Why were the Watts Family Finances in Ruins?

While researching TWO FACE ANNIHILATION it’s become more and more obvious what’s missing from the Second Confession. The word “finances” appears just once, on page 17 of the CBI Report.

Ever since he sold his 4-wheeler for less than what he owed on it, Shan’ann wouldn’t let him do anything with their finances.

The word “debt” appears on the same page which deals with the cops quizzing Watts directly about the business of selling the house. Also a single instance of that word.

Most of the bankruptcy dealt with credit card debt from their wedding.

The word “money” also appears only one time on page 21.

His mother initially believed his father was having an affair because he couldn’t account for missing money.

Many are uncomfortable assigning blame – one way or another – for why these horrific murders took place. Are we less uncomfortable assigning blame for the financial mess they were in?

Although it’s clear Watts didn’t take much if any responsibility for his own finances [and only he is to blame for that], the fact that Shan’ann took control didn’t make matters any better. It also seems having gone bankrupt once before hadn’t been much of a check on whatever was going wrong behind-the-scenes.

Personally I don’t think it’s helpful taking sides in the financial equation either, as regards the Watts. Whether we say it was all Shan’ann’s fault, or all his fault, or that they were both at fault, the fact remains that a financial malaise appeared to hang over them – like a dark cloud – from as early as the beginning of their marriage. Why?

What seems to me to be more helpful is to understand how human psychology, with all its flaws and idiosyncrasies, plays into a pattern that adds up either to financial gain or ruin. It also seems reductionist to simply blame MLM. How is it to blame?

Today on a television show dealing with budgeting advice, I caught a clip by Maya Fisher-French, an award-winning financial journalist, that I thought really resonated with the Watts story.

Fisher-French was making a simple but profound observation about how human psychology plays into our approach to money through our sense of fulfillment, and overall gratification.

Her point was that when we try to save, we tend to focus on denying ourselves small things. We may scrimp on a latte, or hold ourselves back from buying a candy bar. We may – like Shan’ann – elect to choose a cheaper meal at a cheaper restaurant.

Fisher-French’s point is that when we reward ourselves, we do so disproportionately, spending thousands on a holiday, or hundreds on new outfits.

We can see how the Watts household was geared towards making small savings in certain areas [order your free Thrive pack today, at a discount], while splurging in other areas: a really big house, an expensive car, one exotic holiday after another.

The damaging thing about MLM is that it encourages exactly these enormous extravagances, and links them to the idea of “Thriving”, and having a better sense of self.

l

It even reverses the idea of saving in small doses by overpricing their products, and then simultaneously offering “unbeatable” bargains and discounts.

MLM’s message is you can live in a castle! You can have the luxury car! You can travel to your heart’s content! Don’t let anything [like not being able to afford it] stop you because you deserve it!

Fisher-French’s advice is to make a list of those things we deny ourselves on a daily basis that “hurt”, like that extra spoon of sugar in our coffee, or a dessert at a restaurant, and swap that around with our unworkable and unaffordable reward system.

She recommends saving on the big things rather than scrimping on the little ones as a more effective way of staying financially safe and sound. The idea is to connect our sense-of-self to daily, ordinary things, rather than to attach ourselves to bigger, unrealistic extravagances. In other words, financially we need to occupy and live in the real world.

housing-crisis-cartoon2-390x220

“It’s just as much his fault as hers that their finances are in a shambles…”

A lot of mystery and intrigue surrounds the Watts family finances, particularly on Shan’ann’s side. Although we don’t know the numbers, Shan’ann’s Facebook provides an almost infinite portrait of Shan’ann’s work ethic, lifestyle choices and product choices.

Without knowing the numbers exactly, we can be pretty clear what was going on behind the scenes in the Watts family.

I expect this to be a controversial post, with many dismissing whatever is written here with the “Victim Blaming” label, simply because as far as the finances were concerned, Watts was clearly the true breadwinner of the couple.

There’s a caveat to this, but before dealing with that aspect, let’s examine a few undisputed facts, all of which are anchored in the legal realities of the Discovery Documents:

  1. In August 2018, whatever the circumstances were prior, the loan on 2825 Saratoga Trail was in the name of Chris Watts. We know this because Shan’ann herself said so in a text on August 8th. This suggests Shan’ann’s credit was curtailed in some significant way. Fullscreen capture 20190206 131230
  2. The credit cards of the entire household were also curtailed. When a transaction went off on the morning of the murder, irrespective of who authorized it, it bounced.Fullscreen capture 20190206 132009
  3. Watts seemed to function largely without credit cards, certainly in terms of his affair with Kessinger. Although one reason was likely to keep the relationship secret, another may have been that they simply didn’t have any credit, or if they did, they had very little. He mostly used prepaid gift cards to pay for Kessinger but on Saturday night, August 11, Watts broke his own rule regarding this and used Shan’ann’s Baby Blue Credit card, which alerted Shan’ann to the expense. This may have been because by then Watts had burned through his last gift card.Fullscreen capture 20190206 134811
  4. Neither Chris Watts nor Shan’ann actually owned a vehicle. The truck was a work vehicle [which Watts wasn’t allowed to drive on personal errands] and the Lexus was a lease.Fullscreen capture 20190206 132126
  5. There is no doubt that Shan’ann wore the pants in the household, and this included maintaining absolute control over the finances.Fullscreen capture 20190206 132854

These are the facts, but the bottom line is the Watts couple were in serious financial difficulty by August 2018, and for the second time in three years. This time, the difficulties were compounded by a third pregnancy, an affair, and the imminent threat of the family losing their home because of a debt spiral they would not acknowledge, and this time, could not escape.

844249761

So how did this financial disaster double act actually happen?

Because of a kind of “tunnel vision” regarding the Watts case, many are disinclined to acknowledge any flaw or failure on Shan’ann’s part. It’s disrespectful to criticize her in any shape or form [so the argument goes] because she’d dead, didn’t deserve to die no matter what, and can’t defend herself from beyond the grave.

But the question here is what was the true state of the finances? There is none better than Shan’ann to tell us about this, and she does. She can; even from beyond the grave.

We have her own texts and behaviors to work from in the final days.

Fullscreen capture 20190206 133839

When Watts spent $62 at a restaurant on Saturday night, August 11, Shan’ann’s phone alerted to the purchase and Shan’ann freaked out. She went into emergency mode, battening down the hatches, Googling menus, checking prices, and giving her husband instructions to keep the receipt for the meal. Fullscreen capture 20181213 175839Although this was a symptom of Shan’ann checking on her husband’s fidelity [and her suspicions were valid] we shouldn’t miss the mechanism that this takes – the finances. Shan’ann’s surveillance of her husband is done via financial vigilance. And if this meticulous financial oversight of a restaurant bill [while she was on a trip in Arizona, also eating at restaurants and Thrivin’] wasn’t a sign to her friends and companions that the Watts family were stressed financially, what would be?

Nickole Atkinson was aware that Shan’ann was careful about expenditures, choosing cheaper restaurants,  while at the same time, sending her children to a school Nickole herself considered unaffordable for Shan’ann.

We know that at the same time the girls were going to be back at $500-a-week Primrose school, Watts [not his wife, not him and Shan’ann, just him] was facing a mortgage payment of $1700 that he simply could not meet, and he was already three months behind.Fullscreen capture 20190206 133128

Fullscreen capture 20190206 133235

Someone else’s debts are easily dismissed.  It’s easy to treat someone else’s mortgage and credit card impairment as passé. When it’s yours, it’s less easy to be that laissez faire about it, isn’t it?

Now imagine you do care about your debt, and you do care about losing your house, and losing everything, but someone else is in control of your money [your salary, the bank account, even the actual state of your financial situation]. And no matter how much you try to address it, nothing changes. Someone else remains in control and the situation simply continues to unravel. Well, that was the situation in the Watts family.

In any scenario where a couple have no money and there is a pregnancy, there is an automatic crisis. We see it with teenagers and unplanned pregnancies all the time. The difference was that the financial side of Watts fairy tale appeared to be there when in reality, in 2018, it was little more than a facade. Now why might this be?

Shan’ann’s approach to the finances seemed to be not 100% grounded in reality, just as Thrive and MLMs in general are not 100% grounded in reality [to put it mildly].

Perhaps Shan’ann’s attachment to MLM had a lot to do with a delusion about the true state of her marriage and their finances. People who sell for a living, and marketers, are incentivized to make believers out of their buyers. To sell they must be confident and convincing, and the best way to do that is to believe their own bullshit. When it comes to MLM, this stereotype of brain addled huns drunk on the same Kool-Aid is so common it’s cliche.

But making the sale is one thing, believing you’re sitting on a pot of gold when it’s actually a pile of shit is another situation altogether. In the Watts household, it didn’t just happen. It took two-and-a-half years for the debt bubble to balloon into a debt mountain of steaming dung. Sometimes debt can be like a nightmare. Sometimes one’s own debts can just feel like someone else’s, or simply hypothetical, especially when one’s escaped or wriggled out of a tight financial impasse before.

Typically, phantom money exists around fake people.

In this fakery, both Watts and his wife appeared to be complicit. Neither really told their friends about their financial problems, and yet their friends and colleagues seemed to know there were financial problems regardless.

What their friends said:

Fullscreen capture 20190206 132919Fullscreen capture 20190206 133657Fullscreen capture 20190206 133541Fullscreen capture 20190206 133444Fullscreen capture 20190206 133517

In all the text messages during the weeks prior to the murders, the issue of financial strain seems to be the one thing Watts and his wife never brought up, and never argued about. Unless this aspect has been selectively excised from both their phones.

More likely though, neither were particularly focused on the finances until it was too late. Watts may or may not have been misled or kept in the dark about their money, something that may have been an error, a weakness, a misrepresentation or a manipulation [or a combination of all of these] from his wife.

There appears to be some evidence not only of financial mismanagement in Shan’ann’s past, but possible dishonesty and criminality.

Fullscreen capture 20190206 133612

The same can also be said about Watts, who, if Trent Bolte’s accusations are true, Watts was spending money on male hookers and buying him botox treatments. Even if Bolte’s allegations aren’t true, we know Watts was conducting an affair when – financially if not otherwise – he could least afford it.

Probably the best insight we get into the Watts finances is from a source almost everyone dismisses as either unreliable or just plain evil. Nichol Kessinger. By judging her in this manner, an entire line of evidence is simply lost. In terms of finances, and narcissism, Kessinger is one of very few characters in this true crime story that had no debt and wasn’t pitching herself across the suburbs and rooftops of social media.

From Kessinger we find:

Fullscreen capture 20190206 131116

Fullscreen capture 20190206 133015-001

In sum we can see that both Chris and Shan’ann Watts hid the true nature of their finances from the rest of the world. They both seemed to be actively hiding other things too, for various reasons [for him the affair, for her the Thriving fakery and the true nature of her marriage].

Isn’t it ironic that both were arguing about when to “reveal” the gender of the third baby at the time of the murders? Forget about the fact that it was about the baby, or the baby’s gender, it was a conflict about when to make known something…

If Shan’ann’s side of the income equation was shaky, and I believe it was, that doesn’t make her completely and utterly responsible for the financial mess they were in, but it sure did aggravate it. Unfortunately, because the Watts case never made it to trial, we’ll never know just how much “aggravation” Shan’ann’s MLM addiction caused the marriage, and sadly, millions of Americans caught up in MLM will have to learn their lessons firsthand – the hard way.

Ultimately, whether he was pushed, misinformed, stupid, or simply not paying attention, Watts was responsible for allowing things to get as out of hand – financially – as they got. Lest we forget, Watts was a participant in the Thrive thing as well, albeit a rather lackluster extra in his own Thrive spiel.shanann-watts-51

He ought to have taken control of the MLM train wreck sooner. He would have had he been more hands-on and informed about the practical financial realities they faced. Had he been more hands on he would have learned from the first financial disaster and not pursued a third pregnancy.

The purchase of the big house was the main millstone around their necks. Simultaneously, thanks to the health of the housing market, disposing of the house was their potential salvation. Watts may have felt justified in only saving himself financially, since Shan’ann couldn’t be saved [in his mind], but he conflated financial ruin and resurrection with murder and death.

While all of this is true, it should be noted that things spun out of control [financially] in the final few months before the murders. While Shan’ann was in North Carolina, Watts was falling in love. It’s possible the debt monster when it hit seemed to come out of left field.

An aspect almost everyone seems to have missed is that Kessinger likely made Watts not only aware of the true state of his deleterious financial situation, but pushed him to be responsive to it.

Neither saw it coming when the financial tsunami hit, but when it did, Watts panicked. He didn’t panic in a vacuum – probably he blamed Shan’ann [and possible the children too] for “ruining” his life. Financially, that is.

alimony-guage-pic-opti

The Atkinson Transcripts – Watts told Nickole on Monday morning: “Would you please leave and quit messing with my doors?” [#12 of 15]

On the night of August 14, CBI agent Greg Zentner was dispatched to Boulder to interview the most crucial witness in the Watts case. The transcript below is an excerpt from a 72 page document spanning 3223 lines of text.

CrimeRocket is the first to reproduce and analyze this critical transcript in-depth. The entire transcript has been broken down into 15 sections.

The twelfth part includes:

  • While the whole Watts family was in North Carolina in early August, Nickole collected the mail. She was surprised by how much it was, most it apparently bills and expenses. It’s possible when Shan’ann was in North Carolina without Watts, he collected the mail and he was unpleasantly surprised.
  • Shan’ann saved around $2 500 during the five weeks the kids were in North Carolina and not in school.
  • Curiously though Shan’ann often claimed she was a stay at home mom during her promotions, Nickole suggests both girls were at school five days a week.

fullscreencapture20190201073737fullscreencapture20190201074113fullscreencapture20190201074400fullscreencapture20190201074731

The audio for the above transcript is available here.

The thirteenth part deals with Shan’ann buying Watts a book and writing him a love letter.fullscreencapture20181205072638

Guest Post: Pondering the financial angle

In true crime we often don’t see the wood for the trees. It’s always useful to get some perspective on what we’re looking at, and to make sure we’re not too close to or familiar with our case, by looking elsewhere [either the real world or other analogous true crime cases].

This post by Ralph Oscar does that. It not only humanizes Shan’ann and Chris Watts financial circumstances, but personalizes how they may have responded to them:

I was pondering the financial angle, which I feel is the wild, drunken elephant in the room in this case. I was talking to a new acquaintance online, who revealed that he was twice divorced. Something he said brought to mind the Watts case, and so I’ve been quizzing him about the finances of divorce 

He and his first wife divorced in a state with *permanent* alimony. Even though his ex now has a really good tech sector job, he still must pay her alimony. He’s asked if they can change this; she says no. Who would turn down free money? He remarried, had two daughters. His financial situation has never recovered – he’s been unable to set aside anything for his two daughters’ college. He lives paycheck to paycheck, and meanwhile, there sits his first wife, who is earning good money, receiving permanent alimony. He describes the two divorces with child support/alimony leaving him with “virtually nothing”. Some of his observations:

“It’s virtually impossible to stop or modify the alimony as long as she wants it. I’d attempt to talk to her and she’d say things like ‘would you stop taking money if you didn’t have to?’”

“It can get pretty bad financially when you’re busting your ass at work and doing well but still taking home as much as if you were working for minimum wage. The wife getting alimony … lives in a paid off home with her mom.”

“Meanwhile I can’t save to retire although I can modify or stop the alimony when I’m ready to. The catch 22 is that I can’t save to retire but that’s the only way to stop it.”

“Many angry men and a few women in my shoes. Very frustrating but you need to make it work somehow.”

“I can’t honestly relate to the idea of killing someone to avoid giving them money but I do understand how another might get there. I also can’t honestly say I’d mourn her passing if that did happen. I’ve joked about loosening the lugs on her car wheels but that’s just out of frustration, etc.”

“I haven’t been able to recover financially. I’ve gotten raises at work and the dollar amount of my commissions increase but never enough to pay bills without having anxiety about next week or next month.”

“I had two daughters with my second wife and haven’t been able to save anything towards college.”

“The person making the payments becomes nothing more than a source to enable the other to be ok with no consideration regarding its affect on the payer.”

“The ex who receives the alimony seems to feel fully entitled to my money to this day. If I bring it up in any shape or form she will move away or discontinue the conversation immediately.”

alimony-guage-pic-opti

While Colorado is not a permanent alimony state, in 2014 a new law went into effect that prescribed a formula for how to determine spousal maintenance payments: 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income minus 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income. Shan’Ann would finally have incentive to come clean about how much she was *not* making on her “business”, or at least there would finally be an accounting of just how much it was *costing* her to make that income amount (which means that’s not the actual income). If she’d been making $80K/yr in actual income, they’d have been paying their bills. That’s all there is to it.

fullscreen capture 20190128 113309

While my acquaintance would never countenance murder (he has two daughters from that first marriage), he is clear that the financial fallout of his two divorces, particularly that first one with the permanent alimony, has changed his life for the worse. His perspective is that the financial situation for the Watts family was likely a very important factor in Chris Watts’ deciding to do what he did.

If Chris and Shan’Ann had won the lottery the day before the murders, I’m confident there wouldn’t have been any murders.

49855666_253586518871615_8152663198500126720_n

Nichol Kessinger asked Watts: “Is your lifestyle sustainable?”

My impression, both on this site and the social media I’ve seen, is that folks are so busy trashing Nichol Kessinger, they’re no longer trying to figure out what insight she provides into Watts and Shan’ann.

Just prior to the two minute mark in the clip below, Kessinger covers a particularly murky area in the Watts case – the family finances. The mistress was privy to the Watts’ financial set up, but like everyone else, she was only provided a limited view.

Eventually [not knowing about their bankruptcy in 2015], Kessinger asked Watts:

“Is your lifestyle sustainable?”

If Shan’ann had been asked the same question [by anyone], how would she have answered?

At 01:14 Kessinger is asked she ever saw Watts’ bedroom basement setup.

KESSINGER: Yeah, I went down there and saw his little…work out equipment, and there’s a bed down there…all set up. It’s all clean and organized. Um…like a decent bed setup. 

An Idiot’s Guide to the Watts Family Finances

We ought to do our due diligence in the Watts case, and figure out the finances. How was responsible for what? What financial storms were barreling over the Colorado plains that summer for this picture-perfect family from North Carolina?

As an initial point, in the 2015 Bankruptcy Filing, under the heading DEED OF TRUST FOR PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE, a black rectangle censors out a space. Does the blacked out space cover one name or two?

Fullscreen capture 20181010 130232

I know something about economics, but I don’t claim to be an expert on the subtleties behind income statements and balance sheets. Over the past few days I’ve approached three expert friends of mine – an accountant, a banker and a guy with a successful debt collection business – and asked them to prognosticate on the Watts family finances, including the 2015 Filing. I’m still waiting to hear back from all three of them. Other people’s money, it seems, is seldom as simple, straightforward or easy as it looks.

While we’re waiting for the experts to pronounce on those finances, let’s begin by stating the obvious in three areas:

1) What did the Watts themselves believe about their financial ability? 2) How were they living in 2018 compared to 2015 [during their first bankruptcy filing]? 3) What are the relative histories of Shan’ann and Chris Watts towards money and debt over time?

1) What did the Watts themselves believe about their financial ability?

Shan’ann uses the same language over and over again in all her promotional videos. A product is seriously “amazing” and “incredible”, we’re told, and her fellow promoters breathlessly repeat the same empty aphorisms. We never really find out why Thrive is such a gamechanging life changing product. As amazing as it is, it’s amazingly thin on facts, stats and real information, and incredibly fat on fancy packaging, branding and promotion.

There are endless character witnesses just like Shan’ann telling the world of Facebook – anyone dumb enough to listen – how amazing they feel, how good they look, what cars they’re driving, what holidays they took and of course what to do to join the Thrivin’ to make it all a better world for everyone.

The product [like the money in this game] is just a byproduct to living the Thrivin’ fairy tale. Nobody really cares about the product on their way to financial wellness. Well, only in a fairy tale business is the product itself a fiction and a fairy tale, and only real world flakes invest in fictitious finance.

During the above call Shan’ann refers to someone on her team earning a $200 000 bonus, someone else a $1 million bonus. These massive sums are presumably amounts extra over commissions, incomes and salaries. If so, it seems being part of the Thrivin’ thing means being awash with cash, doesn’t it?

So why wasn’t Shan’ann cash flush two years into her swim in the MLM Kool-Aid? Or was her marriage in trouble not because of financial strain, not because of the enormous debt they still carried three years later, but other factors?

Let’s consider for the moment that their finances were going down the drain. Being involved in MLM tends not to be a success story for 99% of people who do get involved, so the idea isn’t far-fetched.

The massive cash payouts Shan’ann was referring to in the clip above sounds and feels almost like a lottery, doesn’t it. Is it performance based or random?

Where this phantom money is supposed to come from is beyond me, but to MLM it doesn’t manner. The pyramid will fart it out. Who cares about the marginal economics of patches and powders, or how many of these bandaids must be actually purchased and recycled by those drinking the Kool-Aid to produce an excess – who cares about that when what matters is getting the bonus!

The extent of Shan’ann’s “investment” if that’s the word, in MLM provides some idea about just how poor her grasp was of business, economics, income or simply making ends meet.

If Shan’ann was drowning in Kool-Aid, Chris Watts was also taking glugs and gulps at the font of the barrel. If he wasn’t drunk on the Kool-Aid, he was certainly susceptible to its hypnotic pull.

The Watts family were in a real sense the intellectual inheritors of the housing bubble. In other words, they believed wealth could be conjured [like bubbles] out of thin air. Straw woven into gold with a few careful chosen words/incantations on social media.

The problem with bubbles is the same problem with fairy tales – when they pop, you find yourself in the real world, but this time the wolf barking at the door is real.

2) How were they living in 2018 compared to 2015?

In the video clip above Shan’ann appears to say [at about the 5 minute mark] that “they” have donated $500 000 to breast cancer awareness over the past two years, and are “shooting for” $500 000 “in this year alone”. What she means is the entire company has donated money. In 2015 Le-Vel donated $250 000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation via the proceeds of it’s “Limited edition breast cancer DFT” [whatever that is].

Le-Vel Brands Donation

I haven’t been able to find any further evidence of additional donations to Breast Cancer Awareness besides this. If there are, drop me a line in the comments below.

The point is, the donation isn’t really anything else besides the company using it’s own promoters to raise money for charity through their own sales to one another “for a good cause”.

If the Watts family were Thrivin’ in 2017 and 2018, had they been able to address their debt burden, or had it gotten infinitely worse?

We don’t need an intimate knowledge of their finances to know that three years after filing for bankruptcy, it may not have been the best idea to have a third child. The original bankruptcy filing noted as much, stating in 2015 that the financial conditions of the family were likely to worsen after 2015 as Shan’ann was pregnant with her second child.

Fullscreen capture 20180910 084301

It should also be noted that Chris was driving a fairly beat up old truck in 2018. Hadn’t he qualified for a luxury auto bonus somewhere down the line? So why was he stuck in 2018 driving a company car, a fleet vehicle?

Fullscreen capture 20181010 232125

Fullscreen capture 20181010 232233Fullscreen capture 20181010 232242

3) What are the relative histories of Shan’ann and Chris Watts towards money and debt over time?

This is the critical question. In a prior post we saw the backstories of Shan’ann and Chris Watts, and the sort of home they grew up in and lived in over the years. Shan’ann’s from a humble background. Her mother is a hairdresser, her father and brother are carpenters. Chris Watts is a mechanic from humble roots too. So how was money conjured into a $400 000 mansion on spiffy Saratoga Trail?

Now, remember that blacked out rectangle we looked at a moment ago? According to research done by one commenter on this site [thanks Cheryl]:

In terms of deed information the header for 2825 Saratoga reads:

“Two deed records were found on this property.” Underneath that header in this order is the following information:

Ownership Change: June 4, 2013
From: Christoper L. Watts to Christopher L. Watts and Shanann Watts (there is no loan information here, indicating the property was not refinanced; the June 4 activity indicates the addition of Shanann’s name to the deed only.)

Ownership Change: May 1, 2013
From KDB Homes, Inc. to Christopher L. Watts

Lender: DHI Mortgage
Loan Amount: $392,709
Lender Type: Mortgage Company
Loan Type: Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
Line of Credit: 0 Credit Line

Given what we know about the North Carolina house she owned and her selling it with all the furnishings, I would have to think she was in significant financial trouble (probably behind on mortgage payments) and couldn’t qualify for a loan…in 2013, when lending had really tightened due to the housing debacle. Assuming Chris’s credit was good, they probably had a better chance of obtaining a loan under his name only. Perhaps the idea was to jointly refinance the home later on, so that Shanann would be on both the deed and the loan. Since their finances went downhill after 2013, I imagine this was not a possibility. They certainly couldn’t take advantage of the rock-bottom interest rates that were available around the time they filed bankruptcy.

…What’s interesting about this is I think you can be on the deed without having to be on the loan, which means Chris may have been solely responsible for the loan while Shan’ann enjoyed half ownership of the house without the financial responsibility.

As their finances unraveled resulting in the 2015 bankruptcy coupled with what seems like continuing financial problems after that, the birth of two children, Shan’ann’s quitting her job to stay at home with the kids, unreliable income from Thrive, and then a third child on the way, I can only imagine the level of rancor this created in the Watts household, especially with Chris. It would also support Chris’s possibly having a sense of entitlement (literally and figuratively) to the home, thereby underscoring Chris’s wanting sole possession of 2825 Saratoga as a primary motivation for the murders. On the other hand, if Chris had no way to retain the home, his murdering Shan’ann could have been revenge for losing the home and compromising Chris’s credit–Chris had mentioned to a neighbor they were considering selling the home. Anyway, something to think about..

There’s also a third possibility. By getting rid of the straws that were breaking the camel’s back, Chris Watts may have figured he could cut his losses and replace his family [especially his wife] with a more viable family.  Perhaps he could move in a girlfriend who had a half-decent paying job like his, and together they could get real about keeping the dream house and at least have a chance in paying it off.

In the post unequally yoked I touched on this aspect. The money train, debt and the idea of being yoked isn’t as sexy, apparently, as reading about a mistress. Like Shan’ann, the mistress may have been a means to an end, the end being keeping the fairy tale going at all costs. For Chris Watts the fairy tale was the house, not what was in it.

fullscreen-capture-20181009-1138421.jpg