Chris Watts ordered to pay $6 million to Shanann Watts' parents who 'have lost nearly all trust in people and humanity'

Chris Watts ordered to pay $6 million to Shanann Watts' parents who 'have lost nearly all trust in people and humanity'
Christopher Watts (Source: Getty Images)

Chris Watts has agreed to pay $6 million to the parents of his pregnant wife Shanann, who he killed at their Frederick, Colorado, home on August 13, 2018, along with their two young daughters, four-year-old Bella, and three-year-old Celeste.

Frank and Sandy Rzucek had filed a civil lawsuit against the 34-year-old on November 6 last year, the same day he pleaded guilty to multiple counts of first-degree murder, unlawful termination of his wife's pregnancy, and tampering with a deceased body.

The $6 million figure they were awarded this past week includes $1 million for each of Shanann's, Bella's and Celeste's deaths, as well as a further $3 million for emotional pain; the owed amount and will grow at an eight percent annual interest rate.

Court documents obtained by the Denver Post that were filed in connection to the case state that "the Rzucek family has not been the same since August 13, 2018" and have suffered from "anger, loneliness, sadness, and depression."

It also details the devastation and trauma the family has to contend with, stating that Frank and Sandy were "unable to work, leave the house, or even eat" after they learned about their daughter's and granddaughters' murders.

"As Sandy Rzucek puts it, she feels like she dies every day and is always missing and crying for her precious family," it states. "Even to this day, it is hard for the Rzucek family to get out of bed, they cry all the time, every day and every night."

"Sandy Rzucek has described the experience of losing her daughter and granddaughters as being adrift in a lifeboat, surrounded by water and without a port in sight," it continues. "The detailed discovering of how Defendant ended his wife and children’s lives was, in Sandy’s words, like having the lifeboat removed and sinking into the ocean."

It also says Frank Rzucek has not been able to work and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and that the couple has had to endure attacks and death threats from people online who peddle conspiracy theories that Shanann killed the girls despite Watts' confession that he was responsible.


"Between Defendant and the people attacking the Rzucek family, they have lost nearly all trust in people and humanity," it states.

While the Rzuceks have not commented on the judge's ruling and will likely never see any of the money, their attorney Steven Lambert had previously said they had filed the lawsuit to collect any money Watts may have left and to keep him from profiting off the murders. 

Watts is currently serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.


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 Chris Watts ordered pay 6 million parents Shanann Watts suffered anger loneliness sadness murders