Netflix’s synopsis for ‘American Murder: The Family Next Door’ lays out the plot of this chilling true-crime documentary movie perfectly. It states: “Using raw, firsthand footage, this documentary examines the disappearance of Shanann Watts and her children, and the terrible events that followed.” We see in the documentary how Shanann’s parents play a pivotal role in how things proceed during Chris’ trial. So, you must be curious to know where they are now, right? Here’s what we know.
Who Are Shanann’s Parents?
Shanann’s Parents are Frank and Sandra Rzucek. The couple made a life for themselves and their kids in North Carolina, giving them the best, even when they didn’t come from the most financially stable background. But, little did they know that in the future, their daughter would be taken away from them in the worst of ways. According to their appearance on ABC’s ’20/20,‘ where they discussed what happened to Shannon, they shared that they loved Chris at first. When the young pair met on Facebook, Shanann was battling Lupus, and Chris helped her through it all. “He was so in love with her,” Sandra explained. “He did everything he could for her to make her happy. It was amazing love.” So, of course, when they learned of what he did, they couldn’t believe it.
According to Sandra, she knew that something unspeakable had happened to her daughter even before she was reported missing in the afternoon of August 13, 2018. She woke up in the middle of the night and sat upright in her bed, claiming that she heard “the Holy Spirit” whispering Shanann’s name in her ear. “I felt my daughter’s spirit the moment she died,” she explained during her 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.'” For what she felt towards Chris, she went on to add, “We loved him like a son and Frankie [Shanann’s brother] loved him like a brother. I just don’t understand.” But, the Rzucek’s do believe that their daughter and granddaughters are now at peace.
Where Are Shanann’s Parents Today?
After it was all said and done, and Chris confessed to everything, including taking the lives of his daughters, which he had previously pinned on Shanann, the Rzucek’s decided to not go forth with the death penalty. As the documentary mentioned, Sandra said that Chris “made the choice to take those lives. I do not want to be in a position of making the choice to take his.” And so, he was given the maximum sentence for the charges that were against him. Months later, in July of 2019, Shanann’s father, Frank, came forward during a press conference to beg the public to leave him and his family alone.
“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,” he told reporters outside his home. In the form of threats, creation of Facebook accounts, and doubting the integrity of their late daughter, the insults just kept on pouring in, so Frank had to address it. “It is cruel, it is heartless,” he added, urging the public to let them mourn in peace. “Please just stop. Get on with your lives. Leave ours alone.” Therefore, it is no surprise that their social media presence right now is virtually non-existent. (Featured Image Credit: Netflix)
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