Chris Watts denied murdering his family during voluntary polygraph

Chris Watts repeatedly denied murdering his family during VOLUNTARY polygraph until learning he’d failed test and confessing he was a ‘bad man’ who’d dumped the bodies ‘in a freakin’ oil tank’

  • Christopher Watts repeatedly denied murdering his family during a voluntary lie detector test and denied cheating on his wife , police documents show 
  • Watts only confessed to killing wife Shannan by strangulation after investigating officers informed him that he had failed the polygraph test
  • Bizarrely he maintained that Shannan killed their daughters Bella and Celeste and that he later ‘did the same thing’ to Shannan because he was ‘full of rage’ 
  • He later broke down and admitted dumping their bodies, saying: They’re in a freakin’ oil tank… I didn’t know what else to do’
  • He admitted to officers that he cheated on her but never hurt his wife physically

Chris Watts repeatedly denied murdering his family during a voluntary polygraph, but finally confessed he was ‘not a good man’ and dumped his daughters’ bodies in a ‘freakin’ oil tank’ when told he had failed the test.

Watts, 33, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for murdering his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, and their two daughters, Bella, four, and Celeste, three.

He finally broke down and said sorry for the murders at the emotional court hearing where he was given three life sentences. 

Court cocuments also reveal that Watts finalized plan to kill his family at a birthday party then took daughters home for showers, pizza and a snack before murdering them in their beds.

Chris Watts denied murdering his family during a voluntary polygraph but finally confessed he dumped his daughters’ bodies in a ‘freakin’ oil tank’when told he had failed the test

Watts maintained that he killed Shannan because she had killed their two children  during a police interview and said: ‘She hurt them. And then I freaked out and hurt her’

It was the first time prosecutors confirmed his motive: to begin a new life with his girlfriend he had been seeing for two months before he carried out the murders.

Watts killed his wife and children on August 13 in the early hours of the morning. Their bodies were found inside an oil tank just three days later. 

Documents from Frederick Police Department show that Watts  had voluntarily consented to a polygraph interview on August 15, which had showed ‘deception indicated’ when asked if he harmed his family.

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The documents obtained by reveal that Watts only confessed to killing Shannan by strangulation after investigating officers informed him that he had failed the polygraph test.

He then claimed that he killed Shannan after she had murdered their two children. Watts said he’d seen her ‘on top of Cece’ and ‘freaked out and hurt her’.

However, prosecutors found no evidence that Shannan had hurt the children and say Chris killed all of the family members himself and was simply trying to shift blame on his dead wife. 

Officers allowed Watts’ father Ronnie to speak to him during the interview when he finally admitted that he ‘was not a good man’ and ‘had a lot of rage’ because Shannan allegedly hurt the girls.

The crude oil tanks where Watts dumped his daughter’s bodies who were still dressed in their nightgowns 

A satellite image shows the location where Chris Watts disposed of the bodies of his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and their daughters, Bella, 4, and 3-year-old Celeste

He admitted that he dumped his daughters bodies in crude oil tanks and buried Shannon, who was 15 weeks pregnant with their only son, in a shallow grave at a site near his workplace.

When Ronnie asked where the girls were, Chris broke down and said: ‘That – that’s what I feel horrible about….they’re in a freakin’ oil tank… I didn’t know what else to do.

‘Please, God forgive me for everything. I’m not a good man’. 

Chris also told officers and his father who was present that Shannan hurt the girls because he and other members of his family believed that she was ‘unstable, a narcissist and bipolar’.

Asked what made her ‘snap’, Chris said he believed it was finding out he was having an affair even though he had not admitted his infidelity to her.

He said that after the murders, he loaded his children’s bodies into his truck and drove to the field where he pushed Bella and Celeste through eight-inch holes which led to separate crude oil tanks.

Bella’s body was scratched as she was shoved through the hole, Rourke said, and a piece of her blonde hair was found on the door.

Watts then stayed at the work site and behaved normally as co-workers showed up for the day. 

Later, when they were all reported missing, he said they were all asleep when he left for work that morning.

Chris said: ‘They’re gone, there’s no bringing them back’ when investigators asked if the girls were still alive during the interview.

Watts’ mistress, Nichol Kessinger (right) claimed that his financial troubles were the main catalyst for the murders. Prosecutors say Watts (left) wanted to start a new life with her

Watts drove to the field where he pushed Bella and Celeste through eight-inch holes which led to separate crude oil tanks which contained a mixture of oil and water

Chris repeateldy denied hurting his family and said he wanted them home safe. He finally admitted killing Shannan when officers told him he failed a lie detector test 

Asked why he dumped the bodies at the site, Chris replied: ‘I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to f******g do, like none, none of this made sense… why would she hurt my f*****g girls?’. 

Chris also told investigating officers that everyone knew he was a good man and when finding out that he had killed his wife and buried their bodies, they would say: ‘What the f**k did you do Chris? Why didn’t you just tell the cops to begin with?’.

He claimed the girls were still wearing nightgowns and and were inside 20 foot tanks which contained a mixture of oil and water.

His wife Shannan was wearing just a black or grey t-shirt and underwear when he buried her at another location.

Watts also spoke about his mistress Nikki Kissenger and that he had fallen out of love with his wife because he had fallen in love with her.

Later on in the interview, Chris admitted to officers that he was having an affair with Kessenger and that she took his breath away, claiming he never felt the same way about anyone as he did about her.

He told officers: ‘I cheated on her, im not proud of it… she accused me of it.. and I feel horrible for it…. She was pregnant… I didn’t hurt her… I cheated on her…I hurt her emotionally’.

Christopher Watts awaits sentencing hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on November 19

Watts’ parents Ronnie and Cindy forgave their sons action and documents show Cindy believed Shannan was unstable 

Chris had told Kessenger he was going to separate from his wife eventually but ‘didn’t know what it was going to look like’. 

He was scared to tell Kessenger about the pregnancy because he felt like she wouldn’t have gone on a date with him if she knew.

When asked if he was sorry for what he did, Chris responded: ‘I wish I wouldn’t have lost control and got on top of Shannan and did that… and then I did that’, referring to dumping their bodies at the oil well site.

He said in July when the couple had visited Shannan’s family in North Carolina , he told her he didn’t feel the same connection with her anymore and suggested that they separate.

He told Shannan there was no one else. ‘This isn’t like somebody came into my life and took me from you,… there’s no outside influence coming from this’. 

The documents also detailed the couple’s financial woes and he suggested selling the house and splitting the proceeds in half when they separated.

They had filed for bankruptcy two years previously and he knew when the the children returned they would be living pay check to paycheck.

Frank Rzucek, the father of Shanann Watts, center, sobs as the judge talks during Watts sentencing at the Weld County Courthouse on Monday 

Sandra Onorati Rzucek and Frank Rzucek  listen to the Weld County District Attorney during a press conference and claimed that Watts was a ‘monster’ for his evil actions 

Chris consistently said he wasn’t trying to cover anything up and wanted his wife and children to come home

‘If I could have my babies back home right now, I would, I want them back, I want everybody back, that is the God’s honest truth’. 

The documents state the coupled had filed for bankruptcy two years previously, he knew when the kids returned they would be living pay check to pay check

Shannon took out $10,000 from their savings account to catch up on their mortgage payments. He believed the loan was taken out five months before their deaths.

They were three months behind on mortgage payment. Chris said he and Shannon were stressed about their financial situation and almost all of their credit cards were maxed out.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke described for the first time how Watts attacked his wife on August 13 after she returned in the early hours of the morning from a business trip.

Shannan Watts had tried to make the marriage work and wanted the couple to go to counselling but Chris wanted to start a new life with his mistress Nichol Kessinger

Bella (far right)  got up twice asking when he mother would be home and Chris assured her that she would see Shanann in the morning, before murdering them both 

He had been having an affair and she was desperate for their marriage to survive.

He strangled her calmly, Rourke said, and had no defensive wounds afterwards.

His motive for killing them, Rourke said, was to start a new life with his mistress Nichol Kessinger.

‘He had a desire for a fresh start.

‘To begin a relationship with a new love that overpowered all decency and feelings for his wife, his daughters and unborn son.

‘While Shanann texted the defendant over and over again in the days leading up to her death, he secreted photos of his girlfriend into his phone and texted her at all hours of the night.

‘While Shanann sent him self-help and counseling books, he was searching the internet for secluded vacation spots to take his new love and was researching jewelry.

One was to the school where the girls were supposed to start, telling the school that the girls were being un-enrolled.

He also contacted a realtor to start discussing selling his house and he texted with his girlfriend about their future.

Watts had taken the girls to a birthday party on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12, and while Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, played in the pool their father started texting co-worker Kodi Roberts.

At 5.06pm that evening, Watts set in motion his plan for disposing of his wife and daughters’ bodies, as he texted Roberts that he would be making the drive out to one of the more distant oil fields that was managed by his company, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Watts claimed that he put the girls down before 8pm and that Bella woke up twice, running out to ask when her mom would be returning home. 

The young girl’s father and soon-to-be-murderer admitted to assuring her that she would see her mother in the morning.

A babysitter, who was the sister of the birthday boy whose party Watts and the girls attended that Sunday, also spoke with an agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

She said that on Saturday Watts had asked her to watch the children while he attended a Rockies game, though it was later revealed that he was actually on a date with his mistress, Nichol Kessinger.

She had babysat for the girls the previous evening, when Watts had claimed to be attending a Colorado Rockies game. 


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