Shannan Watts Bio
Shannan Cathryn Watts was born on January 10, 1984. On Aug 13 2018 she was killed by her husband Chris Watts with her two little daughters,
Shannan Watts Age
She was 34 years old.
Shannan Watts Parents
She was born to Frank and Sandra Rzucek, Shanann’s parents, ahead of this evening’s interview.
Shanann Watts’ parents and brother have reacted with shock and disgust to Chris Watts’ finally confessing to how he murdered her and their three children.
In an interview with Dr. Phil, Sandra and Frank Rzucek were joined by their son to share their grief over the deaths of their daughter, her two children Bella and Cece, and her unborn son.
Shannan Watts Background
Christopher Lee Watts and Shanann Cathryn Watts (née Rzucek) were natives of Spring Lake and Aberdeen, North Carolina, respectively; they were married in Mecklenburg County, on November 3, 2012, according to online records. They met in 2010 and Shanann was previously married and went by the name Shanann King. They had two daughters: Bella Marie Watts (born December 17, 2013) and Celeste Cathryn “Cece” Watts (born July 17, 2015). The family lived in a five-bedroom home in Frederick, Colorado, purchased in 2013; the couple declared bankruptcy in 2015. Chris Watts was employed by Anadarko Petroleum, while Shanann was an independent representative for the multi-level marketing company Le-vel, selling a product called Thrive. At the time of her death, she was fifteen weeks pregnant with a baby which they planned to name Niko Lee Watts. Shanann’s due date was January 31, 2019.
Shannan Watts Disappearance
Shannan Watts’ Mother Reveals How She’s Coping After Her Daughter’s Murderhttps://t.co/DnQftHf0Ts
— People (@people) December 8, 2018
Shanann returned home from a business trip to Arizona, about 1:48 a.m. on August 13, 2018, having received a ride from friend and colleague Nickole Utoft Atkinson. Chris was home with the children. Later that day, Shanann and the two children were reported missing by Atkinson, who had become concerned when Shanann missed a scheduled OB-GYN appointment and failed to return text messages. After Shanann missed a business meeting, Atkinson went to the Watts’ home at approximately 12:10 p.m. When the doorbell and knocks went unanswered, Atkinson notified Chris and called the Frederick Police Department. Officers arrived to conduct a welfare check at about 1:40 p.m. Chris, who had arrived home from work, talked with the officers and discussed ways to locate his missing family. During the welfare check, Chris gave the police permission to search the house, which was empty. The searchers discovered Shanann’s purse, phone, wedding ring, and keys inside; her car and the children’s car seats were also at the house.
The FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation joined the investigation the next day, August 14. Chris gave an interview to Denver station KMGH-TV outside his house pleading for his family’s return. Investigators with cadaver and search dogs could be heard on the property during the interview.
Chris Watts Arrest and charges
Knowing that Shannan Watts had Lupus makes that whole thing even more heartbreaking and terrifying bc that so easily could have been me. We had a “perfect life” and no one knew we were having issues, I was sick and he was there for me but eventually he grew resentful. I can only
— H E A T H E R (@PurpleTurtles33) August 5, 2019
Watts was arrested late on August 15, 2018. According to the arrest affidavit, Watts failed a polygraph test and subsequently confessed to murdering Shanann. Watts asked to speak to his father before making the confession. According to the affidavit, Watts was having an affair and claimed to have asked for a separation from his wife but lied about it to begin with. During the investigation, Watts claimed Shanann had strangled the children in response to his request for separation, and in a fit of rage, he strangled her and then transported the three bodies to a remote oil-storage site where he worked.
The bodies of Watts’ family were located by the authorities on the property of Watts’ former employer, Anadarko Petroleum, on August 16. Watts had been fired from his job on August 15, the day of his arrest. The children’s bodies were found, hidden in the oil tanks. Shanann was buried in a shallow grave nearby.
On August 21, Watts was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, including an additional one count per child cited as “death of a child who had not yet attained 12 years of age and the defendant was in a position of trust”; unlawful termination of a pregnancy; and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
The case has been connected in the media to the crime of family annihilation. Many of these crimes occur in August, before school starts, which may delay detection and investigation. According to former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, cases such as Chris Watts’s are rare, because “family annihilators usually commit suicide after the murders”, an action that Watts claimed to have contemplated out of guilt for his actions.
In an interview with Dr. Phil, Watts’s lawyer claimed that Chris confessed to killing Shanann after an argument regarding divorce. During the murder, Bella walked in. Chris Watts then told his daughter that her mother was sick. He loaded Shannan’s body into the back of his work truck and his daughters without car seats in the back. He smothered both children with a blanket in the back of his truck.
Plea deal and sentencing
Chris Watts pleaded guilty to the murders on November 6. The death penalty was not put forward by the district attorney on the request of Shanann’s family who did not wish for any further deaths. They were supportive of the decision to accept the plea deal. On November 19, Watts was sentenced to five life sentences – three consecutive and two concurrent – without the possibility of parole. He received an additional 48 years for the unlawful termination of his wife’s pregnancy and 36 years for three charges of tampering with a deceased body.
On December 3, 2018, Watts was moved to an out-of-state location due to “security concerns”. On December 5, 2018, he arrived at the Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison, in Waupun, Wisconsin, to serve the remainder of his life sentences.
Legal team for Shannan Watts’ family tells Dr. Phil 4 yr old Bella and 3 yr old Celeste were alive on the drive to dispose of Shannan’s body. They say Chris Watts then used Celeste’s favorite blanket to smother her, while Bella said “do not do to me what you just did to Cece”
— Deborah Takahara (@debtakahara) March 5, 2019
In “The Devil in Disguise”, a December 7, 2018, episode of the ABC News television news magazine 20/20, Shanann’s parents, Frank, and Sandra Rzucek, were interviewed for the first time since their daughter and granddaughters’ murders.
HLN (Headline News) aired a special report show titled Family Massacre: Chris Watts Exposed in which police body cam and video recorded police interviews of Chris Watts are revealed. In a newly released Colorado Bureau of Investigation video-recorded interview with Watts’ mistress, she reveals his behavioral changes in the days prior to the murders. It originally aired on December 13, 2018.
In “Husband, Father, Murderer: Inside The Chris Watts Case”, an episode of the American talk show Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil consulted with four crime experts: former prosecutor and TV journalist Nancy Grace, former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, law enforcement consultant Steve Kardian, and body language expert Susan Constantine. The experts analyzed the motivation, secret life, and profiling of Chris Watts, which aired on December 18, 2018.
In “True Crime Exclusive: The Secret Life of Killer Dad Chris Watts”, January 15, 2019, episode of the talk show The Dr. Oz Show, the commentary is provided on the Watts case. The neighbor who helped build the case against Watts is interviewed in-studio.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- In an interview that will air on Monday, Shanann’s parents and brothers reacted to Chris Watts’ confession
- They said it was worse than they could ever have imagined
- Watts told investigators in prison last month how he strangled Shanann then smothered their daughters Bella, four, and Cece, three
- The girls were still alive when he drove them to the oil field where he would later bury them with their mother’s dead body in the trunk
- Bella was the last to be killed and her dying words were ‘Daddy, no!’
- Watts snapped when his wife threatened he would never see the girls again
- They were arguing over the fact that he was having an affair