Here's what body language experts say about 'American Murder' subject, Chris Watts

October 8, 2020

Austin Humphreys, Fort Collins Coloradoan via Imagn


Everyone is talking about the new Netflix documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, which covers the Watts family murders that occurred in northern Colorado. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer below. 


Here's the gist of the case: then 33-year-old husband and father of two, Chris Watts, strangled his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, to death at their home in Frederick, Colorado, following her return from a business trip. He also smothered their two daughters Bella and Celeste with their favorite blankets before being dumped into oil tanks at Watts' workplace. Watts had been having an affair with a woman named Nichol, who was under the impression that Watts was separated from his wife (and had no idea that Shanann was carrying their unborn third child, a boy named Niko). According to The Denver Channel, Watts was sentenced to three consecutive terms of life in prison plus two additional concurrent life terms, without the possibility of parole. 

In another documentary called Capturing Chris Watts (via Lad Bible), body language experts analyzed his body langauge from the police body cam footage, explaining exactly what gave him away. 

In one clip, Watts is shown running to meet the cop arriving at the house when the investigation first started. He lets the cop into the house and does not appear to be worried or helpful with the search for his wife, Shanann. 

"It means that he is separating himself from what is being spoken at that time," says body langauge expert Susan Constantine. "He's wanting to deflect. So, anytime he wants to walk away, he'll turn his back or he'll busy himself with the cell phone." 

Watts begins telling the cop about his wife's increasing migraines. Homicide prosecutor Jarrett Ferentino says, "These are things that he just seems to be filling the air with some biographical information, but he's still not panicking. His daughters are missing and Shanann is missing and he's just providing with some, in my opinion, useless information that goes nowhere." 

When viewing porch cam footage with the cop, Watts clasps his hands behind his head. Constantine says, "He's afraid to look at it because of what it might reveal, so part of it is that deflection, right? So, 'What I don't know, maybe I don't need to know'." 

Constantine adds that she notices a "cluster" of body language throughout the body cam footage, including the hand clasping and curled lips. She says this all points towards deception. 

Read more from Lad Bible here

There are quite a few details that they didn't really cover or just glazed over in the documentary. To read the things missing from the documentary, including 5+ hours of podcast-style tell-all between Chris Watts and investigators after his sentencing, click here