Chris Watts' mistress was just as shocked as the rest of the world when she found out her lover was a murderer.
In Nichol Kessinger's eyes, he was a "softly spoken" father-of-two, but that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Instead, he was a lying murderer who killed his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, along with their two daughters, Bella, 4 and Celeste, 3 on August 12, 2018.
He dumped their bodies in a remote oilfield owned by his former employer and is now serving multiple life sentences in a Wisconsin prison.
Kessinger, who has not been seen publicly or heard from since giving evidence in Watts' case, has now reportedly applied to change her name since being linked to the brutal murders.
The 32-year-old, believed to have been living in witness protection, was due to have a hearing last Thursday after requesting to change her name in Jefferson County, Colorado earlier this month, according to the Daily Mail.
The pair met at work and quickly fell in love. Kessinger was a field engineer for Tasman Geosciences which had a contract with Anadarko Petroleum Co — Watts' former place of employment.
Watts sneaked around to spend romantic weekends with Kessinger, which also involved taking sultry photos of her.
Their love affair had reportedly lasted just over a month before Watts had been found guilty of murdering his family.
The pair's secret relationship began when Shanann and the girls spent several weeks away from Watts over the summer visiting Shanann's family in North Carolina — a period during which Shanann continuously reached out to him in hopes of repairing their struggling marriage.
After they returned home to Frederick, Colorado, Shanann took a short solo work trip. She returned home again on August 13, when Watts strangled her and smothered the two girls with his bare hands.
Kessinger spoke about the case for the first time in an interview with The Denver Post on November 15, 2018 where she claimed the triple-murderer was a liar.
She said she was tricked into believing Watts was a loving father, finalising a divorce and she had no idea his wife was 15-weeks pregnant.
He lied about everything," Kessinger, 30, told The Denver Post.
"I don't think there is a logical explanation for what he did," she said. "It's a senseless act, and it's horrific."
Kessinger approached investigators before Watts' arrest and participated in multiple police interviews, describing details of their relationship and what he had told her about his missing family.
A week before Watts killed his family, Kessinger spent more than two hours searching the internet for wedding dresses.
In documents released by Weld County, Colorado, District Attorney's Office, Ms Kessinger also spent 45 minutes Googling "how to prepare for anal sex" and "the anal sex guide" on the night before the murders.
Meanwhile, a search of Watts' phone found hidden pictures of a nude or semi-naked Ms Kessinger. They were located in a secret calculator app that was only accessed by typing in a four digit code.
In late 2018, Radar Online reported Ms Kessinger had moved from Colorado to another state, started a new job and was placed in the witness protection program.
She has since received "several threats, public shaming, and could be considered one of the 'most hated women' in America," a source told local media. "She plans to start fresh with a new name, new town, and ultimately a new identity."
Her name change request comes after the recent aired Netflix's documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door that analyses Watts' murder.
It also features police interviews with Kessinger who told officials she decided to reach out herself after ending her relationship with Watts because of the lies he had been telling her during their short-lived relationship.
"This shocked me just as much as I think it shocked the rest of the world. All of it," she said during an interview aired on the doco. "Like, he lies so much now that I go back and think about all the s**t, and I'm like 'it's all lies'."
While she said Watts admitted to having two children, he never told her his wife was pregnant.
"He informed me he did have two daughters. He also told me he was currently in the process of separation from his wife, and that's how it started," she said of their relationship.
She was adamant about the fact that she never would have pursued a relationship or even agreed to date Watts had she known he was still with his wife.
After admitting to the murders, Watts claimed had it not been for Ms Kessinger he would not have killed his family.
She told police not once did she ever tell Watts his family was a problem.
"Never, never," she kept repeating.
Kessinger also spoke about her worry in being associated to Watts.
"My name is about to be like slandered, for probably a while. I don't know how long it's gonna take to heal. But I would not be surprised if it's gonna be hard to go out in public sometimes for a couple of years," she explained.
"'And that really hurts me. I'm just like, this is a horrible horrible thing. Like, how dare you, you know. And people aren't gonna understand that. You know, they're gonna say, 'oh you know, you're the woman that had an affair with this man who took out his whole family.'"