Family Crimes

'Our Marriage Is Crumbling In Front Of Us': Desperate Texts Between Shanann And Chris Watts Revealed

"lf you are done, don’t love me, don’t want to work this out, not happy anymore and only staying because of kids, I NEED you to tell me," Shanann Watts pleaded with her husband.

Shanann Watts sent her husband Chris numerous pleading texts about their “crumbling” marriage in the weeks before he brutally murdered her and their two daughters, records show. 

Chris Watts was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole for each of the three murders he confessed to committing back in August: wife Shanann, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste 3. The three sentences will run consecutively. He was also given 48 years for the life of the unborn child that Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant with.

In the days after the sentencing, the Weld County District Attorney released approximately 2,000 pages worth of documents detailing the case, including text messages between the couple which portray a marriage in trouble.

On July 10, Shanann texted Chris, according to the documents cited by CNN: "You OK? It's like you don't want to talk l kept trying to talk and I had to dig it out of you?"

Chris responded: "l'm fine baby. The last few days at work have put a lot of responsibility on me with new people. I didn't mean to seem short Boo. I love you to the moon and back."

Within the same text conversation, Shanann added: "l wish my husband wanted to talk to me."

Many of the text exchanges were sent while Shanann and their children were in North Carolina for more than five weeks over the sumer while Chris stayed home in Colorado - during which time he was pursuing an extramarital affair.

"l realized (during) this trip what's missing in our relationship! lt's only one way emotions and feelings. I can't come back like this," Shanann texted him on July 24. "I need you to meet me halfway. You don't consider others at all, nor think about others feelings."

"l try to give you space, but while you are working and living the bachelor life l'm carrying our 3rd and fighting with our two kids daily and trying to work and make money. lt's not hard texting love you and miss you. lf you don't mean it then I get it, but we need to talk. I kept looking at my phone all night and no response from you. Like seriously! We didn't just start dating yesterday! We've been together 8 years and have 2.5 kids together," she wrote in a subsequent message that day.

On Aug. 5, roughly a week before the murders, Shanann texted her husband, according to the documents cited by KCNC-TV in Denver: “Being away from you, it’s not the help I missed because I handle that. lt was exhausting, but with school that’s not hard. I missed the smell of you, you touching me when l’m cooking, you touching me in bed, you touching me period! I missed holding you and snuggling with you. I missed eating with you, watching tv with you. I missed staring at you, I missed making love with you. I missed everything about you. I couldn’t wait to touch you, hold you, kiss you, make love to you, smell you, laugh with you. I couldn’t wait to celebrate 8 years with you… lf you are done, don’t love me, don’t want to work this out, not happy anymore and only staying because of kids, I NEED you to tell me.”

That same day, at 11 p.m. at night, she texted Chris, “l just don’t get it. You don’t fall out of love in 5 weeks.”

Minutes later she texted him again, “How can you sleep? Our marriage is crumbling in front of us and you can sleep.”

On Aug. 6, while Shanann was still in North Carolina, things became even more pointed, specifically about her pregnancy.

"Your only response last night was 'l don't want to lose the kids!' Shanann wrote. 'You used me to just have a 'boy!' Only reason you wanted another kid?! I can't handle this and you are ok with it. Why didn't you just tell me you were done?l? Why get me pregnant?!?"

Chris responded: "l'm not just staying because of the kids. They are my light and that will not change. I didn't fall out of love in 5 weeks, that's impossible. I don't want to erase 8 years just like that. l'm not sure what's in my head."

The next day, Shanann returned to Colorado and texted a friend and said, "He has changed. I don't know who he is."

On Aug. 8, Shanann sent Chris a heartbreaking text, writing "I don't know how you fell out of love with me in 5.5 weeks, or if this has been going on for a long time, but you don't plan another baby if you're not in love."

The recently released documents also revealed that Shanann canceled a gender-reveal party for her unborn child.

"Chris said we are not compatible anymore," Shanann texted a friend according to the documents cited by CNN. "He refused to hug me. Said he thought another baby would fix his feelings. Said, he refused couples counseling!"

When that friend asked Shanann what changed in just six weeks time, she responded, "he said he had a lot of time to think."

Last week, during Chris Watts’ sentencing, prosecutor Michael Rourke said of the husband-turned-convicted murderer: “Why did this have to happen? [Watts]' motive was simple, your honor. He had a desire for a fresh start.”

Rourke spoke about how, while Shanaan was trying to save their marriage, Watts was shopping for jewelry and looking for vacation spots for his new girlfriend.

[Photo: Associated Press]

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.

All Posts About:
Chris Watts Family Crimes Breaking News

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet