Shan'ann Watts's Heartbroken Parents Break Their Silence in Emotional New Interview

shanann watts
shanannwatts/Facebook

So much of the news following Chris Watts's sentencing for the murders of his wife, Shan'ann, and their children has been about his crimes, his mistress, and his experience. But for the first time since the tragic events that stole the lives of their daughter, two granddaughters, and unborn grandson, Shan'ann Watts's parents are telling their side of the story.

  • In a sneak peak from an upcoming ABC News 20/20 feature, Frank and Sandra Rzucek shared memories of their vivacious and beautiful daughter.

    In the interview, which airs tonight, they describe Shan'ann as full of life, devoted to her children, and determined to do anything she could for the people she loved. "She just loved her children and wanted them to have everything growing up," Frank said.

  • Advertisement
  • "She was fun, full of life. She did so many things. She had her hand in everything. She was amazing," Sandra added.

    The clip reveals that Shan'ann had been diagnosed with lupus prior to having children, which made pregnancy extremely high risk for her. But she was determined to be a mom -- "That was her dream," her mom said -- so she pushed through, giving birth to two healthy daughters and conceiving a son, with whom she was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death. According to the Rzuceks, Shan'ann considered her babies to be "her miracles."

  • Chris Watts is serving five consecutive life sentences for the murders of Shan'ann, Bella, and Celeste.

    He also faces an additional 84 years for the death of his unborn son, who was to be named Nico, and for tampering with deceased human bodies. Investigators determined that Watts strangled his wife and smothered his daughters -- 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella -- before disposing of the bodies in an oil field where he worked.

    Watts could have received the death penalty for the crimes, but the Rzucek's fought for a plea deal that would spare him. At his sentencing, Sandra told him, "I didn’t want death for you because that's not my right. Your life is between you and God now, and I pray that he has mercy for you."

  • The murders of Shan'ann and her daughters shocked the nation because, as journalist Amy Robach points out, the Watts looked like "the perfect family."

    Shan'ann's social media accounts are filled with loving tributes to her husband. She frequently refers to Chris as "her rock" and thanks him for being "the best husband and father."

    These murders are tragic, senseless, and heartbreaking, and it's infuriating to hear the Rzuceks speak about their daughter with such love and such pain and to know that there is no reason she shouldn't be here right now, loving on her girls and preparing to welcome her new son.

  • When asked how they want their daughter and grandbabies to be remembered, Sandra said they "had a lot of love."

    "They were amazing. I couldn't ask God for more. He really blessed us with them," she said. "She loved everybody. Her love for children and friends was amazing."

    The full interview with Frank and Sandra Rzucek will air at 10 p.m. ET Friday, December 7, on ABC.