Chris Watts admitted to having an affair with his coworker, Nichol Kessinger, before he killed his wife, Shanann Watts — who was pregnant with their third child at the time — and his two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, on August 13, 2018.
Kessinger met Watts, 35, while they were both working for Anadarko Petroleum — he was an operator, while she worked in the environmental department — in early June 2018 and started seeing each other in early July of that same year.
When they first started hanging out, Watts “did not have a wedding ring on his finger” and “he never mentioned he was in a relationship and did not initially mention his children,” documents obtained by OK! reveal.
“One day he told her he had two children. She thought it was cute,” authorities noted in the documents, regarding Kessinger’s conversation with Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Kevin Koback and CBI Agent Timothy Martinez. “He mentioned he did have a significant other and they were in the process of a separation. [Nichol] did not know Shanann’s name for a while. She thought he told her his children’s names pretty early.”
According to documents, Kessinger admitted she spoke with her friend Charlotte about the disgraced murderer.
On August 13 — the day he killed his family — Watts “FaceTimed” with Kessinger and was “laying on a mattress that did not have sheets on it.” Watts “said he was cleaning his home and trying to keep busy to keep his mind off things,” the files read. “Nichol inquired why the bed in the video call did not have sheets on it and Chris told her he had washed the sheets. Chris was quiet during this video call and did not say much. Nichol said Chris was fixated on her and was staring at her during the video call.”
At the time, Kessinger didn’t think this was odd since Watts “always” cleaned his home. Watts told Kessinger he washed his kids’ sheets because they “smell[ed],” which Kessinger was suspicious of since he “was so clean and did not know why [their] sheets would be dirty.”
The day before Watts committed the heinous crime, he told Kessinger that Nickole Atkinson came to his home and told him that Shanann and his two kids went “missing.”
“During this conversation Chris said he arrived home and Atkinson came into his home and he was running all over the house and up and down the stairs,” the docs read. “During this conversation Chris said blankets were missing from his kids rooms. Nichol asked if Atkinson could have taken the blankets and Chris responded he believed that Shanann had taken the blankets.”
On August 16, Kessinger chatted with investigators for nearly two hours at the Thornton Police Station, where she got emotional about the situation. “It’s not fair. It wasn’t fair to me in the first place, it wasn’t fair to her in the first place, it wasn’t fair to any of us in the first place, you know,” Kessigner told authorities, referring to Watts’ lies.
“It wasn’t fair to his family for him to have an affair, it wasn’t fair to me to have him lie to me and make me think that everything is going [according] to plan. And still to this day, I don’t even know what’s a lie and what’s not,” she added. “I don’t even know if they were like filing for divorce. I don’t know if they were putting the house up. I don’t even know. I don’t even know anymore what is real and what is not.”
Kessinger said it “breaks my heart” that “this mom and her unborn child and these two little girls are not around anymore.”
“It is in me, and then I have to think about, like, the consequences of his actions and how they affect everybody else,” she said.
Ultimately, Kessinger knew that her name would be “slandered” for “probably a while,” adding that she didn’t know “how long it’s gonna take to heal.”
“I would not be surprised if it’s gonna be hard to go out in public sometimes for a couple of years,” she noted. “And that really hurts me. I’m just like, this is a horrible horrible thing. Like, how dare you, you know. And people aren’t gonna understand that. You know, they’re gonna say, ‘oh you know, you’re the woman that had an affair with this man who took out his whole family.’
“He’s so disgusting. I’m so ashamed of him and everything,” she said about her affair. “I know it’s hard to talk about it but it’s so sad and she’s pregnant and like: why, why, why, why, why. How? I don’t even understand how you could like bring yourself to do that to somebody …”
Kessinger gave authorities more information about her relationship with Watts on August 21. Kessinger visited Watts’ home on July 4, and hours later, they went to the Colorado Rockies baseball game. The second and last time she went to Watts’ home was on July 14, 2018.
“Nichol recalled that Chris always paid for their meals when they were out on dates. Chris had always paid for everything using Anadarko gift cards,” the files read. “Nichol was not certain how Chris got the gift cards but believes they were given to him by Anadarko as a bonus for being safe on the job. Nichol believed Chris had been using the gift cards to hide their relationship from Shanann.”
Later on, Kessinger said Watts is “a liar” who “lied about everything.”
“If he was able to lie to me and hide something that big, what else was he lying about?” she said.
In the recent Netflix documentary called American Murderer: The Family Next Door, it briefly touched upon Kessinger’s involvement with Watts. Kessinger said she had no idea Watts was going to kill his family, and she only learned about the incident via the media. Kessinger also claimed she didn’t know Shanann was pregnant at the time of her murder.
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