John Glatt has quickly become one of my favorite true crime authors. He doesn’t dumb it down for his audience yet he doesn’t bore his audience with the technicalities that other authors get lost in. Don’t get me wrong, I love nitty gritty details but sometimes the legalities can gum up the works. And this is coming from someone who at one point considered a career in law.
John Glatt captures the true Chris Watts in his shattering retelling of the Watt’s Family murder case that shocked the nation in 2018 in his true crime novelization The Perfect Father. What drove Chris to kill his family? Was it Shanann’s constant nagging and criticism? Was it the thrive patches he was overdosing on? Was it the sheer fact that he could not handle being alone for six weeks? Or did he really just want his family gone? Critics and online sleuths have picked this case apart, to the point where some even accused Shannan of being the cause of her own and her children’s deaths. Many believe in Chris’ innocence. But let’s make this clear from the beginning: no one asks to be murdered. Domestic violence is a problem that one in four women experience, according to the CDC. Chris Watts is being held accountable for what became of his wife and children at his diabolical hands.
In the early morning hours of August 13th, 2018, Shanann Watts was dropped off to her Franklin Colorado home that she shared with her husband, Christopher, and their two young daughters, Bella and Cece. The business trip to Scottsdale Arizona had been rough. She didn’t eat and wasn’t feeling well, but she was 15 weeks pregnant with their son Niko. She had a doctor’s appointment later that day, maybe that would give some answers. But no one heard from Shanann after she stepped inside her home.
The next morning, Shanann’s coworker and friend, Nicki, became worried when she did not hear from Shanann, knowing she had an important baby appointment that day and had been the one to drop Shanann at home that morning. She called the office and was told that Shanann had been a no-show, which was very unlike her. She wouldn’t have missed an appointment, especially one like this. She texted Shanann but received no reply. What was going on with her friend? She knew she was upset but that was no reason to shut the world out. She called Chris and asked if he had heard from Shanann. Chris had openly admitted that she may be at a friend’s house and that they were separating. The coworker did not understand why he was mentioning this right now, she was more concerned about Shanann’s well-being and safety.
Besides she had already known that Shanann and Chris were having issues. Shanann was stressed out most of the weekend in Scottsdale because of Chris. They had had a serious fight about Chris’s parents since their visit to North Carolina did not go as well as they’d hoped. Shanann had also expressed that Chris seemed emotionally distant and wasn’t as affectionate as he had been five weeks prior. He had brought up the idea of a separation. He told Shanann that they were no longer compatible. They were missing that “spark”.
So what happened in those five weeks prior that made Chris fall out of love with Shanann and want a divorce?
Her name was Nicole Kessinger. Chris met Kessinger at work and there their friendship blossomed into a romance. Chris had told Nicole that he and his wife were separating and that he had two daughters, and she found no issue with that. She was crazy for Chris. And she found the fact that he was a father that cared for his daughters a very attractive trait.
Shanann and her two daughters flew to the Carolinas for a five-week vacation to spend time with their grandparents. Chris was to meet up with them a couple of four weeks later. Whilst visiting her in-laws, Shanann and her mother-in-law Cindy Watts had gotten into an argument. Cece has a strong nut allergy and Cindy had ice cream that contained an allergen that could have been deadly to the little girl. Shanann had accused Cindi of ignoring her instructions deliberately (she had sent a letter saying that they could not have certain foods in their house) and putting her child in danger.
This created tension for the rest of the trip. Chris’ parents did not show up for Bella’s birthday party. They had also blocked Shanann on social media. Shanann stated that she did not tell them to not show up to the birthday party. They made that decision on their own. And Chris refused to talk to his dad about it. And when Chris joined them later on, Shanann refused to let them join them at the beach. She was adamant. She did not want Cindy Watts near her children, but she encouraged Chris to visit.
Chris was cold towards Shanann for most of the trip. Barely touched her, kissed her, and when she tried to initiate sex, he rejected her. Shanann was desperate to feel her once-loving husband’s touch again. To hold her, to love her as he had the last eight years. She couldn’t imagine this happening to her, again. She had had one bad marriage before. She couldn’t bear another one.
Chris was on top of the moon. He and Nicole had not stopped texting since he had left. They were exchanging nude photos, which Chris had hidden on a secret folder app that looked like a calculator. He had told his father about the separation and putting the house on the market. They reported that he seemed like the ‘old’ Chris.
It was no secret that the Watt’s family did not like Shanann. Chris’ parents did not come to their wedding. Cindi and Chris’ sister thought her too bossy. They did not like how Shanann talked about him and to him in front of the girls, who were starting to pick up on it.
Back in Colorado, Chris and Shanann do not get any better. Chris had made up his mind at this point. He had told Shanann in North Carolina that he did not want this baby. He did not want to work it out, he wanted to separate. Shanann was determined to get to the bottom of this. Before leaving for her Thrive trip to Scottsdale, she left a note:
She hoped he would read it, that it would bring back the Chris that had been unable to keep his hands off her five weeks prior. The man that she knew as the father to their two daughters. The man who asked to have this new baby. And she prayed that when she returned from this trip, it would be like nothing ever happened.
But Shanann was unable to enjoy her weekend away. She spilled her guts at the table about her marital problems. She was distraught. And also feeling ill, which she had assumed was a pregnancy issue. She had experienced similar problems while in North Carolina when Chris had arrived, and was of no comfort. Why? Because he had been slowly poisoning her with oxycodone with the hopes of causing a miscarriage. Chris had also sent Shanann an odd photo, apart from the vague updates on the kids.
Shanann returned home to Colorado, hoping Chris had opened the book that she had ordered for them to both read. Hoping that she was returning to a new and improved Chris.
Chris is a weirdo. And also a horrible liar, as shown in his texts and confirmed by the polygraph technician who even told him so. And also that it was really dumb for him to be here. And it was. He thought he could outsmart the polygraph. He couldn’t even take responsibility right away. He had at first blamed Shanann.
He thought he could outsmart Shanann’s friends and family, he thought he could get away with this. To let his family just disappear into the wind and for him to carry on with his life.
Chris Watts just looks guilty in this picture. I don’t understand how he wasn’t just brought in right away. There were too many inconsistencies. His neighbor had caught him on camera stuffing the bodies in the truck to drive out to Cervi 319. He knew something wasn’t right with this guy. And even told the police.
After they had brought in Chris’ dad, Ronnie, to talk to him and gotten the answers they wanted, the police carry out the mission in recovering Shanann, CeCe, and Bella’s bodies.
Chris had buried Shanann in a shallow grave near the grass and then dumped his daughter’s bodies into the crude oil tanks after smothering them with their blankets. He couldn’t even face looking at his daughters. If you don’t know what crude oil does to the body, then you don’t understand the condition and the trauma these poor officers and emergency servicemen and women must face after seeing these children. Chris Watts is disgusting.
“I just want them back. Like if she ran off because she was unhappy and she’s at a friend’s then whatever. But if they’re somewhere and not safe, I want them back now.” – Chris Watts
Chris Watts was charged with three counts of first-degree murder; along with two counts of first-degree murder of persons under twelve by a person in trust; three counts of tampering with the evidence; and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
With that being said, I hope that the Watts and Rzucek have found some peace from all the madness and their loss and sadness. I know that you never recover from experiencing this type of horrific and sudden pain. This murder broke the rest of the world’s hearts. The only consolation we can bear is knowing that he hears his daughter’s screams. He lives in a hell he created himself.