The critical detail in the Nora Quoirin case that everyone is missing

It’s a mystery. When the Quoirin family woke up, Nora was gone. They say they have no idea why. But isn’t it really rather obvious?

Nora disappeared on her first night at the Dusun Resort. This is important. It means many aspects were new and novel to her, but it also means a very important and very well-known residual effect – common to all travelers – was playing out in the little girl’s personal experience. Jet lag.

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London is seven time zones – but at this time of year eight hours – behind Kuala Lampur. [The extra hour is part of daylight savings, which is implemented between late March, early April and the end of October each year in England].

When it’s time to get up in England it’s afternoon in Malaysia. When it’s lunchtime in England, it’s dinnertime in Malaysia. And crucial to our inquiry, when it was bedtime in the Dusum Resort [which the parents told us was 22:00], it was barely mid-afternoon back home [14:00].

The map below shows how when it’s almost midday in London it’s a few hours before midnight in Kuala Lampur.

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We also know that the parents flew into Malaysia from two different destinations. Sebastien arrived with the three children from London. Meabh, for reasons unknown, traveled separatedly, flying in from Singapore.

It can be assumed that the mother have been on a different “time clock” to the rest of the family, and further, that if she’d spent any time in Singapore, and perhaps adjusted somewhat, her bedtime would have been different to the rest of the family.

Although Meabh has changed the privacy settings on her Facebook page, preventing the public from following her movements over the days leading up to the incident, some artifacts were captured in the early days by some of the more enterprising folks in the true crime community. As a result, we’re able to see her last post on July 31st, was precisely on the issue of insomnia, and posted from Sydney Australia, which is a few time zones ahead of Malaysia.

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The “Couldn’t sleep so…” entry was made on Saturday, July 27th, exactly a week before the incident. If Meabh flew into Malaysia from or via Singapore, it suggests she either flew from Australia, having spent several days there, or possibly from Singapore or a regional location. Meabh’s job, as is clear from her Facebook page [while it was available] took her frequently around the world.

In any event, what this illustrates is the importance of understanding not only the actual sleeping arrangements, but the actual family dynamics, especially the sleep cycles of the various members of the family.

Did one or both parents typically use sleeping pills while travelling?

Did the parents give sedative medication or soothing beverages to their children to help them sleep?

If Nora was on medication for her condition, and very likely she was, would she be exempt from these medications, or would there be serious contra-indications? Some of the treatments for Holoprosencephaly are at face value similar to those for epilepsy. Powerful medications are used to help integrate the brain’s systems. These include but are not limited to:

  • Anticonvulsant Agents.
  • Decarboxylase Inhibitors.
  • Anticholinergic Agents.
  • Skeletal Muscle Relaxants.
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists.
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors.
  • Prokinetic Agents.
  • Estrogens/Progestins.

Orphan drugs associated with the treatment of Holoprosencephaly include:

nihms611185f3It’s beyond the scope of this post to deal in further detail with the medical aspects, but this area does deserve further and deeper study, especially given the apparently “invisible” nature of Nora’s mechanism of death.

The outstanding toxicology reports may well confirm or rule out the possibilities of drug interference. It should be noted in cases of this nature that excess compounds will tend to accumulate in the hair, and thus Nora’s hair samples should be preserved and tested as a matter of urgency. Presumably these tests are being conducted at this time.

Further reading:

Nora Quoirin: Devastated family considering second postmortem into teen’s death – The Mirror

Nora Quoirin’s family seek answers over girl’s death in Malaysia – The Guardian

Nora’s grandad reveals family still of belief it was foul play – Belfast Telegraph

Nora Quoirin: Family hoping to soon get ‘more answers to our many questions’ – Sky News


Madeleine McCann’s mother takes drug test – The Telegraph

‘Proof’ McCanns did not sedate Madeleine – The Telegraph

McCanns: We can prove that we didn’t sedate our children – Evening Standard

Tests show McCanns ‘did not sedate Madeleine siblings’ – The Independent

#45 Friday August 17th, 2018: “Mr. Watts, why did you kill your wife and two children?” #1yearagotodayCW

The bodies of both little girls were retrieved in the mid to late afternoon on Thursday. Bear in mind the children were murdered Sunday night, but even if we accept they were murdered Monday morning, it took until Thursday afternoon to simply retrieve their bodies. For those thinking this was an easy or simple case to investigate, prosecute or just figure out, think again.

Watts’ exit strategy may have been seriously flawed and poorly conceived, but his execution was far from the worst of the dozen or so high-profile cases True Crime Rocket Science has analyzed over the past few years.

Moving on to Friday, August 17th. It doesn’t appear at all in the Phone Data Review. One reason for this is that Watts’ phone had been confiscated at this point. [Kessinger was still using hers, however]. August 17th is the first day since July 4th where a day is missing from the timeline. June 17th is nevertheless a very significant day.

Just one day after Watt’s arrest, he’s already assembled [or one has been assembled for him] a sizable legal team. On the same day but prior to his court appearance on August 17th, several members of his defense team are actively working inside his home; boxing evidence, taking photos, scribbling notes and making observations.


Watts’ neighbor, possibly Nate Trinastich, calls in a burglary next door. Then, this happens.


I deal with the details of the cops entering the scene in book six of the TWO FACE series. One detail worth noting here is the camera equipment set up below the stairs.



Chris Watts appears shackled in court as bodies of missing pregnant wife and two daughters, 3 and 4, are found – The Mirror

It should be noted that as early as August 17th the media was reporting on the fact that prosecutors believed the crime scene [where all three murders took place] was inside the Watts home.

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When Watts emerges for his “perp walk” wearing his orange outfit for the first time, a local reporter calls out:

“Mr. Watts, why did you kill your wife and two children?”

During the court session, the bald fellow [James Edward Merson] that had been in Watts’ home gathering evidence can be seen seated at Watts’ right hand. Nothing ever came of the “defense case” that day, nor ever since.

Read the most highly rated and reviewed book in the definitive TWO FACE series.

If this is where Nora Quoirin slept the night she disappeared, it changes everything

Since following this case, there’s been a frustrating lack of information. Very few photos of the resort were released, and very little information has been made freely available to contextualize the scene. Has this been by accident, or by design?

The images released by the authorities of the window [the imputed exit point when Nora supposedly wandered off] were from such a wide angle, it was difficult to see any artifacts either on the inside or outside of the windows. There was also only a limited view inside the bungalow.

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As a result of extensive digging and dogged research it’s been a slow process to start piecing the Quoirin accomodations together.

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Having done so, it now appears unlikely that Nora slept upstairs at all. The parents and siblings told police Nora slept close to them, upstairs [see screengrab below]. But is this accurate? If it is, why didn’t they hear her move out of the room? The bungalows upstairs have wooden floors. So if she was sleeping right beside them, how couldn’t they hear her?

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We also know the children were later not allowed to communicate any further with investigators as a result of “legal advice”. The family lawyered up as early as Day 2 of Nora’s disappearance. Missing from the British or Irish coverage of the case was this snippet of intelligence published in the Malay Mail on August 7th, and sent to me courtesy of @McCannCaseTweet [who’s also been cautiously studying this case].

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These [see below] are the upstairs living quarters. Enough to sleep four people. [Nora was on holiday with her parents, and two younger siblings, a brother and a sister as reported in The Mirror on August 7th].

With her spatial difficulties, she would have struggled to navigate the spiral staircase between the upstairs and downstairs level, especially at night.

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It was never explicitly stated where Nora slept, if she was upstairs with her parents or with her siblings, but one assumed it was with her siblings. It was clearly implied that she slept upstairs on August 3rd, and that she was the most tired after their long trip.

But the police believed – correctly – that Nora probably didn’t sleep upstairs, despite what the parents and perhaps Nora’s siblings had told the Malaysian authorities. This comes from The Sun, August 9th.

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Below is a clear view from the inside towards the kitchen window. It shows a third bedroom in the double-story Sora House. If this is accurate, Nora was left to sleep on her own, while the family – the Quoirin couple and her younger siblings – all slept upstairs.

If Nora woke up at night and went looking for her family, would they have heard her? And isn’t that why she might have wandered off in the first place – because she was in a strange place, in the dark, looking for her mom and dad, brother and sister, couldn’t them and horribly lost in the process?

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The Sora House appears to be the biggest of the six units offered by the resort.

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Was this vertiginous setup of structures connected by stilts and staircases really the ideal setting for a child with Nora’s developmental difficulties and cognitive vulnerabilities?

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Demystifying the Nora Quoirin Case: Topography – There were Several Waterfalls

The media has reported variously that Nora Quoirin’s body was found “appearing asleep” in a ravine, close to a waterfall. The obvious assumption is that it was the Lata Berembum waterfall, situated roughly 1.5 kilometres [1 mile] from the resort.

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However, along the Gunung Berembun trail leading due east, away from the resort, are a series of small waterfalls and rapids. One of them is the Air Terjun Gunung Berembun Pantai.


So the question is, at which waterfall along the river was she found? The media has reported various distances from the resort, ranging from 1.2 miles, to 1.5 miles to 1.6 miles.

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It would be good to have absolute certainty on precisely where she was found using GPS co-ordinates and a clear map reference.

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#44 Thursday August 16th, 2018: “He fooled us” #1yearagotodayCW

Shan’ann Watts’ body was exhumed at 23:00 on August 15th, about the same time Watts was arrested and taken into custody.

From the station in Frederick Watts was taken to Weld County Jail by Officer James. The same officer had taken Watts’ father earlier in the evening to local hotels on Firestone Boulevard.

He didn’t know it just then, but that night was to be the first night of the rest of Watts’ new life – not surfing sand dunes but wiling away his life, reading the bible and tattered prison paperbacks all within an incarcerated state. So much for keeping his home, his girlfriend and people’s good impression of him – within three days of the murder he’d lost all of that, as well as his freedom for the rest of his life.

The Phone Data Review has one fairly nondescript entry for Thursday the 16th.

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It’s easy to forget this aspect one year later, but immediately after Watts’ arrest, the Thayer couple did a series of interviews with the media. Some following this case may recall that Nick and Amanda had let Watts sleep over in their home on Tuesday night, August 14th, following a few hours of questioning by the FBI. Nick [a professional photographer] and Watts were jogging pals. Nick Thayer had taken the now famous Watts Family Photos and also likely photographed Shan’ann’s spread for a Thrive magazine promotion.


Shan’ann and Amanda [an education director] were friends and fellow Thrivers.


The couple had copped a lot of flack online for harboring a man suspected of killing his family. Many who had watched the Sermon on the Porch reckoned Watts story didn’t add up, but the Thayers seemed to feel differently. They’d actually stood beside him, off camera, while he addressed the media.

Prior to his arrest the Thayers defended their decision to on social media, and defended Watts. But on Thursday and Friday they did damage control, doing back to back interviews, apologizing to the public – as well as their own daughter – for their mistake.

Although Watts is often criticized, not without justification, the Thayers were among those duped by his explanations. Watts may not have had much game, but it’s not like he didn’t have any game.

More: ‘He fooled us’: Friends of man who allegedly killed pregnant wife, daughters speak out after shocking arrest – ABC

Couple who defended Chris Watts ‘had no idea’ – 9News

The interview on Thursday following the arrest of her former boyfriend was the second Kessinger had given to law enforcement, but it was the first time Kessinger and CBI agent Greg Zentner sat down together.

Zentner was easygoing, sometimes he seemed too easy going, just as Coder seemed perhaps too friendly to Watts in the beginning. But don’t be fooled, Zentner’s no slouch, he’d already interviewed another Nickole [Atkinson] at length at her work place. He knew what was going on and he knew to approach these people carefully and in a friendly, somewhat firm and open manner.

The other question to ask is if you’d sent naked pictures of yourself, would you want the world to see all that, even within the context of a crime? The point is, it doesn’t matter what you or I would do, Kessinger didn’t want to do that. And on this point, she was questioned by Zentner.

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The interrogation above, recorded in camera, was Kessinger’s third meeting with law enforcement, from August 17th at Thornton Police Department. Discovery Documents page 568 onwards. Her second meeting with law enforcement occurred on August 16th, the day after Watts’ arrest.

Kessinger’s reason to Zentner isn’t the full story of course. She had other reasons to delete their affair, principally the fact that she wanted to keep her job. It’s important to draw a distinction between the interrogation with Watts and the interviews with Kessinger. If Watts lies, he’s covering up the premeditated murder of his own family. If Kessinger’s economical with the truth, she’s covering aspects of an affair she considers private and not necessarily relevant. There’s a tradeoff here between her and law enforcement. If they don’t go after everything, she’ll co-operate.

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And Kessinger does provide law enforcement with a lot to go on. She tells them about her two visits to the Watts home. We still haven’t seen security footage of this, either from the neighbor of potentially from Watts’ doorbell camera.

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Something else we still haven’t seen are those dozens of naked and semi-naked images sent by Kessinger to Watts, and that is as it should be. Fact is, while it would be tabloid gold, it’s not in the public interest in the conventional sense that true crime is meant to be. Even so, Weld County have released some images that give one a sense of the relationship between the two Anadarko co-workers. It’s sufficient.

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What does come through quite strongly in Kessinger’s interviews is even though by August 16th it’s clear Watts probably murdered his wife [her body was recovered from a well site he visited, and her death was reported in the media], it doesn’t seem to really register with Kessinger. She seems to be in a dreamworld, and Agent Zentner would – from time to time – have to remind her that she was talking him about her former boyfriend not for fun, not for tiddlywinks, but as part of a murder investigation.

Nóra Quoirin’s Grandfather Believes Nora WAS the victim of a crime. This makes sense.

Sylvain Qoirin, Nora’s grandfather, provides insight into his granddaughter’s unique personality:

“She was very sensitive, shy, inhibited, introverted. She became anguished if her family weren’t present. She clung to her parents and sister. It is not possible she would have willingly left with a stranger. If she went out alone by mistake, she would have banged on the door and screamed to be let back in.”

“Can you imagine her walking 2.5km, naked and barefoot, over rocks, in the middle of the night? For me, that’s absurd. Do you think she would go walking around at night? For me, it is obviously a criminal case, by default. She could not have wandered.”

And in reference to the area where her body was found, her grandfather’s position is firm:

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Nóra Quoirin: ‘It is not possible she would have willingly left with a stranger’ – Irish Times

“I have been engaged from the second day after Nora went missing.” – Quoirin Family Lawyer

We now have confirmation on exactly when the Quoirin family decided to seek legal representation. Day 2 of the search seems very early for the family to have “lawyered up”.

This may have occurred because the family believed themselves – or feared – they might be suspects in their daughter’s disappearance. We know, early on, the police didn’t validate their insistence that their daughter was abducted.

On August 13th, the day her body was found, Malaysia’s deputy police chief Mazlan Mansor confirmed a criminal investigation was still on-going alongside a missing persons inquiry.

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