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'Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer' stirred up some controversy upon its release. Uncover the details of this disturbing crime and the tragic aftermath.

‘Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer’: Is this Lifetime’s creepiest series?

True crime documentaries are always disturbing not only for their exploration of brutal crimes but for bringing the dead back to life in reenactments of what took place before the fatal incidents. In Lifetime’s recent movie Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, the victims’ family found it altogether too upsetting. 

Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, tells the story of family man Christopher Lee Watts who murdered his pregnant wife & two small daughters on August 13, 2018. Watts has gained infamy for the brutality of his crimes however, Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer has portrayed the convicted murderer in a more sympathetic light. 

It’s been speculated that the Lifetime version of the harrowing story placed some of the blame on Shan’ann, Watts’s wife & victim. Shan’ann’s family disapproved of Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer since the film neglected to consult them or even notify them that the film was being produced. Let’s take a look at Lifetime’s Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer and all the creepy controversy surrounding it. 

Murder most foul 

Chris Watts lived with his wife & children in Frederick, Colorado. To the outside observer, they were a typical happy family with two little girls, Bella & Celeste. The family experienced some financial troubles in 2015, leading them to declare bankruptcy. However, in 2018, both Watts & Shan’ann were working regularly, Watts for Anadarko Petroleum & Shan’ann for a product company known as Le-vel, selling energy supplements.  

On August 13, Shan’ann returned home from a business trip and when she failed to attend a business meeting later in the day, a work colleague reported her missing. The police searched Watts’ home and found that both Shan’ann and the two girls were missing. Watts was initially not a suspect in the crime until he failed a polygraph test a few days later. 

On August 15, after failing the polygraph test, Watts confessed to the murder of his wife & daughters. Watts told police where they could find the bodies – in an oil storage site where Watts worked. Police found Shan’ann, strangled and in a shallow grave. Bella & Celeste were found in oil tanks, dead from asphyxiation. 

Changing stories

Chris Watts was arrested for the murders of his family on August 15. His story changed frequently, first telling police that he had no idea why his wife would disappear with their two children. After the polygraph test, Watts claimed that he killed Shan’ann in a fit of rage after he discovered she had strangled their daughters. 

It was later uncovered that Chris Watts was having an affair and had intended to divorce Shan’ann. Watts changed his story yet again when he said he strangled his wife after she threatened to keep him from seeing his children. 

Despite the many versions of events, Chris Watts pleaded guilty to the murders on November 6, 2018. While he was spared the death penalty, Watts was sentenced to five life sentences and was transferred to Dodge Correctional Institution. 

Blaming the victim 

Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer was produced for Lifetime as one of their “Ripped from the Headlines” feature film series about true crimes. Chris Watts was portrayed by actor Sean Kleier & Shan’ann by Ashley Williams. 

Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer brought on speculation that the film portrayed Shan’ann as partly to blame for the tragic outcome. Shan’ann’s job as a sales representative for an energy supplement patch & pills known as Thrive was closely explored and it was even revealed that Watts frequently used the supplements. This led to many questioning whether sleep deprivation or a bad reaction caused Watts to snap. 

The family speaks out 

Shan’ann’s family spoke out against Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer for being made without their consent or knowledge as well as for the inaccurate representation of the crime. The family also expressed concern that the false information would stir up conspiracy theories and encourage “armchair detectives”. 

Shan’ann’s family has maintained they were not making any money off of Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer. They went on to state that they feared the Lifetime film would only increase the harassment they had been receiving online as a result of the high-profile case. 

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