide on approximately Nov. 22, 2018 in Teller County,” Kenney said in the courtroom. “I knew that law enforcement would be investigating that crime. I moved the victim’s cell phone with the intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation. I had no right or authority to move the victim’s cell phone. That occurred between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2018 in Teller County.”

Patrick Frazee DID murder his fiancee Kelsey Berreth, says his mistress, as she breaks down in tears and admits to destroying the victim’s phone while agreeing to testify against her lover – Daily Mail

2. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says National Enquirer publisher tried to extort him – CNN

No thank you, Mr. Pecker – Medium

Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

3. More Chris Watts commentary:

4. After the legal settlement in the Ramsey case, there’s been a steady flow of garbage news. One wonders whether this is by design or simply the media muddling along, trying to make a buck.

Paedophile ‘who killed JonBenet Ramsey made collages of girls and set fire to them’ – The Mirror


February 7th, 2019

1. O.J. Simpson’s advice to Roger Stone: ‘Man up’ and ‘stop crying’ – USA Today

2. In true crime, words – semantics – matter. In criminal trials, words add up ultimately to a sentence which either deprives the defendant of his freedom, or grants it.

In ordinary society, in families and friendships, words also matter. Concentrate today on choosing yours wisely.


February 6th, 2019

1. Did Patrick Frazee “learn” from the Chris Watts case? In other words, is there Criminal Intertextuality at work here?

2. Idaho nurse charged with tampering with physical evidence in Kelsey Berreth murder case

3. Marcia Clark says O.J. Simpson trial made her a ‘depressed person’ as she looks ahead in new show ‘The Fix’ – FoxNews

4. Settlement reached in Rebecca Zahau civil case – CBS

A civil case regarding the death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, whose bound and nude body was found hanging from a balcony at a historic Coronado mansion more than seven years ago, was dismissed with prejudice on Wednesday. 

A jury previously found Adam Shacknai, the brother of Zahau’s boyfriend, liable in her death and awarded her family $5 million, despite a law enforcement
ruling that her death was a suicide.

The dismissal vacates the jury’s verdict due to a settlement reached between her family and Adam Shacknai’s insurance company, for an undisclosed sum.

Following the proceedings, Adam Shacknai spoke outside the courtroom professing his innocence and saying he never touched Rebecca. He also made it clear he did not take part in any settlement talks. He spoke for about 20 minutes to reporters and also talked about the Zahau family’s attorney Keith Greer, the Zahau family, the judge and the jury during his civil trial. 

5. Review: ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ has its flaws, but Willem Dafoe is flawless – The National

When conversation does occur, it is almost always vital, such as the brief exchanges that manage to show the deep bond between van Gogh and his brother Theo (Rupert Friend), or a heart-wrenching [fictional] dialogue during his incarceration in an asylum where he debates art, God, and eternity with a resident priest (Mads Mikkelsen).


February 5th, 2019

1. Nurse in missing-mom case of Kelsey Berreth to plead guilty – ABC

Idaho Nurse Faces Tampering With Evidence Charge In Berreth Case – CBS

2. Video footage is still coming out on the Chris Watts case that many have not seen.

3. 7 disturbing Netflix documentaries to watch in case ‘The Ted Bundy Tapes’ wasn’t crazy enough! – Mashable

4. FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: Get to know the man who murdered Sherlock Holmes – Channel24


February 4th, 2019

Accused Wife-Killer Rod Covlin Motivated by ‘Pure, Unadulterated Greed,’ Prosecutors Claim as Trial Begins – The Daily Beast

But when Shele Danishefsky, a 47-year-old UBS wealth manager, decided to cut Covlin out of her will in 2009—finalizing their divorce and severing her last financial connections to her husband—Covlin allegedly used a martial arts “chokehold” to break her neck before she could sign the papers.  

“This is a murder. If this is a murder the only human on the plant with motive, means, and opportunity is sitting across from you in the courtroom,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos argued in his opening statement. “He is on trial for murdering the woman he hated… with all consuming anger.”

Prosecutors revealed stunning details of Danishefsky’s murder during opening arguments, describing how Covlin, 45, mentally and physically abused his wife, whom he relied on financially.

‘I want to make sure Rod doesn’t get any part of my estate!’ New York financial wizard asked lawyer to cut estranged husband Rod Covlin out of her $5.4 million will – 5 DAYS before Covlin allegedly strangled her, court heard – Daily Mail

2. Madeleine McCann cops ‘secretly investigated for misconduct’ – Daily Star

3. This feels like Truly Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel, not True Crime:

Convicted pedophile who admitted to killing JonBenét Ramsey apparently wanted to eat her body, according to a friend – CrimeOnline


February 3rd, 2019

This is Shan’ann’s final Facebook video, posted on August 8th.

If Chris Watts was asked why he did what he did, and he gave an honest answer, it might go something like this…

View this post on Instagram

#ChrisWatts

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

2. Inmates without power at New York federal prison shivering in their cells for days – CNN

3. Beautiful killers: TV’s obsession with making serial killers sexy – Channel24


February 2nd, 2019

1. MAN GETS LIFE FOR THROWING WIFE TO HER DEATH INTO LAKE WITH A CONCRETE SLAB AROUND HER NECK – Oxygen

“One witness described hearing what sounded like screams on the way down,” Cedillo noted, according to to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A 119-pound slab of concrete was found tied around her neck.

Police had at first assumed the death was a suicide, but a medical examiner determined it to be a homicide, according to the Dallas Morning News. Elizabeth and Rodolfo had been together for 13 years but she had planned to divorce him shortly before the killing.

Detectives believed that Rodolfo had waited for Elizabeth outside her home before kidnapping her, a fact confirmed by surveillance video. Police later found matching slabs of concrete in Rodolfo’s truck and yard.

2. Inside O.J. Simpson’s tense standoff with SWAT team after infamous freeway chase – NBC

“He kept grabbing my arm and begging, ‘Don’t kill him. You guys shouldn’t kill him. Please don’t kill him,’” Sandler said, adding that Kardashian was pleading with tears in his eyes.

The turning point in the standoff came when Simpson made it clear that the gun in his hands was not directed at law enforcement — “I would never point anything at you guys,” he could be heard saying — and he finally put the weapon down. The situation grew calmer — and just before 9 p.m., Simpson emerged from the Bronco and was finally arrested.


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