The new Netflix series, American Murder: The Family Next Door has renewed interest in the Shanann Watts case, where supposedly devoted family man Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife and his two daughters.
Watts was, at the time, involved with another woman, Nichol Kessinger, who he had met at work in 2018. They got involved quickly and Kessinger later told the police that she believed he was separated from his wife. The truth of these claims remain unanswered.
Watts murdered his pregnant wife, Shanann, and his two young daughters, Bella and Celeste on 13 August 2018. When Kessinger found out about the disappearance and Shannan’s pregnancy, allegedly it raised questions for her. Court documents state that she reached out to the police about the affair herself but she also deleted all information about Watts from her phone beforehand.
Her information immediately caused the police to suspect Watts and soon the story came out. At first, he said he killed Shanann because he caught her trying to kill their daughters but later confessed to all the murders. He said he did it so he could be with Kessinger. Watts is now serving life sentence without parole.
Kessinger originally told the police that she was a lot less invested in the relationship than Watts but her internet history shows that she had been looking up wedding dresses and performing searches on how to “marry your mistress”.
She also refused to give out the number of the friend with whom she claimed to be at the time of the murder. Her search history also shows that she had googled Shanann Watts in 2017 although she claimed to have met Chris for the first time at work in 2018.
Watts’ full confession saved Kessinger from the police looking further into her story. The District Attorney stated at the time that no one else was suspected of being involved in the murders. The police have not investigated further into the discrepancies surrounding Kessinger’s story.
Kessinger’s whereabouts have remained unknown since the early days of the investigation. She may have moved to another state or even changed her name or identity. She has not spoken out in public since then.