Chris Watts update: Is he “haunted” by the murder of his family?
The Watts family murder in Colorado is one of the most chilling true crime stories in recent history. Motivated by an affair, Chris Watts strangled his pregnant wife Shannan and smothered their two daughters, Bella & Celeste. He dumped their bodies in an oil drum near where he worked and pretended to search for them.
The lies kept piling up and eventually, authorities got Chris Watts to confess. Watts is currently serving a life sentence for murdering his wife & children. However, it seems like he may be expressing remorse. Watts recently told a source from prison that he’s “haunted” by what he did to his family every day.
Is he being sincere, or is he just saying that to garner sympathy or attention?
Chris & Shanann Watts lived in Fredrick, Colorado with their two little daughters in a seemingly-idyllic situation. Shannan Watts was a work-from-home mom who met Chris on Facebook during what she described as a dark time in her life. Living in the suburbs with a growing family, it seemed like Shannan got her happily-ever-after.
However, not everything was good with the family. They declared bankruptcy in 2015 and were thousands of dollars in debt. They were also facing action from their neighborhood association for unpaid dues and were summoned to appear in court.
On top of the massive debt the family was in from credit cards, student loans, and medical expenses, Chris Watts was having an affair. He saw a co-worker, Nichol Lee Kessinger, and continuously emailed and texted her. From Google searches taken from Kessinger’s browser history, Watts may have planned to leave Shannan for her.
The day of the murder & investigation
Shannan Watts sent texts indicating that Chris Watts was growing colder & more distant in their marriage. Friends of the couple later told the press that Shannan Watts suspected her husband was cheating on her. According to Watts’s lawyer when he was interviewed on The Dr. Phil Show, Watts killed his wife after an argument over divorce.
Shannan Watts was reported missing by a friend, Nickole Atkinson, who was concerned after Shannan missed an OB-GYN appointment. When she missed a phone conference at work, Atkinson called local police to do a welfare check.
When Chris Watts allowed offers in, they found Shannan’s wedding ring on the bed, but also her purse with her cell phone & credit cards. The unusual combination of items led to a wider investigation. It was also the first clue authorities had that Watts was guilty. (Who leaves their wedding ring as if to signal divorce, but forgets their purse, cell phone, and credit cards?)
The profile of a killer
According to psychologist Dr. Todd Grande, Chris Watts displayed characteristics of narcissism & psychopathy from the way he murdered his family & disposed of their bodies. Paraphrasing the qualities of narcissism & psychopathy, Chris Watts showed that he lacked empathy, only cared about himself, and had no conscience.
Grande also pointed out that Chris Watts’s dark behavior didn’t stop there. Watts continued to text his girlfriend, unenrolled his daughters from school, and looked up vacations on Google after the murders, signaling a lack of remorse & no sense of accountability.
Chris Watts apparently “found God”
For his security, Chris Watts was moved out of Colorado and into a maximum security facility in Wisconsin. He’s still in solitary confinement, only allowed out of his cell for showers & exercise. He writes & receives letters from multiple people, including fans. (Why?)
According to one of his contacts, Chris Watts understands he’s never getting out of prison. The source told People Magazine, “He’s haunted by what he did. He says he can’t shake the memories of his family, and they haunt him. He is in his own psychological torment, every day of his life.”
Chris Watts has also turned to religion and keeps photos of his murdered wife & children in his cell. While the source also says that Watts “knows he deserves it,” experts may have their doubts that he has, or will ever, be truly remorseful.