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Watts Tellingly Used Credit Card Before Killing Family

The woman he was seeing took note of it, as did his wife
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2018 1:16 PM CST

(Newser) – Christopher Watts will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters in Colorado. Some of the last things he did as a free man have come into sharper focus thanks to some 2,000 pages of documents the Weld County District Attorney's Office released on Wednesday. Authorities say he suffocated his girls late on Sunday, Aug. 12, or early on Monday the 13th, which is when he strangled his wife. The details begin before that, per the Daily Camera: With his wife out of town on business, Watts on Saturday took girlfriend Nichol Kessinger to dinner, though he told police and others he had dinner with friends. More:

  • Kessinger says he uncharacteristically paid with a credit card, rather than a gift card, which she took as a sign that he no longer needed to hide their relationship from his wife (whom Watts told her he had divorced). The $62 charge caught Shanann Watts' eye; she mentioned it to a friend as suspiciously high considering her husband told her he had salmon and a beer.
  • CBS Denver reports on Aug. 5, Shanann texted Watts, "l just don't get it. You don't fall out of love in 5 weeks." CNN reports Shanann took her girls on a lengthy summer trip to North Carolina to see family; Watts joined her for the last week of the trip, but the two were apart from June 27 to July 30. During that time, Watts reportedly saw Kessinger, who told co-workers they got physically intimate in early July.

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  • The Camera separately reports that on Aug. 13, two co-workers arrived at the Anadarko Petroleum Co.-owned oil field where the bodies were ultimately found (Shanann Watts in a shallow grave, his daughters in oil tanks); they were to work there with Watts, who had arrived before them and who was digging a hole near a tank. The colleague says Watts was acting normally, but later said he had to leave to deal with his home alarm, which he said had been triggered. He reported his family missing that day.
  • The records also show that Shanann Watts' mother reached out to authorities early on Aug. 14 and laid out her suspicions, which proved to be all too true: That Watts was behaving strangely, that she suspected "foul play," and that she feared Watts planned to "pour oil on the bodies to dispose of them somewhere."
  • The AP had more details on that day by way of District Attorney Michael Rourke. It writes, "He spent a normal day at work and frequently texted his girlfriend, even as police began investigating his family's disappearance. He made calls to a real estate agent about selling the family home and told the girls' school that they would not enroll that fall as planned."
  • The Denver Post details how prosecutors got Watts to confess, which happened after he failed a polygraph, discussed the family's debt, and had a conversation with his father that was recorded. One stand-out line: "When the interviewer asked Watts to describe all the ways a person could make someone disappear, Watts gave a short answer and then giggled, according to the documents."
  • As for Kessinger, People reports that just days after Watts' arrest, Kessinger did a series of Google searches on Amber Frey, the mistress of wife-killer Scott Peterson. "Did people hate Amber Frey?" was one of her searches, as were queries about Frey's book deal and net worth.
(Also Tuesday, news came out that Shanann Watts' parents are suing Christopher Watts.)

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