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Shanann Watts' Brother Has Set Up A Crowdfunder To Support Her Family After Online Harassment

Anish Vij

| Last updated 

Shanann Watts' Brother Has Set Up A Crowdfunder To Support Her Family After Online Harassment

Shanann Watts' brother has set up a crowdfunding page to support her family, who have been receiving threatening and abusive messages.

Chris Watts is currently serving a life sentence for the 2018 murders of his wife Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their daughters Bella Marie, four, and Celeste, three.

The killer was documented in Netflix's hugely popular true crime documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door, which featured interviews and police footage from the investigation.

Chris and Shanann Watts with their two daughters. Credit: Netflix
Chris and Shanann Watts with their two daughters. Credit: Netflix

Following the release of the documentary, Shanann's brother Frankie Rzucek says he and his family have been 'attacked on social media by online trolls' with some people 'blaming' his sister for her own murder.

Rzucek wrote: "These online trolls are sending us floods of threatening, bullying and abusive messages, many of which in a sick way blame my sister for her own murder, and suggest my family and I have taken bribes to conceal parts of the murder investigation, in an attempt to free the actual culprits.

"It deeply saddens us that even in times of death, in what has been the hardest time of our lives, these online trolls have gone to such lengths to dishonour my sister and my family by fabricating slanderous, callous, and outright false claims about us.

"This cannot continue and we are fighting for justice."

Chris Watts. Credit: Netflix
Chris Watts. Credit: Netflix

Rzucek is aiming to raise £25,000 'with a stretch target of £45,000' through crowdfunding site CrowdJustice to fund a defamation and harassment suit against the online trolls, and specifically one user who is said to have 'an unhealthy obsession' with the murder case.

He explains: "This internet user has amassed a fan base of so far 66.6k subscribers, who like him, have also developed an unhealthy obsession with the murder of my sister and her children, and inundated my family and I with threatening and abusive messages online."

More broadly, when addressing why the case is important to him, he wants to tackle the general issue of trolling along with the harmful affects it can have on people.

Shanann's father Frank and her brother Frankie. Credit: Alamy
Shanann's father Frank and her brother Frankie. Credit: Alamy

He writes: "Online trolls prey on the vulnerability of innocent people.

"We, a grieving family, have fallen victim to this cruel and vicious online hate, because these trolls have considered us to be a weak and vulnerable easy target.

"It is unacceptable that these online trolls should be allowed to hide behind the mask that is the internet, and bully vulnerable families, such as mine, without any real consequences.

"With the support of my solicitors, Cohen Davis, an award-winning social media specialist firm, who have agreed to work on our case under reduced legal fees, we are planning to commence a case of harassment and defamation in the High Court, against a number of the positively identified online trolls."

Yair Cohen, a lawyer for the family of the late Shanann Watts, told LADbible: "CrowdJustice is a safe way for people to support legal causes that they feel strongly about.

"The money that is being raised goes directly to the regulated law firm's client account and it can only be used to pay for actual legal work.

"It is often the only way for the most vulnerable people in our society to access justice, particularly when they face cruel and sometimes even sadistic online trolls."

You can visit Frankie's crowdfunding page here.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Anish Vij
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