The Chris Watts Story – Lifetime Movie Coming Soon

It’s interesting that Lifetime will be chronicling the months leading up to the crime, in an effort to piece together the motive. It remains to be seen how closely the script will follow the #1yearagotodayCW timeline, but if it does it may well clarify rather than cloud the premeditation narrative.

According to People:

Sean Kleier (Odd Mom Out) has been cast as Chris, Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother), as Shanann and Brooke Smith (Bates Motel, Ray Donovan) as FBI agent Tammy Lee. Sony Pictures Television is producing the film for Lifetime.

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Have a look at the trailers below for an idea of what to expect from Lifetime.

More: Lifetime Greenlights THE CHRIS WATTS STORY

Lifetime Announces Movie About Chris Watts 1 Year After He Murdered His Wife and 2 Daughters

TWO FACE: CHRIS WATTS – A CrimeRocket Production

CrimeRocket to do a Documentary Series on the Chris Watts Case

CrimeRocket.com ‘s coverage of the Chris Watts’ stands apart as the most comprehensive, accurate and compelling version of what actually played out on Sunday night and Monday morning in 2825 Saratoga Trail, Frederick Colorado on Agust 13th, 2018.

The TWO FACE book series is the definitive account of the Watts Family Murders. In spite of these efforts, the mainstream version of events continues to echo Watts’ dubious version . Weld County also appears content to recycle Watts’ doubtful version of events.

True crime documentaries like HLN’s Killer Dad and ID’sFamily Man, Family Murderer thus far have not even begun to scratch the surface, or interrogate the evidence, of what actually happened in the Watts case .

Isn’t it time a proper documentary, from someone with expert knowledge, covered the Chris Watts case?


MY PITCH

Since covering true crime as a full-time author, I’ve become increasingly appalled at the documentary coverage of high-profile cases. From cold cases like JonBenet Ramsey all the way to the latest documentaries on Chris Watts, the quality is invariably shabby. The producers seem to do little more than a tip-of-the-hat to the actual meat-and-potatoes of these cases.

A few years ago, I approached filmmakers and had several high-level discussions with a view to converting many of my crime narratives to the medium of television. In some cases they offered contracts to buy the rights to some of my books. In the end, I turned these down because I didn’t have confidence that any of these producers had close to a gut feel for how to go about rendering these narratives. The bigshots in the industry, with experience in the genre,  seemed to lack confidence in my work because it was self-published.

I also negotiated with a producer based in New York, affiliated with HBO. In 2018 a major American network stole major elements used in a narrative series. When confronted with these infringements, the network offered a licensing agreement, and agreed to credit my work, but refused to pay for their appropriation.

I’ve also spent some time reaching out to part-time podcasters and videographers. Thus far it’s been very stop-start. Some aren’t au fait with true crime, others who are have other jobs they do fulltime.

The best solution seems to be to write, produce and direct a documentary myself. I have photographic experience as former professional photojournalist for mainstream magazines.

I recently watched the excellent series on Netflix called The Family. All of it is based around the narrative of investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet. Sharlet produced the series and also appears in it to narrate the often complex backstory.

The way to go will involve starting up a GoFundMe with a goal of $50 000 in seed capital. This will involve travelling to the US, purchasing equipment and filming on location for 3-4 weeks. The documentary will be rooted in the research found on CrimeRocket, and throughout the TWO FACE series.

Who’s with me?

Share and spread the word at this link.

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One year after committing triple murder Chris Watts says he’s tormented by what’s he’s done – he’s not

Just one month ago – literally one month ago – on July 16th, Oxygen reported on Watts’ attitude to critics. This is what he said:

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You may recall six months ago, when Coder, Lee and Baumhover went down to Dodge Prison in Wisconsin, Watts had already forgiven himself. Thanks to God. This is what he said:

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It doesn’t sound like a guy that’s tormented by anything does it? In fact, Watts was so casual talking about what he did to his family, that has tormented the lead Detective into quitting. On his first morning back from that interview, Baumhover broke down sobbing, at his kitchen table. This was the first time Baumhover’s wife had ever seen him cry. If anyone’s torment in this case is real, it’s Baumhover’s.

One year after the Christopher Watts case

He’s quit his job becuase of the Watts case. He’s isolated himself. Watts is entertaining flocks of female fans and apparently working on a book.

Compare that to Watts who minutes after murdering and burying the bodies of his family, managed to work side-by-side with his colleagues, none of them suspecting anything. His Sermon on the Porch is Exhibit A in how nonchalant Watts was. Of all the people involved, including Nichol Kessinger, it’s fair to say Watts appeared to care the least about what had actually happened.

True remorse is when you shed a tear. When the emotion isn’t just visible, but visibly overwhelming. That’s the first part of it. True grief is when you’re honest about what you’ve done. The honesty exposes the grief, the true, real, raw emotions. You can’t have one without the other. We’ve never seen Watts truly break down. Although some will argue this point, we’ve never seen Watts be completely honest either. Probably, he doesn’t know how.

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The word forgive appears four times in the CBI Report. Watts even claimed that while he was murdering Shan’ann, she was praying for his forgiveness. If that’s not sick and twisted – and this is months after the incident, when he’s had time to figure things out – I don’t know what is. But it’s not the first time I’ve seen a murderer offer clemency to himself on behalf of his permanently silenced victim, the person he silenced.

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Watts is a liar and a murderer x three. He will always be. He lied to everyone. Please don’t be so naive to ever believe a murderer’s lies. Not all liars are murderers, but mark my works, all murderers are liars, through and through.

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Chris Watts: How bad journalism fucks up the true crime time machine

Over at CrimeRocket II I’ve been doing a day-by-day recap of this case [follow #1yearagotodayCW or on Twitter at #yearagotodayCW]. The time machine is a useful, and powerful methodology to analyze these cases, in particular the hard-to-see family dynamics.

Journalism is great when it’s providing reports at the time, especially in the hours and first few days after a crime. But then the media gets afflicted with its typical ADD and it becomes lazier and less effective over the long term. Over the even longer term, this laziness can lead to a lack of accuracy, and eventually can start to distort or impinge on the facts as they happened. Here’s a case in point.

Chris Watts Update: Neighbor Says They Seemed Like A ‘Normal, Everyday” Family – International Business Times

Going by the headline alone, this looks like a topical update, doesn’t it? Some new news on the Chris Watts case, right? The article is dated July 31st, 2019. In fact the article is recycled from an interview conducted more than six months earlier. CrimeRocket blogged about it at the time.

Dr Oz Interview with Chris Watts’ Neighbor Nate Trinastich: 5 Key Insights

Oxygen also covered it in mid-January 2019:

The Neighbor Who Suspected Chris Watts From The Beginning – Oxygen

And the source is here, which refers to the “original” airing in mid-January 2019:

What Drove Chris Watts to Kill His Family? – Dr. Oz

So what, you might say. An article was resuscitated and recycled six months later, what’s the big deal?

Just this:

In the interview, Trinastich explains that the Watts family seemed like a “normal, everyday” family.

“Shanann was always really friendly. She came over, welcomed us to the neighborhood. The girls were always running around laughing, having a great time,” Trinastich said on the show. Watts, on the other hand, had a different demeanor than Shanann, Trinastich explained. He said, Watts was “real quiet” and sometimes was somewhat “standoffish.”

“There were times where he just didn’t want to wave or didn’t want to say anything, but usually he was nice.” Trinastich told Dr. Oz that Watts and Shanann “didn’t fight any more than any other couple,” but because his home was close to theirs, he could often overhear their arguments.

“They had a couple confrontations that I happened to see, but it was never him being a big, huge monster,” he said. On the day that Shanann and her daughters were murdered, Trinastich can be heard telling police on bodycam footage, according to KCNC-TV, a CBS affiliate in Denver, that he “heard them full out screaming at each other at the top of their lungs.” Trinastich tells the police that Watts “gets crazy.” The couple reportedly was fighting over Watts’ wanting a divorce so he could be with his mistress.

Going by this article, apparently the neighbor thought it was normal for Watts to be standoffish. But it wasn’t normal. He was introverted, yes, but he only became standoffish towards his wife in the first week of August, a week before the murders, while he was in North Carolina [when the neighbor wasn’t present].

It’s also a misappropriation of the facts to say the couple “was reportedly” arguing because he wanted a divorce to be with his mistress. Shan’ann never knew about Kessinger. That was why she murdered – to prevent her from knowing.

In terms of the neighbor’s appropriation of the term, what’s more likely is that by January Trinastich had read some of the discovery, and perhaps heard some of the media reports himself, and so adopted this term standoffish.

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The term first enters the media narrative around August 21st, 2018 when Michelle Greer – who saw the couple in Myrtle Beach – thought Watts appeared standoffish.

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Then the Daily Beast [citing the Greer account], repeated it ten days later in an excellent article dated August 31st.

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There’s also Nickole Atkinson who, though she never uses the term standoffish, refers to the general theme of Watts not acting in a loving manner towards Shan’ann. The way ABC frames it [1:30 in this video], Shan’ann either told her this [which she did, and we know when she did] or Atkinson observed it firsthand [which she likely didn’t]. It’s unfortunate ABC aren’t more clear on the circumstances surrounding Nickole getting this insight.

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But there’s also another fairly obscure reference to standoffish. Guess where it comes from?

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The standoffish reference in WRAL.com’s account is from Aberdeen, North Carolina, and comes from inside Hair Jazz, the hairdresser where Shan’ann’s mother worked. Ironically it’s Sandi’s co-workers who’re telling the media that Watts appeared standoffish, not Sandi herself.

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The date of this article from WRAL.com is August 16th, just three days after the murder and a few hours after Watts’ arrest. It precedes all the media references mentioned above by at least 5 days.  It’s even possible Michele Greer, who lives in North Carolina, read or saw the local content and adopted the term herself. Other media rebroadcast this term, some swapping the word standoffish for aloof.

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In criminal psychology semantics matter, and there is a world of difference between standoffish [which is distancing] and aloof [which can mean arrogant, which Watts was not, certainly not in an obvious way].

Taken together, what does this all mean? It means the standoffishness took root in North Carolina. This also suggests the premeditation began to germinate there. By quoting, misquoting or appropriating these words, the media collaborate in muddying the timeline, and making it harder to see when things happened. Eventually the narrative becomes so polluted by this mixing process, it requires a True Crime Rocket Scientist to unravel it.

“I wonder if, on August 13, 2019, they will try to recreate the events in the driveway. What time is sunrise in Colorado on this date? Can this have an effect on shadows? Is that why the auction has been postponed?”

The above quotation is from a reader’s comment, thank you. Quite correct. If I was in Colorado, that’s what I would do. But will the investigators? Are the Weld County investigators still scratching their heads about this case.?

One can really not over-emphasize the importance of simulating a crime scene in real time. There are often many subtleties and ordinary realities that one overlooks.

In the Watts case there are several light sources to consider, along with the slight concave slope of the driveway and small groves in the cement [running vertically and diagonally] to consider.

Now that we’re on the subject, it should also be noted that the Lexus was parked on the left side inside the garage. Since Watts backed up his truck so that it was slightly in the garage, it stands to reason the truck was parked to the right of the Lexus [in terms of the driveway]. This is difficult to see from the tight angle of Trinatich’s video camera, and with the tree obscuring the view.

But we can see even when Nickole Atkinson parked on the driveway, she parked relatively more on the right side. We also know Watts carried a gas can with plenty of space between the tree and the side of the truck facing the tree and camera.

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When we look at the idiosyncrasies on the driveway, where are they?

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And we can see from the shadows of the defense team carrying the containers, the legs are almost invisible from the perspective of the road, while the containers are larger than the actual figures. if someone bent down to lift one of those containers off the ground and transfer it to the back seat [while several light sources were shining from the front and behind], we can see how it may appear as something moving forward of its own accord.

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Incidentally, sunrise in Colorado on August 13th, 2018 is 06:10 sharp. Watts backed his truck into the driveway approximately an hour earlier, at around 05:18 and left the scene at 05:46, 24 minutes before dawn broke.

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