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Netflix's Chris Watts documentary left out five major facts about the killer and his family

Dominic Smithers

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Netflix's Chris Watts documentary left out five major facts about the killer and his family

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

A few of years ago, Netflix released its harrowing documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, telling the grim story of Chris Watts, who murdered his wife and children in August 2018.

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At the time, Watts claimed to have no knowledge of what happened to Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant with their third child, and their two young daughters, Bella, four, and Celeste, three.

A state-wide search was immediately launched, with friends and family desperately looking for answers.

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However, his story quickly unravelled and he eventually pleaded guilty to the three brutal murders.

Following his conviction, he received five life sentences plus a further 48 years for unlawful termination of Shanann's pregnancy and 36 years for 'tampering' with their bodies.

But while the doc exposed Watts' lies and the devastating consequences his actions had on his family, there are a few things it didn't include.

Chris Watts murdered his entire family. Credit: Netflix
Chris Watts murdered his entire family. Credit: Netflix
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Family tensions

According to reports, Shanann had a difficult relationship with her husband's family.

Watts claimed that she never got on well with his mum and dad, who didn't even come to their wedding.

Text messages released by Weld County District Attorney seemed to suggest that Shanann felt Watts' mother, Cindy, had put their daughter Celeste's life at risk by giving her ice cream that contained peanuts.

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“You should call your dad and tell him you did not appreciate your mom putting your daughter at risk today,” she said in one message to her husband.

“She’s evil and willing to risk your daughter’s life just to get under my skin. You and your dad are no different if you are ok with her behavior. There’s nothing wrong with me and l’m not crazy. I just love my kids way too much.”

Cindy later actually admitted that they had a 'hard relationship', telling ABC11: "I couldn't do anything right."

Watts claimed he had nothing to do with his family's disappearance. Credit: Netflix
Watts claimed he had nothing to do with his family's disappearance. Credit: Netflix
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Wedding plans

The documentary obviously delves into Watts' affair with Nichol Kessinger, however, it doesn't quite explain how serious they were.

And far from being a flash in the pan, the two seemed to be planning a long term future together.

Documents obtained by People magazine showed that Kessinger had been searching for wedding dresses on Google for 'over two hours' on 4 August 2018.

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She also searched topics related to ‘marrying your mistress'

Kessinger later told the Denver Post that she was under the false impression that Watts was getting a divorce.

Watts and Kessinger. Credit: Netflix
Watts and Kessinger. Credit: Netflix

Secret prison visitor

Another piece of information left out of the doc was that Watts was regularly being visited by a woman while in prison.

According to a 'Inmate Visitation History' document from 6 January, 2020, Anna Nowak was one of the killer's approved visitors at Wisonsin's Dodge Correctional Institution.

She used to go and see Watts almost every week, and in April 2019 was refused entry due to having used up her maximum visits.

Further infidelity

The fourth missing detail is that Watts had previously cheated on his wife, with Kessinger not being his first affair.

OK! magazine reported that the murderer had previously had a one night stand with an Amanda McMahon, whom he'd met on Tinder.

Shanann was reportedly trying to save their marriage before she was killed. Credit: Netflix
Shanann was reportedly trying to save their marriage before she was killed. Credit: Netflix

Male escort Trent Bolte also claimed to have been seeing Watts for 10 months in 2018.

However, Watts later told the police: "I’ve never been with a guy."

Rescuing the marriage

In a bid to save their relationship, Shanann had reportedly planned a weekend away for them both, and had also been looking for couples counsellors near where they lived.

A text message obtained by People showed Shanann urging Watts to stop 'living the bachelor life', insisting that they 'need to talk'.

Topics: Netflix, True Crime, US News

Dominic Smithers
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