Internet Searches From Chris Watts’s Mistress Included ‘Amber Frey,’ Book Deal

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 23, 2018US News

Internet searches conducted by the mistress of convicted murderer Chris Watts included several regarding Amber Frey, including one regarding a book deal.

Frey is the mistress of convicted murderer Scott Peterson. She wrote a book titled, “Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson.”

Nichol Kessinger conducted the searches after the wife and two young daughters of Watts disappeared on Aug. 13.

Investigators ended up seizing Kessinger’s phone after Watts disclosed the affair and admitted to killing his wife. He later admitted killing Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. Information from the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, 1,960 pages (pdf), was published this week.

Watts, 33, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Nov. 19.

Kessinger searched for sexual videos and also spent hours searching “Shanann Watts,” the name of Chris Watts’s wife.

kessinger and watts
Nichol Kessinger with Chris Watts in an undated photo. (Weld County District Attorney’s Office)

She also searched the phrase “can cops trace text messages” and searched for information about Frey, including if “people hate Amber Frey” and information about Frey’s book deal.

Information gleaned from the phones of Shanann Watts, Chris Watts, and Kessinger was detailed in a long report made public on Nov. 21.

About a week after Shanann found out she was pregnant with his third child, Watts met with Kessinger while his wife and children were on vacation in North Carolina. On July 18, 11 days later, the first images of Kessinger appear on Watts’s phone.

On July 24, Kessinger searched Google for “Man I’m having affair with says he will leave his wife.”

Kessinger previously said that Watts gave her the impression that he and his wife had separated and were finalizing a divorce. Watts told police officers on Aug. 13, when his family vanished, that early that morning, he and Shannann had discussed separating and selling the house in an emotional conversation. Police officials later said he killed her that day, along with their two young daughters.

As Shanann texted Watts to ask him to be more involved in the relationship, he spent time searching for jewelry, vacation homes, and “when to say I love you for the first time in a new relationship,” the phone records show. During one 23-minute conversation Watts had with his wife, Kessinger called and left a voicemail saying she missed him.

4-year-old fought for her life
This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows (L-R) Bella Watts, Celeste Watts, and Shanann Watts. (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP)

On Aug. 4, after Chris Watts joined his family in North Carolina, Kessinger searched Google for wedding dresses. Later that day, she searched Google for both Watts’s and his wife’s Facebook accounts.

Two days before the killings, with Shanann in Arizona for a work trip, Kessinger and Watts met up after Watts arranged for a babysitter for the girls. After they spent hours together, and after Chris Watts left, Kessinger searched for “Chris Watts” and “Shanann Watts,” in addition to “Ronnie Watts [Chris Watts’s father]” and other searches. That night, Shanann searched Google for a restaurant Kessinger and Watts had dined at several weeks earlier, apparently getting an alert from their bank or a credit company.

Watts murdered his family early on Aug. 13. Later that day, as he texted a number of people, including several of Shannan’s friends who were worried about her, their real estate agent, and his father, he and Kessinger played phone tag. They finally connected at 11:09 p.m. and spoke for 51 minutes.

Two minutes after hanging up, Kessinger again searched Google for Shanann Watts. They spoke again around two hours later. After they both slept, Watts transferred one last image of Kessinger into his secret stash while she spent nearly four hours searching Google for Watts, news outlets, and news accounts of Shanann’s disappearance.

Later that day, she searched “can cops trace text message,”, “how long do phone companies keep text messages,” and a related search. She again searched for news accounts about Shanann’s disappearance, as she did frequently for the next several days.

On Aug. 19, the last detail shared in the documents, Kessinger searched the internet for Frey. The searches included Frey’s book deal, her net worth, and “did people hate Amber Frey.”

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