In The Perfect Father, New York Times bestselling author John Glatt reveals the tragedy of the Watts family, whose seemingly perfect lives played out on social media—but the truth would lead to a vicious and heartbreaking murder.
In the early morning hours of August 13th, 2018, Shanann Watts was dropped off at home by a colleague after returning from a business trip. It was the last time anyone would see her alive. By the next day, Shanann and her two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, had been reported missing, and her husband, Chris Watts, was appearing on the local news, pleading for his family’s safe return.
But Chris Watts already knew that he would never see his family again. Less than 24 hours after his desperate plea, Watts made a shocking confession to police: he had strangled his pregnant wife to death and smothered their daughters, dumping their bodies at a nearby oil site. Heartbroken friends and neighbors watched in shock as the movie-star handsome, devoted family man they knew was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The mask Chris had presented to the world in his TV interviews and the family’s Facebook accounts was slipping—and what lay beneath was a horrifying image of instability, infidelity, and boiling rage.
In this first major account of the case, bestselling author and journalist John Glatt reveals the truth behind the tragedy and constructs a chilling portrait of one of the most shocking family annihilator cases of the 21st century.
On Aug. 14, 2018, Christopher Lee Watts announced to several Denver, Colo., news stations that his pregnant wife, Shanann, and two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, were missing, and he begged them to come back home. Within 24 hours, Watts, whom the police suspected was the killer, would fail a polygraph test and confess to heinous acts that sent shock waves through his community. In this gripping account, bestseller Glatt (The Family Next Door) exposes two conflicting realities: the idyllic public image of happiness and success, and the disturbing private disintegration of an eight-year relationship. Through investigative reports, interviews, and a cache of social media posts and text messages, the author pieces together the couple's history from true love to tragedy, including physical abuse and infidelity. While his thorough reporting of repetitive patterns of marital dysfunction can border on the tedious, Glatt's expert coverage of the investigation is riveting, especially his portrayal of the psychological approaches used to interrogate Watts, who finally admitted to smothering his wife and children and dumping their bodies in an oil tank. (Watts was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.) Police procedural fans will enjoy being immersed in the action at every critical moment.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well researched and written
Really well researched and written book. It may be a tad hard on Shan’ann but nevertheless an excellent read which I would definitely recommend.
Trashes the victims
Interviews with the horrible Watts parents and bashing of Shanann ruin this book. How dare the author do this.
Too harsh on the victims and too easy on the perpetrator
While a compelling book to read, the author is clearly way too sympathetic to the husband who murdered his family. Leading up to the murders, he portrays the wife as a controlling, overbearing, image obsessed nightmare. It feels like an attempt to justify the unjustifiable - to victim blame. I wish I had known that before giving him my money. This was an unfair portrayal of a person who can no longer defend her own character. I have to wonder if he wrote it this way because her family declined to participate.