From the moment Chris Watts failed a polygraph, there was no doubt in the minds of our staff that he knew something about his family's disappearance. Chris admitted to his father that he murdered Shanann Watts in response to escalating pressure from the police. He also disclosed the site where he had concealed the bodies.
Initially, Chris claimed that he murdered Shanann because she murdered their children. However, he later admitted to murdering his pregnant wife and their daughters. By pleading guilty, he escaped the death penalty and was given five life sentences and 84 years in prison for offenses related to the deaths of Shannan, her unborn child, Bella, and Celeste.
Where is Chris Watts Now?
Today, Chris Watts is incarcerated at the maximum-security Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin. He was transported there from his previous site in Colorado because significant interest in his case supposedly posed a threat to his safety. He disclosed to investigators that he maintains photos of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste in his prison cell and speaks to them nightly.
What Happened to Chris Watts?
Chris Watts did not tell how the killings were committed until he was already in prison. He recounted to investigators in February 2019 that he told Shanann he wanted to divorce because of his romance with his then-girlfriend Nichol Kessinger.
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He said that Shanann threatened to prevent him from ever seeing his girls again during their disagreement. Chris strangled Shanann to death at that time. Investigators asserted that he repeatedly informed them that he “lost control” and was “in a rage” at the time of the crime and that he hardly recognized what he was doing until it was too late.
“Every time I consider it, I ask myself, ‘Did I know I would do that?'” I was unwilling to do this, but I did it anyhow “he added. “I don't even want to say it felt like I had to do it; it simply seemed like something was implanted in my mind that I was going to do it, and when I woke up that morning, it was already going to happen, and I had no control over it.”
Bella, age 4, entered their room and asked Chris what was wrong with her mother. Chris reportedly said, “Mommy doesn't feel good.” Chris then wrapped Shanann's body in a sheet and dragged it down their staircase. He remarked that Bella was a “clever girl” who “understood what was happening” and then began to cry. He secured Bella and Celeste, age three, in the backseat of his vehicle, placed Shanann's body in the trunk, and then went to the oil site.
What is Chris Watts's Prison life like?
Chris Watts is under lockdown for 23 hours every day. One hour every day, he may leave his cell to shower or exercise. The only items permitted in his cell are a Bible and photographs of the family he murdered. Watts apparently discovered Christianity in prison and claims he reads every day to his murdered wife and daughters.
In the HLN series Killer Dad: Chris Watts Speaks, Chris' mother Cindy read a letter from him in which he stated, “I'm still a father! I'm still a son! No matter the circumstances, Now, I can add God's servant to that mix! He has taught me peace, love, and forgiveness, and this is how I live each day.
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Chris is apparently in touch with their Girlfriend Nichol Kessinger
After checking his phone records, the authorities discovered Nichol Kessinger's relationship with Christopher. Kessinger was vital to the prosecution's case against Chris because she was uneasy with Chris's indifferent reaction to the abduction of his family.
Watts would later confess that he murdered Shannan in order to date Nichol. After making the disclosure, Nichol received defamatory emails from individuals who accused her of being responsible for Shannan's death. Nichol assumed a new identity and vanished when the lawsuit was settled.
The author Cherlyn Cadle was able to discover more about Chris' mental state in the days preceding the murders based on the letters he wrote to her from prison. Watts informed Cadle that he committed the crimes to reignite his relationship with Nichol. Cherlyn informed Fox News:
“I knew instantly that this confession was genuine and authentic. He stated that it was planned immediately. It was deliberate. And he desired a clean slate. He desired to begin again. He wished to enter the new relationship without any baggage. There was also substantial insurance coverage.”
“He deliberated the murders…had such a hold on him… “He was so infatuated with her,” Cadle continued. She exonerated Cadle of involvement in the crimes and portrayed Chris as a deranged murderer. She continued, “He would just stand there and imagine what it would be like to murder her.”
Chris Watts Story in the Netflix Documentary?
The Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, according to a friend who told PEOPLE that he was “triggered” by its release. Watts has no strong ideas about the documentary's substance and has not viewed it, but he was “triggered” by its release.
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“Knowing that the documentary exists has pushed Chris to some dark places,” a source revealed to PEOPLE. “He loathes knowing that it exists but understanding that he will never see it. He is reliving much of what occurred, and he loathes not knowing who is viewing his private emails. Not that he wants to spend so much time reliving the hardest days of his life, but he is curious about the documentary's visual style and narrative structure.”