Watts told police last month he "tries to keep a 'low profile' in the prison"

By Chris Harris
March 07, 2019 02:04 PM
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Family murderer Chris Watts speaks every day to photos he keeps in his prison cell of his slain pregnant wife and two daughters, according to his February confession from inside a Wisconsin prison.

Watts, 33, also told investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation he reads a book to his daughters every night, and also reads the Bible.

The newly released Feb. 18 audio confession laid out chilling details of the murders of his 34-year-old wife Shanann and the couple’s daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. His voice trembling at times between sniffles, 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 used one of his girls’ own blankets to smother both of them.

“[Celeste] was first,” Watts said the recording obtained by PEOPLE; Bella sat inches from her sister as she was killed. He then used the same New York Yankees blanket to kill his oldest.

Chris Watts before he spoke to police last month
| Credit: CBI

Watts, who claims he did not plan the murders, told authorities “every time he sees pictures of Bella and Celeste, he doesn’t understand how it all could have happened,” according to a CBI report obtained by PEOPLE.

He told authorities he has “pictures of his wife and daughters in his prison cell and he talks to them every morning and every night.”

Watts said during his confession he and Shanann had sex after she returned from a business trip to Arizona. Hours later, on Aug. 13, 2018, he jumped on Shanann, who was on her back in their bed, after a fight in which he told her he didn’t love her, and she threatened him with leaving him and taking the children.

Watts said he “snapped” and lost control. “Right now,” Watts said, “I’d have a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, and more than likely, a one-month old son and a beautiful wife, and right now it’s just me.”

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.

According to the confession, Watts drove 45 minutes to a remote oil field, with Shanann’s corpse in the bed of the truck and his still-living girls in the backseat.

“During the ride, the girls were dozing on and off, held each other, and laid in each other’s laps,” the CBI report reads.

Before burying Shanann in a shallow grave, Watts said he smothered Celeste, who went by CeCe, in the backseat, right next to Bella. After dumping Celeste’s body in an old field, he returned to smother Bella, who begged for her life.

Chris and Shanann Watts
| Credit: Facebook

“Bella asked him in her soft voice, ‘Is the same thing gonna happen to me as Cece?'” reads the report. “He is not sure if he told Bella ‘yes’ like a horrible person.”

Watts also opened up about what he claims are his newfound religious beliefs, and what his life has been like behind bars.

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Watts with his girls in an undated photo
| Credit: Facebook

While incarcerated in Colorado before being transferred to Wisconsin, Watts said he was taunted by the other inmates, who “would yell at him at night and would explain to him all the ways he could kill himself in his cell by drowning himself in the toilet or hanging himself.” He said “he didn’t kill himself because he felt like he may have a different purpose.”

He said he prayed to be transferred to a different facility, and when he was, it “felt like God moved him to [the prison] for a reason.”

Watts told police he “tries to keep a ‘low profile’ in the prison.”