Shannan Watts appeared to have it all: a picture-perfect home, a loving husband, and two beautiful daughters. Shannan and her husband Chris lived with their two daughters Bella (4) and Celeste (3) in a suburb north of Denver. Christopher was employed by Anadarko Petroleum and Shannan was a highly-successful wellness marketing representative. Shannan posted numerous social media posts of the four of them smiling and laughing. However, those photos hid a dark side to the seemingly happy family.
On Monday, August 13th, at approximately 2 AM, Shannan Watts was dropped off at home by her friend Nickole Atkinson after a business trip. Chris had been watching Bella and Celeste while Shannan was on the road for work.
Shannan had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for that next morning after she returned. She never made it to her appointment. Atkinson, the same friend that dropped the young mother off at home hours earlier, was concerned. Shannan was 15 weeks pregnant, and the doctor’s appointment was a checkup to see how her baby Niko was doing. Atkinson knew that her friend would not have missed the appointment. Even more concerning was the fact that Shannan was not answering her phone calls or texts. Atkinson went to Shannan’s home and did not find the pregnant mother there either.
Atkinson got in touch with Shannan’s husband Chris, who seemed unconcerned that his wife and daughters were nowhere to be found. Worried about her friend, Atkinson called the police and filed a missing person’s report. When the police examined the home that Shannan shared with Chris, they were concerned.
Shannan’s purse, cell phone, car, and medications were all at the home. However, there was no trace of Shannan or the two toddlers. The police began an investigation. That Tuesday afternoon Christopher Watts went on national television to appeal for his wife and kids to return home. By 11:30 P.M. the next night, Watts was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. Watts’ daughters’ bodies were recovered after being submerged in an oil tank at Anadarko Petroleum for four days. Shannan’s body was buried nearby. Investigators alleged that Watts strangled his two daughters and placed their bodies in the oil tank.
Christopher admitted to strangling Shannan, but he says that he only killed her after he witnessed her murdering their daughters. He said that she became furious after he told her that he was having an affair and asked for a separation. According to Chris Watts, Shannan raced upstairs and strangled the couples’ toddlers.
In a rage, he then murdered Shannan. Most of Shannan’s close friends and family aren’t buying Chris’s version of events. They said that the kids were Shannan’s life and that she would never harm them. Prosecutors aren’t buying his story either. Christopher Watts was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He has faces charges for two counts of first-degree murder because two of the victims were under 12 and three counts of tampering with evidence.
By allegedly killing Shannon, Watts also murdered their unborn child. However, Watts will not be charged with murder for that death. Instead, he was accused of the unlawful termination of a pregnancy — a class two felony. In other states that have fetal homicide laws, such as the mainly Republican state Indiana, killing a fetus is murder. Had this murder happened in Indiana, Watts would have likely been charged with another count of murder.
This case along has sparked a debate about whether or not Colorado should adopt fetal homicide laws. This issue is crucial because it can determine whether or not a murderer faces the death penalty or life in prison.
~ Conservative Zone