The parents of Chris Watts have claimed his pregnant wife would have been more capable of murdering their children, all of whom he pleaded guilty to killing.
The relationship between Shan’ann and Chris Watts was “very hard,” Ronnie and Cindy Watts said in an interview with KMGH-TV.
“You have to get to know her to be around her; put it that way,” Ronnie said.
The couple claimed their son was in an abusive relationship. They also claimed that Shan’ann isolated Chris, 33, from his family.
“It was a very hard relationship with her as far as I’m concerned,” Cindy said. “I couldn’t do anything right.”
The interview was their first since Chris was arrested on Aug. 15 for the killings of Shan’ann, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. Authorities found the body of the 34-year-old expectant mother of two buried on the grounds of the oil field where Watts worked up until his arrest.
She was about 15 weeks pregnant with what would be their first son, to be named Nico. The bodies of their daughters were found in a nearby oil tank.
“It’s hard for me to believe that he would hurt them girls no matter what,” Ronnie said, noting he believed Chris’ claim that he killed Shan’ann only after finding out she had strangled their daughters.
When asked if their son was capable of killing the children, Cindy instead pointed to Shan’ann.
“I would say she's more capable than Christopher,” she told KMGH-TV. “Christopher, I don't see him capable at all, but if something happened that night and that did happen — God forbid if it did happen — what was the trigger? Why? What happened?
“I just want the truth because he's not the sociopath next door,” she continued. “He's not the kind of person that would do something like that. I have to know why. I have to know. It's important to me."
After Chris confessed to killing Shan’ann, his parents said they asked him many questions about what happened.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry. I lost — I went into a rage, and I killed her.’ And he said, ‘I am so sorry. I ruined your life. I ruined my life,’" Cindy said.
“After the fact with the bodies, he said, ‘Dad, I could not put the girls with her after what she did,’” Ronnie said, but was unable to explain why his son then decided to put the children in an oil tank.
The couple said they had hoped their son would reject any plea deal that included convictions for the killings of his daughters if he was not the one responsible for their deaths.
“I just want him to fight,” she said. “I don’t want him to take this plea deal. I want him to plead not guilty to the children.”
In a statement to the television station, the parents of Shan’ann, Frank and Sandra Rzucek, said the comments made about their daughter were “vicious, grotesque and utterly false.”
“Their false statements, however hurtful and inaccurate, will never alter the truth about Shan'ann, and will never alter the truth about the crimes committed by their son, Chris Watts,” they said. “Shan'ann’s memory and reputation deserves to be protected. And her family is fully prepared to do so.”
Watts pleaded guilty to all nine counts he was facing to avoid the death penalty. He will be sentenced Monday.