The sordid details of Chris Watts' relationship with his murdered wife, Shan'ann, point to a marriage that was in deep trouble and a man who was keeping way too many secrets. But it wasn't just Chris with whom Shan'ann's relationship had become tense. Text messages released from the weeks prior to Shan'ann's death show that she and her in-laws were also at odds. She called them "evil" and "stupid" in messages following an incident in which they allegedly fed nuts to her allergic daughter.
In the messages, obtained by the Daily Mail, Shan'ann went off about Chris' parents just one week before her murder.
Shan'ann had been on a four-week trip in North Carolina, during which her girls had spent time with their grandparents. At one point, she wrote that Chris' mom, Cindy, had fed everyone ice cream with peanut butter chips, despite knowing that Celeste had a nut allergy. When Celeste asked for some, Shan'ann and Cindy got into a huge fight, with the grandmother reportedly accusing Shan'ann of "coddling" her allergic child.
"You should call your dad and tell him you did not appreciate your mom putting your daughter at risk today, nor do you like that she teased our girls," Shan'ann reportedly wrote in texts to Chris. "You should also say you don't appreciate her saying they have to learn they can't always get what they want! They are 2 and 4!"
Chris seemed to side with his wife, writing back that he would speak with his dad about the incident.
Chris flew in to join his family during their last week of vacation, and while he was there, all hell broke loose between Shan'ann and his parents. Celeste had a third birthday party, but his parents opted not to attend and didn't even call their granddaughter to say happy birthday. In a flurry of text messages, Shan'ann wrote that his parents were blaming her for driving a wedge between the family, but it wasn't her job to make them happy; it was her job to protect her children.
"These kids are my world and I have to protect them from the evil of the world. I shouldn't have to protect them from evil family," she wrote. "l'm not accepting l'm sorry from your mom, because she doesn't mean it and she knew what she was doing. I made it very clear not to eat it around Celeste, because she doesn't understand, way before that happened. She's evil and willing to risk your daughter's life just to get under my skin. You and your dad are no different if you are ok with her behavior. There's nothing wrong with me and l'm not crazy. I just love my kids way too much."
These kids are my world and I have to protect them from the evil of the world. I shouldn't have to protect them from evil family.
The texts only seemed to add fuel to an already strained relationship between Chris and his wife.
Chris was reportedly spending time with his mistress the whole time Shan'ann and the kids were away. CBS 4 reports that investigators searched the phone of Chris's alleged mistress, Nichol Kessinger, and found searches during that time period for "sexual videos and positions, hours’ worth of searches for 'Shanann Watts.'"
When Chris joined his family in North Carolina, a friend of Shan'ann told investigators that he was distant and withholding. "He didn’t run to her and kiss her at the airport when they picked him up. Chris was not interested in taking pictures together, which was very unusual. At certain times, Chris didn’t want to hug her, and told her he didn’t want to. Chris was not communicating and Shan'ann felt lost," she said, according to CBS 4.
One of Chris' friends reportedly told investigators an even more disturbing version of the events from that trip to North Carolina.
According to the Daily Mail, the friend said Chris' mom called him crying after the fight over the peanut butter ice cream. But when the friend asked Chris about it, Chris allegedly told him not to worry because he was "done with Shan'ann."
Chris' father, Ronnie, also reportedly told investigators that his son described Shan'ann as "controlling, narcissistic and possible bipolar," though he said he had never witnessed any arguments between the couple.
Possibly the most shocking thing about the details coming out is how they paint a picture of a couple in almost completely different worlds.
Most of the evidence seems to show Shan'ann as trying to protect her kids, save her relationship and fight for her family. Meanwhile, the messages and comments by friends seem to paint Chris as already checked out of his marriage, playing sides with his family, and generally being unsupportive and unconcerned about his wife and children.
"l try to give you space, but while you are working and living the bachelor life l’m carrying our 3rd and fighting with our two kids daily and trying to work and make money," Shan'ann wrote at one point. "lt’s not hard texting 'love you' and 'miss you.' If you don’t mean it then I get it, but we need to talk. I kept looking at my phone all night and no response from you. Like seriously! We didn’t just start dating yesterday! We’ve been together 8 years and have 2.5 kids together.”
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.