New Lifetime movie will tell the story of the Watts family murders

Posted November 20, 2019 10:23 a.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2019 1:53 p.m. EST

A new movie coming to Lifetime in January is based on the real-life murders of Shanann Watts and her two little girls by husband and father Chris Watts.

According to E! News, the movie, "Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer," premieres on the Lifetime Movie Network on Jan. 25.

The movie will star Sean Kleier as Chris Watts and Ashley Williams from "How I Met Your Mother" as Shanann. Brooke Smith, who starred in "Grey's Anatomy" and "Silence of the Lambs, " will also star in the movie as a CBI agent.

E! reports that, as part of Lifetime's "Stop Violence Against Women" campaign, the movie will include a public service announcement with information on domestic abuse and crisis help lines.

People who followed the murders had mixed reactions to the announcement of the movie.

"It's disgusting because Lifetime couldn't wait to get their hands on this movie," one user commented on Lifetime Movie's Facebook page.

"I think that if it is done properly, it could be a great warning tool for women who are victims of domestic violence/mental abuse that are too afraid to leave," another user posted.

Although the heartbreaking story of the Colorado-based Watts family made national and international headlines in August 2018, both Shanann and Chris had ties to North Carolina and family in the area.

Shanann grew up in Aberdeen, attended Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines and still has family members in North Carolina. Chris graduated from Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville in 2003. The couple married in Charlotte in 2012.

In a prison interview in February, Chris Watts told interviewers he killed Shanann in their home and Celeste, his 3-year-old daughter, woke up to the sound of him pulling his wife's body down the stairs. Watts then drove Shanann's body, Celeste, and her 4-year-old sister, Bella, to an oil site.

He said he strangled his daughters and dropped their bodies into an oil tank.

Complete coverage: Watts family murders

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