Why Chris Watts deserves life in prison for killing his pregnant wife
Five life sentences plus 84 years may sound like a lot of jail time. But when it’s for murdering your wife, two daughters, and unborn child, it’s still not enough to make up for your heinous crimes. Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife Shanann back in 2018, and has spent his life in prison since.
What could ever motivate someone to kill the person they committed their life to, or the children they helped bring into this world? Strangely enough, the murder of the Watts family occured at a time that’s fairly common for “familicides”, as FBI investigators have noted.
August: A deadly month
For some odd reason, it’s been shown that a large collection of family annihilation murders, similar to the Watts, are committed in August. Since most children don’t go back to school until the end of the month and beginning of September, these crimes go undetected for a while.
While studies differ on their exact explanation on what causes this phenomenon, many studies looking into familicides have all noted the most occur in August. In terms of the motive for murder, it’s usually one of two reasons: relationship issues (infidelity, divorce, in-law issues, etc.) or to stop the suffering of a family member.
Chris Watts fits perfectly into this category, as his main motive for murder against Shanann was infidelity. He was in a happy relationship with a girlfriend on the side, and the two argued about divorce before Chris killed her.
Taking the children out
But that doesn’t exactly explain why Watts killed his daughters either. Most likely, he knew he was going to murder Shanann, and didn’t want them walking in on the murder. In a letter sent to Cheryl Cadle that was later published, he revealed he tried to smother his daughters first.
After going downstairs and murdering Shanann, both awoke from their consciousness and Bella ended up walking downstairs right as Chris was cleaning up Shanann’s body. Of course, he played it off as mommy was “sick.” Taking the two children into the truck, he loaded Shanann’s body wrapped in a sheet into the bed of the truck.
Both daughters died in the back seat of the truck, as Chris smothered them one by one with a blanket he had in the back seat. From there, he drove the bodies to his work site to dump them.
Does he feel remorse?
Usually, in familicides, the killer will kill themselves after committing the murder. While Watts admitted to feeling suicidal and contemplating death, he obviously didn’t go through with it. He did feel guilt, hence why he wanted to kill himself to rejoin his family.
Shanann’s family however wanted to make sure he felt the full weight of his actions. When it came time for his trial, they petitioned against the death penalty, as they didn’t want any more deaths because of the incident. From there, the judge made sure that Watts got the maximum punishment possible.
Five life sentences without parole is a pretty hefty price, but it’s what Watts deserves. Even if he feels guilt for his actions, arguing over a divorce is no reason to murder your entire family.