Warning: This article contains graphic details that some may find upsetting.
Chris Watts, the man at the center of the new Netflix documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, has revealed sickeningly specific details about how he killed his family.
It’s the documentary everyone is talking about.
Since its release on Netflix on September 30th, American Murder: The Family Next Door has both captivated and horrified audiences all around the world.
And it’s extremely unsettling.
From an outsider’s perspective, Chris and Shanann Watts had it all – a large Colorado family home and two beautiful daughters – 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.
Things were far from perfect.
A disturbing series of lies, betrayals, and murder began to gradually unfold.
She had dropped Shanann home in the early hours of the morning after a business trip and hadn’t been able to get hold of her since.
She noted also that Shanann had also missed an appointment.
Where they found no signs of foul play, but all of Shanann’s personal belongings, such as her wedding ring and cell phone.
It was then that Shanann and her two daughters were officially declared as missing.
Chris Watts returned home and, at first, appeared to be the confused and lost husband, telling police he “didn’t know what to do” and appealing for information to do with his wife and daughters’ whereabouts.
It didn’t take long for the police to grow suspicious of Chris, and it was quickly revealed that he had been having a long-standing affair with a colleague from work.
Which he promptly failed.
He casually admitted to killing Shanann, who was pregnant with his unborn son at the time, as well as their two daughters.
And that he had killed her in a “fit of rage.”
Thus eventually admitting to smothering the girls himself, shortly after smothering their mother.
There, he loosely buried Shanann’s body in the dirt and dumped his daughters in an oil rig which, in order to retrieve the girls’ bodies, police eventually had to drain.
5 counts of first-degree murder (including 2 additional counts for his daughters because they were children under twelve), one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and 3 counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
But even at this point, he still hadn’t told the true full story of what had happened that fateful day.
He later told investigators that he and Shanann had argued over their relationship and his wish to leave her, so he had killed her. This woke his daughters, who asked what was going on.
He then took Shanann’s body and the two girls to the oil site and killed the girls there.
As well as eighty-four more years for his other crimes.
Several new details about the case have come to light.
It didn’t mention that in 2015, just 3 years before the murder, Chris and Shannan had filed for bankruptcy, with Chris being the breadwinner at the time.
The test was actually five hours long.
Published in her tell-all book, Letters From Christoper, letters penned by Chris himself describe how he attempted to smother his daughters before strangling his pregnant wife at their home but was initially unsuccessful in killing them – a fact he kept secret from police during his interviews.
In the letter, he tells Cadle:
“August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said ‘That’s the last time I’m going to be tucking my babies in.'”
“August 13th, the morning of, I went to the girls’ room first, before Shanann and I had our argument. I went to Bella’s room, then Cece’s room and used a pillow from their bed (to kill them). That’s why the cause of death was smothering. After I left Cece’s room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued.”
And how they were “acting like they had been through a trauma.”
“After Shanann had passed, Bella and Cece woke back up. I’m not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella’s eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma. That made the act that much worse knowing I went to their rooms first and knowing I still took their lives at the location of the batteries.”
Saying he “thought it would be easier to be with Nichole (his girlfriend) if Shannan wasn’t pregnant.”
He reportedly wrote: “All the weeks of me thinking about killing her, and now I was faced with it.”
“When she started to get drowsy, I somehow knew how to squeeze the jugular veins until it cut off the blood flow to her brain, and she passed out.
He added: “Her eyes filled with blood; as she looked at me and she died.
“I knew she was gone when she relieved herself.”
Though many are simply grateful that he is destined to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Rest in peace, Shanann, Bella, and Celeste.