Psychologist Defends Her 'Intimate Relationship' With Family Killer Chris Watts

She says her fascination with criminals is in her DNA.

Chris Watts and Christa Richello YouTube

A new look inside Chris Watts’ life in prison examines his budding relationship with Christa Richello, a former prison psychologist. 

"Cellmate Secrets," a docuseries following famed felons and their life behind bars, will focus a June 25 episode on Watts and the friendships he's created behind bars. 

Watts is currently serving a life sentence after confessing to the 2018 murders of his pregnant wife and their two young daughters


Richello says she has developed a “close and intimate relationship” with Watts and his former cellmate, Dylan Tallman, and is defending her ties to the convicted murderer.

The disappearance of Chris' then-pregnant wife Shanann and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, made national headlines in 2018.

In November of that year, Watts pleaded guilty to their violent murders and was sentenced to five lifetime prison terms later that month. 

The high-profile Watts family murders became the subject of "American Murder: The Family Next Door," a Netflix documentary that detailed the lead-up and aftermath of the tragic Colorado murders.


Who is Christa Richello? Details of her friendship with Chris Watts. 

Richello detailed how she came to know Watts and her complicated history with homicidal men while defending the murder. 

RELATED: Is Nichol Kessinger Back In Touch With 'American Murder' Killer Chris Watts?

Richello is a former prison psychologist.

Richello is no stranger to the prison system. The clinical psychologist previously worked in the Connecticut prison system in which Watts is currently serving time. 


She reportedly specializes in sexual abuse and trauma cases, and left her job due to her lupus diagnosis. 

The condition, which causes joint pain, skin rashes, and tiredness, is the same condition Watts' wife, Shanann, had.

Richello has ties to Charles Manson. 

Richello says being intrigued by famous murderers is in her DNA.

She says her mother was always fascinated with Charles Manson and had once attempt to go live on the famous serial killer and cult leader’s ranch. 

Richello also adds that she thinks her mother fell in love with her father because of his striking resemblance to Manson. 

She recalled visiting her father in prison as a child but did not explain why he was incarcerated. 


RELATED: Everything To Know About Chris Watts's Rumored Affair With Trent Bolte, The Man He Met Online

Richello's friendship with Chris Watts began when she started writing letters to him in prison.

Richello met Watts after she began writing letters to him after he was incarcerated.

She says that his trial caused her to question whether his imprisonment was justified. 

"I’ve never seen a case in history that somebody took a plea agreement so quickly, a case was completely ended and not investigated," Richello says.

"And there’s all these different theories because normally this would be going on in a trial for years. And it was only two months to this plea agreement. And that’s what caught me."


Richello is engaged to Watts’ former cellmate, Dylan Tallman.

Richello is currently engaged to Watts’ former cellmate after Watts passed Tallman some of her letters.

Career criminal Tallman was separated from Watts last year after prison guards allegedly found Watts’ underwear, a jar of Vaseline and baby oil in the other man’s cell, and believed the pair were having sexual relations. 

However, Richello insists Watts was only “helping out” his friend and denies that the pair were having sex.


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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.