The crime has plagued headlines all over the world. Not only because of its barbarity, but also because details have emerged of the twisted double life that Chris had been living, including a long-term mistress and crippling financial debt.
As police began to circle in on Chris and debunk his wild claims that Shanann had actually killed their children, he eventually caved and confessed to all three murders.
According to him, the father of two believed he had suffocated his two daughters, Bella, four, and Celeste, three, before strangling his pregnant wife. The attempt on the children was initially unsuccessful, and Bella awoke to find her deceased mother. It was then that Chris took the daughters and buried their mother in a shallow grave at his worksite before killing his daughters and disposing of their bodies in oil tanks.
Chris pleaded guilty to the murders in November of 2019 and has been sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. 48 years were added on for the unlawful termination of his late wife's pregnancy. Though the death penalty is part of the state's legislation, Shanann's family requested that it be dismissed, as they did not wish for any further deaths.
"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. American Murder: The Family Next Door is the first film to give a voice to the victims," writes Netflix about the new doco.
In the trailer that the streaming service just released, Shanann can be heard on video eerily reflecting on her love for Chris.
"I went through one of the darkest times of my life, and then I met Chris. And he’s one of the best things that ever happened to me,” she says.
American Murder: The Family Next Door is coming to Netflix on September 30. Watch the full trailer below.