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Netflix 'American Murder': Chris Watts’ Prison Letters Expose The Chilling Truth Behind Killings

Netflix 'American Murder': Chris Watts’ Prison Letters Expose The Chilling Truth Behind Killings

Since American Murder: The Family Next Door landed on Netflix last week, fans have become fixated on the chilling case behind the true crime documentary.

Telling the story of Chris Watts, an American man living in Frederick, Colorado, who murdered his pregnant wife and two young daughters, many have called it "one of the hardest things" they've ever watched.

For those not familiar with the story, Chris, 34, was married to Shannan, and the couple had two young children, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. When the couple's marriage hit a rocky patch, Shannan had spent some time away with her daughters to give the relationship some space. While she did come back home, a friend soon reported her missing to which Chris played the devastated husband act, looking sad on TV and appealing for witnesses to come forward.

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In a shock twist, it came to light that he was actually the killer, and had also been having an affair at the time of the murders. After pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, he received five life sentences in November 2018.

Chris Watts murdered his family (Credit: Netflix)
Chris Watts murdered his family (Credit: Netflix)

However while Chris had always maintained that he committed the murders in a fit of rage, letters that he sent to author Cheryln Cadle while in prison tell a very different story.

Published in her explosive book, Letters From Christoper, Watts described how he attempted to smother his daughters before strangling his pregnant wife at their home, but was initially unsuccessful in killing them - a fact he kept secret from police during the time of his interviews.

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In the letter, he tells Cadle that "August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said 'That's the last time I'm going to be tucking my babies in'".

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Cheryln Cadle's book details his killings
Cheryln Cadle's book details his killings
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Pretty damning stuff.

"August 13th, morning of, I went to the girls' room first, before Shanann and I had our argument. I went to Bella's room, then Cece's room and used a pillow from their bed (to kill them). That's why the cause of death was smothering. After I left Cece's room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued.

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Watts is now in prison without parole (Credit: Weld County Sheriffs Office)
Watts is now in prison without parole (Credit: Weld County Sheriffs Office)

"After Shanann had passed, Bella and Cece woke back up. I'm not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella's eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma. That made the act that much worse knowing I went to their rooms first and knowing I still took their lives at the location of the batteries."

Prior to the murders, he also admitted to how he had attempted to poison Shannan to make her have a miscarriage of their third child, saying he "thought it would be easier to be with Nichol if Shannan wasn't pregnant."

Nick and Shannan (Credit: Netflix)
Nick and Shannan (Credit: Netflix)
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Watts took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty after pleading guilty to the four murders. He will spend the rest of his life in prison and is currently being housed at Dodge Correctional Institution, Wisconsin.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: TV Entertaiment, TV News, Netflix

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Naomi Chadderton (FL)

Naomi is a freelance journalist working for Tyla. After graduating from The University of Nottingham, Naomi moved out to Dubai where she worked for Grazia Middle East and Harper's Bazaar Arabia. She is now back home and enjoying the London life.