Letters from Christopher: The Tragic Confessions of the Watts Family Murders by Cheryln Cadle
I am going to be upfront; I did not enjoy this book. I didn’t like the writing style, and I was disappointed in the lack of letters between Cheryln Cadle and Chris Watts. I thought this would be more letters between the two, with the occasional blurb of context from Cadle, and it was not that. The dialogue was more one-sided, which left a lot of open-ended questions unanswered.
I very quickly noticed that several passages seem to be copied from another book. Anne K. Howard wrote a book called “His Garden,” and it is excellent. Howard reached out to serial killer William Devin Howell, and together they formed a strange friendship, in which he confesses everything to her, knowing she is writing a book. It is so well done, so well written, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it. For more details about the alleged plagiarism, checkout Kimberley on YouTube. She goes into detail, citing specific passages alleged stolen and provided a side-by-side comparison. She is also funny.
Throughout this book, Cadle claims “research shows” or “research says,” but she cites no research. She did not interview a psychologist or any such professional in her “research” of this book. For example:
“On Saturday night, August 11, Shanann had less than 36 hours to live. Did she start to feel her life was almost over?
Research has shown people do not have a clue.” (Chapter 10, pg. 55, first paragraph, lines 1-3)
What research? Who made this claim? What qualified human stated that people do not have a clue? This is an opinion.
On page 57, Cadle states, “Christopher has an IQ of 140. The Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence says a genius or almost a genius is 140 or over. Possibly his genius brain did not afford him common sense.” Yet she offers absolutely nothing to explain just how she knows his IQ. Did he tell her? Did his mom tell her? His sister? Did she guess? How does she know that Chris Watts has an IQ of 140? On page 109, Cadle makes the statement, “Christopher shows signs of alexithymia, the inability to express emotions or to understand other’s emotions.” Yet nothing scientific to support that claim. No doctor to agree or disagree, or clarify or further explain. Yet, on the Dr. Oz Show (again, clips can be found on YouTube; part 4 is what I am referencing here- part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), Cadle made it very clear she is not a doctor. So she should not be making such bold claims without a single iota of fact behind them. Chris Watts also says IN HIS OWN WORDS that he has never had a psychological exam. AND I QUOTE: “In answer to your questions, no, I’ve never had a psychological exam. If I were to of seen a doctor during my case, then anything I said could’ve been subpoena by the court of DA. And the Asperger’s symptoms do make a lot of sense and I can match up a bunch of instances in my life that correspond with it too.” Page 218. It would seem Cadle has obviously written something inquiring if Chris has Asperger’s. This is where having both the letter written TO Watts and his response would have been really beneficial and appreciated.
There were several continuity errors, things were repeated, and Cadle seemed to bounce back-and-forth between Cervi-319 and Cervi-219. On page 173, Cadle offered three definitions (sane, insane, and possesses), yet offers zero sources to where she found her definitions, and she asks the question “Is Christopher insane?”, which again, I have to state that Cadle is not a doctor of any kind… and therefore unqualified to assert such assumptions.
On page 204, Cadle bounces back-and-forth between Bella and Belle. This is extremely disrespectful to the victim and her family. This is something that should have been caught and corrected in editing.
On page 205, Cadle says, “These grandparents have suffered so much. The pain they have faced is indescribable and a pain that even time cannot dull. Perhaps soon, the media will leave them all alone and allow them to grieve privately. People do not understand how cruel it is. They have not only had to endure their pain from their loss, but the pain the media and people who had some cruel agenda have made things even more difficult.” What does she think this book is doing to these families? While on The Dr. Oz show, Cadle said the reason she did this (write the book) is that the family deserves closure, and she wanted to give that to them. Cadle misspells Rzucek throughout her book, which should have been caught and corrected in editing. She spells it, “Rzueck.”
A lot of this book focuses on the “dark spirit” that had a hold over Chris Watts… and personally, I think that is just a BS way of skirting full responsibility. He chose to murder his family. He chose to dispose of their bodies cruelly. He chose to lie about their whereabouts at first. He chose. He, Christopher Lee Watts, chose to murder his pregnant wife and two daughters. And the responsibility for those crimes lies solely on his shoulders. Just because he has found God, and asked for forgiveness, doesn’t mean all culpability is relieved from his shoulders.
I also have a theory that is mine and mine alone, that Nikki (the mistress) was more involved than Chris is willing to admit. In this book, we get it confirmed that Chris gave Shanann oxy in the hope of causing her to miscarry their son. When asked where he (Chris) got the oxy, he says that it is something he will take to his grave. It just seems kind of fishy to me. This mistress obviously wanted to be upgraded from side piece to wife. So why wouldn’t she help make that possible? Admittedly, I have not gone down the rabbit hole involving my speculation, so maybe that was ruled out. I honestly don’t know. But I definitely think Nikki was more involved that Chris wants us to believe.
This book is Katy unapproved. I give this book 0 out of 5 stars.
I will not be linking this book to purchase. With the alleged plagiarism claims going on, the book is difficult to find, and if you can track it down, it is costly.