Chris Watts: Analysis of “Rzucek Statement”

Today the Rzucek family responded to statements made by Chris Watts’ mother…except, well…they didn’t respond. Someone else responded  on their behalf. This was clear both in the language and tone of the response.

If you think that’s a farfetched comment, check out Frank Rzucek reading from his own prepared statement. Listen to the way he speaks and how he uses words.

When today’s statement came out, many probably read the statement at face value, gave it a passing glance and went on with their day. Rocket Science doesn’t let such nuggets slip by so easily, however.

According to the Denver Channel:

On Tuesday, Shanann Watts’ parents, Frank and Sandra Rzucek, responded to the statements made by Cindy Watts in comments released by the law firm representing them.

Strangely “the law firm representing them” isn’t identified. We know who represented them at the press conference to announce the plea deal though, it was none other than Michael Rourke, Weld County’s District Attorney.  So have the Rzucek’s retained legal counsel besides the state prosecutor? If so, how are they able to afford it on a carpenter’s salary?

Frederick Deaths

More likely, in my view, “the law firm representing them” is a garbage comment meant to replace the words “District Attorney”. And what does mean: Frank and Sandra Rzucek, responded to the statements made by Cindy Watts in comments released by the law firm representing them. Does it mean Frank and Sandra both gave their input and a law firm typed it out? Does it mean they made comments and a law firm took dictation, made a transcript, scribbling down each word? And did both Frank and Sandra comment? If so, who said what?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument the DA’s office released this statement “on behalf of” the Rzuceks [but in reality, on behalf of their own interests in shutting down this case]. What is it they’re saying about the current state of legal limbo?

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Shan’ann Watts was a faithful wife [versus Chris Watts was an unfaithful husband, nice one]

The rest of the first paragraph is sentiment. One could theoretically accuse Chris Watts of the same thing – gentle parenting, being a loving father and a good soul.

The real mindfuckery begins in the second paragraph:

Everyone who knew Shan’ann knows this [present tense] to be true.

The allegation in this comment is that those who criticize Shan’ann didn’t know her very well, and are liars. In other words, it’s an attempt by “the law firm” to demonize the Watts family. It’s not done directly though, they’re just getting those mind engines to start turning so that when they do do so directly, the right people can hit the ground running with it, and run with it.

In the 3rd paragraph there is an “attempt” to defend their son [not in court, just at home, at the end of a long holiday]. In reality, this was the first time the Watts family had broken their silence in the three months since the murders took place in mid-August. Think about that. That’s a long time to say nothing while all about you are having their say. The Rzuceks were in court and gave initial statements to the press, the Watts family never did, until now. Aren’t they allowed to express their opinion?

They felt the need to make vicious, grotesque and utterly false statements about Shan’ann…

Really? Vicious? What’s vicious about Chris Watts’ mother describing their marriage, their relationship as ‘hard’?

It was a very hard relationship,” said Cindy Watts, Chris’ mother. “It was a very hard 

Grotesque? Is it grotesque to suggest  Shan’ann was abusive and they felt she isolated Chris from his family in the time they were together when Shan’ann’s boss at Longmont Ford said effectively the same thing to The Daily Beast in an article titled ‘Everyone Liked Him’: Did Colorado Dad Chris Watts Lead a Double Life?:

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It’s a little hypocritical isn’t it, to be interrogating allegations of Chris Watts’ double life, from his affairs to his alleged bisexuality, but it’s grotesque, vicious foul when his parents suggest there was another side to Shan’ann that no one knows about.

What if what they say is true? If it is, it goes to the legal defense [potentially, not necessarily] of mitigation, meaning if the “abuse” he suffered was serious enough, a jury might grand him a lesser sentence. It may also go even further, to a legal defense of justifiable homicide. This was the legal defense Oscar Pistorius used, and Jodi Arias tried to use. Pistorius did well with his, until it blew up. Jodi Arias – well, we know what happened to her, but the abuse narrative her defense emphasized at trial had the impact of changing the mind of a single juror. So an abuse narrative in a criminal trial isn’t irrelevant. The question is, if it’s an authentic part of the actual dynamics, how relevant is it? What was the scale and scope of it?

“The law firm” repeats the word “lie” twice, and twice repeats an allegation of the Watts family making “utterly false statements”. It’s the legal jargon way of screaming the accusation as loud as possible in public that your adversary is”fucking lying”.

The final sentence of that paragraph, as I’ve demonstrated, is in itself inaccurate. The statements made the Watts family could indeed alter the outcome of a trial, and could indeed have an impact on how Shan’ann is seen not only as a person, but in a legal sense. Knowing more about the other side to the story could very well alter the “truth” [as the anonymous law firm has it] about the crimes committed.

So much for the truth, we don’t even know what’s in the autopsy reports, a public document that is invariably made public, but not in this case. So much for the truth, that at trial, the media weren’t granted the right to extended coverage when the District Attorney knew ahead of time that a plea deal was on the cards. So much for the truth, when the plea hearing – which many are saying is rushed and controversial for various reasons – was timed to coincide with the Mid-Term Elections, when media resources and attention spans would be stretched thin.

Shan’ann’s memory and reputation deserves to be protected. And her family is fully prepared to do so.

That’s stating the obvious. Obvious Shan’ann’s dignity deserves to be protected. If anything, a criminal trial honors and recognizes her life, and makes an effort to actually find out who she was and what happened to her.

Her family’s “full preparedness” to protect her reputation suggests they will take legal action and spare no expense to defend false accusations. Wow, so you’d go the route of defamation suits but not have a criminal trial to find out what happened, and why your own flesh-and-blood multiplied by four was murdered? Of course, none of this is the Rzuceks talking, it’s all the “anonymous law firm” representing their interests from the shadows.


I have no doubt that their intention is to protect reputations, and that they are fully prepared to do so, I just don’t think they give a crap about Shan’ann’s reputation.

Also, and I’m sorry if the legal folk involved take this the wrong way, but why is there not a single peep about a very, very serious allegation being made here. The Watts family are saying their son was coerced into making a deal. They’re saying they’re feeling shut out, that they’re not being heard and that they’re not being allowed to communicate openly with their son without being shut down.

These are INCREDIBLY serious charges, and they seriously undermine the legal efficacy of the plea deal. Is the plea deal even valid? Of course, the “law firm representing the family” are dead silent on this issue, which is strange. They’re  a LAW FIRM, aren’t they?


Weld DA…er, ahem…Shan’ann’s family responds with a typed statement to Chris Watts’ parents’ PR Blitz

It’s starting to feel like the Rzuceks and the DA versus the Watts family and… [no defense attorney]. Expect plenty more fireworks after this statement portraying the legal battle as a fight to protect Shan’ann’s reputation

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Ronnie and Cindy Watts believe Chris Watts didn’t kill Bella and Celeste, say Shan’ann “changed” him, was abusive and isolated him from his family

A trial means the whole truth comes out, is put under the light. It’s not just the story of the defendant, it also allows the victim’s story to be told. More than anything, it gives the community an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, potentially valuable and meaningful lessons.

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Now, with the sentencing less than a week away, we’re starting to learn that there’s more to the Watts story than we’ve been told. Who Shan’ann really was is the focus now, based on these admissions by Chris Watts’ parents. But are they telling the truth about Shan’ann, or they doing whatever they can to save their 33-year-old son from a desperate fate – life in prison without parole.


According to his parents believe he killed Shan’ann, but not his daughters:

“He did kill her, but the kids, no. It’s very difficult, very difficult. I can’t imagine my son doing that. He couldn’t have done that,” Watts said. Cindy Watts spoke from her home in North Carolina. She says her family is not being allowed to speak to Christopher and she thinks he was coerced by prosecutors into pleading guilty.

“I want to stop it before it’s too late. I want to talk to him. I want to be able to talk to him. I love my son no matter what and I want to fight for him, and I don’t want him to go down for something he didn’t do,” Watts said.


In their interview with ABC13, yet another side of the story has emerged:

Chris’ parents said their son changed once he met Shanann. “He was in sports from when he was 5 until 17 years old,” said Cindy. “There’s not one person you can talk to that will say anything about this kid. He was normal, he didn’t have a temper, he was just easy-going like his Dad. He’s not a monster.”

Chris’ parents said their son’s relationship with Shan’ann was abusive and they felt she isolated Chris from his family in the time they were together.

“It boils down to: I just want the truth of what really happened,” said Ronnie Watts, Chris’ father. “If he did it all, I can live with it. If he didn’t, I want him to fight for it.”

It seems incomprehensible that his parents wouldn’t go down to the jail to talk to their son ahead of the sentencing hearing on November 19. There’s still time to have a change of heart, and they have. But will he?

As Watts’ parents tell Media their son was “coerced” into making Plea Deal with DA the Rzuceks maintain their silence

The plea hearing one week ago today was bizarre for a number of reasons. The Rzuceks were there – on camera – during the press briefing afterwards, but said nothing to the media. The Watts family were there too, but someone got into the building and out of Greeley without being photographed by a single reporter. It was as if they were invisible.

Well, a week later the Watts family are breaking what appears to be a self-imposed silence. They’re maintaining that the plea deal was coerced, which suggests they [and perhaps Chris Watts himself] was pressured into signing the plea, and perhaps misled as well.

But there’s also the other side of the story. The Rzuceks. Do they not want answers too?


A few hours earlier reported on the story:

Christopher Watts will avoid the death penalty in exchange for the plea deal. He pleaded guilty to nine charges: Five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a dead body.

He will be formally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Nov. 19.

Shannan Watts’ family declined to comment.

This suggests KDVR contacted the Rzuceks after Ronnie and Cindy Watts made their statement criticizing the plea deal, and the Rzuceks response was they had no comment. No comment, really?


Probably they’ve been given instructions by the District Attorney to play ball, at least until the sentencing hearing next week in Weld County Court, Greeley, on Monday November 19.

Chris Watts’ parents have until then to wave the flag that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

“Dad, I could not put the girls with her after what she did — I could not put [them] with her” – Chris Watts

Six days after the plea hearing on November 6th, Chris Watts’ parents have spoken out for the first time. I’m surprised they haven’t spoken out sooner. I was also surprised they didn’t make a statement outside court when they were in Greeley. If they were given instructions not to talk to the media, they’ve changed their minds and gone against them now, and they’re right to do so. The right to a fair trial is a basic human right, guaranteed by law and constitution of the United States.

In this case that right does to to be maligned, in the sense that Watts appears to have been manipulated into accepting a plea. It’s also odd that his parents have felt shut out in this process. It’s one thing if the Rzuceks feel a plea suits them, it’s another if Watts parents feel it doesn’t. If it doesn’t they should say so and not stop saying so.

So which schmuck lawyer convinced Watts that pleading guilty was in his own best interest? Even if a jury sentenced him to death [given the circumstances of this case I believe that’s far from certain], it would be a sentence unlikely to be carried out, and one he could appeal against.

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When Denver7 spoke to the Watts family via Skype [by the sounds of it], the reporter asks Ronnie and Cindy, why now?

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Cindy answers, “Because we didn’t know about the plea deal.” Ronnie is looking down when she answers, and doesn’t nod to reinforce that answer. If they truly didn’t know, they should be furious. I believe they did know, but now feel they’ve been misled. It’s okay to say so.

Then Cindy adds: “We were not allowed to talk to him about it.” I’m not sure this is entirely accurate either, because if they visited him in jail, it certainly came up. Probably they didn’t get to discuss the plea deal as openly and completely as they would have liked, or – more likely – they thought they were doing the right thing, and now [a week before the sentencing hearing] they’re having second thoughts. It’s okay to feel that way.

As soon as a defendant feels a particular plea isn’t in his best interest, he’s allowed to rescind it, or to appeal the plea if he does so late in the legal steeplechase.

CINDY: I asked Chris, if you didn’t do this [presumably referring to the murders of the children], do not confess to something you didn’t do. She [referring to Watts’ defense lawyer] she shut me down…she completely shut me down.

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“She” seems to be a reference to Kathryn Herold or Megan Ring.  It’s likely Cindy is accurate on this point. If Watts’ state appointed defense attorneys were pressuring him to take the plea deal, then they wouldn’t want Cindy interfering with that process.

Looking at Ronnie, Cindy recalls her son telling her [them]:

“He said ‘I’m sorry, I lost [interrupts herself…his temper?] I went into a rage [Ronnie mumbles something] and…I killed her.’ And he said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ He said: ‘I’ve ruined your life. I’ve ruined my life.’ “

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It’s interesting watching Ronnie and Cindy together. Cindy takes the initiative. She speaks for the most part while Ronnie takes a back seat. But then when Chris Watts’ father says something, it’s quite a big deal.

RONNIE: Well, he told me, he said ‘Dad, I could not put the girls with her, after what…after what she did.

What did Shan’ann do? Is this a broad reference to her succumbing to the Le-Vel black hole?

RONNIE: He said, ‘I’m not putting her with her [them].’

Ronnie and Cindy both don’t seem surprised by their son’s dislike for Shan’ann. It’s possible they’d known about it for years because Chris Watts had lived it, and they’d also experienced Shan’ann themselves. Beyond the MLM crowds who liked one another on social because there was an incentive in doing so [I scratch your back if you scratch mine], Shan’ann was perhaps an acquired taste.

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When the Denver7 reporter asks Watts’ parents to explain how putting the children in the oil tanks was a gesture of good will, both Ronnie and Cindy are a little caught out. Both answer, speaking over one another, that they still don’t understand that.

His parents are arguing that Watts gave the girls and Shan’ann a different [separate] burial, and seem to be saying through that he showed his disdain for Shan’ann. The oil tanks seems to a more heartless form of burial than a grave in the Earth, so I’m not sure that argument holds. I think it is true that his feelings for Shan’ann differed markedly from his feelings towards his children. I think towards the end Chris Watts really could not stand his wife. Ronnie and Cindy confirming this speaks volumes.

Perhaps responding to the legions on Facebook responding with the knee-jerk catchall [which they apply universally to true crime], Cindy maintains that her son isn’t a psychopath or a sociopath.

When the Denver7 reporter refers to a trigger, he references his own question to Watts during his Sermon on the Porch.

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Watts answered then that they had an emotional conversation but “let’s leave it at that”. Unfortunately the reporter didn’t ask “an emotional conversation about what”? Watts wanted to leave it at that, but if he the reporter had insisted, probably the inference would have been they had an emotional conversation about splitting up.

That’s what the affidavit says.

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When the Denver7 reporter asks Ronnie and Cindy about it, Cindy’s voice rises with emotion:

“He was leaving her.” Ronnie mouthes “leaving her” in the background as well.

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But that’s not the trigger. The separation was a precipitating factor, and as I’ve mentioned in TWO FACE, it was a long time coming. In fact the six weeks Shan’ann spent in North Caroline from the 9th to the 15th week of her pregnancy was either officially or unofficially part of that trial separation.

We also know that during this trip, Shan’ann’s mother told her work colleagues at Hair Jazz in Aberdeen [which is a few miles West of Spring Lake] that her daughter and son in law were having difficulties with their marriage and “definitely” intended separating.

But separating because of what? The trigger isn’t the separation, it’s the thing causing the separation. Was it the affair or affairs Watts was “actively” engaged in? Once again, that’s not a trigger. Being in an affair isn’t what triggers an affair. The trigger may have something to do with Watts’ sexuality, or the constant bummer of the MLM debt spiral Shan’ann was locking them into, or the pregnancy, or a combination of all these factors.

If Chris Watts intended to separate from Shan’ann before April, then the “surprise” pregnancy wasn’t a surprise at all, it was a strategic manoeuvre to lock her man into the marriage. Maybe he went along with it, like the Watts parent went along with the plea deal, then changed their minds after. Maybe Shan’ann agreed to quit the MLM, if he stayed in the marriage, she’d quit with the MLM. But maybe she reneged on that promise, and that was what the trip to Phoenix was all about.

RONNIE: He just wasn’t in love with her any more, he said.

CINDY: If this actually happened like the- like they’re saying…that it did…that he killed them, then what was the trigger? 

RONNIE: If he didn’t kill the children, I want him to face that and let them prove it.There’s a whole lot of unanswered questions about the case. Everything happened too quick there, from a case status thing to a plea. 

CINDY: It did.

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The Denver7 reporter asks Watts’ folks if they think their son was coerced into making the deal.

CINDY: I have no idea. 

RONNIE: The only reason I can think of, he’s tryna…for our family and for her family…for our family and his family not to go through a trial. Long drawn out trial.

CINDY:  It has been so overwhelming. And I feel like I have to do something to-to help my son to…to… I-I just need to do something. If he’s not going to fight, I want to fight for him.

Off camera Denver7 quotes Cindy adding that what his lawyers did wasn’t enough.

“To me, all they wanted to do was save his life, just save his life. Save his life and life in prison to me there’s no difference. He’s going to die in prison. I just want him to fight. I don’t want him to take this plea deal. I want him to plea[d] not guilty to the children.”

Watch the original interview on Denver7 at this link.

Bella and Celeste Watts: how were they murdered?

We now know Chris Watts killed both his daughters. How did he do it? The cause of death will be clarified by the autopsy reports next week, around 24 hours after the sentencing hearing.

The true test of Rocket Science lies in the ability to join dots with insufficient information. So let’s do it. What’s our theory on the murders, what do we say caused the death of Bella and Celeste a week before the autopsy reports come out?

In his bogus confession Watts claimed Shan’ann strangled Ceecee, and implies Bella was murdered in the same way. Does that mean Watts strangled both girls to death as well? I’m not sure it does.

Complex Psychology

One way of figuring out what happened to the children is to look at what supposedly happened to their mother, but the psychology can be quite complex.

Watts may indeed have strangled Shan’ann. At 02:00 [or 04:00 or 05:00] in a subdivision of closely packed houses a silent murder would have been necessary. And in the schema of his version, it may have sounded right and appropriate if he saw Shan’ann strangling one of the children, because then he was “entitled” to lose his temper and do the same to her.

Maybe Watts felt this version was his best chance of beating the charges against him.

One thing we know for sure is that Shan’ann was buried in a different way to the children, and in my opinion, killed at a different time to the children. So why would the cause of death not be different too?

So what really happened?

If Watts had reason [in his mind, not ours] to murder Shan’ann, it’s difficult to see the same level of malice and intentionality towards his children. If he strangled Shan’ann it doesn’t necessarily mean he did the same to his children. The main difference, logistically, was that he had a lot of time to “put the children down” [permanently], whereas the moment Shan’ann arrived home, in a premeditated murder scenario he was hours behind schedule [in my opinion].

If the murders of the little girls was premeditated, and if he knew he had the whole weekend to do it, then he’d have the means and the opportunity to do it in a way that suited him best.

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I believe the autopsy will show that the Watts children ate dinner, or some sort of snack in the late afternoon/early evening after they returned home from the birthday party. I believe the snack likely contained sedative or painkiller type medication, or both, intended to put the children to sleep. To render them unconscious. They could then be painlessly killed – asphyxiated – in their sleep.

An overdose of Amoxicillin [mentioned in the video] can cause loss of consciousness and trouble breathing. An overdose of the common household painkiller Tylenol [also mentioned in the video] can kill.

Oxycodone and morphine are painkillers typically associated with paintreatment by lupus sufferers. Both have a sedative effect at high doses. According to WebMD an overdose of Oxycodone causes slow/shallow breathing, slow heartbeat and coma.

According to

In 2014, the rate of overdose deaths caused by natural and semi-synthetic opioids like morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone was 3.8 per 100,000.

One of the typical side-effects of morphine is a bluish or purplish hue to the skin…

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Other overdose symptoms of morphine include extreme sleepiness and loss of consciousness.

After rendering the children unconscious, it’s possible Watts tried one method on the one child, and another on the other. So, for example, one child may have been drowned in the bath [while unconscious], and the other strangled or smothered with a shirt, sheet or pillow.

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What supports the psychology of a chemical component to the murders? 

1. The whole Thrive lifestyle is based on the ingestion of protein-bars, shakes, powders and chemical and vitamin laced patches that are placed onto the skin. In the same way that these chemicals were symbolically associated [and branded] with healthiness, if Watts’ personal [and financial] association with Thrive was negative, he may have seen the utility of chemicals in the opposite way: a murder weapon as opposed to a tool for wellness. I’m not suggesting Thrive products were used, but rather that Watts was used to the idea of chemicals being placed into and onto the bodies of his family, as well as himself.

If he wanted a lethal supply of chemicals/drugs/medication, or a supply sufficient to knock out a small child, he simply had to dig into Shan’ann’s enormous medicine stash, used to treat her lupus. This would have included a reservoir of adult-strength painkillers.

In the Christmas video above, at about 1:50  Shan’ann refers to giving both children “lots of Tylenol” while Chris Watts is standing beside her in shorts, holding Ceecee.

2. Watts himself worked with chemicals on a daily basis. As a mechanic he was well aware of fuels, lubricants, cleaning agents etc. As an operator for Anadarko he would have been well aware not only of the potentially dizzying impact of petrochemicals on his own safety, but the damage these chemicals can cause to human tissue.  The oil industry also uses strong chemicals to clean their complex distribution systems, including hydrochloric acid.

3. The fact that the girl’s bodies were dumped into chemical tanks, also suggests he had the psychology of chemicals in his mind when committing the murders. In his mind he wanted to reduce his children’s bodies to oil and his wife’s corpse to dust. On September 14 I posted an extended version of the same theory, and on October 3 reiterated that the bodies were “processed” in some way post mortem. This processing could have amounted to something as simple as shaving the hair off the girl’s heads. Watts often cut the girl’s hair, so this wasn’t new to him. Given his knowledge about chemicals, he may have treated the girl’s remains overnight in a chemical bath, or even an acid bath.

The release of the autopsy reports will soon provide clarity on these questions.

Murder of Bella and Celeste: Updated Timeline

Saturday, August 11th: Jeremy Lindstrom’s daughter McKenna babysat the Watts children. It’s unclear where Chris Watts was during that time, during the day, but we know he liked a tweet about a “big time win” for the Rockies.

Was there also a concert after the football game in Denver that Watts [and someone perhaps] attended? Irrespective, Chris Watts may have watched the game at a friend’s house or a bar and celebrated afterwards.

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Note, both tweets below have since been removed, which means the timestamps can’t be verified.

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13:59: Shan’ann posts a message against a background of hearts saying she’s ready to get home to Chris and her girls.

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14:25: About 26 minutes later, Watts and the girls are photographed at Jeremy Lindstrom’s house. They’re celebrating his son’s five birthday.

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17:20: Shan’ann posts a message about the baby moving twice over the weekend. Were Bella and Celeste still alive when this message was posted from Arizona?

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PGA winds up during the late afternoon: Chris Watts also liked a post about Tiger Woods performance on Sunday. It’s unclear when exactly Woods played what, but what it certain he was playing until late on Sunday afternoon.

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17:22: A photo of Shan’ann is posted indicating that her flight has been delayed. Shan’ann and her friends settle down to eat dinner at the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill.

Were the Watts girls still alive at this stage? Did they live long enough to eat dinner, or was birthday cake the last thing left in their stomachs? Shan’ann’s last meal was also likely whatever she at at the Thirsty Lion Pub, and anything she ate on the flight to Denver.

19:22: Chris Watts is observed barbecuing on his outside balcony. The Watts children, as far as we know, were not.

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It’s unclear when exactly the PGA finished that Sunday, but it’s likely Watts watched at least some of it, perhaps in-between barbecuing.

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23:09: Sha’ann’s final post repeated what she’s said earlier in the day:

Ready to be home with Chris and the girls.


The fact that Shan’ann expresses the same sentiment twice suggests she felt uneasy, awkward or even guilty about being away all weekend, and the flight delay had compounded her absence. We also know from Nickole Atkinson that Shan’ann hadn’t been feeling well during the trip, though it’s unclear whether this was related to the pregnancy, to her being ill-at-ease, to lupus symptoms, or to some combination of these.

Within six hours of posting “Ready to be home” Shan’ann was dead.

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