Convicted family murderer Chris Watts is believed to have some type of religious awakening that prompted him to share new details about the brutal murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters with investigators in a late-February interview at the Wisconsin prison where Watts is serving multiple life sentences.
As previously reported, attorneys for Shannan Watts’ family appeared on the Dr. Phil show on Tuesday in the first part of a two-part episode. The lawyers said that Shanann’s mother Sandra Rzucek had been briefed on the contents of the interview, and shared what she had told them with Dr. Phil — which amounts to a very different story than Watts’ original claim: Shortly after his arrest, Watts told investigators that he had killed Shanann in a “rage” after seeing that she had strangled one of their daughters.
According to the lawyers’ account, Watts revised his story in last month’s prison interview with investigators from multiple agencies, and shared a shocking new claim: That his daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were still alive when he drove them, with their mother’s body in his pickup truck, to an oil field where he buried Shanann, smothered both girls, and stuffed each of his daughter’s bodies in an oil tank.
Watts reportedly told investigators that Bella had walked in on him as he was wrapping Shanann’s body in a sheet, and that he told Bella her mother was sick and needed to be taken to the hospital. Following the 45-minute drive to the oil field, Watts reportedly admitted that Bella witnessed him smother her younger sister and pleaded with him not to do the same to her.
Asked why Watts would suddenly decide to share this new information with investigators, given that his case is closed and the sentence has been delivered, one of the lawyers said that he believed Watts had discovered religion since he arrived in prison.
“He is claiming that he is remorseful, and he has found God,” Thomas Grant of the Grant & Hoffman Law Firm told Dr. Phil.
Shanann Watts’ parents and her brother will appear in part two of the two-part “Dr. Phil” episode, airing Monday, March 11.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is expected to release the audio and written files of Chris Watts’ February 28 prison interview on Thursday, March 7.