How Does One Man Kill His Entire Family?

So Many Questions, So Few Answers

Julie C-W
Julie C-W
Aug 16, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by Abhijith S Nair on Unsplash

I’m sitting here trying to wrap my mind around the fact that in Colorado a man killed his pregnant wife and 3 & 4 year old daughters.

I didn’t know about any of this until this morning, and as details continue to unfold I try to understand how a husband and father could commit such an atrocious act.

Like Scott Peterson, Christopher Watts went on the news to plead for the return of his missing family. Unlike Scott Peterson, Watts had two living children. The result, however, was the same. They both murdered their wives and unborn children, only Watts gets an additional two charges for killing his little girls.

Everyone is stunned. A local news outlet reports that one of her friends stated that she never saw anything amiss with the couple, and that as she got to know Watts, he appeared to be a loving father and husband.

Watts’ wife, Shanann, posted amazing things about Watts on her Facebook page. To browse it is heartbreaking. They went on trips together, the most recent was a vacation to San Diego, courtesy her MLM business. There are tons of pictures of them together, and from the outside, they had the perfect life.

I just don’t understand.

There are a lot of theories bouncing around online; that he did it for the insurance money because of alleged financial problems, that he had a side piece and needed to get rid of the wife and kids, etc. All of the arm chair detectives trying to put the pieces together until their fingers fall off will probably never get it right, and until Watts spills his guts (figuratively, because literally would be too much to ask, in my humble opinion, but only after some kind of explanation) we won’t know everything that went wrong until much later.

Did Watts have mental health issues? Was he cheating? Did he feel financially trapped with two children and a third on the way? Nobody but Watts knows the answer to these questions.

I suspect that within a year or two there will be an Investigation Discovery documentary on how this family’s life unraveled, culminating in Watts killing them.

All I know is that my heart breaks for all four of the victims, and can only imagine what those little girls must have been thinking as their hero, their beloved daddy, took their lives. I can only hope that they didn’t witness their mother’s murder.

My heart goes out to Shanann’s family, who live in my own state of North Carolina. I also feel terrible for Watts’ family. How must it feel to know your loved one murdered his entire family? Because I did peruse her Facebook, I assume that Watts’ father played an active role in the young family’s life.

My own grandsons are three and the idea that one of their parents could take their lives makes me literally sick to my stomach.

That poor woman. She had everything to live for, enjoyed every day that she was given, and now she’s just gone.

I don’t know how long I will live, but I can tell you that no matter how old I become? I will never, ever understand how one spouse can kill the other.

To sound like my grandparents? What this world is coming to, I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

Julie Cusimano Wall is the author of Random Musings From a Type-A Workaholic, a contributor at “The Ascent,” Central Transport Supervisor at a local hospital, Neither Left- nor Right-Leaning, tender-hearted and an extremely outspoken advocate for people that don’t get to experience privilege.

Julie C-W

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Julie C-W

Wife. Mom. Nana. Daughter. Sister. Photographer, wordsmith, lover of life and neither left nor right.