If the American dream still exists, Chris Watts was living it. In July 2018, he had two beautiful young daughters and an adoring wife who was heavily pregnant with what was to be his first son. He was a big earner, so was Shannan, and they lived in a massive house, with a four poster bed in their bedroom. Shannan documented their lives and their love intensely on social media. The following month, Watts strangled his wife in what he would claim was a fit of rage but was clearly premeditated. Then, duping his daughters, he drove them out to a site where he had been working, murdered them too, and disposed of all three bodies.
Although this horror was planned, it wasn’t planned very well. For one thing, his neighbour’s CCTV showed him leaving the house early in the morning, him and no one else. In spite of that, Watts played out a charade with the police, who were on the scene quickly thanks to a concerned friend of Shannan. She had run off with the girls, he said, heck, she even left her wedding ring behind.
Watts was asked to take a polygraph, routine in missing persons investigations, he was told. Polygraphs are junk science, but when they told him he had failed, they were probably being truthful. It didn’t take long to get a confession of sorts out of him; he claimed Shannan had murdered the girls, and he had killed her out of rage. The police didn’t buy it, and neither should you.
Watts had found himself a mistress, and had been having fun with her while his faithful wife was on a business trip. This case has generated enormous interest, especially on YouTube where crime buffs and vloggers have put forward all manner of claims, the most plausible being that his mistress was the driving force behind his crimes. Certainly she lied to the police, but that was understandable. There is though no evidence that anyone but Chris Watts was responsible for the triple homicide, and the evidence not simply of premeditation but of attempting to frame Shannan as the real culprit is simply overwhelming.
Watts pleaded guilty and the trial was over in double quick time. He was given five life sentences on November 19, 2018. The death penalty was abolished in Colorado on March 23, 2020, so even if he had received it, it would never have been carried out.
This case has everything, not only a signed confession but video evidence that showed what had happened and what didn’t. He even led the police to the bodies, who would surely have found them anyway, so how can he possibly appeal his conviction? It may be that he is delusional, but if he is, so are his supporters, and unbelievably there are plenty of those, not all of them the usual daffy women.
Although he committed “only” three murders, Chris Watts is headed for the sort of mega-stardom reserved for the likes of Ted Bundy. Unless somebody with the authority to do so says enough! No more documentaries, no more films, no more publicity per se. It is time to allow this monster to rot in darkness where he belongs.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.