It was Chris Watt’s high school teacher, Joe Duty, who first revealed on August 16th where his former pupil grew up – Vass Road on the outskirts of a small town called Spring Lake, in North Carolina. The question until now has been exactly where – which house – on Vass Road?
Thanks to a tip left overnight on a post dedicated to where Watts grew up on Vass Road, that mystery has been solved. The tip turns out to be correct. Although it was obvious that the houses up and down Vass Road are modest, especially compared to the mint-new two story mansion + basement the Watts family were living in on Saratoga Trail, it was important to establish the specific house.
And now we have.
Before I take you through the corroboration process, let’s zoom in on the house in question.
Now the street view. Below, that’s the view from 1107 Vass Road across the street. One of the neighbors appears to be fairly well off; they even have a boat, and a decent-sized home. The house next door with the collapsed boundary fence is in less great shape.
Also, notice the 45 mph sign beside the road.
This is the Watts home seen from Vass Road
It appears to be single story, and it’s so small it’s barely visible behind a single large tree. Notice the drainage ditch in the foreground, on either side of the driveway.
Below is the same image zoomed in slightly.
Is that a temporary pool peeking out of the back garden? Are those pink and green shapes kids’ cars?
Now the confirmation. The mail box has the word WATTS printed in white letters on it right outside the house. Again, notice the drainage ditch behind the mailbox.
Below is a photo taken by Shan’ann of Ronnie Watts, Chris Watts’ father shoveling silt and dirt from the drainage channel in front of the Watts family home on Vass Road.
Notice the 45 mph sign behind him, the redbrick house with white pillars, and the collapsed boundary fence in the right corner.
Shan’ann posted a picture of Ronnie inside the house on Saratoga Trail on Father’s Day June 27th, 2018.
Both Shan’ann’s dad Frank and his son Frankie commented on the post, wishing their brother and father-in-law respectively a Happy Father’s Day. It’s not clear whether Chris Watts or Ronnie responded. If they did their responses have been removed.
Why does the house on Vass Road matter? In TWO FACE I fielded a theory that Chris Watts [and Shan’ann to some extent] had come from very humble beginnings. Nothing wrong with that. But when contrasting those humble beginnings with the picture-postcard fairy tale house they were living in in Frederick, then those humble beginnings do matter.
They matter because they ask a few ordinary and obvious questions:
- Were the Watts family living beyond their means?
- How far beyond their means were they living?
We didn’t really need to see this house to know the answer. The bankruptcy filing in 2015 and the Watts’ colossal debt answers these questions definitively. But seeing the house raises the spectre that regardless whether Chris Watts could afford the house or not, whether he deserved it or not, one can see how much he was likely to want to hold onto the new house, no matter what.
What do you think? Did the big fairy tale house in the prairie play into the motive to murder?
More on this subject: Getting to know Hair Jazz, Shan’ann’s mother’s work place in Aberdeen, and the surrounding neighborhood