The summer of 2018 should have been a joyous one for the watt family. Husband chris Watts, climate 33, and also wife Shan’ann, 34, just discovered out they to be expecting a son to sign up with 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste in their suburban residence of Frederick, Colorado, around 27 mile north that Denver.

As the family well balanced Chris’ job as one operator in ~ Anadarko Petroleum and Shan’ann’s frequent organization travels because that the nutrition supplement company Le-Vel, their resides centered roughly their daughters, as presented in Shan’ann’s regular Facebook posts.


From the outside, they appeared to be a happy suburban family, but Shan’ann’s friends had actually recently began hearing around trouble in paradise. Still, no one could have ever guessed the chillingly brutal murders the were about to put an end to your happily ever before after. Here’s how it unfolded:

*Warning: some details in this story might be discovered disturbing

Beyond the Headlines: The Watts household Tragedy ~ above A&E Crime Central.>

2010: The couple meet when Chris sends out Shan’ann a on facebook friend request

Shan’ann calls Passaic, new Jersey her hometown top top Facebook, but later moved to north Carolina whereby she and also Chris satisfy through social media. “I acquired a friend request from chris on Facebook,” she states in the Facebook video clip that was later released. “I to be like, ‘What the heck? I’m never going to fulfill him.’ Accept. One thing led to another and eight years later, we have two kids, us live in Colorado and also he’s the finest thing that’s ever happened to me.”


November 3, 2012: Shan’ann and also Chris marry

The pair tie the knot in Charlotte, north Carolina. 

December 17, 2013: very first child Bella is born

The couple’s first child, daughter Bella Marie Watts, is born in Colorado. “Shan’ann to be so excited to have actually her first baby girl. She invested every minute thanking God and taking treatment of her precious gift that the Lord had blessed her with,” your obituary reads. “How she loved and also cherished her.”

July 17, 2015: second daughter Celeste is born

Nicknamed “Cece,” younger daughter Celeste Cathryn watt is a summer baby, likewise born in Colorado. “Oh how Shan’ann was so excited to have the ability to have another child due to the fact that of her fight with Lupus,” the family obituary reads. “She was established to stay healthy and with she love for her Celeste, every moment with she was a blessing.”


June 2015: The Watts records for bankruptcy

With a an unified income of $90,000 in 2014, in addition to credit transaction card debt, student loans and also medical bills, the couple file because that bankruptcy in June 2015, stating the their $3,000 mortgage and $600 auto payments took up many of your $4,900 in monthly expenses. Additionally, your homeowner’s combination sues them because that unpaid HOA fees.

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May 5, 2018: Shan’ann articles a sweet on facebook Live video clip

In a 31:13-long facebook Live video, Shan’ann muses about family life, saying, “I love waking up currently on Saturdays and also being able to reap my family,” and talking around being excited around the upcoming summer in Colorado. “I believe that everything in life happens because that a reason, and I likewise believe civilization are put in ours life because that a reason,” she likewise says. Chris deserve to be watched playing v the girl in the video.

June 11, 2018: Shan’ann surprises Chris with the news they’re expecting

In a video later released by 9News, Shan’ann put on a shirt the says, “Oops… we did it again” and surprises Chris with the news of your pregnancy. He reaction saying, “That’s awesome.”

June 17, 2018: Shan’ann short articles a Father’s Day message to chris on Facebook

“Chris, we space so extremely blessed to have you," the article says. You do so much daily because that us and also take such good care of us. You space the reason I to be brave enough to agree come number 3! native Laundry to kids showers! You room incredible and we room so happy to have actually you in our life! Happy Father’s Day!”

June 2018: chris starts talking to Nichol Kessinger

Nichol Kessinger functions in Anadarko Petroleum’s eco-friendly department and also would view the operators, including Chris, top top the method to the fridge. Chris come by she office and also struck increase a conversation one day. They have their very first meeting external of the office later in the month.


July 2018: kris starts a physical connection with Kessigner

According come The Denver Post, kris sees Kessinger around four or 5 times a week and also they begin a physical partnership in beforehand July. He tells her that he's practically divorced. Later on that month, if Shan’ann and also the girls room out of city in north Carolina, he speak Kessinger the divorce is final. 

Insider reports the Kessinger goes come Chris’ home for the an initial time ~ above July 4 and also they have their very first phone speak to on document on July 7. They also go top top a day to Shelby American Collection vehicle museum ~ above July 14 and spend the night at an excellent Sand Dunes national Park ~ above July 28, all while his family is away. Top top July 30, he provides her a love note prior to joining his family members on vacation.


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July 31: Chris flies to north Carolina to join his family

Despite it gift a household vacation, messages that Shan’ann forward to a friend show signs of trouble in between the couple. Additional messages also show the there was tension between her and Chris’ parents.

August 4, 2018: Kessinger shops because that wedding dresses online

Just weeks after ~ they began talking, Kessinger’s mobile data shows she looked in ~ wedding dresses digital for two hours.

August 9, 2018: Shan’ann pipeline on organization to Arizona

After confiding to friends about her troubles v Chris, she texts a friend the she and Chris had actually their “best talk yet” before she pipeline on she trip. She even drafts a handwritten letter come him.


August 11, 2018: chris hires a babysitter and also goes out v Kessinger

While Shan’ann is away, kris gets a babysitter, saying that he’s going to a baseball game with coworkers, however goes to a bar through Kessinger.

August 13, 2018, 1:48 a.m.: Shan’ann returns from her organization trip

In the wee hours roughly 2 a.m., friend Nickole Atkinson offers Shan’ann a ride come her home on the 2800 block of Saratoga Trail after ~ she return from the company trip.

August 13, 2018: kris kills Shan’ann and also their daughters

Chris wakes Shan’ann together he’s obtaining ready to walk to work and wants come talk about their marriage and also future, follow to his later on confession. Despite Shan’ann delivering their unborn son, that they had currently named Nico Lee, he tells her about his affair and that their marital relationship won't last.

Shan’ann replies that chris won't see the kids again — and he strangles she to death. Bella, who was 4, come in and also asks what was wrong with mom and also Chris wraps Shan’ann in a blanket and also carries she to his truck. The puts the two children in the backseat and also drives come his work-related site. He then smothers Celeste in the backseat and puts she body in an oil tank and also does the same with Bella in another tank. Chris likewise buries his wife’s body in the soil nearby, as he later on confessed from prison.


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A photo of Shan'ann Watts and her 2 daughters, Bella and Celeste, in a sea that mementos external the Watts' Colorado home

Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File


August 13, 2018, 5:15 a.m.: Chris claims he left because that work

Chris later on tells Denver abc affiliate, “I left because that work early on that morning, choose 5:15 to 5:30,” admitting that he and also Shan’ann had an “emotional conversation.”

August 13, 2018, 1:40 p.m.: Atkinson grow concerned and contacts neighborhood police

Later that day, Atkinson i do not care worried when she doesn't hear from Shan’ann. “I dubbed her and also texted her several times,” she says. “I knew she had actually a doctor's appointment the morning because she’s pregnant. She didn’t show up for it … and I was even an ext concerned.” Shan'ann is reported absent at about 1:40 p.m.

Atkinson phone call the police who perform a welfare check. Shan’ann’s phone, keys and purse are discovered at the house. Follow to the news stations, husband chris says, “She said she was going to a friend's house with the kids and that’s the last thing I heard, and also that was it. The was an extremely vague.”

August 14, 2018: kris pleads for his family’s return ~ above the regional news

As the Colorado office of Investigation concerns an Endangered lacking Alert, Chris talks to Denver’s abc affiliate and pleads for their return: “Shan’ann, Bella, Celeste, if you’re out there, just come back, choose if somebody has actually her, just please bring her back, I have to see everybody, I must see everybody, again, this house is not finish without anybody here. Please bring them back.”

August 15, 2018: Chris falls short a polygraph test and also admits to death wife, falsely blaming her for smothering daughters

The FBI joins the search for the lacking mother and also daughters. Chris falls short a polygraph test and confesses come his dad Ronnie — and then public official — that he eliminated Shan’ann, but falsely insurance claims that the reason for his killing was because she had actually smothered your daughters.


August 16, 2018: Shan'ann, Bella and also Celeste's bodies space found

The three murdered bodies are recovered at Chris’ worksite. The same day, chris appears in Weld ar court because that a shortcut hearing. The is denied.

Also on this day, Kessinger speaks to police, saying, “I legitimately think his cheese to be sliding off his cracker long before he met me."


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A memorial for Shan'ann, Bella and also Celeste Watts outside the family home on august 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colorado

Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver post via Getty Images


August 21, 2018: chris is charged v first-degree murder

A main after the pleaded because that their for sure return, kris is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, add to two added first-degree charges because that victims being 12 or younger.

Additionally, the faces another counting for the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, plus three counts the tampering v a body – a total of ripe charges.

September 1, 2018: Funeral is organized for Shan’ann and also daughters in phibìc Carolina

Shan’ann, Bella and also Celeste room remembered at your funeral at the sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pinehurst, phibìc Carolina. Throughout the 90-minute ceremony, which began with a singing of “Amazing Grace,” chris is never mentioned.

The priest reads a statement from Shan’ann father’s frank Rzucek: “You room nothing but pure love, constantly caring because that everyone. You will always be daddy’s little girl.”


November 6, 2018: kris pleads guilty to every nine counts

Chris shows up in court, pleading guilty to all nine criminal accounts. Shan’ann’s family requests that the death penalty no be sought.

November 19, 2018: chris is sentenced to life imprisonment

Judge Marcelo Kopcow calls the murder spree “perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime I have actually handled the end of the thousands of situations that I have seen," issuing five life sentences there is no the opportunity of parole, including 48 years for unlawful termination of Shan’ann’s pregnancy and also 36 year for disposing of the body of his family.


Also top top this day, Shan’ann’s parents file for wrongful death against Chris.

December 3, 2018: kris is transferred to a Wisconsin correctional facility

Due to safety and security concerns, kris is moved from Colorado to dodge Correctional basic in Waupun, Wisconsin.

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February 18, 2019: chris confesses to killing his daughters in a detailed explanation

In a five-hour interview from prison, kris recounts the harrowing details of his young daughters’ final moments and confesses to death them and also disposing of their bodies. “This was choose the summary of gift angry, the summary of showing a rage, the summary of losing your mind,” he said, also admitting the older daughter Bella inquiry if he to be going to execute the very same thing the did come his sister — and that the 4-year-old tried come fight back.

November 18, 2019: chris is ordered to salary Shan’ann’s parental $6 million

Almost a year ~ Shan’ann’s parents filed the polite suit, Weld County judge Todd Taylor rules that chris owes Shan’ann’s parents $6 million. That’s $3 million because that each death and $3 million for “emotional pain.” The lot will thrive with eight percent interest.


While they’ll unlikely get any kind of of the money, it avoids Chris native profiting from the murders in any type of way.