#42 Tuesday August 14th, 2018: A Whole New Take on the Sermon on the Porch #1yearagotodayCW

It’s my job to shed new light and to wrest new insights, and original lines of inquiry into this case. Many who are familiar with the Watts case know the events that follow all too well, at least, we think we do, don’t we?

But most of the time we’re only looking at this case from one perspective, our own. What we’re going to do on #42 is going to feel a little strange at first, but trust me, it puts the whole case [and Watts in particular], in a whole new light.

What we’re going to do as we review Tuesday is think about the events not through our eyes, or even Chris Watts’ eyes, but through the heart of Nichole Kessinger, and through the eyes of Shan’ann’s mother.

Worth playing for? 

Those who demonize Nichole Kessinger also dehumanize her, and by doing that they miss a vital opportunity to understand the emotional dynamics running through this case. She was in love with him, and had her hopes set on him, to a point. And so did he. It’s easy to be dismissive of this, or to imagine knowing this in the back of our minds is intellectually sufficient. It’s not. In order to intuit what really happened, we have to step into the hearts and minds of these people, even if for just an evening here, or a telephone call there.

So let’s do that.

A). KESSINGER

When we do a cursory read-through of the Phone Data Review, every interaction refers to some dynamic between two people. Understandably, Nichol Kessinger is Googling Shan’ann Watts late at night. If something has happened to her, Kessinger knows something is wrong with him. She really hopes and wishes that’s not the case. She’s hoping what Watts has told her is true; that they’ve been arguing, and Shan’ann’s no longer interested in staying in the marriage. If this is true, it’s good news for her, good news for them. But is it true?

When the discovery refers to a conversation on the night of August 13th, it was actually a  series of conversations that went on from about 21:00 until 02:00 the next morning. During this time Watts also FaceTimed with Kessinger.

One of the things that came up in the conversation was Watts telling his mistress that Shan’ann had removed her ring [he had removed it from her dead finger] and left it on her bedside table. What did this mean? Of course, Watts was manipulating her and manipulating the scene, trying to send a message, appropriating her ring in order to create the contrivance of a scorned wife. Of course, Watts also needed and wanted the ring, because he needed cash. We shouldn’t judge Kessinger too harshly for suggesting that Watts pawn it. She didn’t know then what the true state of affairs was. It does reveal what a sly, sneaky bastard Watts was.

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On Monday night/Tuesday morning, Kessinger is starting to pick up mixed feelings and red flags. Some of what Watts is saying is okay, but some of it doesn’t gibe. Now he’s saying he wants the separation, when all along he’d said Shan’ann wanted to leave the marriage. Perhaps the biggest red flag – for her – was Watts saying Shan’ann was okay with the divorce. Under the circumstances, her storming off without a word, taking the kids, to decompress somewhere [without telling her], well, it just didn’t jibe.Fullscreen capture 20190808 141213

Of course, from Watts’ point of view, it made complete sense to feel that Shan’ann was huffy under the circumstances and had left to decompress. It felt like the right thing to express. And in terms of what he said to Kessinger it felt like the right thing to say that she was okay with the new status quo. That was the point of the murder, to make things okay. To force Shan’ann to be okay with him seeing Kessinger, and to facilitate her being okay with him. Does that make sense?

For both Watts and Kessinger, the week of August 13th was supposed to be about the two of them looking for a new apartment for him. She’d apparently found one, and told him so in the week prior after he returned from North Carolina. It seems he postponed looking for apartments with her perhaps because he had the kids to look after, and also because the urgency arose in him to get rid of his family permanently.

To Watts, Kessinger’s willingness and initiative to help him find a new place to live must have felt like a tremendous vote of confidence. As if she was truly communicating the potential for a long term commitment. And he wanted that. He wanted to accept that and give her that. All of this was in the offing leading up to the weekend, and then going into Monday. Wasn’t it fortuitous that just when they were supposed to find a place, Shan’ann and the kids conveniently stepped out of the picture. Just as they returned to Colorado [to fuck things up] they vanished again.

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It also didn’t make sense that Shan’ann would call a realtor just like that. Watts had dragged his feet, she said. Why the the slow pace and then, a sudden haste?

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We know that during his drive back to the crime scene on Monday midday, Watts seemed to be thinking bigger than “an apartment”. He was thinking a three-car garage. Watts wasn’t just getting greedy about getting Kessinger and getting rid of his family, he wanted it all, didn’t he?

There is obviously a lot more to unpack, especially in terms of the crime scene, and what Watts might have been trying to do by telling Kessinger there were “smelly sheets” in the house. We know there were, were know some sheets had feces on them. We also know that by Tuesday, Watts had basically cleaned or contaminated the entire house, including making all upstairs beds.

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We also see Watts seemingly dodging the calls of the cops [at 01:58] while he’s trying to chat to his girlfriend. This alone should show to what extent his head was in the clouds.

Now let’s dead with Shan’ann’s mother’s reaction to the unfolding tragedy.

B) SANDI

Sandi and Shan’ann are similar. Similar domineering, strong, emotional personalities. Sandi’s near absence from the timeline on August 13th should be borne in mind. Sandi knew about the separation, so much so she told her colleagues at Hair Jazz. Sandi knew Watts had been cold, distant and standoffish. Sandi knew Shan’ann was pregant, and that the gender reveal was about to happen. So why wasn’t Sandi more involved on Monday? Why was Nickole the hero of the day and not Sandi?

To her credit, Sandi did call Primrose school to find out if the kids were there, and she was in constant contact with Nickole, including while she and her son were traipsing through the crime scene.

But the fact remains that by the end of Monday, Watts had basically led everyone to believe Shan’ann and the kids were out there somewhere, and probably would return home that evening, or the next morning. This was classic delaying tactics by Watts. We’ve seen it time and time again from him. The best way to avoid a confrontation is to delay it again and again and again. He did that with Shan’ann, the pregnancy, with Kessinger [in terms of the divorce and apartment hunting] and now he was doing it with the cops.

Officer Ed Goodman was working the late shift that night. He was the one trying to get hold on Watts. He’d actually been to the the Wyndham Hill Estate searching late at night through the empty homes still under construction. Goodman had some difficulty contacting Watts, possibly because Watts was FaceTiming at the time. Watts eventually called Goodman back [at 02:05] from his work phone.

August 14 02:00 call between Officer Ed Goodman and Chris Watts [46th Tranche]

I don’t want to deal with this aspect in any more detail, because I want to get to Sandi’s involvement, but perhaps due to the lateness of the hour, or because he’d just been talking casually and fairly openly with Kessinger moments earlier, Watts is very casual as he runs through the vital statistics of his family. As a result Goodman notes:

It should be mentioned that once I had made contact with Christopher, he did not ask me if I had been calling because I had any information concerning his missing wife and daughters, or if I was calling because they had been found.

About two-and-a-half hours later, Sandi calls Officer Goodman. If Watts sounds casual, Sandi sounds distraught. She’s convinced [rightly] that Watts is involved, believes there’s been foul play [correctly] and suspects Watts is “going to pour oil on the bodies to dispose of them” [100% right].

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According to the Phone Data Review Sandi called the cops first [at 04:38] and then called Watts at 04:58. This might be an error, because Sandi reported to the police that Watts didn’t sound emotional [just as he didn’t sound at all concerned to Officer Goodman].

In any event, it’s unfortunate Sandi didn’t communicate her concerns/intuitions earlier. The remains might have been found much earlier. In a situation like this emotions and confusion tend to muddle everything. It’s important for those involved to simply stick to the facts. What behavior specifically adds up to a particular potentiality? Also, what are the key dynamics going on that others might not be aware of, that are pulling the individuals in particular direction? It’s easy to say in hindsight, but the finances, Shan’ann’s concern about an affair, the pregnancy, the extended time apart, the expressed intention to separate, Shan’ann’s feelings on the matter, the imminent gender reveal and Watts newfound vanity all formed part of a lethal and toxic mix. Unfortunately it took everyone weeks, if not months to tie all of these threads together [and we’re still doing so].

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I won’t be dealing with the remainder of the entries here. We know that by mid-morning Watts gave his now infamous Sermon on the Porch, and once that happened, his goose was cooked.

What I want you to do now is watch the interview again, but watch it as Nichol Kessinger, who is in love with Watts, and wants to believe him. Instead she finds, like the rest of us, that she can’t. What she sees is another face, a second face, to Chris Watts. In essence, a TWO FACE.

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During the entire seven minutes of the interview, Watts carefully avoids saying one word, the most important word: pregnant. This really cuts to the heart of the reason why he killed her, and in typical Watts’ fashion, he avoids telling the media this. It’s unfortunate they didn’t bring it up.

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In any event, it’s also the Sermon on the Porch that led to Kessinger finally making up her mind about Watts. She tells her father and they resolve to go to the police, but judging from what we know, not the same day. Like Sandi, they seemed to need the rest of the day to sleep on it.

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More: Hold up, is that a SCRATCH on Chris Watts’ neck?

Lie Spotting: Test your true crime lie detector nous with the Chris Watts case

The scent of death: Police dogs and the Chris Watts investigation – kdvr

The #1 Word Missing from the Sermon on the Porch, #1 Document Missing from the Discovery Documents and the #1 Evidence Photos We Still Haven’t Seen

The Story Behind the T-Shirt Chris Watts was wearing during his Sermon on the Porch

Who are Chris Watts’ friends Nick and Amanda?

A Red-Brown Stain on the Central Porch Cushion – and why we need to take a closer look at those Weatherproof Outdoor Cushions

It’s Time to Get to Grips with Chris Watts’ Tells when he Lies

Officer Matthew James’ Call to Chris Watts on the night of August 13th at 21:12 + Handwritten Notes on Yellow Pad Up Close [40th Tranche]

Nichol Kessinger’s statement to the Denver Post regarding when she knew about Shan’ann Watts’ pregnancy may not be entirely accurate

Nichol Kessinger told the cops Chris Watts told her the baby wasn’t his

“The child was not his…” Nichol Kessinger FBI Statement [21st Tranche]

 

26 thoughts on “#42 Tuesday August 14th, 2018: A Whole New Take on the Sermon on the Porch #1yearagotodayCW

  1. He’s trying to give his spiel to the sound of dogs barking in the house – reminds me of this clip from Cool Hand Luke – no need to watch beyond 1:04

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  2. When I watched it as NK, I noticed he focused more on talking about his girls than his wife. I think he only used her name once. I noticed he just didn’t seem very upset about the situation. Also, I imagined NK would have picked up on the “we had an emotional conversation” part, which was glossed over. If I were her, that would have made my heart pound. Was it about me? Getting a divorce? Moving out? It would have stood out to me.

    As Sandi, the main thing I noticed was he never said Shan’ann was pregnant or that his girls had medical issues. Both of those things would have definitely given the situation a bigger sense of urgency. He didn’t bring any of it up at all. I also looked for any emotion or concern in his face and voice and didn’t see any. He mentioned having “a traumatic night” in the house, but he looked very well-rested.

    Both of them probably would have found it odd that he was talking so much. He was a man of few words and did not like the spotlight, but there he was rambling on and on, doing most of the talking. Strange things like “if they’re not safe, I need them back” and “If they are somewhere safe, I want them back” or something like that. Also “I wasn’t going to tell them [the girls] to eat that”, “I wasn’t going to put on their rain maker”, “I wasn’t going to turn on their monitor”. In trying to sound normal by talking about routine things, it actually sounds very abnormal given the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you think about it, what’s traumatic about being at home alone? And if you match up those words with his laid-back conversation with Officer Goodman, there’s absolutely no sense of trauma. He’s guessing the appropriate response but he’s getting it completely wrong.

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      • Maybe he said he had “a traumatic night” in case the trauma dogs alerted to something? Like trying to play it off like it was because of him being traumatized!

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  3. I have a few thoughts: the reason Chris was looking at the 3-car garage house was because his realtor pulled it as a comp (a house similar to his own house, that was on the market or recently sold, to give Meadows and Chris an idea of how much to price his own house), not as a house he would potentially buy with Nichol.
    Basically, real estate value fluctuates based on mortgage rates and comparable home sales in the area. Ann Meadows was doing exactly as she should to price the Watts home: 1) taking into account it’s size and amenities and 2) then using that information to see what similar homes in the area have sold for or are selling for. It’s quite clear to me that she found a house for sale, or recently sold, that was the same model as the Watts home, but may have had a finished basement. She asked Watts to confirm if that was the same model (The Watts’ had purchased the home, I believe, in 2013, so she probably didn’t exactly remember the Watts’ home’s details). She then asks whether or not they had the basement finished, which would change the approximate price of the house to higher, if yes, lower if not. Chris confirms no upgrades to his home and that yes, it’s the same model she identified in the same subdivision he was already living in. Based on his answers, she could then perform a market analysis to price his home for sale.
    Also important to keep in mind: Watts would have been unable to consider purchasing the other home due to the fact it was in the same subdivision that was suing him for lack of payment of association fees. Just my thoughts. I still believe he wanted to use the proceeds from the sale of the home to pay off his debt and to down-size in Brighton, (and maybe pick up a new luxury car, as well). Thanks for the great, one-year-ago posts. They have been really insightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for keeping us on track in terms of the realty technicalities. So perhaps he was willing to downsize after all. If Watts had been in a hurry to sell, how soon do you think he could have disposed of the house, and for how much?

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      • You’re welcome.

        Watts bought the home for approximately 400K in 2013. Overall, Frederick, CO home prices are down 2% from this time last year.

        Taking that information into account, after pulling the comps in the neighborhood now, within 1 square mile (same square footage, close to the same size lot, but marking down for the builder-grade basics in the house such as carpets, laminate tile, low-end kitchen appliances, etc. and subtracting 2%) I feel confident that the Watt’s could have sold that home for around 530,000-545,000, especially if he was in a hurry to sell. He may have been able to get up to 560,000 if he was willing to wait it out.

        From that, subtract 6% (3% for each agent, which the seller pays at closing) and about $1500 in other closing costs (title tax, settlement agency, etc.) and Watts could have walked away with about $97,000.00 in gains.

        Financially, he would have been very, very much better off.

        Liked by 3 people

      • “Financially, he would have been very, very much better off.”

        That nearly $100K certainly would have given him an amount of breathing room he hadn’t had in *years*…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re welcome.

    Watts bought the home for approximately 400K in 2013. Overall, Frederick, CO home prices are down 2% from this time last year.

    Taking that information into account, and pulling the comps in the neighborhood now, within 1 square mile (same square footage, close to the same size lot, but marking down for the builder-grade basics in the house such as carpets, laminate tile, low-end kitchen appliances, etc. and subtracting 2%) I feel confident that Watts could have sold that home for around 540,000-550,000.

    If he was in a hurry, Meadows would have advised him to sell for somewhere between 530,000-540,000. From that, subtract 6% (3% for each agent, which the seller pays at closing) and about $1500 in other closing costs (title tax, settlement agency, etc.) and Watts would have walked away with about $97,000.00 in gains.

    Financially, he would have been very, very much better off

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  5. The pantomime of ‘finding the ring’ was to suggest that she had walked out for good – we obviously know she didn’t leave it but it’s something a woman might do to symbolically to say that they’ve gone for good – perhaps even from this earth (suicide). I think that’s what he was trying to suggest in finding it and it likely gives a clue into how he was going to play it over coming days if it hadn’t all ended in an early bath for him.

    He does look rested, but actually hadn’t he been up most of another night cleaning. He had good reason for sleep deprivation the last 2 nights but actually I’ve thought several times about both of them over the last few weeks – when did these people sleep ?

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    • I think it was the Thrive patches. They don’t seem to have slept much.

      NK (I take everything she says with a grain of salt) said that Chris would nod off in the middle of speaking and didn’t seem to be aware he was doing it. She said he always wore two patches.

      It’s my opinion (don’t know this for a fact) that those patches were loaded with stimulants and painkillers. All-natural, of course (/s). There’s just no way they could have done everything they did, without a buttload of stimulants.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Actually, that math was off. Adding 2% to account for the change in value, and subtracting the $350,000 principle still owed, Watts would pocket $155,000.00! Quite a huge difference!

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  7. He could have made like a $2000 balloon payment to somebody (maybe HOA) at the end of the summer with the $ they saved from not having to pay Primrose for 5 weeks!

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      • Yes! What hit me most, (thanks to your fantastic one-year-ago walk-thru) were how many financially-related actions Watts took right after the murders: called the hotel near Aspen before he had to pay for the room, called the school before he had to pay tuition, worked with the realtor to get the house on the market before he had to pay the mortgage . . .

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      • Colorado is what’s known as a “community property state” – which means that Chris would have been legally liable for any of his wife’s debt if it was incurred during the marriage – i.e. mortgage, HOA fees, credit cards, vehicle loans, medical bills, etc. Also, since the family’s medical insurance appears to have been through his employer, he would have been left liable for any outstanding medical bills for his 2 children, since they were minors and he would have been the medical bill guarantor as the primary insured on the policy. When all was said and done, there may actually not have been much cash remaining once all the debts were paid, even if the house was sold for top dollar. (I live in Colorado so I can confirm this is how community/marital property works here. Different U.S. states have varying laws about this.)

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  8. The Watts family secured a $392,709 loan to purchase the $399,954 home. Their balance, at the time of Shan’ann’s death was $349,938. If he had sold the house in August 2018 it was valued, at that time, at $514,892. Of course his agent would list it for more, knowing people negotiate down or up depending on how they think the home will appreciate. And with more fracking planned, it’s possible Watts would have taken $514K. If they had sold the house as a couple, with Shan’ann’s track record of getting out of an expensive house quickly, even leaving all furniture in it, she would want the money soon, as would he.

    Subtracting for realtor fees at 6% ($30,893) HOA back dues ($1500 – and to get the lien that would surely have been put on the house off title) subtracting for two months back mortgage payments – $5400 – but not accounting for closing costs, Watts family would have received $84,389.48, divided by two, $42,194.74 for each. Roughly. That’s if he had done this the honorable way. That’s still not too shabby – primarily because their house appreciated. But while they are waiting for their house to sell they would have to get caught up on their mortgage payments. In California if you default on your mortgage payments 3 months in a row the foreclosure process begins. You will be turned over to a collection agency and then it’s much more difficult to negotiate with them than it is with your bank before it goes to collections. Even so banks don’t negotiate – come up with it, or else.

    Of course he doesn’t have to pay off his credit card debt, they would likely split the debt. A first monthly payment would have gone to the Primrose school. So he’s out that money too, until he could work it out with Shan’ann to put the children in a public school system. Of course she would be free to use her share of the house to pay for their Primrose schooling, but not likely she would be able to. None of this would happen immediately of course. She would have dragged the divorce and custody agreement out for years, even if the house sold immediately the distribution of funds and assets might have been frozen. His carefree life would still be some time away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this is the real untold story of the case. In financial terms we need to look at the answer to: Why didn’t he just get a divorce? He he had, what would that look like in dollar terms. Thanks for beginning this line of inquiry. Unfortunately, missing from the picture is Shan’ann’s true income.

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      • This info was posted on the Facebook Group by Rosiepaperdoll. Explains why the Watts home has been purposefully taken off the market.

        “My theory for the postponement: The federal exchange rate has been dramatically cut for the first time in about 11 years. When rates go down, it’s a plus for consumers, not so much for lenders. JP Chase Morgan holds title on the Watts home. Not only is it already to be auctioned for lower than it’s value, now the interest rates on the loan will be much lower. It’s in the bank’s best interest to wait until mortgage rates go back up before they auction, to avoid losing more money on the property. It’s also why now is an extremely good time for anyone to buy, if they have to take out a loan. Their interest rates will be lower. I found this link that explains this better than I can, if anyone is interested.”

        https://moneywise.com/…/interest-rate-cuts-coming-what…

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  9. Chris in the sermon on the porche never expressed concern about how his daughters might feel. In her messages Shannan behaved the same way. She never expressed concern about what her daughters would feel if she and Chris got divorced. She only wrote that they should have left Primrose school. And she vindictively wrote, that she would ask for full custody. She never showed any concern for her daughters. This shows that she was overwhelmed by a greater concern: finding herself without income. So Shannon wasn’t fighting for love or family, like Chris is fighting for money.

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