Chris Watts gets to keep photos of wife and two daughters after prison officials deny petition to remove them from jail cell
An online petition seeking to take down photos of Chris Watts' pregnant wife and two daughters from his jail cell after he murdered them with his bare hands was struck down by prison officials, who said there was "no legal basis" to remove the items.
In a statement released by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, authorities said prison officials have "no legal basis for removing the photographs from Christopher Watts" after he was transferred to Wisconsin late last year over concerns for his safety.
The photos, however tasteless, do not technically break the rules, People reports.
“Incarcerated inmates are permitted to possess certain identified items of property, including photographs,” the statement said. “Some photographs are not allowed, such as those depicting gang signs, colors, or insignias or photographs that include nudity.”
The online petition, posted on Change.org, garnered nearly 16,000 signatures seeking for the images to be removed. “We, the public and taxpayers, demand that any pictures of Watts' murder victims are confiscated and that he does not receive favorable treatment due to the publicity of his criminal case,” the petition states.
Watts was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison without the possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to taking the lives of his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, last year. The disturbing case made national headlines for a long time after Watts initially portrayed himself as a worried husband and father concerned about his "missing family" before the gory details emerged.
In February this year, the cold-blooded killer sat down for a five-hour long interrogation with officials from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Frederick Police Department, and the FBI. During the conversation, Chris revealed disturbing details about how he killed his wife and two daughters - shortly after having sex with Shannan.
The 34-year-old then transported her body to an oil field while being accompanied by his two daughters. He then smothered them to death before eventually disposing of their bodies in oil tanks present at the site.