WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT: Chris Watts’ gruesome letters from his prison cell have resurfaced as a Netflix documentary reveals more details about the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters.
After killing his wife, Watts drove her body and his daughters to an oil worksite owned by a previous employer, about 65 kilometres from the family’s home and smothered the girls with a blanket.
Now his letters have resurfaced after they were published last year in Letters From Christopher, a book written by Cheryln Cradle after she struck up correspondence with him as he serves a life sentence.
In one of the letters shown to Daily Mail TV, Watts revealed the moments leading up to his family’s death.
“August 13th, morning of, I went to the girls’ room first, before Shanann and I had our argument,” he wrote.
“I went to Bella’s room, then Cece’s room and used a pillow from their bed (to kill them). That’s why the cause of death was smothering. After I left Cece’s room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued.
“After Shanann had passed, Bella and Cece woke back up. I’m not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella’s eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma.”
Watts had been planning murders
Following the deaths, Watts claimed he murdered his wife as revenge after she killed their children. However, he debunked that story in the letters to Cradle and confessed he had been planning the murders.
It is believed he plotted the killings to be with his mistress Nichol Kessinger.
“August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said, ‘That’s the last time I’m going to be tucking my babies in’. I knew what was going to happen the day before and I did nothing to stop it,” he said.
According to Daily Mail TV, he also admitted to giving Shanann Oxycodone unbeknownst to her to try and cause her to miscarriage.
In the moments before Watts killed his wife, he told her he did not love her anymore.
“Isn’t it weird how I look back and what I remember so much is her face getting all black with streaks of mascara?” he wrote in the letters.
“All the weeks of me thinking about killing her, and now I was faced with it. When she started to get drowsy, I somehow knew how to squeeze the jugular veins until it cut off the blood flow to her brain, and she passed out.
“I knew if I took my hands off of her, she would still keep me from Nikki. They asked me why she couldn't fight back, it's because she couldn't fight back. Her eyes filled with blood; as she looked at me and she died. I knew she was gone when she relieved herself.”
Disturbing moment captures dad’s reaction to CCTV
A scene in the new Netflix documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, shows the tense moment Watts, his neighbour Nate Trinastich and a police officer look over CCTV to try and determine what happened on the night Shanann and her daughters disappeared.
Watts appears fidgety and nervous as the three men watch the footage together.
The CCTV is shot from Mr Trinastich’s driveway and shows Watts parking in a different spot to where he usually parked.
The footage shows Watts backing into the driveway at 5.17am and he then appears to load items into his car.
Watts explains he normally parks outside on the street because it makes it easier “to lug everything with all the tools [he] had to bring in”.
But he says he’s parked in a different spot because he has had issues with people trying to break in and steal stuff from his home.
Disturbingly, it has since emerged this was actually the moment he loaded his victims into the car.
Watts tells the police officer “she’s pregnant as well, sir”. He then leaves and the police officer continues to speak with Mr Trinastitch.
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