Chris Watts, who is serving a life sentence in prison for the murders of his wife, two daughters, and unborn child, has confessed to killing his family in a rage, according to audio released by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to the crimes in August and was sentenced in November to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of wife Shanann, and the couple's two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
Watts also received two additional concurrent life sentences for two other murder charges for different theories in Bella and Celeste's deaths. He also received 48 years for the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and 12-year sentences for three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
An attorney for Shanann Watts' family also recently revealed that Watts found God while imprisoned for his heinous crimes.
What are the new details?
According to The Coloradoan, Watts told investigators during a five-hour interview on Feb. 18 that his affair with a co-worker "contributed" to the murders.
Watts said that he was not happy with his marriage to Shanann, and began an affair with Nichol Kessinger in July, just two months before the August murders of his family.
Police charged Watts with multiple felonies on Aug. 20 after Shanann — who was then 15 weeks pregnant — disappeared along with the couple's 3- and 4-year-old daughters from their home in Frederick, Colorado.
Three days after Shanann and the girls were reported missing, police discovered Shanann's body buried in the ground at a petroleum company where Watts worked. Authorities later discovered the remains of the couple's daughters, which were submerged in two nearby oil tanks.
Local police performed a welfare check on Shanann and her young daughters after the 34-year-old mom didn't show up for an afternoon doctor's appointment.
On Aug. 15, police arrested Watts and took him into custody.
In an unsealed court affidavit, police alleged that Watts was having an affair — a claim he initially denied. Watts admitted to killing his wife in a fit of rage, and said that his wife had strangled their daughters after he revealed he wanted a divorce.
"God gave me opportunities to get out [of the affair]," Watts told investigators. "I just wish I could take it all back."
Watts said that when his wife came home from her business trip, he told her that he no longer loved her. Shanann reportedly told him that he'd never see the kids again in response.
Watts explained that he "snapped" and immediately strangled her. Watts said that his wife never even fought back or screamed during the fatal attack, and believed that she might have been praying while he strangled her to death.
"Once she was gone, I didn't know what was going on," Watts said. "It was like a traumatic … a traumatic event. I was shaking, I didn't know what had happened. … I wasn't in control of what I could think or what I could do at that point in time."
Watts admitted to driving his two frightened children 45 minutes away to his work site, where he buried their mother's body and killed the two young girls.
Watts said that his daughter Bella's last words were "Daddy, no!" — words he relives every day.
According to the report, Watts "felt like someone else was in control of what he was doing."
Watts told investigators that he felt it was possible that he loved Kessinger, and he felt more comfortable around her than he did his wife Shanann, who he described as controlling and focused.
According to investigators' reports, Watts "wondered what he was doing with Kessinger ... every time he opened up his phone and saw pictures of his wife and children."
Despite that, he did not end the affair. Watts also said that he would like to talk to Kessinger "at least once" to apologize and find out how she is doing. Watts ultimately said that he wouldn't have considered his relationship with his wife "bad" at all if he hadn't met Kessinger and started an affair with her.
The report described Watts' mother as being "always 'hesitant' about Shanann." Watts, who was the youngest of his family, reportedly never had a girlfriend in high school, and prior to meeting Shanann, only had short relationships with women.
The report noted that Watts "has pictures of his wife and daughters in his prison cell and he talks to them every morning and every night." Watts also reportedly has a book in his cell, which he used to read to his youngest daughter.
"He reads the book to his daughters, along with some scripture, every night," the report added.
Watts "looks outside every day and wonders what he could have been doing with his kids," the report explained.
"Right now I'd have a 5-year-old … a 3-year-old … and more than likely, a one-month old son … and a beautiful wife … and right now it's just me," Watts said during the interview.
Watts also said that the only thing that matters to him now is God's judgment, and revealed that he asked for God's forgiveness.
"I never knew I could have a relationship with God like I do now," he said. "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."