‘Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer’: Why Is the Watts Family Angry About the Lifetime Movie?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Chris Watts

The title “Chris Watts” is now synonymous with one of the brutal murders in latest historical past.

On Aug. 13, 2018, Watts strangled his spouse, Shan’ann Watts, in addition to their two preschool-aged daughters, Bella and Celeste, earlier than dumping their our bodies in oil tanks and a shallow grave at his worksite close to Frederick, Colorado.

Shan’ann, Watts’ spouse since 2012, was fifteen weeks pregnant
with a child boy, Niko. Watts had just lately been having an affair with co-worker
Nichol Kessinger, who is just not believed to have had something to do with the

34-year-old Watts admitted to the murders and was charged
with a number of counts of first-degree homicide. He is presently serving 5 life
sentences with out the potential for parole at Dodge Correctional Institution
in Wisconsin.

The Watts household murders sparked widespread media consideration as individuals sought to make sense of this horrific crime. Most just lately, Lifetime launched a documentary concerning the murders, Beyond the Headlines: The Watts Family Tragedy, which premiered on Sat., Jan. 25, 2020. The similar night, a fictionalized Lifetime film about Chris Watts, Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, was additionally launched.

Not everybody was glad concerning the renewed consideration to the case. Shan’ann’s members of the family, together with her dad and mom, Frank and Sandra Rzucek, had been sad after seeing the trailer for the brand new Lifetime film. They held a press convention in mid-Jan. 2020 to warn individuals in opposition to taking Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer at face worth.

Chris Watts
Chris Watts | RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post by way of Getty Images

Shan’ann’s household anxious about on-line harassment and bullying after the film aired

After the primary trailer for Lifetime’s Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer aired, Shanann’s members of the family instructed ABC Denver 7 they had been involved concerning the fictionalized model of occasions.

At a press convention, the Watts household’s lawyer, Steven Lambert, stated the household was anxious about a number of features of the movie.

First, he identified that Shan’ann’s household had not been contacted previous to the movie’s manufacturing, nor had that they had any say in its growth. This led them to fret that Shan’ann and her daughters could be portrayed negatively or that their murders could be portrayed inaccurately.

The Watts household has spoken
out up to now about being victimized, harassed, and bullied on-line. They had been
involved that the renewed consideration from the Lifetime film would exacerbate
these ongoing points.

The household additionally identified that they might not revenue in any method from the movie’s launch, and that Watts had beforehand sought to revenue off of the murders by way of rumors of tell-all books and media appearances (which they blocked with the assistance of an lawyer).

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The household held a press convention to push again in opposition to the Lifetime film

Lambert instructed ABC Denver 7 that the Watts household murders had sadly sparked a lot consideration that the fixed media frenzy may unfold misinformation.

Of the household’s issues, he
stated, “Armchair detectives going on the market looking for scraps of proof,
saying, ‘Chris really wasn’t the killer, it was X’ or, ‘His authentic confession
was the true confession and Shanann did have a hand on this’ or ‘There is a few
form of conspiracy going to it,’ that form of stuff bothers them rather a lot.”

Watts initially instructed police he had no thought why Shan’ann and
his daughters had disappeared after his spouse returned from a business journey in
Arizona. Later, he claimed he had attacked Shan’ann in a match of rage after she harmed
their daughters.

Finally, after he was sentenced, Watts claimed he had dedicated the murders in anger after his spouse discovered about his affair and threatened to maintain his youngsters from him. Law enforcement officers nonetheless consider Watts is mendacity about all three variations of occasions. They on no account suspect Shan’ann of getting harmed or threatened to hurt her youngsters in any method.

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Some thought the film subtly blamed Shan’ann for her personal homicide

After Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer aired on
Lifetime on Jan. 25, some viewers and critics thought the movie took liberties
with the info and even subtly blamed Shan’ann for Watts’ crime.

Michaels Roberts wrote in Denver-area publication Westword that the movie appeared to implicitly settle for with Watts’ protection at trial, which was partly that Shan’ann’s function as a gross sales consultant for the diet complement patch Thrive with the advertising and marketing firm Le-vel performed a task in Watts’ actions.

Roberts writes that the movie “implies that Watts’s homicides
weren’t motivated simply by subtly vicious amorality and rage, however by an adversarial
response to weight-loss tablets and patches that Shanann energetically marketed
as a gross sales consultant.” At trial, Watts’ lawyer argued that Watts
had suffered from sleep deprivation as a result of patch.

“Clearly, prosecutors didn’t buy the idea that Watts turned evil because of Thrive,” Roberts continued, however Lifetime’s producers appeared to take the argument at face worth at sure factors within the movie.

The Lifetime film’s Watts, performed by Sean Kleier, appeared annoyed together with his spouse’s job and wired by the patches. Meanwhile, Lifetime’s model of Shan’ann, performed by Ashley Williams, was at occasions annoyingly perky and pushy concerning the dietary supplements and her function within the firm.

While the movie didn’t come out explicitly in favor of Watts’ Thrive-based
protection, the script lingered fairly a bit on Shan’ann’s job and appeared to
current “both sides” in its portrayal. This, it appears, was precisely what the
Watts household feared by way of attainable inaccuracies within the Lifetime film.

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