American Murder: The Family Next Door


In November 2018, two months after the incident, Chris Watts, a 35 year old Colorado man pleaded guilty to murdering his pregnant wife Shanann, along with his two daughters, Bella and Celeste who were only three and four years old and disposing of the bodies in an industrial oil field. Netflix released a documentary called “American Murder: The family next door” that began streaming on September 30th, 2020. Although, this happened more than two years ago, Chris Watts is now re-living what happened as many more people become aware of the situation.


The gruesome documentary is currently trending number one on Netflix and is thrusting the case back into the spotlight. “Just knowing that the documentary is out there has sent Chris to some dark places”, a source told People Magazine. “He wants to know what the documentary looks like and how it tells the story.”

The Family Next Door tells a story through Shanann’s Facebook post and text messages along with real recorded footage of Chris Watts, police body cams, and news reports.

Wife's final texts before Chris Watts killed family revealed in Netflix documentary
Text message from Shanann to Chris

The documentary opens up with Chris letting police search his house hoping to find clues because he claims to be just as worried as they are. He pleads for Shanann and the girls to come home on the news while knowing in the back of his mind what he had killed them.

Chris Watts Seen Lying to Police In New Footage |
Chris being questioned by police

Chris shows little to no emotion throughout this whole case. His story continues to spiral into something new everyday. He fesses up to having an affair after it was suspected, then accuses his wife of killing their daughters, so he had lashed out and killed her. Eventually, after failing a polygraph test, Chris reveals what actually happened.

Chris had strangled Bella, Celeste, and Shanann, along with their unborn baby, to death. He buried Shanann’s body at his job site and disposed of his children’s bodies in the oil tanks there. The documentary finished with Chris receiving five life sentences with no possibility of parole.

Shanann Watts Met Husband Chris Online During Dark Period 8 Years Before Murder: 'He Is Amazing'
Celeste, Shanann, and Bella

American Murder: The Family Next Door is a extremely horrifying and emotional missing person story that grasp viewers in by presenting personal material such as Shanann’s Facebook videos, but the camera turns the spotlight back to where it belongs: on the victim.