The case of Chris Watts has captivated Americans and people worldwide as we struggle to come to terms with, and understand, what happened.
The 'Watts Family Murders', as the case is being called, happened in the early morning hours of August 13, 2018, in Frederick, Colorado, US.
Shan'ann Cathryn Watts was reported missing on August 13, 2018, by her friend and colleague Nickole Utoft Atkinson who became worried when Shan'ann didn't show up at her OB-GYN appointment or work meeting. At the time of her disappearance, Shan'ann was fifteen weeks pregnant with a son named Nico Lee Watts.
Her husband Chris Watts was later notified and told police he had no idea where his wife Shan'ann, or daughters Bella, or Celeste could be. There was no indication that they had fled. Her phone, purse, and car, with children's car seats inside, were all accounted for. Her wedding ring was found on the couple's bed.
On August 15, 2018, after giving interviews with the media and pleading for the safe return of his family, Chris Watts was arrested. He failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed to murdering Shan'ann. According to the arrest affidavit, he was having an affair and had asked for a separation. He told police that Shan'ann had strangled the children after he asked her to separate, and in a fit of rage, he strangled her and then took the three bodies to a remote oil-storage site where he worked.
On August 21, Watts was charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Chris Watts pled guilty to the murders on November 6, 2019. he will serve five life sentences – three consecutive and two concurrent – without the possibility of parole, Shan'ann's family did not want the death penalty, feeling there had been enough death.
The new Netflix documentary takes a look inside the marriage of Shan'ann Watts and Chris Watts as well as the triple-murder case that made national headlines.
Using raw, firsthand footage, American Murder: The Family Next Door examines the disappearance of Shan'ann Watts and her children, and the terrible events that followed. The description reads as follows:
"Shan'ann Watts and her two young daughters went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As details of their deaths made headlines worldwide, it became clear that Shan'ann’s husband, Chris Watts, wasn’t the man he appeared to be. Experience a gripping and immersive examination of the disintegration of a marriage."