More Discovery in Christopher Watts Case Shows Wife’s Worries Over Third Baby
Shanann Watts told a friend that she didn’t want to have a third baby after her husband, Christopher Watts, started to distance himself from her.
“I don’t want to have this baby,” she texted a friend while in North Carolina. “I can’t do this alone [with three] kids. I’m not happy.”
The text messages are just a piece of the dozens of additional discovery documents, photos, video and audio released by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office on Friday. In a letter released along with the discovery, DA Michael Rourke writes that it is all of the remaining “electronic” items left in the case.
The texts appear to have been sent on Aug. 3, when Christopher Watts traveled to meet his family in North Carolina. A pregnant Shanann Watts and her two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, had already been there for five weeks over the summer.
By Aug. 15, Christopher Watts was arrested for the murders of his pregnant wife and children.
“Over my dead body”
In another text, Shanann Watts said that her husband wanted to take their children to see his parents. Shanann Watts, 34, had gotten into an argument with her mother-in-law, who went against her request to not let tree nuts near Celeste, who was deathly allergic to them.
“I told him over my dead body,” she writes in the text.
She also writes about getting separated, selling their home and moving to a place she can afford as a single mother where she also has a support system. A three-way text thread between Shanann and Christopher Watts and their realtor is also included in the discovery.
Watts on Nov. 6 pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of tampering with a deceased human body and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. He was sentenced to life in prison on Nov. 19.
But Watts has never confessed to killing his children. According to his arrest affidavit and subsequent video footage of his confession to FBI agents, Watts confessed to murdering Shanann Watts.
He claimed to see Shanann Watts strangling their children on a baby monitor, which sent him into a rage. He told the FBI that he ultimately strangled his wife to death. Watts then took the three bodies to an oil and gas site near Roggen, where he buried Shanann Watts in a shallow grave and put his daughters in oil tanks.
The Weld County Coroner’s Office determined that Shanann Watts was strangled to death, and the girls were both smothered to death.
DA Rourke has said previously that investigators believe Christopher Watts lied in his confession, and he doesn’t think that Watts will ever tell the truth about what happened to his wife and children.
An Aug. 21 interview between investigators and Shanann Watts’ father is also included in the discovery.
Frank Rzucek tells an investigator about a time when he helped watch his granddaughters at an airport. When Shanann Watts went to use the bathroom, the two girls ran from Rzucek and started screaming for their mother, he recalled.
Looking back, Rzucek said that perhaps the girls’ adoration for their mother wore on Christopher Watts over time.
“Maybe he just got tired of these kids crying for mommy all the time, and not him,” Rzucek said. “Maybe he had a little bit of resentment in him, I don’t know. But kids always go to their mother.”
Rzucek also tells the investigator that Watts always appeared to be a good father and that he didn’t have any reason to suspect something like this would happen. But, when his daughter went missing and left behind her cell phone and medications, Rzucek said his thoughts immediately turned to Watts.
The additional discovery repeats much of what is already summarized in police reports. It includes images of text conversations between Shanann Watts and her friends in the weeks before her murder; text messages between Christopher Watts and friends after his wife and daughters seem to disappear; video and audio interviews with those close to the case, like the couple’s babysitter; and photos of the area where Watts disposed of the bodies.
Watts has been transferred to a facility out of state for safety reasons, according to a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Corrections, but authorities have not released the location to which he was sent.
The Denver Post reported Friday that Watts’ name appears on a website where people can send money to Wisconsin prison inmates, revealing that he is housed at Dodge Correction Institution in Waupun, Wisc..
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org