During a six-hour interview with agents from FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Chris Watts finally confessed to murdering his wife — but not before he failed a polygraph test and laughed off a question about all the ways it’s possible to make a person disappear, according to newly released investigative documents in the Watts family murder case that have been obtained by PEOPLE.
After continuing to claim he knew nothing about where his wife and daughters were located, Watts was asked by investigators on Aug. 15 to come up with all the ways he could think of to cause someone’s disappearance, the docs claim.
Watts, 33, then “giggled,” adding that the question was hard to answer as he was not responsible for the disappearance of Shan’ann Watts, his 34-year-old pregnant wife of nearly six years.
However, when asked to come up with a list of “all the physical ways a person could cause someone’s disappearance through murder,” Chris allegedly responded with a long list of options — although when investigators specifically mentioned strangulation, which he eventually admitted he was guilty of, Chris did not directly comment on the method.
Before a polygraph test, Chris was told the three questions he would be asked: if he had physically caused his wife’s disappearance and whether he was lying about the last time he saw her and if he knew where she was.
During both the pre-test interview and the actual polygraph test, he maintained his innocence. Authorities said Chris was found to have been untruthful on the polygraph test.
Investigators went on to tell Chris he had failed the polygraph test, to which he simply responded, “Okay,” and maintained that his answers had been truthful.
Shortly after the post-test interview began, Chris admitted that he had been cheating on his wife, with whom he had fallen out of love.
Asked again by investigators where his wife and daughters were located, Chris responded that he didn’t know and that this had been the only information he had been withholding. However, investigators had already learned of his affair with Nichol Kessinger, which they proceeded to tell him, the docs state.
After continued questioning, Chris asked if he could speak to his father, Ronnie Watts. Although the investigators left the room after bringing in Chris’ father, the entire exchange was recorded on video.
Chris proceeded to tell his father that he had killed Shannan, claiming he had only “hurt her” after his wife had strangled their daughters, the docs state.
“I freaked out and did the same to f— her,” Watts allegedly told his father.
After investigators re-entered the room, Chris claimed that after telling his wife he wanted to separate, he had witnessed her on a baby monitor attempting to strangle their daughter Celeste, 3, and that Bella, 4, had already perished by the time he realized what was happening.
Chris allegedly went on to apologize for lying earlier, admitting, “I’m not a good man,” before revealing where he had hidden the remains of his wife and daughters.
Among the bevvy of investigative documents released this week: police reports, interview transcripts and other materials related to the investigation of the Watts family murders at Chris’ hand, which left Shan’ann, then 15 weeks pregnant, and their daughters dead.
The documents vividly underline the basic narrative already laid out by Colorado authorities: Chris had grown distant from his family and infatuated with a “new love” until, at last, he could not keep them all in his life — and chose his lover.
“He hasn’t touched me all week, kissed me, talked to me except for when I’m trying to figure out what is wrong,” Shan’ann explained in a text to a friend, adding, “We’ve never had a problem in our relationship like this. No joke. NEVER. THIS IS TOTAL LEFT FIELD.”
“I just want to cry,” she wrote in one of the released text messages.
In November, Chris pleaded guilty in the slayings of his pregnant wife and their young children in exchange for being spared a possible death sentence.
Chris pleaded to nine charges, according to prosecutors: five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a dead body.
Despite his guilty plea, Chris has never come clean about his crimes — and he may never.
“[Shan’ann’s family] were of the opinion that he would never be able to give us a full version — just because of who he is — he would never tell us the truth,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke previously told PEOPLE.
Rourke told reporters after Chris’ sentencing: “I don’t think that there is ever going to be a satisfactory answer for anyone.”
Chris was sentenced on Nov. 19 to life in prison without parole.