Family killer's chilling words: 'She knew I was killing her'
Killer dad Chris Watts has revealed in a detailed prison letter the chilling and horrifying way he murdered his family.
Watts is serving a life sentence in the US for killing his wife and two daughters (including his unborn son, Nico) so that he could start a new life with his mistress, Nichol Kessinger.
He strangled his wife, Shannan, and daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, before burying Shannan and their unborn baby boy in a shallow grave on a remote oilfield that was owned by his employer at the time, Anadarko.
He then dumped the bodies of his two daughters in an oil tank.
A family friend reported Shanann - who was 15 weeks pregnant - and her daughters missing on Monday after the devoted mother missed a scheduled meeting.
Hours before allegedly confessing to the murders he gave a series of chilling TV interviews pleading for the trio's safe return.
He allegedly confessed to the crimes before leading investigators to a property owned by his former employer Anadarko Petroleum - one of the state's largest oil and gas drillers - where the bodies of Shanann, Bella and Celeste were found.
Watts accepted a deal of life in prison after confessing to the murders. He is now jailed in Wisconsin.
Watts' letter, obtained by the Daily Mail, lays out how the father of two, with a son on the way, smothered his daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, before strangling his pregnant wife Shanann at their home in Frederick, Colorado.
He claimed in the letter that he smothered the two girls first, using a pillow from their bed (to kill them) - but they woke up.
Watts told police he then killed his wife but when the two little girls woke, they moved to the bedroom and watched on as he began to wrap his wife in a bed sheet.
"That's why the cause of death was smothering. After I left Cece's room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued," Watts writes.
"After Shanann had passed, Bella and Cece woke back up. I'm not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella's eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma. That made the act that much worse knowing I went to their rooms first and knowing I still took their lives at the location of the batteries."
The letter was sent to Cheryln Cadle, an author behind the explosive new book Letters From Christopher that will be published on October 7.
Ms Cadle was communicating with Watts after he was jailed, with the letters and her one-on-one conversations forming part of her new book.
According to the letters, Watts had been plotting the murders for some time and it was not a spontaneous outburst as he previously claimed.
"August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said 'That's the last time I'm going to be tucking my babies in'.
"I knew what was going to happen the day before and I did nothing to stop it," he wrote.
The 34-year-old was having an affair with his co-worker Nichol Kessinger when the August 2018 murders unfolded. He wanted Shanann out of the picture so he could be with his mistress.
He confessed that he had slipped the potent painkiller Oxycodone to his wife in the hope of inducing a miscarriage, saying "I thought it would be easier to be with Nichol if Shanann wasn't pregnant."
Cadle, a 65-year-old grandmother from northern Illinois, wrote three times before Watts replied.
He had rejected hundreds of other interview offers before allowing Cadle to use his letters for her first book, Letters From Christopher: The Tragic Confessions of the Watts Family Murders.
According to the Daily Mail, he appeared to respond to Cadle's view that he could still make a difference in other people's lives and that his could be a "story of redemption".
Watt's agreed to move forward with the book on the basis Cadle would publish his "testimony of coming to God and the forgiveness he received".
"Let me just say, the crime was horrific, so I'm not writing you to tell you how wonderful you are or that I want to be pen pals," Cadle wrote in her first letter in February.
Over the last seven months, the Daily Mail reported Cadle has spoken to Watts about
three times a week on the phone with their most recent conversation taking place last week.
GRISLY DETAIL ON DEATHS
The letters further explained the moment he killed his wife and to his shock, how his daughters came walking into the room while he was wrapping Shanann after she had died from passing out.
"Isn't it weird how I look back and what I remember so much is her face getting all black with streaks of mascara?" Watts said.
"I knew if I took my hands off of her, she would still keep me from Nikki. They asked me why she couldn't fight back, it's because she couldn't fight back.."
Bella and Celeste came into the room asking what was wrong with their mother, to which Watts told them she wasn't feeling well.
"The girls were just kind of running around the house, and watching me with scared looks on their faces. Bella started to cry and when she did, Celeste started whimpering. What a nightmare this was," Watts told Cadle.
"I realize (sic) now the girls getting up and walking around may have been God's third attempt to stop what I was doing."
He said that his overwhelming feeling was being "so mad they were still alive".
It was at this point Watts drove his wife's body to a remote oilfield owned by his then-employer, Anadarko, with his daughters in the back seat of his truck.
He said the FBI asked if he was going to take his own life when they found shovels, a rake and a gas can - to which Watts told Cadle: " … I told them I thought about it but honestly no, I was not going to take my own life."
"I dumped Shanann on the ground, then I walked back to the truck and with the blanket that Celeste was holding, I put it over her head and smothered her."
According to the Daily Mail, Watts told Cadle he squeezed Celeste's body through an eight-inch hatch in one of the oil tankers and couldn't believe how easily it was to just let her drop through the hole.
"I heard the splash as she hit the oil."
He then gave a chilling recount on how he killed his eldest daughter Bella after the four-year-old witnessed him murder her younger sister.
"Out of all three, Bella is the only one that put up a fight. I will hear her soft little voice for the rest of my life, saying, 'Daddy, NO!!! She knew what I was doing to her. She may not have understood death, but she knew I was killing her."
He put the girls in the oil tanks so they wouldn't get up the second time and then continued with the burying of Shanann.
He dug a shallow grave where he dumped her body before detailing yet another gruesome account.
Watts admitted to killing his pregnant wife but initially claimed that Shanann had killed the girls because he had told her that he wanted to end their marriage.
Watts is currently serving life in prison without parole at a Wisconsin jail after pleading guilty to murdering Shanann, Bella, Celeste and Nico.
CREEPY DETAILS FROM KILLER DAD'S PRISON CELL
Watts admitted to investigators that every time he closes his eyes he hears Bella's voice saying those words, "Daddy, no!" before he suffocated her.
Eerily and inexplicably, Watts said he mourns his dead wife and daughters daily.
He has pictures of them in his prison cell and claimed he talks to them every morning and night.
Chillingly, he has a children's book in his cell, the same book he used to read to Celeste, and he said he reads the book to his daughters, along with some scripture, every night.
He said he also misses Shanann's cooking, mainly "spaghetti sauce and pizza".
FAMILY AND FRIENDS STRUGGLE
August 13 marked one year since the deaths of Shanann, her unborn baby Nico, Bella and Celeste and people from around the world have since flooded a Facebook group "In memory of Shanann, Bella, Celeste & Nico" with messages of love.
"As the sun rises here in Australia. The 13th of August 2019, one thing is on my mind, Shanann and her babies," one woman posted.
"They are always on my mind. Shanann, Bella, Celeste and Nico, a candle will be lit today for your lives that were taken way too soon."
"Frank, Frankie Jr and Sandra Rzucek (Shanann's brother and parents) you are in my heart always and today I will be praying for you."
"My heart breaks for this sweet sweet family!! All of their lives were taken too soon!" another added.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on MensLine on 1800 600 636.