Exciting news! There are several new places you can connect with me! Pinterest, BookBub, LibraryThing, and many more. My username is kkecreads across all of my socials! Let’s get reading! AND I have a new e-mail address for my book reviews: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tag Archives: true crime
I have fallen down the Chris Watts family annihilator rabbit hole. Over the last week, I’ve read books, watched documentaries, read articles, listened to various podcasts and over the past three days I read the discovery file. All 1960 pages of it.
Obviously, we (the public) will never truly know what happened, why it happened, how it happened, etc. but reading the discovery file… which is every report, every interview, transcripts of texts/messages, copies of pretty much every piece of evidence involved in this case, was heartbreaking.
As I was reading posts regarding Watts, and whether he actually committed the murder, and if he did, did he act alone; I have read several discussions (that got pretty intense) where people have speculated and made assumptions all across the board.
He admitted to killing his pregnant wife, Shanann, and daughters, Bella and Celeste. He admitted it. He gave several different versions of his confession, but all of the evidence literally points to Watts as the killer. He brutally murdered his beautiful family, and cruelly disposed of them. There isn’t anything to debate here, in my opinion. The man is a monster, and he is where he should be… in prison for the rest of his life, without the possibility of parole.
I am not completely convinced that he acted alone, however. I believe 100% that he and he alone, murdered and disposed of Shanann, Bella and Celeste. But after reading the things I’ve read, and finding out from Watts himself, via “Letters from Christopher, that he drugged Shanann (once in NC to attempt to induce a miscarriage) and having the question “where did you get the 80 mg oxycodone?” And his answer being, “that will be something I take to my grave.”, definitely leads me to think perhaps his girlfriend provided the oxy. In the discovery file, there are so many questionable Google searches that the girlfriend did, and then deleted, that just leads me to think maybe she was more involved than either (Watts or his gf) claimed.
My heart absolutely breaks for the Rzucek family. They have not only lost a daughter and sister, and their grandchildren in one of the most devastating ways possible… but this poor family is being subjected to harassment, bullying, slanderous statements (written and verbal), insensitive and inappropriate videos on YouTube, etc., on top of attempting to heal. How we can be so disgustingly cruel to a grieving family is beyond me. The Rzucek family is attempting to create Shanann’s Law (I am still researching) and I think that is very brave, in the light of all they are dealing with.
There is a documentary on Netflix, American Murder: The Family Next Door, that was done in collaboration with the Rzucek family. The family was consulted and involved in every aspect, so they were able to ensure Shanann got to tell her story.
This case is ugly. It’s heavy, it’s so sad… and it didn’t have to happen. Watts literally could have filed for divorce. He could have just walked away. He could have ended his affair with his girlfriend, and actually tried rebuilding his marriage with Shanann. But instead, he chose to kill his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two beautiful daughters, Bella and Celeste. Instead, he chose to completely destroy two families.
If you are like me, and have fallen down the rabbit hole with this case; all I ask is that you are kind. Kind towards both families (Rzucek and Watts), to all of Shanann’s friends, and to each other as you discuss and debate your opinions.
To wrap this tragic post, I will say: Nickole Atkinson is a damn hero. She is the friend we all deserve, and the friend we should all strive to be. Be an advocate for your loved ones. Be adamant. Be pushy. Be loud.
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.
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.
I had such high expectations for this book. Maybe too high. This book was very interesting… but the chapters were extremely long and I felt like certain stories lead to random tangents that John E. Douglas tried to tie together. Majority of the book is absolutely fascinating, and the authors really break down the process, and do a great job of explaining how they build a profile. It would be nice if the book was updated or amended to provided updated information regarding some of the cases covered. For example, the book states that the Green River Killer hasn’t been found/caught yet, when we know today that it was Gary Ridgeway. The authors updated the introduction of the book, so it seems plausible that the book can be updated with the most current information. I mostly wanted to read the book before I watched the Netflix series, but I honestly don’t know how much it will matter after reading the book. It was a good and very interesting read, but it definitely took me longer to get through than I am used to. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
August Book of the Month Selection
I enjoyed this book a lot. It dealt with things I enjoy- true crime, podcasts, true crime podcasts and psychological thrillers. The story line was excellent, the characters were well developed and the twist was so well done. This book does have a heavy topic, and it was honestly handled so well. It was very obvious that Megan Goldin really did her research to keep the plot points as authentic as possible. I highly recommend this book, it is a page turner! You won’t be able to put it down! I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Find The Night Swim by Megan Goldin on Amazon
I wanted to read this book because the crime took place near my hometown. At the time this book was written the case hadn’t gone to trial… and there is no epilogue with the update. So I ended up having to Google the trial and the outcome of all the individuals involved. Which isn’t a deal breaker for me, and I enjoy researching true crime cases anyway (a weird hobby I guess), so chances are I would have still given this case a spin in the Google machine… but it would have been nice if the book had been updated with the results of the trials. This case is brutal, and definitely hard to read at times, but without having the follow up it makes it difficult to recommend. I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars.
*Trigger warning: this is a true crime novel. The events that are described within this book are extremely violent and graphic, so if you are sensitive to abuse, mental health abuse, assault and verbal threats, you will probably not enjoy this book.
Find Whatever Mother Says… by Wensley Clarkson on Amazon
This book was the first of its kind- the first plunge into the dark world of true crime. On so many levels, this book is groundbreaking and exciting. But you can also tell that this was the first of its kind. The case was slightly all over the place and I found certain chapters were a tad ramble-y for my taste. This book took me a lot longer than normal to get through, but I am glad I read it. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
Find In Cold Blood by Truman Capote on Amazon