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American Murder: The Family Next Door

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One lie I thought was weird was Chris saying they had sex. What did that serve him in terms of his story or his image? It’s mentioned in this documentary that Shanann’s “signal” for wanting sex is showering at night and coming to bed naked, and it’s mentioned elsewhere that Shanann was super into cleanliness, to the point where she thought of sex as messy. There is no way she had sex with him if her body was found in the same clothes she had worn on the plane. She wouldn’t have even gone to sleep in those clothes if he hadn’t drugged her drink, let alone had sex and then put them back on.

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1 hour ago, truebluesmoky said:

One lie I thought was weird was Chris saying they had sex. What did that serve him in terms of his story or his image? It’s mentioned in this documentary that Shanann’s “signal” for wanting sex is showering at night and coming to bed naked, and it’s mentioned elsewhere that Shanann was super into cleanliness, to the point where she thought of sex as messy. There is no way she had sex with him if her body was found in the same clothes she had worn on the plane. She wouldn’t have even gone to sleep in those clothes if he hadn’t drugged her drink, let alone had sex and then put them back on.

I was thinking Chris might have smothered her while they had sex. Some couples are into erotic choking and Shanann might have thought it was like that but he actually choked her to death. I also think having sex with her probably made her not as guarded.

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16 hours ago, EdnasEdibles said:

I think people have been pretty clear in saying that they in no way think that Shannan was responsible in any way at all for her murder. I don't think one person has said that at all.


It IS interesting though to see a documentary where the victim isn't painted as an angel. I think Dateline falls into this trap a lot with their episodes where when they discuss the victim the have quotes like "She loved life. She lit up every room she went into and everyone loved her" and honestly, that's not realistic. So it's refreshing to see someone painted realistically. It surprised me a bit since her family was a part of the documentary and they signed off on it but it is refreshing.


I think there is a problem in society with an imperfect victim. It's the reason cases like Elizabeth Smart get way more attention than other cases. Society loves a Perfect Victim. But there is no such thing as a perfect victim. We're all human and we all have faults and no one is 100% kind and 100% loving 100% of the time. But we are often introduced to these cases as if the woman is perfect. I don't know that it helps anyone to perpetuate that myth. Laci Peterson was brutally murdered in the previous decade to Shannan. She did not post everything on social media and she is still held very much in regard to be an angel who walked on this planet. 

Her likeability does not have anything to do with whether she's at fault for murder. Hell no she isn't. It's entirely her shitty sick husband's fault. She's kind of annoying. He's a textbook narcisist. And I think it's important to spot the clues of a narcisist. 

I do think the documentary is groundbreaking in a way to to wear down a bit of the "perfect victim" veil and make us think a little bit more about how we tell these stories and how we talk about marriage and relationships and mothers. 

And I also think the excessive and annoying social media posts are important to look at and figure out the psychology behind those. I got divorced a few years ago. As I started telling people "I'm actually moving because I'm divorced" or "Actually we're no longer together, we're getting a divorce" I had so many women from all parts of my life tell me "Oh man, my husband and I are fighting constantly" or "We haven't had sex in five years" or "I hate him so much it makes me physically sick to my stomach when he touches me" - and those are all things that people told me. But the "physically sick" person posts so many happy photos on social. Adorable professional Christmas card photos. Lots of "My man is turning 40 today! I don't know what we'd do without them" and it's a weird thing to see someone who confessed all of these dark and sad thoughts, present such a happy image to the public. 

So looking at it critically in how the documentary was put together, likeability is important to discuss. I keep coming back to the discussion about it because it is so fascinating to me. I don't think I would have liked Shannan as a person. But then she reminds me of people I know. And in a way that makes it all the more real for me to see this. To really recognize that this truly can happen to anyone. And for me it's a good reminder that the perfect social media image is not the truth. That we never truly know what's going on in someone's home and we have to be more like the neighbor and her friend and notice the clues and jump in to help. 

Because it's not just Perfect Angels who are brutally murdered. It's that girl you went to high school with who is trying to sell you jamberry. It's the lady who lives down the street who's kids are adorable and always seem so well-dressed. It's the girl from college who's married to the guy who looks like he does push-up challenges in his spare time. It's the co-worker who confessed he makes her physically sick but then you get a Christmas card where they're all matching. 

It's all fascinating to me. I know a lot of Shannans. And I can say that because this documentary gave us a real person. A real person with faults and issues and we don't really ever get to see that. I think it's important that we see that. I think it goes a long way in helping us remember that this doesn't just happen in Lifetime movies. It happens everywhere. 

Thank you @EdnasEdibles for this beautifully written, thoughtful analysis of the "warts and all" approach of this documentary and how it may affect how we view and interact with people in our own lives.

Full disclosure, I haven't watched this documentary even though I find the discussion on this thread fascinating. I fear that it would haunt me. At the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I watched the news footage and a lot of the documentaries and had nightmares for weeks.

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12 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

One lie I thought was weird was Chris saying they had sex.

I thought maybe it was to cover why there were no sheets on the bed?  The documentary didn't touch on that I don't think but other outlets reported that their bed was stripped.

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On 10/5/2020 at 6:51 AM, truthaboutluv said:

I used to watch a lot of True Crime shows and so many times, detectives in the episodes would always say that it amazes them how many people seem to think detectives are stupid, despite the fact that many of them see cases like these so many times. Anytime there's any family crime where coincidentally everyone but one person ends up dead - doesn't even have to be the father - the police are looking at the remaining family member. 

Look at the Dana Ewell case. The police admitted that almost immediately they suspected Dana, even with his "alibi" of being away with his girlfriend that weekend. Because the way to always look at these cases, is who stands to gain the most with all of these people out of the way?

I had moved to Fresno just a couple of years before the Ewell murders occurred.  I suspected the son immediately, especially since I had just read Cruel Doubt, which had many similarities.  I thought there was never going to be an arrest when to me (and many other locals) it was obvious Dana was behind the murders.  

I have no idea why these murderers start believing they're smarter than law enforcement (although in all honesty, the Ewell arrest took so damned long, I was beginning to wonder if Dana was going to get away with it).  

The only "perfect" murder of which I'm aware might be that of Patti Adkins.  Not because the suspect is a mastermind, by any means, but until Patti's body turns up, the married boyfriend is still walking free 15+ years later.  This case was also on an episode of ID Discovery's "Disappeared" called "Secret Rendezvous."  

 

Edited by Persnickety1
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3 hours ago, Persnickety1 said:

 

The only "perfect" murder of which I'm aware might be that of Patti Adkins.  Not because the suspect is a mastermind, by any means, but until Patti's body turns up, the married boyfriend is still walking free 15+ years later.  This case was also on an episode of ID Discovery's "Disappeared" called "Secret Rendezvous."  

 

I think there are plenty of murders out there where the murderer is still out there walking around.  I know of one case that happened almost 20 years ago on Long Island (where I live) that is still unsolved.  An almost 5 months pregnant supposedly happily married woman disappeared  Her car was found  not near her home, some time after she disappeared (might have been weeks).  Her body was found in a plastic bag near a construction site in Brooklyn  about a 1 1/2 years after she vanished.   On the night she was last seen, she told her husband that she was going to visit a friend of hers - the friend was actually away on a vacation, and later told police that the victim had used her as "cover" a number of times, as she was apparently having an affair.   I remember that the husband wasn't really considered a suspect, but he lawyered up pretty fast.   

A couple of years after the murder, I was at a party and a senior Nassau County detective was there and I asked him about the case.  He told me that the victim had not one, but TWO boyfriends, and the police were pretty sure that one of them had murdered her - they didn't think it was the husband in this case.  He said that the problem was they didn't have enough evidence to arrest anybody and the case has never been "solved".  So there is a murderer walking around if he is still alive.   And that is in just one area of the US.  And then you have cases like the one involving the  actor Robert Blake.... 

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I am not surprised to hear her parents owned their home, I’m hearing houses in Colorado are averaging about a million these days???? Did they even have jobs when they moved out there?

And you know she was running the show by that pic of him in the mouse ears 😂I think for some men it is pulling teeth to get them to wear the shirt, let alone ears 

I thought this documentary was so-so, I knew the story already from watching like a 20/20 special, was hoping I would learn something new watching this.....uh no

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16 hours ago, 12catcrazy said:

I think there are plenty of murders out there where the murderer is still out there walking around. 

No kidding - it's why a whole Cold Case unit exists in most major police departments. There are plenty of cases, particularly if they occurred before DNA testing was a thing, that was never solved. That said, as with your example, in most cases I think the detectives do have some idea of who the guilty person is, but just don't have the evidence to prove it.

It's like the case I saw on Disappeared a long time ago, where this man "vanished" while fishing. In less than six months, his wife declared him dead to collect on the life insurance policy that had curiously been increased a few months prior to his missing, at the urging of his "best friend", who was an insurance salesman. And also curious, said best friend and wife soon openly started dating and he moved into his dead best friend's house with his wife and child.

Of course the man's mother was insistent that her son didn't just disappear and someone killed him. The wife effectively removed the man's mother from her daughter's life entirely. It took years but would you believe it, turns out the best friend did the murder but it was planned between him and the wife who he'd been having an affair with. That time the police didn't even have to find any evidence. After years of marriage, the wife filed for divorce citing abuse against said best friend and both turned on each other about the murder of her first husband. In that case, the police said that of course they suspected those two people right from the start, but there was just never any solid evidence proving it. 

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There's an article where Shanann's brother extols the documentary. Shanann's family actually had a say in the final version.

ETA: Just found it.

Brother says: "It also shows what her life was like before he came along and how happy she was with her beautiful family until he cheated and turned into a different person and became that monster."

Interesting. So it seems like the family did want that narrative that Shanann became paranoid and perhaps annoying BECAUSE of the tension in her marriage.

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I watched it again last night, because I missed a lot the first time, and that was a mistake. I was up all night. I am so disturbed by what happened, and seeing some people victim blame and knowing there are people out there who support Chris. It's just sickening. All I can think about is Bella...old enough to know what was about to happen to her, and seeing what he did to her mom and sister. Having the man she thought of as her protector and hero do that to her. Despite what anyone thinks of Shanann, she absolutely did not deserve to be strangled at the hands of the man she loved and trusted. And those girls. I just cannot stop thinking about it and it's breaking my heart. 

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The victim blaming in this case is despicable, and Chris Watts parents are horrible people.   I don't think his parents even care that he murdered his family. 

There is no justification for murdering your wife, and children instead of a divorce.    Since she was the primary breadwinner, I'm betting he wouldn't even have had to pay child support.   Another family annihilator escapes justice.    I wish instead of a simple prison transfer, that he would have been sent to one of the supermax type prisons without visitors, or amenities.   

Shanann wasn't paranoid.  Her husband was a liar, and had multiple affairs (at least three, and those were was fairly recent, so who knows how many others). and was lying to everyone involved about being divorced, or widowed, or single,    

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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17 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

  I wish instead of a simple prison transfer, that he would have been sent to one of the supermax type prisons without visitors, or amenities.   

I don't know anything about the prison but the Daily Mail(I know, I know) said he was on 23 hr lockdown with no tv or radio and the only book he can have is the bible. So that sounds like a miserable existence.

I just don't understand his game. His most common explanation was that he wanted to be with his girlfriend. Ok, fine. So he kills his family, rocks up at her door and says 'babe, we can be together now' and.... that's it? Was she never supposed to ask 'where are your children?' Shanann's friends obviously loved her, did he think they'd never ask where she was? Her parents? Her business? It was just dumb all the way through which is why i don't think it was planned more than a day in advance. If anyone has a block of about 5 hours watch the polygraph interview and confession on you tube. It's fascinating to watch his story crumble and Chris try to save himself. 

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19 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

Since she was the primary breadwinner

She was not the primary breadwinner.  I'd be surprised if she was breaking even with her MLM "business".  Pretty sure all she did was get them further in debt.  The only real paycheck the family was getting was from Chris' job at the oil place.

Having said that, OF COURSE that doesn't mean she deserved to die.  I'm not sure where people are seeing on this particular board that anyone is a Chris supporter.  He is exactly where he should be - in prison until he dies.  He's quite obviously the true villain in this story.  But the sad truth is, Shannan seemed like a bit of a grifter and frankly is the type of person I would stay away from in real life.  But Chris is a murderer and OBVIOUSLY far worse and I have not seen anyone on this board say otherwise.

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2 hours ago, ThatGreyCat said:

She was not the primary breadwinner.  I'd be surprised if she was breaking even with her MLM "business".  Pretty sure all she did was get them further in debt.  The only real paycheck the family was getting was from Chris' job at the oil place.

Having said that, OF COURSE that doesn't mean she deserved to die.  I'm not sure where people are seeing on this particular board that anyone is a Chris supporter.  He is exactly where he should be - in prison until he dies.  He's quite obviously the true villain in this story.  But the sad truth is, Shannan seemed like a bit of a grifter and frankly is the type of person I would stay away from in real life.  But Chris is a murderer and OBVIOUSLY far worse and I have not seen anyone on this board say otherwise.

I guess for me, I just don’t get what the point is— “Shanann didn’t deserve to be murdered, but...”.
 I do realize that financial difficulties can put a huge strain on a marriage, though. It’s just that it seems (imo) too much discussion is on Shanann’s part of the money problems, rather than Chris’s cruel, cowardly murder of his wife and children.

When I watched the part where he tried to pin the girls’ death on Shanann, I almost reflexively yelled “ you lying f*cker!” at the TV.

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5 hours ago, Adiba said:

I guess for me, I just don’t get what the point is— “Shanann didn’t deserve to be murdered, but...”.
 I do realize that financial difficulties can put a huge strain on a marriage, though. It’s just that it seems (imo) too much discussion is on Shanann’s part of the money problems, rather than Chris’s cruel, cowardly murder of his wife and children.

When I watched the part where he tried to pin the girls’ death on Shanann, I almost reflexively yelled “ you lying f*cker!” at the TV.

Thank you. As if anyone "deserves to be murdered."* I find it disgusting that people are using the phrase at all.

*I'm not starting a death penalty discussion because that's probably "too political."

Edited by bilgistic
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Financial problems were nothing new to Shanann and Chris.    The went bankrupt in 2015 (I think 2015), and apparently never changed their spending habits after that.  

The MLM company she was part of lost no time in announcing that she was making $80k a year base salary, plus bonuses in her new position, right after the murders were discovered.    That was an inappropriate time to try to get publicity for your company. 

When they sold the house in NC (or actually Shanann did) they left all furniture behind, and didn't even want to negotiate with the buyer for extra for the furniture.   They had already moved to Colorado, and just wanted the sale over. 

Chris the murderer's life is a lot worse with life in prison, Colorado has some people on death row, but they will never execute them (look at the Wikipedia about Colorado death penalty, it's interesting). 

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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One of the things about Shanann's company was "lifestyle vacations" were part of the "compensation." They were NOT however all paid for. So it's likely that Shanann had to pony up a lot of the costs of the required "lifestyle vacations." MLM companies are the worst scams. 

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7 hours ago, Iris987 said:

I don't know anything about the prison but the Daily Mail(I know, I know) said he was on 23 hr lockdown with no tv or radio and the only book he can have is the bible. So that sounds like a miserable existence.

I just don't understand his game. His most common explanation was that he wanted to be with his girlfriend. Ok, fine. So he kills his family, rocks up at her door and says 'babe, we can be together now' and.... that's it? Was she never supposed to ask 'where are your children?' Shanann's friends obviously loved her, did he think they'd never ask where she was? Her parents? Her business? It was just dumb all the way through which is why i don't think it was planned more than a day in advance. If anyone has a block of about 5 hours watch the polygraph interview and confession on you tube. It's fascinating to watch his story crumble and Chris try to save himself. 

No one ever said he was bright. 

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19 hours ago, Bastet said:

this was her life, and he chose to end it.

THIS.

It's not, "sure she was unlikable but she didn't deserve to die."   It's NO ONE has the right to choose to end someone else's life.   Chris CHOSE to murder his wife and children.   This is all 100% on him.

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I don't even get where the "she was unlikeable" comes from. Is it the MLM? Sure it's not what I would choose to do, but it doesn't make her a bad person, it doesn't make her unkind or malicious. She and the Rzucek family seem lovely, and Shanann was a wonderful mother.

I wonder if she would still be called unlikeable if she was murdered by a husband considered much less handsome than Chris was. Watching the FBI interrogation with the female officer stroking his back, etc. I wonder how he would have been treated if he looked different, or from a different ethnic background. Whole can of worms I won't get into.

It's sad we even have to wonder why these comments keep being made about her.

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5 minutes ago, thejuicer said:

I don't even get where the "she was unlikeable" comes from. Is it the MLM? Sure it's not what I would choose to do, but it doesn't make her a bad person, it doesn't make her unkind or malicious. She and the Rzucek family seem lovely, and Shanann was a wonderful mother.

I wonder if she would still be called unlikeable if she was murdered by a husband considered much less handsome than Chris was. Watching the FBI interrogation with the female officer stroking his back, etc. I wonder how he would have been treated if he looked different, or from a different ethnic background. Whole can of worms I won't get into.

It's sad we even have to wonder why these comments keep being made about her.

I keep wondering too. She was a bit high strung, but what else is it that makes her so “unlikeable?” The constant filming is not my thing and would annoy me, but her texts to her husband seems fairly normal to me. Especially since he wasn’t paying attention to her or touching her, etc. I would be a little crazy at that point, too. 

Edited by DangerousMinds
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10 minutes ago, bilgistic said:

I have never once in my 45 years heard a man called "unlikeable". The utter misogyny in equating a woman's "negative" traits--which are positives for men in business--to her worthiness of being murdered is beyond abhorrent. I guess the daughters also "deserved to be murdered" because they were in the way of Chris's "happiness". Take a beat to consider what you're (the collective and royal "you") saying about women/girls/femmes.

At the same time I think it's also very much a feminine thing that women victims have to be painted as "wonderful devoted mothers" and "great friends" when they're murdered. When men are murdered there's rarely this rush to portray the guys as a ray of light and amazingness. 

Nobody has to LIKE a victim. It should be irrelevant whether anyone likes her. The cost of being unlikeable should not be death. 

ETA: What I didn't "like" about Shanann was the constant social media oversharing. I find that type of person extremely annoying -- the ones who put their entire lives on Facebook live or Instagram stories. As I said though that's irrelevant to the facts of the case which is that Chris was a sociopath who killed without remorse.

Edited by Growsonwalls
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2 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

At the same time I think it's also very much a feminine thing that women victims have to be painted as "wonderful devoted mothers" and "great friends" when they're murdered. When men are murdered there's rarely this rush to portray the guys as a ray of light and amazingness. 

Nobody has to LIKE a victim. It should be irrelevant whether anyone likes her. The cost of being unlikeable should not be death. 

ETA: What I didn't "like" about Shanann was the constant social media oversharing. I find that type of person extremely annoying -- the ones who put their entire lives on Facebook live or Instagram stories. As I said though that's irrelevant to the facts of the case which is that Chris was a sociopath who killed without remorse.

I've noticed that oversharing on social media and talking endlessly about your wonderful life and family is often a red flag.  If you are truly happily married, there's no need to convince yourself or anyone else.  She clearly loved her daughters, but she also used them as props to help portray the image she wanted to project to the world.  I don't see anything wrong with acknowledging that although she was a victim of a terrible crime, she wasn't someone you'd necessarily admire.  What's interesting in this case is that I found her unlikeable based on her own words and actions, not what anyone said about her.

The other interesting/frightening aspect of this case is that apparently Chris managed to hide the fact that he was a monster for all of those years.  No previous arrests, no apparent history of domestic violence, nothing to hint at the absolute horror that was to come.  He clearly wasn't a good person with his financial problems and affairs, but plenty of people live beyond their means and cheat on their spouses without ever physically harming anyone.  He actually seemed mostly laid back and bland.  

I made the mistake of watching this right before I went to bed, and I can't even to describe some of the nightmares it gave me!  Chris is very fortunate that he lives in a civilized society, and is imprisoned in a system that is mandated to protect him.

Edited by MonicaM · Reason: grammar mistakes
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2 hours ago, Growsonwalls said:

At the same time I think it's also very much a feminine thing that women victims have to be painted as "wonderful devoted mothers" and "great friends" when they're murdered. When men are murdered there's rarely this rush to portray the guys as a ray of light and amazingness. 

Nobody has to LIKE a victim. It should be irrelevant whether anyone likes her. The cost of being unlikeable should not be death. 

ETA: What I didn't "like" about Shanann was the constant social media oversharing. I find that type of person extremely annoying -- the ones who put their entire lives on Facebook live or Instagram stories. As I said though that's irrelevant to the facts of the case which is that Chris was a sociopath who killed without remorse.

I find constant SM overbearing incredibly irritating as well. But some earlier were criticizing her emails to her husband, and I’m wondering what about those was so horrible?

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On 10/5/2020 at 2:48 AM, Irlandesa said:

@Growsonwalls  While I do think your points have merit, I think it goes a little deeper than having a distinct personality or that she was a part of an MLM.  I think it taps into society's need to make excuses or find reasons for why men, usually white men, do what they do to women. 

It's the same misogynistic narrative used for victims of sexual assault; 'she was drunk', 'she went to his apartment alone', she wore that short skirt'.  It also serves as a way for women to distance themselves from the victims, 'I am not a b*tch like Shannan, that would never happen to me' or 'I wouldn't be out alone after midnight, what was she thinking?'  Women don't want to think this stuff could happen to them; so they try to imagine that the women to whom it happened are somehow different.

In Shannan's case, we're all assuming she was a certain way based on social media posts when we all know plenty of people have a social media presence that is almost 180 from their actual personality.  And Chris is a blank because he didn't post his every waking moment online.  The truth is not nearly so black and white and a lot more complex than that.

Edited by doodlebug
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8 hours ago, thejuicer said:

. Watching the FBI interrogation with the female officer stroking his back, etc. I wonder how he would have been treated if he looked different, or from a different ethnic background. Whole can of worms I won't get into.

Fun fact- the agent said she only did that because it became clear at some point that he wasn't comfortable with touch (maybe he tensed up when his dad did it and she saw). So she kept doing it. I don't know if that was an interview technique or a 'fuck you' to Chris Watts but if he was uncomfortable I'm happy with it.

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Because she is an oversharer, she is not someone I would want to hang around with.   Regardless of her "real" personality, she posted constantly on social media.   That is not someone I want to be friends with.   So in my book she was "unlikeable" TO ME.   Doesn't mean she is a bad person.   

A bad person is someone who murders his wife and kids just to be "free."   How's that freedom working out for you Chris?   

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I had to fast forward through a lot of this because I could not stomach the video of Bella singing the daddy song one more time. Knowing what he would do to her just seeing it makes me vomit.

Shannan's dad's face during the hearing was awful.

Was that View footage of Meghan McCain trashing Shannan as a henpecking bitch? It sure sounded like her. If so, fuck you Meghan.

Yeah, I think Chris was lying about how he killed her too. Telling her about the affair after having sex and she DOESN'T fight back when you put your hands on her neck? Horseshit.

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On 10/1/2020 at 6:13 PM, kellog010 said:

I have to say, that is an amazing friend who knew immediately something wasn't right and got the police involved. Kudos to her. Shannan's husband probably thought he'd have more time to come up with a cover story for why she was missing. He's an idiot to think the police wouldn't find out the truth eventually though.  

You could see he only came up with the story of Shannan killing the kids after the officer offered that to him as a reason after he failed the polygraph. I do agree that he smothered Shannan while she was asleep. 

I don't get these people who resort to murder to rid themselves of their problems. Just get a divorce or break up with them. 

I'm glad her friend alerted the police right away.  He is a complete idiot along with a psycho. He called and unenrolled the kids from school and talked to a realtor about selling the house the same day. Yeah, nobody would be suspicious of that. 

He was gutless. I don't believe he ever told her about the affair or that he wanted a divorce. He definitely killed her in her sleep.  She was not likeable in this documentary. I watched Dateline about this case and they made her to be very likeable. I prefer to know the truth. Even control freaks and ball busters get killed and they don't deserve it. Any more than sweet angels that light up a room . I also think Dateline made it sound  like the girlfriend didn't know he was still married. 

Omg Shanann's over sharing on Facebook.  I know a few like that.  I just joined FB a couple years ago and I was talking to my sister before I joined and asked, do you ever talk to so, and so anymore, she said not really but I know everywhere she goes and everything she eats and every present her husband buys and, everytime her kids fart lol. Well, I joined FB, and good lord, I now know it too.

He was definitely a prop in her perfect Facebook like.  It was really sad as someone up thread, said the cutting between her perfect social media life and her desperate texts to a man who didn't love her was jarring  and well done by the makers of this documentary. 

I cannot really say much about the kids. That is some kind of beyond evil stuff.

Edited by Cozytea
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Those texts just made me feel worse for her. She knew something was up and it must have hurt. Her whole "maybe I deserve this because I nag him too much" to her friend made me grind my teeth because I hate that we're so ingrained to blame the cheated-on person for whatever they supposedly did wrong instead of putting the blame where it belongs. 

I'm not going to lie: I've had my fair share of bitchy/control freak moments in my life, which is why I won't judge Shannan when she's not here to defend herself...I mean, I'm not a person who shares every aspect of my life on the internet, but plenty do, so whatever. You do you.

And anyway, for all her faults, she definitely loved Chris and the girls. Can you say the same about Chris after what he did? NO. Miss me with the "he spends his time and jail praying and crying" shit. It doesn't change squat.

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4 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Those texts just made me feel worse for her. She knew something was up and it must have hurt. Her whole "maybe I deserve this because I nag him too much" to her friend made me grind my teeth because I hate that we're so ingrained to blame the cheated-on person for whatever they supposedly did wrong instead of putting the blame where it belongs. 

I'm not going to lie: I've had my fair share of bitchy/control freak moments in my life, which is why I won't judge Shannan when she's not here to defend herself...I mean, I'm not a person who shares every aspect of my life on the internet, but plenty do, so whatever. You do you.

And anyway, for all her faults, she definitely loved Chris and the girls. Can you say the same about Chris after what he did? NO. Miss me with the "he spends his time and jail praying and crying" shit. It doesn't change squat.

Exactly! I don’t share much on SM at all, but I am a bit high strung and have had plenty of anxious, needy moments. I sure don’t blame her for reacting the way she did to her husband ignoring her and not touching her. Not sure how most people wouldn’t.

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This documentary has been freaking me out since I watched it last week. One of the things I just cannot get past is how unimaginably horrifying Shannan's final moments must have been. The worst she suspected her husband of was cheating. She had no idea her life or the lives of her children were in danger, and no possible way of discerning it because he'd never remotely presented himself as a threat to her before (although I do think I saw somewhere that she had been scared in some way the night he told her he didn't want the baby, but she still thought he was staying in the marriage because he loved their daughters). I just can't imagine what it must have been like for her to die in such incredible shock and horror and betrayal. I don't know if she died exactly the way he claimed she did, especially since he keeps changing his story, but she must have been aware at some point he was strangling her to death. It's so eerie to watch the footage of her walking in the house for the last time; you just wish you could reach through the screen and somehow get her to stop.

I agree with those who say a lot of social media and the texts made me sad for Shannan more than annoyed. MLMs trap people like Shannan too, and I've read elsewhere that between her health problems and health problems with her daughters, working out of the house could be a struggle. These things present themselves as such a "perfect" way for someone like Shannan (who did not finish college) to be successful while working at home and maintaining their own schedule. It's also heartbreaking to read her bewilderment and confusion at the way her husband was treating her. I honestly feel like she gave him opportunities to tell her some version of the truth - she actually begged him to just tell her if he didn't love her anymore and would rather be alone. No divorce is going to be pretty, and she likely would have been furious at first, but it seems like her main priority was getting custody of the girls and since he clearly didn't want them anyway...just divorce her. But this guy seems so obsessed with being seen as a "good guy", and he's such a narcissist (and apparently so stupid) he assumed people would simply believe him because he was "so trustworthy". Even though he made virtually no effort to cover up his crime. It was always extremely suspicious Laci Peterson washed up from the bay where Scott Peterson was fishing, but you can see where he attempted to not get caught and to ruin the forensic evidence (i.e., weighing her down with cement anchors). This guy just dumped his wife in a shallow grave at his own work site where everyone knew he'd been that morning. 

Oh, those girls. I'm also haunted by Bella's last moments. She must have known something terrible had happened to her mother, and she had to watch her father smother her little sister (who she clearly adored) and then waited in terror for him to do the same thing to her, and begged him not to. It takes a particularly depraved sociopath to do such a thing to an innocent child, let alone your own child. 

Regarding the mistress, I don't know if I think she encouraged him to kill his family, but I absolutely think she pressured him to leave them. It doesn't make her responsible for his crimes, but it also doesn't exactly make her Amber Frey (who by all accounts had no idea Scott Peterson was married). It's nonsense she didn't know Shannan was pregnant; we know she Googled her and therefore must have found her Facebook, so she would have seen the pregnancy announcement. 

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The scene I can’t get out my my head is when they are singing happy birthday to Cece at her party when Shanann and the girls were in North Carolina. Cece is looking at Shanann with complete adoration, and Shanann is looking at her the same way, while Bella is looking at both of them with a face full of love. It was being filmed of course, but it didn’t feel staged or showy. It was just pure love between a mother and her daughters. It haunts me.

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2 hours ago, Cristofle said:

This documentary has been freaking me out since I watched it last week. One of the things I just cannot get past is how unimaginably horrifying Shannan's final moments must have been. The worst she suspected her husband of was cheating. She had no idea her life or the lives of her children were in danger, and no possible way of discerning it because he'd never remotely presented himself as a threat to her before (although I do think I saw somewhere that she had been scared in some way the night he told her he didn't want the baby, but she still thought he was staying in the marriage because he loved their daughters). I just can't imagine what it must have been like for her to die in such incredible shock and horror and betrayal. I don't know if she died exactly the way he claimed she did, especially since he keeps changing his story, but she must have been aware at some point he was strangling her to death. It's so eerie to watch the footage of her walking in the house for the last time; you just wish you could reach through the screen and somehow get her to stop.

I agree with those who say a lot of social media and the texts made me sad for Shannan more than annoyed. MLMs trap people like Shannan too, and I've read elsewhere that between her health problems and health problems with her daughters, working out of the house could be a struggle. These things present themselves as such a "perfect" way for someone like Shannan (who did not finish college) to be successful while working at home and maintaining their own schedule. It's also heartbreaking to read her bewilderment and confusion at the way her husband was treating her. I honestly feel like she gave him opportunities to tell her some version of the truth - she actually begged him to just tell her if he didn't love her anymore and would rather be alone. No divorce is going to be pretty, and she likely would have been furious at first, but it seems like her main priority was getting custody of the girls and since he clearly didn't want them anyway...just divorce her. But this guy seems so obsessed with being seen as a "good guy", and he's such a narcissist (and apparently so stupid) he assumed people would simply believe him because he was "so trustworthy". Even though he made virtually no effort to cover up his crime. It was always extremely suspicious Laci Peterson washed up from the bay where Scott Peterson was fishing, but you can see where he attempted to not get caught and to ruin the forensic evidence (i.e., weighing her down with cement anchors). This guy just dumped his wife in a shallow grave at his own work site where everyone knew he'd been that morning. 

Oh, those girls. I'm also haunted by Bella's last moments. She must have known something terrible had happened to her mother, and she had to watch her father smother her little sister (who she clearly adored) and then waited in terror for him to do the same thing to her, and begged him not to. It takes a particularly depraved sociopath to do such a thing to an innocent child, let alone your own child. 

Regarding the mistress, I don't know if I think she encouraged him to kill his family, but I absolutely think she pressured him to leave them. It doesn't make her responsible for his crimes, but it also doesn't exactly make her Amber Frey (who by all accounts had no idea Scott Peterson was married). It's nonsense she didn't know Shannan was pregnant; we know she Googled her and therefore must have found her Facebook, so she would have seen the pregnancy announcement. 

I agree about the girlfriend knowing Shanann was pregnant. The people I know on Facebook that sell crap lol, (sorry, vitamins, makeup, oils) make almost all their posts public, open for anyone to see if you click on their FB page. Idk if Shanann did this but I'd put money on it. So I don't believe that she even thought they were separated.  She probably did pressure him to leave . In the article linked above  it says her phone gave away she looked at wedding dresses for 2 hrs.  All this means nothing because HE killed his family no one else.  He really is a weak coward. Everything about him scream pathetic and was so concerned about looking like a good guy. He really thought people would believe him. His answers to Shanann when she was pissed about him missing so many calls were mealy mouthed  fake loving  insincere crap.  "I love you to the moon and back"🙄

I have also thought of Shanann last moments.  It's never easy to think of someone's last moments,  but for him to never show that side, I can't  imagine her shock and realization that this man she loved was killing her .

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1 hour ago, Cozytea said:

Idk if Shanann did this but I'd put money on it.

Her Facebook is actually still active and open (her family shifted it to a memorial page, which has happened to a couple friends of mine who have died). So yes, it was definitely open to all, because she did most of the promotion of her business via Facebook. 

I read somewhere he actually called them both the same nickname in texts - "Boo". What kind of lazy, useless, pathetic...

And yes, I totally agree, if his girlfriend only encouraged him to leave his family (I tend to think that's most likely), then she isn't remotely responsible for his crimes and could not have guessed he'd do it any more than Shannan, since he never appeared to be violent. This guy's entitlement is off the charts; he seemed to blame the women around him for everything. It's his mother's fault he's distant with his wife. It's his wife's fault he killed her. No wait, it's because his girlfriend made him so obsessed with her. 

3 hours ago, truebluesmoky said:

Cece is looking at Shanann with complete adoration, and Shanann is looking at her the same way, while Bella is looking at both of them with a face full of love.

That moment struck me too, because I did not see Chris look at those girls the way she was at any point, not even when he was seemingly being affectionate. He was playing a part, and not all that well. She actually loved her children. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 7:58 PM, thejuicer said:

The incessant Facebook posting is a bit much but Shanann actually does seem like a fun loving, positive person with a loving family and lots of friends. If she was "bossy", it's because her husband is a dull, unfaithful loser (and psychopath murderer) who probably answered every question with "I dunno, it's up to you". 

Yes to all of this! How can someone not seem to be controlling or bossy if the other person never makes a decision?

The Live Abuse Free youtube channel that was mentioned on the first page of this thread definitely dives more into this aspect of their relationship. It's very interesting and sent me down a rabbit hole of watching all her videos on narcissists. Her suggestion is that he was a "covert narcissist" who had to have complete adoration/be seen as a great guy all the time. I think his hesitancy in those facebook videos was an act - he wanted to seem like such a modest, humble guy, but in reality his ego had to be stroked at every turn. Personally I think he was as dumb as a box of rocks, but was told his whole life that he was so great and he couldn't believe there was a fault in his plan.

And Chris Watts' mother...yikes. She wrote a first draft of a book and it had a story about how she disliked Shannan because on vacation Shannan didn't want Chris's 8 year old nephew waking them up super early in the mornings. She took it as some big personal affront. God forbid someone want to sleep in on vacation! And to present it as some huge example of how bad a person is shows some seriously skewed perspective.

I thought the structure of this documentary was interesting, and really illustrated how performative their lives were. You really didn't need a narrator or interviews because it was all there.

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On 10/11/2020 at 8:42 AM, merylinkid said:

bad person is someone who murders his wife and kids just to be "free."   How's that freedom working out for you Chris?   

I've always laughed at the sick irony of these kind of guys murdering their pregnant wives/girlfriends because they want to be "free"--no more marriage, no child-rearing obligations, no child support and/or alimony that they can't afford or don't want to pay, no actual wife/girlfriend finding out that they've been screwing around, etc, only to end up in prison for the rest of their miserable lives. It never occurs to them that all of the above is a much better alternative than jail.

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On 10/13/2020 at 6:36 PM, Cozytea said:

have also thought of Shanann last moments.  It's never easy to think of someone's last moments,  but for him to never show that side, I can't  imagine her shock and realization that this man she loved was killing her .

I've wondered the same thing about Laci Peterson and a lot of these women who thought they were in loving, happy relationships. I'm glad Lori Hacking was fast asleep when her husband put that gun to her head.

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10 hours ago, pigs-in-space said:

And Chris Watts' mother...yikes. She wrote a first draft of a book and it had a story about how she disliked Shannan because on vacation Shannan didn't want Chris's 8 year old nephew waking them up super early in the mornings. She took it as some big personal affront. God forbid someone want to sleep in on vacation! And to present it as some huge example of how bad a person is shows some seriously skewed perspective.

Lord. I get that she doesn't want to face that her son is a stone-cold sociopath, but her relentless determination to defile the memory of the woman her son brutally murdered is...not a good look, to say the least. All it's doing is providing a possible reason why CW did not appear to have a concept that there would be consequences for his actions. 

I think CW is somewhat at fault for his family still thinking there's some chance he didn't kill his daughters, because he seems to deliberately refuse to answer that question to their faces even as he admits it in numerous other places, but he HAS admitted it on the record enough and it has been a long enough time that I'm not especially sympathetic to their denial at this point. 

I ended up downloading the book "My Daddy is a Hero" by Lena Derhally, theorizing that Chris Watts is a "communal narcissist" who is endlessly obsessed with people thinking he is this good, amazing guy and I think there were very subtle hints of what he was all along; they were just too subtle for most people to recognize them for what they were. Apparently at one point Shanann told her brother fairly early in their marriage she just wanted Chris to tell her she was being a bitch at some point, so she knew he was actually having a reaction to something. That level of seeming passivity is never good in my opinion, because it's often hiding something darker under the surface. 

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12 hours ago, Cristofle said:

I ended up downloading the book "My Daddy is a Hero" by Lena Derhally, theorizing that Chris Watts is a "communal narcissist" who is endlessly obsessed with people thinking he is this good, amazing guy and I think there were very subtle hints of what he was all along; they were just too subtle for most people to recognize them for what they were. Apparently at one point Shanann told her brother fairly early in their marriage she just wanted Chris to tell her she was being a bitch at some point, so she knew he was actually having a reaction to something. That level of seeming passivity is never good in my opinion, because it's often hiding something darker under the surface. 

I am not a psychologist, but I don’t understand how someone can be obsessed with having people think they are a “good guy” and then choose to MURDER their spouse and children so viciously. He had to know he would get caught. He didn’t even plan it or stage it that well. He put his babies in an OIL DRUM!

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Many wife murderers seem to think they are the wronged one. OJ Simpson for instance apparently went to Nicole's grave to yell and scream at her and it was caught by paps. I think they start to have this completely warped view of their wife and think that this warped view is how the whole world will see it. In Chris's case I can sort of see his mom and Nichol feeding into that world view that it was All Shanann's Fault. 

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16 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I am not a psychologist, but I don’t understand how someone can be obsessed with having people think they are a “good guy” and then choose to MURDER their spouse and children so viciously. He had to know he would get caught. He didn’t even plan it or stage it that well. He put his babies in an OIL DRUM!

I definitely think this is not the sharpest sociopathic tool in the shed, heh, because my goodness, one episode of Law and Order would have told him he was going to get caught very quickly, but I think his narcissism probably fed into this too. He kept telling the police they should just believe him because he's "very trustworthy". Obviously to the rest of us, that is never going to work. Homicide is one of the leading causes of death of pregnant people and overwhelmingly their significant other is the guilty party. By statistics alone, he was going to be examined very closely, and that's without all his other insanely sloppy choices. Scott Peterson did a much better job of getting rid of all forensic evidence and still was ultimately convicted on overwhelming circumstantial evidence. But to a narcissist, it may have made sense in his mind at the time. If he had any scruples, he probably should have just disappeared himself. He could have reinvented himself as a "good guy" elsewhere and if he DID get caught, getting slapped with back child support is a lot easier to deal with than a triple homicide (since I don't think appealing to this guy's humanity was ever going to get anyone anywhere). But that just leads me back to him not coming off as especially bright. 

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22 hours ago, Cristofle said:

I definitely think this is not the sharpest sociopathic tool in the shed, heh, because my goodness, one episode of Law and Order would have told him he was going to get caught very quickly, but I think his narcissism probably fed into this too. He kept telling the police they should just believe him because he's "very trustworthy". Obviously to the rest of us, that is never going to work. Homicide is one of the leading causes of death of pregnant people and overwhelmingly their significant other is the guilty party. By statistics alone, he was going to be examined very closely, and that's without all his other insanely sloppy choices. Scott Peterson did a much better job of getting rid of all forensic evidence and still was ultimately convicted on overwhelming circumstantial evidence. But to a narcissist, it may have made sense in his mind at the time. If he had any scruples, he probably should have just disappeared himself. He could have reinvented himself as a "good guy" elsewhere and if he DID get caught, getting slapped with back child support is a lot easier to deal with than a triple homicide (since I don't think appealing to this guy's humanity was ever going to get anyone anywhere). But that just leads me back to him not coming off as especially bright. 

I also think her quick-acting friend really threw a monkey wrench into his plans.

I'm sure he thought he could go back home, put fresh bedding on the beds, do the laundry, and all the other post murder cleanup.  

I can only imagine his reaction when he had to rush home straight from dumping the bodies, the police were already there body cams rolling, the friend telling the cops everything she knew, and the neighbor with the security camera and his insight into how Chris had never before backed his car into the garage to load it for work and that he was acting really strange.  

After watching so many ID Discovery programs where someone says, "It was totally out of character for her not to show up somewhere," yet never made a move to send out an alarm, I hope all of us have a friend like Nickole in our lives and I hope we're all someone's Nickole and would take action quickly if that person turned up "missing."  

Watts is a monster.  I hope he sees the faces of his beautiful children every single time he closes his eyes for the rest of his miserable life.

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