Chris Watts Thought About Killing Himself Using Gas Can, But Feared Explosion Would Hurt Others

Chris Watts pleaded guilty last November to murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters

After murdering his family last August, Chris Watts planned to kill himself using a gasoline can he brought to a remote oil site where he buried his wife and daughters. But he decided against it at the last minute, worried that he’d cause an explosion on the oil field that would hurt others.

On Feb. 18, Watts met with investigators to provide chilling new details about the Aug. 13, 2018, murders of his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, and their two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.

Watts, 33, told investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that on the morning of the murders, he and Shanann had sex after she returned from a business trip to Arizona. Hours later, 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.

“You’re never gonna see the kids again, you’re never gonna see them again,” Watts claims Shanann told him. As he straddled her, she yelled at him to “get off me,” warning Watts he might “hurt the baby,” a boy they planned to name Nico.

Chris Watts in a recent photo. CBI

That is when “he immediately put both of his hands around Shanann’s neck and strangled her,” reads a report provided to PEOPLE by the CBI.

After killing her, Watts placed his wife’s body in the bed of his truck and drove, with the girls, to a remote oil field, where he buried Shanann before smothering Celeste and then Bella.

According to Watts’ confession, Bella witnessed her sister’s murder, and just before her own killing, asked her father if she was about to suffer the same fate, pleading for her life.


Watts told police he also brought a gas can with him to the oil field, and was going to use it to end his own life. “Being a dad was the best part of his life and he took it all away,” the CBI report reads.

“He put a gas can in the back of his truck and felt like he could get rid of himself at the same time,” it continues. “He didn’t feel like he deserved to live or be on this earth after what had happened…he considered taking his own life as well.”

But Watts did not go through with it. Why? According to the CBI report, he didn’t want to kill anyone else.

“He did not commit suicide because he felt like if he did it out at the oil site, he may have ended up hurting more people than just himself,” states the report. “He knew there were other people in the area and didn’t want something to catch fire or blow up.”

Watts told police he does not own any weapons, which is why he decided to end his life using the gas can.

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In November, Watts pleaded guilty to all three murders. 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.

Watts also told police he reads Bible verses to pictures he keeps in his cell of his wife and two girls, and that Bella’s final words — “Daddy, no!” — have haunted him every day since the killings.

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