As Chris Watts' mistress was cooperating with police in the investigation of his family's disappearance and sharing her suspicions about him, she also expressed concern over how she would be look to the public.
“I don’t think the media is going to portray a nice picture of me,” Nichol Kessinger said in an Aug. 17 phone conversation with a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent.
The agent referred to her prediction that she would be negatively depicted as “her greatest fear.”
Over the past few weeks, the Weld County District Attorney's Office has released several batches of documents and files about the Watts case, including audio of interviews with people who knew Watts, including Kessinger. Watts was sentenced last month to life in prison without parole for killing his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste 3 and dumping their bodies at an oil site belonging to Anadarko Petroleum, where he and Kessinger worked.
In her conversation with investigators, Kessinger sounded distraught and asked to be directed to a victim advocate for help once they'd completed their talk. The agent noted that she'd texted him (the investigator) at 2 a.m. to say she remembered more information about Watts.
She mentioned that on Monday, Aug. 13, the day Watts' family was reported missing, he asked to Facetime her. Kessinger said that during that brief conversation “he was laying down on a mattress that didn’t have any sheets on it. [...] I remember asking him like, ‘Where's your sheets, ya know?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, I washed them.’”
Then, she recalled something else Watts told her Monday night, although she wasn’t certain if it was over the Facetime or over the phone.
“I remember he was saying he was cleaning the house to try to keep busy to keep his mind off of things,” Kessinger said. “It was kind of late when he was doing it.”
She said she didn’t think much of it initially because of how meticulous Watts is. But one element stuck out: the fact that Watts said he washed his kids’ bed sheets because “they smelled.”
“This man keeps the house so clean. That’s like the cleanest house I’ve ever seen,” she said, explaining that after some time passed, that comment didn’t settle with her well. “Why would his kids’ sheets smell bad?”
Kessinger said she didn’t confront Watts on that issue.
“He didn't elaborate,” she said. “I just don’t see anything in that house smelling.”
Kessinger said the Facetime freaked her out, noting that Watts seemed "fixated" on her. She was so uncomfortable, she decided to turn off Facetime.
She also said she felt frantic the same night, falling asleep for an hour and then waking up in turmoil.
“All those phone calls at the very end of the night, that was me freaking out,” Kessinger told the agent as he tried to clarify the timeline of Kessinger and Watts’ chats and texts that night. “If you look at my texts, a lot of that was like, ‘I can’t sleep, I’m really scared, where’s your family’ … that was me freaking out and him calling me to reassure me or me calling him: ‘Please talk to me, I’m super scared, where’s your family.'”
Kessinger expressed concern over her job, because she met Watts at her work and some of their texts and messages were written using a company phone and computer.
“I hope they don’t fire me for that,” she said. Her employer Anadarko Petroleum did later terminate her.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.