Christopher Watts confession update details how he met mistress, Nichol Kessinger; what caused him to drift apart from Shanann
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation released Thursday morning records pertaining to Chris Watts’ Feb. 18 confession to law enforcement about how and why he killed his pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
Update: 2:30 p.m.:
Looking back on the affair, Watts told investigators he wished he was working in the field more when he met Nichol Kessinger.
The two met in early June at the office, which was shortly after Watts was promoted to field coordinator from rover, which meant he would spend more time in the office. Watts and Kessinger bumped into each other frequently.
One day, Kessinger texted Watts while he was out in the field. They continued to text each other in the coming days. Watts described his initial interactions with Kessinger as workplace flirting, until the text messages went to a “different level.”
Kessinger and Watts made plans to see each other after he returned from a trip with Shanann to San Diego, which took place June 22-26. They first met together at a park in Thornton.
Watts and Kessinger continued to see each other the entire month of July, while Shanann was in North Carolina with Bella and Celeste. Watts slept at Kessinger’s apartment nearly every night his wife was out of town.
Watts described his relationship with Kessinger as an equal partnership, which was the opposite of how he described his marriage to Shanann. He described Shanann as a dominant personality who made most, if not all of the family decisions. Watts said that was fine by him, as he was more laid back, but it was a refreshing change of pace to be with someone who was interested in his opinion.
Watts took Kessinger to the cinema for their first official date and he picked the movie. When they arrived, it was sold out. Kessinger was easy going about it, Watts told investigators, saying she preferred to take a walk and talk anyway.
Learning Watts was a former mechanic before joining Anadarko, Kessinger suggested their next date be at the Shelby American Collection museum in Boulder. Next, they went to Bandimere Speedway in Morrison for drag racing, Watts’ first time at the track since meeting Shanann. Kessinger later took Watts camping at Great Sand Dunes National Park. It was his first time camping.
Ironically, Watts told investigators his first date with Shanann also was at a movie theater in North Carolina. It was a more upscale establishment, featuring cocktails and kitchen food. Shanann showed up in a dress. Watts showed up in what he described as comfortable clothing. Shanann took one look at him and said he wasn’t her type.
But Watts pursued Shanann nonetheless. With Kessinger, however, he felt like he was the one being pursued, which was another first.
In hindsight, Watts said he got caught up in that new love feeling, but said he thought at the time he and Kessinger were experiencing true love. He also told investigators he knew somewhere in the back of his mind what he was doing was wrong, but that he had blinders on.
“Everybody said, ‘you’re just out there having fun while your wife and kids are on vacation,’” Watts said. “No, it wasn’t like that, but that’s what it looked like when you’re going camping, when your going to drag races and going to all of this stuff that you have fun doing, but you’re with someone who isn’t your family.
“It doesn’t seem right, but when I was with her (Kessinger) it was like I couldn’t see that anymore. I didn’t sleep at home the whole month of July, so I didn’t have all of those things to remind me that I was a husband and a father. It was like a roller coaster ride I kept punching the ticket on. I couldn’t get off.”
Update: 11 a.m.
When Shanann returned home about 2 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13, Watts felt her get into bed and the couple made love for the last time. But something felt different.
Watts told investigators on Feb.18 his last intimate moment with his wife felt like a test. Two days earlier, Watts was on a date with his mistress, Nichol Kessinger. He paid for their dinner with a debit card linked to the family bank account.
“I knew something wasn’t right,” Watts told investigators. “I knew that she knew. What I did Saturday night — going out with someone else, using the bankcard, not trying to hide it — it was the last straw.”
Watts woke up later that morning with the feeling that he was going to come home from work and either Shanann and the kids wouldn’t be there, or he wouldn’t be allowed in the door. He woke Shanann up so they could talk.
Watts, for an unknown reason, decided to climb on top of his wife and straddled her while they spoke. He told her he didn’t think they were compatible anymore and that he didn’t think their relationship was going to continue to work. He asked if they could cancel a trip the two planned to take together to Aspen.
Watts told investigators he and Shanann talked in circles, with the conversation jumping back and forth between staying together and separating. At one point, Watts asked it they could move to Brighton, to get out of their Frederick home and take advantage of a change of scenery.
They both cried, Watts told investigators. Shanann’s pillow became stained with make up she didn’t wash from her face when she arrived home earlier that morning.
The conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes, took a turn when Watts told Shanann he didn’t love her anymore. She told him to get off of her. Instead, he wrapped his hands around her throat and applied pressure.
“Every time I think about it, I’m like, ‘Did I know I was going to do that before I got on top of her?’” Watts said. “Every time I think about that morning, I think I didn’t want to do this, but I did it. It just felt like — I don’t want to say it felt like I had to — it just felt like there was something already made up in my mind and I had no control over it.”
Watts told investigators one thing that has stayed with him since that morning was his wife made no effort to fight back.
“I don’t even want to know what she saw when she looked back at me,” Watts said. “She wasn’t fighting.
“It’s like during the sentencing hearing, that prosecutor said it takes two to four minutes to for something like that to happen. Why couldn’t I just let go?”
Update: 9 a.m.
The interview begins somewhat casually with Watts entering the Wisconsin prison’s computer room to find CBI Agent Tammy Lee, FBI Special Agent Grahm Coder and Frederick police Det. Dave Baumhover asking if he remembers them. Coder then set the ground rules about why the officers were there and assured Watts he wasn’t still under investigation.
But Coder told Watts that the three officers have thought and spoken about him a lot in the months since they first interviewed him in August about the murders. He said they thought his life leading up to the murders seemed “really interesting” and they thought Watts was “unique.” Coder talked about one of the last things Watts said to him, which was an apology for lying about what had happened.
“That has stuck with me the last couple months,” Coder told Watts. “It’s been ringing in my head. I’ve never, ever worked a case like this and had someone tell me that, ever.
“As I walked away, I thought, ‘Chris is different, Chris is a little different in that regard.’”
The investigators and Watts then briefly talked about the differences between his incarcerations in Colorado compared to Wisconsin. Watts said his current living situation is a lot better than before because he’s not isolated and allowed to interact with other inmates.
Conversely, while housed at the Weld County Jail, Watts was in isolation. There was another inmate in the cell next to his, but he never saw that person. The jail had to go into total lock down just so Watts could walk down the hallway.
“I was segregated in Colorado, but I had to listen to people pounding on the walls all night telling me the things they wanted to do to me and that I should kill myself,” Watts said. “People here don’t seem, they don’t judge you as soon as you walk in.”
The investigators also spoke to Watts about some of his alleged extramarital affairs, including a possible homosexual relationship with Wyoming resident, Trent Bolte. Coder and Lee said Bolte told them he and Watts met on a dating app, had a handful of sexual encounters at Bolte’s apartment, with some of Bolte’s friends and a rendezvous or two in remote parking lots.
Coder described Bolte as meek, but also a bit flamboyant. He commented about Bolte’s lip injections and how he had skin care products and make up with him during his interview with investigators. Coder said Bolte told them Watts once bought him skin care products as a gift.
“I’ve never been to Wyoming, let alone driven there to meet up with a guy,” Watts said, adding he only knew who Bolte was because one of this attorneys showed him a picture after his story appeared in the media.
The investigators also spoke with Watts about a second reported affair with a woman named Amanda McMahon. McMahon told investigators she had a one time sexual encounter with Watts in the parking lot of a Chick-Fil-A.
But Watts said it never happened, confirming that his only extramarital affair was with Nichol Kessinger.