Cindy Watts wasn't able to accept that her son killed his own daughters even after he confessed to it.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 30, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: The story contains graphic details of the murder that some readers may find distressing.
When people have difficulties in their marriage, they work it out or they part ways. Hardly ever do people plan murders to be rid of their partner and kids. But, it seems that a former Colorado dad, Chris Watts, wanted his family dead for weeks. He planned it out so he could be with his mistress, Nichol Kessinger, but she was not aware that he was married.
In a letter to a stranger, Chris reportedly revealed the details of how his family died at his hands and that he had planned it, as per Daily Mail. Initially, he had claimed that his family was missing and even joined searches for them. Eventually, when he was found out leading to confession to his crimes, he left his parents confused.
When he first confessed, Chris said that his wife Shanann killed his two daughters, Bella and Celeste. He had revealed he killed his wife, but he later amended his statement and owned up to killing all three. He was also charged for the death of his unborn child, whom Shanann had named Nico.
However, his mother, Cindy Watts, was in denial that her son was a killer. The Sun reported that when he was being sentenced in 2018, Cindy said, "I have always loved you and I still do. We love you and forgive you, son."
His father Ronnie said, "The Bible says if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us. Chris, I forgive you and your sister forgives you and we will never abandon you."
It was shocking that his parents chose to forgive him when he wasn't theirs to forgive. Shanann's family don't feel the same way and have condemned the Watts' statements.
Raw video: On Tuesday Chris Watts pleaded for the safe return of his pregnant wife Shannan and their two children. Last night he was arrested for their murders. c/o @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/BAfwUcXI7Z— Billy Jensen (@Billyjensen) August 16, 2018
Shanann Watts's parents — Frank and Sandra Rzucek — responded to Watts' family interview.
"Shanann Watts was a faithful wife, and the most gentle and loving mother in the world to her children Bella, Celeste, and Nico. She was also the best daughter any parent could ever hope for. Shanann was a wonderful soul. Everyone who knew Shanann knows this to be true. Even Chris Watts knows this to be true. Yet Chris Watts still chose to murder Shanann, Bella, Celeste, and Nico. Chris Watts still chose to dump the bodies of his own family in oil tanks. And Chris Watts still chose to lie about it until he could lie no more. He pled (sic) guilty to murdering his family because he is guilty," they said, in a statement, as per the Denver Channel.
Even when the evidence was against Chris and he confessed to his crimes, his parents have been unable to condemn their son for it. "He’s not a sociopath. He’s not a psychopath," Cindy told the Denver Channel. His mom was so far away from reality that she even blamed Shanann for her own murder.
"It was a very hard relationship. It was a very hard relationship (with Shanann) as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't do anything right," Cindy told ABC11. She also portrayed the dead woman as a negative influence on him. "He was normal, he didn't have a temper, he was just easy-going like his Dad. He's not a monster," said the mother.
During one of the interviews, she tried to pin the murder of the two children on Shanann. "I would say she's more capable than Christopher," she said. "Christopher, I don't see him capable at all."
Cindy and Shanann never had a good relationship and the former even skipped their wedding. A few weeks before the tragic incident, Cindy had thrown her daughter-in-law out of the house for yelling at her over ice cream choices. Cindy had picked pistachio ice cream, but Celeste was allergic to nuts which means that flavor could have been fatal. The tension between them had only gotten worse after that.
Towards the end of her life, Shanann had realized that she was not giving Chris enough respect and was going to change. However, Chris never wanted to improve the relationship. He only wanted her out of the way.
Chris is going to spend the rest of his life in prison and is receiving letters, including romantic ones.