You may have already seen this, but there’s a Change.org petition going around to have the photo of Shanann and the girls that Chris has in his cell and take it away from him, the logic being that he shouldn’t be allowed to have this “trophy,” a photo of his murder victims. And somehow, being taxpayers is used, I guess, as a justification to make such a request. Personally, I think this time and effort would be better spent in pairing Chris with a psychologist to understand why an otherwise good guy, devoted to his family, would commit such a savage act. I’m not saying he should be rehabilitated and paroled; I’m saying take the top minds in psychology and criminal behavior and take advantage of Chris’s ability and willingness to talk to learn about what factors turned this otherwise meek and mild man into a raging killer that morning. And I really think the patch he was wearing that elevated his heart rate as if he were working out all the time and caused insomnia was a contributing factor. The purpose is not to make excuses, but to discover, perhaps, if you take a person who has only experienced anger once or twice in his life, is a yes-man, does not express himself, is caught between three very strong women and so-on and then he experiences a couple of the biggest life stressors and has to face the fact that he has betrayed his wife–it should not have resulted in murder, obviously–but the pivotal moment when he put his hands around Shanann’s neck should be explored.
I think it’s easier to write off Chris Watts as an evil narcissist who just wanted a new life and annihilated everybody who got in his way, instead of trying to dig deeper to say, here’s a family man with absolutely no record, no history of violence or crimes, a good husband and father. Yes, he had an affair–and he and Shanann were openly discussing near-future plans to separate–so what about her saying, you’ll never see these kids again made him lose his mind? A study of the events leading up to the murders combined with an in-depth understanding of Chris Watts psychology could glean insight into red flags along the way, that then should be shared. I mean, we all know the red flags of coercive control, that the most dangerous time is when the victimized spouse is trying to leave, for example, and if there are other Chris Watts’s out there, perhaps these insights could prevent another tragedy.
You can check out the petition here.