True Crime Analysis, Breakthroughs, Insights & Discussions Hosted by Bestselling Author Nick van der Leek

A Closer Look at the Other Man in Nichol Kessinger’s Life – Jim the Geologist

Highlighted in yellow in Nichol Kessinger’s Verizon call log [below] is an unusual entry at an unusual time. It’s a one-minute call to someone in Milwaukee at 06:16 on the morning of August 13th, roughly when Chris Watts was arriving at CERVI 319 with three dead bodies in the rear car seat behind him.

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Although Jim Gutoski is not named once in the 1960 pages of discovery, Kessinger’s friend Charlotte Nelson is.

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Gutowski and Nelson are mutual friends on Facebook, and like Kessinger, Gutowski has been educated in geology.

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Jim Gutoski had a profile on LinkedIn associated with Sunburst Consulting, however it’s since been removed.

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Kessinger refers to “her buddy” at 1:52:10 in the clip below, and off-and-on describes how she knows Jim, but begs the investigator not to involve him or ask him any questions for the next five minutes of the conversation.


  1. ncam619

    His bio says he graduated high school in 1980 but further down it says he’s 37 years old??? One of those entries is incorrect.

    • BAMS13

      I noticed that but I think that’s another one of his attempts at humour as he seems like the jokey, larrikin type of guy.

      Sociable, educated, intelligent, worldly, humorous, extroverted & confident is what I surmised from details about him in this post. The POLAR opposite of Chris.

    • Pam Foldesi

      He graduated high school in 1976, university in 1980.

      • Bt

        That info in his bio is from the movie Ace Ventura pet detective. Miami Dolphins kicker Ray Finkle. Come on now

  2. Marie

    Thanks for posting this Nick, looks like she must have just left a message that morning. Only 1 minute call

    • Karen

      later in the day at 3:32 she called him again and held a 6 minute conversation

  3. Diana

    Just where is Jim from? I live in Florida and Collier County is in Naples, Florida, I used to live there. Stetson University is also in Florida but it’s a law school. Says he graduated from Stetson in 1980? High school in 1976? That puts him graduating law school in 4 years? Extremely rare! And why go to law school to be a geologist? Something hinky about his profile!

    • BAMS13

      He’s just being facetious.

    • BAMS13

      He also says he holds two NCAA division one records and was called “the mule”. Clearly joking around. Lol.

      • Bt

        Lines stolen from Ace Ventura pet detective. Ray Finkle, kicker for the dolphins

    • Jaye

      Lol that whole entire profile is a nod to the movie “ace ventura:pet detective”. Its completely FICTIONAL and is word for word from the movie script describing the killer football player Ray lmao…”laces out!!”. Jim is from WI btw

  4. Sylvester

    She seemed intent on keeping him out of the police spotlight. Maybe he was her back up guy if Watts didn’t work out.

    • Kim

      Not sure he’s heterosexual though. Looks like he may prefer men.

    • Egg

      Why would such a close friend know nothing about the guy she was supposedly in a relationship with? Her crap doesn’t add up at all.

      • Connie Lukens

        In one of NK’s interviews with Koback, she was asked who the man with the backpack was in a photo recovered from NK’s phone during the Great Sand Dunes trip. NK replies that it is “my friend Jim.” Jim totally knew CW. He went camping with them!

        • Emma Liess

          Could you tell me the interview and time stamp regarding the sand dunes photo question please?
          I’d research it myself but I can’t stand sitting through NK’s lies for hours on end again 🙂

    • Amber

      Yes, she is a homewrecker. Think about it, she knew cw was married right from the beginning. Most people who fool around with a married man have no respect for themselves or other people, you know what kind of girl she is. Of course she’s going to have backups ,and if you notice I didn’t say backup I said backups.

    • Heather

      In the new confessions he says he was at her house everyday that Shannan was gone funny he comes to town the day after she is supposed to get back. Or was it an unplanned emergency trip to help a friend and thats why she doesn’t want him involved

  5. Cat

    He’s quoting Ray Finkle’s bio from the movie Ace Ventura Pet Detective. He’s being funny.

  6. Ann Wring

    How can a scientist and geologist in this day and age be a Republican?

    • JC

      Ikr? My guess is that the gas and oil industry pays them well and they reconcile their own beliefs by thinking their work is to minimize the environmental damage done by fracking. The gas and oil industry spends a lot of money to convince their Republican friends (hunters and farmers tend to support environmental conservation efforts too) that this is in their best interest. Creating jobs and pouring money into the economy is a pretty strong motivator/argument in the many ads they run. But to support the science-isn’t-real crowd really takes some mental gymnastics.

      • elence86hb

        He’s not republican the name is a jokeThat’s a joke

    • Melissa

      Now you’re being facetious.

      • JC

        Yep, and treading lightly…

  7. Andrea

    Jim honestly looks gay. He’s in pics with another man, and dressed feminine. That was obviously Nichole’s gay best friend. Maybe he had something to do with knowing the plans.

  8. Salley

    When Chris is talking to cops it sound like he said he threw something and she wasn’t supposed to be there ..If I’m right maybe when he went to the basement to pack he was mad and picked up something and tossed it across the room and it hit his wife and she said she was calling the police and he grabbed her,then the kids cause it was not fair to them cause some other place on the tape he says this..

  9. me

    If Jim phone is registered in Wisconsin and he’s in another state it will still appear she called Wisconsin. Just like when she calls Chris while Chris is in Colorado but the billing shows a North Carolina number. Jim was coming to visit her on Monday which is why she called him.

    NK called him twice on Monday, at 6:16am and at 3:32pm.

    He arrived at her place on,about or after 3:45pm on Monday August 13, as she reported to the cop in the video.

    • Debbie

      Take a look at how many calls she makes to Jim in the rest of her phone records, from 13th Aug through the verizon detailed billing she gives the cops (Discovery) Is he CW’s replacement?
      Interestingly, the ONLY time her voice shows any nerves, and quavers – is when she first mentions Jim in her police interview …

    • Tk

      Isn’t he ( Chris) now jailed in Wisconsin? Coincidence?

  10. AJ

    Her phone records… calling NC.. on the 13th?

  11. parismomtothree

    NK’s phone allegedly pinged in Brighton around 15:00 on the 13th. Was that her looking at an appt or her office location?

    • JC

      Neither. Office is in Platteville 40 minutes away and her home is very near Brighton. I thought she left work at 3:00 pm?

  12. Richie greywolf

    First Chris Did not kill Shaman the wY he said. She was killed on her stomach with a rear naked choke hold. I hold a black belt in traditional Okinawan goju-ryu. When a student goes for his brown belt we put them in a rear choke hold. If doe right the person cannot fight back. Plus no marks to the neck. All the people I’ve ever choked out fought back when their air was going out of their lungs. At the end when they are fighting for air they get stronger and squiggly. Moving fast. When Chris said how he killed his wife I was hell no!! She would have fought like a cat trying to stay out of water. When you rear choke the person can squirm and wiggle but in a few they are going out. Continue to hold the choke they die. No marks on killers body and very little damage to the neck and throat. Chris did not straddle her. As soon as He had choked his wife she would have clawed him. As soon S she was terrified because she wasn’t breathing and she was strangling death she would even fought more like I said a cat being put into a bath. I’ll degrees martial arts and I’m telling you he didn’t straddle her there would have been a fierce fight but a rear naked Chokehold could be done two ways one with them facing themselves on the ground and you’ve your behind them and strangle them with a rear naked Chokehold or you wrap your legs around them they’re laying on their back with you underneath them and you got your legs wrapped around their arms and your rear naked Chokehold they’re not going to be cloned I got to be doing nothing there’s going to be wiggling. Chris and Nicole we’re in the basement as Jim was killing SW. That is why Bella was killed lime that. Rage. She saw the killer. Daddy killed Bella in rage because the two girls were not supposed to die. SW would ha e been buried somewhere else. Then Chris would have said she gone . If they tried to say he murdered him he would have said prove it anyone passed a lie detector test because he hated her there was such anger when I saw him in court as they were talking about how he killed the children I could see in his face the anger the angel prison and blaming her it was all her fault. Watch and see. If you really think he killed his wife by straddling her and him choking her and he didn’t have scratch marks on his f****** arms on his face then your f****** a moron. She was killed with a rear naked choke hold either line on a stomach or the person wrapped his legs around her and put her in one and there was nothing left to do but slowly apply pressure take her breath away and keep it held until she passes out and keep it hold until she dies no need to crush the learnix or anything..

    • Lisa

      I believe this too! I have always thought Shannan walked to the stairs with her suitcase and he snuck up from behind and choked her with his arm. She never made it upstairs to see her girls were not there but dead in the basement maybe in a fridge or the house would of smelled by that time. They never spoke, Shannan never saw him coming and never knew her girls were dead thank God. He then dragged Shannan to the garage and got NK to come over for sex and to tell her he was all hers and that Shannan took off

      • Ralph Oscar

        “her girls were not there but dead in the basement maybe in a fridge or the house would of smelled by that time”

        If the girls were killed ca. 6 PM, a mere 8 hours later, there would not have been any noticeable carrion smell, I don’t think. Particularly if the air conditioning were running, which was guaranteed, given that it was summertime (mid-August) and the girls both had respiratory problems. A/C is recommended to cut down on airborne particles.

        So 8 hours in a cool room? You can leave a raw chicken from the grocery store out under those conditions and it’s still edible. I’d never cook smelly chicken, though.

    • Ralph Oscar

      My opinion is that Chris offered Shan’Ann a backrub “to help her relax” in order to get her into that position – exactly as you described. He’d be straddling her while she was lying face down, and there’d be nothing she could do about it once she realized the danger she was in. Plus, she’d had surgery to the left side of her neck to repair lingering damage from a car wreck some years back, so given scar tissue etc., she likely had less mobility to her neck, at least on the left side.

      • Normandie Kent

        She couldn’t take the position of being on her stomach. She was pregnant and too far along on her pregnancy . It’s very uncomfortable for the mother and dangerous for her fetus.

    • sandy

      Shannan’s dad did remark that CW probably got her when she was still sleeping because if awake, she would have fought defensively. That is likely true, he knew her well. She reportedly built her 1st house; plus lifting and carrying those 40 lb+ girls every day, giving her strength. Also think CW killed the girls during the long ride before he got to the tanks. Not at home, and not to be seen carrying 3 bodies out. Can’t fathom those girls tagging after while he dug a grave and dragged their mother out. Or being in a strange place, their mom not talking, more questions and whimpering from them would have come out. He wouldn’t have taken time for them, still playing the sweet daddy because he was already set to rid himself of everybody. So, all he had to do was push bodies into the tanks, get into his truck and go. That is how he did everything and still made it to work on time.

  13. Ray Finkle

    I’m floored by the amount of intelligent seasoned crime hunters on this page who don’t know a friggin’ Ace Ventura quote when they read one…. smdh

  14. Golden Bubble

    Maybe Jim was in town at the time of the murders because Kessinger arranged a threesome? Seems Jim is gay and lots of suggestions that CW had curiosity in that area. What say you Nick?

    • MichaelHN

      Maybe Jim is bi? Don’t forget NK searched for threesomes and double penetration on pornhub.

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