Chris Watts Now: His Prison Life After Committing Family Murders

Tragic betrayal unveils a dark motive behind family murders.

by Nouman Rasool
Chris Watts Now: His Prison Life After Committing Family Murders
© RJ Sangosti - Pool/Getty Images

Chris Watts has been at the center of one of the most gut-wrenching criminal stories in America, nearly six years after the ghastly murder of his pregnant wife, Shanann, and his two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, in Frederick, Colorado.

What had been an ideal family life turned tragic for Watts when it degenerated into a dark episode of family homicide that still hooked and disgusted the public. The mother and children disappeared in August 2018, and it set off an extensive search for them across the country, until their husband and father, Watts, admitted to killing them.

Watts had earlier been pleading with the media over the safe return of his family, appearing as a concerned husband, but his story would fall apart at the police station, where he admitted to having done away with Shanann and that she had already killed the two daughters—an accusation that was quickly dismissed by the police.

Watts' Life Sentence

He was handed a life sentence with no chance of parole in November 2018, following a guilty plea, which saved his life from capital punishment. The confession and subsequent conviction were not only media-frenzied but also dived into his personal life further, revealing an extramarital affair that prosecutors claimed was the killer's motive for the murders.

Transferred for security concerns, Watts has been at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin since December 2018. At Dodge, life for Watts includes a strict routine within the general population, contrasting sharply with the freedoms of the outside world he relinquished.

His daily life in prison is marked by the mundane tasks of a custodian, his current occupation behind bars. Despite his life sentence, Watts has encountered issues within the prison system, including disciplinary actions for unauthorized communication and possession of contraband.

Perhaps the most macabre aspect of Watts' incarceration is his possession of photographs of Shanann and their daughters in his cell—a fact that has incited public outrage and led to petitions demanding their removal, though legally, inmates retain the right to possess certain personal items, including photographs.

Watts' story has not faded from public or media attention, spurred on by documentaries and specials that probe the layers of deceit that led to such a tragic outcome. As Watts approaches another year in prison, his case remains a somber reminder of the depths of personal betrayal and the enduring quest for justice by the victims' families.