Netflix’s ‘American Murder: The Family Next Door’ chronicles the highly publicized and truly horrific Watts’ family murder case, where Christopher Lee Watts killed his 15-week pregnant wife Shanann, and their two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste, in cold blood. He then staged the entire thing to look like they had left him. But, within a couple of days, the investigators found out that Chris was having an affair with one of his co-workers and, therefore, had motive to get rid of his family. As he confessed, it turned out to be true. His mistress, Nichol Kessinger, although having no hand in the crimes itself, was then shoved into the spotlight as well. Wondering where she is now? Here’s what we know.
Who Is Nichol Kessinger?
Born in Colorado, in 1988, Nichol Kessinger always had a keen interest in geology. Therefore, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on the subject from Colorado State University in 2013. Her interest in it then led her to the Community College of Aurora, where she studied geological and earth sciences and geosciences, and earned an Associate of Science. Although she started off as a bookkeeper, she eventually climbed the corporate ladder to become a field engineer. By early 2018, she had joined Tasman Geosciences, which is contracted with Anadarko Petroleum, where Chris worked.
After meeting in the environmental department and seeing the sparks fly, Chris and Nichol started dating in June 2018. Their illicit affair left Chris completely mesmerized, and he claimed that his mistress showed him more love and respect than his own family ever did. So, in just a couple of months, in August, he murdered them to be with her forever. On that fateful night, the two even shared a 11-minute phone call. Nichol was under the impression that Chris was already in the process of separating from his wife, so she didn’t mind continuing their relationship. Little did she know that the separation was going to be more permanent and life-threatening.
However, once Nichol heard the news about the disappearance and asked Chris about it, she knew that something “seemed off.” When he kept deflecting her questions and concerns, she refused to speak with him and contacted the police herself.
Where Is Nichole Kessinger Today?
Nichol Kessinger provided the police with detailed information about Chris and their affair throughout their investigation and cooperated with them at every step of the way, which was paramount in finding him guilty for the murders in November 2018. After Chris was initially arrested, she informed her employer about the situation and was let go as soon as her contract was up. The public scrutiny also made it difficult for her to find a new, stable job, and so she expressed her interest in leaving the state and getting away from the events of her life on more than one occasion.
In saying that though, her phone records show that she also thought of monetizing from her situation. She searched for Amber Frey’s net worth, the mistress of Scott Peterson, who also murdered his pregnant wife. Frey had landed herself a book deal, and so we can only assume that Nichol might have considered going down that path as well. After all, both their situations were eerily similar. But, in the end, Nichol deemed self-preservation to be of utmost importance. According to reports, Nichol has been taken in by the federal authorities and placed in witness protection.
Naturally, all this means that her relationship with Chris is long over and that she is now living with a new name at a new address, presumably hundreds of miles away from Colorado. A source stated, “She has received several threats, public shaming and could be considered one of the ‘most hated women’ in America. She plans to start fresh with a new name, new town and ultimately a new identity.” And, of course, when you enter a witness protection program, you need to give up your old life entirely, which is precisely what Nichol has done. (Featured Image Credit: Netflix)
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