Chris Watts and family

‘He tried to poison Shanann’: Chris Watts slipped pregnant wife oxycodone weeks before he murdered her, prison pen pal says

An author who sparked a friendship with convicted murderer Chris Watts claims in an upcoming episode of “Cellmate Secrets” that Watts admitted to dosing his wife with oxycodone — in an attempt to end her pregnancy.

Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant with the couple’s third child when Chris Watts murdered his family in August 2018. As CrimeOnline previously reported, he shared horrifying details of the triple murder with Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents in February 2019; admitting that he strangled his wife to death and then drove with her dead body in the car to an oil field, where he smothered 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste before stuffing his daughter’s bodies into oil tanks.

He buried Shannan’s body in the field, a distance away from daughter’s bodies. Cheryln Cadle, the author of “Letters from Christopher: The Tragic Confessions of the Watts Family Murders,” appeared in “Cellmate Secrets: Chris Watts,” a new Lifetime series that premiered Friday night. According to, Cadle – who has been communicating with Watts primarily in letters – claimed Watts told her that separating the mother and daughters was a deliberate act.

“He said he wanted just to get [the girls] as far away from Shanann as he could …”because he was so angry with Shanann, he at that moment hated her so much,” Cadle reportedly said on the show.

Cadle also said that Watts confessed to drugging his wife with the potent painkiller oxycodone weeks before he killed her.

“He tried to poison Shanann with a large dose of it,” she said, according to “What he wanted her to do was for her to miscarry.”

Cadle also said that it’s possible Watts drugged Shanann again on the morning of her murder: Watts reportedly admitted to Cadle that he did drug his wife that day, but later denied it.

“So, I’m not sure what the truth is there but I believe he drugged her again,” Cadle said. “Shanann was a vivacious and tenacious woman. I believe that she would have fought back and there was no sign that she fought back at all.”

READ MORE: Chris Watts Mistress: Does Nichol Kessinger know more than she let on?

As previously reported, Watts was having an affair with Nichol Kessinger, a woman he met at work, at the time of the murders. Initially, Watts claimed to have nothing to with his family’s disappearance, but failed a police polygraph test. He pleaded guilty to the murders in November 2018.

Read more of CrimeOnline’s coverage of the Watts family murders here.

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