It’s been nearly one year since a pregnant Shanann Watts was brutally murdered, along with her two young daughters, by her husband, Christopher Watts, in their Colorado home.
On an all-new episode of ABC News’ 20/20 tonight, Shanann’s parents, Frank and Sandra Rzucek, will discuss what life has been like since their daughter was taken from them.
Here’s what you need to know about Frank and Sandra Rzucek, Shanann’s parents, ahead of this evening’s interview.
1. The Rzucek’s Say They Loved Chris At First
At first, according to ABC News, the Rzuceks loved Chris and his relationship with their daughter was faultless.
The couple met on Facebook and clicked immediately upon meeting. At the time, Shanann was struggling with lupus, and Sandra says that Chris was Shanann’s saving grace.
“You just don’t sleep very good with lupus,” Sandra Rzcuek explained. “She had her head on his lap, and they were watching TV. He didn’t move. He didn’t get up to go to the bathroom. He didn’t get a drink. He let her sleep for four hours. I told her, ‘God must’ve sent him to you.’”
“He was so in love with her,” Sandra added. “He did everything he could for her to make her happy. It was amazing love.”
2. They Were Devastated to Learn What Their Son-In-Law Had Done
Frank Rzucek tells ABC News, “He is a monster… How do you put someone you love into an oil tank?”
“Especially your children,” Sandy added. “It’s sickening, isn’t it?”
In late 2018, Watts pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, as well as one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy.
ABC reports that prosecutors believed Chris’ “desire for a fresh start” was his motivation. He was, at the time of the killings, having an affair with a woman named Nichol Kessinger, one of his co-workers.
3. Shanann’s Mother Says She Sensed When Her Daughter Died
The night of Shanann’s death, Sandra Rzucek says that she knew her daughter had passed.
CNN quotes her as saying that something woke her, and she immediately sat upright in bed. “I heard the Holy Spirit say, ‘Shanann,'” she said, whispering the name.
“I felt my daughter’s spirit the moment she died,” she explained during an appearance on “Dr. Phil.” “I knew. I swear to God I knew. … I woke up the whole house. I said, ‘Something’s wrong with Shanann.'”
The Rzucek family was shocked to learn that Chris was responsible for the deaths. In fact, Shanann’s brother, Frank Jr., said he didn’t believe Chris was responsible for the murders “until we saw that interview”. “We loved him like a son and Frankie loved him like a brother,” Sandy Rzucek explained. “I just don’t understand.”
4. Bullies Have Been Harassing Watts’ Family
In July, Frank came forward, saying that his family has been bullied online since the passing of his daughter.
“For the past 11 months, piled on top of pain and the grieving of this devastating loss, our family has been subject to horrible, cruel abuse, outright bullying, on a daily basis,” Rzucek told reporters outside his home in Colorado.
The bullying has come in the form of threats, the creation of Facebook accounts, and a “constant stream of insults.”
“It is cruel, it is heartless,” Rzucek added, urging the public to let him and his family mourn in peace.
5. Chris Watts Is Detained in Wisconsin Today
Today, Chris Watts is serving time at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin.
He was originally serving his time in Colorado, but was moved to another state for “safety reasons.” After his transfer, Mark Fairbairn, a Colorado Department of Corrections spokesperson, told A&E, “He has been moved out of Colorado for security concerns due to him being a high-profile offender.” They add that this likely meant he was receiving threats in prison.
The Dodge Correctional Institution is a maximum-security correctional facility in Wisconsin.
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