We’ll start this recap with a broader recap of the contextual aspects, and then we’ll drill into the Phone Data Review timeline for August 9th?
Worth playing for?
BROAD CONTEXTUAL RECAP
Despite the drama on August 8th, Shan’ann gave a glowing report of herself to the Thrive huns haunting Facebook. This selfie would be her second last post before her death.
Look closely at this final self-portrait:
It’s Shan’ann in her kitchen, healthy, happy to be back home again. She’s Thrivin’! But the picture – we know now – was another lie. The smile is a fake smile. Look at her slightly watery eyes. Look at what the point of the picture is all about? Her varnished nails point to the Thrive patch below her neck.
They say a picture says a thousand words. If Shan’ann wasn’t so distracted and preoccupied with the magical thinking, the whole MLM malestrom, would this tragedy have happened? If she was an authentic person living an authentic life, and pursuing an authentic fairy tale, would this have happened? If her finger – and her focus – was pointing somewhere else, anywhere else, would this have happened?
Let’s refer to the substance of her second last post visible on her public profile.
Once again, this was a precedent for what happened on the morning of her murder, now barely 4 days away:
-Went to bed at 2am, up at 5:15am
-2 loads of laundry
-dusted whole house
-cleaned out fridge and pantry and restocked
-2 grocery stores with kids 🙌🏽
-Celeste Doctor appointment 👨⚕️
-emptied 7 suitcases/3 backpacks and put away
-fed kids a million times
-we all showered (we know this is a win)
-went through 6 weeks of mail 🤪
-washed kitchen floor
-cleaned up kids disaster
-repacked my suitcase for Arizona this Friday
They literally said, “we’re going to bed!” And put themselves to bed! Rain machines on and all. They are obviously exhausted from traveling and playing. I’m over here knocking everything out and it’s only noon! The old me would live out of a suit case for 1-2 weeks till it was empty again.
All while 4 months preggo! Love my Thrive Experience!
But while Shan’ann’s loving her Thrive experience, she’s actually facing a growing catastrophe at home. Her husband wants an abortion, she think he’s cheating on her [he is], he won’t have sex with her, and they’re up to their eyeballs in serious debt. The last thing she can afford is to be doing is travelling anywhere else.
It may be that when Shan’ann went through the six weeks of mail she saw [or remembered] the summons from Wyndham Hill Housing Estate, and also reassessed reality – that there was no way she was going to survive as a single parent with three children in Colorado. She needed to find a way to ease Watts back into the idea of being a dad, father and most important, provider for her and the kids.
It may also be that Watts was reassured that Shan’ann was at last seeing the light, in terms of their finances, and now was prepared to listen to the idea at least, of moving and downsizing. Clearly August 9th in the timeline feels like there is some mutual reassurance, but is it real? Was it sustainable?
This reassurance prompted a U-turn, possibly, in her attitude and his attitude. It was temporary, but both seemed to have second thoughts about everything. It was time, she realized, to make an effort to get her husband back and just sort everything out. It was also time to renew her efforts and commitment to Thrive! Shan’ann was so confident in getting him back on board, that the next day, she was onto her next priority, the business trip to Arizona.
She felt justified that she’d done enough, and flew to Arizona as scheduled, anyway. But this was a fatal miscalculation. If Shan’ann thought a renewed focus on Thrive was going to get them out of their financial mess, she was literally dead wrong. Shan’ann didn’t know that this was the worst possible decision under the circumstances, because:
- It wouldn’t solve their financial woes, but the opposite. In fact while she was away Watts would treat himself and his girlfriend to a fancy meal, while paying for a babysitter.
- It wouldn’t solve her marital woes, but the opposite. While away, Watts would have the opportunity for a final foray with his mistress, which possibly coalesced the premeditation already brewing in his mind.
- Further, by leaving when she did, she would leave her children vulnerable. This despite a previous post undertaking to do “everything in her power” to protect her youngest daughter.
- While Shan’ann was away her husband had the opportunity to murder their children. This should be seen in the context that he’d already indicated he was prepared to abort their third child, told her he wanted a divorce and she’d told him she felt unsafe around him.
- By leaving when she did, she made herself vulnerable. And when she returned home – very late – from that trip, she was the most vulnerable she’d ever been.
AUGUST 9TH DRILL DOWN
Moving onto August 9th, rather than having an ideal pregnancy and tons of energy, Shan’ann was up before 03:00 gabbing about her marriage with Sara Nudd. The gender reveal appeared to have been scheduled for the night of August 8th [the day after their return to Frederick]. Shan’ann was really chomping at the bit, insisting on telling the world [all her followers on social media] the gender of her child, regardless of the situation with her husband. Somehow Watts got her to change her mind, but only enough to postpone the gender reveal. Even so, it’s what Shan’ann’s talking about privately to her pals.
There is a tug of war going on here, where Shan’ann probably thought if she announced the news on social media, her husband would be done with his shit. He’d have to come to the party. If he was in an affair, well, he’d just have to get out of it. It was her way of regaining control.
For his part, Watts had reasons – not necessarily good – for not wanting a gender reveal. He didn’t want to be coerced into a marriage he didn’t want to be in, and he didn’t want to lose Kessinger.
Now, the Phone Data Review gets screwy on page 27. It refers to Watts taking the day off work [he didn’t, that was the next day], Shan’ann flying to Arizona [she didn’t, that was the next day] and Shan’ann going to the Ultrasound [that was the previous day].
At 10:06 Shan’ann shared an ultrasound image of Niko with Sara Nudd. This image came from the previous evening when Shan’ann and her husband went to the doctor. Although Watts said he wanted to be there, it’s likely the reality of the situation he was in dawned on him in full technicolor.
It’s also tremendously ironic that this image on Shan’ann’s phone, of burgeoning new life, was followed by one of a doll wrapped in plastic, symbolizing death [and we know the symbology played out]. Looking on Shan’ann’s Facebook, it was posted with the same message on August 9th. It was also the last photo Shan’ann posted on Facebook.
Was this a veiled threat from her husband, a warning earlier in the day that if she persisted this would happen to her, or to the kids? If it was, Shan’ann didn’t know what to think of the message, or if she did, she made sure social media got to see it.
Occasionally the Phone Data Review jumbles the chronology of various timestamps, not so much on August 9th, but on other, more critical days. What’s also missing from the review are messages from their respective parents, unless the parents communicated directly or otherwise exclusively through social media. If so, where are those interactions?
We also see confirmation of the level of access and control Shan’ann had to Watts’ world. If she thought she had Watts’ under her thumb, she also badly misjudged him. Shan’ann admits to Addy here that she’s asked about the affair but knows he’s “not that stupid” [he is].
Shan’ann naively didn’t check his phone, perhaps she was afraid of what she’d find if she did, perhaps she was in denial. But she seemed to be aware her husband was deleting messages. Where they really messages from his father? We know from what Shan’ann said to Cassie that Shan’ann decided not to push Watts.
Well, he decided to play his own game too, didn’t he? He decided not to push her too. In the same way she gave him 5 weeks space to play by not pushing him, by her not pushing him and him not pushing her too hard, he gained a little extra room to manoevre.
It may be when Shan’ann caught him deleting something, he said it was a message from his father. In any event, if he was deleting messages from his father, the Phone Data Review makes no attempt to explain what they were. Another flaw in the investigation methodology.
Either way, Watts and his wife seemed to be in a psychological wrestling match. Shan’ann took the time to pen a love letter to him. For the full text of this letter, visit this link.]
If we compare the tone of her letter to him, to his declarations to Kessinger [or Kessinger’s to him], Shan’ann’s is the least charming. She refers to the “hardest pain” she’s feeling. It’s as if when it comes to love letters, Shan’ann has no game herself. She tells him she misses his morning breath, and seeing him naked. She says she misses having him around when she’s alone and upset. After making some effort in the first paragraph, the next is prickly again.
She refers back to Nut Gate and says she deserves an apology. Then she refers to her daughter’s life…
But Watts appears to do a U-Turn, of sorts. It seems they strike a bargain. She’ll lay off the gender reveal until Monday if he agrees to go with her on a romantic weekend to Aspen. He agrees. What he wins is a postponement, what she wins is the promise that there’s still a ray of hope for their marriage. He knows there isn’t, but he lets her think this so she’ll get off his back.
At 13:44 Shan’ann realizes Watts has cancelled his Facebook account. She asks why and he doesn’t answer. Because Shan’ann is in “don’t push him mode” she lets the significant move by Watts slide. Another fatal error.
Incidentally Cassie and the discovery are mistaken about Watts deleting his Facebook account while they were in North Carolina. It happened on the second day of their return.
Although Watts said in his confession he deleted his Facebook because Kessinger had told her friends about him, it’s more likely Watts was terrified Shan’ann, or someone else, would share or post a message about his new baby.
We can see Watts was all about damage control, and making sure the “wrong” information about him didn’t come out. The only way he could control Shan’ann was to manipulate her into thinking he was prepared to give her a chance, in exchange for her toeing the line – being discreet about the baby, not mentioning it on social media until Monday.
Watts knew the game he was playing with his wife and Kessinger was almost up.
It’s all in my head.
I’m scared to death.
I will fix this.
We also see Watts electing to take off work but also meet a work colleague the next day. This is unusual behavior for him, on both counts. Bear in mind this happens just as the crushing reality of his situation dawns on him.
If the flower of premeditation hadn’t fully bloomed before August 9th, well, it was blooming now. He had his deadline – by Monday he had to have everything fixed. Deleting Facebook was his first in a series of cover ups.
While he was plotting the demise of his family, Shana’nn was planning its reconstruction. She ordered a book for him on Amazon the day [one that would go straight to the trash bin once he got it the next day].
On Thursday evening Shan’ann and her husband had a “good” talk. He’s still distant, but there’s been a sudden change. He’s kinda being the old Chris again. They decide on a name for their little boy, and Watts also tells Shan’ann he wants to – they have to – move to Brighton. When the police interrogate him Watts will offer this conversation as a proxy for the one he doesn’t have prior to murdering Shan’ann. It’s likely that when Watts spoke to Shan’ann, now pretending to be okay and going along with the idea of their third child, the second face of Chris Watts separated and broke off completely. He realized it was an impossible, irreconcilable situation. There was no way he could trust Shan’ann, or her him, and no way he could control her. He didn’t want to lose control, not now. He realized he was going to have take control. He would need to become someone else to pull this off.
Watts told Shan’ann he loved her, and found this was his only recourse in steering things where they needed to go. He’d have to pretend. But now he was at an impasse with Monday set as the deadline.
Only one reality would exist after that date, and it was up to him to choose which one he wanted. His life with Shan’ann and the kids? Well he knew he didn’t want that. His life with Kessinger? In order to have that life he was going to have to get rid of his family. But how? He didn’t know what to do. All he knew was they had to go, he had to get rid of her – them – somehow.
At the end of the evening Watts went to sleep in the basement. He looked up at the wooden beams above his bed. He thought of where he was, in a basement, below ground, below the house. Then he transferred more semi-nude images of Kessinger into his Secret Calculator app.
No one has been able to say why – until now.
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14 thoughts on “#37 August 9th, 2018: U-Turn and “He’s not that stupid” #1yearagotodayCW”
This is the first time I saw the ultrasound of the fetus. So heartbreaking.
Do we know that Watts knew about the financial ruins? Maybe Shanann had all the bills set up electronic and paperless so no bills came in the mail, except that lawsuit. But she explained that away with “wrong address.” If he truly is a genius I don’t understand why he bought that explanation. When he paid for the meal with his debit card, which Shanann would be able to view, his concern wasn’t whether they had the funds to cover it, but the fact that Shanann would know about the purchase. I have not seen anything regarding how much cash they had in their checking, any savings. We know how much they had when they filed bankruptcy, but what about August 2018? Do we know for a fact Shanann didn’t make money with Thrive? My mom got involved with one of the earliest MLMs to exist, Stanley Home Products. She supplemented my dad’s farm income all their lives with it (they are 90 and 93 now). She still sells it (not Stanley anymore, now Fuller Brush). My mom could sell to anyone, and her network was huge (and that was before the Internet). It seems Shanann could sell too.
Well, all their credit cards were maxed out, and they were about to put their home on the market. I’m not sure how you make a case that either of them didn’t know what their financial situation was when their credit cards were maxed out.
This from page 595 of the Discovery Documents:
o SHANANN recently took out $10,000.00 from his 401k to catch up on their mortgage payments. (CHRIS believed the loan against his 401k was taken out approximately five (5) months ago.)
They were three (3) months behind on their mortgage payments.
They had received a letter from Chase Bank pertaining to their delinquent home loan.
He and SHANANN were stressed out about their financial situation.
He currently owes his $2,700 mortgage payment for August (2018), which is due tomorrow (August 16, 2018).
He currently has $2,000.00 in his Chase checking account and approximately $1,500.00 in their USAA checking account.
Almost all of their credit cards are maxed out.
SHANANN had only been paying the minimum payment on their credit cards.
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Shanann got in way too late. She hopped from one MLM to the next, she wasn’t new at this, she knew that they were false hope money pits, but she kept hoping this one would pay off. To actually make money at an MLM you’ve gotta be the person starting it or get in right under them and build a downline of thousands of people. Not only was her downline tiny, but she got into Thrive years after it started. She had maybe ten people on her downline. Level paid for that Lexus maybe once or twice, every month the goal resets and there’s just no way she was making any type of money, she was most likely using mortgage money to pay for that car. The payment was over $500 a month, for a mid grade Lexus that’s insane. I paid $550 for a Mercedes S63 Amg, which is ten times the price. Her credit was shot and she probably needed Chris to sign off on it. Not to mention there’s a minimum every month to stay active as a Level Rep, it can range from $150-300 at the cheapest level – and don’t forget she had Chris signed up below her, so now that’s two monthly memberships.
She’d have to have a huge downline selling hundreds of thousands in product to make decent money with Level. Remember, if a product sells for say, $100, they get maybe $3 for that purchase. They weren’t even covering the monthly membership fees with sales money, they were in the negative. MLMs love to tout the whole “You need to spend money to make money!!” and they encourage their members to go into deep debt to keep buying product and “invest” in their business. They also tell them to disregard overhead costs and just look at profit, which is insane and a sure sign something is a scam. You should never have to pay for a job, if you do it’s a scam. All the money usually comes from recruits and she didn’t have many.
Plus, you don’t fall 4 months behind on your mortgage, borrow $10,000 (plus fees and penalties) from your husband’s 401k to avoid eviction, only to end up 3 months behind again a couple months later. Not only was she making nothing with Level, she was actually losing money with it.
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I was also struck by the love letter – pouring her heart out for 3/4 of it, and then the abrupt 180 to nutgate and how she deserves an apology – not great timing. She seems a little more optimistic but still slightly unhinged. Do we know if they had paid the Primrose School tuition, I don’t remember whether they had. Considering their finances, I think probably not, which would make it odd that they agreed to drive Bella for her first day, although by that time he probably had no idea if that would actually happen.
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I’ve been waiting for the doll picture day. This is the one and only thing that gives me pause for thought about whether he could have been abusive in their life before his act of ultimate abuse. A street Angel, house devil as my gran would have put it. But there’s little other evidence of that. I think a neighbour originally reported hearing lots of loud rowing with Chris shouting a lot, but then retracted saying he had exaggerated. It’s hard to think of a reason though for such a sinister gaslighty photo. And which judging by her own response is unexplained. On the other hand, why would he give advance notice if it was in his head.
Because he’s passive-aggressive
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If someone sent this to me i’d be thinking wtf. And especially within the context of a acrimoniously dissolving relationship. She did say a couple of days ago that she was scared to be with him. I wonder if in some of the high emotion conversations whether he’d threatened her life – you know maybe in response to her saying he wouldn’t see the kids or similar. And that sending this was a reminder to her of that threat.
She knew the cards were maxed out. She knew they were again 3 months behind in house payments. Wasn’t the house going on the market because of the oil pumps going up close by? At least initially that is why they were selling. They were stressed about finances? I think SHE could put up a wall and not think about it (until the very end when she thought she might have to raise 3 kids on her own), and HE conveniently stuck his head in the sand and left the finances to her.
An aside, as easy as it is to get credit cards almost instantly, I wonder why Chris didn’t get a secret card for his dates with Nickole.
BTW, your overview of what was happening a year ago at this time is well thought out and really captivating. Good job!
Since their cards were maxed out a credit check for a new one might show existing credit card debt.
His job had a program where employees earned VISA gift cards after reaching fitness goals. As he lost weight he earned gift cards later using them on dates with Nichol. He then set up an account, that was discussed in the discovery docs, where he could replenish and check gift card balances online. Another secret his wife never knew about.
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That makes no sense that he was deleting messages on his phone from his dad. In truth he was likely deleting messages from his mistress, getting his ducks all lined up in a row now for what will come. Can you imagine if she had had his phone in her hand and opened the secret calculator? But it’s as if she doesn’t want to know he’s having an affair. He likely didn’t let that phone out of his sight, probably took it into the bathroom with him too.
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Probably not, but still possible. If he told his father about the affair, his father may have wanted to advise him. If his parents knew about the family splitting up, they would have wanted to support him. Bear in mind when Watts mentions the affair during the First Confession, it’s no surprise to his father. He doesn’t even ask who it is or how he knows her.
CHRIS said [to his father] the police knew he had an affair. RONNIE asked CHRIS if he was going to tell him what happened.
Well, that could be then. Watts seems to offer little bits of truth mixed in with lies. So perhaps he was deleting messages from his dad. Ronnie may have asked did Chris tell his wife he wanted a divorce – something he may have discussed with his parents when they had their pow wow. Or about the affair. But Shan’ann doesn’t ask why are you deleting messages from your dad. Watts is gaining the upperhand. She’s afraid to tread into dangerous territory, thinking whew, that was close. He almost was going to leave us!
The calculator app worked as a normal calculator. Shanann would have had to know his secret PIN to get to the pics.
The tables really turned on this day. CW was gaining the upper-hand; for the first time ever. Shan’ann was desperate and confused. Her letter is just pitiful. She sounds so damn desperate.
CW was just biding his time and the about-face he did was clever. It only confused his prey more.
I think if he had actually threatened her, she would have confided in somebody about it. She was just talking to way too many people to not share something like that. The doll photo is still puzzling. I think he was simply messing with her head at this point and enjoying watching her unravel.
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