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Neighbor Recalls 'Really Odd' Encounter With Chris Watts Before He Killed Family

“You certainly don’t expect someone to react that way over a simple ‘hello,’” neighbor Vonda Knox said of her encounter with Chris Watts before he murdered his family.

By Jax Miller
Neighbor Recalls 'Really Odd' Encounter With Chris Watts

A neighbor recalled an “odd” encounter she had with Chris Watts for a new true-crime documentary about the family annihilator.

Chris Watts pleaded guilty to strangling his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, before suffocating their 4-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and disposing of all three bodies in 2018, and was ultimately sentenced to life in prison. Neighbor Vonda Knox participated in a Tubi two-hour special, “Suburban Nightmare: Chris Watts,” to discuss what it was like living next to the Watts family in Frederick, Colorado.

“I saw him on his porch and said, ‘Good Morning,’” Knox told Fox News Digital of their first and only encounter. “He turned around and looked at me like I had no business speaking to him. I thought it was really odd. It’s one thing if you’re shy, but he really gave me this look, like, ‘Why are you talking to me?’”

Vonda Knox recalled it was a Sunday morning, and she’d been sipping coffee while on her back porch.

“You certainly don’t expect someone to react that way over a simple ‘hello,’” Knox continued. “But no one could have possibly anticipated what happened next.”

Shanann and her daughters — Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3 — disappeared in August 2018 and, days later, the children’s bodies were discovered in oil storage tanks at Anadarko Petroleum, where Chris Watts was employed as an operator. Shanann’s body was located in a shallow grave nearby.

Shannan was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

“It was horrible,” Knox continued to Fox News. “I remember seeing Shanann a few times, and we just waved as neighbors. I would see the girls playing out in the backyard because my son’s backyard was just a stone’s throw away from their house. I didn’t move in until later, but I just remember them being so sweet. The little girls would always wave and say, ‘Hi, lady!’ I just remember them swinging and playing. They just looked very happy together.”

The murders shocked the nation — and those closest to the Watts — as the family had a seemingly picture-perfect life, seen in numerous photos and videos on social media. But investigators found that Shanann was desperately trying to save her marriage and Chris was having an extramarital affair.

Before the bodies were discovered at Anadarko Petroleum, Watts gave numerous interviews expressing concerns over his family’s disappearance.

Some didn't buy into Watts' appeals. 

“My son said that, if it were his family, he would have been looking everywhere, he would have been studying every second of any home cameras looking for any single clue — and I agree with him,” said Knox. “Chris just appeared uncomfortable. And even when he gave interviews on his porch, there was just a total lack of emotion. It was just offsetting. I think a lot of people saw that but couldn’t believe it. I can understand being in shock, but there has to be some emotion there, in losing your family.”

Watts later confessed to strangling his wife in their bed. After he wrapped her body in a sheet, he placed his dead wife and their daughters in his truck before driving to his place of work. At his work site, he smothered Celeste with her own blanket and dumped her in an oil tank. Then he suffocated Bella and put her in a separate oil tank.

“There were no signs,” said Knox. “I never saw or heard anything that would make me suspect what happened. But this was a real family and a real tragedy.”

Suburban Nightmare: Chris Watts” is currently streaming on Tubi.