We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
American Murder: The Family Next Door is streaming on Netflix now. The documentary tells the shocking true story of the Watts family murders in 2018, where Christopher Lee Watts killed his wife Shanann and their two young daughters, Bella and Celeste. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
On November 6, 2018, Christopher Lee Watts pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
He pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal when the death penalty was removed from sentencing.
Christopher admitted to strangling pregnant wife Shanann and killing their two children, Bella and Celeste, who died by asphyxiation due to smothering.
Almost three months earlier, on August 13, 2018, Shanann, 34, and her two young daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were reported missing from the family home in Frederick, Colorado.
READ MORE American Murder: Where is Christopher Watts today?
Earlier that morning, Shanann had returned from a work trip to Arizona, but her colleague and friend Nickole Utoft Atkinson became concerned for her welfare when Shanann failed to turn up to a gynaecology appointment and did not return any text messages.
Nikole visited the family home where Shannan’s car was parked on the driveway but there was no answer at the home.
She contacted Christopher before alerting the authorities, reporting Shanann missing.
When police searched the family home during a welfare check, they found no search of Shanann or her daughters but did recover her phone, keys, car and her wedding ring.
Christopher played an active role in the search for his wife and daughters, giving interviews to Denver stations KMGH-TV and KUSA-TV.
However, 48 hours later on August 15, 2018, Christopher was arrested in connection with their disappearance.
According to the arrest affidavit, Watts failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed to murdering Shanann.
He originally confessed to killing Shanann, he claimed he did so in a fit of rage after she had killed their children in response to him asking for a separation.
For months, Christopher had been having an affair with a co-worker, who was under the impression he was already separated from Shanann.
A few days later, Christopher admitted his first confession was a lie and he had been the one who killed their two daughters.
His wife’s body was found in a shallow grave on the property of his former employer Anadarko Petroleum.
The bodies of his two daughters were found hidden in oil tanks nearby.
Honour ITV air date: How many episodes are in Honour? [SHOW INFO]
Honour cast: Who is in the cast of Honour? [CAST]
Harold Shipman: Nine seconds that ‘exposed serial killer’ [INSIGHT]
Is Christopher Watts still in prison?
On November 19, Watts was sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole, three to be served consecutively and two to be served concurrently.
He received an additional 48 years for unlawful termination of his unborn child and 36 years for tampering with a deceased body.
Christopher will never be released from prison and is currently serving his sentence at Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, in Waupun, Wisconsin.
Christopher was originally imprisoned in Weld County Jail in Colorado but was transferred for his own safety, reported KKTV.
Sentencing Christopher to life imprisonment, Judge Marcelo Kopcow said the killings were “perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen.”
In 2019, a source told People Magazine Christopher had found religion in prison.
The source told the US magazine, “A day doesn’t go by, a minute doesn’t go by, where he doesn’t think about his family. He’s in a hell of his own making.”
On November 18, 2019, Weld County Judge Todd Taylor ordered Christopher to pay Shanann’s parent $6 million following a civil lawsuit.
American Murder: The Family Next Door is streaming on Netflix now
Source: Read Full Article