True Crime Rocket Science is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on the science of man. We find out why people do what they do by finding out who people are. And who is a function of identity, social dynamics and backstory. Through cogent true crime analysis, especially into criminal psychology, we have a unique opportunity to learn to understand those around us, and principally, ourselves.
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February 18th, 2019
1. Additional Information on Bella Watts’ Autopsy – CrimeRocket
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.
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”.
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.
There’s also this from the Coloradoan:
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.
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.
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.
February 16th, 2019
1. Chris Watts and Steven Avery Interviews Compared
“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.
February 15th, 2019
1. Nichol Kessinger’s messages with CBI Agent Kevin Koback
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
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.”
February 14th, 2019
1. Below is a decent potpourri of quotes from a variety of folks about Shan’ann’s still unknown financial statements.
4. A petition has been launched on Change.org to investigate Madeleine McCann’s parents.
7. Valentine’s Day is the six year anniversary of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius.
8. The Devil’s Advocate?
9. From the archives…
February 13th, 2019
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.
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?
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
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
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 9th, 2019
1. More commentary on the Chris Watts case:
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
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.
February 7th, 2019
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?
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
2. Video footage is still coming out on the Chris Watts case that many have not seen.
February 4th, 2019
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:
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…
February 2nd, 2019
“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.
“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.