Back in 2012, Chris Watts conducted a class presentation about "relationship deterioration," a talk that has since taken on an eerie subtext as he now stands accused of killing his wife and children.
Earlier this week, Watts, 33, was charged with the murder of his pregnant wife, Shanann, 34, and their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. Police said Chris told them he caught his wife killing their children after revealing that he was having an affair and wanted to separate.
He claimed he killed Shanann in a fit of rage before hiding all their bodies on an oil field site.
Years before any of their children were ever born, Watts posted a video on YouTube as part of a class project for Central Piedmont Community College, a college in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is his only uploaded video to the site.
Its title: “Communication Speech, Relationship Deterioration and Repair.”
"The first phase of deterioration is interpersonal dissatisfaction, which is when you become unhappy with all the everyday interactions with you and your partner," Watts says in the video. "You also begin to see your future with your partner as a negative future.”
Watts is often seen rocking back and forth on his feet during the presentation, recorded in a kitchen.
The words “Live, Laugh, Love” are framed upon the wall behind him. Watts, six years younger in the video, appears noticably heavier than he is now.
In the presentation, Watts divides breakups into two categories: “sudden" and "gradual."
"Sudden would be an example of infidelity but somebody is not faithful to their partner," Watts says. "The partners realize that it cannot be sustained. Gradual would be if you met somebody at work or a new friendship has occurred and as it goes on you see that, OK, maybe this relationship has more potential than the relationship on behalf of my partner and that will gradually push the old relationship out and push new relationship in."
According to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com, Chris was having an affair with someone that he had met at work.
When a relationship ends, Watts says in the footage, "it's generally the more attractive one that leaves, which I agree with somewhat."
He also mused that couples often stay together only because they have children.
In the clip, Watts said he was recording from Broomfield, Colorado, where he and his wife lived before moving to Frederick, according to 2015 bankruptcy documents. The couple had ties to North Carolina, where Shanann had previously lived, according to WSOC-TV in Charlotte.
They reportedly married in the state in 2012.
Watts' case has captivated and infuriated people across the country. Before Watts' arrest, he made several now-infamous media appearances in which he pleaded emotionally for his family's safe return.
In an interview with Today, Watts claimed he had last seen his wife early Monday morning, when she was arriving home from a business trip. He claimed he saw his girls asleep on a baby monitor.
The family’s social media footprint tragically painted an ostensibly perfect picture of their home life.
[Photo: Colorado Bureau of Investigation]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.