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'They'll Never Be The Same': How Chris Watts' Brutal Murder Of Wife And Kids Still Haunts Investigators
“The ripple of one crime like this has been phenomenal. ... Some of the investigators I know had struggled to return to their jobs and go about investigations the same way," Steve Wrenn, the Deputy District Attorney for Weld County said.
The slaughter of a Colorado family, committed by a man who is now infamous for his brutality and lies, still haunts those who investigated it, according to a new documentary.
Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste in August 2018. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The nation became obsessed with the case, not just because of the shocking details but also because Watts initially portrayed himself as a worried husband and father concerned about his then-missing family. He also, once he was arrested for the crime, claimed he killed his wife only after she murdered their children. He later admitted to killing all of them.
Further disgust and outrage followed when authorities released additional disturbing details based on subsequent interviews conducted with Watts. He explained how he had sex with Shanann shortly before strangling her to death. He detailed how she didn’t fight back and thought she may even have been praying while he choked the life out of her. He then transported her body with his two daughters, still alive, to an oil field where he then callously smothered them to death before disposing of their bodies.
A new documentary on Investigation Discovery entitled “Family Man, Family Murderer: An ID Murder Mystery,” which is slated to air June 2, will reportedly outline the crime and its ripple effects, including how it affected investigators.
“The ripple of one crime like this has been phenomenal,” Steve Wrenn, the Deputy District Attorney for Weld County told Fox News. “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.”
Wrenn will be featured in the documentary.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Wren said that Watts' initial lies, including that Shanann killed the girls, made things worse.
“His denials and the arrogance contained within those denials — I don’t know if I’ve ever been more frustrated in my life watching something take place.”
During his confession to investigators, Watts said his affair with coworker Nichol Kessinger made him realize he didn’t want to be with his wife anymore.
To hear from the lead investigators at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation who helped put Watts behind bars, watch the season premiere of "Criminal Confessions," airing Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6pm ET/PT on Oxygen.