A tale of two murders: How Chris Watts and Mollie Tibbetts cases exposed America's political divide
We have heard statements from both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about Tibbetts’ case, however, they haven’t said a word to address the Colorado murder.
Two recent murder cases in America have caught national attention and have become the talking points of leading politicians in the country. There’s one where a white man allegedly killed his entire family, including an unborn child and the other involves the kidnapping and killing of a college student who had been missing for nearly a month. However, it is the latter which the top GOP politicians, including President Donald Trump, are paying attention to. Why? Because the alleged murderer of the college student is an illegal immigrant.
Chris Watts, a 33-year-old Colorado oil worker, allegedly killed his wife, Shanann Watts, who was 15 weeks pregnant, along with his two daughters aged three and four. Watts, who had initially reported them missing and had made a public plea for their return, was arrested as he admitted to killing them.
During the investigation, it was unearthed that Watts was having an affair with a fellow co-worker at the oil company. He reportedly dumped the bodies of his children in two oil tankers, where he worked. The bodies were found four days later. Shanann’s body, however, was recovered from a shallow grave near the tankers.
All the details of the case had been revealed, following which Watts was formally charged on Monday with multiple counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
Meanwhile, the details of the 20-year-old Iowa State University student, Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, are still emerging at this time. The Iowa student’s body was found covered with corn stalks on Tuesday morning in a cornfield in Guernsey, Iowa. Tibbetts went missing nearly a month ago on July 18 when she went jogging in the evening at around 7.30 pm in the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa and had not been heard from since.
A massive search operation was ongoing when Tibbetts’ alleged murderer, a 24-year-old Mexican immigrant Cristhian Behena Rivera, led the police to her body after allegedly admitting that he had abducted her. Rivera claims that he, however, blacked out and does not remember what happened when he began to pursue her on July 18.
Rivera has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Poweshiek County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond, while officials investigate further.
The American public has expressed shock and outrage over these two murders, which they had been closely following, owing to the widespread media attention. However, there is a stark contrast in the way it has been handled by the GOP politicians, who have apparently molded Mollie Tibbetts’ murder case into their prime political agenda: Illegal immigration.
We have heard statements from both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, about Tibbetts’ case, however, they haven’t said a word to address the Colorado murder.
We commend the swift action by local, state, & federal investigators working in Iowa in apprehending an illegal immigrant, who’s now charged with first-degree murder. Now, justice will be served. We will never forget Mollie Tibbetts.— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 21, 2018
Trump, while addressing an audience at a rally in West Virginia, said the crime “should have never happened,” and called the country’s immigration law a "disgrace."
"You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in, very sadly, from Mexico and you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened. Illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact, the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace."
President Trump had said, shortly after Rivera’s arrest.
Republican politicians often talk about not ‘politicizing the crime’ during mass shootings whenever people raise the issue of gun regulations, however, the GOP, it appears, has taken Mollie Tibbetts’ case too close to heart by pointing out how the murderer was an illegal immigrant and calling for stricter immigration laws.
Ironically, latest reports reveal that Rivera, who had been living in Iowa for between four to six years, had passed an e-Verify check regulated by the government and had been working for a Republican official, Craig Lane, for years at his farm.
"This individual has worked at our farms for four years, was vetted through the government’s E-Verify system, and was an employee in good standing,” a statement from Craig Lane’s brother read.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Rick Rahn on Wednesday said that Rivera was cooperating with investigators and speaking with the help of a translator.