Chris Watts, a father-of-two, killed his family as he was having an affair with a co-worker and wanted a fresh start.
Trigger warning: Graphic details of violence; murder
We expect our dads to be our protectors. They are the first important male figure in our lives and our relationship with them affects the rest of our life. However, some fathers are not deserving of that role. They hurt and abuse their children for their selfish purposes. One dad sunk to new depths when he killed his children and his wife, who was pregnant with his unborn child.
Chris Watts of Colorado is known as a family killer since he did just that. The moniker was given to him after it was found that he murdered his wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Shanann, a mommy vlogger, was pregnant with his third child at the time.
The autopsy reports were released in November 2018, and it revealed that all three of them died of asphyxiation. Chris strangled his wife Shanann and smothered his daughters, according to the reports. Their autopsy report was revealed only after Watts pleaded guilty to their murders and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, as per The Denver Channel.
The three important girls in his life died on August 16 and he tried to lie about his crime until there was no hiding anymore. The girls' bodies were found submerged in an oil tank on property owned by the company where Watts worked. His wife's body was found in a shallow grave nearby. Shanann was wearing a purple T-shirt and underwear and had patterned abrasions on her neck and the left side of her face.
The Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said Shanann, who was in the second trimester of her pregnancy, died slowly. Chris was also charged for the death of their unborn child, Nico.
"We know that our experts tell us that it takes two to four minutes to strangle someone to death manually with their own hands," Michael said, according to People. "The horror that she felt as the man that she loved wrapped his hands around her throat and choked the life out of her must have been unimaginable."
The report also said that Bella likely fought for her life. There were signs of blunt force trauma on Bella’s jaw and lacerations and contusions in her mouth, according to The Denver Channel. She had also bitten her tongue when her dad was killing her. "Imagine the horror in Bella’s mind as her father took her last breaths away," Michael said, according to KOCO News 5.
There were no signs of struggle in the case of Celeste. She wore a pink and black T-shirt, as well as a diaper and her underwear. Both girls had multiple chemicals in their bodies from being submerged in the oil tank. Bella's body had ethanol and benzene derivative toluene. Benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, n-hexane, methylpentanes, n-butanol, and acetaldehyde were also found. Celeste's body had n-butanol, ethanol. N-propanol, and acetaldehyde. A green-black fluid was found in Bella’s stomach, the report added.
The chemicals came from the bodies being submerged in the oil tanker for days.
Chris was having an affair with a co-worker and that woman had alerted the cops about their relationship. She had not known he was married. "He had a desire for a fresh start, to begin a new relationship with a new love," said the district attorney. He added that he couldn't understand why Watts had to kill his daughters.
"I don’t expect that he [Chris] will ever tell the truth about what truly happened or why. Even if he did, there’s no rational way that any human being could find those answers except those responsible to such horrific questions," he said. "The best we can do is piece together some kind of understanding from the evidence that is available to us. The evidence tells us this: The defendant coldly and deliberately ended four lives, not in a fit of rage, not by way of accident, but in a calculated and sickening manner," the district attorney added at the trial.
Chris revealed the chain of events after being sentenced. He said that he told his wife about the affair and they fought about it. His daughters saw him with their dead mom, and so he had to kill them too.
A Facebook Fundraiser had helped the victims' family raise more than $100,000.