My Daddy is a Hero: How Chris Watts Went from Family Man to Family Killer

Written by:
Lena Derhally
Narrated by:
Tanya Eby

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2020
8 hours 14 minutes
A husband. A father. A killer. Chris Watts was a family man. Everybody, including his family, believed that. Yet, on August 13, 2018, he murdered Shanann, his pregnant wife, and two young daughters. As terrible as his story is, it is also a warning because, to this day, living behind bars, Watts is still acting out the character traits that made him kill in the first place. In this, the first and only psychological exploration of the Watts family murders, psychotherapist Lena Derhally has pieced together the crime, the events leading to it, and most of all, her beliefs about the 'why.' She explores the childhoods, families of origin, meeting, and early relationship of Shanann and Chris Watts. She also examines Watts's double life and duplicity regarding his well-publicized affair with a co-worker. The book includes an in-depth look at community psychopaths, the different subtypes of narcissism, how to prevent this type of violence, and interviews with a neuroscientist, a criminal psychologist, and a journalist. Using her knowledge of attachment theory, Imago relationship theory, and psychopathology, Derhally draws a profile of the real Chris Watts and-just as important-she warns readers that he is still a danger today.
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interesting listen, went through the facts as I'd heard from the media also some details I'd not heard before, went through Chris' phycology somewhat, definitely worth a listen.

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Tina M.

If you are fascinated by the psychology behind Chris Watts, then I highly recommend this book. There is a lot of insight provided to the reader giving you perspectives from both sides. I could tell a tremendous of research went into this book. It gave me a better understanding of Shanann,and Chris’s relationship with each other, their girls, and their family and friends.

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Pamela J.

The book was ok. It was repetitive although I did hear a few details I hadn’t heard before. The narrator was robotic most of the time. The whole last hour was a bit much. I lost interest and couldn’t finish.

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Jordan H.

I give the book 2 out of 5 stars because the first five eighths of the book has extremely few original ideas to contribute (despite this book claiming to be a psychological explanation) and because the diagnostic methodology utilized in the final quarter is seriously flawed such that many readers may falsely suspect their husbands of being monsters simply for Googling, "What does it feel like to be in love?" The mere suggestion by this industry professional that such a detail is clinically relevant is astounding. This book isn't just a case of confirmation bias: it is intentional confirmation bias. Derhally's years of relevant experience told her that Chris simply does not match the profile of a cold blooded killer. That is where the analysis should have stopped. If it isn't the expected conclusion, it is necessary to ask the question, "Why?" Instead of asking why Chris's profile didn't match his second confession story, she hammered a square peg in a circular hole by starting with the unfounded conclusion that Chris indeed a cold blooded killer, using any scrap of evidence she could possibly find to support her completely unsubstantiated conclusion. As if sealed criminal confessions behind closed doors are ever anything to trust. The final quarter of this book abuses the psychoanalytical process and should not be taken seriously as a valuable analysis.

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