Chris Watts' brutal killing of Shanann and his daughters still haunt investigators and first responders, new documentary reveals

Chris Watts' brutal killing of Shanann and his daughters still haunt investigators and first responders, new documentary reveals

The shocking Colorado murders of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste Watts at the hands of father and husband Chris Watts still continues to haunt the investigators and first responders who were integral to the investigation.

34-year-old Watts strangled his pregnant wife Shanann in the family home and then smothered his daughters in the back of his truck before he dumped all three bodies in a remote oil field. While Shannan was dumped into a shallow grave, he dropped his daughters' bodies into the crude oil sludge making the recovery of their remains even more traumatic and difficult.

Mirror Online reported that a new documentary explores the horrific murders that took place behind the face of a happy marriage, gorgeous home, and a growing family. A prosecutor involved with the case said that it was so traumatic for everyone involved that they are still struggling to come to terms with it 10 months later. 


A snapshot of the Watts family in happier times

The prosecutor also said that they will "never be the same".  Steve Wrenn, the Deputy District Attorney for Weld County in Colorado, told Fox News: "Police officers, first responders, prosecutors, defense attorneys - we operate in a world where we see bad people do bad things on a somewhat daily basis."

"This took it to a level that I don’t think a lot of people are still able to get their heads around it. It’s impacted the way we go about our daily lives and how we interact with our families, how we are able to do our jobs sometimes.”

He added: “The first responders that had to remove the children from the oil tanks - they’ll never be the same. Some of the investigators I know had struggled to return to their jobs and go about investigations the same way.”


Watts reacting when a cop views a neighbors CCTV footage (Source: Frederick Police Department)

Wrenn then said that it was the kind of crime that could only be done by a sociopath. A one-hour Investigation Discovery (ID) documentary titled "Family Man, Family Murder: An ID Murder Mystery" will premiere on Sunday, June 2, night. It reportedly contains all new details from the investigation after Watts recently made his jailhouse confession. 

It also contains body camera footage from the authorities and interviews with people who were close to the case. Watts was sentenced to life behind bars with no chance of parole after he pleaded guilty to murder and other charges as part of a plea deal in order to avoid the death penalty.


MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that he gets to go out of his cell for one hour a day just to exercise and shower. Though Watts currently faces a 23-hour lockdown, there is a chance he will be able to challenge his case under a specific law known as Rule 35c.

Watts in prison (Source: Frederick Police Department)

In the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 35c provides the defendant with a chance to challenge his/her conviction and sentence. The 35c challenge is a little different than an appeal, so the defendant can ask questions about his conviction even if he pleaded guilty. If Watts decides to challenge his case under Rule 35c, he must prove either that there is new evidence or that his conviction was unconstitutional. 


It was previously reported how Watts was looking at legal options to appeal against his conviction.  "He understands that this would be a Hail Mary," a source said. "He’s smart enough to realize that it’s unlikely to ever change anything, but he’s sitting in prison with nothing but time. It’s sinking into him that he could be in that same cell for 50 years. And now he’s trying to decide whether there are any legal remedies for him."

"Family Man, Family Murderer: An ID Murder Mystery" premieres Sunday, June 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Investigation Discovery.

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