Chris Watts, the Colorado man who murdered his pregnant wife and two young daughters, turns 35 on Saturday — and is becoming resigned to the fact that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
For 23 hours a day, Watts is on lockdown. He can leave his cell for a shower or exercise, but little else. When he is in his cell, he has little to do: He is allowed to have a Bible and family photos.
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“Nothing changes,” says a source who has spoken to Watts in prison. “Every day is like the day before, and every day in his future will be the same as today.”
Watts is serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the August 13, 2018, murders of his pregnant wife, Shanann, 34, and the couple’s two young daughters: Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
In a 2019 interview from inside prison, Watts gave chilling details of the murders to authorities from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
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Shanann and Chris Watts
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He said his wife Shanann “may have been” praying as he strangled her to death inside their bedroom. He said he then drove his wife’s body to his job site, where he buried it in a shallow grave as his daughters waited in the car. Additionally, he claimed Bella saw him smother Celeste and screamed “Daddy, no!” at him before he killed her.
He then put the girls’ bodies into oil tanks and gave a series of tearful TV interviews where he begged for his family to return to him.
Last November, a source told PEOPLE that Watts had found religion in prison, and that he reflects on his sins daily. “A day doesn’t go by — a minute doesn’t go by — where he doesn’t think about his family,” the source said. “He’s in a hell of his own making.”
Shanann Watts /Facebook
Watts proclaimed himself a “servant of God,” writing in a letter to his mother last June, “I’m still a Dad! I’m still a son! No matter what. Now, I can add servant of God to that mix!”
A family friend, who asked to go by her first name of Kim, told PEOPLE last year that Watts was full of regret. “He’s sad that everyone is hurting,” Kim said. “He wishes he could go back in time. He wishes he had handled things differently.”
Currently, Watts is imprisoned in the Wisconsin prison system, where he was moved for security concerns.
Despite the fact that he considered filing an appeal to his sentence, he now realizes that release from prison will be unlikely. “He knows that this is his life,” the source says. “There really isn’t much hope for his future.”