Newly released doorbell footage shows a visibly pregnant Shanann Watts coming home from a business trip in the middle of the night shortly before her husband Chris murdered her.
The footage, obtained by Oxygen.com, shows Shanann walking from her Frederick, Colorado driveway as a car that presumably dropped her off backs out. She is wearing a shirt that says “Love” across the front and is carrying her phone and her purse in one hand and a piece of luggage in another as she approaches the door. The mother had just returned home from a business trip. It is 1:48 a.m. as she enters the home. The car that dropped her off appears to wait for her to get inside safely.
Sometime after Shanann walked through the door, possibly even within minutes, Chris had killed Shanann with his bare hands. He also murdered their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, also with his bare hands, though it's not clear if they were already dead when she arrived home. Afterwards, he dumped the bodies at an oil site owned by his employer. The children were stuffed into oil wells, submerged in crude oil, while Shanann and her unborn child were found in a shallow grave nearby.
Late last year, Chris Watts was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murders.
The case gripped the nation, 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.
Watts killed them all to seek a "fresh start,” District Attorney Michael Rourke said at his sentencing.
It appears that fresh start included co-worker Nichol Kessinger, who he'd been having an affair with in the weeks leading up to his family's murders. Court documents reveal that he was lying to both his wife and his mistress: telling Shanann that nothing was wrong while she desperately tried to fix their marriage, all while telling Kessinger that it was Shanann who had given up on their relationship.
Last week, attorneys representing Shanann's parents said that Watts would not be challenging the wrongful death suit they'd file against him.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen'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.