Memories Be Gone

Everyone loves their family, they would never want to hurt them, right? Not so much with Chris Watts, the murderer of his entire family.



Chris Watts met Shan’ann Rzuck in 2010. They married on November 3, 2012. Their happiness grew with the birth of their two young daughters, Bella and Celeste. The family uprooted from North Carolina and moved to Colorado, and in the spring of 2018, Shan’ann was delighted to find herself expecting a third child. The family would soon welcome a baby who they would call Niko. 


Returning from a business trip in the early morning hours of August 13, 2018, Shan’ann and Chris got into an argument in their Frederick, Colorado home when he confessed he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. According to Chris’ confession to authorities, Shan’ann, who was 15 weeks pregnant with their son, proceeded to threaten Chris, saying he’d never see their daughters again, which prompted him to strangle her to death. Four-year-old Bella reportedly walked onto the scene after Shan’ann was killed and asked her father, “What are you doing with Mommy?” According to Chris’ lawyer, Chris had told Bella that her mother was feeling ill and they had to take her to the hospital. He then loaded Shan’ann’s body and his two daughters in the car and drove them to his worksite, Anadarko Petroleum. Once there, he smothered Celeste to death with her favorite blanket and pushed her body into an oil tank. When he returned for Bella, who watched him kill her younger sister, she pleaded with her father: “Please Daddy, don’t do to me what you just did to CeCe.” Chris proceeded to murder Bella and push her body into another oil tank. He buried Shan’ann in a grave on the property site.

Confession, Charges, and Sentencing

When Shan’ann missed multiple appointments the following day, her friend Nickole Atkinson, who had dropped her off from her business trip on August 13, contacted Chris and the local police department. Although he initially denied knowing where his wife was and claimed they were having marital problems, Chris confessed to the murders on August 15, after failing a polygraph test. The bodies of Shan’ann, their unborn child, and their two daughters were recovered the next day. On August 21, Chris was charged with first-degree murder on five counts, along with one count of illegal termination of a pregnancy and three counts of criminally disposing of deceased bodies. After pleading guilty to the murders on November 6, 2018, Chris was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole on November 19. Shan’ann’s family did not pursue the death penalty. Chris is currently serving five life sentences and was transferred in December 2018 to Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin. During an interview in February 2019, Chris told investigators he was remorseful for the murders and had found God.

“August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said ‘That’s the last time I’m going to be tucking my babies in. ‘ I knew what was going to happen the day before and I did nothing to stop it.”

— Chriss Watts

Links used;