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Letters from Christopher: The Tragic Confessions of the Watts Family Murders by Cheryln Cadle

This is a long one, friends… buckle up and hold on to something, because I did not hold back any of the feelings.

Early in the book, Cheryln claims she has always wanted to be a writer, that she has a natural gift for it. Ma’am, after reading this highly plagiarized, poorly edited, “book” with atrocious grammar and a serious lack of punctuation, I am here to tell you three things:
1. You may be able to write a great grocery list… but novels, absolutely not.
2. Just because someone in your family told you one time you were a naturally gifted writer… does not make it true.
3. Your book claims Chris Watts is making no excuses for the horrific things he did, but you sure as hell are.
This book is not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting to see copies of handwritten letters from Chris Watts, with minimal blurbs from Copy-Cat Cadle. Whelp, poke me in the eye and call me a goon, because what I got was a Facebook status quality love letter to Chris freaking Watts, that pretty much made it sound like everyone else was to blame except poor Christopher.
Ma’am, please.
I very quickly noticed that there are several passages (I kid you not- passages) copied from another book… Cadle straight up tried to pass the writing of Anne K. Howard as her own. HA. 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 plagiarism checkout Kimberley on YouTube. She goes way into detail, citing specific passages stolen and provides a side-by-side comparison. She is also funny. But I digress- see even in my review I am attempting to avoid discussing this love letter. Ugh.
Several time 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 opinion. Not fact, not a scientifically solid theory or hypothesis… just a fluff line thrown in to make yourself sound smarter than you are. Sorry to tell you… you failed. My research shows, that you just spewed words out, much like a college freshmen frantically writing a 10-page research paper the night before it is due. Also, spoiler alert, she does not include a reference guide or a sources cited page AT ALL in the book.
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 just guess? How does she know that Chris Watts has an IQ of 140? WHO DETERMINED THAT? If his IQ is 140 on the Cheryln Cadle scale of intelligence, and she says that’s genius or almost genius I am terrified.
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. We also see that not-a-doctor Cadle has obviously written something inquiring if Chris has Asperger’s. This lady just cannot seem to help herself. She has to diagnose all the things, because she is clearly an expert. Sigh. Do I think Chris Watts is a sociopath? Definitely. Do I think he could have been showing signs of alexithymia? Absolutely. I think Chris Watts is a disgusting monster, and a horrible human being… but I still think any statements made regarding any disorders or signs there of, need to be made by a licensed professional, and not a wannabe true crime writer.
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. Cadle also states on page 204, “She had approval from her mom, something most girls long for but never achieve.” Where is the statistic proving that?
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 kind of cruel agenda have made things even more difficult.” What does she think this book is doing to these families? On The Dr. Oz show, Cadle said the reason she did this (write the book) is because the family deserves closure and she wanted to give that to them. Excuse me… but SHE wanted to give these families closure? Cadle has zero ties to this case or to these families. She is a Chris Watts sympathizer, who thought she could exploit some air-time for herself. She didn’t even send the Rzucek’s a copy of the book before it came out… and her (Cadle’s) reasoning is that because they didn’t want to be a voice in her shitty book, they don’t get a free pre-release copy. And yet, she dares to mention the pain these families are going through? This wack-a-do IS PART OF THE MEDIA AND PEOPLE (I am using media lightly here- let’s be real) THAT NEEDS TO LEAVE THEM ALONE. The audacity of this woman is mind-boggling.
On page 206 Cadle writes, “There is so much more to this story that Christopher does not even know.” Except if anyone knows more about this CASE (story? Really? Show some respect) it is Chris Watts. I would be willing to venture, that there is so much more to this case, that even the families and the public do not know. Chris Watts knows. He admitted it. He wrote down what he is willing to share. Any details or facts that are still hidden, are absolutely known by the monster who caused them. I really cannot even begin to understand the audacity of this woman.
Cadle misspells Rzucek throughout her book and it makes me extremely angry. She spells it “Rzueck”. She couldn’t even have the decency to spell Shanann’s family name correctly. Cadle also misspells Dieter’s (the dog) name wrong throughout her book. It’s almost as though she didn’t actually fact check anything that didn’t directly have to do with Chris Watts. Also, whoever her editor was seriously failed. The most basic of details, SHANANN’S MAIDEN NAME!, were grossly overlooked.
On page 214 Cadle writes, “It’s all very sad to see where he has come from and where he is now. Many would say he deserves less than he gets. However, if he was oppressed by a dark spirit, does he deserve another chance? He is not seeking an appeal right now, but should he? I will leave that up to you as the reader. Ronnie and Cindy recently received the wallet he had on him at the time he was arrested. He had $13.00 in it. Is this a coincidence?” I really don’t even know how to begin addressing the rage I felt reading that paragraph. Actions have consequences. You don’t get to brutally murder and dispose of your family, and then claim “mulligan! It was a dark spirit!” later on.
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 in a cruel manner. 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 of those crimes lay solely in his shoulders. Just because he has found God, and asked for forgiveness, doesn’t mean all culpability is relieved from his shoulders.
I did not enjoy this book. The plagiarism aside, any writing that was solely Cadle’s was poorly constructed, poorly punctuated, and poorly written. The “best” (for lack of a better term) parts of this book were from the few letters she actually shared, and the transcripts from various interviews and the actual court documents. I found Cadle’s absolute lack of research and fact-checking to be in extremely poor taste. For majority of the book she comes across as a Chris Watts sympathizer, and she makes statements that are so incredibly insensitive to both the Watts and Rzucek family’s. The (serious lack of) editing within this book is shameful. The absolute disrespect shown to the Watts and Rzucek family is obscene.
It was also extremely misleading to not include both HER letter and Chris’ response. We have no way of knowing what she said to him, what questions she asked, how things were actually discussed, and that does not sit well with me. For a book titled, “Letters from Christopher” there really weren’t very many letters from Christopher. It was a handful of letters, and a whole lot of poorly attempted writing (by Cadle). This book was not worth the money, it was really not worth the read, and it is not worth the paper it is printed on. I do not recommend this book. It also annoyed me how Cadle only referred to Chris as “Christopher”… when literally everyone else called him Chris. Nice try, you pretentious nut.
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 is something he will take to his grave. 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 one hundred percent Katy Disapproved. I give this book 0 out of 5 stars.

I will not be linking this book to purchase. I do not want anyone else to waste their time or money on this filth.

He is guilty. He admitted it. There are literal facts and actual evidence to support and prove that Chris Watts murdered his family in cold blood. He, and he alone, murdered his family. My heart breaks for both sets of parents, and all the family members, who were devastated by this tragedy. This book should not have been written. It sure as shit never should have made it through editing, and it most certainly should not be read by anyone who wants any type of accurate depiction of what happened in this case. You want a Bible verse? How about the Ten Commandments?!

I honestly wish I could apologize to the Rzucek family, and the Watts family for this dumpster fire.

Kiss my Putt by Tara Sivec

This is the first book from Tara Sivec I’ve read, and it will not be the last. She is damn talented. Not only is this love story epic… she is freaking hilarious. I don’t think I have ever cackled so much reading a book in my life.
I loved the characters. Birdie is seriously the belle of the ball and she is so well written. Her inner dialogue is almost funnier than her actual dialogue. And Tess… oh my GOD. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a book character as a friend more. Palmer is fun and exciting, and charismatic as all get out. I love how this story unfolded. Love is messy, it’s complicated… and it’s hard. You definitely go through all the feelings with this book.

This is a delightfully charming, fast paced book. You will absolutely fall in love with Summersweet Island, and the characters who live there. The writing is so clever, there is so much wit and sass and charm. And the female characters are so damn delightful. This was an excellent choice.
There are some killer one liners in this book. Oh man. I had to take screen shots of some of my favs to post to my Instagram story because Tara is such a sassy, witty, clever writer. This was such a fun read. It was so refreshing to read such a positive, upbeat book. Even in tense, dramatic moments there were beautiful twists that just worked. If you are looking for a quick, easy to read book- this is it. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Find Kiss my Putt by Tara Sivec on Amazon. Available for free with Kindle Unlimited!

The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, his All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder by John Glatts

Trigger warning: this book contains graphic descriptions of smothering and concealment of dead bodies, including children.

This was heavy. And incredibly sad. I was fairly knowledgeable able this case, having followed it during the trial and watch documentaries about it. But reading the details of what Chris Watts did to him pregnant wife and daughters… wow. That man is a cold blooded monster. Nothing can be said to justify his actions.
This book was very well written, the details were handled with care and I feel as though everyone involved was given a fair and unbiased depiction.
My heart absolutely breaks for the families on both sides of this case. In situations like this… no one comes out okay. And this book definitely made that clear. Tragic and utterly heartbreaking, the story of Chris Watts, family annihilator, will make you sick to your stomach. Reading the details of this case will absolutely break your heart, make you angry, and leave you in complete disbelief… how can a father do the things this man did? How can a father murder his babies, with his own hands, and then go on camera pretending to plead for their safe return? Nothing within these pages is comforting. Nothing within the details of this case make sense or are justified. This is a devastating account of the tragedies that occurred. Read at your own will, this book is incredibly heavy.

John Glatt did an incredibly good job writing this book. He presented the facts of the case, and offered everyone involved a fair and unbiased opportunity to be seen and heard. It could not have been an easy task, writing this. Especially since so much of this case was so public. It was a hard book to read, but it was very well written and put together in a way that seems very factual. For the writing alone, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, his All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder by John Glatts on Amazon

The Weight on Skin by Beena Khan

Thank you, Beena, for sending me a copy of this novel. I appreciate your kindness, and generosity and your belief in my review. It has been a pleasure reading for you.

This book was really good. Much faster paced than the first book in the series. The character development was very well done. We get to see an entirely different side to Kabir, and he becomes so much more realistic in the construction of this novel.
I have to admit, I enjoyed the writing in this book over the last book. As much as I enjoyed Red… in this book she was so much more dynamic, and such a bold, empowered and functional character.
Beena writes the emotions associated with grief beautifully… and accurately. The things Kabir thinks and feels, and does, as he works through his feelings is pretty intense. It was really lovely, albeit sad, to go back and get more detail about Kabir’s past, and have him actually share the stories of his high school bullying. Beena brought such pain, and such a depth to the subject of bullying and the effects it can leave on a person. Even years later.
This book didn’t delve into drinking, but the emphasis on addiction was still there. This time it was primarily on sex and closure. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Red’s persona in this book- no spoilers- but I actually loved what she brought to this story. She completed the arc of Kabir’s past, and the things holding him back. Now that he has his closure on all levels of his life, he is able to move forward. To a brighter, happier, new life.
I loved the cultural influences throughout this story, the wedding details were my favorite. I also love the strong women Beena writes. The fact that (minor spoiler) a strong female ends up being the attending surgeon for Kabir was pleasantly refreshing. The growth the character take in this book is pretty fantastic. Their journey is so much bolder and more realistic this time. And I very much enjoyed Kabir’s story.
The writing, continuity, formatting and editing were so much better in this novel. You can definitely see the improvement Beena has made. She is clearly getting more comfortable with herself as a writer, and that is really showing through. I am really proud of her growth as a writer in this book. I have no doubts she will only get better as she continues creating.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find The Weight on Skin by Beena Khan on Amazon

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Holy hell in a hand-basket. This book is insane. Vivid details, exquisite storytelling and a twist that will leave you stunned and speechless. I highly recommend reading this book with a friend, because I guarantee you are going to need to discuss this book and THE TWIST. This book proves that money doesn’t buy happiness, old wounds can be ripped open and the truth is ugly. Don’t plan on getting any sleep… cause you will not be able to put this book down. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Find Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter on Amazon

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is a beautiful, completely unprecedented, unexpected love story. This book is about love, acceptance, growing, forgiveness, revenge and protecting the ones you love- no matter what. This book starts out very calmly, very swiftly, and builds into such a dynamic story of survival. This was such a quick and easy read… and you will not believe the ending. Buckle up and prepare yourself for an incredible ride. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens on Amazon

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This is an emotional roller coaster. Such a beautifully written, tragedy with a happy ending… and you will never see it coming. A charming story that has so many heartbreaking moments, and several twists that completely leave you speechless… you can’t read this one fast enough. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell on Amazon

The Last Thing She Ever Did by Gregg Olsen

This book was fast paced and intense. You will be hooked from the first page, and you will not be able to put this book down. It is an intense story about how dangerous secrets can be… and how easily mistakes are made. The emotions inside this book will rip you in two, and you will not be able to stop yourself from finding the truth… no matter what the cost may be. Gregg Olsen is taking not prisoners with this novel… and he is a master at creating terrifying moments. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find The Last Thing She Ever Did by Gregg Olsen on Amazon

Lying Next To Me by Gregg Olsen

This is a wild ride! And you will definitely not figure this one out until it wacks you in the face. This is very intense, very fast paced, and has more twists and turns than a twisty straw. Gregg Olsen is such a vivid, brilliant writer and he brings this to life with the words leaping off the page. This book is so dark, so intense and so twisted. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Find Lying Next To Me by Gregg Olsen on Amazon

The Mother-In-Law by Kiersten Modglin

Holy. Buckets. This book- wow. This book is a whirlwind from page one. What starts out as a very sweet romance… turns very dark very quick. The writing is fantastic, the twist is so well done and you will not be able to put this book down. You will have so many feelings. You will be on the edge of your seat, until you get blown back. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Find The Mother-in-Law by Kiersten Modglin on Amazon

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