New videos and photos have emerged of Chris Watts and his mistress Nichol Kessinger enjoying a romantic getaway just days before the killer dad murdered his family. They also show a lusty and lovestruck Kessinger expressing how much this relationship — and Watts — meant to her.
A beaming Kessinger cannot hide her happiness and joy as she states: "Thank you so much for coming out here with me Christopher. I'm having a wonderful time; you mean a lot to me, and I'm glad you're having a blast," Kessigner says. She then starts to blush and quickly notes she is out of breath before blowing a kiss and turning off the camera.
That video, along with over 100 photos of Kessinger, were stored on Watts' cell phone at the time of his arrest. He was able to keep them from his wife Shanann Watts by saving them in a secret calculator app that hides the files while still working as a calculator.
Watts, 35, had sent his pregnant wife Shanann off to North Carolina with their daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, claiming he could not get the time off due to work obligations. But while Shanann was attempting to navigate the tense relationship between her and Watts' parents, her husband was taking trips with his mistress and photographing her in bikinis.
As soon as his wife and daughters were out of state, Watts rushed to be with Kessinger. The pair were inseparable, she later revealed, and that week went on their first romantic getaway. Just two months after they met at work, the pair headed off to Great Sand Dunes campground at the National Park July 28-29, 2018. This is where Kessinger filmed her message after a day of sand boarding with Watts.
In another video Watts can be heard saying, as soon as Kessinger is out of earshot, "You are so damn sexy" — not the kind of talk one expects to hear from a man currently authoring a book of prayers with his prison pal.
Kessinger told investigators that she and Watts began talking in late May or early June, and began to have a sexual relationship a few weeks after that first encounter at Anadarko Petroleum. She was a geologist while Watts was an operator. She also told investigators that Watts had told her his marriage was finished and his wife Shanann did not want to try and work things out with him. These two claims proved to be false.
Watts did not hide the fact that he had two daughters, but he did fail to mention that his wife was pregnant with a third child. When forced to come clean in one of their final conversations, Watts told Kessinger that the father of that child was another man. Kessinger noted that he even acted as if this was a surprise to him in a bid to project the fact that he was unaware Shanann was pregnant.
Two weeks after that trip, Watts strangled his wife Shanann and smothered his two daughters. He buried Shanann in a shallow grave at the crude oil field where he worked. He waited until he got to that site to kill his daughters before dumping the bodies of Bella and Celeste in oil tanks.
All three were found days later, though that was far too long for any evidence to be gathered from the two young girls. Watts was arrested within days, and soon his affair with Kessinger was exposed, as were his Tinder dates with women who have since described how he enjoyed choking them and having rough sex. While Shanann may have been unaware that he was cheating, friends who were with her in her final days say that she knew something was wrong in their marriage and that she was preoccupied with it.
After Shanann and her daughters were killed, Kessinger spoke with investigators for nearly two hours on August 16 at the Thornton Police Station. She told officials that she decided to reach out herself to investigators after ending her relationship with Watts because of the lies he had been telling her for the past eight weeks. Kessinger, 32, was incredibly candid and forthcoming with investigators.
It was about an hour in, however, when she became emotional as the reality of the situation set in, breaking down twice in the span of just five minutes. "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," Kessinger told investigators, 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 to plan. And still to this day, I don't even know what's a lie and what's not."
She continued: "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 was then adamant about the fact that she never would have pursued a relationship or even agreed to date Watts had she known he was still with his wife.
"It's like, you know, I'm gonna wake up every day and know that like this mom and her unborn child and these two little girls are not around anymore and it breaks my heart," said a tearful Kessinger. She told investigators she had deleted texts and photos from Watts out of her phone after learning he was lying, and just wanted him out of her life. No charges were filed against her, and she has now relocated and is keeping a low profile; she even wants to change her name.