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

5 X Random Questions for a True Crime Guru Badge [#2]

Since almost everyone who participated got the first Guru Badge, I thought I’d make this one harder, and also leave out the multiple choice. As always the right answer has to be factually correct, and complete.

1. What do you know about Nichol Kessinger’s phone “pinging” on Franklin Drive?

2. How many dogs [all dogs] are involved in the Watts case?

3. Who does 2825 Saratoga Trail belong to?

4. Who owned the white Lexus?

5. How many blankets disappeared from the home?

3-4 correct answers earns you a Guru Badge.




  1. Aaren

    1) phone never pinged on a specific street. Pings don’t pin point location to that degree of accuracy. Although, her phone did ping in or near Frederick the morning of 8/13

    2) Deeter and two searching dogs

    3) used to be shannan, Chris, and frank r; then was just in chris’ name, now is bank owned.

    4). Unclear who owns the Lexus. It’s a lease. Likely in chris’ name.

    5) apparently 2. One for each of the girls

  2. CelesteW

    1. Don’t know.
    2. 4 – 2 search and rescue, 1 k9 and Dieter
    3. In Chris name but technically it belongs to the bank.
    4. Le-vel
    5. Two

  3. Mustang Sally

    I read constantly, forget where I gleaned the info., then it all becomes a cumulative mess in my head. So, here is my attempt at pulling from that mess…

    1. NK lives relatively close to CW and spoke with her houseguest, Jim, that morning.

    2. 2 search and rescue dogs, 1 cadaver dog, the family dog – Deiter/Dieter/Deeter. 4 total.

    3. The mortgage bank that will now be auctioning it off in April.

    4. Some poor soul unaware of its legacy who probably purchased it used from whatever dealership it was returned to after the murders. It was considered to old to be leased again. It was originally leased from a dealership so the dealership owned it.

    5. Two blankies (as per Diana’s description) and one blanket.

  4. Cheryl Filar

    1. The phone pinged in Frederick early in the morning of 8/13–around 6:00 a.m. There has been speculation that Nichol was therefore at or near Chris’s house; however, as Aaron noted, ppings don’t indicate specific locations.

    2. Celeste is likely correct with a total of 4, but I would have guessed three, including Dieter.

    3. Chris Watts was on the mortgage. The bank now owns it (I think it’s Chase) and it’s due to be sold at auction in April. Should be a hot deal if you don’t want to live with its horrific legacy—Amityville West.

    4.The Watts were leasing it but LeVel owned it.

    5. Two

  5. JC

    1. The closest Franklin Drive from Frederick is in Boulder. There was a home available to rent there in July/August 2018. As to why her phone may ping in that general area, I’d have to make assumptions. Now I’m really curious about this…

    2. three; Deeter, a trauma dog and a cadaver dog

    3. JP Morgan Chase bank

    4. Stevinson Lexus dealership in Frederick

    5. Three

    • Mustang Sally

      Lol I’d put my money on your answers, JC.

  6. julinka1981

    1.Ping was detected by nearby tower(doesn’t mean she was at that location)
    2.Family dog,2 cadaver dogs,search and rescue dog
    3.Chris Watts owned it prior to murders-now back to bank
    4.Lease was in S Watts ‘s name( so she never actually owned it but leased it),now back to the original car dealership
    5.Two blankets

  7. Karen

    1. Her phone pinged within 16 miles of Fredrick
    2. 3 dogs
    3. House belongs to Chris
    4.Level owns Lexus
    5.. 3 missing blankets

  8. nickvdl

    1. Serious question: where are y’all getting your information on the pings?

    There’s no right answer to the question, however the fact that Kessinger lived less than 16 miles from Watts means if she was headed to work [and many of Anadarko’s workers went to work between 05:30 and 06:30] then you’d expect a ping from an adjacent tower. Context is thus important.

    As for the other 4 questions I’ll let you guys allocate badges based on whether you feel you were accurate or not.

    2. There are 4 dogs including Deeter. Only two dogs have been photographed or appear in footage, as far as I’m aware.

    3. House belonged to Shan’ann, Chris Watts and Frank Rzucek, then Chris Watts, then Chase Bank, and it’s currently slated for auction.

    4. The Lexus was not owned by Shan’ann or Chris Watts, or Le-vel, it was a lease, and has since been resold. The current owner is unknown, but over the course of this case there have been two owners, and two lessees.

    JC are you sure about Stevinson Lexus dealership in Frederick being the lessor? Sounds right, but what’s your source on that?

    5. The question is how many blankets disappeared [were removed] from the home.

    It appears the “blankies” have disappeared, Bella’s dinosaur and swan blanket, and Ceecee’s, so that’s two. From the Discovery Documents 3 blankies are described, including a Yankees blankie, I’m not sure what the pattern was on the third, or whether there was a fourth [two blankies for each child].

    There was also the fitted sheet apparently used to transport Shan’ann’s body [left at CERVI 319] – not technically a blanket but then neither are the blankies – that’s three. Both Bella and Ceecee had two blankies each, but it’s uncertain if both Ceecee’s blankets were missing, or just the one.

    The blue blanket usually on the couch also appeared to be missing. [DD page 1432] So at least 4 blankets [including the sheet] disappeared or 3 blankets and the fitted sheet, or 1 blanket, 1 fitted sheet and at least two blankies.

    How’d you guys do?

  9. JC

    @Nick I can’t find the VIN# in the discovery docs, but LE has to record it when they impound the car. Running the VIN would bring up the vehicle history to verify the lease and dealership info., even dates of maintenance and any sales. Is this something Sylvestor keeps in the proverbial box of tricks and obscure case details?

    I’m just going on personal experience with leasing in the past – usually a bad financial decision and I learned the hard way (my brother calls it “fleecing”). One of the upsides of leasing is that the dealership is responsible for general maintenance and mechanical repairs if needed, so you drop off your car for oil changes, etc every 3 months at the dealership’s garage and most fees are covered in the agreement. They take care of all the milestone maintenance too. That’s why you want to lease from the closest dealership, it’s just more convenient, especially if you have an unexpected mechanical failure.

    • nickvdl

      VIN JTJBZMCA5G2011601

      • JC

        Sorry, Nick, this isn’t terribly helpful. This info used to be free, but they want $$ now.

      • JC

        Hey, Nick or Sylvestor, is there a record of the Lexus being released from impound? I don’t understand why the (very vague) VIN report says there are no sales records available.

        So, personal story time. My vehicle was stolen and driven to Texas where it was involved in a chase with border patrol, and the guys were apprehended with loaded guns and a pound of methamphetamine. The car was impounded with a local TX sheriff. Perfectly good car but my insurance insisted on giving me cash for the value of the car. When they finally took possession of the car back, they had the car crushed. My agent said he’s seen beautiful new cars sent to salvage for being involved in major crimes. Of course, mine was contaminated because there were drugs found in it. If LE had any suspicion at all, and couldn’t 100% guarantee there hadn’t been a body in that car at some point, would the dealership just take it at a loss and turn it in as an insurance claim? Do insurance companies regard dead bodies the same as they do drugs, as contamination?

    • Sylvester

      HA HA JC! I just got home and would have flunked this test so it’s just as well. I will say there is a German Shepherd mix dog running around in one of the videos but they may have been dog sitting and it’s not technically connected to the case.

  10. Cheryl Filar

    How did I do? I have yet to access my inner-Guru!

  11. me

    1] Nichol worked that Monday morning August 13. The Anadarko office that NK works at is located in Platteville which is located north of Frederick. Nickol lives south of Frederick. Nickol travels north from Northglenn and passes Frederick while driving on either Interstate 25 or highway 85 on her way to work at Anadarko’s office in Platteville. She just happened to call Jimbo while she was passing Frederick one of these roadways.

    2] 5 dogs. Three dogs from the cops. Shan’s dog. Neighbour Nath’s dog.

    3] The bank.

    4] The person who bought it.

    5] Two blankies, one blanket and a bed sheet.

  12. Anna Plummer

    1. What do you know about Nichol Kessinger’s phone “pinging” on Franklin Drive?
    A: Nothing – I cheated on this question only, by Googling it, could not find any info, and have not read anything about it. I have only skimmed through the discovery docs.

    2. How many dogs [all dogs] are involved in the Watts case?
    A: I think three: 1) Deeter, the family’s dog (which Chris totally ignores on the police body cam footage – poor dog – he knew his family was dead, and didn’t get any attention or consolence from unempathetic chris watts.
    2) Cadaver Dog
    3) K9 dog

    3. Who does 2825 Saratoga Trail belong to?
    A: House “belongs” to chris, Shanann, Bella, Celeste, & Deeter, but technically, on paper, it was in the name of chris watts. Currently, I assume the bank owns it. But I guess that Shanann most likely put a down payment on it from some of the money she might have received from selling her NC home, maybe it was in cw name due to something like the amount of money he made at the time of purchase, or credit issues, or to do sith length of time at his job at time of purchase compared to Shanann’s.

    4. Who owned the white Lexus?
    A: Shanann bought the Lexus with a job allowance from LeVel, because she hit the 80k in sales mark.

    5. How many blankets disappeared from the home?
    A: Three. The large dark blue blanket from the loft sofa that was never found to date, and the other 2 were actually tiny ‘snuggle’ blankets, one each belonging to Bella & Celeste – I think they had little stuffed animals attached, with satin- like edgings.

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