An expert shares insight into Chris Watts’ mindset when he murdered his entire family in Frederick, Colorado in the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 2018.
Chris Watts will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his pregnant wife by strangulation and their two young daughters who died by asphyxiation due to smothering. The infamous Watts family murders has gripped the nation with horror. It seems unimaginable that a father and husband could murder his wife, Shanann, and their unborn baby, along with their two little girls – Bella and Celeste “Cece”. Chris confessed to their murders and admitted to disposing of his daughters’ bodies in oil tanks and buried his wife in a shallow grave at his work-site.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Lena Derhally, licensed psychotherapist and author of My Daddy is a Hero, How Chris Watts Went from Family Man to Family Killer. Derhally, who has no connection to the case and has never met or spoken with Chris explained, “It was clear based on Chris’ behavior after the crime that this wasn’t a psychotic break or some kind of schizophrenia or mental illness. He was completely of sound mind.” Speaking of the unspeakable crime that occurred on the early morning of Aug. 13, 2018, in Frederick, Colorado, Derhally continued, “One of Chris’ confessions, he does describe premeditating these murders for weeks and I believe a lot of the evidence backs that up. It does seem quite premeditated based on his behavior in the weeks before he killed them.”
We asked Derhally if reports that Chris had murdered one of his daughters in front of the other was true. “Yes, the older daughter. Her name was Bella and she was four at the time,” she confirmed. “Her sister Cece had just turned three, and Chris, apparently in his words, said that he killed Cece in front of Bella, who had watched it.”
“The parental instinct is the exact opposite of what Chris did. A person who does this has absolutely no empathy,” Derhally said. “The fact that he even killed his daughter in front of the other one and subjected her to that. I mean, there is absolutely zero empathy there. This is someone who does not take the perspective of another person. This is someone who’s severely narcissistic in the sense that they’re only taking their wants and needs into account and they’re entitled to think that they can do anything in order to get what they want.”
Sadly, Derhally does not believe there was any way Shanann could have known Chris was capable of such atrocities. “As for her knowing that he was capable of murder, absolutely not. I 100 percent believe that there was no way anybody could have known that he was capable of that.”
The Chris Watts special, Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, airs Jan. 25 at 8 p.m on Lifetime and is based on the real-life murders.
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