“American Murder” Rocks Netflix


Caiden Lujin, Staff Writer

The newest Netflix murder documentary arrived September 30, American Murder: Family Next Door, and the world has been going ballistic over it.  The true, twisted doc. explores Chris Watts’ senseless murders of his pregnant wife, Shannan Watts, along with his two daughters, Bella and Celeste in August 2018.  The entirety of the documentary uses real footage from Shannan’s Facebook page, security cameras, police body cameras, and private text conversations.  The Netflix picture has sparked an outrage with viewers across the country, and even Chris Watts himself who reportedly was made aware of the documentary’s production. 

The documentary begins with a home camera showing Shannan being dropped off at the Watts family home at 2 AM after a 6-week trip to North Carolina, the day of her and her children’s demise.  Text messages displayed on the screen reveal mild marriage issues between the two but showed no signs of them separating.  Chris had been having an affair with a coworker at his oil company.  After an argument with Shannan, Chris ended both his wife and children’s lives in their sleep and took them to his workplace where he buried Shannan and tried to dispose of the kids in an oil tank. 

“It was hard to watch honestly,” Springs sophomore Quinn McVey said. “I didn’t expect to really care as much as I did but it made me feel kind of uneasy.” 

The entire dynamic of the documentary is disheartening and demoralizing to viewers.  The lives of the Watts family were documented well on Shanann’s Facebook page, showing her kids’ love for school and their parents being “heroes” to them.  Murderer Chris Watts has been under intense scrutiny since its release.  He faces a lifetime in prison.