Diary of a YouTube rabbit hole: The Christopher Watts Case


As a follower of true crime, YouTube is the temple at which I conduct my daily worship – and this past week has been no exception.

Whilst admittedly there is a plethora of utter nonsense that exists on the interweb, for those of us who have a yearning to understand what drives people to do the things that they do, the web never fails to deliver.

If you’re a regular user of YouTube, you’ll know exactly what I mean by a YouTube rabbit hole as described here, but for those of you who aren’t, here’s how you can generally tell when you’ve fallen into one…

You find a video that piques your interest.

You watch said video.

‘Ooh, recommended next. This looks interesting’.

3 hours later…

watching telly



For the past five or six days I’ve been gripped by anything and everything to do with a very recent case of a missing mother and her two children in Colorado.

When Shanann Watts, a mother in her early thirties who was 15 weeks pregnant with her first son, went missing from her home on 13th August 2018 (along with her two young daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3) it was her best friend Nickole Atkinson who raised the alarm that same morning and called the police to her house to look for her after she missed a doctor’s appointment.

Her husband seemed unconcerned.

In a horrendous turn of events, Shanann and her two girls had already been cruelly snuffed out by Christopher Watts; husband, father and – as it happens – a narcissist who’d been having an affair for several months.

Last month, Watts was sentenced to multiple life terms for the slaughter of his whole family, and the police have since released hours of audio, as well as video footage, cataloguing how the whole case unravelled. From the first questioning at the station, to his bewildering ‘confession’ that he’d killed Shanann after she flew into a rage and smothered their two children (a total lie, of course).



The incredible work of the police who were quick to get justice for Shanann and her family must be commended here, along with the efforts of her best friend to get to the bottom of what had happened to her (and without whom her husband would’ve had chance to dispose of valuable evidence).

For anyone interested in getting to the heart of the case, here are five videos that I watched/listened to this week…



The sentencing hearing…

At 13 minutes, this video sums up the case against Chris Watts as Weld County DA, Michael Rourke, delivers his statement.

An important clip, and ideally where anyone with an interest in the case should start.



The first police body cam video…

When Shanann’s friend Nichole called the police, this was the first footage taken by the police officer who responded to the scene.

Shot directly from his body cam, we see Shanann’s friend Nichole speaking with the officer, the view as he tries to get an answer from anyone who might be inside the house and, finally, an unconcerned Chris Watts eventually rocking up with little to no interest in finding his missing wife and daughters…

Cue an extremely phoney ‘she’s left her wedding ring behind’ moment which will have you shouting at your television/smartphone.



Reciting his story…

Trying to get to the bottom of what’s happened to Shanann and her girls, this video of Chris Watts in the interrogation room is more gripping than any documentary that will (undoubtedly) be released on the case in the months/years to come.

It’s a tale of two Chris’s as the officer tries to decide whether Watts is going to be honest about where his family went – or whether he’ll continue lying to save his own skin.



The mistress…

There are many people who’ve listened to this audio and been left confused by Nichol Kessinger.

What we know based on her account of her involvement with Watts is that:

  • They’d been having an affair for at least three months
  • He told her he was ‘separated’ from his wife and sleeping in the basement
  • She deleted potentially vital evidence from her phone once she found out his wife and children were missing…

At 2 hrs and 8 mins this is a long interview, so you’ll want to settle down with a coffee or five for this one, but I’m stunned more questions haven’t been asked here.



The ‘confession’…

After failing a polygraph (all nine parts of which you can watch here), Watts finally ‘confesses’ his nonsense version of events to his father who’s flown across the country to be at his side.



The Weld County DA’s Office has since released nearly 2,000 pages of documents on the case which can be read here, and which includes interviews with Watts, his family and friends.

What’s your verdict?



Image credit: Lead image – Weld County Sheriff’s Office/Instagram

Author: Alyssa

PR professional. Comedy enthusiast and cat lady.

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