Convicted murderer Chris Watts wants to atone for killing his wife and children, according to two women who visit him regularly in prison and say he’s opened up to them about his brutal crimes.
Watts is currently serving life at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin for the August 2018 murders of his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and two young daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. While Shanann and her daughters were initially reported missing, Watts later confessed to killing Shanann during an argument and then strangling the two girls.
Now, nearly one year after his vicious act, Watts wishes he could “make up” for what he did, according to two women who claim to visit him in prison and who may be some of the many women who became admirers of Watts after his case gained media attention. The two women — described only as “friends” of Watts — were featured in HLN’s docu-series, “Lies, Crimes & Video,” where they recounted their conversations with the convicted killer, who they say claimed to be possessed by an “evil spirit” when he killed his family and who is now “truly remorseful” for what he did.
“Chris has said that he feels like there was an evil spirit that took over him, that he felt like somebody was physically taking his hand and making him strangle his wife and children,” said one friend of Watt’s, who was given the pseudonym “Anna” during her appearance in the series.
Anna told producers that she visits Watts behind bars every two to three weeks. Another friend, this one referred to only as “Kate” and whose face was hidden in darkness during her interview, claimed to have talked to Watts between seven or eight times since he’s been incarcerated.
“He’s truly sorry, he’s truly remorseful,” Kate said.
Although Watts initially pretended to be worried about the safety of his family when they were reported missing, he later changed his story to one that placed the blame on his wife, telling investigators he only strangled Shanann after she killed their children. He eventually confessed to all of the murders, telling investigators that he straddled Shanann in bed and strangled her after first telling her that he wanted to end their relationship, a conclusion he reportedly came to after engaging in an affair with a co-worker.
But now, even after killing his wife and trying to blame her for their daughters’ deaths, he speaks highly of his wife and their children, one friend reported during the HLN special.
“When Chris talks to me about Shannan, he talks to me about how great she was and how much he loved her,” Kate said. “He adored his wife and he adored his kids.”
Anna told a similar story, stating that Watts “wishes he could kiss them and hug them again and that they would have a normal life.”
Before he killed his family, Watts seemed to be an average husband and father, one who seemed like he “would die for them,” one friend of the family said last year.
In June, mere months before the family’s murder, Shannan posted a video on Facebook that shows Bella singing a song about her “hero” father, with lyrics like, “My daddy is a hero, he helps me grow up strong” and “My daddy, daddy, I love you.”
Kate referenced that video during HLN’s special, commenting, “He wants to be Bella’s hero again. He wants to make up for what he’s done.”
Anna also said that Watts wishes that he could see his daughters again.
“He tells me he wishes he could hear Bella and CeCe say, ‘I love you, daddy,’” she said.
Watts has previously expressed regret, with a lawyer who represents the victims’ family stating earlier this year that Watts claimed to be remorseful and to have “found God” after his conviction.
Gina Pace contributed to this report.
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