American Murder: What happened to Chris Watts’ other girlfriend Nichol Kessinger?
Her relationship with Watts is said to be over
This week Netflix released a true crime documentary which looks into the 2018 case of the Watts family killings. In 2018, Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife Shanann and their two young daughters. At the time he was having an affair with Nichol Kessinger, and it is thought he killed his family so he could be with her forever.
The case shook America and to this day nobody really knows why Chris Watts did what he did. The documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, uses raw unseen footage from police and Shanann’s social media to tell the story of what happened in the days between Shanann and her daughters going missing, to police finding out what happened.
Chris Watts is now serving five life sentences in jail, with no chance of parole. But what happened to Nichol Kessinger after the Watts’ case?
Who is Nichol Kessinger?
Nichol Kessinger was a work colleague of Chris Watts’ when he was working at Anadarko Petroleum. She was born in 1988 and graduated from Colorado State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science, specialising in geology. She started off working life as a book keeper, but progressed to become a field engineer. In 2018 she joined Tasman Geosciences, which contracted with Anadarko Petroleum Co.
The pair struck up a friendship and then their relationship became romantic and they begun having an affair. They started dating in June 2018 – two months before Chris Watts killed his wife Shanann, their unborn child, and two young daughters.
Nichol Kessinger told police she was aware of, but had never met Chris Watts’ children, and he had told her he was in the process of separating from Shanann. She also said she was told Chris had been sleeping in the family basement, so that he could still be living at home and caring for the children, despite their “separation”.
Nichol claims she knew nothing about Shanann being pregnant at the time she was seeing Chris, and instead she found this out through media reports.
Where is Nichol Kessinger now?
In the investigation into Chris Watts’ crimes, Nichol cooperated with the police. She took part in extensive interviews to share what she knew about Chris and his current situation, and gave over her phone to be inspected. It was found that on the night of the murders, Chris Watts and Nichol Kessinger shared a 111-minute-long phone call. The conversation ended at 23:19, around the time Shanann was originally supposed to have arrived home from her work trip – but the flight had been delayed.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said: “Nichol Kessinger turned out to have information that I can best describe as being a bombshell.”
It is thought that Kessinger ended her relationship with Watts when she found out what he had done. According to some Reddit sleuths, she began a relationship with a geologist named Jim Gutoski – but this is all just rumour.
It’s now said that due to the amount of information she provided police, Nichol is living under witness protection. According to reports, one source said: “She has received several threats, public shaming, and could be considered one of the ‘most hated women’ in America. She plans to start fresh with a new name, new town, and ultimately a new identity.”
She is thought to be living at a new address, presumably hundreds of miles away from Colorado, with a new identity.
However there are rumours that Kessinger is still in contact with Chris Watts. An author named Cherlyn Cadle wrote to Watts in prison, as documented in her book, Letters from Christopher. In this book, it is claimed that Watts receives many letters from other women, but he believes at least some of them could actually be Nichol.
American Murder: The Family Next Door is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.