Chris Watts' time in prison has reportedly gotten a lot more interesting.
Chris Watts' pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and daughters Bella and Celeste went missing on Aug. 13, 2018, after she missed a doctor's appointment. Chris initially cooperated with police and said he had no idea where Shanann or the girls would be, and spoke to the press begging for their safe return and about how much he missed them. It wasn't until Aug. 15, 2018 when Chris failed a lie detector test by an enormous margin that he became a serious and major suspect in Shanann and the girls' disappearance. Chris then confessed to murdering Shanann, but not the girls, accusing Shanann of murdering their daughters and saying he killed his wife in retaliation.
Police found the bodies of Shanann, Bella and Celeste where Chris said they would be: At a job site for Anadarko Petroleum Company, where he worked before his eventual arrest. The girls' bodies were inside of oil tanks and Shanann was buried in a nearby shallow grave. In November 2018, Chris pleaded guilty to the murder of Shanann, Bella and Celeste. He was charged with five counts of first-degree murder (one for each person he killed, plus two additional counts for the slayings of Bella and Celeste because they were under 12 years old), one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
The case is extremely disturbing and may trigger some, so please proceed with caution. What is the latest Chris Watts update for 2022?
What was Chris Watts' sentence?
Chris Watts was sentenced to three consecutive and two concurrent life sentences for the murders of Shanann, Bella and Celeste, plus an additional 48 years for unlawful termination of a pregnancy and 36 years for tampering with their corpses.
What happened with Chris Watts?
It wasn't until Chris Watts was already in prison that he revealedexactly how the murders occurred: In February 2019, he recalled to investigators that he told Shanann he wanted to separate because of his affair with then-girlfriend Nichol Kessinger. He and Shanann got into an argument and he alleged that Shanann threatened to keep him from ever seeing his daughters again. That was when Chris strangled Shanann to death. Investigators claimed he kept saying he told them that he felt like he'd "snapped" and was "in a rage" at the time and barely realized what he was doing until it was too late.
“Every time I think about it, I’m just like, 'Did I know I was going to do that?' I didn’t want to do this, but I did it," he said. "I don’t even want to say it felt like I had to, it just felt like there was already something in my mind that was implanted that I was gonna do it and when I woke up that morning it was gonna happen and I had no control over it.”
Bella, 4, walked into their room and asked what was wrong with her mother, to which Chris reportedly responded, "Mommy don't feel good." Chris proceeded to wrap Shanann's body in a sheet and drag it down the stairs of their home. He said Bella was a "smart girl" who "knew what was going on" and began to cry. He buckled Bella and 3-year-old Celeste into the backseat of his vehicle, loaded Shanann's body into it, and drove to the oil site.
After smothering his daughters with a blanket and shoving their bodies into oil tanks, he buried Shanann's body.
Where is Chris Watts now?
Today, Chris Watts is in the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin, which is a maximum-security location. He was transferred there from his prior location in Colorado because of the widespread interest in his case, which allegedly put him in danger. He told investigators that he keeps pictures of Shanann, Bella and Celeste in his prison cell and talks to them every night.
What is Chris Watts' life like in prison?
Chris Watts spends 23 hours of his day in lockdown. He can leave his cell to shower or exercise for one hour a day. All he is allowed to have in his cell are a Bible and photos of the family he destroyed. Watts reportedly found religion in prison and says he reads some scriptures to his slain wife and daughters daily. In the HLN special Killer Dad: Chris Watts Speaks, Chris' mother, Cindy, read a letter from him that said in part, “I’m still a Dad! I’m still a son! No matter what. Now, I can add servant of God to that mix! He has shown me peace, love and forgiveness, and that’s how I live every day.”
In November 2022, sources told PEOPLE that Watts was exchanging sexually-charged letters with several women.
"They send sexy pictures, and he responds. There are a lot of women who think he's handsome and misunderstood. They send a lot of letters," the insider said. "He's got nothing else to do," the source added. "So he feeds his ego in that way. Because he's not popular at all in prison. He's in protective custody. The only outlet he has is with these letters."
Does Chris Watts know about the Netflix documentary?
A friend of Chris Watts told PEOPLE that the convicted murderer knows full well about the Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, and while he doesn't have strong opinions about its specific content and hasn't seen it, but that he was "triggered" by its release.
"Just knowing that the documentary is out there has sent Chris to some dark places," the source told PEOPLE. "He hates knowing that it's out there, but realizing that he will never see it ... He’s reliving a lot of what happened, and he hates not knowing what people are seeing about his private communications. Not that he wants to spend that time watching the darkest days of his life, but he wants to know what the documentary looks like and how it tells the story."
Does Chris Watts regret the murders?
A source told PEOPLEthat Chris Watts does have regrets about murdering Shanann, Bella and Celeste. "He knows exactly what he did. He's haunted by what he did. He says he can't shake the memories of his family, and they haunt him," he said. "He is in his own psychological torment, every day of his life. He knows he deserves it. He knows that he made many mistakes in his life, and this is his punishment."
Now that you're done with American Murder: The Family Next Door, check out the 30 best true crime documentaries.