- On Thursday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation released audio and a transcript from a new interview with Chris Watts, the Colorado man currently serving life in prison for the murder of his pregnant wife and two kids.
- While Watts pleaded guilty to the murders, he had previously maintained that he killed his wife after she smothered their daughters. But in the new interview, he described how he killed all three.
Editor’s Note: Some readers may find details in this story disturbing.
The Colorado man sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters has given investigators gruesome new details about the slayings.
Chris Watts cut a deal with prosecutors in November, agreeing to plead guilty to killing his wife Shanann and their daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste (“Cece”), 3, in order to avoid the death penalty. While his guilty plea assumes guilt for all three murders, he had previously said that he only killed Shanann after she smothered their daughters.
He finally assumed responsibility for all three murders in an interview with investigators last month, from the federal prison where he’s serving his three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. INSIDER obtained transcripts and audio of the interview from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations on Thursday.
In the new interview, Watts gave a distressing blow-by-blow of the morning of the murders, and said he regrets the decision every day.
The interview took place on February 18 at an undisclosed federal prison, and included a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent, an FBI special agent, and a Frederick Police Department detective.
According to the transcript, when the three sat down for their talk with Watts, the FBI agent explained that Watts’s “life and situation was unique” and that they “wanted to fully understand what happened.” Watts said he was “definitely” open to speaking to them.
He then gave an extremely detailed account of the morning that he killed his wife and daughters, starting from 2 a.m. on August 13, 2018, when his wife returned home from a business trip.
Editor’s Note: Some readers may find details in this story disturbing.
A deadly break-up
The couple had been having issues, and while Shanann was on an extended vacation with their daughters in North Carolina that summer, Watts had started an affair with a woman he met at work.
When his wife came home that morning, she got in bed and, about half an hour later, initiated sex, Watts said. He told investigators he felt like it was a “test” and the sex felt “strange.” He theorised that it may have been a “trigger point… or like you hit the push button on a bomb and it just blows up.”
According to Watt’s version of events, the two apparently fell asleep after sex, and he woke up a few hours later to get ready for work. He said he woke up his wife to talk before he left, straddling her as she lay in bed.
He said the two had a 15-20 minute conversation, during which Shanann cried and said she knew there was someone else. While Watts denied the affair, he said he admitted he didn’t love Shanann anymore and said they weren’t compatible.
That’s when he said Shanann told him “you’re never gonna see the kids again.” He said she also told him to get off of her because he was hurting the baby.
Watts said he “snapped” and put his hands around his wife’s throat and began to strangle her.
Watts said there’s a part of him that feels like the idea of killing his wife was “implanted” in his mind and he “had no control over it.”
During the trial, when a prosecutor said that it takes two to four minutes to strangle someone, Watts said he wondered, “Why couldn’t I just let go?”
Watts told investigators Shanann never fought back or screamed. When it was all over, he said he was shaking when Bella came into the room and asked what was wrong with Mummy.
“Mummy didn’t feel good,” he remembered saying.
He said he then wrapped Shanann’s body face down in a bed sheet and dragged her down the stairs to put in his truck.
Bella watched the whole scene and cried, asking again, “Is mummy ok?”
He said he told her again that Shanann wasn’t feeling good, but said his daughter is a smart girl and believes she knew what was going on.
When he came back inside the house, Celeste was waking up in her bedroom, so he took both girls and put them in the back of the truck on the bench seat. He said each brought a blanket, and Celeste brought a stuffed animal.
At that point, he said it felt like someone else had control over him.
He said he put a gas can into the back of the truck because he felt like he could kill himself at the oil site where he worked and planned to dispose of Shanann’s body. Ultimately, he told investigators he decided not to go through with that plan because he feared he could hurt more people if something caught fire at the site and exploded.
The murders of Bella and Celeste
On the drive out to the site, Watts told investigators that his daughter dozed off and laid in each other’s laps. At one point, he said Bella remarked, “Daddy, it smells.”
When they got to the site, Watts said he pulled Shanann’s body out of the truck and laid it down on the ground near where he would eventually bury it in a shallow grave. He said both girls asked him, “What are you doing to Mummy?”
Then he said he returned to the truck and “Cece was first.” He said he strangled her with a blue Yankees blanket as Bella watched sitting next to her, not saying anything.
When investigators asked what he was thinking as he did this, Watts said: “I wasn’t. … If I was thinking, this wouldn’t have happened.”
After he killed Celeste, he said he carried her body over to an oil tank and dropped her in.
When he walked back to the truck, he said Bella asked him, “What happened to Cece?,” then in a softer voice, “Is the same thing gonna happen to me as Cece?”
Watts said he’s not sure if he gave her an answer. He said he then used the same blanket to smother her, then dropped her body into another oil tank.
He said her last words were, “Daddy, no!”
Watts said he hears Bella saying those two words every time he closes his eyes.
Looking back, Watts told investigators he thinks he may have taken his pent up anger with Shanann out on everyone that morning. He said he had never been that angry before, and believes it may have stemmed from the feeling that Shanann drove a wedge between him and his family.
He said his mother never approved of Shanann and that the family felt like she had taken him away from them when the couple moved to Colorado.
“It’s like a long fuse that finally just went to its end,” he said.
He said he looks outside every day and wonders what he would be doing if he hadn’t killed his family.
“Right now, I’d have a 5-year-old … a 3-year-old … and more than likely, a one-month-old son … and a beautiful wife,” he said. “And right now it’s just me.”
- Read more:
- Friends of slain Colorado pregnant woman say she was worried her husband was cheating and was thinking about leaving him
- Mistress of Chris Watts, the man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and 2 daughters, speaks out about their affair
- In the days before he killed his wife and 2 kids, Chris Watts was looking up the price of an Audi and ‘marrying your mistress’
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