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American Murder: The Family Next Door Review

This is one of my favourite modern crime stories so when I saw this documentary come out I knew I had to watch it! But was I really the best target audience for it?

Chris Watts was a family man, a man with two daughters and his wife Shannan, but Chris was also a man with a terrible and dark secret.

Chris had started dating a new girl, a younger girl with no kids and was free to do what she wanted when she wanted. But Chris knew as his wife was pregnant, leaving her would be an awkward situation. At least that’s my theory – I do believe Chris did these terrible things because he saw no other way to start a new life with this new woman.

So Chris ultimately kills his entire family, then tries to act as if his wife and kids have upped and left him suddenly leaving him in this distraught father figure place. But he isn’t distraught, he doesn’t seem to care his family have disappeared, and that’s the first nail in his coffin.

Now what was fascinating about Shannan was that she posted everything, and I mean everything, on Facebook. She would share videos talking about her life and her family and her kids, she’d show pictures of holidays away with the girls, she’d post literally everything so in this documentary we got a complete look into her life and who she was and how her family were.

Do I think this drove Chris away to this other woman? No. But I definitely know personally as myself I’d find it a bit overbearing and weird having my whole life aired to a bunch of strangers on the internet.

But this did make for a great documentary as at no point did we need any reconstructions or fake information. We got to see it all from the killer himself and from the victims which honestly made it a much harder viewing because you got to know these people and their struggles on such a personal level.

It was absolutely fascinating to watch and I would love more crime documentaries like this. With the way Chris went about killing his family I think he’s an absolutely horror of a human being who does not deserve to live any sort of life. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I do believe he deserves to be locked away in a place with no luxuries, alone, so all he has is his thoughts of what he did to his wife and those two beautiful little girls who had so much ahead of them.

This is definitely one of the harder documentaries to watch but if you enjoy crime then I think you’d definitely enjoy this. There’s no stone unturned and no where to hide, it’s fascinating and devastating all at the same time.

What do you think?

Until next time.

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