Why did Chris Watts take off work on Friday, August 10th? Because Shan’ann left first thing in the morning. Did he want to take off work? Being away from work meant being away from Nichol Kessinger. He’d been away for a week, then back at work for a day. On Friday he was away from her again, and back to babysitting. This was a sample of what custody might be like. Basically being with his kids meant he couldn’t be with her.
But putting up his hand to look after Bella and Ceecee was contingent on Shan’ann going ahead with her business trip. If there was going to be a chance of seeing Kessinger that weekend, he’d at least have a chance if he only had the kids on his hands. If Shan’ann was around, there’d be no chance of that. So he played nice, reassured her, and off she went.
Watts must have felt like he was getting pretty good at spinning plates. He was on a roll.
The tone of Shan’ann’s “all is well” text to him that morning exemplifies this.
Good morning honey! Sorry to make you wake up early twice today. I didn’t want alarm going off…your letter is on the counter…have a great time with the kiddos. They truly missed you. Love you baby. Send me pics.
Why does Shana’nn tell him now, that his children missed him when he was away? It’s because he expressed to her that that when they saw their father, they didn’t act like they missed him. They didn’t act like they needed him either. We also saw in the video at Myrtle Beach Watts repeatedly holding out his hand to guide Bella into the sea [her first time] and Bella refusing his help. Ordinarily this might not have bothered him, but he’d been away from his children for 5 weeks, and this was a big moment, made worse because Shan’ann was filming it.
23 minutes later, Shan’ann’s “all is well” facade has already started to slip.
“I don’t know why I feel really weak standing…”
This was probably a form of gestational diabetes, which is normal given her condition, but given the timing of it, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that Watts may have tried to poison Shan’ann. The basement was chock-full of medicines and she was always taking pills and powders. While sleeping in the basement, these potions were staring at him, gleaming at him through their transparent containers. The lights of the router were ticking and blinking, tempting him.
At 07:51 Jeremy Lindstrom congratulates Watts on the baby boy. This sets the tone for the whole day, and the weekend. Watts has to absolutely make sure the news doesn’t reach Kessinger. He has to start formulating his plan. He asks Jeremy when the birthday party starts on Sunday. 13:00. Shan’ann will be arriving back ten hours later the same evening. When will he be able to talk to Kessinger?
It’s significant that the Happy Anniversary messages between Watts and his wife aren’t on his phone. Watts must have known the cops would seize his phone, and this message above all would prove that he’d been lying about intending to separate or divorce his wife, as well as the notion that she intended to leave him [or had had a child with someone else]. It’s also worth noting that Shan’ann didn’t post any message regarding their anniversary on Facebook. Had he asked her not to do that too?
As early as 09:24 Watts had already decided how Saturday night was going to play out. He had a babysitter organized, and importantly, it was one of his friends, not Nickole Atkinson, not one of Shan’ann’s pals, who’d be in the house.
By 11:57 he was moving onto dealing with the house. Bear in mind, during his confessions he mentioned talking about selling the house on the morning of Shan’ann’s death. Well, they’d spoken about it before, as early as Thursday, and probably prior to that too.
Shan’ann sends him a link to their realtor, Ann Meadows. Why does Watts need it? And why then? Why ask for it on Friday morning? He needed it because he was taking back his house. Once she was dead, it was going to be much harder to make arrangements and find their original contacts.
Watts had also taken care of the insurance of the Lexus, but it’s unclear whether that was at his own initiative or an instruction from Shan’ann. The research into various car models at this time [he Googled Audi Q7 the previous night] also suggests he was thinking of coming into some money, and would need a chariot for his mistress. Once Shan’ann was dead the Lexus would have to go, and he couldn’t use his work truck.
This reinforces the possibility that Watts was terrible with money.
At this point, the final three days leading into the disappearance, the Phone Data Review explodes. The reviewer intrudes here, breaking in with his own observations, noting how Shan’ann was “upbeat and optimistic” for the first time in weeks.
Shan’ann did feel they had turned a corner, but that’s because Watts had. Shan’ann’s emotional style was expressive and obvious whereas Watts was subtle, understated and introverted. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel what he felt less keenly than she did. Introverts, if anything, feel their emotions more keenly than others, and because they fear being overwhelmed by their emotions [as Watts was] they try to stifle and suppress their “inappropriate” emotions.
Let’s stop there. We’re venturing into deep psychological analysis covered in the TWO FACE series.
Getting back to the timeline, we see there’s a lot of detail right here that’s missing from the rest of the Phone Data Review. For example, we’re starting to see when Watts’ phone connects to the router. We’ll also see Vivint alerts. The forensic analysis highlights these because almost everything becomes relevant in the last few days. But because it’s excised from earlier in the timeline, we can’t see what the precedents were. We don’t get a sense of Watts’ habitual movements or the digital ecosystem, all the blinking light and notifications he was accustomed to on a daily basis.
Now, I’m not going to deal with Watts meeting with his Anadarko co-worker Troy McCoy in the Safeway parking lot, what that means and how that played into premeditation. I’m not even going to touch on Troy McCoy’s version of that meeting in the Discovery Documents, even though it’s of critical importance. Why not? We’re venturing into territory now covered in detail by the books, especially TWO FACE RAPE OF CASSANDRA and TWO FACE DRILLING THROUGH DISCOVERY.
At this point, however, things are rapidly gaining momentum; thing are really starting to move. Between several texts from Shan’ann issuing instructions, Watts’ father contacts him at 13:50. [Remember the observations made in the previous post about “missing messages from parents”?]. Watts tells his father he’s liberated himself by deleting his Facebook. That’s what this weekend is all about – liberating himself – and by the end of it, he will try to liberate himself from his wife and children too.
It’s telling that on this day, a week after their trip to the Sand Dunes, Watts was still replaying the video Kessinger had made thanking him for their trip. It was this video at the end of the evening, when the kids were in bed, that convinced him a fairy tale with his forever girl wasn’t just possible, it was happening. It was up to him to make sure nothing and no one got in the way.