A body language expert reveals exact moments Chris Watts gave himself away
He displayed ‘huge red flags’ right from the beginning
A body language expert has revealed the moments where Chris Watts gave away his guilt in the police footage taken on the day his wife and daughters were reported as missing.
American Murder: The Family Next Door on Netflix focuses on the case, using police body cam footage as some of the basis for telling the story. In the early hours of August 13th 2018, Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife Shanann and their two young daughters. The police footage has been deeply analysed for how it may have proven Chris Watts’ guilt right from the beginning.
Near the start of the documentary we see police footage of investigators entering the home of Chris and Shanann Watts, before viewing CCTV recordings from a neighbouring house. At this point, Chris Watts knows exactly what has happened to his family, but insists to police that he has no idea where they are. Neighbours comment on him being jumpy and not acting himself.
Here’s what a body language expert has to say about the way Chris Watts was behaving, and how this ultimately gave him up as guilty.
A body language expert has revealed in depth analysis of Chris Watts, showing when he gave himself away to police
The video analysis by expert Derek Van Schaik has had over 29million views. It begins by introducing the case, and the moment police first arrived in the area after Shanann’s friend Nickole phoned with her concerns. Right from the beginning, Derek claims the police didn’t feel as though Chris was taking the situation seriously and was lying about being “five minutes away” for over 45 minutes.
The expert goes on to discuss how when he arrived on the scene, Chris didn’t rush to open the garage or let people inside, even though it was thought Shanann might have been having a medical emergency in the house.
The expert says Chris uses “diversion evidence” and “diversion dialogue”, such as mentioning the girls’ blankets had gone, to distract people from looking at him as a suspect, and instead believing his family had just disappeared.
Derek says Chris instantly comes across as someone who is guilty, as he is “negative and not very proactive”. He says Chris’ fidgeting and nervousness is focused inwards because he is scared about himself getting caught out, whereas the nervousness from Nickole is outwards because she is scared for Shanann.
When Chris receives the news that camera footage shows only he left the house that day he replies simply “ok” – which Derek explains is trying to make what is a very incriminating big discovery seem minor in front of police. The body language expert literally says the way Chris Watts is behaving makes him the “dumbest person on earth”.
He says when Chris leaves the bedroom after finding Shanann’s wedding ring still in there, Chris holding it on the tip of his finger away from his body says he does not want anything to do with what the ring represents.
In a later conversation with the police officer, Derek says Chris’ eye contact isn’t natural, as if he was holding it to see if the officer was buying what he was telling him. He says Chris over uses hand gestures as a cover up and his voice is shaky and his tone doesn’t change – which would usually be a reflection of emotion – which Chris seems to really lack.
They then move to the neighbour’s house to watch his security footage, Derek describes this part as “unbelievable”. Chris buries his head in his phone to mentally escape the place he is right now, thinking he could be about to watch himself getting caught on camera. Derek explains he’s displaying defensive body language by holding his phone tightly to himself, which Derek says increases the likelihood he is texting his mistress – Nichol Kessinger.
Derek says that as the footage plays, instead of watching it like everyone else, Chris is constantly explaining it and talking over it – which implies guilt. Chris then looks away completely, which Derek says means he doesn’t like what he is seeing, and he looked all the way over to the door suggesting he wants to leave. Chris takes a deep breath which Derek says suggests he feels threatened. He then puts his hands on his head to try and calm himself down and reduce his signs of nervousness. This is a “huge red flag he is guilty”.
Derek goes on to explain that Chris gets very defensive before acting completely defeated. He then tries to fake empathy and give himself as much self-comfort as possible. Even the neighbour picks up on Chris rocking back and forth, seeming nervous and not making sense.
Watch the full body language analysis video of Chris Watts here:
American Murder: The Family Next Door is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.