FREDERICK, Colo. (CBS4)– A petition circulating online is calling on the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to remove family photos from convicted murderer Chris Watts’ cell walls. The Change.org petition states the prison was violating its own values of prioritizing victim advocacy by allowing Watts to have photos of his slain family.
Watts pleaded guilty to murdering his wife, Shanann Watts, and daughters Bella and Celeste “CeCe” in August 2018. In November 2018, a judge sentenced Chris Watts to three consecutive life sentences, along with two other life sentences to be carried out concurrently, in addition to 48 years for unlawful termination of pregnancy for the death of the unborn child, and 12 years each for three counts of tampering with a deceased body.
Watts is serving out his sentence in the Dodge Correctional Facility in Wisconsin.
“Allowing a murderer to keep a trophy of his victims goes against the purpose and mission statement of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which emphasizes public safety and victim advocacy,” the petition reads.
In a five-hour prison interview released last month, Watts told investigators he has photos of his wife, Shanann, and daughters Bella and “CeCe” on his prison cell walls. He said he reads the Bible to them, talks to them and even reads his daughter’s favorite book to her at night.
“We, the public and taxpayers, demand that any pictures of Watts’ murder victims are confiscated and that he does not receive favorable treatment due to the publicity of his criminal case,” the petition reads.
Just five days after the petition was created, nearly 2,500 online signatures were added.
“Unfortunately, the publicity of this case has exposed the nation to the horrors of familial homicides. As we, the public, mourned the senseless murders of two beautiful little girls, their mother, and their unborn brother. We cried with the victim’s family, we struggled to comprehend the brutality of the crime, and most of all, we continue to grapple the disturbed peace and increased suspicion that we all may live with a murderer,” the petition reads. “As a result, WE are all victims of Christopher Watts. While Chris Watts enjoys his stay in WI DOC/DCI (at the expense of the taxpayers), we DEMAND that the voices of his victims, (Shanann), (Bella) (Celeste), and (unborn son Nico), are heard and their picture is RETURNED to the surviving family of Chris’ victims.”
The Watts family home was recently repainted inside, with new locks installed on the front door. A set of stickers on the door confirms the state deemed the home vacant/abandoned.
In January, CBS4’s Dillon Thomas reported the home was going to be auctioned to the highest bidder. That sale is scheduled for July in Greeley.