On the day he killed his pregnant wife and two daughters, Chris Watts spoke to his mistress on FaceTime — and according to what the woman told investigators, Watts was quiet during the call but was “fixated” on her and “star[ed] at her.”
The detail is included in more than 2,000 pages of documents released by the Weld County, Colorado, District Attorney’s Office after Watts, 33, pleaded guilty and was sentenced this month for killing 34-year-old Shanann Watts and the couple’s daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
In the weeks leading up to the early-morning Aug. 13 murders, Watts was having an affair with with coworker Nichol Kessinger — even as Shanann was desperately trying to salvage their crumbling relationship. Prosecutors cited Watts’ desire for a “fresh start” with Kessinger as his motive for the killings.
Kessinger told investigators that during the FaceTime call after the killings, she noticed a peculiar detail: Watts was lying in bed on a mattress that did not have any sheets on it.
That absent set of sheets would prove important as investigators quickly pieced together their case against Watts: Before the victims’ bodies were found on an oil work site owned by Watts’ former employer, a drone spotted a sheet on the property. That sheet matched another sheet and a pillowcase that had been found in a trashcan in the Watts’ Frederick, Colorado, home.
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After his family went missing, Watts appeared on television and made a stilted public plea for the trio’s safe return. According to Kessinger, Watts was quiet during the video call and didn’t say much. He told Kessinger he had been “cleaning his home and trying to keep busy to keep his mind off of things.”
Wife Tried to Save Marriage While Watts Lived ‘Bachelor Life’
Among other revelations in the documents released by the DA’s office was that Watts told Kessinger he didn’t know Shanann was pregnant until the day she went missing — and that Shanann had told him he wasn’t the father.
But that claim is seemingly contradicted by videos Shanann posted to her Facebook page in which she tells Watts that she’s pregnant.
Shanann spent much of the summer before the killings in North Carolina with her parents and the couple’s children while Watts stayed home in Colorado and conducted his affair with Kessinger.
During this time, Shanann tried to save their marriage by giving Chris books on self-help and relationship counseling. But Chris had already mentally checked out of the marriage and ignored them, even throwing one of the books in the garbage.
Shanann repeatedly confronted Watts about her suspicions he was having an affair and sent pleading texts lamenting how distant he’d become.
“l realized during this trip what’s missing in our relationship! lt’s only one way emotions and feelings. I can’t come back like this. I need you to meet me halfway. You don’t consider others at all, nor think about others feelings,” she wrote in one text.
Another text read, “l try to give you space, but while you are working and living the bachelor life l’m carrying our 3rd and fighting with our two kids daily and trying to work and make money.”
Watts received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In pleading guilty, he avoided the death penalty.