Chris Watts admitting to killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, but the 33-year-old said he still talks to his girls in his jail cell thanks to the family photos he has pinned to the wall.
Now, with the release of a new Lifetime retelling of the slayings, there is renewed public pushback to have those photos taken down. Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer debuted on Saturday, showing the story behind Chris' affair with a co-worker and his eventual slaying of wife Shanann and daughters Bella, 4, and Cece, 3.
The movie also brought renewed attention to a public effort to call on prison officials to remove what some see as sick mementos of the slaying.
As People reported last year, Watts revealed that he kept pictures of his wife and young daughters up on the wall and said he reads books to his daughters every night. That revelation did not sit well with many, especially after the Wisconsin man shared gruesome details about how he strangled his wife to death and then placed her body in the back seat their car with the daughters, who were still alive.
After driving them to an oil field, Watts killed both girls, even as Bella screamed at him to stop.
Watts originally claimed that the three went missing and made an emotional public plea for them to return, then told police that Shanann had killed the girls. Chris eventually admitted to killing his wife and children.
Someone even started a Change.org petition calling on the Wisconsin Department of Corrections to forbid Watts from keeping the pictures of his family, claiming it was a trophy of his murders.
"Allowing a murderer to keep a trophy of his victims goes against the purpose and mission statement of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which emphasizes public safety and victim advocacy," the petition states.
The petition added that because of the national exposure of the slayings, many formed a close connection to the murdered mother and young girls.
"We cried with the victim's family, we struggled to comprehend the brutality of the crime, and most of all, we continue to grapple the disturbed peace and increased suspicion that we all may live with a murderer. As a result, WE are all victims of Christopher Watts," the petition stated.The petition garnered tens of thousands of signatures, and in the lead-up to the debut of the Lifetime movie, it garnered new interest. The petition garnered hundreds of new signatures in the hours before it aired on Saturday, with the pace increasing as the movie debuted.
It was not clear if Watts still had the photos on his wall or if prison officials ever took action on the petition.