Chris Watts is currently serving a life sentence for killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters

By Steve Helling
May 16, 2021 07:52 AM
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Chris Watts is spending his 36th birthday in prison for murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters in 2018 — and a source who regularly speaks to him tells PEOPLE Watts is ostracized by the other inmates and guards.

"No one wants anything to do with him," says the source. "He's on the lowest social tier of the entire prison. He's in protective custody because if he's around other inmates, he'd be in real danger. He's an outcast, even among criminals."

Watts, who turns 36 today, can go for days without talking to anyone, the source says. Even the guards shun him. "He's probably the most hated man in that prison," the source says, "because he killed children. There's a definite pecking order in jail, and someone who hurts or kills kids is at the very bottom."

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CDOC

On August 13, 2018, Watts strangled his wife, Shanann, in their Colorado home. Then he drove her body to a job site at the oil company where he worked. He buried his wife's body and then smothered his daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. After pleading guilty to the murders, he received a life sentence.

Authorities said Watts committed the murders because he was having an affair with a co-worker who thought he was already separated. In the days before the killings, Shanann reached out to a friend and shared her growing concerns about her marriage — but never suspected her life was in danger.

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Shanann Watts /Facebook

Watts is housed at Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, in Waupun, Wisc. He was moved out of Colorado for security reasons.

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Watts, now 35, has a Bible and several family photos in his cell. Other than that, he will spend his time corresponding with a handful of penpals — mostly women who wrote to him after he was sentenced. The source told PEOPLE last December that Watts spends a lot of time reading and writing letters.

"He'll write his penpals this season, and they're sending him notes, as well," the source said. "It's literally all he can do at this point."

While Watts said he hoped to appeal his sentence, he has not filed any paperwork to do so. "He's a young guy, only 36," says the source. "So he could live like this for the next 50 years. It's probably a fate worse than death."