(CNN)It became apparent from Chris Watts’ research for secluded vacation destinations and jewelry that the married Colorado father had found a new love interest, but what led him to kill his pregnant wife and two young children may never be known, a prosecutor said.
Before learning that he would never walk out of prison, Watts sat at the defense table, head down and leg bobbing, as his mother told him she loved him and his slain wife’s family called him a monster.
Judge Marcelo Kopcow called the murders in a north Denver suburb “the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen.”
Watts also received an additional 48 years for the unlawful termination of his wife’s pregnancy and 36 more years for crimes related to his disposal of the bodies.
The couple’s first son would have been named Nico Lee, according to his wife’sfather.
Daughter called her dad ‘hero’ before her death
The 33-year-old Watts pleaded guilty this month to first-degree murder and other charges in the killings of his wife, Shanann, 34, and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, before crudely disposing of them at a secluded site where he worked. With approval of his wife’s family, prosecutors dropped the possibility of the death penalty.
In court, Shanann Watts’ mother, Sandy Rzucek, explained, “I didn’t want death for you because that’s not my right. Your life is between you and God, and I pray he has mercy for you.”
Watts’ hands were shackled at his waist and he wore an orange jumpsuit. He rarely looked up during the proceeding — not even when his mother turned around to face him and tearfully said, “We have loved you from the beginning and we still love you now. … We forgive you, son.”
Two families devastated
Watts’ parents, who had previously defended their son and questioned his plea deal during an interview with CNN affiliate KMGH, recanted those remarks and told the court in a prepared statement that the family would not ask for leniency.
“This should never have happened. This is not condonable. This is something that we will never get over,” a family representative said, reading a statement as the parents looked on.
Frank Rzucek Sr., Shanann Watts’ father, questioned how Chris Watts could have killed people he was charged with protecting before disposing of them like bags of rubbish.
The Ultimate Video Creation and Editing Cloud based app, that allows you to create videos for your ads in a minute, Edit your videos by adding text, image, intro/outro, quizzes and Surveys , CTAs into Videos
Premium one of a kind wordpress themes that do all the onpage seo for you including image seo, with TigerPress themes you can also generate an unlimited amount of geo targeted landing pages in any language.
“I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them,” he said. “You have to live with this vision every day of your life, and I hope you see that every day of your life.”
While he said he hoped that God had mercy on Chris Watts, he prayed the judge took the opposite tack, he said.
Frank Rzucek Jr., Shanann Watts’ brother, had Rourkeread his statement, in which he said he can’t sleep and is anguished to know Chris Watts robbed him of the privilege of being an uncle. Rzucek Jr. wrote his statement from a motel room where his parents have cried themselves to sleep, the prosecutor said.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t cry for my family,” Rourke said, reading Frank Jr.’s statement. “You don’t deserve to be called a man. What kind of person slaughters the people they love the most?”
Gruesome disposal of bodies
Before Watts was sentenced, Rourke revealed horrific details of how Watts strangled his wife and smothered their daughters.
Watts strangled his wife with his bare hands, not in an uncontrolled rage as he had claimed, but deliberately and viciously for at least 2 minutes. He then suffocated Bella and Celeste. While Bella fought back, Celeste had no external injuries, the prosecutor said.
He then backed his vehicle in to the driveway, loaded up the bodies in three trips and drove them to a work site, a place he suspected they’d never be found. He buried his wife in a shallow grave before stuffing his daughters into tanks, Rourke said.
“Imagine this: This defendant took those little girls, put them through a hatch 8 inches in diameter,” the prosecutor said. “Bella had scratches on her left buttocks from being shoved through the hole.”
Video shows Shanann Watts talk about husband
When his coworkers arrived at the site later that morning, Rourke said, they described his behavior as perfectly normal. Millions across the country were riveted and local law enforcement searched for the woman and girls, while Watts was texting his new girlfriend about their future, he said.
His sentencing came days after a woman he had been dating told The Denver Post that he lied to her about being near the end of divorce proceedings. She cooperated with police before his arrest, she told the newspaper.
“You don’t annihilate your family and throw them away like garbage,” Rourke told the court. “Why did they have to lose their lives in order for him to get what he wanted?”
An attorney for Chris Watts told Judge Kopcow her client is “devastated,” and though Watts realizes his words are hollow, he is “sincerely sorry for all of this.”
The only time Watts spoke during the proceeding was when Kopcow asked him if he wished to deliver a statement. “No, sir,” the former father replied.
Toxicology results showed that Shanann had a blood-alcohol content of .128, which is consistent with decomposition, Rourke said. It does not mean she consumed alcohol or was drunk, he said.
Several substances found in the young girls’ bodies can be attributed to the crude oil and water in which they were submerged, Rourke said.
Late wife noticed suspicious behavior, prosecutor said
Rourke told reporters that Watts had visited museums, bars and restaurants with his new love interest. Other evidence of that relationship included photographs of the pair at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in southern Colorado while Watts’ wife was in North Carolina, Rourke said.
Watts had also researched secluded vacation spots in Aspen where he had planned to take the new girlfriend, Rourke said, referring to Watts’ Internet searches while his wife and daughters were away.
“For whatever reason, in his mind divorce wasn’t an option,” the prosecutor said.
“He was doing all that kind of research that you would think that somebody in a brand new relationship would be doing, but he was still married with two daughters and a son on the way,” Rourke said.
Shanann Watts noticed her husband’s suspicious behavior, Rourke said.
“We knew that she was getting alerts on her phone of credit cards being used at a restaurant in north Denver at a time that she was in North Carolina for amounts of money that one person couldn’t possibly probably consume reasonably,” the prosecutor said.
“We know that she confronted him about that numerous times,” Rourke said. “We knew that he was never completely forthcoming with her.”
A plea from the front porch
When Shanann Watts and the two girls went missing in mid-August, Chris Watts first told reporters they had gone to a friend’s house before later pleading for his family’s return in an interview with CNN affiliate KMGH.
“My kids are my life,” Watts said, standing on the front porch of their home in Frederick, about 30 miles north of Denver. “Those smiles light up my life.”
Watts told the station his wife came home from the airport about 2 a.m., and he left for work about 5:15 a.m. He said the two had an emotional but civil conversation before he left, but he didn’t elaborate.
See husband plea for wife’s return
Separately, he told law enforcement that on the morning of August 13, before leaving for work, he had informed his wife that he wanted a separation. They had not argued, but they were both upset and crying, he told police, according to an affidavit.
Chris Watts claimed he had called and texted his wife about three times that morning with no reply, he told KMGH. He said he realized something was wrong when Shanann Watts’ friend arrived at the couple’s home around noon.
“She just got back from Arizona, and I figured she was just busy, but when her friend showed up, that’s when it just registered — like all right, this isn’t right,” Watts said.
Story didn’t add up
Three days later, the body of Shanann Watts,15 weeks pregnant, was found in a shallow grave. The bodies of Bella and Celeste were found in commercial oil tanks at a company where Watts had worked.
Rourke said Watts became a suspect “very, very early on.”
“Many of the things that he was saying just weren’t quite adding up,” Rourke said Monday.
One key piece of evidence was sheets from the bed in the Watts’ master bedroom that were found at the crime scene, prosecutors said.
After authorities found the bodies, Chris Watts changed his story, telling police he had strangled Shanann Watts in a fit of rage after seeing his wife choking Celeste.
On November 6, Watts pleaded guilty to nine charges, including three counts of first-degree murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
It’s not clear if that was Nichol Kessinger, 30, who told The Denver Post she met him while working for the environmental department of a petroleum contractor.
“We had just met,” Kessinger told the newspaper. “I barely knew him.”
Man pleads guilty to killing wife, kids
He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring when they were introduced, and she thought he was attractive, soft-spoken and a good listener, she said. When they first met outside of work in late June, he told her he was in the final stages of a divorce. She never met any of his relatives or friends, Kessinger told The Post.
Watts sent her a text August 13 to say his family had disappeared, and she was confused about why the media was at his house.
“When I read the news, I found out he was still married and his wife was 15 weeks pregnant,” Kessinger told the newspaper.
She peppered him with questions via phone calls and text, she said, and he changed his story about the divorce, showed little emotion about his family’s disappearance, and tried to change the subject.
“It got to a point that he was telling me so many lies that I eventually told him that I did not want to speak to him again until his family was found,” she told the paper, explaining that she called police on August 15 to report Watts’ lies.
Rourke said she “was absolutely instrumental” in the investigation.
Unlimited access to Stockocity 2 Premium including 18,000 FHD footage videos and 250 new FHD videos per month for 24 months. (note this is an upgrade to Stockocity 2 - you cannot purchase this product unless you have purchased Stockocity 2)
Stock Footage Club EsyVid SpecialUnlimited access to The Stock Footage Club online library including a fully searchable library of 40,000+ HD stock footage videos organized into over 250+ diverse categories.
Xmails Premium-Scale PlanGet this World's Smartest Email Autoresponder and Send Beautiful and Personalised Messages with High Inboxing, High Open and Click Rates for More Profits In Small Cost.
MailPrimo ProWorld's No.1 and Most Powerful Cloud Based Email Marketing Software to STOP Losing Leads, STOP Paying Heavy Monthly Fees and Generate More Leads,
Get Better Delivery, More Opens and Clicks completely hassle free...
Viral Reach Agency 25 YearlyOnce you get the the Viral Reach Agency version you can sell Viral Reach access to others and charge your for it.This is an entire business wrapped and readied for you. Make use of this opportunity and create an all new passive income stream for yourse
Memester Pro MonthlyProfit boosters that are only a part of Memester Pro Version include support for 20 Facebook Groups, 30 Facebook Pages, 10 Facebook Profiles, 15 Twitter Accounts and 15 YouTube Channels.You also get extended capabilities which will enable you to make l
TigerPress Volume 10 Theme ClubGet all Tigerpress themes added each month, including the HTML versions and white label functionality, members also receive FREE updates and support, and also receive access to SaaS bonuses added monthly for one low price.
Stocknation Pro LiteTurbocharge Your Stocknation Profits With Gignatic Collection of 800,000+ Full HD Stock Images
Affiliate Hero Front End1. Find hot product based on keywords
2. Posts using hashtags with most traffic
3. Auto-sends your referral link to those who post their email on your IG post.
TigerPress Previous Volumes Second Chance 3Premium one of a kind wordpress themes that do all the onpage seo for you including image seo, with TigerPress themes you can also generate an unlimited amount of geo targeted landing pages in any language.
Long Tail Pro Black Friday Monthly Starter Plan Special OfferLong Tail Pro is the fastest, most effective way to find keywords that will help your website rank in search engines.The Long Tail Pro Starter plan includes access to Long Tail Pro's entire suite of keyword research tools, including keyword lookups, re
WP GDPR Fix Developer 10 SitesOnce you have the developer and agency rights to WP GDPR Fix all you have to do is tell your clients you have something that makes GDPR compliance easier.Next legally implement it on your client’s website. You can charge them a one time fee or a monthly r
TigerPress Volume 9 Theme ClubGet all Tigerpress themes added each month, including the HTML versions and white label functionality, members also receive FREE updates and support, and also receive access to SaaS bonuses added monthly for one low price.
QuickAffiliatePro ResellerGet this Brand New Software That INSTANTLY Creates 1-Click SEO-Optimized and Traffic Pulling Affiliate Sites Stacked With Fresh, Unique Content and HOT Videos To Boost Sales and Affiliate Commissions 24*7 on Complete Autopilot.
PSFX 3 - Social Studio FXIncludes over 13,600 Done For You Templates That You can Use as your own or Your Clients. Create stunning social media graphics with a simple drag and drop, user friendly interface.
Mobiflux Agency EliteWith WP Mobiflux you can set up a profitable business even before you run it on your site or campaign.WP Mobiflux is a powerful traffic multiplication system, that will provide your clients with the seed mobile traffic easily. So, just sell WP Mobiflux
Uduala eComUduala is a cloud based DFY ecom domination platform where users access winning ecom products plus their facebooks ads. For each winning product; users get description pricing recommendations and markups, competition spy, link to the right dropship suppli
LiteApp Studio - Reseller [50 Licenses]Get Rights To Resell 50 Licenses Of LiteApp Studio and keep 100% of thee profits [Costs you only $2.54 per license for the 50 pack and you sell each for $97. Make over $9500 in profits reselling your licenses!]
Viral Traffic Machine - OTO 1 DownsellWeb Based Application That Lets Your Customers Get Viral Traffic From Social Media + Images, 1 Click Connect Customers Can Add Their Social Accounts With 1 Click Unlike Other Software That Require Complex Setup, 5-In-1 Traffic Solution, Customers Can Post
Viral Video Jackpot PLR V1 - DownsellComplete PLR Biz In Box with 10 High-Quality Video Social Media Memes,10 and#39;Eye-Catchingand#39; Static Social Media Memes,10 Unique Articles,10 Enthralling Articles on other aspects of Asian Cooking (Sales material are included)
TigerPress Volume 3Premium one of a kind wordpress themes that do all the onpage seo for you including image seo, with TigerPress themes you can also generate an unlimited amount of geo targeted landing pages in any language.
TigerPress Volume 8 Theme ClubGet all Tigerpress themes added each month, including the HTML versions and white label functionality, members also receive FREE updates and support, and also receive access to SaaS bonuses added monthly for one low price.
LiteApp Studio - VR Consultant ToolkitDiscover How You Can Make Landing Dozens Of Mobile App Clients So Easy, You Could Do It In Your Sleep - AND Charge Them Over $500 - $2,500 Per App!
MOBILE APP CONSULTANT MARKETING TOOLKIT
LiteApp Studio - Reseller [200 Licenses]Get rights to 200 Liteapp Studio Licenses to resell to your customers and keep 100% of the money! At only $147, each license costs you only $0.73 = LESS THAN $1 PER LICENSE!
Long Tail Pro Annual Starter PlanLong Tail Pro is the fastest, most effective way to find keywords that will help your website rank in search engines.The Long Tail Pro Starter plan includes access to Long Tail Pro's entire suite of keyword research tools, including keyword lookups, re
VidViral ProDownload and work with HD Videos (720p)
Add subtitle on footer instead of static text.
Add Border to Videos in any color/gradient
Add logo and watermark on the video.
Change BG Image
Video to gif app
Email Force - YearlyEmail Force is built on the same ROBUST platform as the Converzly Copy Engine. It’s super simple to use because it uses the same automation technology.
It’ll quickly and effortlessly create you profitable emails for ANY product you’re promoting, in any ni
Leads2List Agency 50Leads2List is a proven software, that will help you unlock fresh lead source. So, you are aware of the benefits. So, now is the time to earn recurring income by becoming a reseller for Leads2List.You can sell the software under your own name and keep 10
Email Force - AgencyEmail Force is built on the same ROBUST platform as the Converzly Copy Engine. It’s super simple to use because it uses the same automation technology.
It’ll quickly and effortlessly create you profitable emails for ANY product you’re promoting, in any ni
Viral reach Reseller 120When you sign up as a reseller for Viral Reach we give you everything you need to sell it. You don’t have to bring anything except your marketing skills.Use our Sales Page, Sales Video, Everything is on our hosting. We also support your customers. If th
AffiliateNinjaPro ScaleA Cloud Based App That Creates INSTANT 1-Click Profitable Affiliate Funnels to Build You a HUGE List and Gets Targeted Traffic and Affiliate Commissions on 100% Autopilot.
ExplaindioThe #1 Animation, Doodle Sketch, and Motion Video Creation Software.
Memester Elite MonthlyMemester can create both videos and GIF memes with eye-catching titles including clickbait styles on video. Integrate custom graphics and overlays over live videos for call to actions.Search YouTube videos by keywords and Memester will convert them directl
LeadFunnelCloud ResellerGet this Cloud Based App That Creates INSTANT Done-For-You UNLIMITED Profitable Lead Funnels To Build A HUGE List,Drive Targeted Social Traffic and Affiliate Commissions In Just 60 Seconds
Viral Video Jackpot V1 Downsell - Personal RightsComplete Biz In Box with Personal Rights - 10 High-Quality Video Social Media Memes,10 'Eye-Catching' Static Social Media Memes,10 Unique Articles,10 Enthralling Articles on other aspects of Asian Cooking
Viper Cache Personal License10x your page load speed with viper cache engine...built from the ground up to give you total ease of use and minimum user input and maximum security unlike its competitors.
Uduala DFY Video Ads - Plan BGet 100+ ‘Ready To Upload’ Done-For-You Video Ads Direct From Our Uduala Experts. You get 100+ video today and 7 added each week. That's 365 videos in 1 year.
Consistent Sales SystemThe Consistent Sales System is backed by over $85,000 in proof in 2017 alone, without affiliates, without creating new products and without selling any high ticket services. Our in house passive income system will reveal the easiest way to continue to pro