All My Broken Pieces – 4 Chapter Excerpts

The chapters below were copied and pasted onto Facebook, and leaked on Reddit. The author has provided TCRS with exclusive use and rights to the “Watts Wedding” chapter, a chapter not included here, but which will be released as part of the next TCRS book SILVER FOX, coming in early November 2019.

“All My Broken Pieces” by Cindy Watts and Kathleen

Jamie Watts is under the alias “Sarah”

I don’t think, even once, not when I was a little girl even, that I expected or wanted everyone in our country to know my name. Maybe every little girl dreams of being a princess, and now an Internet star; but they didn’t have Internet stars when I was a kid, and they don’t have any princesses, or stars at all, where I’ve always lived, except for those in the sky.

If anyone had been interested, or asked me ten years ago, what I wanted, I would have told them I already had it: a good marriage to a fine man, and two wonderful children. By “back then,” I have to qualify and say that I mean back before my son married a woman that was wrong for him and began to lose himself, and we began to lose him as well.

Our pain started then, and over the next eight years our lives tilted downhill and became sadder, more complicated, and filled with growing amounts of unwanted drama and fear, until we finally ended up here, at the bottom, in a damaged, grieving heap, broken into pieces.

Two of our granddaughters are dead; the young woman who was our daughter-in-law is dead, and her family is devastated as well; our boy is in many ways as lost to us as though he were dead; our family is in rubble; and the whole world seems to know our names and hate us. We just exist and try to breathe through permanently constricted throats, trying to find a way – any way at all – to go on living for what we have left, who we have left, including each other, in our new reality, which is simply moment-by-moment wreckage.

I am not writing this book to ask for sympathy. I am writing it because there are always three sides to every story: hers, his, and the truth. Maybe I cannot know the truth any more than all the millions of strangers worldwide who seem to think they do. But I know some things: I know our family, I know my son, or maybe I don’t and I wish to gain understanding of him and his actions through this process, and to a degree I know the story of the marriage that led us all here. I want to tell people about these things I know at least.

As to what I hope will come of it, well I don’t hope for much anymore. But no matter what you think of me – of us – remember this: Chris is still my child, and if you have ever had and loved children, then you wish to hold them and comfort them when they are damaged. You wish to make it right.

I can’t make this right, and I may never hold my son again, never be able to comfort him. I can tell my story, though, or my truth if you will, and hope for understanding.

This is the story of us before, during and after the slide. It’s the story of our son meeting and marrying Shan’ann, and what occurred during their marriage. It’s the story of our granddaughters as we knew them, and of our son’s life during those years and their aftermath.

This is about us, a group of ordinary people as we actually are, and not as those who think they know us ormight wish us to be. Because, if what they say of us were true, then something like this could never happen to you or someone you love and that reassurance I can’t give anyone anymore.

As painful as the words of strangers are – those who know nothing of us, but feel they do – I hold no grudges. I might have thought the same as they do before, when it wasn’t us; before, meaning before my family became one of those that people read about, and shake their heads over, and then immediately run to their laptops to say such things as, “I guess I would have drowned him at birth,”

Or, if that wasn’t personal enough, they speculate about whether it was me or my husband, Ronnie, who is the psychopath, and whose horrible parenting (or genes, take your pick – or choose both) has twisted up our boy so bad that he was always destined to grow up to become a “family annihilator.” The worst of course, the very worst, and I think what truly drove this book is the people who have written that my beautiful young grandson is going to grow up to be another Chris.

God help you to find more kindness for an innocent boy and maybe to find in these pages the answer that there aren’t any-real answers-I mean as to how this tragedy happened or what could have stopped it, because cant you see that if we could have we would have, please if nothing else, believe that.

I’d like to thank you, the reader, for listening to my story, and for giving me your time as I travel this road again.

Chris was a really good kid. It’s not just me who says so: everyone who ever met and knew him said so too. He was very gentle and quiet and never caused us a single problem. He was an honor student who loved sports and made a nice life for himself in Mooresville NC, after high school and then Nascar Tech.

Then he met Shan’ann.

CHAPTER 1

Everybody talks about their dreams for their children, but I think I can safely say that there is only one that we parents have, we just want them to be happy. Of course there is no bigger dream, and in many cases nothing harder to achieve and the difficult thing is, that we really cant do one thing about helping them to be happy. That’s mostly down to luck I think. Our boys luck ran out pretty early on.

I don’t think I worried about him much when he was little, he was such a good kid, and in high school he played Baseball and got straight A,s so I didn’t have any reason to worry, but I did anyway. Because he was so incredibly shy and quiet, and I didn’t want him to be lonely, or missing out on all the silly adventures, that we parents complain about, but expect anyway and then later shake our heads over and laugh. He was terribly serious at an age when most kids aren’t.

Our daughter was so busy and over scheduled with friends and boyfriends and keeping AT@T in business and pushing our rules that it was hard not to notice the differences between them as teenagers. Still what more could I have reasonably wanted than a son who did all the right things and just seemed to enjoy going to see Nascar races with his dad, while maintaining high grades and playing sports?

And yet, okay, I’d hear from my mother, who the kids called Oma, about the school pick- ups.

I was working and so she would go and collect the kids for me after school. She’d drive up to get Chris first at his elementary school and promptly out he would come, my sweet boy ambling out the door, giving her his quiet smile and saying thank you as he got in the car to wait with her for his sister.

Wait they did too, Sarah was so popular that it could take her a good half hour or more after school to say goodbye to all her friends that she wouldn’t get a chance to talk to by phone for an hour or so, it used to drive my mom crazy.

Both my kids were born kind, its just that Sarah, never met a stranger in her life and Chris, well he liked people just fine, but he came out reserved and quiet just like his dad and he stayed that way.

He had a few close friends and I guess if I wondered how it would go for him later, and I did because I’m a mother.

I hoped that somewhere out there ahead of him, was a sweet girl, who would think like I had about Ronnie and value him for what he was. She would I hoped simply enjoy being with my sweet good, hard working boy and build a life with him.

With Sarah I knew she’d have her pick and pick right when she was ready and she did, she went to college, fell in love with Steve, married him and started her career and her living happily ever after in the usual small starter house.

With Chris I…didn’t know so much as hope for the best. He was so shy in fact that a girl had to ask him to the senior prom. So I think, if I can remember correctly, I guess I knew he’d have to meet a pretty outgoing girl to bring him out of his shell. I knew that when he did that he’d be completely devoted to her and try his very best to make her happy, and since he is so much like his dad I figured her chances for that were better than average.

After high school Chris who like his dad, could fix anything mechanical that had been invented had set his sights on the Nascar academy and so off he went at eighteen and after he completed his schooling there, he was hired by a Ford dealership in Monroeville.

He’s always been a hard worker and he liked the work too and he we had raised both our kids to be careful about money. For awhile there it seemed like he had learned it too, because he started right off by saving up about every cent that didn’t go to rent and food. And before too long he had bought a brand new car a Ford Mustang and he only owed eight thousand dollars on it, while managing to put another eleven thousand into savings, which is pretty good for a young man of twenty four. Ronnie and I are careful people so nothing about Chris’s finances surprised us then.

In what spare time Chris had he continued his lifelong enjoyment of exercise and being outside and coming down to visit us and his sister and our new family member, Sarah’s little boy Wyatt, and of course he took every opportunity to go to see Nascar with his dad. I was glad of that too. I love Ronnie, but those races are too loud for me and I don’t think I was missed, those two loved hanging out together.

Our family stayed close and we saw a lot of Chris, despite the three hour drive from Monroeville to Spring Lake. He and Wyatt had become best friends too and Uncle Chris made was always a favorite visitor for him and Sarah and Steve were expecting their second baby which we were all overjoyed about.

I think we were all happy in that simple way of being so without noticing it, I guess by that I mean things were on track.

Our kids were doing well and their entries into adulthood had almost been a paint by numbers deal, school, jobs, marriage and a baby for our oldest and Chris was so young that we weren’t at all concerned that he hadn’t met anyone special yet.

Then we got a call from Chris, that he had in fact met a girl, and she was special and he wanted us to meet her too.

Sarah who is by far the most outgoing member of our family decided to host a barbecue, nothing big just a casual little thing, with a few friends and family. We weren’t nervous exactly but we were a little surprised because Chris had sheepishly announced to us that his new girlfriend was forty and since he was only twenty four, well I cant say what I thought, I was definitely curious though.

When Chris arrived, it was with a young, pretty dark haired woman, her name was Shan’ann King and she didn’t look anywhere near forty.

Ronnie didn’t seem to be bothered by it, but Sarah and I did a little whispering in the kitchen, wondering why Chris had told us that she was so much older than she obviously was.

Finally we asked him he grinned and brought Shan’ann over and they laughed and said it had been her idea and wasn’t it hilarious? We laughed too, but to this day I never have figured out why she wanted us to think she was so much older. Still Chris seemed to like her a lot and she was very friendly and outgoing and who gets every joke anyway?

So we weren’t worried, I suppose we were happy he’d found someone he liked enough to want to introduce us too and she seemed to have a lot going for her, an extraordinary amount of things actually.

She was as it turned out, only a year older than Chris, and she was pretty and very outgoing, which probably was an excellent thing, since he was so shy, she could bring him out of his shell is I guess what I thought.

Remember please, I’m trying very hard here to look back as honestly as I can, all of us have to keep doing that, to remember how it was, not how it became if we are going to attempt this story.

She was pretty and funny and in the beginning it seemed like she wanted all of us to be friends and get to know each other and, well all those normal things.

Also, we are a family that believes in hard work and trying to do the best you can, and when we met her she was driving a Cadillac Escalade from the company she said she worked for, Dirty South, and then there was her house.

Now a lot of money and big houses don’t mean anything to me personally, I don’t want to live anywhere but in our little 1100 square foot house until the day I die, but I know those things are important to a lot of people and that’s fine.

Hard work, whether its for your own personal satisfaction as well as putting a roof over your head, no matter how small or large seems to me to make people feel good about themselves, and the roof Shann’ann had put over her head with her hard work was a big one.

In fact it looked like a mansion. It was as Sarah commented to me, the biggest and grandest house she’d ever seen, then or now.

It had three formal living rooms for heavens sakes and each one of them, well every room had the most beautiful furniture I’d ever seen in all of them, it sat right beside a lake and there was a boathouse too. For the people who lived in that subdivision I’m guessing that a boat wasn’t out of the question.

Her bedroom was massive and beautiful, she had these little clocks and things she said she’d ordered from Switzerland.

It was perfect, like a castle and she said she had bought and paid for it from her job at Dirty South by the age of twenty-five.

She told me in fact that when she had approached the builders and told them what she wanted they didn’t take her a bit seriously until she opened up a suitcase she had brought and pulled out twenty thousand dollars in cash. You had to be impressed with that no matter what.

I saw years later that her brother Frankie said that she was always a hard worker and was making half a million a year, and to maintain that house I think you would have to be pulling that in.

Like I said she was also driving a company car from Dirty South, though she had told Sarah that she was either taking a break from there or had quit, Sarah isn’t positive which, and that she was working as a nanny at the time instead. She also mentioned that she had worked at GAP previously so I don’t have any idea how she was managing it all.

She didn’t come from any more wealth than Chris had, just nice ordinary people, and if she had won the lottery which I could have believed she didn’t mention it, and she would have.

Because right from the start Shan’ann pretty much said everything she thought and told us a lot about her life. We heard right away about her Lupus and the Fibromyalgia and her migraines. The endometriosis and celiac disease she brought up later.

She told us she was divorced from a man who she had put through school and that he had been physically unattractive and that despite that he had also cheated on her.

She also told us she had recently been in a single car accident and had hurt her neck, she might have said she’d gone through the windshield too, but I can’t be sure. She seemed to be healthy and happy all the times we saw her, so I suppose she was just a very strong person.

At any rate, despite some confusion on how she had managed the house or where she worked, I think she just dazzled Chris.

Sure he was supporting himself and doing really well, especially for his age, but she was living in a house that cost nearly half a million dollars and had furniture and art inside that was probably worth half that again and her car was an Escalade after all. So if she started talking to him right away about what to do with money, he most probably would have listened to her. He certainly seemed to be listening to everything she told him right from the beginning.

CHAPTER 2

Chris lived and worked in Charlotte and so we didn’t see as much of him as we would have liked, and he’s never exactly been the chatty type on the phone. I’m the sort of person too, who figures no news is good news. I knew he had a pretty new girlfriend and work and I didn’t worry, he talked to his dad by phone and I knew if there were any problems Ronnie would tell me and he didn’t mention any so why worry?

We met her parents when they came up and her brother and they seemed like nice people. I’ll admit too that I wasn’t looking to get really close to Shann’ann, not because I disliked her, but because her conversations were so personal that they made me a little uncomfortable. There are lots of people who like to tell you everything about themselves when they meet you, but I’m not one of them and that’s okay in both directions I think. Like I said I wasn’t worried, the first time I did become a little concerned was at our grandson Wyatt’s third birthday party.

Sarah was pretty pregnant then with Ruby and the party was just going to be a small backyard one. Wyatt, like most little boys had a Power Ranger toy he liked. Shan’ann knew about this, and she suggested that it be a Power Rangers party, our daughter is a pretty easy going girl and so she didn’t mind if Shan’ann wanted to help out, or whatever.

At any rate, one of Shan’ann’s ideas was that she and Chris show up at the party dressed as Power Rangers and I guess she got him to rent the outfits, or buy them, I’m not sure which. But when the day came, Chris had forgotten the helmets, bearing in mind that it was a three hour drive from where he lived to Sarah’s house and that Wyatt was three and that all of us were just happy he could come. It took us all aback when Shan’ann told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to turn right around and drive straight back three hours to get the helmets and then return. A six hour trip, and obviously another three hours back home for a total of twelve hours on the road, and for what?

We all asked him that, told him not to go, don’t be silly, Wyatt could care less, just stay, enjoy yourself, visit with us, relax, we said, but it was Shan’ann he was looking at for approval, already, and he looked anxious.

We’d never seen him look that way, Chris was always a relaxed kid and young man, but she told him to go back and get those helmets and that’s just what he did. I guess that was the first time we began to worry it was just beginning.

CHAPTER 3

Like every other family when their adult child falls in love, it wasn’t going to matter what we thought about their kids new love interest. What would matter is what we said. Which if you ever want to have a continuing relationship with your child, better be nothing at all and so that’s what we did.

I mean who knows, people on the internet call me a crazy possessive mother, and Chris seemed to allude to that a little bit in his first interview. “My mom was a little hesitant.” The detective jumped in, “yeah losing her baby and all.” He shrugged and smiled. I have to admit I was a little taken aback by his answer. Because this was just a few weeks after Shan’ann had written about me on Facebook and she’d written a lot. Saying amongst other things that Sarah “was the golden child” and that Chris was always second. Sometimes you really can’t win. The simple truth is that I have always been crazy about both our kids and so is Ronnie.

But yes I have been extremely close to my daughter who is an astounding young woman and who with our beloved very nice son in law, generously shares time with their children and themselves with us.

That doesn’t mean I loved her more, we just had more in common, for example we like to talk to each other. Something Chris and Ronnie definitely had in common was that they did not have to talk much when together. Not that you can talk anyway at drag races or NASCAR unless you like to speak with bullhorns.

Ronnie’s closeness to Chris does not mean he loved him more than Sarah, these are just untrue things and they are hurtful from anyone. There’s a good old fashioned poem about this, that I guess everyone could agree on.

“A daughter is a daughter all of your life, a son is a son till he takes a wife.” It just means really that you pretty much have to understand and accept that once your kids grow up and marry that things will be different and that if you want to see them and to keep peace you need to like their choices whether you do or not, especially if you have grandchildren. I got lucky with Sarah’s, Steve, not so lucky with Chris’s choice but I figured it didn’t have to be a disaster, we could be polite and friendly and if so maybe Ronnie and I would get every other Christmas with them and that’s the best any parents can hope for really.

So getting back to then, Chris was obviously in love, we were keeping quiet and going on with our lives and a few weeks later, Chris called up to tell us that he just bought an engagement ring for Shan’ann, one they had picked out together and before I could say congratulations. He went onto tell me that he had paid twelve thousand dollars for it. I have to say, I was shocked, twelve thousand dollars is a down payment on a house, or he could have paid off his car, or it was a thousand dollars more than he had in his life savings and besides he was an auto mechanic not Prince William or Donald Trump. Maybe what I just said will make people laugh at me, because maybe that’s not a lot of money to other people but it is to our family. I said, “Son, you know money doesn’t grow on tree’s, couldn’t you have found something nice for less money?”

He didn’t say anything and I think I handed the phone over to Ronnie. But I found out later he had told Shan’ann what I’d said and she was really angry about it.

I was sorry to hear that because I’d been trying hard to maintain a relationship with her during this time. She had that habit of saying confiding things to me and like I said, I’m not used to someone I don’t know being that open. Or maybe the problem from my standpoint was that all her confidences to me were about how sort of pathetic she found my son. Its possible I suppose that she blamed for his shortcomings and she hoped that by telling me how he couldn’t even wash dishes right or cook. Or how the way he dressed embarrassed her and how she didn’t like his hair, or his weight either (he was too skinny). That we could maybe collaborate on improving him together and become closer, I didn’t like it though, and I know it showed.

But now she was going to be our daughter in law and that meant that if Chris didn’t mind her criticism, than I had better stop minding it for him.

We’d make a new start, a reset. It would begin at the beach house that Sarah and Steve had already rented for a coming stay, a family week. Chris had already been invited and we knew that he was bringing Shan’ann even before the ring announcement.

The plan was for all of us to spend time together and enjoy each other and witness the formal proposal she wanted him to make with the ring. Shan’ann managed to find a nearby beach house on the same street as the one our family was in, for her family to stay in. That sounded good too a chance to start getting to know our future in laws better and we could all become good friends before the wedding.

Everything went okay at first we were all happy to be on the beach.

Chris and Shann’ann in particular loved being outside all day and they really were a beautiful couple and they seemed to be in love and happy and the Rcuzeks were delighted with our boy and well yeah, it seemed like this might end up well after all.

Sarah and Steve and Wyatt and our brand new granddaughter were there and having a good time too. The sun shone and at least from my perspective our Wyatt was like having the Sun around all the time.

He’s such a happy, handsome little guy, always ready for an adventure and for Wyatt having Uncle Chris around was as good as Christmas. Chris was Uncle and good buddy rolled up into one. He played with him and looked like he was having as much fun doing it as Wyatt. Little kids do know the difference between someone who really enjoys their company and someone who is doing it for show. Though I’ll admit, they’ll take the latter if the former isn’t available, after all its better than not having any attention at all, kids aren’t stupid.

So Wyatt’s didn’t even want to eat breakfast first in the morning, without including his pal Uncle Chris, he’d march right to the bedroom that Chris and Shan’ann were were staying in and knock and holler good morning, to helpfully wake up Chris so that he didn’t miss any part of the fun. I guess like all adoring grandmas, and I am definitely one of those, I thought it was adorable, we all did. Well not all of us apparently.

The second morning it happened Chris found me in the kitchen and asked me to keep Wyatt from knocking on their door, I was surprised and asked him why. He said Shan’ann didn’t like it and it was ruining her morning sleep.

I was annoyed and told him that he could tell his sister that himself if he wanted it to stop and that he knew how much Wyatt loved him and that this would hurt his feelings, what was the big deal anyway, it wasn’t that early? Chris looked a little embarrassed and shrugged and said, “Well its her vacation too.” I guess.

Anyway that was the end of it as far as I knew. Something else happened that week, which was much worse but our family doesn’t discuss it and it wasn’t between me and Shan’ann and Chris didn’t hear about it.

The proposal happened during the week as well. Chris and Shann’ann went down to the beach with the photographer she’d hired and Chris popped the question and she said yes and then they posed for pictures, that they later showed us. They were in their swimsuits and they looked young and beautiful and happy, Chris was still very slim and muscled then and so was she was and everybody got a little choked up that there was going to be a wedding and then we all went home.

And while I wouldn’t have said it had gone smoothly, I decided to try and not think about it anymore and just get on with things. Then I received an email from Shan’ann that shocked me completely.

The gist of it was that she wanted me to know that she did not like me one bit. She thought I was a bad influence and a bad mother to Chris. She said that she knew I did not like her either and the less we saw of each other the better.

I’d never said an unkind word to her, I felt like I’d bent over backwards to welcome her into our family, and I also thought, wrongly, obviously that I had hidden my doubts about her.

It would be a lie to say I wasn’t completely devastated by that email. In my whole life no one had ever said anything like that to me. Like Chris I’m shy, I don’t get into arguments with people, or raise my voice, I cried, and I showed it to Ronnie, who told me not to answer and to just forget about it. My husband really can do things like that. I didn’t take his advice, I wish I had now, because what does any of it matter anymore, it did then though and then is what I’m having to remember now.

I wrote her back, I told her how badly she’d hurt my feelings, I told her that whether it looked like it or not, that I was trying. I told her that I didn’t like the way she talked about my son, or how she’d acted with my grandson, but that at least I was making an effort. Then I think I told her that I wouldn’t have ever written an email like this, if I hadn’t gotten hers, and it all seems so stupid and petty now, and it was then, ugly and petty and as sorry a beginning as a family trying to blend could have. I didn’t say anything to Chris though because they’d just gotten engaged and it would have upset him and Ronnie said not to and he was probably right.

I don’t know what I thought would happen, but what I wanted to happen, was for it to go away, and not to ever have her or anyone really be as mean to me as that again or make me lose my temper as I had. I couldn’t deal with things like this and up until then I’d never had too. So having been hit and having responded to my shame, I decided to turn the other cheek and try harder, this as it happens was not a very good plan either.

CHAPTER 4

Sarah was upset about the week at the beach, and concerned that Shan’ann blamed any fallout on me, but she’s not a young woman who likes problems or conflicts and she very definitely has her own life. And a demanding career so she just wanted to ignore any incipient family drama and she advised me to do the same. That sounded good, so I decided to take her advice and together we offered to throw a bridal shower for Shan’ann.

It had been pretty obvious from the pick of the twelve thousand dollar ring, and the public engagement that Shan’ann was going to want a big wedding.

She said she’d never had one with her first marriage and there are loads of women who want that fairytale day, so we didn’t think it was strange. Sarah had gotten married right out of college and we’d gone into debt to give her a nice wedding, and like a lot of young marriages it hadn’t lasted but a minute. Ronnie and I hadn’t judged, we just shrugged it off and if we thought of it all, we thought of how beautiful our girl had looked that day. Later on when she married Steve, they just went up to a mountain-top and did it, but I know every girl wants that day once. Sometimes I think more for the wedding experience than the marriage but whatever I think isn’t going to put much of a dent in America’s queen for a day wedding industry one way or another.

Anyway it was obvious that she could afford to have any kind of wedding she wanted. There was the house and the car and though we didn’t think her parents could pay for a big wedding we knew she could, so why not?

Our family couldn’t do anything elaborate, because we simply don’t have much money, but Sarah and I both like to cook, and decorate tables and make party favors and that kind of thing so we knew we could give her a pretty bridal shower and then she’d be happy, and that would make Chris happy etc, etc.

We knew that Shan’ann wouldn’t want a small bridal shower at either of Sarah or I’s small houses and so we rented a little clubhouse in Fayetteville she had mentioned liking, it was attached to an apartment complex, not a big space, but nice. Indeed her second engagement party would be held there. We asked her for the names and addresses of all her girlfriends and wrote and sent out the invitations to them and her family members. I was the one who mailed them, not Sarah. A week after the invitations had gone out, the only RSVP’s we had were from members of our family and hers.

I called Shan’ann up and told her that we hadn’t gotten any answers from her girlfriends. She gave me their numbers and I called each one. All of them said they had gotten their invitations but hadn’t answered because they each had different plans for that day and weren’t going to be able to make it. There was one exception who said she had been planning to RSVP and would be there.

Sarah and I had worked hard on the shower and I thought it looked beautiful and our family and hers were there and she got gifts and lots of attention but she wasn’t happy, you could tell she wasn’t, I just didn’t realize how unhappy she was until years later when Sarah and I saw the discovery documents.

40 thoughts on “All My Broken Pieces – 4 Chapter Excerpts

  1. I can relate to what Cindy Watts has written in these chapters. Why? Because I’ve lived something very similar with my brother and his wife. In my case, as soon as my sister-in-law met our family she found fault with everything and everyone, and my brother, who up to that point had been a loyal son and brother, suddenly found fault with us too. My parents and I have been estranged from my brother and his wife for three years now. We are shocked and saddened by how my sister-in-law’s influence over my brother has caused so much hurt and devastation to our family. I feel a lot of sympathy for the Ruszek family, but I also feel empathy for Cindy and Ronnie Watts because I can relate to the dysfunction the Watts family experienced when Chris first met Shanann.

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    • I think you need to watch you tube liveabusefree she is a psychologist that explains the book in depth. Part by part. What you have been through with your sister-in-law and your brother I would say would be different to this family’s situation. It’s obvious now to me that Cindy was always the aggressor. Cindy is quite manipulative in the things she says in the book painting herself out to be this quiet , passive person that has never had a problem with another all her life until she met Shanann . I find that really hard to believe. No matter how nice of a person you are everyone has problems with people from time to time. Example:The fact Shanann asked if the grandson not to wake her. Was that such a big deal.Shanann asked Chris if they could make sure that the grandson didn’t wake them up so early. Why was it such a big deal to Cindy. She blew up to this big thing. Projecting that Shanann was the one making the big deal but other than asking Chris what else did she do. If Shanann did more than that then I am certain that Cindy would of put it in the book. I would love you to go onto YouTube and listen. It might give you a different perspective. The 2 psychologists that have read this book have described this woman as a narcissist and explains how her mind works and how she views things. It also explains how this would of influenced Chris in his development. Very interesting

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      • It’s important to note they aren’t psychologists and don’t have the credentials to diagnose mental disorders. Although it may seem a reasonable diagnosis, credentialed, reputable, actual psychologists and psychiatrists do not diagnose people they have not met in person in a clinical setting (Dr. Phil included). That said, Geoff probably is accurate in believing his sister-in-law is indeed NPD at least (thank you,Geoff, for sharing your personal experience), and it sounds like she is, but with the same criteria it could be said of both Cindy and Shanann, as well as Chris. I don’t think armchair diagnosis is fair to anyone in the Watts case.

        I do love to listen to live abuse free and she’s absolutely charming, but I don’t think she’s accurate with her from-afar assessment of CW. It’s just important to recognize the difference between a good, articulate counselor and a certified psychologist or doctor of psychiatry.

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      • joanne wilkins, I have watched liveabusefree videos as well as many, many other Youtubers who talk about the Watts murders. I prefer TCRS. I have heard and read many comments on Cindy Watts and most people have a very low opinion of her. I don’t know if she is a narcissist or not, but I have compassion for her. The similarities I can relate to in Cindy’s book are not, of course, specific events, but family dynamics. For example, imagine that for years/decades you have been in a strong, harmonious family unit, or a strong friendship group, and then one day another person is introduced to that group and the group dynamics begin to deteriorate because the new person does things differently, has different views, or has different expectations. It may not be anyone’s fault, but the change in relationships leaves members of the original family/group saddened for the loss of what they once had. Cindy refers to family life pre and post Shan’ann. My own family history can be divided into pre and post sister-in-law. You mention that Cindy writes about trivial matters. If I were to tell you about specific incidents within my family, they may also seem trivial to you, but to myself and my parents those trivial matters still had us walking on eggshells. And there were lots, and lots, and lots of trivial matters, each one adding to our anger and hurt. Also you say that you can’t believe Cindy got on well with everyone except Shan’ann, and again I can tell you that my parents and myself get on with everyone, except my sister-in-law, and that is not of our choosing. She took a dislike to us or wanted to distance my brother from us. I don’t blame my parents at all for how my brother turned out. I can’t explain why he changed. All I know is that he became a different person when he met his wife. It is for that reason that I will not judge Cindy and Ronnie Watts. Maybe they had something to do with how things turned out, maybe they didn’t.

        JC, I’d like to thank you for your reply to joanne wilkins. I appreciate your comments.

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    • I disagree. I have been in relationships where the “family” thinks I have ripped away a member of their family because I didn’t want to go along with whatever the hell that family wanted me to do or the way they wanted me to be. I was in a relationship with the person I was with, not their family. People are supposed to grow up and go away and have their own families. Not stay stuck up each others butt 24/7. The sister in law didn’t mess up your brother. She didn’t change your brother. Your brother decided to be a big boy and have his own life. Instead of trying to keep him chained down with you people you should be happy he found someone that makes him happy that isn’t blood related. You might not see how screwed it makes people like you seem to think the way you do. But people like you and Cindy need therapy. Stat.

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      • Dear kittie, I am at peace with myself. I have a loving family (wife and children) and parents, and wonderful long-time friends that are like family to me. As a collective we have all estranged ourselves from my brother and his wife because we were all affected and could independently see the dysfunction and chaos they caused. Does that mean that not only I, but everyone I know needs therapy? The fact that so many others felt the same way reassured me that it was not me, it was them. If my brother feels that turning his back on his family was worth it, then good for him. I, on the other hand, have the love and support of my family and friends and to me life is nothing without that. The reason for my comment on this site was not to be attacked by strangers, but to confirm that what happened to Cindy and Ronnie Watts when a new person entered their family is not as rare as people may think. It is an experience I would not wish on anyone. All the best, Geoff

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  2. Hers, his & the truth…..put this all together with the evidence, the discovery, & the omitted facts of this case. You will come out with an educated opinion, but you must keep an open mind. Many refuse to look at all the facts of this case but TCRS does! Enjoying your You Tube channel! Your insights are so logical after your deep research in this case! So looking forward to your up & coming book!

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  3. Wow. This is kind of stunning in many ways. Of course there might be elements of the truth in Cindy’s perception of Shan’ann and her relationship with her son, as well as her own relationship with Chris. If you read this excerpt from the point of view that Shan’ann was overbearing, flashy and into appearances then one might be in complete agreement with Cindy Watts. But something else stood out – and that was the possibility that Chris liked to play both sides against the middle. This was evident early on by telling Shan’ann what his parents thought (primarily his mother) about him spending $12K on her wedding ring. He didn’t have to tell her that. Nor did he have to tell his mother what he spent on the wedding ring. There are other instances throughout the marriage where I think he enjoyed playing the mediator and garnering more attention to himself by being the one in the middle between two warring women. Watch the video again of the Watt’s visiting Denver. Choosing a woman like Shan’ann may have been a way to get at his mother. His mother wouldn’t see this, Shan’ann wouldn’t see it, but Chris would.

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  4. Excellent observation Sylvester. There are more layers to Chris than an onion. To his mum and dad he was a good son, to Shan’ann he was a push over. He used both these personas to not deal with the drama between his parents and his wife. Drama that he created by bringing Shan’ann into the family. I do believe he secretly liked being in the middle. He portrayed himself as a good husband and family man, yet he was able to have an affair and kill his wife and children. He was able to dispose of their bodies and go about his day without showing any signs of distress. He did not shed a tear until it was pointed out to him by Tammy Lee. He is now portraying himself as a Christian and a model prisoner, yet he has so far given various accounts of the murders and is still withholding information. Who or what is he?

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  5. Yes, I agree Geoff and you have eloquently stated the obvious – we don’t really know who or what he is and more layers than an onion. How true. He’s like a shapeshifter – he keeps changing according to what he – or someone in his family – is reading about him. I can’t help but think Watts is playing a covert game here, and taking delight in the attention he’s receiving.

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  6. The immediate family of both Shan’ann and Chris must be absolutely horrified. The more Chris opens his mouth, the more hurt he is causing them. They too must be wondering who or what is he? Had the death penalty been imposed and executed quickly, it might have saved the families a lot more grief. He still hasn’t shown remorse, doesn’t seem to grasp the severity of his crimes, appears to be delusional regarding his relationship with Christ, and I agree Sylvester, he’s quite possibly enjoying the attention and his notoriety. I would like to think that by keeping him alive it may serve to provide answers as to how his brain is (or isn’t) functioning, as well as possibly getting truthful information about the murders, but at this point I doubt it.

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    • I would love to know how his brain functions and how he continues to function in his current environment. It seems beyond anything we know for certain about human behavior at this point in our evolution. He was normal, until he wasn’t.

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      • JC: I don’t think it occurred to Watts at all that killing his family might not be appealing to his mistress – that she could at any time after that, even if they did get together and start a family, think that if he got fed up with her that he might kill her and her family with him. He says he will never kill again. But how does anyone know that, and would you want to take that chance with him? This seems to be the fatal flaw in criminal behavior – that you can get away with it, and that things can rearrange themselves to your liking.

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  7. You know, I don’t think Watts has a “prayer” pun intended, becoming a prison chaplain. He has no insight into himself. He won’t acknowledge what he did and why he did it. The Bible is full of references to those who worship false gods (money, gold, statues) temptations by the devil, freeing your soul by accepting the Lord as your God, forgiveness and redemption. But what he needs to do is talk to a psychologist. He says he wouldn’t kill again but unless he starts to understand why he killed in the first place we can’t let him out as a reward for reading the Bible or stating he wouldn’t kill again. That’s not how it works. He’s in the very early stages of the realization that he isn’t going anywhere, except maybe another jail transfer if he keeps talking and sending letters that get published.

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    • I agree he needs to see a psychologist, in fact a whole panel of psychologists, but not for his own benefit, but rather as a tool that we can learn from. I’d love to know if he fits any of the psychological disorders we are already aware of, or whether he’s a new category of mental disorder.

      He wasn’t able to pass the polygraph, so that may be the only way to get to some form of truth. I would love for him to be hooked up to the polygraph having to answer many more questions about the murders, his conversations with NK, and his remorse (or lack of) since the sentencing. There is still a great deal of interest in this case mainly because there is still so much information missing, but I wonder if law enforcement feels any need to delve deeper?

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  8. I looked on Armchair Detective yesterday and he had a guest, Richard Swatton, Psychologist. I thought Swatton really did an excellent job of analyzing Watts. More so than any of the others who want to call him a Narcissist. He’s coming from a psychological approach but he’s on the same page as TCRS – which has been laid out for us in 9 books so far. Swatton said the groundwork for what Watts became or did, began long ago but it would be purely speculative to point to one specific turning point or event. I somewhat disagree, not that he isn’t right in not pinpointing it, I just think that it can be pinpointed. There is usually one or two crucial events that change how you view relationships, and from that the decisions you make about relationship and how you can survive. In Swatton’s analysis for Watts the idea of being a murderer does not occur to Watts. He didn’t do it. He knows he did it, but the idea he has of himself is “he” couldn’t have done it. Mental illness cannot see itself. Watts has no remorse – not before, during or after. When I look at the video of him loading up his truck he does not look hurried, he doesn’t look fearful he does not look like a man who just killed his wife or either of the two scenarios he’s confessed to regarding his children. He’s going to work.

    Yet it was a premeditated murder. He thought about it for weeks and as Swatton says, Watts was a calculator, which goes in with what TCRS has been saying, Watts the Silver Fox. During the premeditation he cut himself off from his family from his identity as father and husband. Old identity would soon be gone, new identity with NK was what he wanted.

    I think law enforcement – and specifically Baumhover – won’t go any deeper. Baumhover is taking a break, may be a permanent break, and Coder and Lee probably have other cases. Watts is obviously seeking some kind of spiritual solace, but he has said he doesn’t believe he needs a psychiatrist. Some people have the wrong impression of psychiatry. A qualified psychiatrist will not throw you into original trauma, you are slowly led there and reveal it to yourself. But I don’t know if prison will provide a qualified psychiatrist, he’s been tested but he hasn’t been analyzed, and Watts has said he doesn’t think he needs it.

    Did Shan’ann not “see him” at all? Was he just in her life for her needs and purposes? Did she unwittingly crush the identity he had forged for himself to make him into what she needed and wanted? She most definitely plays a role here in the unmasking of Watts, but whether he would have done what he did with someone else or eventually we only know he did it when he did it.

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    • Thanks for your feedback on this Sylvester. I heard Swatton also said something along the lines that one can’t make sense of nonsense.

      I agree with you that you can pinpoint certain aggravating factors. Nut Gate was definitely one of them. Nut Gate is valuable because it gives us a vivid peek into how Shan’ann dealt with confrontation.

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  9. To me the number one crucial event that led CW to kill his family was Shan’ann and the children’s long absence in NC which gave CW the opportunity to have a “full-time” affair with NK. Normally affairs are conducted in short bursts/trysts. It’s not common for someone to have so much time away from their family while having an affair. CW certainly got a taste of what life would be like without his family. NK’s love bombing when CW was in NC and SW’s over the top histrionics (especially Nutgate) would also be crucial events. And no doubt the financial burden he was facing had an impact.

    CW’s behaviour since the murders is most nonsensical. As Richard Swatton says, CW hasn’t really confessed. He has not told the (whole) truth, he has not shown contrition, he has not tried to make amends of some sort. He remains detached from his own crimes.

    It appears that prior to the murders CW presented as a normal son, husband, father, co-worker, friend etc. Even his detachment from his wife and family in the last couple of weeks could be seen as a man wanting out of his marriage and as such still normal behaviour. SW may have had a gut instinct about CW’s affair, but could she or anyone in their circle of family and friends have foreseen CW’s brutal intentions and mental illness?

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  10. To answer your question Geoff, no – it’s difficult to foresee brutal intentions and mental illness in a loved one if there is no evidence of it prior – but also Watts kept his thoughts to himself and Shan’ann wasn’t paying much attention to his needs and wants unless it fit in with her own. I’m not faulting her, or judging her, many relationships are just like that. And thank you for sharing about your brother and his wife. As you can see, some couples are not in sync, and although every one else sees it, those involved do not. She texts Addy on August 7 “Addy, I have no idea what happened?” It’s hard to believe she didn’t know what happened, she had just spent days haranguing him over the nut incident, she knew she had left him alone for 5 weeks, she knew there were times during that period where he wouldn’t answer his phone, and seemed to her like he was living the life of a bachelor. He couldn’t tell her, and I think he felt safe in the knowledge that she would not be able to handle it if he did tell her, so why tell her. There was no point in telling her, he was finished. He could hide behind that fact. It may have given him solace to be finished and have a plan.

    To me the last and final days are the most interesting – when they returned from NC. What was he like – what was she like, what did the kids hear and notice? Surely Bella would have found it strange that daddy was sleeping in the basement – maybe she even asked him why. And mommy is crying on the couch. It’s during that time frame while they are alone together, without her family’s eyes on them, that he would have been at his most cold, and she would have tried to busy herself with the hope and dream that he could be rehabilitated with a book on marriage or a trip to Aspen (with no money to pay for it).

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  11. I’m guessing that Chris would have tried to act as normal as possible to keep Shan’ann hopeful and to get her to go to Arizona so he could carry out his plans. When he took the children to the birthday party there did not appear to be any signs of trouble. Shan’ann was feeling ill while she was away in Arizona which makes me wonder if Chris spiked/contaminated the Thrive products she took with her.

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  12. I’m starting to think that he did not attempt to drug Sha’nann with Oxycontin. If he wanted to stay true to the autopsy report he would have said he gave her alcohol before strangling her. Since they both had his and hers water bottles on the nightstand I suppose he could have put alcohol in her water bottle – then washed the bottle before his house was searched Aug. 13 – and put it back on her nightstand. That’s not consistent with a killing upon arriving home however. But I’m stumped as to why he would bring up Oxycontin now. It could be he’s reading here or someone – his sister – is reading here, however it makes no sense. With every tale he spins he’s only reinforcing the public opinion that he is a monster, as now we have the children coming to, bruised eyes, and a second killing.

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  13. Geoff I want to take back my comment above and say that you are right. It’s becoming more evident that he contaminated her Thrive products with Oxy (see the latest guest post).

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  14. I’ve read the guest post and don’t really understand the part about crushing the medication and then making it up into balance pills ready for her to take with her. How would Chris turn the powder back into tablet form? If I were going to crush up tablets, I’d mix them into the Pure bottles or add the powder to one of the other drink/smoothie/shake products and hope that Shan’ann didn’t notice any product tampering.

    I’ve listened to the next couple of chapters of Cindy’s book (read by Kimberley on Youtube) and I still feel empathy for Cindy and Ronnie. The hatred directed towards Cindy in the Youtube comments is unbelievable. Maybe I’m looking through the filter of my own family experience, but I don’t feel Cindy is anywhere close to the horrible, narcissistic mother she’s accused of being in the comments. In an earlier post I did say that perhaps the seed for these murders began in Chris’ childhood and that maybe he should have been taught conflict resolution. Now I’m not so sure. He presented as a normal, drama-free child/young man. The first signs that Chris was not acting normally towards his parents appear to have started when Chris brought Shan’ann home to meet them. Reflecting back on my own experience, my brother was always a little sensitive, a little needy, but he was also charming and kind. It wasn’t until he brought his girlfriend (now wife) home to meet us that things changed, and not over time, but immediately.

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    • I believe there were signs in Chris’s early childhood that something was off with him. As he got older he may have noticed little things about himself that he questioned, but in general he doesn’t strike me as an introspective person. Those little things might have looked to him like a sort of wonder at why he doesn’t feel empathy or sensitivity to others. Whatever he thought was off about himself he would wish to cover it up – wear a mask because he was smart enough to know to not show it. That is the nature of a racket. He was very good at presenting himself as a very likeable, but introverted, helpful, charming nice guy. Behind closed doors, and according to Nathan T., the neighbor with the surveillance camera, he would hear Chris and Shan’ann fight and Chris would really go off on her and act crazy. He later retracted that statement and said he was exaggerating, but to me it still stands. That was when he knew or thought no one was listening. How about the other time when he’s seen by a passerby arguing very passionately with Shan’ann outside, then when he knows he’s been seen, smiles and hugs her. Mask back on.

      We can see pictures of him with his mask down – his facial expression at the birthday party, and other instances when he’s not trying to project the go along to get along compliant male in Shan’ann’s videos. Look at his face down by the pool as he’s massaging her neck. What utter contempt he has for her. Look at the wedding photos too, Chris in his nice wedding vest not smiling. Wouldn’t it bother you if your parents and sister boycotted your wedding? Would your wedding be a joyous occasion without your family there? Who would you resent for that, if you wouldn’t want to take responsibility for it yourself. He did not have close friends growing up in NC. CNN managed to find one, who claims he kept to himself, wouldn’t mix with others but seemed nice. Conversely at work he wouldn’t mix with the other men.

      I agree, blaming his parents for what he did is absurd, however parents have the strongest role in how we grow and develop and we will never get the full and accurate picture from Cindy Watts added to that extreme denial that her “good son” would ever want to harm a fly. Her utter lack of sympathy for Shan’ann’s family, or that she too has lost two of her own flesh and blood is appalling. And if she casually mentions she misses them her primary concern is for the son who murdered them.

      We can say sure, we all wear a mask, we all have our rackets, we cut people out of our lives and we all have had relationships in which we have acted badly and left without cleaning up our messes. But we don’t kill. That’s the difference. That Watts could kill without an ounce of remorse sets him apart, and the seeds were there from an early age, the mask was developed later to hide who he really was, it wasn’t put on right when he met Shan’ann and I don’t buy into Cindy’s blame game. Sorry this was so long!

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      • Introverts are by definition introspective.

        I’m not sure it’s true that Watts didn’t feel an ounce of remorse. On the one hand he didn’t look upset, on the other he was trying not to let on they were dead [and not succeeding]. Also, if he felt nothing, why would he [unlike 99.9% of other murderers] confess and take a plea deal? Showing no remorse should mean showing no remorse. There are many instances of Watts either explicitly showing emotion, acting emotional or leaking emotion. The fact that he failed the polygraph also shows he’s not nearly as psychopathic as people believe.

        The introversion thing is really, really simple. When people hear it they think they get it, but they don’t. Introverts tend to be more emotional than extroverts, not less, they just don’t show their emotion as much. Not showing emotion shouldn’t be confused with not having any emotion.

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    • “How would Chris turn the powder back into tablet form?” He didn’t. The Thrive supplements come in capsules, as well as shakes and patches. Crushing and filling the capsules is a very deliberate and tedious task. Those capsules are like horse pills too (large), so they could hold 2 or more tablets worth I would think. Maybe someone can look up the dosage for the capsules. I believe it might be 2 in the morning upon waking? Then they drink their shake and put their patch on about 30-60 minutes after taking them, I think.

      Does anyone think that the reason he said he gave her Oxi before her death is because he knew she took the tampered-with capsules down to AZ with her?

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      • Yes, I was thinking too that he wouldn’t have opened up a thrive packet and put ground up Oxy in it, she wouldn’t use one that was open. Watching Officer Coonrod’s body cam video again, Watts stresses emphatically that she took “lots” of Immitrex while in NC. He says this while still standing upstairs before he heads downstairs. I don’t know if Immitrex comes in capsule form, but that would be a way to put the Oxy in there – so that could have been a way he might have tampered with her own pills before she left for NC, and she did continue to take it in Arizona. Or if Immitrex resembles an Oxycontin tablet he could have removed the Immitrex and substituted it with Oxy.

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      • JC, just to follow up on a previous comment (awaiting moderation) I just looked it up and Oxycontin 10mg is a round white tablet, with the imprint “OP on one side and “10” on the other side. Other strengths come in colors – green, orange, sort of a pink color, etc. Imitrex is also a round white tablet, with “M” imprinted on one side, and “S4” on the others. He could have switched out the Imitrex for Oxycontin. He says it himself to Officer Coonrod, she was taking alot of Imitrex in North Carolina. Opioids can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness – some don’t acclimate to them well at all, others do. She must have thought wow, the more I take of this Imitrex the more I seem to need. 80 mg of Oxycontin is light green in color so he couldn’t have mixed that in with the Imitrex, but he certainly could have with 10 mg. We trust what we are taking, we don’t take out a magnifying glass to read the imprinting, and if she had taken it before (now all of a sudden her migraines are back again?) she would just take them without looking. Frankie suggested she might be dehydrated, but opined that she was already drinking a lot of water so how could that be. So my conclusion is now that he didn’t put it in her Thrive capsules (way too much work, and where would he have ground them and gotten them into her capsules, in the basement?) but mixed them in with her Imitrex or just replaced her Imitrex with Oxycontin/Oxycodone.

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      • Thank you for the information JC. It makes more sense to me now knowing that Thrive comes in capsule form. According to Shan’ann’s friends she was sick the whole time she was in AZ, so there’s a good chance she was taking contaminated capsules. I wonder if Chris was hoping she’d overdose while she was away? And if she had, would that have spared the girls’ lives?

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      • That makes so much sense, Sylvester. She was much more likely to take the immetrex throughout the day than the Thrive capsules. I have my doubts she took the Thrive supplement while pregnant anyway, but the immetrex is safe and usually doctor-approved during pregnancy. A white tablet looks like a white tablet. If all of the tablets are identical in the bottle, no one would ever know the difference.

        He also found an entirely passive way to commit murder, if it had worked. That’s also in keeping with his introversion and personality.

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  15. Oh no, I agree with you – the introversion factor should not be underestimated. Most of my friends are introverts having come from the CA bay area during the silicon valley boon I know them very well, they were attracted to the computer industry. Very well educated, smart, capable of complex dynamic thinking, had to have a knowledge of their own field and the ones they supervised. In relationships however, stilted – unable to express themselves or understand the other person. There seemed to be levels of introversion or the introverted personality. Very talkative to being people of few words. Deeply moved and emotional when it came to family but not seeming to understand or the ability to contemplate what others might be going through, or a lack of empathy – not psychopathic though, at least my friends aren’t. Attracted to me I supposed because I am introverted and extroverted in that I can be alone and like it but can maneuver in new social situations with ease and fearless when it comes to talking with others and helping them feel less awkward and uncomfortable. But Watts isn’t one thing – which makes him a fascinating study. And I think you have done a brilliant job of trying to get to the core of what makes him tick, each successive book building one upon another.

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  16. Okay, I re-read your response above several times over and have thought about it more. “Not showing emotion shouldn’t be confused with not having emotion.” I see that. Also if he shows no remorse (for killing the children and his wife) that alone is not indicative that he’s a psychopath. He could have been trying to get away with what he did – although he still doesn’t show remorse – so the jig is up on that account. If Watts can’t pass a polygraph certainly he wouldn’t be placed in the category psychopath, as apparently psychopaths can pass a poly as their is no distinction to them between a lie and the truth – they don’t sweat when they lie nor does their heart beat faster (according to studies). I don’t know what Watts is. He is a coward, he is a liar, he is two faced, he is an introvert (although again, I know all kinds of introverts, they aren’t all the same in one category). I don’t think we ever saw him with his mask down. At least not in those videos. I also don’t know when in his life he felt it necessary to put on a mask, or why.

    One personal example if I may, was in high school I was very shy – yet I had lots of friends. I wasn’t whatever one has to be to make it with the opposite sex. I had very few dates. Yet again, lots of friends of both sexes. When I got to college this pattern continued and I knew I couldn’t go on like that. So I begun to realize that the shyness was holding me back. It was like a safety net in many ways but it obviously wasn’t working for me. So I started acting like an extrovert. I started to become more interested and interesting. I knew it was an act. I was still scared. But it worked. Was I being inauthentic or was hiding and being shy inauthentic. There is a tremendous need in us when we are young to fit in. Just be yourself. But who are you? And so I continue to ask who was/is Watts. I know he’s not what I would consider normal in any sense of the word. He killed. That set him apart.

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  17. If I look at how my brother turned his back on us (his original family) without a second glance, it makes me think I never really knew him at all. Certainly my parents and I never saw it coming. Everyone would think he must have had good reasons, there must have been abuse. Well if there were good reasons, I didn’t see them. There was no abuse. If there were my brother would have thrown in back in our faces. We were a happy, harmonious family until we weren’t, and everyone in my family can pinpoint the exact moment things changed. We can tell you when things changed but we cannot answer why. Cindy Watts’ recollection of her family pre and post Shan’ann is very similar. The online hatred being directed at Cindy Watts most likely stems from the belief that she of all people knew Chris best and that she must have had a lot to do with the person he turned out to be. I would have thought that too before. But based on my experience, neither my parents nor I know who my brother is, and I cannot fathom why he turned out one way and I another. My best guess is to put it down to nature rather than nurture. I do agree with a previous post that Chris does not look happy in a lot of his early photos. I have no clue as to Chris’ upbringing or his motivations, but I hesitate to put blame on his parents. As for people saying Cindy kept attacking Shan’ann even after she was dead. I can relate. If my sister-in-law were to meet with a horrible end, I’d put it down to karma. She is a nasty, nasty piece of work and I doubt that even death would soften my opinion of her. My experiences make me see that what happened to the Watts family might just as easily happen to us, and that is extremely unsettling.

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  18. If we are to doll out sympathy, I feel more sorry for Sha’nann’s family. The Rzucek’s have received cruel emails, letters and social media jibes blaming Sha’nann for her own death. She didn’t appreciate Chris, she demeaned him on camera, she must have tricked him into a pregnancy, she was overbearing, she was spending all of Chris’s salary. The truth is he wasn’t paying any attention to where the money was going and was too cowardly to stand up for himself, their family finances, and a host of other things due to his own character flaws developed long ago and his infatuation with Nichole Kessinger. I’m wondering how long it would have taken her to become dissatisfied with him once the lust wore off. She would have noticed that he had no ambition, wasn’t communicative, unable to assert himself and resorted to lying to keep others from knowing who he is. And although every family has their own skeletons in the closet, we all make our own choices how we deal with our situations and who we pick to be with. Cindy Watts is still taking digs at Shan’ann. One would think she would keep it to herself out of respect for the victim’s family but she has no respect for them, no empathy that their daughter was murdered by her son as well as his own children, their grandchildren, because she’s too busy trying to make excuses for her murderous son. If she continues to be out there dishing it out, then she has to expect that she’s going to get it in return.

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  19. It would have been prudent for Cindy Watts to keep her recollections to herself for the Ruszeks’ sake as well as her own, but I, on a personal level, have found value in her story. On a broader level, the more perspectives and information we have, the closer we might inch to understanding this horror.

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  20. Since Frankie said she didn’t get sick until the night Watts arrived in NC, he may have taken the pills with him on the plane, then mixed them in with her imitrex once he got there. Of course it’s just a theory. She was also taking the anti-nausea meds, which I’ve forgotten the name, but it’s the one they pulled out of her purse, open on the kitchen counter. If they confiscated the bottle and analyzed it would they have found oxycontin there? Then there’s the bottle left on the shelf in the office. They seemed to gloss over that one but instead focused on the children’s medications. Do you think he went through her purse after he killed her and removed the imitrex? Could that have been the bottle on the shelf in the office or did he flush them down the toilet that night. Smart in some ways, stupid in others like most of us.

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  21. Now we know why he murdered his family. Being raised by such a woman who has no sympathy or for a murdered woman, her own murdered granddaughters and her own unborn grandson, no wonder he turned out this way. I am sure she was instigating him against her, which is the main reason behind him having an affair and eventually murdering them.

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