The mistress of Colorado man Chris Watts has broken her silence to reveal he sent her a chilling text message after he murdered his wife and two daughters saying his family were ‘gone’.
Nichol Kessinger told the Denver Post that Watts had sent her a message on August 13 claiming that his wife Shanann and daughters – Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, had gone missing after a play date.
She said Watts, 33, seemed calm and emotionless despite their disappearance.
Kessinger, who had been dating Watts for two months after meeting at work, said they had been chatting normally throughout the day before he sent a message in the late afternoon saying his family were ‘gone’.
She said the father-of-two had told her when they first met that he was in the final stages of his divorce.
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Nichol Kessinger told the Denver Post that Chris Watts had sent her a message claiming that his wife Shanann and daughters – Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, had gone missing after a play date
Watts, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to avoid the death penalty, will be sentenced on Monday for the murder of his wife and two young daughters
Kessinger only found out from news reports later that day that he was still married to his 34-year-old wife and that she was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her murder.
She also learned via the media that his wife’s wallet was still inside the house and that people had been trying to contact Shanann all day.
Kessinger said she was immediately scared for his family and shocked about his lies.
‘I thought, ‘If he was able to lie to me and hide something that big, what else was he lying about?’ ‘ she said.
Kessinger said she asked Watts a number of questions about the media reports that night, but he repeatedly tried to steer the conversation away from his missing family.
The following day, Kessinger said she texted Watts asking what he knew about their disappearance but he told her that he would never harm his family.
Kessinger contacted authorities the next day – August 15 – and told investigators about her relationship with Watts and the lies that he had told her.
‘I just wanted to help. With a pregnant woman and two children missing, I was going to do anything that I could,’ she said.
Chris Watts pleaded guilty earlier this month to killing his wife Shanann and their two daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. He will be sentenced to life in prison on Monday
Meanwhile, Watts had already made shifty television appearances pleading for his family to return home when they were still reported as missing.
He was arrested later that day and charged with their deaths.
Kessinger said that after his arrest she never doubted that he killed them.
‘I just felt so, so sad,’ she said. ‘He’s a liar. He lied about everything.’
Kessinger said she first met Watts at work back in June. She was working in the environmental department with an Anadarko Petroleum contractor, while Watts worked for the oil company.
She said she knew Watts had two daughters but he told her he was separated and never wore his wedding ring around her.
Watts, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to avoid the death penalty, will be sentenced on Monday.
The former oil and gas worker murdered Shanann and their daughters inside their home in Frederick, north of Denver, on August 13.
Police said Watts then drove their bodies to an oil site owned by his former employer.
The bodies of his daughters were found submerged in an oil tank, while Shanann’s body was found in a shallow grave.
Once he was in custody, he told authorities that Shanann had strangled the girls in retaliation after he told her he was going to leave her for another woman.
He claimed he strangled his wife in a vengeful ‘rage’ then hid all of the bodies afterwards.
The former oil and gas worker murdered Shanann and their daughters inside their home in Frederick, north of Denver, on August 13
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said earlier this month that investigators never believed that Watts was being entirely truthful.
‘The spotlight that he tried to shine on Shanann – falsely, incorrectly and frankly a flat-out lie – has been corrected,’ Rourke said.
‘The spotlight shines directly where it belongs: On him.’
Watts’ plea agreement, which still has to accepted by a judge, will ensure that he remains in prison for life for the three murders.
The agreement also required Watts to plead guilty to unlawful termination of Shanann’s pregnancy, which is a felony in Colorado. Family members have said she planned to name the boy Nico.
Rourke said he and another prosecutor visited Shanann’ family in North Carolina last month to discuss the odds of a death penalty sentence being carried out.
He said Shanann’s family members ‘were very strongly in favor of a resolution in this case short of the death penalty’.
Rourke recalled her mother, Sandra, saying Watts ‘made the choice’ to take the lives of his family members.
‘I do not want to be in the position of making the choice to take his,’ Rourke said, quoting Sandra. ‘That’s about as firmly as she could have said it to me.’
Parents of Chris Watts tell judge they have been denied access to their son and claim he was COERCED into pleading guilty
The parents of Colorado man Chris Watts claim they have been denied access to their son in prison and allege that he was coerced into pleading guilty to killing his wife and two young daughters.
The court received an email this week from a ‘K Almand’ on behalf Watts’ mother, claiming that the Colorado Public Defenders Office has denied the family access to him in prison.
Cindy and Ronnie Watts, along with their daughter, claim that the first time they were allowed to see him since his August arrest was the night before his November 6 hearing where he pleaded guilty.
His parents Cindy and Ronnie Watts claim they have been denied access to their son in prison and allege that he was coerced into pleading guilty to all three murders
The letter, which was addressed to Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow, said they were each permitted to spend 30 minutes with him but they were banned from asking if he really wanted to take the plea deal.
‘They have felt threatened and bullied when all they want to do is see their son and make sure this is his plea since that is not what his original confession was,’ the letter read.
‘The family feels that Chris has been coerced into making this confession.
‘He has been isolated the entire three months and had contact with no one except the attorneys and his jailers.
‘The family feels he has been told by the Public Defender that he has no other options that to take this plea and has therefore accepted his fate.’
They claim it is an ‘attempt to quickly close this case’.
The court received an email this week from a ‘K Almand’ on behalf Watts’ mother, claiming that the Colorado Public Defenders Office has denied the family access to him in prison
The court on Thursday agreed to allow Cindy and Ronnie to make a statement at their son’s sentencing next week.
It comes after Watts’ parents said last week they believed his claim that he killed his pregnant wife in a vengeful ‘rage’ after discovering she had just strangled their two daughters.
Watts initially claimed Shanann murdered the children at the family home when she learned he was going to leave her.
His parents said their son was not a psychopath even though he dumped his daughters’ bodies in an oil tank and buried his wife in a shallow grave at an oil site owned by a former employee.
‘I know he confessed, but he was railroaded into it,’ Cynthia told the Denver Post in one of multiple interviews the couple took part in.
She said her son ‘changed’ when he met Shanann and that their marriage was ‘hard’.
‘It was a very hard relationship. It was a very hard relationship with her as far as I’m concerned.