The tragic fate of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts has captivated crime-watchers around the world since the beautiful Colorado family was first reported missing.
But Shanann’s husband, Chris Watts, did little to stoke public sympathy when he appeared in his first live TV interview shortly after his family vanished. As Watts half-heartedly pleaded for his wife and kids to come home, he shuffled awkwardly from side to side and seemed bizarrely nonchalant — almost unconcerned — about the fate of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.
Of course, the reason for that nonchalance soon became horrifyingly clear: Watts knew exactly where they were, because he had put them there. Shanann, 5 months pregnant with a son she’d planned to name Nico Lee, had been strangled and buried in a shallow grave. Watts had smothered Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, before cramming their bodies into two hulking tanks of oil at the fields where he worked.
Though the case is long closed —Watts, who was having an affair with a coworker at the time of the murders, will spend the remainder of his days in prison for his unspeakable crimes — public interest in the tragedy hasn’t waned. A number of books, podcasts, TV specials and more have emerged about the case, examining what went so wrong in the mind of a man who had appeared, until August 2018, to be a devoted husband and father.
Now, the Watts case will be explored in new depth on Saturday’s season premiere of “Criminal Confessions” on Oxygen. (An exclusive clip of the episode is above.)
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Produced by Dick Wolf, the special 90-minute episode will feature the lead investigators at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation speaking out about the case for the first time.
Viewers will get an up-close look at their behind-the-scenes workings on the Watts investigation, as lead officials on the case detail not just their feelings about the horrific scene, but outline precisely how they managed to finagle Watts’ crushingly detailed final confession about how and why he murdered his whole family.
Season three of “Criminal Confessions” premieres on Oxygen Saturday, December 7 at 6pm ET/PT.