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Chris Watts A Faking It Special: How Chris Watts' Body Language Gave Away His Guilt After Murdering Family

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Chris Watts A Faking It Special: How Chris Watts' Body Language Gave Away His Guilt After Murdering Family

It's a case so chilling, it'll make your blood run cold.

No-one initially suspected that Chris Watts, a loving family man, of murdering his pregnant wife Shanann and his two daughters: Celeste, three, and Bella, four.

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He made an emotional plea on camera for their safe return after they were reported missing in 2018.

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But the tearful appeal was all a ploy for killer Chris to cover his tracks after his cold-blooded murder.

While Chris' guilt was a shock to many, it turns out he was not as cunning as he believed he was, as a body language expert has revealed Chris's strange behaviour belied the truth of his crime in Chris Watts: A Faking It Special.

After reporting his family missing, Chris was caught on bodycam footage playing the role of the concerned husband. But Dr Cliff Lansley reveals how his actions don't correspond with his statement.

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"We've got the swaying, we have the double-handed hand shrug, and we have a volume drop," Cliff explains. "The swaying shows anxiety, so there's anxiety going on.

Chris portrayed himself as a loving partner (Credit: discovery+)
Chris portrayed himself as a loving partner (Credit: discovery+)

"He's making an affirmative claim that she was still here when I was here at 5:15am, but his hands are doing a partial gesture - it's leakage, you can just see it on the bottom of the screen - so that small movement of the hands, the rotation, is what we call a double-handed shrug, which is part of the full gesture 'I have no confidence in what I've just said.'"

As the search for Shanann and the kids intensified, Chris's neighbour told officers that he had a security camera on his property that pointed at the family's driveway.

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In the footage, a partially obscured Chris can be seen loading his truck with unidentified items. Seen watching the CCTV footage on a police bodycam, Watts is visibly on edge, further indicating that he has something to hide. "There's lots of things going on here. You'll see a lot of the swaying that we see often with Watts' behaviour," Cliff describes.

Chris was actually cheating on his wife (Credit: discovery+)
Chris was actually cheating on his wife (Credit: discovery+)

Explaining the footage to police, Chris claims he was loading his truck with work equipment. In truth, he was moving the bodies of his murdered wife and daughters.

Fearful of being caught out, Chris' palpable anxiety culminates into a look of genuine despair, as Cliff highlights. "We also see a gesture which is often linked to despair or anguish, in terms of covering the head with the hands."

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However, it's the now infamous press conference that only cemented Chris's guilt, Professor of Linguistics Dawn Archer reveals.

"It's about him. And there's a lot of if 'I' statements in there," she says. "He then focuses on his apparent despair, but there's no matching affect in the voice; we don't hear that despair. More red flags."

Analysing Chris's facial expressions and body language, Lansley highlights four behaviours that reveals Chris as a liar, as he shamelessly pleaded for his family's safety, fully in the knowledge that they were dead. This includes a look of pleasure, possibly in getting away with his crime and fooling those watching his feigned pleas at home.

Shannen was killed alongside her two daughters (Credit: discovery+)
Shannen was killed alongside her two daughters (Credit: discovery+)
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"If you look at Watts' face in more detail with a close-up, on the left-hand side you'll see baseline. This is Watts' normal face during the non-emotional parts of the interview," Cliff says. "But on the right, when he says, 'I just want them back,' and he's talking about his children here, you see the lip corners raised; you see the eyes tighten. His cheeks are raised. This combination of these two muscles is an indicator of genuine pleasure."

"In addition, while he's saying that, he slings out a left hand - a hand shrug - which rotates anticlockwise," Cliff explains. "Now, a single hand shrug is not enough for a behavioural analyst to rely on, but when he closes his eyes for a full second, and you see a slight head shake no when he's making the claim he wants them back, we've got a cluster of four behaviours which say there's nothing in this statement that you have confidence in, because it's not true."

Chris was given five life sentences for his crimes (Credit: discovery+)
Chris was given five life sentences for his crimes (Credit: discovery+)

Police quickly pieced together the truth - that Chris had been having a long-standing affair behind his wife's back, which was the motive for the savage murder.

Chris pleaded guilty to the murders of his wife and two children and was handed five life sentences - three consecutive and two concurrent - without the possibility of parole. He also received an additional 48 years for the unlawful termination of Shanann's pregnancy and a further 36 years for three charges of tampering with a deceased body.

Chris Watts: A Faking It Special will be available to stream from Saturday 15th May exclusively on discovery+

Featured Image Credit: discovery+

Topics: True Crime, TV News, TV & Film, Documentary

Kimberley Bond
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