Chris Watts claims his obsessions led to the murder of his family
Two years after confessing, Chris Watts has given more details as to why he murdered his wife and two daughters. Watts’s affair and obsessive nature seems to have been the catalyst for this horrific crime.
Due to heavy exposure on social media, the Watts family case went viral in August 2018. While he claimed innocence at first, Chris Watts ultimately confessed to being the cause of death for his pregnant wife Shanann and their two children Bella & Celeste.
Initially, Watts justified attacking Shanann because he saw his wife strangling their children. Months later, Watts revealed this was not the case. He had incapacitated his pregnant wife at home, then drove the body and his two daughters to an oil well site. He smothered his daughters in the car. Afterwards, he buried his wife in a shallow grave while putting his children in oil tanks located on the site.
After making a plea deal, Chris Watts pled guilty in court and was sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole. The death penalty wasn’t on the table because Shanann’s family didn’t wish to go through a trial.
The same day Chris Watts pled guilty, Shanann’s parents filed a civil wrongful death case against Chris. Nearly a year later the family prevailed with Weld County judge Todd Taylor ruling that Chris owed the family $6 million.
“The ruling included $3 million for the deaths and $3 million for the emotional pain the family suffered,” according to Tsion Chudnovsky, a wrongful death lawyer. “Even though it is highly unlikely Shanann’s parents will ever receive any of the award, this ensures that Chris can never profit from the murders through movie rights or any other way.”
Chris Watts’s case has gained popularity amongst true crime fanatics. Here’s a look inside the Lifetime series surrounding the tragic Watts family.
The other woman
Why did Chris Watts murder his family? The reasons are unclear. Watts repeatedly lied and changed his story, making some details difficult to decipher. Some have speculated that Chris & Shanann had a rocky marriage due to financial problems, as they had declared bankruptcy in 2015.
However, Watts’s affair & obsession with former coworker Nichol Kessinger is a key component to this case. According to Watts, he strangled his wife after asking for a separation. This is likely because of his affair with Kessinger.
When Watts & Kessinger started their romantic relationship, Kessinger reports Watts lied that he was already separated from his wife and was in the process of filing for divorce. Watts & Kessinger started seeing each other romantically in July 2018, one month before the murders.
According to Kessinger, Watts was not wearing a wedding ring when they first met. While Watts did tell Kessinger about his children, and he also made it appear as if his wife was already out of the picture. Watts was ready to find an apartment with Kessigner, even though they had only been together for a month.
Watts & Kessinger continued their relationship until Kessinger found out that Shanann, Bella, and Celeste were missing, at which point Kessinger went to the police.
Chris Watts was also involved in a scandalous love affair. Want to know more about his mysterious mistress? Here’s everything you need to know.
The Watts deaths in the media
The book Letters from Christopher outlines a series of conversations between Watts & Cherlyn Cadle, an author who was interested in the case. Watts reveals his thoughts about the case and his actions. In it, Watts further explains his relationship with Kessinger, claiming she was his soulmate. He even tried to force Shanann to miscarry.
Letters from Christopher makes it more clear that his relationship with Kessinger was the reason Watts killed his family. According to the book, his goal was to be free with Kessinger, and even that Watts is still in love with Kessinger.
Going viral on social media, the case has been covered on Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, multiple podcasts, and has even produced a Lifetime movie called Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer. However, because of media scrutiny, Kessinger is now nowhere to be found, possibly due to the massive exposure of the case.
Because of his crimes, Watts can’t seek parole and is serving his life sentence in a maximum-security prison in Wisconsin. He was moved from his home state due to security concerns.
Still want more information about the Chris Watts’s murder? Here’s our article focused on the best documentaries that have investigated the tragedy.
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Horrible, his family loved him. Now he is in prison with nothing. Like did he really think that no one would realize she and kids were missing. By having an affair. Seems all the signs were there that gonna end in bad tragedy from his family trying to sabotage the wedding his mom dis liked shanann.June 29, 2020
There’s research that obsession and stalking can be attributed to brain I injuries and pituitary tumors. I want to believe that no one could do this crime without an underlying mental disease.January 30, 2021
Heather D Kunkle
Most men with pituitary tumors are sterile.March 5, 2021
Elaine Williams in Baltimore
Scott Peterson all over again! Psycho. Baby killers usually wind up dead in super max he will eventually get what he deserves. Ms. Kessinger is to be pitied than scorned. Awful!July 20, 2020
I like that response!!October 19, 2020
Name one.November 11, 2020
Pitied? This broad, like many of the conniving love-starved, sex-starved bags out there, knew what she was doing. Most women do pull some stunts to get what they want, no one is that innocent these days. So she needs to wear that scarlet letter on her chest for the rest of her life, especially knowing that her actions & behavior caused the murders of 2 beautiful and truly innocent children, the death of another child who was coming into this world, and total destruction of the wife’s dreams, hopes, and life.December 28, 2020
Are you OK? I think you need some serious help bc you’re clearly not thinking straight. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE, killed Shanann & those kids but that POS, murderous asshole CW. Obviously, you’ve been wronged by a man in some kind of way, but that doesn’t give you the right to place blame on a woman who only believed what she was told by a lying, manipulative, egotistical psychopath. She went to the police before the cops knew about their relationship.May 18, 2021
Bottom line: she is not to blame. Chris Watts killed his wife and his kids. All 3 of them. He ruined a lot of lives, including his own, and that’s his burden to bear. You have got to be just as crazy & delusional as is to think the way that you do. It’s shameful, really. I hope you get the help you desperately need.
I find it interesting and more than a little strange that you put all the blame on NK and none on CW, even though they were HIS hands that choked the life out of Shanann, HIS hands that smothered his daughters. HIS hands that buried his wife like garbage and dumped his daughter’s bodies in oil tanks to be disintegrated. For some reason he escapes responsibility even though he was the one who took vows, the one who had the sacred job of caring for and protecting his family, but instead decided that he just didn’t want them anymore so he was going to throw them away. NK didn’t make those promises, CW did, and he is the criminal here.
A woman and three children, dead because of the actions of Chris Watts, and nobody else.August 11, 2021
Scott is innocentJuly 1, 2021
I feel for the family’s involve and Mrs kessinger who is also a victim in this …just goes to show you never can tell who or what a person is actuky thinking..I hope he lives a long liveing with the guilt and pain of his lil girls voices….September 30, 2020
Nichol isn’t a victim, She was also helping him kill his family, it was most likely her fault, or partially her fault. He was obsessed with Nichol from the start, and wanted his freedom to be with her, but because he was a moron, he lost everything, for no reason. He could’ve prevent by leaving/divorcing his wife, like a normal person, but he blew that up, all on his own.November 3, 2020
Seek therapy. She is a victim. Chris Watts took Shanann’s & her babies’ lives by his own hand. Step back into reality bc YOU ARE TRIPPING!May 18, 2021
This is so sad. So horble. So scery and tragic.October 2, 2020
I cant get or understand how a man whould act the way he act with out being cryze. Why not get a divorse. Its look like he relly loved her and the girl before. So just becuse he fell in love? I cant get it.
To see those girls and his wife and the love they had for him. So sad you cant change the past.
I am sure he is sorry for what he did. Now is life is living hell. And he must feel sick and blame.
So so sad. ( r.i.p.
A Scott Petersen wannabe. Not only is Chris Wstrs an evil POS monster, he’s a moron. Didn’t he learn from Scott Petersen you can’t murder your pregnant wife while lying to your mistress that you aren’t married and get away with it? The mistress will turn you in every time.October 3, 2020
Scott was lying cheating scumbag but that doesn’t make him a murderer. To tie him to the killing, the “evidence” is tenuous, at best.July 1, 2021
Life in prison is not enough. I do believe there is more to the reason for why he did this (not surprising for a serial liar). You don’t just wake up one day and do that to your family instead of simply getting a divorce like a normal person. Maybe he wanted insurance money and didn’t want to lose half of everything in divorce? Either way, the guy is an idiot and this was premeditated.October 5, 2020
Its really a very sad story this guy murder this beautiful family i don’t understand what kind of man can do this .October 8, 2020
This man is no man…He is a demon!!! I hope he sees his daughters and wife faces every day.. I hope they haunt him .. he never love his kids and his wife!! He needs to rot in jail .. he don’t need the death penalty!!! He needs to suffer!!!October 8, 2020
This is so terribly sad for so many people. I am a father and a grandfather… I cannot imagine losing my beautiful girl and my precious grandson. How can you ever go on and live any kind of normal life. My heart breaks for the families and the utter devastation they are left to suffer. God have mercy…October 9, 2020
Don’t get involved with men who say they are going through separations. It’s almost always a lie! Never ends well for anyone. RIP to Shanann and those girls and unborn baby. 😢October 10, 2020
It was for me, my ex husband told his mistress the same thing. That we were separated, going through divorce. In fact, we were still married, sleeping in the same bed, still being intimate…..lies liesMay 19, 2021
Oh also…when the mistress found out he was lying to her, she forgave him quickly and continued seeing him, pushing him to leave me and our daughter. Eventually he did. 5 years later, they are no longer together.May 19, 2021
Mrs Amanda Knight
Read Letters from Christopher, she, that other woman told him she wanted to give him a son. She knew more than she let on, she knew he was still married. Even jealous of his daughters when he spent the weekend with them….. He done this with just a month into the relationship, chose She over his beautiful family. She lied as well in her statement to police and like a coward, hid away. She could have stopped her affair but didnt, more to this with her than she said, like the Bulger killers she gets protection…. And as for his parents and sister….. Well…. So gutted over this…. May he Rot in Peace…October 11, 2020
Under no circumstances killing family is a justified thing, there were so many other ways Chris could have achieved what he wanted.
However, at the same time, complete outsiders like us have no understanding what pressures Chris might have been during the 8 year marriage and what lead to his infidelity.
The couple filed for bankrupt which could indicate financial stress; the wife seems to dominate the relationship (unfortunately), but it might have had very negative psychology impacts deep within for Chris. All these moving part coupled with the stress of infidelity could have lead to this irrational outcome.
Really tragic story. Pity for all involved, specially for the loved ones from both the families who have to live with this for the rest of their lives.October 11, 2020
Brenda Coetzee Mc Callaghan
Stop blaming the victim she loved him and that got her death. I believe strongly in forgiveness but he is not repenting. Just sorry the whole mess came out. He is where he should be!October 28, 2020
watching this gave me the chills and has been on my mind ever since i watched it. but there are holes in this investigation, the shadow moving in the background when they were outside is a shape of a woman, and this person drove off, who was that and did she come from the house. I also got the distinct feeling that because the information was not forth coming he was thinking on how he was going to get out enough but not everything he was still holding back, there was more to the story , there was no asking if he had an accomplice or not also based on the fact that he confessed and they still didnt know much about the affair, but then the inconsistency of NK story and her body language, her voice all say something else, my opinion is that she helped with the crime she was sort the kids out but didnt do a proper job because they were up the next morning to his surprise, if he had done it they wouldnt have been alive the morning just based on the power he has. i think the kids were given something and went off to sleep, if someone was trying to hurt them like their father it wouldn’t make sense that they remained so calm. i think she was very much involved in this whole thing and he is still protecting her it would be worth a check to see if the kids were drugged or not.October 12, 2020
You watch too much TV and you also are not privy to what went on in the police investigation beyond all the media articles, documentaries and books. Next thing you will be doing a psychological profile on the dog.November 15, 2020
Wrong. Sorry. There’s a new documentary about this case on Netflix. Please watch it. It’ll educate & enlighten you. This girl was a pawn. She was a means to an end for him. She was his reason for doing what he did. Nothing more.May 18, 2021
Ppl on this comment thread who are blaming the woman, either Shannan or Kessinger, should be ashamed of themselves. Y’all are whack AF. Get a clue. Blame the man who did it. Not the women he was lying to.May 18, 2021
To be quite honest i feel like I’m damaged after this, all that happy happy and having such a presence on FB etc its like a mind F!!! and he looked so normal…. how does one look at another with normal eyes again its scary and on a different level, but like i said they need to bring her back in she def. was involved. there needs to be a reckoning otherwise how does the family or dead get peace of mind. and the kids blood works need to be tested.October 12, 2020
How horrible : this monster killed his family for this other woman…. Still not totally convinced she didn’t play a major part in this. He tried to blame his wife but totally took up for the mistress. So big man had to be moved out of Colorado to protect him from other inmates from hurting him … Put him in population… Woman, child, and Baby killer he deserves no mercy.October 12, 2020
He his a MONSTER even thou he still says he’s not and how can his parents still support him he ain’t no man his evil killing their grandchildren I could never see him or anybody that would hurt my grandchildren their babies no matter if it would be my son I would bury him to like he did to Sharon and the baby’s girlsOctober 12, 2020
This is why people should talk to their spouses at the first signs of trouble in the marriage. As soon as you notice yourself attracted to another person. As soon as you are tempted to keep anything secret from your spouse. Ask yourself why, and talk to them before it’s too late, before you do something you’ll regret. I did, and it saved my marriage.October 13, 2020
All I can say…it all about the lust he had for nichol and she had for him….October 14, 2020
So he killed his family to be with her….look where he is today….
Lust gets you no where but in prison…
Rest In Peace Shanann Bella ceecee and Nico…
the worst thing he should’ve did was run away with his mistress & leave his family behind..intact that is…the novelty of romance wears off very quickly & definitely not worth killing for,who hasn’t been attracted to someone else, but guess what ,you glance at the b**** & you move on ,the endOctober 16, 2020
It is now a couple of years after C. Watts slaughtered his family. I still cannot read or hear about this case without becoming physically ill.October 17, 2020
His mistress is an evil psycho, I don’t believe for one second she didn’t know he was married. These stupid ignorant women all think they are the one who this guy will love, the one to change him, the one he will stay with . The women that visit him in prison are just as bad. Why would anyone go visit the seed of Satan? I don’t understand. Do they think he will love them? It is so sick and twisted it defies belief. And why does the prison even allow such visits. It is shameful to allow this psycho any semblance of a life after his heinous crimes.
All of the reasons for not giving the death penalty to watts are just lousy excuses. I can’t think of a person more deserving. I truly hope the inmates in his prison dole out their own form of justice.
This guy Watts looks and acts like he just do anything wrong. He claims “I’m not a monster “ oh really? To snuff out the life of your pregnant wife and killing the baby she’s carrying, to take your 2 baby girls and strangle them and force them into oil tanks, having to break their bones to get them into the tanks. What a gruesome task retrieving those baby girls in oil.
I hope Watts suffers everyday of his life. And I hope he has a short life . So evil of a man should not be alive.
He was a psychopath plain and simple. I believe the mistress was mislead and may have overlooked a lot because she wanted to believe him! Unfortunately in a few years he would’ve moved on from her to! As far as his suffering everyday in prison thinking about what he’s done, is prolly not happening! He prolly believes he was in his rights to dispose of “problems” so he could lead a new life! The only thing that would have really scared him was spending 20-30 years on death row worrying when it would finally happen!!!! Now that would’ve been justice!!!!October 23, 2020
I have to commend the law enforcement people who were in the room when he gave the details of the murders. When Watts told them how the one little girl watched him kill her sister. Then when he turned to her, she said “No, Daddy, no.” Then he killed her too. How anyone who was armed could hear that and not blow Watts’ head off is a complete mystery to me. I know we are a civilized society, but that guy should only be a disgusting memory by now.October 24, 2020
wow, i can’t believe people’s comments. someone said NK should be pittied, rather than scoulded, thenNovember 4, 2020
someone replie………, NK isn’t innocent and she helped with murders, blah, blah blah……what evidence does anyone have?
remember….innocent until proven guilty.
people should stop making arses of themselves!
He needed to open his mouth; and verbalise. And it would never have gotten to being disrespected let alone killing babies.November 5, 2020
I’m wondering how anyone could be as stupid as he was doing this! Did he actually think leaving her purse, cell phone, no sheets on the bed, ect. Then throwing the sheet, from the bed, NEXT to the shallow grave. This guy should be in prison for being a total idiot. The girlfriend knew he had 2 daughters, how was he going to explain them vanishing, if he got away with this. Wasn’t she going to wonder why they don’t visit?! The wife didn’t strike me as a “you don’t love me anymore so I’m just going to go on and you’ll never hear from me again” type person.
I do agree that the girlfriend knows more than she’s letting on but I don’t think she knew he was going to do this. And divorce is not always that simple. There is no excuse in the world that he should have resorted to this but his wife , with that stupid camera and the FB nonsense 24/7 would have sent me thru the roof. Endless texts to her girlfriends of how disengaged HE was……….what do you think she was while doing that?? Not sure how involved and engaged you can be with your spouse while you have a phone glued to your hand, texting your friends about how “he’s mean” and un-involved. Then she posts how “he’s the best thing that EVER happened to her” and how perfect her life is. Are ya kidding me??? was that before or after the text she sent him from his parents house going on a rampage about how his (Chris) mother was trying to kill their daughter because of her allergy! Did this nut actually think her mother-in-law did that on purpose? Sounds like it. That’s crazy behavior.November 11, 2020
Just my thoughts
This is the saddest story, and it breaks my heart to see people blame the victim(s). Was Shanann a powerhouse of a woman? Yes. However, if you were married to the wet noodle she was, you would have to be assertive or nothing would get done. He was quite happy to be told what to do…….then she wouldn’t have to take ANY responsibility for any challenges they faced. We are bankrupted……wasn’t me. My mama treats you badly, not my fault. You are pregnant? How did that happen? Have you noticed he is always the victim or the unfortunate bystander in everything? They declared bankruptcy a couple of years before, yet when he was asked about his CURRENT finances he claims not to know much about them. Don’t you think he would pay more attention to them after a bankruptcy? No, it easier to plaher y a pussy-assed victim of a over bearing wife. Shanann’s finances were fine BEFORE HE came along. She worked her ass off at a bunch of jobs, she built her first house, and eventually sold it for a profit. Their finances tanked on his watch (or lack there of) As for NK. I think she knew more than she led the police to believe. However, I thinks she WANTED to believe in the BS he was spouting. In no way do I think she was involved in the murders. What she failed at was doing her due diligence in making sure he was telling her the truth…….translation…….if he says he is undergoing a divorce……ask to see the paperwork, or even better confirm it with his wife. As for his mother…….Where to start. I do bellieve Cindy was careless with CeCe’s allergy. I think she believed that Shanann was over exagerating their allergies, and her daughter-in-law was a hypochondriac. (For the record I don’t think Shanann was, but I do believe her MIL did). Cindy strikes me as a know-it-all, and a “right-fighter”. She’s right, your wrong, She certainly presents as having a narccistic personality, So between her contempt for her daugther-in-law, her belief the kids allergies weren’t as serious as they were, I could totally see her “poking the bear”. If you don’t believe there are MIL’s like that, I would be happy to send you mine………because she would TOTALLY do that. One final thing…… I know people have been upset that CW has photos of Shanann and the girls up in his jail cell……..maybe we can reach a compromise……..he can have all the pictures of them he wants, as long as they are autopsy photos of what he reduced his family to.November 26, 2020
Just my thoughts
Sorry…… HE wouldn’t have to take any responsibilityNovember 26, 2020
My heart truly truly goes out to the girls, and to shannan, rest in peace beautiful Angel’s.. I’m heartbroken over this.December 31, 2020
What really pisses me off is how the justice system in Merica and also here in Canada, can still protect these azzholes. Even behind bars…Oh, he cant be in general population because of safety concerns, He had to move prisons?? Excuse me?! No one was there to protect Shannan and her kids. Why does Chris get protection?! That’s a huge problem with the justice system. Let these azzholes get what they deserve! No protective custody, no nothing! Fk em! He deserves everything he gets!!! Eff U CHRIS!December 23, 2020
The same with the Jessibel mistress, she got hustled off by the authorities asap and now in so-called witness protection. Her remarks regarding Shannan were so cold and disrespectful. Plus she took full sexual liberties with the husband. When the story finally broke, the authorities had her on a one-way ticket out of town while Shannan was being pulled out of the ground and the girls being fished out of those tanks. Now CW sits unscathed in a prison free with meals, warm cell, and clean bed. Both of those bed mates got it good.December 28, 2020
Chris watts, your are the worst, a monster, the devil incarnate, I hope you rot in hell for the rest of your sorry life. How could you? What compelled you to do this? Criminal psychologists out there, pick this monsters brain, and see what you find . To me he is a sociopath, and I’m glad he will never be free againDecember 31, 2020
GERALDINE V FITZGERALD
DON”T GET ME WRONG but let’s remember Cassey Anthony and OJ who got off with murder by keeping their mouth zipped tight and asking for a lawyer. He sat in the interview room for 12 hours. Maybe he felt remorse. Why else would he have subjected himself to the interrogations?February 14, 2021
Casey Anthony ran her mouth like no other. Her lawyer happens to be a very good defense attorney that has gotten many defendants free from their “alleged crimes.” Her lawyer had something CW didn’t… a believable scapegoat to place enough blame on to cause a glimmer of doubt.
Watts was a terrible liar, right out the gate. He looked guilty. He failed a polygraph. He SAID HE DID IT. Game over. Casey Anthony blamed a “nanny” & then her poor father. She’s narcissistic baby killer too. She deserve the death penalty but she’ll get whats coming to her one day too. If not in this life, but in the next.May 18, 2021
That dude got a lot of jail time, I hope he doesn’t bend over to pick up the soap because Bubba is waiting behind him to ride his Hershey highway.April 14, 2021
Also the girlfriend knew more about Shannon at the time before the killings than was normalJune 9, 2021
Facebook stalking her all the time everyday it’s in the report people !!!!!! *(probably tried a anne Boleyn mind game got him thinking he had to do something fast or she’s leave him beat you a million dollars she put pressure on him so much he snapped as she was Shannon’s stalker on Facebook she knew she was pregnant and was still in love with Chris….she helped kill them . Go google it she looked at Shannon’s Facebook page a million times…..she knew Chris was having a hard time deleting his family. The cops had no solid evidence of her involvement so she got away with her little game. If she asked him to kill her we may never know but ya it’s her fault he was married… it’s called don’t be a slut and get with a married man….see the paperwork first girls.