#26 July 29th, 2018: “You’re out of it from Playing” #1yearagotodayCW

On Sunday morning, Chris Watts awoke in a yellow tent at the Zapata Falls campsite. Probably the firewood and ice they’d bought at the Oasis gas station the previous day was already burned through, and melted.

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But it was a night well spent, and the start of a beautiful new day in Colorado. That morning, the lovebirds left their perch beneath the trees and above the clouds, and headed to the falls.

By 09:22, relatively late, Watts started taking photos.  If the previous afternoon had been cloudy, and and about sand, dunes, surfing and leaving footprints in the sand, Sunday morning was about a slower, gentler pace, with the sound of gurgling water, and a whooshing waterfall in the background.

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The power and beauty of the natural setting was relaxing and refreshing. That day Watts changed his grey shirt for a shirt with a grey front, and charcoal black shoulders and sleeves. Kessinger changed her bright outfit for a softer grey too.


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At 10:38 Watts transferred a fully nude selfie of Kessinger to his secret calculator app. Was it taken that night?

At 10:55 Watts consulted his phone again and noted with dismay what he expected to find: a bunch of missed calls from his wife. He felt the resistance rising in him as he reported to her that the hike was “finished”, and that they were heading back. He purposefully didn’t call. He didn’t want to talk to her. He didn’t want to go back.

In the image above, taken by Kessinger, notice there’s a slight edge to Watts’ smile. It’s slightly forced.

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Between 12:46 and 14:21 Shan’ann made four more unanswered calls to her husband. Kessinger’s friend Charlotte Nelson also called her, and invited her to a Renaissance Festival. But the “hike” wasn’t quite over.

When returning home from the Great Sand Dunes, NICHOL’s friend CHAROLETTE asked her to go to the Renaissance Festival. NICHOL made an excuse why she could not go as she was with CHRIS and did not want CHAROLETTE to know. NICHOL said she and CHRIS stopped in Colorado Springs at “BJ’s”. They sat to the right of the doors and CHRIS paid for their meals with a gift card. BJ’s Restaurant is located at 5150 North Nevada Ave Colorado Springs, Colorado. – Discovery Documents, page 648

We see that on July 30th it was still important for Watts to keep his expenditures off Shan’ann’s radar. That’s what the gift card and the mypredpaidcenter visits were all about.

It’s a four-hour drive from the Great Sand Dunes back to Frederick, via the BJ’s restaurant in Colorado Springs and through Denver. Watts knew Shan’ann wanted to talk to him and would be pissed when he did, so he elected to postpone the inevitable confrontation.

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Watts finally called Shan’ann and spoke briefly to her at 14:25. He’d been incommunicado in terms of direct two-way communication since Friday afternoon at 16:44 [assuming the Phone Data Review is accurate]. It’s likely this call on Sunday afternoon was made with Kessinger still sitting beside him in the car, possibly driving.

On the other hand, maybe Watts was driving since he didn’t respond to a series of work-related texts throughout the day either. Watts only reported in to them at 18:20.

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By 17:30 Shan’ann was starting to losing it. She made more unanswered calls to him, then texted him again at 17:49. Watts used the bit of intel he had to fashion a credible lie. He knew about the Renaissance Festival. He used a plausible event to conceal and divert from his little adventure further south.

Shan’ann finally got hold of her errant husband at 19:24, when they held a fourteen minute conversation. Shan’ann clearly bought his bullshit, but then wanted to have a conversation with her husband. But he didn’t want to. The weekend [as far as he was concerned], still wasn’t over.

Shan’ann wanted to talk about her weekend, and especially her Sunday.

This is what she’d been up to while Watts was sandboarding with his girlfriend.

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But even though Shan’ann was trying to guilt him into talking to her, her sarcasm didn’t work. He told her he was sorry she had a hard weekend, and he’d make it up to her. Well, he wasn’t sorry, otherwise he would have stuck around to talk to her. And he wasn’t going to make it up to her, he just needed her to get off his back ASAP so he could back to her.

Shan’ann followed this up with a few more barbs until she finally gave up, telling him she was done begging him to talk to her. But Shan’ann’s right. He was out of it – their marriage – from playing. And if Shan’ann was done, it just made his life so much easier.

Watts’ mind, meanwhile, was on how to pay for the events of that evening and July 31st, his very last day with the new love of his life before he was torn back to North Carolina.

10 thoughts on “#26 July 29th, 2018: “You’re out of it from Playing” #1yearagotodayCW

  1. As we move along here day to day I’m trying to put myself in Watt’s head. It was way more than not wanting to return to his old married life with kids and one on the way. He couldn’t. In some ways he may have thought let’s just go on ahead and lose the house, crash and burn the old life. I’ll still have my job, and you can have Thrive – see how well you do with just Thrive. Move to North Carolina, I’ll stay here. But something was causing him supreme fear if he thought that way. I don’t think it was that she would shame him on facebook, because the cat would be out of the bag anyway. It would have more to do with having his other house of lies collapse and he’d lose NK. Then he’d have nothing.


    • Sure, but you shouldn’t jump the gun. I’m not sure he was thinking about that at this point. If anything he was just trying to give himself space and enjoy himself, and try to avoid Shan’ann and avoid riling her up if at all possible. I don’t think the thought had yet entered his mind to commit a crime. He was already in the habit of lying all the time and making up little scenarios, so that part was coming along, But this was simply the investment-in-the-fairy-tale part, and this weekend must have been some trip for him to come away with his heart addled and his head in the clouds. And it looks like it was. North Carolina must have been a huge downer after this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I can see that. He’s at this moment, in the afterglow of a great weekend. I’m sure he was dreading the trip to NC at some point. And, he shouldn’t have gone. He could have made up a story that he was needed at work. But he was and always had been, obedient. But look at Shan’ann. Does she even know how to have fun herself? Surely waving placards around with some elderly women or gossiping with her gal pals wouldn’t be anyone’s idea of fun.


    • I don’t think either of them could afford any fun. I think last week I did a post about which option would you choose, a Thrive get together or Bandimere Speedway? This weekend I think the choice is a lot easier: A Thrive smoozefest, or camping in the mountains? Basically, if you were Chris Watts, it was always going to be the endless Thrive spiel on the one side, and anything else on the other.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You certainly get a feeling of the escapism it represented to him from these photos. I wonder if he’d done the right thing and divorced/set up a new home, instead of the ugly thing he did, whether it would have lasted. I suspect not, once the novelty of being his best self for someone new who was being her best self, had worn off. And once reality on a more reduced income had set in (debts and child maintenance would still have been there) . And sadly that might have been part of his thought patterns. Cw strikes me as a child -man – in some ways happy to live where someone is telling him what to do next (and there is a pleasant lack of responsibility or having to think associated with that), but also resenting it like you would a parent. I think with Nicole he was a little bit his imaginary better self that I don’t think he’d have been able to maintain in the long term.


    • the novelty of being his best self for someone new who was being her best self, had worn off.>>>Think so? They seemed quite relaxed and comfortable with each other.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The man child comment was everything. You nailed it. Even the way he spoke to Nicole Atkinson when SW “disappeared” he looked like a resentful kid holding back words because the crafted persona he shows is that of “a good boy” who isn’t rude to anyone. Ennui and lack of action/initiative/courage are his tragic flaws.


  4. Well, maybe I’m just a cynic! I think in the first flush of any new relationship everyone is naturally being their most kind, most funny, most attractive, most charming etc version of themselves. And that’s been reflected back. And if it’s illicit there’s the extra intoxicating thrill of that plus by definition the boring and mundane domestic stuff is elsewhere and not interrupting the fun stuff. If it had got permanent, some of the same old stuff that he was escaping from….finance, the house, kids medical problems and bills…would still need dealing with. I think in his head Nicole was a free pass away from all of that but actually that could never had been the case. It’s a very, very interesting case on many levels!


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