Chris Watts

American murdered Chris Watts was found guilty of killing his pregnant wife and two daughter and was charged with several first-degree murders. He was initially working with a petroleum company but faced financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy. 

Chris Watts’ Overview

  • Birth Name: Christopher Lee Watts
  • Age: 37
  • Birth Date: May 16, 1985
  • Birth Place: Spring Lake, North Carolina, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Chemical Engineer
  • Net Worth: $255,000 USD
  • Father: Not known
  • Mother: Not known
  • Siblings: Not known
  • Spouse: Shanann Watts
  • Children: Celeste Watts and Bella Watts

Personality Overview

  • Height: 5 ft 11 in
  • Weight: 72 kg
  • Hair Color: Salt & Pepper
  • Eye Color: Black

His Favorites

  • Actor: Not known
  • Actress: Not known
  • Color: Blue
  • Place: Paris
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Hobbies: Playing Musical Instruments

Read also: Ted Bundy, The American Serial Killer of 1970s

Early Life, Education and Family (Parents and Siblings)

  • Born on May 16, 1985, Chris Watts was raised in Oklahoma town of US.
  • The name of his parents and siblings is not known. 
  • Chris studied at one of the local high schools of the town, however, the name of the college he attended is not known till date. 

Personal Life

  • Chris Watts met Shanann Rzucek in 2010, both of them were from North Carolina. Chris was particularly from Spring Lake while Shanann was from Aberdeen. 
  • The couple started dating each other and got married in November 2012 in Mecklenburg County. 
  • The couple became parents to their first daughter in 2013. 
  • Their second daughter was born in 2015.
  • They were to become parents to their first son and third child named Nico when he killed his wife and children.  


  • Chris Watts lived with his family in a lavish mansion in Frederick, Colorado which he purchased in 2013. 
  • However, he was declared bankrupt in 2015. 

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Disappearance of his wife 

  • Shanann was returning from a business trip with colleagues and friends on August 13, 2018 was driven home while her husband and daughters were already there.
  • On the same day, Shanann and the two daughters were reported missing by her colleague Nickole Atkinson after he found that Shanann missed her appointment and didn’t reply to her messages. 
  • Nickole went to her home after she missed a business meeting and rang the doorbell several times but remained unanswered. 
  • He reported to the Frederick Police Department after he saw Christopher at work. 
  • The police conducted a welfare check in the house after getting permission from Chris, however, they only found Shanann’s purse with mobile phone and car keys and the wedding ring on the bedside table. 
  • On the next day, the FBI and CBI investigated the missing trio.
  • Chris told them that he had not seen them since the early morning the previous day and also pleaded for their return outside his house. 

Arrest of Chris Watts

  • On August 15, 2018, Christopher was arrested after he failed the polygraph test and afterwards confessed murdering them. 
  • As per the affidavit, he was having an extramarital affair and he wanted a separation from his wife. 
  • Christopher claimed Shanann strangled the daughters in response to his separation request and then he strangled her in rage. 
  • He then transported the bodies to the oil storage. 
  • Christopher was fired from that oil company on August 15 after he was arrested. 
  • The investigation department found the three bodies on the Anadarko Petroleum Site. 
  • Shanann’s body was buried in a shallow grave while the bodies of the girls were found in the crude oil tank. 

Murder Charges

  • On August 21, Chris Watts was charged with three first degree murder charges and an additional charge for murdering the child who is under 12.
  • He was also charged for the unlawful termination of the pregnancy and three charges for tampering with the deceased human body. 
  • In his first appearance in the court, he was denied bail. 
  • In another hearing, his bail was set at an amount of $5 Million and he was required to pay at least 15% of it to be released. 

Plea and Sentencing

  • On November 6, Christopher was found guilty of the murders. 
  • On the request of the Shanann’s family, he was not given the death penalty. 
  • Then on November 19, he was given five life sentences without the possibility of  parole. 
  • He also got the additional 48 years and 36 years sentence for unlawful pregnancy termination and tampering the deceased body respectively. 
  • In December, 2018, he was shifted to some out-of-state location due to the related security concerns. 

Read also: Leslie Van Houten, Murderer from The Manson Family

Net Worth

His estimated net worth is around $255,000 USD. 

Visual Adaptation of the Incident

  • In December 2019, Oxygen released a documentary episode on this incident on the TV show Criminal Confessions. 
  • In January 2020, Lifetime released the movie Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer as a part of the series Ripped from the Headlines. In the movie, Chris Watts was portrayed by Sean Kleier. 
  • On September 30, 2020, American Murder: The Family Next Door was released b y Netflix. 

Reference Link

Chris Watts- FAQs

Why did Chris Watts kill his family?

Chris Watts killed his wife in rage since he wanted  separation from her and when he demanded it, his wife strangled the daughters to death. 

How did Chris kill his family?

He only strangled his wife Shanann to death and buried her body in a shallow grave in the Anadarko Petroleum Site. 

Who is Chris Watts?

Chris Watts is an American native who was working with the oil company but later strangled his wife to death and so was charged with the first degree murder. 

Where is Chris Watts now?

He is kept in maximum security in the Dodge Correctional Institute in Wisconsin.

Why did Chris Watts do it?

He did it since he wanted a separation from his wife.