Chris Watts interviews: How suspicion grew in murder case

“One of my buddies, he was straight with me, he was like,
“Dude, I’ll just be, uh, no veil, like, none of this looks
good.” — Christopher Watts to FBI Special Agent Grahm Coder
during an interview  after Watts’ wife and children went

Watts. (Colorado Department of Corrections) 

The huge file — more than 1,900 pages — that documents the
investigation into the disappearance of pregnant Colorado mother
Shanann Watts and her two daughters includes numerous statements by
her husband that raised eyebrows.

From the time his family was reported missing by one of his
wife’s friends on Aug. 13, Christopher Watts was interviewed
multiple times by police in the city of Frederick, Colorado, and by
state and federal investigators.

On Aug. 15, he was formally accused in their murders, and the
following day it was reported that all three bodies had been found
at a work site that Watts visited on the morning of their

Watts confessed to the murders — including that of his unborn
son — and was sentenced to life in prison. He has been
transferred from Colorado to an unspecified prison in another

The record made public details a number of elements that
contributed to investigators’ growing suspicion that Watts knew
his family was dead and that he was a likely suspect. Among

The call to the preschool

On 8:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13 — hours before he reportedly knew
his family was missing — Watts called the Primrose School, where
his elder daughter was supposed to be starting kindergarten that
day. He told an employee that his children would no longer be
attending the school because his family was moving. He then asked,
“They’re not there, are they?”

The FBI’s Grahm Coder brought up the conversation in an Aug.
14 interview with Watts, who then tried to recast it.

Q. Tell me about the call to your daycare.

A. To Primrose? I called them to see if the girls were there.
They said they weren’t there.

Q. OK.

A. I told them since they weren’t there, to put them back on
the waiting list.

Q. That’s not what you told them.

A. I told them that we were gonna sell the house. Um, put it on
the market, we probably won’t be in the area anymore.

Q. That’s two different things, (Chris).

A. Well, I want them to be back on — I put them on the
waiting list as they weren’t there.

Q. Why weren’t they there?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Where were they gonna go?

A. They went to a … Shanann took ’em to a friend’s

Q. Why wouldn’t they go to daycare?

A. I am not sure. I, honestly, sir, I am not sure.

Q. It’s hard for me as a father to talk to you like this.

Shopping for a new house

Watts is peppered with phone calls and texts from Shanann’s
worried friends starting shortly after noon on Monday.  The police
arrive at his house around 2 p.m. In the midst of this activity,
Watts keeps up an hours-long text dialogue with a  real estate
agent about buying a new house.

He does not mention his wife’s disappearance until, at 6:30
p.m., the realtor wonders why Shanann has not been involved in
their group texts.

Watts replies:  “She hasn’t been around all day. lt’s
very odd.”


His marked weight loss

This came up in the Aug. 14 interview with the FBI’s Coder. It
would not be until 8 a.m. the next day that a security manager at
Watts’ workplace informed investigators that Watts had apparently
been having an affair with a co-worker since June.

Coder was already suspecting infidelity.

Q. Highly trained investigator over here, right? I see pictures
of you from a few years ago.

A. Mm-hm.

Q. And I see you standing before me now. OK.

A. Uh-huh.

Q. You got … you’ve gotten pretty fit.

A. Yeah.

Q. Yeah? You can imagine when guys start cheating or want to
cheat that’s what happens.

A. Yes.

Q. So tell me about it.

A. Uh, I did not cheat on my wife.

Q. OK.

A. Now Thrive helped me. I went from 245 pounds to about …
[Thrive is the nutritional supplement his wife had sold.]

Q. You were 245?

A. I was 245 pounds.

Q.  Jesus.

A. And…

Q. (Unintelligible) for you, man.

A. Thank you. And I’m 185, 180 right now. And I’ve been
eating cleaner, just trying to … the last little bit, Thrive has
helped me a lot, but to maintain it and try to, like, eat cleaner
has really helped me as well.

Q. OK. And I’ve got to imagine that maybe there was a girl
inspired that?

A. No.

Q. No?

A. No.

(The girlfriend, Nichol Kessinger, told investigators that Watts
told her he was in the process of divorcing and that she had
planned to help him look for a new apartment the week of Aug. 13.
She found out Shanann was pregnant only from news coverage of the
woman’s disappearance. When she spoke to Watts on the afternoon
of Aug. 13, he claimed he had himself just found out about the
pregnancy that morning — though his wife was 15 weeks along.)


No effort to resuscitate his children

On the afternoon of Aug. 15, after speaking with his father,
Chris Watts changed his story: He told investigators that he had
killed his wife, in a rage, after she had strangled both of their

He said he came upon his wife in the act of strangling their
younger daughter, Celeste, known as CeCe. After pulling her off, he
made no attempt to resuscitate the girl and did not call 911. Asked
why he did not attempt CPR, he said he had only been trained in CPR
for adults and wouldn’t know how hard to press.

The description of the subsequent conversation, from Colorado
Bureau of Investigation agent Tammy Lee:

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“I asked Chris if he thought about calling an ambulance and he
said CeCe was blue and limp … wasn’t moving at all, and ‘no
gasp of breath.’ Chris  said CeCe was ‘totally just blue.’ I
told Chris I had been doing my job for a long time and I told him
most parents will never be able to fathom their child is dead, even
if their kid is stiff or blue.”
Source: FS – All – Interesting – News 2
Chris Watts interviews: How suspicion grew in murder case