They seemed like the perfect family, but there was one of them who was far from it.
The case of the Watts family shocked the entire United States as the chilling events were discovered where Christopher Lee Watts murdered his wife and young daughters and then dumped them in a gigantic oil tank.
Watts’ mission was to disappear Shanann Cathryn Watts, his wife who was 15 weeks pregnant, and girls Bella Marie Watts and Celeste Cathryn “Cece” Watts to stay with her lover, who she maintains did not know about Christopher’s intentions.
Details including video, photos, phone calls and recordings of the investigators are released on Netflix through the documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door.
The Watts family murders occurred in the early morning of August 13, 2018, in Frederick, Colorado.
Shanann returned home from a business trip to Arizona around 1:48 a.m. after her friend and colleague, Nickole Utoft Atkinson, drove her away. Chris was at home with the girls.
Later that day, Atkinson reported Shanann and the girls missing, who was concerned when Shanann missed a scheduled appointment with an OB / GYN and did not respond to text messages.
Atkinson went to the Watts’ home and when no one answered, she notified Chris, who was at work, and called the Frederick Police Department.
An agent arrived to conduct a wellness check, but there was no sign of Shanann or the girls. Investigators discovered her purse containing her phone and keys. His car, which still had the girls’ seats on, was in the garage. Her wedding ring was found on the main bed.
While authorities were investigating, the man said he did not know where they were and made prayers on television for the return of his wife and daughters without shedding a single tear.
In a neighbor’s camera, the mother could be seen arriving at her house at dawn from a business trip, but neither she nor the girls were seen leaving, which, she told the authorities, that she was doing very rare.
While being interviewed by the police, Christopher, born in 1985, admitted to killing his pregnant wife Shanann by strangulation. He later admitted to killing his daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, suffocating them with her own blankets.
That same morning, Chris, who was an employee of Anadarko Petroleum, traveled to the lot where he worked and disposed of his wife’s body in the brush while at the scene he suffocated the girls with their own blankets and threw them into an oil tank.
After hours of police interviews, Chris claimed to have met a woman who stole his heart, and to whom he had told that she was in the process of divorce. The man revealed that after meeting her he wanted to make a life with her but his wife and daughters were in the way.
Chris pleaded guilty on November 6, 2018 to multiple counts of first-degree murder as part of a plea deal when the death penalty was removed from the sentence. He was sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole, three of them consecutive and two simultaneously.