As Chris Watts serves life without parole in a Wisconsin maximum security prison, the story of what got him there is debuting on Netflix. American Murder: The Family Next Door, which begins streaming Wednesday, is, per Mashable, a “stomach-churning, emotional missing-persons story,” focusing on the August 2018 disappearance of Watts’ wife, Shanann, and their two young daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella. Their bodies were found a couple of days after they’d vanished, and Chris Watts was charged with murdering them. Among the standout moments in the new documentary: the final texts between the couple. Some of the messages were nonsurprising everyday ones, per People. “What kind of vegetables do you want with dinner tonight?” Shanann Watts wrote to her husband shortly before she was killed.
“Broccoli works,” was Chris Watts’ response. “Green beans work, too.” Her final text to him, meanwhile, expressed relief that she was on her way home. “Finally on plane and about to take off,” she wrote. “Thank God! Prayers for a safe flight. Love you!” There was no response from Chris Watts. The Wrap notes other “shocking revelations” made in the film, including the odd fact that he agreed to a lie detector test—something the tester didn’t think a guilty person would consent to. Meanwhile, Brooke Bajgrowicz writes for Mashable that what makes the movie so compelling is that it depicts Shanann Watts as a “real, layered person,” and that the “contrasting glimpses into her life remind the audience that the highlight reels people put up on social media are never complete portraits of reality.” Watch the official trailer here for the documentary, culled from home videos and bodycam footage. (Read more Chris Watts stories.)