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Chris Watts: Inside the Mind of His Mistress

What must she be thinking? What is she doing? Has she visited him in jail yet? Does she want to? Does she still love him? Will she be a witness for the prosecution or the defense? Where is she? What was the dynamic really like between Chris Watts and his mistress?

The worst kept secret about the Watts case is his mistress and who she is. Although the cops [and the mistress thus far] aren’t talking, everyone else is, including Chris Watts.

As part of his confession, Watts told the cops that he was “actively” having an affair with a co-worker. The affair, Watts claimed, was the reason he broke the news about wanting a separation, between 02:00 and 05:00 on Monday, August 13th.

According to

…a simple Google search turns up her name and address. As such, Crime & Justice producer Taria Tirella visited the home. But no one answered the door.

Some on social media who claim to be close to the mistress, believe she’s in witness protection.

Pieces of information in the legal filings when Chris was arrested point to the mistress. Watts had an affair with another woman, but she hasn’t surfaced via a press conference. “I know that there is a name on the witness list of a coworker who is also a woman,” said Randy Corporon, host of NewsTalk 710 KNUS.

There’s also speculation, apparently well-founded, that Watts’ mistress wasn’t only his co-worker, but the daughter of his boss at Anadarko.

And that’s all we know thus far, and all we can possibly know.

If his mistress is the daughter of his boss, then a brand new dynamic emerges with various possibilities of their own. The most obvious is that Anadarko will wish to limit damage to their brand through adverse press coverage not just of one wayward employee, but three. Anadarko may ultimately be calling the shots on what the mistress and her dad’s next move should be. #tcrs

Anything they do that might bring their company into disrepute could cost them their jobs. So there’s a big incentive to play ball, and play it by the book [Anardarko’s book].

Beyond all that, what’s N [let’s refer to her by the letter “N” for now] thinking? What’s she going to do? More important, what does she know?

We have a handy precedent for this situation in the Scott Peterson case. Amber Frey played a crucial role in Peterson’s conviction, not so much because of the evidentiary aspects of her testimony [which were neither here nor there] but due to the overall impression her secret recordings conveyed of the real Scott Peterson.

According to CBS:

Scott Peterson’s one-time mistress testified Tuesday that their first night together included slow-dancing to karaoke and a hotel-room tryst — but no mention of the pregnant wife who prosecutors say he later murdered. Amber Frey, the government’s star witness, described a relationship that quickly developed from sex to a serious relationship. A single mother, she almost immediately trusted Peterson with her young daughter and said he discussed a future with them.

One of the popular and enduring myths of the Peterson case, and it’s gaining rapid traction in the Watts case now as well, is the idea that these men wanted their freedom. It’s not true. If Scott Peterson didn’t want to be a father, and didn’t want to be married, then why was he acting like a dad, and investing himself so seriously with another woman? The truth is, he wanted to free of his wife, not of any role as a father-to-be.

Frey said Peterson did not wear a wedding ring when they met on Nov. 20, 2002. He poured champagne in his hotel room, putting a strawberry in her glass, and they had sex later that night. The next morning, he left her with his cell phone number, not his home number.

On their second date, he carried her 22-month-old daughter as they went hiking. Later that day, he gave the girl a children’s book. Then, he cooked seafood lasagna with wine before they had sex again.

“He made the comment that there would be many more corks … many more bottles to share,” Frey testified. The next day, Dec. 3, she gave Peterson a car seat and the key to her house, and asked him to pick up her daughter at day care.

In the Peterson case we clearly see how a man wishes to jump from one ship to another that seems to him to be a better option for him.

“He said he would be honored [to pick up Frey’s daughter from day care],” recalled Frey, who returned home to find him warming up the previous night’s dinner. Then all three went out to buy a Christmas tree. While trimming the tree, she said Peterson denied that he was ever “close to having children” with anyone else.

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We’re not clear what the situation was like with Chris Watts’ mistress, but it’s difficult to imagine she didn’t know her co-worker was married, and it’s also possible N was married, and a mother.

We can see how being in a relationship with the bosses’ daughter could jump start Watts’ career prospects at Anadarko, especially if the relationship was serious. Perhaps Watts saw this as his exit strategy, not only an escape route out of bad and unfulfilling marriage, but a yellow-brick road to a better life – better job, better partner, and who knows, maybe N had an even nicer house.

The real value of the mistress is the depth of revelation around this idea of a Two Face. If a mistress can single-handedly change the course of a criminal trial, imagine what it can do to one man’s head, and one man’s heart?


“Watching the trial and being in the courtroom…[it] felt like a ship going into an iceberg,” Gloria Allred, Amber’s attorney says. “The prosecution’s case appeared to be weak. I had confidence in it, but a lot of people thought it was weak. But then when Amber testified, when those tape recordings were played, when the jurors realized that he was calling Amber talking about the Eiffel Tower, being in Paris, from the vigil for his missing wife where people were praying for her and searching for her; it seemed that that ship was turned around. It changed the climate in the courtroom. And I think people saw Scott for what he was: a real liar. A person who had a cold heart toward his missing wife, Laci, and who appeared to be obsessed with having a relationship with Amber.”

188512Thus far a lot of time has been spent trying to fathom the true relationship between The Watts parents, the children and the family dynamic. But the crucial dynamic in this story is the intensity of the affair. #tcrs If the Peterson case is any indication, it was very intense, and one would expect there had to be extremely passionate feelings somewhere in the operative dynamics  to drive someone to commit triple murder.

Once again, the Peterson case provides cogent psychological context. According to

“Is he acting like a man who is desperately searching for his wife? Or does he sound like a happy man who is relieved his wife is gone?” said Jim Hammer, a former San Francisco prosecutor who was in court Wednesday. “It’s creepy.”

After spending most of Tuesday describing how Peterson romanced her with roses, champagne and strawberries, Frey appeared just briefly on the witness stand Wednesday to verify the authenticity of the tapes. She wore a conservative black suit and largely avoided looking at Peterson. Judge Alfred Delucchi permitted Frey to return to her seat in the gallery while the tapes played. At one point, Frey left the courtroom for a half hour, according to her attorney, Gloria Allred, in order to breastfeed her son.

Several conversations presented to the jury — some that lasted more than an hour — were breezy, even sounding like inane teenage banter. Peterson flirtatiously asked Frey to describe her “sexy” outfit of black leopard-print pants and red boots, and he later asked her to watch the movie “Love Affair” so they could talk about it.


On Wednesday, Peterson even smiled a bit sheepishly in the courtroom when he heard himself on tape comparing himself to a “turd.” Frey, who had been coached by Modesto police detectives about how to act during the phone calls, spoke as if she believed Peterson was in Europe for a business trip instead of in Modesto. Peterson kept up the lie, telling her that he had tripped while jogging on the cobblestone streets of Brussels and asking whether she had heard there was a bombing in Paris.

“You didn’t get caught in it?” asked Frey on the tape. “I didn’t…I didn’t see any of it, no,” Peterson answered. “I guess I was on the other side of town.” At one point, Peterson also explained away a barking dog that was heard in the background. “This morning too, there is this f — ng dog next to this hotel,” he grumbled. “Oh, I want to kill it.” Frey said on the stand she does not have a dog, leaving jurors to assume it was Peterson’s retriever McKenzie, barking from the backyard of his home in Modesto.

Prosecutors will continue to play audiotapes of the couple’s conversations today, recorded on or after Jan. 6, 2003, when Frey was moved by police into protective custody for her safety.

If Chris Watts had fallen out of love with Shan’ann just as Scott Peterson had with Laci, then perhaps that was because he was deeply smitten with his mistress. Shan’ann may have had her flaws and possibly put Chris Watts off in some ways, but what’s easier to forget is the part we don’t know – what was drawing him into the fiery embrace of someone else?  And what impact did that have on the man, the husband, the father and the murders.


In her photo does N seem as extroverted or controlling as Shan’ann?  Her healthy, youthful face exudes a gentle, kind intelligence. That may not be much to go on, but it’s a start. The fact that they were co-workers may also have given Chris Watts a sense of validation – not only in terms of his work, but who he was while working. And if she was his bosses daughter, all the more.

Compare that reinforcement at work, where he was spending most of his time, to being at home with someone who was on social media much of the time, and asking him to sort of butt out, do this, say that, while she was running the show at home. In other words, it was invalidation at home, and reinforcement at work. When the schism became too great, especially with a baby on the way adding deal-breaking pressure to the scenario, something had to give.

During Watts’ Sermon on the Porch, he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. This could be very symbolic. In the Peterson case we saw that it very definitely was, not only in the sense of his wearing it, but in trying to get his hands on hers after her death. Right now in the Watts case we’re dealing with similar issues. The family of the deceased jostling with the family of the defendant for the valuable trinkets. According to the Modesto Bee:

Scott Peterson’s family had planned to voluntarily turn over only some of the items that his wife’s family wanted from the couple’s home. Laci Peterson’s family and friends acted first, though, and took what they wanted Friday from the Covena Avenue house — over the Peterson family’s objections. Jackie Peterson, Scott’s mother, expressed dismay: “Yesterday we see a coroner’s report about a baby, and today we’re talking about salt and pepper shakers,” she said by telephone from her home in San Diego County.

In discussing the Rochas’ request for property from the home, Peterson said some of the items, such as Laci’s journals, could not be turned over. “Scott didn’t even know she had journals,” Peterson said. “If she did, police have them.”

Peterson said her son has a request, too: He wants his wife’s wedding ring, another diamond ring that he bought her, and a few diamonds given to Laci by her grandmother. Peterson said the rings and gems had been taken to a jeweler for crafting into one ring. “We want those,” Peterson said. She said the Rochas picked them up from the jeweler.

The Rocha family could not be reached for comment.

The family had submitted a 22-point list of items sought from the house. Peterson said Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, later revised it to 16 points.

In the same way the families on either side of the true crime divide jostled over a dead woman’s jewelry, husbands and wives stuck in unhappy marriages may develop a wandering eye, and may see a deal that’s better than the one they’re signed up to.

What happens when they stumble on what appears to be a VERY good deal, while stumbling through something that’s turning into a WORSE AND WORSE deal every day?

“I’m living in a nightmare, and I can’t get out of it.”― Chris Watts, August 14th 2018



  1. piktor

    On the subject of “marrying up”, had the stars align themselves to Mr. Watts convenience, Ms. Boss’s Daughter is a Geology Engineer graduate. Alas:

    “In addition to studying Advanced Mathematics and Geology, students in a bachelor’s degree program in geological engineering must complete courses related to
    in addition to the following:
    – Principles of engineering
    – Materials and mechanics
    – Applied design and field methods
    – Rock mechanics

    Heavens help Mr. Mom if Ms. Boss’s Daughter is “actively” pursuing a Master’s Degree in her chosen field:

    Besides completing core coursework, students enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in Geological Engineering are often required to complete electives related to a particular specialization, such as
    geotechnics, or
    groundwater engineering.
    Some examples of these courses include
    water analysis,
    in addition to the following:
    – Geological data analysis
    – Statistical applications in geology
    – Advanced mineralogy
    – Geomorphology
    – Research
    – Thesis
    Mr. Mom, aka Mr. Watts, was waaaay in over his head. Again.
    A luckless man-boy, perennially in search of a mother figure to latch on to.

    • nickvdl

      Maybe it was a relationship based on chemistry, not geology. 😉

      • piktor

        Yeah, fluids and stuff of the non-geology type. 😂

    • atschmid5322

      I have a PhD in genetics. I did 3 post-docs before becoming a professor. At each and every step, i came to realize how little i really knew. In fact, i would say the intellectuál difference between CW and N was non-existent, because their thinking was shaped more by their practical experience than by their educations (or lack thereof)

  2. piktor

    On the subject of key witnesses’ silence, what are the odds they have been interviewed by police and then told and warned to shut up and not speak about the case.
    If they chose to abide by their civic duty and give investigators their witness testimony, then it’s their civic duty to simply keep quiet about what they know until the Judge authorizes them to talk.

  3. Pauline

    I can’t help but wonder though, the boss’s daughter may not have confided in her father that she was having a romantic relationship with a married man with 2 children and one on the way. What might he have had to say about that? Pick someone better, most probably. And would she have appreciated it that he was still having sex with his wife, given a new baby was on the way. If she was as smart as you say, with a B.S. in Geological Engineering Watts may have wanted to marry up, but would Nicole have wanted to marry down? And wouldn’t daddy have something to say about that?

    • piktor

      Wondrous the mores and turns of the human the heart.

  4. Pauline

    Also Chris Watts’s interiority – who he really was – was that hidden from his girlfriend? Did she know who he was or did she fall for who he was pretending to be. Because sooner or later he would have reverted back to form, the guy who was giving a speech on relationships. That Chris Watts. We can’t believe in the short time he was carrying on an affair (and we don’t know how long he was) that he “changed.” Yes, he lost weight and buffed up, and I have no doubt he would have seen an amazing opportunity with Anadarko Oil, but might he not have been pretending so long with Sha’nann that who he really was was well hidden, especially from someone that would never have known his true roots and personality from before, enough to love him just as he had been.

    • arlene

      Hope this mistress rots in hell!! cause thats what her life will be for the next 10yrs!!

    • Marie

      I imagine that, perhaps, the “broken” Shan’ann that he met (in need of his lap to snuggle after feeling ill or her colonoscopy) was not who she truly was either. She seems the strong, opinionated and social type, and he is always quiet, awkward and uncertain (granted, this is just taken from snapshots of their lives on social media). I believe the tension between the two personalities grew over the years along with resentment. Maybe resentment leads to an affair and an affair leads to shame. These are all dangerous things.

      • nickvdl

        Yes, hence two faces. And not just him having 2 faces, her too.

  5. Shanann's friend

    Shanann put this Nicole to shame. Nichole you are an ugly home wrecking Whore. How can you have an affair with a married man that has 2 precious little girls and a baby boy on the way! I hope your life is miserable everyday for the rest of your life .

  6. voici je

    Kessinger is daughter of chris boss?..
    ..didnt she lose her job ?..if she is in fact the big boss daughter…what is he trying to do by making her no longer working there?. it someking of trik to put an end of media coverage about anadarko?….because..anadarko have nothing to do with this tragedy..

    .i am lost in field with this part of story..

  7. Peter Fernando

    I’m a criminal defence lawyer in Singapore and have read, followed and tried to analyse this man Watts and his horrendous murder of his loving family. Watts entire married family life was a big pretence, he never loved Shanann and their daughters. He fooled them daily. It’s amazing that Shannan never saw through him, maybe because he was such a good liar. He wore a mask and is a covert narcissist. He had no love at all and was a fake .

    • Ralph Oscar

      Evidence, please.

  8. john wright

    I read that there was oil in. the childrens lungs stomach and throat, does that mean they could have been alive when they were put into the tanks, I just pray that this was not the case.I grieve every day for Shannan and her three little angels, and for the Rzucik family may GOD protect them always


    Yo todos los días no me canso de leer y ver los videos de este ser que no tiene nombre…. shanoon era una tremenda mujer excelente esposa, con un fututo por delante era ella y su hermosa familia, y como amaba a christ se LE veia el amor estaba muy enamorada de su esposo todo se entrego a el era un amor puro y real, que lastima que el no supo valorar lo que sentía ella por el, a simple vista el se ve que es un falso, en las miradas y en la sonrisa… el amor es ciego y ella nunca se dio cuenta de eso…QEPD

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