Behind The Curtain: A Colorado Murder


Olivia Semple

Last summer, two young girls and their pregnant mother took their last breaths. While the world searched for their bodies, only one person really knew the truth of their deaths.

        To the rest of the world, the Watts family seemed flawless. With their adorable three and four-year-old girls, Christopher and Shannan Watts seemed happy.

       When Shannan got pregnant, it was the icing on the cake to a perfect family story. Behind the beauty of Colorado, who would have guessed that innocent blood would stain it.

       Behind the curtain, Christopher Watts was involved in an affair with his co-worker, during the time of his wife’s pregnancy. Shannan confronted Christopher saying, “You’re never gonna see the kids again.”

       Watts denied Shannan’s allegation, saying that he didn’t think their marriage was going to work. He admits to feeling “more guilty than ever before.”

That’s when Christopher wrapped his hands around his wife’s throat. “Get off me…don’t hurt the baby..” were Shannan’s last words, according to CBS news.

       In a transcript, Watts admitted that the murder had been on his mind for a while and there was nothing he could do about it, that he “had no control over it.”

       Shannan took two to four minutes to die as shown on the autopsy, and the whole time Christopher thought, “why can’t I just let go?” His oldest daughter, Bella walked into the room during Shannan’s last moments. “What’s wrong with mommy?” Bella asked. Saying nothing, Watts wrapped Shannan in a sheet and carried her to his truck.

       Ushering Bella and youngest daughter Celeste into the truck, he began the 40-mile drive to the local oil worksite. As he removed Shannan’s body from the bed of the truck, Celeste asked, “What are you doing to mommy?”

        Watts then turned back towards the car and suffocated Celeste in a blanket as Bella watched. He then threw Celeste’s body into an oil tank. Bella started to cry, and asked, “Is the same thing gonna happen to me as CeCe?”

       Answering yes, Watts then killed the final member of his family, throwing Bella’s body in a separate tank. He then buried his wife’s body in a shallow grave near the oil site.

       The drive home, Watts wondered if he could have saved his daughter’s lives. “Was I even a dad at one point?” Watts said in an interview, “I don’t know.”

       “Right now I’d have a 5-year-old … a 3-year-old … and more than likely, a one-month-old son…and a beautiful wife…and right now it’s just me,” Watts said in a later interview with CNN.

       When arrested, Watts lied to investigators, saying that he killed Shannan and the women whom he had an affair with killed his two children. He later confessed that he was guilty of the murders.

       “He wanted everyone to know that Shanann was a loving wife and always helped everyone else,” the police report says.

       When his eldest daughters  autopsy was released, it was discovered that Bella had fought to survive. Various bite and scratch marks were found, as well as teeth impressions on her tongue. “That’s what troubles Shannan’s family the most, that she fought so hard, ” A family member said.

       Sentenced to five life sentences in prison, Watts has been resourceful with his time. “He is claiming that he is remorseful, and he has found God,” a family friend said.