#6 July 9th, 2018: Nut Gate: “My heart is still racing 30 mins later and tears of anger…” #1yearagotodayCW

This post is likely to be controversial, and trigger venting, so take a deep breath before reading further, and remember, we’re trying to understand the people in this scenario and why they did what they did.

We don’t want to project or transfer who we are onto them. Whether we think peanuts or tree nuts were the real problem, or whether Nut Gate was justified or irrelevant isn’t the point – it’s what they thought, how they reacted, and how the dynamics played out in terms of their personalities.

Now, to appreciate just how much is missing from the Discovery Documents, and Phone Data Review in particular, have a look at this vanilla version of July 9th.

Fullscreen capture 20190708 110841

Scroll down from here to the end of the post, and all that mess is the messy business of family dynamics and human psychology. It doesn’t fit into the neat, black and white confines of a few lines in the Phone Data Review, yet it’s absolutely integral to understanding criminal motives and the underlying mechanisms of what drove a man to annihilate his family.

For an amateur investigator glossing through the timeline, this incident would be easy to miss. The only telltale clue that shit had really hit the fan from the official Phone Data Review is Watts putting himself on record by saying:

“It’s not fucking cool at all…”


But it takes a real sleuth who knows his way around social media to dig up the true meat and potatoes of what went down that day.  Shan’ann vented on the afternoon of July 9th, perhaps not just about nuts – that was just the trigger. She had a lot on her plate. The pregnancy. Her lupus. Her husband becoming cold and distant. And the widening maw of a money malaise that just wouldn’t go away.

So when Shan’ann tore into  Watts’ mother, she was really crying tears of anger at the world.


In the post above, which I analyzed in more detail in TWO FACE TWO POLLYANNAS, Shan’ann implies this wasn’t the first time there was a nut incident with her in laws. It could be the pistachios were out earlier in the day, and then the ice cream came out later, or that the pistachios were found on a different day and then “today” – again – another issue.


So we see when Watts called his mother, Shan’ann was there and overheard it. This also seemed to set her off, hearing Cindy lay down the law not only to her, but to her son, and indirectly to her child, and Shan’ann felt powerless as a result.

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As much as we can sympathize with Shan’ann, Facebook is not the place to vent about family.

We know that as the deadline approached for Shan’ann to announce the gender of her baby, Watts was dreading her doing this as it would spell the end of his affair with Kessinger. If Nut Gate proved anything, it was once Shan’ann felt scorned, she would turn to social media to weaponize her anger, and she didn’t care how many lives she burned in the process.


One year on there are many who still say:

Why didn’t he just get a divorce?

This is why. This was over nuts in icecream. Imagine the reaction over a full-blown affair with a coworker while she’s pregnant, while they have no money, and one that will lead to divorce and losing her home?

Why didn’t he just get a divorce?

It’s also worth noting that Shan’ann applies a double standard here. She claims in her posts above that she doesn’t have any tree nuts in her home. In fact, like many children were serious allergies, Ceecee was particularly allergic to peanut butter.


This is repeatedly stressed in the autopsy report. Meanwhile Shan’ann took this photo of a jar of Jif creamy peanut butter in her own kitchen.


One year on we ought to ask:

Did Shan’ann overreact, and if she did, did that seal her fate?

The answer to this question isn’t what you or I think, it’s what her husband thought. And we know now what he thought. In the CBI Report Watts was asked about Nut Gate and whether it had any impact on his thoughts, feelings and emotions. Not surprisingly, it had a huge impact.

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While it’s overly simplistic and reductionist to say Shan’ann’s venting gave Watts the license to vent as well, human psychology, and criminal psychology, does often work that way. But clearly, there is a difference between burning someone close to you on social media, and blocking family, and triple murder. In terms of social symbology however, there’s absolutely no difference.

29 thoughts on “#6 July 9th, 2018: Nut Gate: “My heart is still racing 30 mins later and tears of anger…” #1yearagotodayCW

  1. I don’t think he much cared about the events regarding the nut episode. He was so immersed into his affair that he just didn’t care. I feel this way because he kind of laughed during his second confession when “Nutgate” was mentioned. As if he thought it was amusing. I don’t think it was a trigger point for him. Of course, he can use it now to make others conclude how rageful he felt about his wife. How this event triggered his anger, and that the crime wasn’t premeditated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree with you. He would still murder his whole family even if the “Nut Gate” had never happened. This is a passion crime, not an anger based one; and yes of course Chris could use it as an excuse later when they reminded him. Also while I don’t approve Shanann’s venting on facebook; I have a difficulty to comprehend how could Cindy think that a 2 year old should or would have a learning experience as of to learn she can’t get all she wants in the context of a party that kids attend with some delicious stuff being served; that is simply cruel and disgusting..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Crimes of passion are very different from how this turned out. Usually there’s not much, if any, premeditation. If he could’ve used that as a defense I think he would’ve. Perhaps he was passionately angry, but anger and resentment (along with his feelings for nicole) were some if the strongest motivators in this case.

        The way Chris saw it, he was about to lose everything he knew and it all fell back to Shan’Ann. I think after Chris discovered the lawsuit from the HOA, he went digging in her office and found out that no mortgage payment had been made in 2-3 months. He could’ve even seen it while getting the mail. He was the one on the loan, Shanann was added later on via quit claim deeds (a huge no no if the bank found out) because her credit was such trash she couldn’t be on that mortgage, so what did she care if her abysmal credit went lower? I think he was enraged while he lied in wait for her, and while I wouldn’t go about it as he did, I’m not him and looking at the whole picture, his rage is justifiable. He’s out working everyday, Shan’Ann’s playing pretend boss and blowing through money while bringing in nothing, and now he finds out she wasn’t paying the bills? She took over the finances because she said he couldn’t be trusted, yet she’s burning through money on everything except what matters, meanwhile he gets lectured if he spends $5 on himself. I think that would breed resentment, no?


  2. I think nutgate was signifigant to the murders.
    Watts was already irritated with the dynamic between his parents and Shan’ann.
    More so, the venting and bad mouthing his parents on Facebook, insisting
    he wasn’t allowed to call or talk to his parents was fueling this fire.


  3. I think nutgate was signifigant to the murders.
    Watts was already irritated with the dynamic between his parents and Shan’ann.
    More so, the venting and bad mouthing his parents on Facebook, insisting
    he can’t talk to his parents again, could have been a trigger point for him.


  4. A few things to consider: When Shanann arrived at the house the other granddaughter had already gotten the ice cream out of the freezer and nobody minded until Shanann brought it up and picked a fight with Cindy- Cece wasn’t even asking for ice cream BUT there was ice cream in the freezer for both Cece and Bella that Cindy specifically bought that Shanann approved so there was no reason to start a fight. Also the “nut” ice cream in question had no nuts in it, it was just made in a factory that also produced other things with nuts. So the first text to Chris from Shanann was an outright lie to get him all riled up and on her side after she instigated the fight. Whether Shanann thought this would bring them closer since Chris had been distant, it backfired and I think Shanann had done this before thinking it would work again but Chris wasn’t taking the bait. She made a huge incident out of a non incident and scared all the children in the house, to the point where the one grandson was hiding with Bella behind some curtains. Cece wasn’t bothered by the other child eating ice cream- if she was all Shanann had to do was go to the freezer and get her her own “approved” ice cream. But I’m sure Cindy would have given Cece her own ice cream had she wanted some. It’s just really unfair how this whole “nutgate” started for no reason- it turned into a “nuthate”.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Also I think the “nutgate” really did bother Chris. I am an introvert like Chris and when things bother me I often pretend they don’t and will laugh them off just like Chris did in his prison interview. I do this because I don’t want people to know that something made me mad or sad, so I think Chris probably does the same. I think introverted people are secretive in that way. The best example I can give is Robin Williams- funny, smiling, laughing, cracking jokes- then you go and kill yourself. In Chris’s case he killed his family instead, but I totally get it. When you feel cornered it’s either kill yourself, kill someone else or move away without telling anyone and just disappear. I have thought this way at very stressful times in my life, sorry to say but I believe this is how Chris felt too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure how many people on this Earth “wouldn’t mind” any person, let alone one’s partner, calling one’s parents stupid, and writing them off. Even worse, humiliating them on social media. Those who dismiss Nut Gate as irrelevant either lack imagination or they themselves have no soul.


      • Exactly, and you can’t make a non confrontational person wake up one day and confront anyone, even if it is their spouse or someone close to them. It sounds crazy but that person will do anything, even kill someone or themselves rather than confront the person who has abused them. I think Chris hiding the girls in the tanks was part of his secretiveness, like nobody would ever look there and they would just melt away and people wouldn’t know he actually killed them. And I do think he thought he had more time and would have dismembered Shanann and put her in the tank as well, or went and buried her deeper in a more remote place. I mean no disrespect to Shanann but Chris was in an abusive relationship and people around him made light of it because he acted like it didn’t bother him, and nobody around Shanann called her out on her treatment of him, I mean they probably figured if Chris didn’t seem to mind then why butt in right? Only his family spoke out about what they saw, but sadly it was too late.


      • @Honey and NickVDL, very insightful and I agree. Ive found that many introverts turn their anger inwards until it boils over, not that I can blame them. I’ve known people parallel to Shan’Ann before and there’s no point in arguing with them as they’ll never see it your way until they’re backed into a corner and need you for something. Between that and her endless MLM pitch, it’s easy to see why her only acquaintances were those indoctrinated into the cult of “Thrive”. Ironically, “Thrive” and the MLM mindset mirrored her own life. On the surface, everything appears wonderful and idyllic, but once you push past the superficial you see the underbelly of it. The financial ruin, the resentment, the fine print (so-to-speak) and that everything isn’t how it appears to be.

        If you’ve ever had a FB friend in an MLM, you know what I’m talking about. It’s all about showmanship without substance, and it’s exhausting to look at, let alone be apart of.


  6. I think though Chris was disrespectful to his parents when he ran off with Shan’ann, and married her, and told them he didn’t need them anymore, he was with Shan’ann now. I’m not sure exactly how he said he phrased it, it’s in the discovery documents and possibly in his second confession but I can’t imagine saying that to your parents. Cindy Watts said they made his Nascar mechanic school possible for him, which would have cost them a great deal on Ron Watt’s salary as a car mechanic – any kind of technical school or community college education while less than a university education, is still a considerable amount of money. By offending them the way he did it certainly wouldn’t have endeared Shan’ann to them, and it’s possible too Watts enjoyed having the people in his life fight over him. He could then insert himself in the middle, as mediator, as the prize in the equation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. Plus I think Cindy saw something in Shan’Ann she didn’t like, perhaps she saw a bit of her own “bitchiness” in Shan’Ann. Either way, not a great way to start off a marriage. Not to mention Shan’Ann met Chris when she was still married, and he was probably one of the main reasons for her first divorce. Im sure his parents were just thrilled about that.


    • It could be. I don’t think Cindy wanted to be photographed and plastered on social media. We know after July 9th Shan’ann never saw them again. So it’s possible this happened earlier in the afternoon shortly before Nut Gate. But it’s possible it was another day too, since by July 9th Shan’ann had been in North Carolina almost 2 weeks.


  7. She really shouldn’t have gone there without Chris. She knew how Cindy felt about her and to go there with two children in tow is a bit much to foist onto Ron and Cindy when they were already planning something fun for the other grandchildren. Her mind immediately goes to thatCindy is intentionally trying to poison her children, instead of thinking of it as a misstep. Then she just couldn’t let it go. That’s where the OCD comes in. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Couldn’t let it go.


  8. Pingback: Crime News – July 2019 - CrimeStopNews.Com

  9. Pingback: Guest Post: “Let’s talk about Chris’s first attempt on the life of his wife in North Carolina” - CrimeStopNews.Com

  10. Shannon, like MANY parents, used her kids -in dysfunctional ‘triangle Communication.’

    Rather than speaking directly to someone, you speak ‘thru’ and ‘for’ other people instead of speaking ‘To’ them. And Neither of the families spoke only for themselves… addressing people and relationships directly and one at a time. Shannon used ‘ FB to gang up on people rather than deal directly with them. Chris also was part of the dysfunctional ‘Triangle’ in communication. In Psychology, they would be a family with ‘boundary’ problems’…It amazes me how no one ever took reasonable action to learn a way that would work without all the drama and chaotic confusion -Quite a cast of characters…I personally? I would not choose to deal with the given a choice.


  11. “Why didn’t he just get a divorce?

    This is why. This was over nuts in icecream. Imagine the reaction over a full-blown affair with a coworker while she’s pregnant, while they have no money, and one that will lead to divorce and losing her home?”

    I would lose my shit more over my allergic child receiving nuts which could kill her, over my husband having and affair…an affair I could get over, losing my daughter not so sure….unsure how you can put these 2 scenarios on an even keel.

    Also it Cece was allergic to tree nuts…not peanuts…2 different things entirely.
    someone with a tree nut allergy can eat peanuts safely.


    • but they never received a single nut. Another child simply got a non approved for Cece icecream to eat himself. Shan’Ann merely had to go to the fridge where the loving grandmother had bought special icecream for Cece and Bella. There wasn’t any danger. Instead Shan’Ann had a histrionic episode much like the pre wedding histrionics where she was able to seclude Chris. Perhaps she was triggered by seeing Chris sister while she dropped off her child? Jealousy? She seemed jealous of the other grandchild, complaining they were given more attention (since they lived in same state and all). Histrionic personalities need the attention on themselves.


  12. I’ve been enjoying your comments until you compared the false belief that one can have anything he wants to the false belief there is no climate change and that Covid is a sham. Why would you reference political subjects that can alienate your audience? Very disappointed.


    • I guess wanting to be the most authentic voice in true crime has got something to do with wanting be honest about what is going on in the world. And if there are people here who don’t know how to be, or won’t be, perhaps they are better off elsewhere. There are plenty of channels out there pandering to the public, and playing economically with the truth. This isn’t one of them.


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