Chris Watts murdered his wife and two young children in August, 2018

By KC Baker
April 09, 2019 01:20 PM

An online petition urges the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to forbid family murderer Chris Watts from displaying photos of his slain wife and two daughters.

“Allowing a murderer to keep a trophy of his victims goes against the purpose and mission statement of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which emphasizes public safety and victim advocacy,” the petition states.

The 33-year-old is serving multiple life sentences after pleading guilty last November to the August 13, 2018, murders of his pregnant wife, Shanann, 34, and the couple’s two young daughters, Bella, 4, and Cece, 3. He was transferred from a Colorado prison to one in Wisconsin in late 2018 due to security concerns.

The petition was launched six days ago and had more than 3,500 signatures as of early afternoon Tuesday. It states, “As taxpayers and members of the public, we are outraged that Chris Watts was allowed to have a photograph of the victims he was convicted of murdering, including his two minor children.”

Chris Watts, 33
| Credit: CBI

In an interview from inside prison on Feb. 18, Watts gave chilling details of the murders to authorities from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. He said his wife Shanann “may have been” praying as he strangled her to death, and said Bella saw him smother Celeste and screamed “Daddy, no!” to her father before he killed her.

Shanann Watts, 34, and Chris Watts, 33
| Credit: Facebook

“I hear it every day, when Bella was talking to me,” Watts told detectives. “When she said, ‘Daddy, no!’”

Cece Watts, 3, and Bella Watts, 4
| Credit: Facebook

He also said he speaks to the photos of his family in his cell and reads a book to his daughters every night.

Shanann Watts returning home from a business trip on Aug. 13, 2018, shortly before she and her daughters were slain.
| Credit: HLN/CNN

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Those details sparked outrage for members of Seek the Truth and Armchair Detective Group, which started the petition.

“Wisconsin inmate Chris Watts DOC# 674796 should not be allowed a photograph of his murder victims, in accordance with DOC purpose and mission statement,” the petition reads. “We, the public and taxpayers, demand that any pictures of Watts’ murder victims are confiscated and that he does not receive favorable treatment due to the publicity of his criminal case.

Chris Watts with the daughters he confessed to killing.
| Credit: Facebook

“As we, the public, mourned the senseless murders of two beautiful little girls, their mother, and their unborn brother, we cried with the victim’s family, we struggled to comprehend the brutality of the crime, and most of all, we continue to grapple the disturbed peace and increased suspicion that we all may live with a murderer.

Chris Watts with Nicole Kessinger, the woman with whom he was having an affair when he killed his family.
| Credit: Weld County District Attorney's Office

“As a result, WE are all victims of Christopher Watts. While Chris Watts enjoys his stay in WI DOC/DCI (at the expense of the taxpayers), we DEMAND that the voices of his victims, SW, BW, CW, and NW, are heard and their picture is RETURNED to the surviving family of Chris’ victims.”

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.