Anger over killer dad’s jail cell pics
Despite murdering his wife and daughters, a jail cell interview with convicted murderer Chris Watts revealed that he has a picture of his victims hanging in his cell.
Public outrage led to a Change.org petition, which has amassed 16,548 signatures demanding prison guards remove it.
Prison officials have now addressed the plea, confirming they won't do it.
They have "no legal basis for removing the photographs from Christopher Watts," the Wisconsin Department of Corrections said in a statement.
"Incarcerated inmates are permitted to possess certain identified items of property, including photographs," the statement continued.
"Some photographs are not allowed, such as those depicting gang signs, colours, or insignias or photographs that include nudity."
Watts' reference to having pictures of his wife and kids in his cell came to light through a recent jail interview report released by police.
The report mentioned not only that he had the photograph, but that he talks to them every morning and every night.
"He has a book in his cell, which was the same book he used to read to Celeste. He reads the book to his daughters, along with some scripture, every night," according to the report.
Watts pleaded guilty last year to killing his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. Their unborn son was to be named Nico.
The public first sympathised with a distraught Chris Watts who appealed to the nation to help find his "missing" family. But since his conviction, public opinion has turned.
"As taxpayers and members of the public, we are outraged that Chris Watts was allowed to have a photograph of the victims he was convicted of murdering, including his two minor children," the petition reads.
"Allowing a murderer to keep a trophy of his victims goes against the purpose and mission statement of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which emphasises public safety and victim advocacy.
"We, the public and taxpayers, demand that any pictures of Watts' murder victims are confiscated and that he does not receive favourable treatment due to the publicity of his criminal case."