Most people who knew Chris and Shanann Watts believed their marriage was a match made in heaven, and Shanann’s frequent Facebook posts consistently portrayed a beautiful, happy — and growing — family.
But now that Chris Watts has been charged in the shocking murder of his pregnant wife and two little girls, those who thought they knew the Watts are looking for signs they might have missed; warnings that the Watts home in Frederick, Colorado, wasn’t as perfect as it seemed in pictures.
For the most part, neighbors and friends say they never saw anything amiss.
“I don’t know what life was like in that home, but there were no red flags at all that the girls were scared of their parents,” a neighbor told People magazine.
Little Bella and Celeste “really didn’t seem to be the least bit scared” of their father, the neighbor said.
“On the contrary, [they] would greet him with hugs and kisses. And he’d kneel down happily and give them kisses and then kiss Shan’ann. It was exactly what you expect from a happy family.”
According to an arrest affidavit previously published by CrimeOnline, Watts told police that he killed Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant. But he said he strangled her “in a rage” after seeing her strangle one of their daughters via the baby monitor while the other lay limp and blue on her bed.
It does not appear that investigators believe his story.
And one friend of the couple told People magazine that she believes the true story of Chris and Shanann’s marriage was not exactly as they presented it. She recalled witnessing them having a heated fight in their driveway last summer; which in and of itself shouldn’t have been a red flag. But it was the way the couple tried to pretend everything was fine that the friend, Melinda Phillips, though was unusual.
“Their body language was really angry, and they were just fighting back and forth. He was gesturing his hands and they were shaking their heads, and it was definitely an argument,” Phillips told People.
“I didn’t really think much of it, because Lord knows that I’ve had the same arguments with my husband. They caught my eye and suddenly, everything changed. They stopped being so angry, and they started talking a lot more calmly. He even gave her a hug. Mind you, this was in the space of 30 seconds to a minute.”
The police investigation revealed the Chris Watts had been having an affair with a co-worker, and another man has come forward to say he also had an affair with Chris for ten months, initially believing Chris was unmarried.
Chris Watts is being held without custody, and is next due in court in November.