Convicted family annihilator Chris Watts is “triggered” by the new Netflix documentary recounting his brutal murders of his wife and young children, according to a new report.
PEOPLE spoke with a source close to Watts, the Colorado man serving a life sentence for the murder of Shanann Watts — who was pregnant when he strangled her — and their two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste.
“He can’t see it, and he’ll probably never see it,” the source, who has regular contact with the 35-year-old Watts in prison, told the outlet.
“He’s curious about it, but he hates even knowing that his texts are out there for the public to read. It brings back awful memories of 2018 for him.”
The documentary, entitled ‘American Murder: The Family Next Door,’ began streaming on Netflix on September 30. It includes rarely-seen text messages and letters between Watts and his wife.
The unnamed source also claimed that inmates and guards at his current prison in Wisconsin are looking to watch the documentary. Chris Watts is currently housed at Dodge Correctional Institution, as the family annihilator was moved out of Colorado for security reasons earlier this year.
“There’s a lot of curiosity about him in prison,” the source said. “He’s the most high-profile inmate and what he did is incomprehensible, so everyone wants to know more about the case.”
“He hates it. It makes him feel a lot of shame. But he also knows that he brought it upon himself.”
American Murder consists solely of archival footage; there’s no narration, no new interviews, no solemn voiceovers. Instead, a family tragedy unfolds through glimpses of people, secrets, and dashed hopes, all caught on camera or captured via texts and DMs.
The release of the documentary detailing family annihilator Chris Watts’s horrific crimes comes amid news of his home in Colorado languishing in a housing limbo state.
Realtor.com previously reported that Watts’ home in Frederick, Colorado is still technically owned by the killer as the lender that holds the mortgage for the property has been unable to sell it off in foreclosure auctions.
“It’s not getting any bids because people know the sordid history of the house, and nobody wants it,” Denver-based bankruptcy attorney Clark Dray told realtor.com.
Experts told the outlet that it’s likely the home can’t be sold without steep discounts because the family killings are “a big deal” in terms of hurting the property’s value.
“When there are kids involved, the discounts are higher. People really don’t like that”
Documentary director Jenny Popplewell has also been speaking to various media outlets amid the release of “American Murder,” revealing that she assembled the documentary from private home videos, public videos on social media, and police footage.
“I went straight to Shanann’s Facebook page, and she’s still alive on there and feels like everybody else, you know?” Popplewell told Yahoo Entertainment. “That just stuck with me. I decided that rather than our film telling people what to think, we could just show them.”
Convicted family annihilator Chris Watts has offered up various explanations for the killings, famously first insisting he had no responsibility, then lying that his wife Shanann was responsible for his daughter’s murders, before finally confessing to all of the slayings in court.
“We’re not here to solve the crime, because no one will understand why Chris did this. He doesn’t know why he did this,” Popplewell told the outlet.
I have no interest at all in what Chris Watts has to say; he’s changed his story so many times. … I doubt that he’s capable of telling us the truth.