Chris Watts opened up about the many cracks in his marriage shortly after being sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering his family. In an interview with authorities conducted in his Wisconsin prison cell, Watts admitted his marriage was strained and that his wife, Shanann Watts, had been estranged from his parents, Cindy and Ronnie Watts, at the time of her murder.
Chris, now 35, also told investigators that his father had been so distraught about his son’s decision to marry Shanann that the patriarch developed what his son believed to be a cocaine addiction. Watts recounted that the man became hooked on a “white powdery substance” that was depleting the family’s bank account.
“When he talked to his father about his addiction, his father immediately changed the subject,” read a report, obtained by OK!. “His father was coping with the fact that he never came back home.”
Watts had moved from North Carolina to Colorado with Shanann right after his wedding. The relationship between the bride and her in-laws was already strained at that point in the relationship, as evidenced by the fact that Cindy and Ronnie did not attend the couple’s wedding.
This all added tension to an already volatile situation. “His mother initially believed his father was having an affair because he couldn’t account for missing money,” noted the report. “He has never used drugs and tried to talk to his father about why he was using drugs.”
In a cruel twist of irony, Watts told his father that he was “throwing his life away,” according to the report. He also recalled how Ronnie had been rapidly losing weight and suffering frequent nose bleeds. Then, it just stopped one day.
The report gave little information as to why or how Ronnie kicked the habit, and instead just stated: “[Watts] talked to his father, his father stopped using drugs.”
In that same interview, Watts revealed that his parents, Cindy and Ronnie, had urged him to argue that he was a victim of emotional and mental abuse. They thought this might save him at trial and help him avoid a life sentence, explained their son. What is not clear, however, is if they still believed that it was Shanann who killed daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, as their son first told police.
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