Chris Watts, the Colorado father who killed his entire family with his bare hands, is a malignant narcissist and psychopath, according to an criminal expert.
“The hallmark is that they don’t feel remorse or empathy,” Candice DeLong, a former FBI criminal profiler and criminologist, said on Tuesday's episode of "Dr. Phil."
Watts was sentenced last month to life in prison without parole for each of the three August murders he ultimately confessed to: his wife Shanann, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste 3. He was also given 48 years for the life of the unborn child that Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant with. After strangling Shanann and smothering his daughters, he dumped them at an oil field owned by his employer. The nation was gripped with the case, not just because of how heinous it was but because of Watts’ glaring lies and his initial attempts to portray himself as a worried husband and father, concerned about his “missing” family.
“A narcissist actually thinks he can get away with it,” Dr. Phil McGraw noted in the episide. “And they get caught so easily because they don’t look at the other points of view.”
Various videos of Watts were played including a video of him sitting across from a Colorado state investigator days after his wife and two daughters went missing. He was asked to describe all the ways someone could make another person physically disappear. Then he giggled.
“He laughs and he smiles because at this point he still thinks he’s the smartest person in the room,” McGraw said.
Delong said it’s easy for these people to kill other people because they don’t “feel stress.”
She mentioned that often psychopath’s pulses don’t even increase, as an average person's would, when they lie.
“It’s a DNA thing,” she explained.
The narcissistic qualities Watts displayed explain why, as McGraw put it, he began “making really dumb mistakes really early.”
McGraw then played an interview with Watts conducted while his family was still considered missing. He pointed out that Watts didn’t “refer to his family in any kind of intimate way.”
McGraw called the technique “distancing,” and explained that Watts used pronouns like “they,” “them,” and “those kids.”
Watts only called them by their names once and he mentioned Bella in past tense as if she was already dead.
McGraw also noted that in the interview Watts was in a “closed-body position and he’s rocking back and forth in a self-soothing sort of way.”
Watts had his arms crossed during the interview. Watts also licked his lips often during that interview and McGraw theorized that it’s a psychological attempt to wipe away everything he was saying.
"When I saw that interview, I said, 'We're looking at a killer right here,'" McGraw said.
[Photo: Weld County District Attorney's Office]
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