Sunday, August 19, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Chris Watts has reportedly confessed to murdering his wife, Shanann who was fifteen weeks pregnant as well as his two daughters, three-year-old Celeste and four-year-old Bella.

The above interview was conducted and published on Thursday 16 August 2018. Watts was arrested and he confessed the next day.

What follows is a partial nonverbal and paralanguage analysis of Chris Watts in this specific video.

There are a multitude of tells which dramatically jump out in Watts' conduct. One of the most glaring is conspicuous in its absence. There are virtually no displays of sadness, grief, or empathy - with one key exception.

The grief-sadness-empathy expression requires an elevated, central forehead contraction (CFC) - simultaneous with a mouth of sadness.

Beginning at 3:14, Watts says, "Yeah, I mean, n, noth-, noth-, everybody's gonna have their own opinion on thi- on ennything [mispronouncing 'anything'] like this ...".

Watts stutters, stammers, and mispronounces during his answer. As he's trying to say, the word 'nothing', he momentarily displays a mild grief expression - although both his mouth and forehead components in this instance are quite minimal (shown above, during 3:15).

Crucially, this facial expression was in response to the journalist saying, "... You're afraid people think you may have done something". Thus, Watts' ONLY display of sadness-grief during this entire interview was when he was confronted with the prospect that he was the perpetrator of the crime. His grief was for himself, not for his 'missing' family.

One could stop this analysis right here, for Watts' lack of sadness-grief-empathy is profound and cannot be overstated.

Another dramatic red flag is Watts' complete lack of any facial touching. An innocent person, with an at least an average level of empathy whose two children and pregnant wife just vanished, would be rubbing their face frequently. Typically this occurs with both hands covering the mouth or via bilateral eye covering/eye rubbing - and/or rubbing both cheeks. When an empathetic person sees, hears, or is mentally digesting an event of high emotional impact, although their intellectual/rational brain may be aware of what has happened (or is currently occurring) - their emotional brains are still processing the information and its ramifications. Lack of facial rubbing in such a setting is dramatically abnormal.

The only time he touched his head (not his face, which is an important distinction) was with his left hand above the left side of his forehead, during 6:42, just after he said, "... canine units here, they're getting scents, so hopefully they can pick up something and kinda go in a direction that - will actu- [stammering] lead us to where - maybe they're at right now."

Touching on the top or back of the head is highly associated with anxiety. Even though he lies many times during this interview, at this moment his anxiety is 'honest'. He is deeply worried.

If we go back a few seconds, during 6:39, as he says the word "lead", Watts displays a classic fear expression. His mouth corners are directed laterally and downward as his neck muscles tighten.

While the contraction and elevation of the entire width of his forehead are not required for the expression of fear, in this cluster-context, his forehead contraction acts as a fear-amplifier.

Not only did Chris Watts never cry during this interview, nor did he even exhibit any suppression of tears - but unbelievably, he frequently smiled. Smiling in this setting is extremely out-of-context. This is a classic display of what is known as "Duping Delight", wherein a person feels a true joy-happiness in their belief that they are fooling you. Of course, the action/lie in which they're taking pleasure may very well not be something with which you would associate joy - it may be evil and malicious. Moreover, they may not be truly duping you - but they believe they are. Don't let these factors throw you off track. Watts smiles out-of-context many times during this interview. The image immediately above was captured during 2:54 just after he says, "... But right now, it's just like, if she's vanished, like, I want her bac-ak so bad. I want those kids back so bad."

Two seconds later, Chris Watts displays a "Loose Tongue Jut". This is another signal that he showed numerous times during this eight-minute interview. A loose tongue jut indicates the thought emotions of "I've been bad", "I've done a stupid thing", and/or "I've been caught" (Navarro).

Take care not to confuse a loose tongue jut with a tight tongue jut or a wide open tongue jut, for these have entirely different meanings.

Another significant tell demonstrated throughout this interview, is particularly prominent beginning at 2:56, when the male journalist asks, "Um, you know, I, I wanted to ask you a bit about the hard part..." For the next several seconds, in anticipation of questions implying he was the perpetrator, Watts' rate of blinking increases dramatically. While this blinking dynamic alone does not indicate deception, it does demonstrate significant anxiety.

An Inward Lip Roll (ILR) is a signal of the psyche's attempt to suppress strong emotions from growing. When we see an ILR, we know that the person is trying to sequester their feelings - both from being displayed on their face - as well as internally. Thus, an inward lip roll is another crucial anxiety tell - and Watts made this expression many times.

In this interview, Watts was not wearing his wedding ring.

Yet, in family photos, he does wear a ring on his left ring finger.

Throughout the vast majority of this interview, Chris Watts kept his arms folded in a "Self-Hugging" configuration. This nonverbal sign is associated with the beta emotions of the need for protection, self-comforting, and low confidence.

Intriguingly, during 7:02, after the woman journalist changes subjects and asks him about his shirt, Watts can be seen hooking his thumbs on the lower openings of his pockets. This signal indicates a high confidence - along with feelings of virility. Just for a moment, Watts is putting what he perceives as 'manliness' and his sexuality on display. If his family was safe, and the subject of the interview would have been something mundane, this change in his dynamic would, perhaps, be more understandable. Yet, in the context of his missing daughters and pregnant wife, this shift of his emotional tone is a monumental warning sign.

The vocal tone he adopts in describing his garment is quite odd (and again, out of context). Notice Watts' choice of words as well, "I like these shirts - a lot".

Her question was probably by design and, if so, she was clever to use this tactic. 

Then the male journalist, who is no doubt experiencing empathy and pain says, "You guys, you, you love your gir-, describe your little girls to us, and, you know", Watts immediately resumes his self-hugging posture.

Notice too, that Watts' side-to-side motion, evident to varying degrees in this video, increases significantly toward the end. This is a common dynamic seen when a person is anxious and is (subconsciously) attempting to "burn off" anxiety-related adrenaline.

At 7:46, just after he says, "she's always just gung-ho, ready to go", Watts' neck muscles tighten in a classic fear-display.

This neck-of-fear is accompanied by a hard swallow - a signal of a dry mouth and throat - further anxiety signals.

In addition to his body language tells, Watts displayed numerous statement analysis red flags.

Watts never says the word "love". His complete absence of this emotional descriptor when speaking about Shanann, Celeste, or Bella is alarming. Ironically, the male journalist spoke of Watts' love for his family twice in this interview.

His dramatic over-use of the word, "like" is a signal of Watts' anxiety and is a tic-type verbal analog behavior.

You may have noticed that Chris Watts spoke about himself and what he wanted - but he didn't speak about the feelings of his wife or children. A person with little or no empathy defaults to himself in both language and deed.

Early in the video, beginning at 2:17, Watts says, "Yeah, 'cause like, Bella was going to start kindergarten, next, next Monday." His use of the past tense, "was going to start", rather than, "is going to start" is ominous and suggests that he knows Bella is dead.

When he says, "I was blowing through stop lights" (2:10), this is an example of a machismo descriptor at an unusual time. His smiling and vocal tonality during this sentence are consistent with what would have been a much less important event. Change a few words, and it's almost as if he is describing himself in a football game. His depiction also betrays his bias toward hyper-physical acts.

Another example of Watts' overt tendency toward physicality comes at 3:39 when Watts says, "I wanted to see th-, I wanted to see those kids run in, run in just, jut barrel rush me and just give me a hug and knock me on me on the ground ...". This physical-verbal hyperbole in this context is out of place.

Beginning at 4:16, Watts says, "Like, I'm not sure if they're safe somewhere - just huddled-up somewhere or [long pause] if they're in trouble...". The use of the phrase, "huddled-up somewhere"  is another very odd and out-of-context description. Yet another red flag.

Beginning at 3:25, Watts says, "Like this house is not the same. I mean, I, last night was traumatic. Last night was - I, I can't really stay in this house again, like, with nobody here...". While an innocent man would certainly feel lonely and miss his family, Watts most likely did not want to be in the house because that's where he murdered his wife and children. Being there is much too direct a reminder.

Describing his daughter Celeste as "rampage" and "she's always the troublemaker" and likening her to his wife's demeanor - while claiming Bella, "the calm, cautious, mothering type, and, she's more like me, she's more calm" is an attempt to distance himself from suspicion. This comparison seems to be a subconscious attempt to rationalize his behavior.

SUMMARY: During this interview, Chris Watts repeatedly smiles out of context and shows a lack of contextual emotional processing. He displays anxiety, fear, excessive adrenaline, deception signals, egocentricity, default towards physicality, a virility display, the need for protection and other beta emotional tones, an absence of love, and complete lack of empathy.

Chris Watts has reportedly already confessed to murdering his children - Bella and Celeste - as well as his pregnant wife, Shanann. Throughout this video, there are multiple nonverbal tells and statement analysis signals which, if he had not already confessed, would have (with red lights flashing and sirens blaring) pointed us toward his guilt.

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See also:

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Body Language Analysis No. 4334: Ivanka Trump and the Pistol Steeple

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate

Body Language Analysis No. 4330: Donald Trump, "No Puppet. No Puppet. You're the Puppet"

Body Language Analysis No. 4299: Bill Clinton confronted regarding Monica Lewinsky Affair

Body Language Analysis No. 4280: David Beckham, Princess Leia, and Embarrassment

Body Language Analysis No. 4193: Hope Hicks, Sexual Attraction, Armpits, and Elbows