This is the moment Watts hands over his phone to the FBI

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18 minutes before Nick Thayer’s text – sent from the parking lot of the Frederick Police Department – Watts handed over his phone to the FBI. Watch that moment here.

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This means Thayer’s text came through when Watts no longer had his handset with him. It was the best advice he ever got, from anyone. Approximately an hour after giving up his phone, and half an hour after Thayer’s text, Watts had already consented to give a polygraph.

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Ready for a Chris Watts Magic Trick?

Keep an eye on the loft railing in the video clip below [move the slider to approximately 22:48]. Watts doesn’t appear to have Shan’ann’s phone in either of his hands.

Coonrod then enters both of the children’s bedrooms. When he turns Shan’ann’s phone is suddenly right there on the railing.

Who put it there? And why not hand it directly to the police officer?

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Two Big Clues Suggesting the Little Girls Were Murdered First

Sometimes what we don’t know isn’t Rocket Science. It’s obvious. Sometimes it’s so obvious we miss it. There are two big contextual clues [besides the premeditated psychology of this crime] that strongly suggest Watts murdered his children before his wife returned home that night.

The second clue involves a throwaway remark from Nichol Kessinger, the last person Watts spoke to before killing his wife [a much under-appreciated, under-estimated and under-reported fact].

Kessinger told CBI Agent Koback that she heard a television blaring loudly in the background during her 111 minute call with him on Sunday night. Since there was no television in the basement, the television was likely the loft lounge or in the main bedroom [although he could also have been the television in the downstairs lounge].

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This was very odd behavior for Watts, particularly because his children were such light sleepers. Even pulling the car out from the garage in the morning was liable to wake them up.

This suggests prior to the 21:00 call with Kessinger, the children were already dead which is also – perhaps – what allowed him to make such a long call without any threat of interruption or distraction from their waking up and needing him for any reason.

There is another even stronger indicator that the children were murdered on the 12th, and it shifts the timeline even earlier. Do you know what it is?

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August 14 02:00 call between Officer Ed Goodman and Chris Watts [46th Tranche]

When Goodman calls Chris Watts [several times] at around 02:00 in the morning, Watts is there, and initially it sounds like he’s talking to someone else in the background.

We know at around this time Watts and Kessinger were talking, and possibly communicating on FaceTime during Goodman’s call.

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When Watts calls Goodman back it doesn’t sound like he’s been sleeping, or that he’d just woken up. He’s also very matter-of-fact as he runs through the weight, height etc of his three murder victims. He’s sufficiently awake to know these numbers off the top of his head.

Goodman notes the following in his report [Discovery Documents page 67]:

It should be mentioned that once I had made contact with Christopher, he did not ask me if I had been calling because I had any information concerning his missing wife and daughters, or if I was calling because they had been found.

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Who Engaged the Front Door Latch – and how that could have changed everything

Shan’ann’s father Frank believes when his 34-year-old daughter arrived home that fateful night on August 13, one of the last things she did was latch the front door. It was, according to Frank, something she usually did, and Frank noticed this because he was the one who put it there in the first place.

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My initial reaction to the door latch scenario was that Watts put it in place to secure the house [and the crime scene]. In other words, the latch was a secondary measure deliberately used to prevent nosy parkers from accessing the house while he was away [including Nickole Atkinson, who had the front door code].

But what if Watts didn’t even think the about the latch?

Does that change things?

There are a few scenarios to consider here, but I’m only going to be exploring one, and in limited detail.

In one scenario where the latch is left off, when Nickole Atkinson arrives she lets herself in. She enters, hesitates, calls for Shan’ann and the kids, and so does her son. Moving halfway through the lounge, but getting no response [and without going upstairs], she shrugs, exits the home soon after and decides to wait for news from Shan’ann herself.

In this scenario Nickole feels she has done her due diligence and does not summon the cops. She also leaves the home without confirming whether the car is in the garage. She assumes Shan’ann and the kids aren’t there [and she’s correct] but without going through the entire house to make sure [why should she?].

Meanwhile Watts receives an alert indicating that his home security perimeter has been breached by Nickole Atkinson and her son. The Vivint security system tracks miscellaneous moving through the main area of the house. Now [and later to law enforcement] it remains unclear whether Atkinson took his family during this period, whether they were already gone shortly before they arrived, or if they left some unknown time afterwards…

In this scenario, a great barn door of Reasonable Doubt is allowed to open. All because of a little latch that wasn’t left in place.

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