The Family Next Door, a Netflix documentary, follows the murder of Shannan Watts and her two daughters, Celeste and Bella. This was one of the most shocking crimes of 2018.
Watts and her children were killed by her husband, Chris Watts, which came as a shock. Chris, on the other hand, said he was not guilty up to a crucial point in the investigation when he changed his story.
Oxygen says Chris’ father, Ronnie, went to the police station and told his son to tell the truth.
Killer Chris Watts parents: Are Cindy Watts and Ronnie Watts still alive?
Cindy and Ronnie Watts, Chris Watts’ parents, are said to be alive. They have spoken to the media more than once about their son and what they think of the terrible thing he did.
In an interview with Denver 7 in November 2018, Ronnie and Cindy Watts discussed Chris’ guilty plea to killing his pregnant wife and their two children.
Although they said they were sad, they also said they didn’t think the rest of the world knew Chris’ full story.
People says Chris Watt’s parents told him in court in November 2018 that they would forgive him.
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How old will Cindy Watts and Ronnie Watts be in 2022?
Cindy Watts and Ronnie Watts, Chris Watts’ parents, could both be in their late 60s. Likewise, Ronnie Watts might be a few years older than Cindy Watts, his wife.
But the age given above is only an estimate as her exact age and other details have not yet been released.
Information about Cindy and Ronnie Watts’ children and family
Chris is the only child of Ronnie Watts and his wife Cindy Watts. They also had three grandchildren, and their own son killed three of them.
After the films Chris Watts: Confession of a Killer and American Murder: The Family Next Door came out, the case and family were in the news.
In the same vein, Netflix’s documentary went deep into the case to find out why Chris killed his own two children, Bella and Celeste, and his wife, Shanann Watts.
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Christopher Watts and Shanann Cathryn Rzucek (née Watts; died August 13, 2018) were both from North Carolina. Christopher was from Spring Lake and Shanann from Aberdeen. Online records show they met in 2010 and were married on November 3, 2012 in Mecklenburg County. They had two daughters: Bella Marie Watts, who died August 13, 2018, and Celeste Cathryn “CeCe” Watts, who died December 17, 2013. (July 17, 2015 – August 13, 2018). Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant with a son who she planned to name Nico after her death.
The Watts family purchased a five bedroom home in Frederick, Colorado in 2013.[4, 5] In 2015 they filed for bankruptcy. Christopher worked for Anadarko Petroleum and Shanann sold Thrive from home for the multi-level marketing firm Le-Vel.
Shanann was driven home by her friend and colleague Nickole Utoft Atkinson on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 1:48 am. She had just returned from a business trip to Arizona. Christopher was at home with her daughters this weekend. Atkinson reported Shanann and the girls missing later that day. He was concerned when Shanann didn’t show up for her OB/GYN appointment and didn’t return her messages. Shanann missed a business meeting, so Atkinson went to the Watts’ home at around 12:10 p.m. Atkinson called Christopher, who was at work, and told him that no one was answering the doorbell or knocking. He also called the Frederick Police Department.
At around 1:40 p.m., a Frederick police officer came to conduct a health check. During the social check, Christopher gave the police officer permission to search the house. The family dog was found unharmed but neither Shanann nor the girls were there. Shanann’s purse was found with her keys and the girls’ medicine. Her phone was later found in the family home among the sofa cushions. The girls’ car seats were still in their car, which was in the garage. Shanann’s wedding ring was on the table by her bed.
The next day, the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) joined the investigation. Christopher initially told police that he did not know where his family was and that he had not seen his wife since he left for work at 5:15 a.m. the previous day. Outside the home, he spoke to Denver television stations KMGH-TV and KUSA-TV and asked his wife and daughters to come back. During questioning, people with search dogs were heard on the property.
Cases go to court
On August 15, 2018, Christopher was sent to prison. The affidavit and security camera footage from the interrogation room state that he failed a lie detector test and then admitted to killing Shanann. Before telling it, he asked to speak to his father. The affidavit states that Christopher was having an affair and that he asked Shanann to break up. During the investigation, he said Shanann strangled the girls in response to his plea for separation, and then strangled them in a fit of rage and took the bodies to a remote oil storage facility leased from his employer, Anadarko Petroleum.
Christopher lost his job on August 15, the same day he was arrested. On August 16, the bodies of the Watts family were found at the Anadarko Petroleum compound. The girls’ bodies were found in crude oil storage tanks, and Shanann was found nearby in a shallow grave.
Christopher was charged Aug. 21 with triple first-degree murder and an additional charge per child of “death of a child under the age of 12 and the defendant was in a position of trust.” He was also accused of illegally terminating a pregnancy and tampering with a corpse on three counts. He was not granted bail at his first court hearing. At a later hearing, bail was set at $5 million, and he had to pay 15% of that to get out of jail.
In the news, this case was linked to the crime of “family annihilation” (family murder). Many of these crimes happen in August before school starts, which can make them harder to track down and figure out what happened. Candice DeLong, a former FBI profiler, said cases like Watts’ are rare because “family killers usually commit suicide after the murders.” Christopher said he considered suicide because he felt guilty about what he had done.
Christopher’s attorney said in an interview with Dr. Phil that Christopher admitted to killing Shanann after a divorce argument. Bella walked in on the couple as they were killing someone. Then Christopher told her that Shanann was not well. Shanann’s body and the girls, who were not in their car seats, were placed in the back seat of his work truck. He then killed the girls one by one by smothering them.
Plea and Condemnation
On November 6, Christopher admitted to killing the two people. Shanann’s family asked the district attorney not to seek the death penalty because they didn’t want more people to die. They thought it would be a good idea for him to take the deal. On November 19, he was sentenced to five life terms, three consecutive and two concurrent, with no prospect of parole. He got an extra 48 years for terminating Shanann’s pregnancy without her consent and 36 years for three manipulations on a corpse. The start of his punishment was the same.
Christopher was relocated outside of his home state on December 3, 2018 due to “security concerns.” On December 5, he was taken to a maximum-security prison called the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin, where he would continue to serve his life sentence.
What the media say
Shanann’s parents were first approached since the murders on a December 2018 episode of ABC News Show 20/20. That same month, HLN aired a special titled “Family Massacre: Chris Watts Exposed,” which featured footage of Christopher from police body cameras and surveillance cameras in the police station’s interview room. In an interview with Christopher’s lover, Nichol Kessinger, recorded and released by the CBI, she said he changed in the days leading up to the murders.
In an episode of the American talk show Dr. December 2018 Phil, host Phil McGraw spoke with four crime experts: former prosecutor and television journalist Nancy Grace, former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, law enforcement adviser Steve Kardian, and body language expert Susan Constantine. The experts examined Christopher’s goals, secret life and profile. In an episode of the Dr. On the January 2019 Oz Show, the neighbor who helped set up the case against him is interviewed in the studio and shares his thoughts on the case.
In June 2021, Inside Edition said Chris Watts said more things to a pen pal. Watts said in several letters that he had planned the murder for a few weeks and that he gave Shanann the oxycodone found in her system to try to terminate her pregnancy. He said, “I thought it would be easier to be with Nichol if Shanann wasn’t pregnant.” He also said he tried to smother his daughters in their beds at home but failed.
On December 7, 2019, Oxygen aired the first episode of the third season of their TV show Criminal Confessions, an hour-long documentary about the case.
As part of its Ripped from the Headlines series, Lifetime screened a film entitled Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer on January 26, 2020. Chris is played by Sean Kleier and Shanann by Ashley Williams. Shanann’s family spoke out against the film, saying they weren’t asked what they thought of it and didn’t know it was being made until it was already in the works. They’ve also said they’re not making any money from it and that they fear the online harassment they’ve already had will get worse.
A documentary titled American Murder: The Family Next Door was released on Netflix on September 30, 2020. Archival footage such as home videos, social media posts, text messages and police footage are used in the documentary.
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