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.
The Watts Murder
The book was good. Although, Everything I read I had known already. But it was a good book. It gave an account about what happened in the order that it happened. It’s a very sad story about the ending of a beautiful mother and her beautiful little girls. May they rest in loving peace.
This is just the author reposting Shanann fb posts. No real reporting or investigating.
I honestly have been reading up on this case since 2018, but I learned a lot from this book. It is so heartbreaking that at times it’s hard to continue reading. I feel that, for a lot of who read up on this case, that we are all just trying to make the pieces fit as though it could fix the situation and bring them back...and the author makes a point towards the end of the book to express that we will never truly know all the answers. Like stated in the book, with all the pictures and videos on social media, you feel like you knew them.
I’m glad towards the end of the book the author made sure there was no question as to who committed the murders. It’s also nice to see that Chris’ parents are starting to realize that he did actually murder his innocent children, and that they are just as confused as we are. I still can’t find it in my heart to be sympathetic towards them, the anger they have shown Shanaan through these interviews is disgusting. It’s almost like they have no qualms about her passing. I can see where the author has sympathy for them, and attempts to humanize them, and for that I have to give him props. I do wish that Shanaan’s family would have been more involved so we can get more of their side of things, but I completely understand why they decided not to. I hope they can find comfort and solace in this life, and be reunited with their loved ones in the next.