Nichol Kessinger applies for name change to seek fresh start two years after Chris Watts murdered wife and kids
After her confession to the police about having an affair with Watts, it was reported that she was placed in witness protection and got a fresh start in a new city
Nichol Kessinger, the woman who had an affair with Chris Watts while he killed his wife and two daughters, has reportedly attempted to change her name. According to a report in Daily Mail, the 32-year-old applied for a name change earlier this month in Jefferson County, Colorado, and a hearing regarding the same is set to be held on Thursday. Kessinger has not been heard from since 2018 and the last time she was seen was when she walked in and confessed to the cops that she had an affair with the father of two.
Kessinger and Watts met through work and had reportedly fallen in love very quickly as he cheated on his wife. The two spent time together during weekends and even went on beach vacations before Watts was caught by his wife Shannon, who had then confronted him about the affair. After being caught, Watts decided to take care of his 34-year-old pregnant wife by killing her in bed at their home in Frederick, Colorado.
He then drove a dead Shannon and his daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, to an oil field where he strangled his daughters with a blanket and squeezed them into an oil tank. Kessinger's request for a name change came after the release of Netflix's hit documentary, 'American Murder: The Family Next Door'. Since the release of the documentary, interest in Watts' case has increased and so has the interest in Kessinger as it mentions her in events leading up to the triple homicide.
After her confession to the police, it was reported that she was placed in witness protection and got a fresh start in a new city away from Florida. A source close to Kessinger at that time had said, "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," Daily Mail reported.
Kessinger had also told the police that Watts had only informed her that he had two daughters and claimed that he had separated from his wife. She was unaware that Watts' wife was pregnant with their son Nico. After news of Watts' crime broke, everything about Kessinger including her browsing history was dissected by the media. The fact that she had researched anal sex or searched for a wedding dress had all become headlines. The one search that was cited by the police was about Kessinger researching about Amber Frey, how much she earned through her book deal and if people hated her. Frey was the one who had an affair with murderer Scott Peterson and claimed that she was not aware of him being married.