What American Murder: The Family Next Door, Netflix’s documentary on the Watts family murders, taught us is that things can look perfect from the outside. A family can seem happy. And a father/husband can still decide to murder his entire family.
We know that Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two little girls, Bella and Celeste.
American Murder was so compelling because Shanann Watts was an avid social media user so we were able to hear a lot of the story told in her own words. She seemed so normal. Their marital problems seemed so normal. If I was Shanann, I would have no idea my husband was about to murder me and my children.
She may have had some kind of heads up if she knew Chris was having an affair with a coworker named Nichol Kessinger.
Shanann was unaware of the affair while Nichol had been Googling Shanann’s name since a year before she and Chris even started a relationship. Investigators found the Google searches along with evidence that Nichol frequented Shanann’s Facebook page where Shanann frequently posted about her beautiful family and “loving” husband.
We know now that Chris hid the affair from his wife. While Shanann went on work trips, Chris would plan romantic rendezvous with Nichol. The two often exchanged photos, which Chris kept and hid from Shanann in a folder on his phone meant to look like a simple calculator app. He may have used the Secret Calculator App to accomplish this.
All the clues that Shanann needed to take her kids and run were hidden in plain sight. Here’s how the app works:
It kills me to think that if Shanann (who frequently used her husband’s phone) had known to check this app, she could have uncovered the affair and put herself in a safe position before confronting him about it. He seemed like such a normal husband. I can’t help but want every woman to know about this app (or about the ability to hid evidence of an affair in plain sight). If your husband or boyfriend’s behavior has changed, you should look and see if he has this app.