“Is SHE Chris Watts’s Mystery Mistress” was published on #SHAKEDOWN on August 23rd, 2018 be me at this link. At that time I was not blogging exclusively on the Watts case. About two weeks later I shifted coverage from #SHAKEDOWN to TCRS.
When the post appeared online in the last week of August, it was the first image published online [besides social media] that made explicit the connection of the name mentioned in the addendum to the arrest affidavit, and the mistress.
Shortly after the endorsed witnessed list was published [as an addendum to the arrest affidavit] it was partially redacted and later the entire witness list was removed. In the original list Kessinger’s name appeared on page 7 [of 9 pages].
At the time who this “Nichol Kessinger” was was speculation but it wasn’t difficult to join the dots. The Arrest Affidavit stated that Watts was actively having an affair with a co-worker, and even though it wasn’t confirmed at the time, it was obvious Kessinger and her kin had strong career links to the oil and gas industry. It was also relatively simple to systematically go through the list Googling names and excluding those who were cops, Thrivers or otherwise didn’t fit the “mistress” profile.
The speculation posted on #SHAKEDOWN was not repeated in the media at time, but it was subsequently proven to be 100% correct.
To date that particular post has been viewed over 60 000 times.
At 11:06 in the clip below, the reporter asks about financial problems. Did Shan’ann or Chris Watts ever talk to them about their finances? The reporter mentions the Wattses filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015. Did they knowing anything about that?
Nick Thayer furrows his brow, purses his lips, pulls a face and shakes his head slightly in response.
But the reporter pushes back on the same point.
REPORTER: Did you guys ever talk about financial stuff?
NICK: I mean, I was never a part of anything. Um-
AMANDA [Interrupting]: Shan’ann and I…Shan’ann and I had discussed it but [shakes head] it was so long ago…that…it was like, you know she would…like bring it up that, you know, ‘We had to file bankruptceeee’, and all of that other stuff, but it was…it kinda ended there.
How likely is it, if Amanda and Shan’ann were business partners, that Amanda wouldn’t bring up Shana’nn’s seriously compromised finances with her husband?
I mean, I was never a part of anything. Um-
In another, harder to come by interview, the story shifts slightly.
AMANDA: We had no idea they were financialleee….until we spoke with Chris on Monday. Um…
NICK [Nods while looking at the ground]: He mentioned putting the house up for sale. [Wipes his nose].
REPORTER [Narrating]: And then…last week [the week prior to the murders], Amanda says Shan’ann confided suspicions of infidelity.
AMANDA: She…said that…it came to her mind…that possibly…he…could be cheating…but at the same time, she was like [laughs], ‘He has no game.’
Interestingly, the Thayers noticed on Tuesday afternoon that Chris Watts wasn’t doing the easy things to find out where Shan’ann was.
NICK: He didn’t seem all that eager to…look into it.
REPORTER: They called detectives that night to report it [Chris Watts’ suspicious behavior].
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.
Supposedly Nichol Kessinger is the daughter of Chris Watts boss .
…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].
Was Chris Watts cheating on his wife, Shanann, before allegedly killing her? Was he losing weight and looking muscular for another woman? https://t.co/GKPb6WhYMk
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.
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.
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.”
Thus 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 SFGate.com:
“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
In POST TRUTH, the 100th True Crime Rocket Science [TCRS] title, the world’s most prolific true crime author Nick van der Leek demonstrates how much we still don’t know in the Watts case. In the final chapter of the SILVER FOX trilogy the author provides a sly twist in a tale that has spanned 12 TCRS books to date. The result may shock or leave you with even more questions.
SILVER FOX III available now in paperback!
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“Book 4 in the K9 series is a must read for those who enjoy well researched and detailed crime narratives. The author does a remarkable job of bringing to life the cold dark horror that is Chris Watts throughout the narrative but especially on the morning in the aftermath of the murders. Chris’s actions are connected by Nick van der Leek’s eloquent use of a timeline to reveal a motive.”