True Crime Rocket Science is unique. It is preoccupied with the why of crimes and criminals, and thus is above all focused on anthropodicy, aporia and 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.
This page is dedicated to coverage of current crime news, comments, discussions and brief analysis. Use this page for updates on America’s most high-profile criminal cases, as well as to find your way to what’s happening where on True Crime Rocket Science [#tcrs].
Updates include new book releases, news of what’s coming soon, true crime documentary analysis and reviews, interviews and giveaways.
This page also serves as an ongoing archive for true crime news. Your suggestions for true crime news from wherever you are in the world are most welcome.
Follow TCRS on Facebook.
Author’s Amazon Page.
Guidelines for users of this site: Commentators are urged to examine and interrogate the merits of the cases covered here, rather than malign or attack one another. Argue the case, argue the criminal, argue the law or argue the facts instead of arguing with each other.
April 27th, 2019
April 26th, 2019
2. Madeleine McCann DNA test fails to produce match dashing hopes – Daily Star
Madeleine McCann: The statistic that gives McCanns hope – Express.co.uk
April 23rd, 2019
1. The FBI Crack Chris Watts Into Finally Confessing – Key Interrogation Room Moments
April 20th, 2019
1. Convicted murderer Chris Watts explains what made him snap
April 19th, 2019
1. Visiting the Chris Watts Locations
April 18th, 2019
Prison officials have “no legal basis for removing the photographs from Christopher Watts,” the Wisconsin Department of Corrections said in a statement obtained by People. Watts was transferred to Wisconsin late last year for safety concerns.
While arguably tasteless, the photos don’t technically break the rules.
4. Copycat attempt: New York man tries to burn down St. Patrick’s CathedralNew York Times
April 17th, 2019
1. Chris Watts Raw Unedited K9 Search Footage
April 16th, 2019
1. Auction of Chris Watts’ Frederick home delayed until summer – Greeley Tribune
Raw Unedited Body Cam Videos From Chris Watts Case
April 15th, 2019
1. Chris Watts says he went into the house through the garage to open the front door…
2. A Night Less Starry- The Auction of Van Gogh’s Gun – Art Net
There is a bleakness to the reality that many artists are valued more in death than in life; that what they offered the world was not truly cherished until it became preciously finite. It is hard to think of what the man who sold only one painting in his lifetime would think of the €40-60,000 predicted price tag on his suicide weapon. While many a person would jump at the chance to be one of Van Gogh’s posthumous patrons, the acquisition of the gun he chose to end his suffering with seems to be an entirely different desire. But perhaps not. Perhaps it’s not dissimilar to the purchasing or beholding of one of his heartfelt works- especially with the understanding of the emotional turmoil that swam through him- where one can sense the will of a troubled man in his journey to find and create beauty despite all his sorrow. Perhaps the prospective buyer wishes nothing more than to feel a closeness and an understanding of that intangible wonder: the will of Van Gogh.
Would a rusty weapon imputed as a suicide tool bring someone closer to knowing the “will of Van Gogh”? Perhaps. Perhaps the rust destroying reality over time is a code, after all, for something useful.
What would Vincent van Gogh think of this business of this gun fetching so much money, given his art when he was alive, could not? My guess is he would be hopping mad. More proof of that is in The Murder of Vincent van Gogh.
April 14th, 2019
1. Chris Watts case updates.
April 13th, 2019
1. Scott Reisch LIVE discussing the Watts Family Photos in Watts’ prison cell.
Was Chris Watts’ mistress bipolar?
3. Julian Schnabel takes on the life of Van Gogh – Apollo Magazine
…director Julian Schnabel makes us feel what it’s like to live as his Van Gogh. As one might expect, it’s a stressful experience. All the more so since the film is shot on a handheld camera, its jerky motion mirroring the artist’s febrile state. The palette is polarised, either dazzling us with the bright colours of the south, pushed to the extreme, or subduing us with a melancholic blue-grey filter. No even keel for Vincent, or for us. When his ‘frenemy’ Paul Gauguin (Oscar Isaac) asks ‘What’s the rush?’ during another frenzied painting scene, Vincent’s answer is to reel off a list of masters – Franz Hals, Goya, Velázquez, Veronese, Delacroix – who all ‘paint fast, in one, clear gesture’. Long, continuous takes make the film feel correspondingly immediate and organic, even dizzying.
But the flip side to enduring the stress of being Van Gogh is of course the beauty; of seeing the world through his eyes (which the camera often simulates): the wind through wheat or a line of poplars; craggy rocks in a landscape; the texture of scuffed leather boots and terracotta tiles. We’re down in the dirt with him as he lies in a field, smearing earth over his face with relish. And this is the point of Schnabel’s film – why else the need for another Van Gogh biopic, of which there have been three notable versions already.
At Eternity’s Gate focuses on the tumultuous last two years of the artist’s life, spent mainly in Arles and in Auvers-sur-Oise.
4. From the archives:
Oscar’s 31 seconds of silence – News24
Thirty-one seconds – that’s how long Oscar Pistorius was silent for when asked by Prosecutor Gerrie Nel if he heard Reeva Steenkamp scream after he fired the first of four shots that killed her. Late on the second day of what has been a sustained and brutal cross-examination, Nel said: “Are you sure, Mr Pistorius, that Reeva didn’t scream after you fired the first shot?”
Oscar slumped back in his chair and kept quiet for 31 seconds. Court GD in Pretoria was utterly silent. On the audio recording, all that can be heard is Nel again asking “Are you sure?” after five seconds of silence had passed. Eleven seconds later, a man can be heard taking a deep breath and slowly exhaling. Surprisingly, it is Nel who breaks the silence to come to Pistorius’ rescue, saying: “My Lady, I’m giving the witness time to console himself, he is distressed”.
“I wouldn’t have done that,” said an experienced former prosecutor. “I would have kept quiet and counted and then when he finally said something, I would have said: ‘That took you four and a half minutes. What were you thinking about?’’’
I thought that was the moment he was going to crack, the former prosecutor added. This piece of evidence is key. If Pistorius’ ears were ringing and he? couldn’t even have heard himself scream after the shots, as he had testified, then he can’t tell the court that three other witnesses didn’t hear her scream during the shots.
Saving Pistorius from his silence was a rare show of mercy from Nel, who during a turbulent two days of cross-examination compared a photograph of Steenkamp’s bloodied head to an exploding watermelon, called the athlete a liar and laughed openly at one of his responses. Before his 31 seconds of silence, Pistorius twice became emotional as Nel carefully picked apart the improbabilities in his story.
If Nel hadn’t have given Pistorius a break, Oscar would likely have become more emotional, allowing Judge Masipa a chance to call a recess. Nel didn’t want that to happen either. So it was a careful chess game between pushing the accused and getting him emotional, but not so emotional that the Judge intervened on his behalf…
What is the TCRS take on Oscar Pistorius’ Murder Trial? The 5-Part Book Series is available at this link.
April 11th, 2019
1. Give it until 2:30 for this video on Chris Watts to get going. Valid points raised regarding Watts being informed from the outside about what’s being said and vaunted on social media. Interesting that “Nut Gate” was a term first raised on social media as well.
3. WikiLeaks Cofounder Julian Assange Arrested
Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country – The New Yorker
During the Presidential election last year, he published tens of thousands of hacked e-mails written by Democratic operatives, releasing them at pivotal moments in the campaign. They provoked strikingly disparate receptions. “I love WikiLeaks,” Donald Trump declared, in exultant gratitude. After the election, Hillary Clinton argued that the releases had been instrumental in keeping her from the Oval Office.
Shortly after Trump’s Inauguration, I flew to London, to visit Assange—the first of several trips, and many hours of interviews, to better understand how he runs WikiLeaks, how he has been living, how his political views have changed, and what role Russia has had in his operation. Even as a new inquiry opened into possible collusion between Trump-campaign operatives and Russia, “the WikiLeaks connection,” as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, put it last year, remained obscure.
Assange is not an easy man to get on the phone, let alone to see in person. He is protected by a group of loyal staffers and a shroud of organizational secrecy…
As the catalogue for “Vincent van Gogh: His Life in Art,” a momentous new show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, puts it: “It was most likely a combination of deep disquiet that Theo might no longer be able to look out for him, a growing sense of loneliness, and fear that his nervous attacks would return that drove van Gogh to shoot himself in the chest on July 27, 1890, with the intention of ending his life. He died of his injuries two days later, with Theo at his bedside.”
The mainstream motive for why Van Gogh committed suicide is that he didn’t want to be a burden to his brother [who had just started a family]. Even the Van Gogh Museum support this idea. It makes sense except – how was committing suicide [and botching it up so he took 30 hours to die] lessening the burden? If Van Gogh didn’t want his brother to be troubled by his existence, then Theo rushing to his brother’s aid during a life-and-death emergency, only to watch his brother die, and have to pay for his funeral [suicide was regarded as disgraceful in 1890’s France] didn’t achieve that goal.
Van Gogh’s funeral and the disgrace around his suicide was a huge burden, financial, societal and emotional, that his brother and family had to bear.
April 9th, 2019
1. Just published!
A US private investigator who worked undercover at the holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished has made claims that appear to cast doubt on the controversial parental checking system Kate, Gerry and the Tapas 7 told police they were conducting on the night the three-year-old vanished.
In a remarkable interview on the Maddie podcast, Boston-based investigator Joseph Moura claimed a bartender and waitress who served the McCanns and their friends at the now infamous tapas restaurant on May 3 told him “nobody left the table that evening”.
April 8th, 2019
True Crime Garage // Christopher Watts
3. The Gun That Killed Van Gogh Goes On Auction – Forbes
Lauded as the “the most famous weapon in art history,” the corroded, legendary revolver was discovered in 1965 by a farmer in the field where then-37-year-old Van Gogh was struck in the stomach by the bullet that killed him on July 29, 1890, in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris.
The seven-millimeter gun, reportedly kept by the family that owned the Auberge Ravoux inn where the artist lived for the final months of his life, was put on public display for the first time during the 2016 exhibition On the Verge Off Insanity at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The farmer who found it presumably gave it to the owners of the inn, whose descendants are now selling it.
“The severely corroded weapon is a Belgian-manufactured Lefaucheux pinfire revolver, which was among the most popular civilian handguns in the second half of the 19th century,” writes the Art Newspaper. “It remained in production until 1893.”
According to the auction house, there are several pieces of evidence to prove it was Van Gogh’s suicide gun. “It was discovered where Van Gogh shot it; its caliber is the same as the bullet retrieved from the artist’s body as described by the doctor at the time; scientific studies demonstrate that the gun had stayed in the ground since the 1890s.”
But is it – forensically speaking – the actual killing/murder weapon?
April 7th, 2019
1. Mitch Summers, an ex-classmate of Chris Watts in high school [now a video producer] released this prom photo of Watts.
Following an investigation by nine.com.au, a formal request from one of the world’s leading DNA scientists has been lodged with London Metropolitan Police for access to 18 complex DNA samples which are potentially loaded with vital clues about Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.
There is hope that Dr Mark Perlin’s powerful computational DNA testing methods could blow open the cold case by successfully cracking the 18 samples which frustratingly stumped a UK lab in 2007.
In Dr Perlin’s email to Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, who heads up Operation Grange, the UK strike force investigating Madeleine’s disappearance, he confirmed he would conduct analysis of the 18 samples for no cost. Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange, launched in 2011, has cost British taxpayers more than $20 million and it has recently requested further funding from the UK Home Office.
April 6th, 2019
1. TWO FACE ANNIHILATION coming soon…
The Sun pretends here to analyse seven different theories about what happened to Madeleine McCann. In the middle of the list of seven theories is the theory of the lead detective. The Sun refers to this theory as a “crackpot” theory, the only one of the seven theories to be singled out in this manner. Why do you think that is? An unlikely theory, or a newspaper pandering to their cash cow?
April 4th, 2019
Commentary of the Chris Watts case courtesy of YouTube.
[Mrs Fenn] refers to the day of the 1st May 2007, when she was at home alone, at approximately 22.30 she heard a child cry, and that due the tone of the crying seemed to be a young child and not a baby of two years of age or younger. Apart from the crying that continued for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and which got louder and more expressive, the child shouted “Daddy, Daddy”, the witness had no doubt that the noise came from the floor below. At about 23.45, an hour and fifteen minutes after the crying began, she heard the parents arrive, she did not see them, but she heard the patio doors open, she was quite worried as the crying had gone on for more than an hour and had gradually got worse….That night [Fenn] contacted a friend called EDNA GLYN, who also lives in Praia da Luz, after 23.00, telling her about the situation…
Recently, however, speculation that he was actually killed accidentally by two boys playing with the gun have been fueled by the artist Julian Schnabeland the screenwriter of Schnabel’s Van Gogh biopic At Eternity’s Gate. The pair believe that the number of paintings the artist produced in his final months does not match up to someone who was suicidally depressed, and their film shows this alternative ending to the troubled artist’s storied career.
But the auction house dismisses this suggestion. “The new theory about the killing is based on testimonies given several years after Van Gogh’s death,” the AuctionArt spokesperson says. “It has been deeply criticized by all the Van Gogh specialists, among them the Van Gogh Museum and Alain Rohan, who wrote a book about the gun.”
€40,000–60,000 is on the line if the weapon was used by Van Gogh in a self-inflicted gunshot. And if he was murdered? How much would the gun be worth then? Double? Or zero?
Van Gogh was MURDERED, says forensic expert – Daily Mail
Van Gogh’s death still controversial – TulsaWorld
Art experts are squabbling over whether a set of previously unpublished drawings are the work of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam says the sketches are complete fakes. Welsh-Ovcharov, a Canadian professor of art history and Van Gogh specialist, told reporters she was convinced the sketches were authentic, describing the discovery as an “OMG moment.”
“I started to look through all the drawings and each one had his fingerprint,” she said. But according to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, they are mere imitations and contain no trace of the Dutch master.
Is this newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook real? The Van Gogh Museum thinks they’re not. Which is a relief. It would have been a truly shocking revelation if they had been genuine: that Vincent could be this bad – The Spectator
April 2nd, 2019
1. “Insider ” from Chris Watts jail
April 1st, 2019
- “But…it was like insanely fast [the pregnancy]. I give it that…” – Chris Watts
What’s not in the shadows.
View this post on Instagram
Happy birthday Vincent Van Gogh! 🎨 He was born #onthisday in 1853, Zundert, The Netherlands. Van Gogh's color expressed his emotions as he responded to the world. His brushstrokes of thick, opaque paint almost seem drawn. His often violently interacting colors and forms and strong expressive line influenced nearly every artistic movement that came after him. View the iconic “Irises” at the Getty Center in gallery W204. Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh. Oil on canvas #getty #gettymuseum #art #arthistory #vincentvangogh #paintings #netherlands #color #nature #flowers #irises