The subject of Netflix's latest true-crime documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, is many people's worst nightmare: a "worried" husband is revealed to have murdered his missing wife and children. But judging by the film's new trailer, there is so much more to this story that is waiting to be told.
From director Jenny Popplewell and Oscar-winning executive producer James Marsh, American Murder: The Family Next Door tells the disturbing true story 34-year-old Shannan Watts and her children, daughters Bella, 4 and Celeste, 3, and unborn son, Nico, who were reported missing in Frederick, Colorado in August of 2018.
Though the case was widely covered and dissected by everyone from the media down to the true-crime sleuths of Facebook, according to Netflix, this "is the first film to give a voice to the victims" of the gruesome crime.
After the pregnant Shannan and her daughters disappeared, Christopher Watts, who appears in the trailer, complies with local authorities to search for his family, taking on the role of concerned father. Two days later, after a failed polygraph test, Christopher confessed to murdering his family and hiding their bodies on a oil field where he was employed. In November 2018, Chris was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The new documentary uses archival footage, including Shanann's social media posts and videos, police recordings, texts, and revealing home videos from family and friends, to show the real, tragic story.
Watch the trailer for American Murder: The Family Next Door, premiering September 30 on Netflix.