Chris Watts: Life After Admission of Killing His Family

The news of the murders of Shannan, Bella, and Celeste Watts shocked the entire nation in 2018 when their father, Chris Watts, admitted to killing all three of his daughters. His downward spiral started when he had an extramarital affair, leading to estrangement between him and his spouse and eventually resulting in devastating tragedy. Watts is now serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole in the Dodge Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

Early Life Overview of Chris Watts

Christopher Watts was born on May 16, 1985 in Oklahoma to Cindy and Ronnie Watts. His parents raised him in a highly religious family and ended up separating in 1995 due to the father’s substance abuse. In 2004, Christopher Watts graduated from Fayetteville High School in Arkansas and attended college at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for two years, where he earned a degree in business. After his brief stint in North Carolina, he moved back to Colorado to work in the oil and gas industry as an operator.

Criminal History

Prior to their homicides, Chris Watts had a tumultuous past with the law. In August 15th of 2018, Chris had an outstanding warrant issued due to an incident of theft from an auto body shop. According to the police report, Chris Watts had done a favor for a coworker who asked him to pick up a catalytic converter and bring it to the auto body shop. After arriving at the shop, Watts was arrested. Unfortunately, Watts’ criminal record expands past this theft incident. At the age of 19, in June 2005, he was taken into custody for driving under the influence (DUI). Additionally, in May 2015, Watts faced serious charges of choking his then-partner Shannan.

Chris Watt’s Arrest

On August 15, 2018, Watts was arrested in Frederick, Colorado after his family had been reported missing in their home in nearby Frederick. On August 16, he was interviewed by police where he initially tried to show authorities he was an alert father looking for his daughters. Then, his story changed multiple times and on August 17, he admitted to killing his wife due to an ongoing argument. Finally, law enforcement found the bodies of Shannan, Bella, and Celeste hidden in oil tanks on the property of the Watts’ home.

Legal Proceedings

On November 6, 2018, Chris Watts pleaded guilty to avoid the potential for the death penalty for his terrible crimes. He pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

In December of 2018 he was given five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Life Post Prison

The environment in Dodge Correctional, according to inmates, is cold but ultimately better than many prisons, as there are some recreational activities to keep inmates occupied. Despite being looked down upon by the other inmates, Watts generally keeps to himself. Currently, according to the Visiting Rules and Regulations, the facility has suspended all visits and only allows video visits between inmates and their family until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Chris Watts gruesome and unpremeditated murders will forever haunt the victims’ families and the world at large. Though Watts may not have asked for mercy from the justice system, he will live the remainder of his life in prison, devoid of the life he once led. Now, he can unlock his internal thoughts and hopefully find solace in his reflection and his remorse.

His actions show us why is it so important to be mindful of our actions and lead with empathy and understanding.

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