Obsession: The Murders of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts
Every night at home, we put our phones away so we don’t get distracted from, you know, REAL LIFE. I’ve been sticking to it pretty faithfully, but lately all I’ve wanted to do is sneak off to the basement staircase and scrounge for new info on this case. I’m talking, of course, about the murders of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts at the hands of their father and husband, Christopher Watts. Their unborn child, who they named Nico, was also killed. This case is like no other in recent memory and new details can’t come fast enough. What IS the obsession, though? The obsession is with trying to understand how a seemingly “normal” human being suddenly commits a crime like this.
I can see how the media would pounce on a story like this: happy family, handsome husband, beautiful, newly pregnant wife, joyful little girls. I mean, just LOOK at them. It was the perfect fairy tale until it wasn’t. It is a mind-numbing, unfathomable story that began with a missing mother and her daughters. The story ended, well, where we all knew it would.
His sob story, standing on the front porch, aching for his family to return, to refill his empty home. He couldn’t sleep in the house. He missed seeing the girls on the couch. He couldn’t even begin to guess where they were. Regular, good-looking guy, perfect white teeth. Except there was something missing. Tears? That steady stare when you can TELL that they’re telling the truth? A sincere conviction that he was scared, that he was willing to do anything to find them.
Not surprisingly, none of this was real. He later admitted to killing his wife and two little girls.
Four days after they were killed, Shanann was found in a shallow grave. The two girls were found in tanks containing crude oil on property that belongs to the company he worked for. He is currently sitting in jail and has been charged with nine felonies: three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree murder of a person under the age of 12 while being in a position of trust, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased body. The D.A. is considering seeking the death penalty (which is NEVER a thing in Colorado).
He is now claiming that Shanann killed the girls (NO WAY) and when he found out, he went into a rage and killed her. He freaked out and buried their bodies. Everyone knows this isn’t true. C’mon, dude.
The most likely scenerio is that when Shanann returned from her business trip at 2 a.m. on Monday morning, that he had already killed the girls. When she walked in the door he killed her and buried her body. The girls had already been placed in the tanks by then.
It has also been revealed that he was having an affair (shocking, right?) with a female coworker. A man recently called in to Ashleigh Banfield’s show on HLN claiming that he had a months-long affair with Chris and has proof although none has been provided. There was the bankruptcy and money problems. Her career selling dietary patches (you can see them wearing them in the picture) and I suspect the defense will say there was something in the patches that made Chris go crazy and snap. All of this stuff is starting to come out, but it still doesn’t make any sense.
I have so many questions:
- What was he thinking when he was strangling his daughters? His wife? Not to be gruesome or insensitive, but it actually takes quite awhile to kill someone in this manner. It takes several minutes and significant effort. You can be impulsive when pulling a trigger, but not when strangling someone.
- For crying out loud, did he actually think he would get away with it? That people would just be like, “Nah, that’s cool. We can’t find them, so let’s just forget about it and move on.” Was he planning on moving the mistress into his house and carrying on like normal?
- By all accounts, they appeared to be a happy family. As we all know, social media can be misleading, but Shanann’s brother even said that Chris was a good husband and father. What was really going on behind closed doors? It’s been reported that they had filed for bankruptcy and friends have mentioned that they suspected that he was having an affair, but why should any of these things lead to THIS?
- The scariest thing for me is the idea that you can never really FULLY know someone. He never had a past history of abuse, violence or mental health issues. Can ANYONE be capable of committing a crime like this? If you’re a “normal” person, where does the capability come from? What flipped the switch?
For those of you who are interested in more about this case I’ve included some links. Be careful, you might fall in the rabbit hole, too.
Here is the initial TV interview that was done when they were still missing. He’s acting skills are terrible.
Here is a general overview of the case.
Here is a Time article regarding the defense’s strategy.
Excuse the terrible choice of words, but I’m dying to know what your opinion is. Can anyone be capable of this sort of thing? What was his motivation?