Guest Post: “Watts categorically declined to absolve Kessinger at this time”

The text below was sent to CrimeRocket by a spokesperson who has [had?] regular contact with Chris Watts, and often liaises with the Watts family. The message below is unedited, and does not necessarily represent the views of CrimeRocket.

In light of the recent book release of ‘Letters from Christopher,’  I’m feeling compelled to point out the not-so-hidden agenda of the author and her subject, because I was absolutely horrified by the constant victim-blaming that I saw scattered throughout the pages of this book.

I’ve heard it said that, “The more subtle you are at hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.” Maybe Cherlyn Cadle has heard this as well, however Cadle may be many things, but subtle isn’t one of them.

In the book, Cadle went to great lengths to point out how Shan’ann Watts emasculated Christopher Watts at every turn. Bits and pieces detailing a story of a domineering wife and a weak man are littered throughout. But I’m going to save that particular discussion for another time.

The topic I’m more interested in at this moment is the dynamic of the independent single woman and the craven man who pursued her. Well, that’s how I see it anyways. However, Cadle and Watts would ‘subtly’ (see ‘train wreck,’ see ‘shipwreck’) have you believe that Nicole Kessinger, who entered into an affair with Watts just six weeks before his family was brutally murdered and she was subsequently discarded, was a major reason Watts murdered his family. Kessinger is portrayed as a modern day Jezebel in this book, what with her seamy taste for practicing yoga and her unhealthy interest in healing stones. And to be clear, that implication was actually about as blatant as it gets.

Watts and Cadle even included a Bible passage describing a woman who goes to great lengths to seduce a poor innocent man into being physical with her. Then Cadle attempted to drive their point home about Kessinger by saying, “She lured him with lewd sex and nude pictures.” No mention whatsoever was made of the lewd pics that Watts was also sending to Kessinger or the love notes he wrote to her; nothing about the fact that Watts told her he was separated from his wife; nothing about the fact that the lewdest aspects of the sex were at Chris’s insistence. But I digress …

A beautiful, well-educated, and driven woman made a mistake when she became involved with a married man she had been led to believe was separated from his wife. It’s a tale as old as time. However, that does not make her to blame for the actions of a monster. She shouldn’t have to live her life feeling like she was the instigator, or at least the catalyst, of someone else’s heinous crimes. She’s merely guilty of falling, innocently, for the toxic and narcissistic Christopher Watts.

Watts and Cadle’s attempt to shift blame onto the women in Watts’s life is startling. While they both admit that the murders were committed by Watts alone, they are heavily attempting to shift the blame and the build-up to the murders on anyone other than Watts, preferably any woman, preferably several women.

One question that people always ask repeatedly is, “WHY did this happen?” and we were told repeatedly in advance by Cadle that the answers would be in this book. But I saw no answers here, only conjecture, victim-blaming, and ever larger doses of misogyny.

I reached out to Christopher Watts in an attempt to help clear up some of the accusations made about Kessinger in this book, yet Watts categorically declined to absolve Kessinger at this time, insisting instead upon releasing his own statement, in his own words, according to his own agenda, no doubt in another book.

All I can say to that is, after ‘Letters from Christopher,’ one thing is certain: most of us are appalled at the thought of reading another one of Chris’s cringe-worthy letters. There was hardly enough water in the world to shower ourselves clean after the last lot.

21 thoughts on “Guest Post: “Watts categorically declined to absolve Kessinger at this time”

  1. “After that last lot” sounds like an British phrase. I can’t determine who this person is really speaking for, other than to say it’s clear she doesn’t like Cadle’s book. I can’t figure out who’s ax she or he is grinding, he or she is all over the place so I doubt much insight can come from him or her. Sounds like low-educated drivel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “A beautiful, well-educated, and driven woman” is a glowing description, as well as a stretch – especially the well-educated part. It sounds like, you know, like a friend or parent of NK’s. “Low-educated drivel” is a very just phrase for it.


    • My impression is that Kessinger is well educated – certainly if one counts a college degree as well-educated. In that respect I’d hazard a guess that she’s better educated than by far the majority of folks commenting on this case.


      • I live in an area where you can’t throw a rock without hitting someone with a master’s or PhD, so my perception and use of “well-educated” is probably scewed. It makes me think of prestigious, private schools and advanced degrees.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree the phrase does sound like it comes from someone with an emotional investment in nk. Perhaps someone is trying to help rehabilitate her public profile which by some accounts (living in witness protection etc) must be having a devastating effect on her life. In terms of content I’d also agree that some of the coverage and some of the YouTube vitriol directed at her does come from a premise of ….behind every great murderer…….there’s a woman (who made him do it and who’s fault it really is!). And things like her willingness for certain sexual acts have been held up as proof that she’s ‘capable of anything ‘. The facts are she didn’t cheat on anyone when she started seeing cw (cw was the one who cheated on a wife) and, most .importantly, there is no evidence to suggest her involvement in the crime. Yet in some quarters there is a veritable witch hunt calling for her blood. Can you imagine making one minor poor life choice ( be involved with a married person – something a significant amount of the population may do at some stage in their lives) and having this come down on your head?


      • I agree. Public lynchings like this are the thing of nightmares. The misogyny is rampant and it’s disparaging the number of women trashing her and calling for her head. I’m disappointed there aren’t more people out there in YouTube land coming to her defense.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What’s interesting is the people circling watts and professing to speak on his behalf or with his family’s input etc. What are their drivers/what is their motivating force, who – if anyone – are they linked with, and what do they hope to get out of it? Is it a matter of random people looking to publish and promote their particular narrative or is it a communications drive by cw and family in an attempt to deflect responsibility and prepare some sort of defence – followed by counter claims? Quite odd.


  4. I think it must be a friend of NK’s too now JC. Looking at this again that other phrase – “there was hardly enough water in the world to shower ourselves clean” reminds me of NK’s statement to police that Watts made her sick, she couldn’t even look at him. I’m sure she’s sickened now at all of her attempts to tempt him away from his wife and family with the barrage of nude and semi-nude photos, and all of the sex – four times a day that a shower could never make her feel clean again. I don’t think she’s writing any of this, it’s likely a friend. Maybe Jim? I didn’t see it before but I don’t think it’s a Watts family friend, but more likely a Kessinger family friend – and calling NK “a beautiful, well educated and driven woman” – you nailed it JC, it’s a friend or a family member. Quite a cast of characters – and Watts at the center of it – covertly smiling at all of the havoc and controversy he’s causing from behind his prison walls. I think he’s enjoying every minute of it. No wonder Detective Baumhover had a break down. For him it was about what he saw in those oil tanks, and trying to get answers how anyone could do this to their own family.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve said it before – this case is like a modern morality tale on so many levels. If you’re thinking of be coming a mistress (or male equivalent – just realized there isn’t a corresponding word with exact same connotations)… It might be worth checking out the psychological health and dynamics of the whole household first, before getting involved. Because it was that wider dysfunction that led to this tragedy.


  6. I ‘d be interested to know – has anyone bought or is planning to buy ‘the book’? Not out in UK and I think may have been delayed in USA though not sure. I’m torn – it promises to be 💩 frankly, and we’ve been spoilt by the detail and professionalism of the crime rocket books. Not sure I want my pennies heading towards the Cadle one. On the other hand, none of us would be on here if it wasn’t for a slightly morbid interest in true crime and it might be enlightening in terms of who is in who’s pocket in terms of producing it.


    • I’m glad you have brought this question up JC. After seeing Cadle’s interview with Scott Reisch I saw a woman who did her best to write about what she gleaned from his letters and her sitdowns with Watts. I also gained a new respect for Scott Reisch as he seemed to listen to her attentively and ask the right questions. But having said that, and this is just a tip mind you, if you listen to True Crime Colorado parts 1-5 I believe, not sure she’s done a part 6, she describes and narrates the whole book, not word for word which would open her up for a copyright infringement lawsuit but apt descriptions of what she’s read and insightful interpretation. She went to Watt’s sentencing and has some insights, she’s from Colorado. Of course we all like to do our own interpretations, and for that reason I think Cadle’s book would be valuable and worth it to read the letters in Watt’s own write. I think it’s $18 now in paperback? No kindle available as yet. I will get Silver Fox, no question there!


      • Have just watched some of the true crime Colorado series – they are as you say quite informative about the book contents and are quite good.. Got a bit queasy in episode 3 where his comments about prison life included that he misses shannans spaghetti sauce. My god, has he no self awareness of how that comes across ?


  7. Nikki Kessinger is a well educated woman and she was working very hard everyday. She is being used as a “scapegoat “ by Chris and Cradle? He should take responsibility for his actions. Life is life and so she made a mistake to get involved with Chris who was involved in an abusive relationship at home? I saw the videos and it is sad that marriages like that exist? All of this ended in death of Shannon and the Children which was very tragic!


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