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Chris Watts Tells Investigators How He Killed His Family

Chilling account is from a five-hour prison interview
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2019 6:08 PM CST
From left, Bella, Celeste, and Shanann Watts.   (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP)

(Newser) – Chris Watts, the Colorado man who killed his pregnant wife and their two young daughters, told police that 4-year-old Bella struggled and pleaded, "Daddy, no!" as he strangled her in the back seat of his truck. "I hear that every day," Watts told investigators, WLTX reports. He described the August 2018 killings in a five-hour prison interview last month, but the recordings weren't released until Thursday, in response to an open records request. A state official said the details are so disturbing that they could elicit "a secondary trauma reaction to many individuals, whether they were involved in this case or not." Watts pleaded guilty to all charges in a deal to avoid the death penalty, per ABC. He's serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.

In the recordings, Watts says he and his wife had sex when she returned from a business trip, hours before he killed her. They then argued about the affair he was having with a coworker, and he says Shanann, 34, told him, "You’re never gonna see the kids again," per ABC. Watts said he snapped, jumped on his wife, who was in bed, and strangled her. He said he put Shanann's body on the floor of his truck and their daughters in the back seat for the 45-minute drive to an oil field where he'd worked. He disposed of his wife's body, he told investigators, then returned to the truck to smother Celeste, 3, with her blanket as she sat next to her sister. He put her body in an oil tank, ABC reports, and returned to the truck. Bella was still sitting in the back seat, waiting for him. In a soft voice, he said, she asked him, "Is the same thing gonna happen to me as Cece?" (Watts tried claiming that his wife had killed their daughters.)

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