American Murder: The Family Next Door Netflix Review


Arianna Magana, Freshman

On September 30, 2020, Netflix released a documentary called American Murder: The Family Next Door, about the investigation and buildup of August 13, 2018; the day that Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife Shanann Watts and his two daughters, Bella and Celeste Watts. 

Filmmaker, Jenny Popplewells, was able to televise the dates, times, interviews and footage that involved the Watts case. Many people were left distraught after watching the show and after learning of Chris Watts’ cruel actions and doings.

During the documentary, there is actual footage of Chris Watts’ evaluation and interrogation and footage from the body cams that the officers were wearing during the Watts’ home investigation. Watts was able to tell the exact words that came from Bella. According to U.S News, Bella stated “What are you doing with Mommy?” This was when she walked in on her dad hurting her mom Shannan Watts.

While watching this film, viewers will get all the details of the murders. His motive for his actions was that he wanted a new life with his mistress, Nichol Kessinger. Watts was a seemingly loving husband and father, but his true sinister colors were shown when he decided he would stop at nothing to get what he desired. 

As this story unravels, more and more disturbing and tragic details unfold. Shanann was pregnant with their first son Niko and their daughters were murdered at only 3 and 4 years old. These four beautiful souls deserved to grow up and have a beautiful life, but they unfortunately never got the chance. May, Niko, Celeste and Bella Watts rest in peace.