It’s a simple question and yet so much rides on the right answer. The Discovery Documents provide a timeline of the interactions between 33-year-old Chris Watts and his 30-year-old mistress Nichol Kessinger.
Kessinger’s story in the press is that she only initiated the affair in May or June 2018.
Now the very first entry into that timeline – a Google Search by Nichol Kessinger for “Shanann Watts” on September 1, 2017 – is being called “a typo”.
Really? The first item on the timeline is a typo? What part is the typo? 2017? 1? Or September? If her phone was seized and analyzed in August, how could she have made a search in September 2018? And if the entire entry is wrong [which is not a typo but a full blown data-entry error], then WHEN DID KESSINGER SEARCH WATTS’ WIFE’S NAME FOR THE FIRST TIME?
You’d think this question [if it is a minor data entry error] would be simple enough to clear up, and CrimeOnline have made the effort:
The records supervisor at the Frederick Police Department told CrimeOnline on Thursday that the entry in the discovery report showing that Nichol Kessinger performed a Google search for Shanann Watts on September 1, 2017 is a typo.
CrimeOnline reached records supervisor Amanda Purcell on Thursday after repeated inquiries made to multiple Colorado law enforcement agencies to confirm the accuracy of an entry in the Phone Data Review included in the discovery documents connected to the Chris Watts murder case, released by the Weld County District Attorney’s office late last month.
Asked if the entry in the Phone Data Review showing that Kessinger performed an internet search for “Shanann Watts” on her cell phone on September 1, 2017, was typographically correct, Purcell said it was a typo in the report.
Purcell was not able to provide additional clarification about another section of the phone data review that indicates Kessinger searched for Chris and/or Shanann Watts prior to beginning her relationship with Chris Watts in the spring of 2018, and referred our inquiry to the Weld County District Attorney’s office. The above entry, however, appears to be the only questionable date in the chronological Phone Data Review. CrimeOnline has reached out to the Greeley Police Department for clarification or confirmation of the information listed in the entry, and has not yet received a response.
We already know, however, that Kessinger purposefully deleted messages between herself and Watts from her phone. We also know that at 17:00 on August 14th, Kessinger Googled “can cops trace text messages” and “How long do phone companies keep text messages”as well as “Difference between text message content and text message detail”.
We also see the first artifact after the “typo Google search” coming in as late as July 7th, about two weeks into Shan’ann’s six week trip to North Carolina. This is also the first recovered call from Kessinger to Watts, but probably wasn’t the first actual call made to him.
So what is the truth and why is it so murky all of a sudden?
Greeley Police Detective Michael Prill authored the report that included a single entry of a September 1, 2017 search for Shanann Watts, and Frederick Police Detective David Baumhover authored the report, excerpted immediately above, that referenced multiple deleted searches for Chris and Shanann Watts.
Following a series of email exchanges and phone calls with the Weld County District Attorney’s office regarding the reports, CrimeOnline spoke by phone to Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke on Monday. Rourke said that the reports reflect what was shown in the forensic analysis of Nichol Kessinger’s phone.
“The dates to which you are referring — in 2017 where it appears she Googled or otherwise searched Shannan — was data that came off her phone,” Rourke said.
“It’s not a typographical error in the report. [The detectives] are reporting what was contained in the data from her phone. I don’t know the answer to the question of why or how those dates ended up in her phone.”
Asked if the District Attorney’s office questioned or planned to question Kessinger about data suggesting she was aware of Chris and Shanann Watts for up to a year before the murders, Rourke said that Chris Watts’ guilty plea precluded any need to further probe the results of the forensic analysis of Kessinger’s phone.
“We did not get to the point in our investigation of attempting to independently verify that or not because Chris Watts pled guilty,” Rourke said.
“When you ask me if I have verified that information, the answer to your question is no. Nichol Kessinger told us that she met and started the relationship with the defendant in 2018. So where that anomaly in the data comes from, I can’t answer it for you. I don’t know the answer to it.”
Rourke said that prosecutors are confident in the results of the murder investigation, which is closed. “I have absolutely no reason to investigate Nichol Kessinger at this point in time,” he said.”This is not a witch hunt.”
“My job is to investigate and prosecute who was responsible for the deaths of Shannon, Bella, Celeste, and Nico. We have done that. I have no information nor any belief that any other criminal defendant is out there who is responsible for their death in any way, shape, or form.”
The Frederick Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification of their earlier statements about the Phone Data Review.
So much for the District Attorney wanting to know why…