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Fans in tears watching 'devastating' Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door

The true-crime documentary landed on Netflix this month

american murder
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
September 30, 2020
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True crime documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door has both gripped and shocked viewers since it landed on Netflix earlier this month. The one-off film, which is a close examination of the harrowing Watts murder case that took place in 2018, has sparked plenty of conversation on social media, with some viewers admitting they were left in tears while watching. 

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WATCH: Netflix's American Murder: The Family Next Door

Writing on Twitter, fans expressed their sadness at the film. One person commented: "I stayed up just to watch the #AmericanMurderTheFamilyNextDoor on Netflix and I already am crying after just watching the family home videos."

A second person was equally affected by the story, writing: "Oh wow Shanann Watts story on Netflix," followed by a crying-face emoji. A third viewer tweeted: "If you're a parent & you watch #AmericanMurderTheFamilyNextDoor on #Netflix without feeling like your heart is falling out of your chest, then you're dead inside."

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american murder fam next door© Photo: Netflix

Shanann Watts was murdered by her husband in 2018

Shanann Watts, along with her two daughters, was reported missing in August 2018. Soon after their disappearance, police authorities searched the family home and found key evidence relating to Shanann, who was pregnant with their third child at the time, and her whereabouts. Soon after, her husband Chris was arrested on suspicion of murder.

After interviews and questioning, he later admitted to killing Shanann and their two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste, and he was sentenced to five life sentences, with no possibility of parole.

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chris watts american murder© Photo: Netflix

The official synopsis for the documentary reads: "In 2018, 34-year-old Shanann Watts and her two young daughters went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As heartbreaking details emerged, their story made headlines worldwide.

"Told entirely through archival footage that includes social media posts, law enforcement recordings, text messages and never-before-seen home videos, director Jenny Popplewell pieces together an immersive and truthful examination of a police investigation and a disintegrating marriage."

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