Does Chris Watts docufilm 'American Murder' feature a ghost? Fans think it's his daughter's spirit
A YouTube video posted by a man named Arthur Cant has reportedly called attention to this supposed ghost, who appears on police body-cam footage
Netflix's documentary 'American Murder: The Family Next Door' has become a hit with the viewers ever since it premiered last month on September 30. The film, directed by Jenny Popplewell, which details the gruesome murders executed by Chris Watts of his wife and two daughters, has also consistently ranked among the streaming service’s Top 10 most-watched programs. Some viewers, however, have begun pointing out certain parts of the original clips used in the film, claiming they have discovered a ghost inside.
Chris Watts, a 33-year-old Colorado oil worker, killed his wife, Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, along with his two daughters Belle and Celeste, aged three and four, on August 13, 2018. Chris, who had initially reported them missing and had made a public plea for their return, was arrested after he admitted to killing them.
It was later discovered that Chris was having an affair with a fellow co-worker at the oil company. He dumped the bodies of his children in two oil tankers, where he worked. The bodies were found four days later. Shanann's body was recovered from a shallow grave near the tankers.
A YouTube video posted by a man named Arthur Cant has reportedly called attention to this supposed ghost, who appears on police body-cam footage filmed after Shannan’s initial disappearance. As officers look around the house, asking Watts and others about the whereabouts of Shanann, a figure of a small girl can be seen in a back room. Cant, in the video, wrote: "You can clearly see a little girl," suggesting that the phantom could be one of Watts' slain daughters.
Others, in the comments section of the video, also noted the light in the room directly across from Watts turns off by itself at the half-minute mark, right before the girl is first seen in the background. While another commentator added: "That was wild." There were others, however, who contradicted the ghost theory and claimed that the girl in the background was possibly the daughter of Watts family friend, Nickole Atkinson, who is also seen in the clip. Atkinson was the one who first alerted the authorities of Shanann's disappearance. "The child is definitely Nickole’s daughter,” one commentator wrote. “There’s police video of her daughter with [Nickole] outside of the house when [Chris Watts] pulls up to the house with his truck. You can see [her] daughter and her clothes and hair match perfectly with the little girl upstairs."
The director, in the documentary, has used multiple social media videos filmed by Shanann herself along with footage taken from other publicly available sources. While talking to Yahoo Entertainment about the film, Popplewell said: "I went straight to Shanann’s Facebook page, and she’s still alive on there and feels like everybody else, you know? I decided that rather than our film telling people what to think, we could just show them."
Watts had initially attempted to pin the murders of her children on his wife when he first confessed to murdering Shanann. However, he has since pleaded guilty to killing his daughters and wife. Watts was formally charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. However, he later entered a guilty plea in exchange for five life sentences without parole.