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The 111 Minute Call on Nichol Kessinger’s Phone on the night of the murders

The Discovery Documents are numbered from page 46 to page 2155. There are a total of 1960 pages in the tranche, meaning almost 200 pages have been redacted or held back.

The crucial Phone Data Review timeline data from Watts’ phone, as well as Kessinger’s, Shan’ann’s and a few others, is one of the final entries in the tranche, all the way at the end of the document. The Phone Dada Review starts on page 2081 and ends at page 2130.

In the 49 pages of data extracted from various handsets, what you won’t find is this:


On Sunday night, August 12th, at 21:28, Kessinger received an incoming call from Chris Watts [910 309 1702]. The conversation lasted 111 minutes, or 1 hour 51 minutes. The conversation ended at 23:19, around the time Shan’ann was originally supposed to have arrived home had her flight from Phoenix not been delayed.

Yet this crucial call, at a crucial time, to a crucial person in the schema of this crime, doesn’t appear in the Discovery Documents timeline.

Confusingly the timeline shows Kessinger called Watts on August 13th, and that they held a 51 minute conversation [easy to confuse with the 1 hour 51 minute conversation the night before that’s not recorded in the timeline].



Kessinger’s call logs show two consecutive outgoing calls on August 13th at 17:01 and 17:02. Both are to 910 numbers [North Carolina].

At 21:12 on Monday night, Officer James calls asking Watts to give him names and numbers, and also asking him to talk about whether he was in an affair, or whether Shan’ann was.

Then, the 14th, a busy day that includes the Sermon on the Porch, multiple canine dog searches and Watts’ first brush with FBI Agent Grahm Coder at the department which lasted around 4 hours, from 19:00 to close to approximately 23:00.

More: Officer Matthew James’ Call to Chris Watts on the night of August 13th at 21:12 + Handwritten Notes on Yellow Pad Up Close

At 17:00 on Tuesday Kessinger Googles “can cops trace text messages” and “how long do cell phone companies keep text messages.”

At 21:48 Kessinger gets called back, apparently from one of the numbers she’d called earlier in the afternoon, and she speaks for 50 minutes to the caller. At 23:09, presumably a few minutes after his first interrogation ended, Kessinger makes a final call that night to Fayetteville, North Carolina. She speaks for 52 minutes, likely with Watts’ parents.


Although Watts can be seen fidgeting and texting on his phone during the first four hour interview with Coder on Tuesday [starting at 19:00], he never seems to actually take or make any calls. The timeline also doesn’t seem to show any calls or texts during this period. So who called his father and summoned Ronnie Watts, at a moment’s notice, to fly in first thing the next morning? Wasn’t it Kessinger?

We also want to know who Kessinger called in Milwaukee at 06:16 on the morning the bodies were buried and dumped at CERVI 319.

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


  1. Carolyn

    Interesting. You want to know but how will you know?? Will this ever come to light as the case is closed?

    • Ellison

      Maybe she used Jim as her final attempt to drive him into a jealous rage,

  2. Diana

    Can anyone clarify…Did NK speak to CWs parents on Aug. 12 and/or Aug. 13!?!?

    • me

      NK did not call Chris’ parents from her cell phone. When NK called Chris the number was registered in North Carolina. Her cell phone record from August 14 to September 13 starts on pdf page number 1003 and discovery page number 1120.

  3. nan

    Milwaukee call may be couch surfer Jim.

    • nickvdl

      Jim the Geologist.

      • Rhonda Adams

        Hello! I was wondering if you can recommend an agent for a friend of mine who is writing a book. This “friend” is the mother of a high profile case and she asked me to help her find an agent. The first person I thought of contacting was YOU! If you or you know someone who is interested please email me Thank you!Adams
        Rhonda Adams

      • BAMS13

        But why at that time of morning??

        • Moonbeam

          What was she doing in Frederick?

      • Karen

        It also appears she called him back that afternoon at 3:32 PM and held a 6-minute conversation

  4. JC

    Wait. What?

    Whoever compiled the data review made a rather insulting mistake. …”in my experience I-phone’s fail to make the transition when traveling to other time zones…” is stated at the top of the page, so they dropped an hour from the length of the phone call to 51 minutes from 111, but CW was talking to his mistress, Kessinger who lives down the road, not his wife, Shan’ann, who was in AZ!!

    Also confusing is that area code 910 is a Fayetteville, NC area code. So, even though the “origination” of the call looks to be based on the GPS location of the caller, the “destination” looks to be based just on the area code location (Milwaukee, Fayetteville, etc.) and not their actual location when they receive the call. Because, like Diana, I thought NK must have called Chris’ parents all the way in North Carolina, but she was just calling Chris who still has his NC phone number. Hope that makes sense…some of this data is misleading, and some of it’s just flat out wrong.

    How could they confuse Kessinger with Shan’ann??

    • me

      Shannan tried to call Chris’ at 9:29pm on Sunday August 12 and he didn’t answer the call because he was on the phone with NK. This is shown on pdf page number 1924 and discovery page number 2119.
      Chris began his phone call to NK at 9:28pm.

    • thetinytech2018

      Great observation. Also, when you call someone, what shows up on the bill under “location” I’d where the area code is, not the actual location of the caller. So even though I live in Florida, my cell phone is still 631 – a new York area code. On my bill it shows that the calls originate from Port Jefferson (where I lived and subsequently purchased the phone and got the SIM) but I’m not even in that area and haven’t been for over a year. It should say the city in Florida I’m in if it went by GPS, because my phone knows I’m in Florida, but that’s not how it works… Not yet anyway.

      If you look at the bill, anytime you see “Incoming CL” that’s obviously someone calling the phone number, in this case someone calling Nicole. All others are outgoing calls, so anytime you see a destination instead of “Incoming CL” that is Nicole calling someone in that AREA CODE. It does NOT mean that the phone she is calling is in that area, just that the area code leads to that particular city and state. So if she called someone and their area code was “347” it would show the call going to “New York, New York”, even if they were a town over, because 347 is the area code for that location.

      I hope I explained that well enough where I didn’t lead to further confusion.

  5. Kim

    There is some guy named Jim she had communications that morning but would not give his info to police. I think sometimes the prosecutor gets an idea someone else is involved, but to implicate them may hold up the trial and could cause a not guilty verdict on the main suspect so they let it slide to get the primary accused in jail. I always thought Jodi Arias had an accomplish. There are a lot of clues, but one is I’m her size and have dated guys Travis’ side and there’s no way I could have dragged any of them around the house no matter how mad I was. Also Juan Martinez never once said she acted alone in the entire trial and Detective Flores was certain in the initial police report there was more than one person involved. She had some sugar daddy somewhere who helped her.

    • JC

      Jim the geologist was in Denver that weekend staying at NK’s apartment. She asked him to be her alibi at some point because apparently he was staying at her apartment that weekend. I always wondered what happened to this Jim guy in all of this, but saw the call at 6:15 Monday morning with a “destination” of Milwaukee, and now I realize that I assumed it to be his location then, but that’s not necessarily true. Wondered how he got back to Wisconsin so fast if he was supposedly with NK Sunday night…he could have very well been in Denver or at NK’s place on Monday morning.

      Weird that his name never came up when she was being interviewed, right? Or maybe she did briefly mention him being with her and he simply refused to voluntarily talk to LE. If she wasn’t a suspect there would be no reason to pursue an interview with him anyway, right?

      • nickvdl

        Not sure if you’ve seen this in the “Jim the Geologist” post, but to answer your question about where and when he was mentioned:

        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.

      • me

        Jim didn’t arrive at NK apartment until Monday afternoon August 13. He was not at her apartment Sunday night August 12.

      • JC

        Jim flew into Denver over the weekend, but not sure where he stayed Sunday night. It wasn’t clear to me in this interview with Kessinger that he stayed somewhere else prior to Monday, but she likely would have told them if Jim could account for her being home all night Sunday until she left for work on Monday morning.

      • Luis

        NK CLEARLY says that she met Jim on Monday the 13th after work at around 3.45 pm. At that time SW and the kids were dead and buried/in the oil tanks, and the cops were already investigating. She never claimed Jim was at her house on Sunday. Maybe people should WATCH the actual interviews for a change before spreading false rumors.
        Jim’s visit has no relevance to the case at all so I get why NK doesn’t want her old buddies to get involved in this.

      • JC

        @Luis, thank you, and I’m sorry if questions I still had a month ago caused you to respond in anger. Thanks to Nick and his blog we all have access to pieces of information that are not readily available elsewhere. I think listening to these interviews carefully (for voice inflections, intonations) is as important as watching body language and such. I tried to note what NK omitted from her answers, as well as what she stated clearly. It’s completely understandable why she didn’t want her friends contacted by police. Most people would feel the same way about that intrusion.

        I continue to have questions, though, and hope everyone here on this site continue to share their insights and inquiries. Did LE believe NK was completely honest and forthcoming? Did she do or say anything to mislead or misdirect investigators? They may have had reason to follow up on every lead they obtained at that point. We know now that Shan’ann and the girls were murdered and disposed of when some of the interviews took place, but they certainly didn’t know that then.

        Investigators asked for Jim’s information, so they had some reason to believe at the time he was relevant to their investigation. If nothing else, they could verify NK’s statements and ask him if he overheard any of her conversation with CK Monday evening. I can understand why they asked to speak with him. They were also interested in her call to him from the Frederick area at 6:13 Monday morning once they had knowledge of that call. It wasn’t necessary for them to get his contact information from her, as they soon had access to it from her phone and phone carrier records anyway. These are just my personal observations/questions from watching and listening to the interviews, and not intended to be construed otherwise. I continue to be intrigued and follow along closely as Nick’s site here has incredibly intelligent posts and comments alike.

      • Luis


        Sorry that I came off rude but there are so many false rumors out there and twisted information to fit certain narratives, that it started to annoy me, not saying you were spreading them. Just look at the comment section on Youtube videos about NK. I’m trying to find out the actual facts and not wild guesses and that’s really hard to do.

        When asked about Jim NK was reluctant to share the information who he is BUT after they told her that they’re not saying they will contact him but if it were absolutely necessary to confirm he visited her, she agreed at the end. During that conversation they also told NK they would track her phone location via GPS/cellphone towers just to make sure she was no where near CW during the murders. She responded, “you can check my stuff. I have a pretty boring life”. It didn’t sound like she was freaking out. Do the people who claim she went to the Watts house after their phone call that ended on August 12th at 11 pm at night, never wonder why she wasn’t located there if her phone location was tracked? Ok, they claim she used a burner phone but how did she get hold of her real phone to make that 6.16 am phone call to Jim? Did she speed back to her house after the murders?

        I also heard that she went to the gym in the Frederick area that morning which is why her phone pinged there when she made the 6.16 am phone call after the gym but I couldn’t find a reliable source that confirmed that she went to the gym on the early morning of August the 13th. Maybe someone has that information.

        Anyway, she told the investigation that she got home on August 13th from work around 3.45 pm and Jim had arrived shortly before her. She then said she spoke to Jim for a while and then stepped out to call CW back(that would be the 5 pm phone call. There were 2 calls. I guess she tried to reach him twice and then left a voice message on the second attempt). She mentions that Jim stayed until around 9 -9.30 pm and then left. She called CW after Jim left.

        • Raf

          I think that could be quite simply done if I’m not mistaken – One phone and multiple SIM cards – just swapping the SIM cards.? Not sure if techs are able to read all the digital memory of a device without the SIM card -beside the data that is actually Saved to the hard drive itself ? And that too can be can quite easily be erased by resetting to factory settings in most cases . Cloud storage can be managed -though again I’m unclear how long information stays in the cloud after it has been actively erased from the Cloud. It’s all a bit Secret Tech Squirrel business to me !!! And subsequently if you remember NK spoke to police about problems with her SIM card (one got damaged or destroyed? – and other unspecified phone issues. I know she states in one of the interviews- maybe #2 that she had had to replace a sim cos one allegedly broke and she had had some dramas ir other with her phone – Sorry Can’t rightly remember which interview and cannot in all honesty be bothered to look up the discovery doc yet again right now – but pretty sure it’s in there if you have a look. )
          I think she probably tried to move some of the content from her phone to another location as there are several instances when the records only seem to show a half / or a one sided part of a conversation. And police noted this on some of the transcripts. One conversation was about ‘cheat night’ and CW referencing having lollipops cookies and donuts or some b/s. And another one ( may be the same convo ) is when Nikki seems to be answering to something in relation to the ‘Dead Sea scrolls’. When there is literally zero record of the context for the comment – which appears to be an obvious response by NK to something SW has said . Leave aside that some have conjured that this is an encrypted conversation in some kind of code between them either alluding to drugs or some Illuminati mind control hypnotic exercise ….I think that at times the phone records are more of a hindrance than a help – much like the rest of the case and case notes / Discovery records – there are important data that are not seemingly sequential or organised in any kind of natural or easy correspondence to other info presented elsewhere that should help to corroborate stuff – but ends up being more confusing than anything else. There are examples in the discovery of responses that SW has sent to CW to him but no trace of these are found on his phone when searched. All this just shows is that both parties were consistently manipulating their phone data either to yield some kind of sanitised version of events or because they just did not want guilt triggers or whatever . Pretty sure there is a record in the Disvovery of cw altering the contacts entry he had in his phone for SW as he was on his way to North Carolina to see her – at the same time as moving more nudes to the secret Calculator· app – but the analysis can give no account of what the actual alteration that was made to that entry. All of this chaotic stuff makes the job of transliterating two disorganised, pervasive and highly manipulated sets of records along side each other – extremely cumbersome. And there still remains a lot of ‘reading between the lines’ even after that is achieved !!!But the fact that Chris had sourced and sussed an app for how to conceal the nudes and that she wa google searching. on the different storage / traceability natures and capacity of SMS v MMI messages indicates to me that both parties were quite savvy in how to manipulate telephonic features to facilitate/ secrete/ obfuscate their communications.
          (As one might predictably expect when an extra marital affair of any kind is being ‘orchestrated’ . ) Of greater interest to me is the sheer volume of seemingly micro- conversations taking place on Niki’s phone. I mean there are several occasions when you see her talking for an extended period of time – ( I mean who tf has ThAT much to say when they literally just came back from seeing the person???l I struggle to sustain a phone convo beyond ten mins and that’s pretty epic and with someone I don’t regularly hang out with – lol!!) – and then they have to call each other back for multiple 1-5 minute micro – after chats???? The length of which would be far better suited to a quick follow up text – right???? Makes you think why they chose verbal versus written….And why, on top of that are so many of these call records showing two way call traffic between CW and NK then punctuated by so many micro calls to Jim? I’m sorry but just looking at that as circumstantial evidence and trying to remain impartial – to me that does pose some red flags and suggest something a little unusual ? And even if those calls had been investigated because it’s a call rather than text record, after the event, someone could just say they were updating them on the score of the game, their dog’s health, or playing a game … whatever! No way of proving otherwise ! However – the recurrent pattern of NK CW> NK>J (J >NK) is very puzzling especially given the very brief duration of many of those calls. Literally what can be said in a minute other than ‘ don’t forget the key is under the mat! ‘ And why would you say that 6 times?! The fact that Jim is later positively identified by Nicky on the photo at the sand dunes with CW makes him a person of definite interest in an enquiry where young children have gone missing and later turn up dead – and t his person has been linked as an intimate associate Of the mistress and now a possible acquaintance of the father (who has in turn just admitted to the murders). Makes no sense at all! If he was properly investigated and cleared of any suspicion at the time – why is this information not on public record – to definitively eliminate him from the enquiry and to definitively put an end to all the public speculation he has generated -and which would surely be Just as damaging to his psyche and reputation as it is to closure of the case and of public suspicion about his role in it. The lack of coherence, consistency and transparency in the application of due process, is what has unfortunately led to this case still dominating public interest a full two years after the event – and when other equally tragic cases deserving of public interest have come and gone in that time frame. The only way this will cease to dominate is if a public enquiry ( in Australia it would be a royal commission or something similar ) is carried out and the shortfalls in the due process are identified and addressed. Since I feel that’s never going to happen as it raises a legal and political hotbed of culpability and discredit in the machinations of ‘imputable ‘ institutions , there is literally no point any of us torturing ourselves with the minutiae of this gut wrenching case any longer, other than to have it at the forefront of our minds as a cautionary tale for how and when to fight for the proper adherence to processes put in place to protect all of our constitutional rights

    • Cindy Reynolds

      That makes sense Kim! That was a crazy crime scene and with all the injuries Travis had and all the rest involved it did seem like some one else was involved!

  6. Diana

    JC you’re correct on actual location not always being a factor when showing where a phone call originates from. My son is usually in one of two places – Nevada or Colorado. I’m always in Florida. My son has kept the same cell phone number that he got years ago when he still lived in Florida. So when he calls me, no matter where he’s at, my Caller ID always shows he’s calling me from Florida. There’s a three hour time difference too when he’s in Nevada, never checked to see what time the calls were placed or received though. When I was looking at NKs phone calls, first thing that crossed my mind was CW had a cell phone number issued in N. Carolina because of the situation with my son. For some reason I reached the conclusion CW did NOT have a N. Carolina number. But I’ll have to go back and look at it again because that’s really the only thing that makes sense.

  7. Debbie R

    Nicole is now being placed in Witness Protection. Gee…

  8. Debbie R

    I apologize – I meant Nichol (Kessinger).

  9. nan

    Another rumor is she has accepted another job. Witness protection. In my opinion, destroying evidence wasn’t much help with this case, other than entertainment. Now she gets a do over compliments of us. Hoping this is her fantasy, not reality.

  10. nan

    When I reviewed the phone logs, I thought the destination meant where the phone was purchased, not where the caller was physically. It is my understanding CW had two phones 1-work CO number and 2-personal NC number. This was brought up when an officer was trying to reach CW one night, and he was on one line talking to NK. Officer wanted specs on the children.

  11. gypsytricia

    At what point did CW’s mistress get introduced to and start calling his parents??? Why would his parents want to talk to her??

    • nickvdl

      Because he was about to be arrested. Most parents would care about that, and a caring girlfriend would want them to know too.

    • sheis

      She “barely knew him”. How would she have his parents’ phone number?

      (I didn’t meet my husband’s parents for a month, and we weren’t having some illicit sex romp; we were legit dating. Not even sure I knew their names to look them up.)

      Nothing about her makes sense.

  12. Kim

    She was just way too close and heavily around a timeline that included 4 murders. Very implicating. I don’t think all discovery was released.

    • me

      Of course all of the discovery was not released, you don’t see pictures of Shannan’s dead body in the grave or the kids in the oil tanks.

  13. me

    The author of the articles makes glaring mistakes.

    There were not two phones calls during the 111 minute call on Sunday August 12.

    The author confuses two dates, August 12 and August 13. The 111 minute phone was on Sunday August 12.

    The 50 minute phone call and 51 minute phone call were on Monday August 13.

    Chris gets off the phone with the cop at 9:18pm on Monday August 13. Chris and the cop spoke for 6 minutes.

    After getting off the phone with the cop Chris calls NK at 9:48pm on Monday August 13 and they talk for 50 minutes. The call ends at 10:38pm Monday August 13.

    At 11:09pm on Monday August 13 NK calls Chris back and they talk for 52 minutes. The call ends at 12:01am Tuesday August 14.

    NK immediately begins google search Shannan Watts at 12:02am Tuesday August 14. This is shown at pdf page 1933 and discovery page number 2128.

    The discovery shows Chris and NK spoke for 51 minutes during the 11:09pm call; however NK phone shows 52 minutes. When you speak for more than 30 seconds of the billing minute you are billed for a full minute. If you speak for less than 30 seconds of the billing minute you are not billed for the minute. It appears they spoke for more than 30 seconds in the 51st minute hence she was billed for 52 minutes.

  14. me

    More mistakes by the author of the article. The author says the following:

    “At 17:00 on Monday, Kessinger Googles “can cops trace text messages” and “how long do cell phone companies keep text messages.”

    Immediately after that Kessinger’s call logs show two consecutive outgoing calls on August 13th at 17:01 and 17:02. Both are to 910 numbers [North Carolina].”

    NK did not google search “can cops trace text messages” and “how long do cell phone companies keep text messages on Monday August 13 at 17:00 as the author incorrectly claims.

    NK google searched this at 17:00 on Tuesday August 14. This is shown on pdf page number 1934 and discovery page number 2129.

    NK did not immediately make two consecutive outgoing calls on August 13th at 17:01 and 17:02 after the google search at 17:00.

    The consecutive two calls at 17:01 and 17:02 were made on Monday August 13, but the google search was at 17:00 on Tuesday August 14.

    • Luis

      I guess my other reply was deleted. Anyway, thanks for clearing so many glaring mistakes up. The exact timeline to when what happened is crucial. To clarify that NK did NOT google search “can cops trace text messages” and “how long do cell phone companies keep text messages on Monday August 13 at 17:00 but rather on Tuesday, August 14th makes a MAJOR difference because on Monday she only knew the family was missing while on Tuesday, after having phoned with CW Monday all night, she already suspected that something is wrong and decided to call the authorities the next day. That’s why she googled those searches on Tuesday. Had she googled that on Monday it would seem like she was involved.

      • nickvdl

        Yes, the one about the author intentionally spreading false rumors was deleted. I’ve edited this post as you correctly pointed out there was an error in the timeline. Are you happy with it now?

  15. Debbie

    Does the call ‘origination’ mean that was where NK’s phone was when she made/received a call?
    If so, what was she doing in Frederick at 6.10am on the 13th???
    I’m interested in discovering NK’s actual timeline for that day – she said she was at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with her stepmother, sister and the chap who was in the police interview room with her at some point on the 13th, but that she missed brunch with them as she went to the gym.
    Did anyone ever verify that gym visit?
    She made a lot of calls on the 13th, do any of them originate from Denver museum area?
    Who did she know in North Carolina and what are the calls to WI – ALL of those calls should have been checked and her whereabouts during the entire day should have been verified.
    Something about this stinks.

    • Debbie

      Double checked – her trip to the museum and gym was the 12th.

      • Luis

        You’re aware that NK was at work on the 13th? How could she be at the museum? She not only says that she was at the museum on the 12th(actually she couldn’t remember it and her father reminded her) BUT she actually texted CW about the visit to the museum. Check her text messages to CW on August 12th and you will see that she talks about the museum. CW replies, “Have fun with your folks”.

  16. Moonbeam

    Why was NK in Frederick the morning of the murders making an outgoing phone call at 6:16 am August 13, 2018? Why was NK in Frederick as Chris disposed of his family in the oil field?

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