The gruesome murder of pregnant mother of two, Shanann, who was carrying a boy, and her two daughters Bella and Celeste which took place in 2018 is still shaking the whole country as new details emerged after Netflix aired the murder-based documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door.
The killer is the husband and father Chris Watts, who at the time of his family’s “disappearance” asked the public to help him find them and prayed for them to get back home safely knowing he murdered them mercilessly and dumped their bodies at an oil field.
Shanann’s relationship with her murder husband seemed like a normal one. She would often describe him like a caring father. Just months before she was killed, she wrote on Facebook, “He’s my rock! He takes care of us girls unconditionally! Thank you baby for holding down the fort this weekend! Love you,” according to The Sun.
Chris was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, and one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy.
He pleaded guilty and received five life sentences. He’s currently serving prison time at the maximum-security prison in Wisconsin.
The reason behind the cold-blooded murder was Chris’ affair with his colleague, Nichol Kessinger. He believed his family was standing on his way to happiness with Nichol who claimed she wasn’t aware her boyfriend was expecting his third child and believed he and wife Shanann were separated. She only came forward with the affair after she learned Chris’ family “went missing.”
According to the documentary, Chris and Shanann got into a fight the night she was killed and he confessed to her there was another woman in his life. “In that fight he essentially confessed to having an affair, that he wanted a divorce. That it was pretty much over between them, and she had said something to the effect of, ‘well you’re not going to see the kids again.’ As a consequence of that conversation he strangled her to death,” said lawyer Steven Lambert who is representing the victim’s family, as reported by Mirror.
According to ABC7, Chris spoke of the killing from prison and recalled how his daughter Bella, who was 4 years old, saw him wrapping her mother’s body and asked, “What are you doing to mummy?” He continued, “I was just getting the sheet off the bed and she walked in, and she had her little pink blanket with her. She was like, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong with mommy?'”
Chris then took his wife’s dead body and put it into the car along with his two girls who were unaware of what was going on. Once at the oil field, Chris killed his younger daughter, 3-year-old Celeste, while Bella begged him not to do the same to her.
“He walks over and takes Cece’s favorite blanket and smothers her. At that point, Bella says: ‘Please, daddy, do not do to me what you just did to Cece,'” Lambert said.
Bella tried to escape, but she failed and was soon killed the way her mom and sister were. According to Daily Star, Bella bit her tongue as her dad suffocated her.
“Those are my kids, that’s my baby, I talk to them every night,” Chris told investigators from prison. “I don’t see how this could happen. Every time I see pictures of them I don’t know how this could have happened… Couldn’t have I just saved my girls’ life? Couldn’t I have done something? Why did I…I don’t know. Like this is my flesh and blood, this what…like, what I wanted all my life is to be a dad, to have kids and they love me… Nothing made sense. Like the oil tank, nothing made sense.”
Before he confessed to what he did, he claimed it was Shanann who killed her daughters and he then did the same to her, but he later said those were false accusations. His girlfriend Nicole has always claimed she had no involvement in the murders and has never been charged concerning the case.
Take a look at the Netflix’s documentary’s official trailer below and learn more of the case.