Chris Watts Is 'Triggered' by Netflix Documentary, Which 'Makes Him Feel a Lot of Shame': Source

"American Murder: The Family Next Door" began streaming on September 30

Chris Watts, the man who murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters, is aware of the explosive new Netflix documentary about his infamous case — and a source tells PEOPLE that it brings back a lot of shame.

The documentary, entitled American Murder: The Family Next Door, began streaming on Netflix on September 30. It includes rarely-seen text messages and letters between Watts and his wife.

"He can't see it, and he'll probably never see it," says the source, who has regular contact with the 35-year-old Watts in prison. "He's curious about it, but he hates even knowing that his texts are out there for the public to read. It brings back awful memories of 2018 for him."

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 disposed of his wife's body and then smothered his daughters — Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.


Authorities said Watts went on his murderous spree because he was having an affair with a co-worker who thought he was already separated. In the days before the killings, Shanaan Watts reached out to a friend and shared her growing concerns about her marriage -- but she never suspected her life was in danger.

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Watts was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Two years later, he is housed at Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, in Waupun, Wisconsin. (He was moved out of Colorado for security reasons.)

The documentary paints a picture of a marriage that was falling apart -- and alleges that while Shanann was ready to fight to save their union, Chris had already checked out and was looking for a chance to escape.

While Watts has not seen the documentary, the source tells PEOPLE that employees in the prison have been waiting to watch the 83-minute film. "There's a lot of curiosity about him in prison," says the source. "He's the most high-profile inmate and what he did is incomprehensible, so everyone wants to know more about the case."

American Murder: The Family Next Door
Shanann Watts/Netflix/2020

American Murder: The Family Next Door also includes police bodycam footage, Shanann's social media posts, and police interrogation video to tell the story of their deteriorating marriage and Shanann's murder."

Chris knows that every part of his life is out there for public consumption," says the source. "He hates it. It makes him feel a lot of shame. But he also knows that he brought it upon himself."

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