Chris Watts told Colorado investigators "he felt like someone else had control over him" during the murders

By Chris Harris
March 07, 2019 04:30 PM
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In a calm voice, Chris Watts slowly described for investigators what happened the night of August 13, 2018, when he strangled his pregnant wife and then smothered his two daughters using the youngest one’s blanket.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials interviewed Watts, 33, in a Wisconsin prison, questioning him on the killings of his 34-year-old wife Shanann and the couple’s daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.

Watts told the investigators “he felt like someone else had control over him” the day he killed his family, and that “he wasn’t able to fight back,” according to a report by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, released to the press Thursday.

During his confession, Watts describes how he and Shanann had sex after she returned from a business trip to Arizona. Hours later, the pair had a fight during which he confessed his affair and told her he didn’t love her, and she threatened to leave him and take their children. Subsequently, Watts jumped on Shanann, who was on her back in their bed.

“Time seemed to stand still and he saw his life disappearing before his eyes,” reads the report, “but he couldn’t let go” of his wife’s neck as he strangled her.

“Like, the whole — everything that happened that morning, I just don’t — I don’t know, like…like, I try to go back in my head…I’m just like, I didn’t want to do this, but I did it,” he told investigators. “Everything just kinda like…it just felt like it was…I don’t even want to say it felt like I had to, it just felt like there was already something in my mind that was implanted that I was gonna do it and when I woke up that morning it was gonna happen and I had no control over it.”

The newly released Feb. 18 audio confession sheds new light on the brutal murders: Watts confessed to strangling Shanann and then loading her body into the bed of his truck before driving it to a remote oil field, where he smothered both girls.

Chris Watts in a recent photo
| Credit: CBI

“It was like picturing someone around you, holding your hands, holding you and keeping you from letting go,” he told investigators.

After Shanann was dead, Watts claims his oldest, Bella, walked into their bedroom holding her blanket and “asked what was wrong with mommy.” Watts told police “he believed Bella may have been woken up by the noise” of the killing.

It continues: “He told Bella ‘Mommy don’t feel good.’ Bella thought Shanann was sleeping. Bella is a smart girl and knew what was going on. Bella never touched Shanann or tried to wake her up.”

After killing Shanann, Watts told police he wrapped her body, facedown, in a bed sheet, and he “tried to carry Shanann down the stairs and lost his grip and ended up having to pull her down the stairs.”

Watts said his daughter Bella “watched him drag Shanann down the stairs and began to cry and said, ‘What’s wrong with mommy?’ He told Bella again that her mommy didn’t feel good.”

After loading his truck with his wife’s body and his two children, Watts drove towards the remote oil field where police would find all three bodies. “Bella asked, ‘Is mommy okay?,'” reads the report, obtained by PEOPLE. “He told Bella and Celeste that mommy would be fine.

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“As he drove to the oil site with Shanann, Bella, and Celeste, he was nervous, shaking, and didn’t know what was going to happen,” the report explains. “He knew at that moment that his life was completely changed.”

Shanann Watts

At the oil site, he removed Shanann’s body, and placed it on the ground before killing both girls.

Bella witnessed him kill Celeste and begged for her life before her father killed her.

An undated photo of the family
| Credit: Facebook

Last November, Watts pleaded guilty to all three killings. He is currently serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Watts was having an affair with a co-worker at the time of the killings. Authorities have cited his desire for a “fresh start” with his mistress as his motive.