Newly released documents in the case of Chris Watts, the Colorado man convicted of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters, show a marriage in shambles.
Watts, 33, worried greatly about adding a third child to the family, according to text messages exchanged between his wife, 34-year-old Shan'ann, and a friend. The messages are part of over 2,000 pages of documents released by the Weld County District Attorney's Office.
"Chris told me last night he's scared to death about this third baby," wrote Shan'ann in one message, according to local station KDVR. "And he's happy with just Bella and Celeste and doesn't want another baby."
The friend consoled her. "He's just scared. Everything will be fun once the baby comes out."
Shan'ann remained unconvinced. "He has changed. I don’t know who he is," she replied.
The texts were exchanged just days before Watts killed Shan'ann and their two young daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, in mid-August. Watts was given five life sentences earlier this week in exchange for pleading guilty to a plethora of charges, including unlawful termination of an unborn child. Shan'ann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.
In the messages, Shan'ann also wrote about how Watts was showing less affection in recent weeks. "He hasn't touched me all week, kissed me, talked to me except for when I'm trying to figure out what is wrong," she said.
Shan'ann shared her concerns with her husband as well, writing to him in July while she was on vacation with the two girls that she needed him to meet her "halfway."
When Watts said he was sorry, she wrote back: “l try to give you space, but while you are working and living the bachelor life l’m carrying our 3rd and fighting with our two kids daily and trying to work and make money.
"lt’s not hard texting love you and miss you," she added. "lf you don’t mean it then I get it, but we need to talk. I kept looking at my phone all night and no response from you."
The messages offer an intimate look at a failing relationship that seemed happy to many on the outside. Online, Shan'ann gushed about her marriage. "I love Chris! He’s the best dad us girls could ask for," she posted on Facebook in June, together with a screenshot of a text message showing a picture of an ultrasound.
What Shan'ann didn't appear to know was that at the time, Watts was engaging in an affair with a co-worker, whom he allegedly told he was getting divorced.
Nichol Kessinger, 30, came forward earlier this month after much speculation about her identity to say she had no idea what Watts was capable of until it was too late. “He’s a liar,” Kessinger told the Denver Post. “He lied about everything.”
Kessinger features in the newly released documents as well. A search of her phone showed she'd looked for information on “Shanann Watts” as well as Amber Frey, the mistress of Scott Peterson, who was convicted in 2004 of killing his own pregnant wife, Laci. The searches included a query about whether "people hate Amber Frey" as well as one for more information about Frey's book deal.
In addition, the documents feature details about what Watts did in the immediate aftermath of killing his family. His search history shows he looked up the lyrics to Metallica's "Battery": "Lunacy has found me / Cannot stop the battery / Pounding out aggression / Turns into obsession / Cannot kill the battery / Cannot kill the family."