Chris Watts’ description of talking to pictures of his dead family every night – even reading a book to his daughter – came during the same conversation in which the Colorado man vividly detailed how he choked his pregnant wife and smothered his daughters with one of their blankets as they pleaded with him to stop.
Watts — who is serving a life sentence for killing Shanann Watts and their two daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, on Aug. 13 — detailed in a five-hour jailhouse interview with investigators the day he placed his arms around his pregnant wife and strangled her.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation released the recordings from a Feb. 18 interview as part of an open records request, FOX31 reported.
Watts told investigators that he wished he never killed his family, adding that he keeps pictures of Shanann and his daughters in his prison cell.
“I have pictures of my wife and kids in my cell, and every morning and every night, I talk to them. I have this book I used to read for CeCe, and I remember that book, I read it to her every night,” Watts said.
"I never knew I could have a relationship with God like I do now," he told investigators. "It's like the amazing grace with all of this, but I just wish nobody had to pay any kind of price for this...I know there is a purpose for everybody, I just hope I can find mine."
Watts proceeded to detail the murders and recalled on the day of the slayings he and his pregnant wife had sex before falling back asleep. He then woke up, made breakfast and went back upstairs to tell Shanann Watts he no longer loved her. At the time, Watts was having an affair with Nichol Kessinger, who he met at his work.
Shanann began to cry, according to Watts, accused him of having an affair and vowed he would never see their daughters again.
Watts said he placed his arms around his pregnant wife and strangled her as he sat on top of her.
“I feel like in the back of my head…that was gonna happen…and just like, at the end of the conversation, it was just like, that’s what happened…I just wished I could’ve let go," Watts said. "But I just couldn't let go...like someone was just holding you...keeping you from letting go."
He added that his wife never fought back and believed she may have been praying while he was strangling her.
Watts said he "read the bible that said, 'Forgive these people for they do not know what they do,'" and believed maybe Shanann was saying that in her head at the time.
“I was getting the sheet off the bed, and [Bella] walked in. She had her little pink blanket with her. She was like, ‘What is wrong with Mommy?’” Watts recalled in jail. “I said, ‘She doesn’t feel good.’ And, that is when I started to carry her downstairs. I attempted to pick her up, but lost grip. I just had to pull.”
He put his wife’s body in his truck, told his daughters to get into the vehicle and drove to a secluded oil field where he worked. He recalled taking out Shanann's body out of the truck first, placing her where he would ultimately bury her before smothering his daughters in the vehicle with Celeste’s blue Yankees blanket.
He told investigators he strangled Celeste first, dumped her body in the oil tank before coming back for Bella.
“[Bella] said, ‘What happened to CeCe?’ She said, ‘Is the exact same thing going to happen to me, as CeCe?” Watts said.
The convicted murderer said Bella’s final words to him were, “Daddy, no!” which he claimed haunts him in prison today.
“I don’t know if I said, 'Yes,' like a horrible person. Or, if I just put the blanket over her, and did the same thing. I hear it every day [in prison] when Bella was talking to me,” he said.
Watts said he decided to plead guilty to the murder charges because he didn’t want a yearslong trial.
“I didn’t want anybody else—I didn’t want them to go through this for 2 or 4 years…I didn’t want my attorneys to lie for me for 2-4 years…they would’ve done anything I told them to do," he said.