Bordering Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, Colorado is the place to be when you want to stand in more than two states at once. This city also houses Glenwood Springs, the largest and hottest mineral pool in the world. Strangely enough, Colorado is also the only city to turn down the Olympics in 1976, when Denver was supposed to be the host.
As much as Colorado has a lot of fun facts and trivia, this city is also where some of the most notable crimes have happened. In fact, these stories shook the nation so much that there are movies and TV episodes based on Colorado crimes. Here are three of the crime stories from Colorado that have made it on the big screen:
Watts Family Murders
On August 13, 2018, Shanann Watts and her two young daughters, Bella and Celeste, went missing. The next day, as the police investigated their disappearance, Chris Watts — Shannan’s husband and father of the two kids — tearfully pleaded on television for their safe return. With Chris’ plea tugging at the nation’s heartstrings, many were shocked to discover days later that the father and husband crying on TV was actually the murderer who brutally killed his pregnant wife and young daughters.
The Watts Family Murders captivated a horrified audience, which led to the making of the Netflix documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door. The crime was also featured on an episode of Lifetime’s Cellmate Secrets and the movie Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer.
The Mysterious Death of JonBenet Ramsey
Though her life might have been short, the murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey remains a mystery that continues to baffle investigators. On December 26, 1996, just after Christmas, JonBenet “went missing” from her Boulder, Colorado home. A ransom note for $118,000 was left on the stairs of the Ramsey family home but, eventually, the child beauty queen would be found dead in the basement.
Initially, the Ramseys were treated as the prime suspects, but other evidence found in the crime scene point to an intruder who may have killed JonBenet. To date, the case of JonBenet’s murder remains a mystery, spurring shows such as Netflix’s Casting JonBenet, the 2016 documentary JonBenet: An American Murder Mystery, and Lifetime’s original movie Who Killed JonBenet? The crime was also featured in an episode of ABC’s The List: Who Killed JonBenet? and an episode in Amazon’s The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey.
The Columbine Shootings
As one of the deadliest school shootings in the United States, the Columbine shootings in Littleton, Colorado are cemented in American history. On April 20, 1999, two students from Columbine High School shot 13 people, wounded 20 others, then committed suicide. What happened led to national debates about gun control, as well as investigations into what led the shooters to commit the massacre. Some of the notable documentaries made concerning the crime are Generation Columbine, We Are Columbine, and The Columbine Massacre: In the Killer’s Mind.
What other movies and TV episodes based on Colorado crimes do you know?