‘Heart­less mon­ster’

that's life (Australia) - - That's Shocking -

Start­ing a drone search of an oil and gas site, po­lice no­ticed a patch of ground that looked like it had re­cently been dis­turbed.

Then they spot­ted a bed sheet match­ing the pat­tern of pil­low cases and a top sheet re­cov­ered from a kitchen bin in the Watts’ home.

Shanann’s body was trag­i­cally re­cov­ered soon af­ter­wards, found in a shal­low grave near an oil tank.

Hor­ri­fy­ingly, Bella and Ce­leste’s lit­tle bod­ies were found stuffed in­side oil tanks near their mother.

Preg­nant Shanann had been bru­tally stran­gled while the girls had been smoth­ered to death, and then all of their bod­ies had been hid­den.

But who would kill such a beau­ti­ful mum and her in­no­cent chil­dren?

For po­lice, there was only ever one prime sus­pect - their ‘lov­ing’ dad and known fam­ily man.

Chris Watts was ar­rested on Au­gust 16 and charged with three counts of first­de­gree mur­der. At first, he ad­mit­ted only killing his wife, say­ing he ‘went into a rage’ and stran­gled Shanann af­ter he saw her stran­gling Ce­leste.

He claimed Bella was al­ready dead on the bed.

But as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion gath­ered pace, it was dis­cov­ered there was more to Chris’ story.

Af­ter ini­tial de­nials, Chris ad­mit­ted he’d been hav­ing an af­fair with a col­league who was later re­vealed as 30-year-old Ni­chol Kessinger.

When the af­fair had started two months ear­lier, Ni­chol said Chris wasn’t wear­ing a wed­ding ring.

Ni­chol said she be­lieved he was sep­a­rated and in the process of di­vorc­ing his wife.

Searches of Ni­chol’s Google his­tory showed she was re­search­ing wed­ding dresses, pre­sum­ing her re­la­tion­ship would get se­ri­ous. It was only when Shanann went miss­ing that she claimed she learnt the truth.

‘When I read the news, I found out he was still mar­ried and his wife was 15 weeks preg­nant,’ Ni­chol told the me­dia.

Call­ing po­lice to re­port him, Ni­chol be­came in­stru­men­tal in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

It was dis­cov­ered Chris had been googling, When to say I love you for the first time in a new re­la­tion­ship.

He had also been plan­ning week­ends away with Ni­chol.

Dis­gust­ingly, it meant his mo­tive for mur­der could be as sim­ple as a ‘fresh start’ with his mis­tress.

Months af­ter his ar­rest, as things con­tin­ued to un­ravel, Chris had a change of heart on his plea.

To avoid the death penalty, and with Shanann’s fam­ily’s agree­ment, he pleaded guilty to mur­der­ing his daugh­ters as well as his preg­nant wife.

At the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, Shanann’s fam­ily called Chris a ‘heart­less mon­ster’ and said they be­lieved he should spend the rest of his life be­hind bars.

‘I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them,’ Shanann’s fa­ther said to

Chris in court.

In Novem­ber, he was handed three con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences with­out el­i­gi­bil­ity for pa­role.

‘This is per­haps the most in­hu­mane and vi­cious crime that I have han­dled out of the thou­sands of cases I have seen,’ the judge said. ‘Noth­ing less than a max­i­mum sen­tence would be ap­pro­pri­ate.’

Af­ter Chris was jailed, more love in­ter­ests emerged.

Amanda McMa­hon came for­ward say­ing she had met Chris on the dat­ing app Tin­der, which he had used to find some­one to play out his ‘rape fan­tasies’ with.

The pair, she said, met in a car park and he fol­lowed her home where they had ‘rough’ and ‘ag­gres­sive’ in­ter­course that she said was hu­mil­i­at­ing and un­com­fort­able.

Like Ni­chol, she had no idea Chris was mar­ried and was shocked when she dis­cov­ered on the news that he was a mur­derer.

Trent Bolte has also told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he and Chris were in a se­cret gay re­la­tion­ship in the lead up to the mur­ders.

The 28-year-old claimed Chris gave him money dur­ing their 10-month re­la­tion­ship and ad­mit­ted to him he was, ‘stuck in a love­less mar­riage’ but stayed for Bella and Ce­leste.

While Chris’ mo­tive for killing his en­tire fam­ily will never be un­der­stood, at least he won’t ever be freed to kill again.

‘I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them’

Shanann was preg­nant when she was mur­dered Bella and Ce­leste Self­ies of Ni­chol and Chris were found on her phone Drones were used to find earth that had been re­cently dis­turbedTrent Bolte also came for­ward

Chris was sen­tenced to life Shanann’s brother Frankie and fa­ther Frank sobbed in court

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