Video from inside an interrogation room at a Colorado police station shows Chris Watts confessing to the murder of his pregnant wife before trying to convince his father she was the one who strangled their two daughters.
The Weld County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday released a trove of evidence related to the case, including photos, text messages and video from inside the Frederick Police Department in the days after Watts killed his wife Shanann Watts, 34, and their two daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
In video recorded over the course of two days in August, Watts confesses to investigators that his marriage had been struggling and that he was having an affair. He says his wife disappeared with the girls the same morning he told her he was leaving her — something authorities were immediately skeptical about, according to ABC News.
“The day (Shanann) goes missing is the day you guys have marital discord,” the lead detective says to him. “You can understand what I’m thinking about you.”
After failing a lie detector test the following day, Watts spun a new version of events for his father, who becomes increasingly horrified as the discussion progresses.
“I freaked out and I hurt her,” Watts says.
He claimed Shanann strangled their daughters and his subsequent actions were the result of his “rage.”
“I freaked out you understand me?” he says again.
“Oh my god,” his father responds.
Watts also repeats the new narrative for investigating officers.
“My babies are gone, and put my hands around my wife’s neck and did that same thing,” he tells them, voice quivering.
Watts earlier this month pleaded guilty to all three murders as part of a deal that will allow him to avoid the death penalty. He’s been in custody since Aug. 15, when he was arrested in connection with death of his family, and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
In video recorded by a neighbor’s security camera, Watts can be seen loading items into his truck the morning of the murders. Authorities believe he used the vehicle to dump the bodies at an oil field, where he used to work.
Police found Bella and Celeste in oil tanks on the property and Shanann was buried in a shallow grave nearby.
Prosecutors have argued that Watts killed his family because of a desire to start fresh with Nicole Kessinger, a co-worker he’d been having an affair.