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Here's What To Watch Next After Netflix's Harrowing True Crime Doc 'American Murder'

Here's What To Watch Next After Netflix's Harrowing True Crime Doc 'American Murder'

If, like us, you've been gripped by Netflix's harrowing documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, then you might want to delve into a number of other true crime programmes focusing on the case.

The chilling story of Chris Watts - who murdered his wife Shanann and two young daughters in cold blood - is the subject of several deep-dive shows, investigative docs and podcasts, many of which are available to watch on YouTube.

34-year-old Shanann Watts from Frederick, Colorado, appeared to vanish in 2018, along with her two daughters, four-year-old Bella, and three-year-old Celeste.

Chris Watts murdered his wife Shanann Watts and their two young daughters in 2018 (Credit: Netflix)
Chris Watts murdered his wife Shanann Watts and their two young daughters in 2018 (Credit: Netflix)
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Her disappearance was reported by a friend, who dropped Shannon off at her family home and raised the alarm when she didn't hear from her the following day.

Shanann was pregnant at the time, and the mysterious vanishing of two children and their expectant mother gripped America.

As the case came under the eye of the press, Watts made earnest camera appeals for his family's safe return, coming across as a shell-shocked husband and father.

In reality, he had killed Shanann by strangulation, which caused the death of their unborn son, Niko. Watts then smothered his daughters Bella and Celeste to death.

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He disposed of his daughters' bodies in oil tanks and buried his wife in a shallow grave at his place of work.

Watts initially maintained his innocence before pleading guilty in November 2018 (Credit: Netflix)
Watts initially maintained his innocence before pleading guilty in November 2018 (Credit: Netflix)

Watts eventually confessed to his crimes in November 2018 after failing a lie detector test. He went on to receive three consecutive life sentences.

The horrifying case is currently being made into a Lifetime Original Movie, announced at the end of 2019.

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But in the meantime, there's a lot of true crime material on the Chris Watts story which can be watched on YouTube.

For anyone wanting to dig a little further into the case, there's the [Chilling] Chris Watts Documentary.

'[Chilling] Chris Watts Documentary' is made up of footage obtained from phones and police cameras (Credit: Fame & Infamy / YouTube)
'[Chilling] Chris Watts Documentary' is made up of footage obtained from phones and police cameras (Credit: Fame & Infamy / YouTube)

Available to watch on Fame & Infamy's channel via YouTube, this 90-minute true crime doc is made almost entirely of real-time footage obtained from phones and police video cameras.

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'American Murder': The House Where Chris Watts Murdered His Wife Hasn't Sold After Two Years
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The sequence where Shanann chats to camera about how she met Chris on Facebook, and calls him the "best thing that ever happened to her" is especially chilling.

True crime obsessives can also check out the Shanann Watts Documentary from Social Evil TV.

Docuseries 'Shanann Watts Documentary' draws on extensive case materials and news footage (Credit: Social Evil TV / YouTube)
Docuseries 'Shanann Watts Documentary' draws on extensive case materials and news footage (Credit: Social Evil TV / YouTube)

The episodic docuseries, called Heaven Has Butterflies, opens with news footage of Chris Watt's first hearing after murdering his wife and children.

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Episode one, available on YouTube, is called The Caterpillar and the Spider.

'Heaven Has Butterflies' gives a voice to Watts' victims (Credit: Social Evil TV / YouTube)
'Heaven Has Butterflies' gives a voice to Watts' victims (Credit: Social Evil TV / YouTube)

More of a podcast person? Morbid Fascination: The Chris Watts Case is an hour-long podcast available to listen to via Scribe Light's channel on YouTube.

Diving into the Watts investigation, the podcast hears from Watts' family and their reaction to his crimes, as well as his triple life sentence, which means he is not eligible for parole.

Topics: TV and Film, True Crime, American Murder: The Family Next Door, TV Entertainment, Netflix

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Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.