October 20, 2005

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Nancy Kissel: Guilty (Updated October 20th)

The trial has ended, and the jury has convicted Nancy Kissel of murder; she has been sentenced to life in prison. Please scroll to the bottom for details and breaking news. A summary of the links and details of the case:

For earlier trial updates and background information, please look at:
1. Nancy Kissel archive part 1 (covers up to July 18th, including introductory material)
2. Nancy Kissel archive part 2 (covers between July 19th and August 4th).
3. Nancy Kissel archive part 3 (covers between August 5th and August 18th)
4. Nancy Kissel archive part 4 (covers between August 20th and August 30th)

ESWN also has a comprehensive archive on the Kissel trial.

Update September 1st

* The Standard: Jury expected to retire and decide Nancy Kissel's fate
* SCMP: Judge questions Kissel's 'meltdown' claim

Defence claims that Nancy Kissel had a "meltdown" after she killed her husband had to be considered in light of the manner in which she carried out what the prosecution called her "cover-up" activities, jurors were told in the Court of First Instance yesterday.

Mr Justice Michael Lunn also said the evidence of Kissel's generous contributions to her children's school and the Jewish community was "unchallenged".

The judge, on the second day of his summing up, drew the jury's attention to stills taken from closed-circuit television footage that showed the defendant dragging a large suitcase, carrying a rug and shopping bags on different occasions two days after she allegedly murdered Robert Peter Kissel, a senior Merrill Lynch banker, in their Parkview apartment on Sunday November 2, 2003.

The judge said Suzara Serquina, of Tequila Kola in Aberdeen, described the defendant as "normal" but "a little bit loud" during her visit to the furniture store at 5.30pm on November 3.

The accused, wearing sunglasses inside the store, gave a lavish compliment on a display item.

"[The witness] and another salesperson exchanged glances," the judge said.

The accused bought a chaise lounge, two cushions, and a small carpet, and ordered a tailor-made bedcover, before returning the next day to buy two more large carpets at a total price of $27,000.

The defendant had also on the morning of November 3 ordered 20 cartons from Links Relocation, a removal firm, the judge said.

The police later found bloody items, including the 3.7kg lead ornament Kissel used to attack her husband, in the boxes.

She was also found to have accessed the homepage of Hong Kong Police and its pages on missing and wanted persons on the same day, he added.

Mr Justice Lunn invited the jurors to look at the evidence "in respect of whether or not she had gone into a meltdown" after the killing.

Kissel, 41, has admitted killing the banker but pleaded not guilty to murder.

Alexander King SC, for the defence, argued in his closing submission that Kissel had "melted down" after the killing, and that this had caused her to carry out a number of bizarre acts, such as sleeping with her husband's body for at least two nights and calling her husband's mobile phone.

He urged the jury to acquit her of murder, arguing that she had acted in lawful self-defence.

Kissel told the court that she could not recall much about the incidents in those few days.

But prosecutor Peter Chapman said the acts were carried out to cover up the alleged murder.

The judge reminded the jury that the accused had also ordered her two Filipino maids to buy six boxes of peppermint oil from the Body Shop and two coils of rope in Stanley.

She also arranged for some Parkview workmen to carry the old carpet roll concealing the deceased's body to her storeroom on November 5. When the head workman commented to her that the carpet smelt like "salt fish", she did not react and closed the door.

The judge said Bryna O'Shea, Kissel's best friend in San Francisco, said in her oral evidence that the defendant was not crying on the phone and that she was "forcing herself to sound upset" when she told her that her husband walked out after beating her. This left the witness questioning what was really happening, said the judge.

The prosecution witness also found it strange that Kissel complained to her about being unable to write out cheques and said "f***ing Rob had it all tied up with Merrill Lynch" at a time when she did not know his whereabouts.

Ms O'Shea also recalled asking her friend if she wanted to cancel breast enhancement surgery scheduled for mid-November in San Francisco. To her surprise, the accused replied: "No, don't cancel it. I will be there."

But the judge said various defence witnesses had given "unchallenged evidence" on her generous contributions to the Hong Kong International School, where she had been the vice-president of the Parent Faculty Office (PFO), school photographer, and organiser of a successful annual fund-raising event.

He repeated the remark of her good friend and former president of the PFO, Trudy Samra, in relation to her efforts in creating the popular school calendar: "Nancy is the calendar."

And Mr Justice Lunn reiterated a government scientist's conclusion that he had never encountered the combination of five drugs found in the victim's stomach and liver contents - alleged to come from a sedative-laced milkshake Kissel used to drug him.

The jury is expected to deliberate whether to return a verdict of murder, manslaughter or acquit her after the judge finishes his directions today.

Update September 2nd

* The Standard: Lover 'Bragged' Of Affair
* The Standard: GUILTY
* The Standard: Dad agonized over 'false' charges against victim
* The Standard: Robert 'would probably ask for compassion'
* The Standard: Murder trial like a US soap opera in HK courtroom
* SCMP: Nancy Kissel Jailed for Life

Nancy Kissel was sentenced to life in prison yesterday after seven jurors unanimously found her guilty of murdering her husband after one of Hong Kong's most sensational trials.

The 41-year-old mother of three was expressionless in the dock as guards put her in handcuffs and escorted her to a prison van after Justice Michael Lunn passed sentence. Her mother, Jean McGlothlin, and friends broke down in court.

After eight hours of deliberation, the grave-looking jurors entered the courtroom about 8.30pm, to return a unanimous verdict of murder.

Sentencing Kissel, Mr Justice Lunn thanked the jurors for sitting with patience and care through the "gruesome details of the circumstances in which Robert Kissel met his death" in a trial that almost lasted three months. He exempted them from jury service for the next 15 years and granted them the maximum additional allowance of $280 a day for performing their duty.

Michigan-born Kissel was arrested five days after she drugged Robert Kissel, a senior Merrill Lynch banker, with a milkshake and bludgeoned him to death with a heavy lead ornament in their luxurious Parkview flat on November 2, 2003. She arranged for workmen to carry the victim's body, concealed in an old oriental rug, to her storeroom.

Prosecutor Peter Chapman said during the trial that Kissel killed her husband in a "cold-blooded" murder to escape a "messy, lengthy" divorce and be with Michael Del Priore, her TV-repairman lover who lived in a trailer park in Vermont.

Defence counsel Alexander King SC claimed Kissel had been subjected to five years of forceful anal sex and physical assault by a husband who abused cocaine and searched for gay porn websites. Kissel told the court her husband had threatened to kill her with a baseball bat and that she had almost no memory of the activities she embarked on to cover up her crime.

William Kissel, the victim's 77-year-old father who flew from Florida to attend the trial, said after the verdict: "Justice has been served. Am I sad? Yes, I lost my son. My son is resting in peace now. All the allegations against him have been proven false. The jury, after a three-month trial, in half a day, declared her guilty of murder.

"Rob was a wonderful father. He tried his best to be a wonderful husband and I just wished that his children could go on with their lives knowing the beauty of their father and how much he loved them.

"One doesn't stand up in court and accuse one's husband of all these horrible events because at the same time you do that, you are condemning your own children, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren."

Kissel's mother, Jean McGlothlin, who stood by her daughter every day in court, held back tears as she said to a crowd of journalists: "Mostly I would like to say thank you for the respect you have shown me and my family. Except for photographers, you have all been wonderful. It's helped me enormously ... I am trying to get my feet on the ground."

She refused to say whether an appeal would be lodged. The simmering feud between the camps of Robert and Nancy Kissel boiled over into a public slanging match as they waited for the verdict.

As William Kissel was telling reporters about what he termed the "terrible legacy" his daughter-in-law had left for her children, Nancy Kissel's adviser, former journalist Jim Laurie, said she should be allowed to see her children.

Mr Laurie, a lecturer in journalism at the University of Hong Kong, suggested the children's financial security would be threatened if Robert's brother Andrew, who is facing embezzlement charges in the US, won custody of the children.

Mr Kissel lashed out at the defence's tactic of portraying his son as a sodomist, cocaine addict and alcoholic. "You don't know him [just] because you lived in the same building," he said to Mr Laurie.

"What puts you in a position to judge?" Mr Laurie replied it was "impossible to know what happened" in the relationship.

Mr Kissel shot back: "Are you going to write a book now ... and say Nancy is innocent?"

The judge also ordered transcripts and statements on the withholding of the baseball bat by the defence for 18 months to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Justice Lunn said in his summing up yesterday morning that the court had heard nothing about the defence keeping the baseball bat - allegedly used by the deceased to beat his wife - until July 21. He said that Simon Clark, the defence solicitor who was in court throughout the trial, had been keeping the bat since finding it in the bedroom of Kissel's flat in November 9, 2003.

"What became of the baseball bat during the period between November 9, 2003, and July 21, 2005? We knew nothing about it at all."

* SCMP: The 'perfect' marriage that ended in a Parkview bloodbath
Outsiders said Robert and Nancy Kissel had the best marriage in the universe. The husband was a high-flying senior investment banker at Merrill Lynch whose personal estate is worth US$18 million. The wife, an attractive, artistic, and devoted mother of three, had everything that an expat woman could dream of. They lived in a luxurious Parkview apartment and sped about town in a Mercedes and a Porsche. They appeared in public with big smiles, dining with important people such as former US president George Bush.

But the illusion of the beautiful life was shattered on November 2, 2003. On that fateful day, Nancy Kissel killed her husband by hammering his head repeatedly with a heavy lead ornament. The blows were of such force that parts of his skull were pushed into the cerebral cortex and white matter inside the brain. The two figurines sitting atop the 3.7kg ornament flew off during the attack, splattering blood all over the bedroom.

When the 41-year-old stepped into the High Court in late May, her appearance was almost unrecognisable from that two years ago in the days before the killing. The shine in her eyes was gone, blonde hair turned dark brown, colourful outfits had become plain black, her trademark sunglasses replaced by studious, oval, wire-rimmed glasses. She had lost so much weight that she walked like a shadow floating in court.

Her husband, found by police in a rolled-up rug in her Parkview storeroom five days after the killing, was buried in a cemetery in the US state of New Jersey. Their children, in the temporary custody of the estranged wife of her brother-in-law in Greenwich, Connecticut, had not seen or spoken to her since the murder.

Yesterday, after a sensational three-month trial involving more than 500 exhibits and over 100 witnesses, Kissel was found guilty of what prosecutor Peter Chapman called the "cold-blooded" murder of her husband.

When she testified in early August, Kissel gripped the city as she admitted for the first time that she had killed her husband. "Do you accept that you killed Robert Kissel," asked Mr Chapman to open his cross-examination. "Yes," Kissel replied. When the prosecutor accused her of trying to conjure a picture of the victim as an abusive husband, she broke down. "I still love him. Things happened. I stayed with him. I loved him, and I am not sitting here to paint a bad picture about him, because he's my husband," she said.

But the story of a love turned sour did not end there. It was to be followed with allegations of spousal abuse, cocaine addiction, sodomy, extramarital affairs and greed.

Life had seemed to go on as usual for Nancy Kissel on Sunday, November 2, 2003. About 9am, she drove her Mercedes to the Sunday morning service at the United Jewish Congregation on Robinson Road, Mid-Levels. When she was nearing the Parkview taxi rank, she saw Andrew Tanzer and his seven-year-old daughter, Leah, carrying a schoolbag with the logo of the congregation's Sunday school. Kissel offered the pair a ride.

At the congregation, Kissel met her husband, who had taken their three children to the service in his Porsche. She introduced him to their newly met neighbours. Leah, a sociable girl, recognised Kissel's second child, June, was also from Parkview. She urged her father to arrange a play date for her and June in the afternoon.

Shortly before 11am, Kissel left the congregation and drove her eldest child, Elaine, to her friend's birthday junk party. She dropped her daughter at Aberdeen Marina Club and drove back home. Meanwhile, her husband was having lunch at the congregation with June and the youngest child, Reis.

But under the surface of normalcy was a sea of turbulence. By that time, Robert Kissel had lost hope of saving the marriage after realising that his wife remained in frequent contact with Michael Del Priore, with whom she had begun a sexual relationship during her stay with her children in Vermont to escape Sars that summer. He had told close colleague David Noh that he would discuss getting a divorce with his wife that afternoon. Nancy must have discovered his intention because a "stupid" lawyer of his had earlier sent a list of divorce lawyers to the family e-mail account, not his Merrill Lynch one, he told him.

By that time, Kissel had already acquired three hypnotic drugs - Rohypnol, Lorivan and Stilnox - and an anti-depressant - amitriptyline - in a seven-day "shopping spree" for drugs in late October. She had told a doctor and a psychiatrist that she had serious sleeping problems, was assaulted by her husband, and had parents with a history of depression, alcoholism, and violence. The same drugs, plus an additional hypnotic, Axotal, were found in Robert Kissel's stomach and liver contents during an autopsy.

About 2.30pm, the banker returned home with the two children. Tanzer took Leah to see June in the Kissel's flat in Tower 17 at 2.45. The neighbour said it was a bit odd that Kissel never came out to greet him as the two men were talking in the living room. When he was about to leave, Leah and June came out of the kitchen with two identical glasses of pink milkshake that the prosecution argued Kissel had laced with a cocktail of sedatives for their fathers.

Mr Tanzer said he had "never drunk anything like that" and asked Kissel what it was when she popped her head out of the kitchen. "It's a secret recipe," she told him. He returned home at 4pm, shocking his wife by passing out on the couch and, bizarrely, treating himself to three tubs of ice cream at dinner. The next morning, he had almost no recollection of the evening.

Meanwhile, Kissel's husband took his son to the playroom downstairs about 5pm, where he talked for 10 minutes on the phone with David Noh. Noh said the deceased sounded tired, slurry and mellow. Robert was "on a different tangent", talking about export markets when he was asking him about real estate prices, he recalled.

Twenty minutes later, Kissel sent their maid Maximina Macaraeg to tell Robert to return to the flat. The helper met him in the car park as he was on his way home and took his son from him.

That was the last time Robert Kissel was seen alive. The next time his son saw him would be when three days later his body was carried out of the flat by four Parkview workmen in an old, stinking rug.

Back in January 2003, a month after Kissel had walked out on her husband after a fight on a skiing vacation in Whistler, Vancouver, according to her testimony, he installed Eblaster spyware on his wife's laptop and a home computer to monitor her activity. In June, he hired two private investigators to find out if his wife was cheating on him in Vermont.

He would never have imagined that the steps he had taken to confirm his suspicions would one day become crucial evidence for the police and prosecutors to retrace the steps leading to his demise. It was from the spyware reports that the court learned of the diary entries recording Kissel's frustration with her deteriorating marriage and her website searches for the drugs used to dull her husband's senses on the fateful day.

The banker would certainly have had no idea that the sick joke of his confidante, Bryna O'Shea, who said: "If Nancy is going to kill you, put me in your will," would be an omen.

With the effort of a large number of experts in DNA typing, bloodstain pattern analysts, pathologists, police officers, photographers and forensic scientists, the prosecution established that Robert Kissel was walking to his death when he returned to his flat from the car park.

Prosecutors said that his wife silently observed him as he got changed into his sleeping clothes and collapsed at the foot of their bed under the influence of the sedatives in the milkshake. They said she then struck the right side of his head using the lead ornament with what Mr Chapman called "the murderous intention to kill", until the metal base was deformed and the two figurines detached. Rendered defenceless by the drugs, the deceased suffered 10 lacerations to his head, including five fractures, each potentially fatal.

In the prosecution's theory, Michael Del Priore featured largely in the case. Living as he did on a Vermont trailer park, he saw Kissel as a "gold mine", Mr Chapman suggested. The lover could have given "tacit encouragement" to the killing, he said, since phone bill records indicated long-distance phone conversations between the two, including 106 calls in October 2003, and many more in the days following the killing. Some of the calls lasted for hours. Kissel remained expressionless throughout the prosecution case, at times jotting notes in the dock for her lawyers. On the day when a variety of stomach-churning, bloody exhibits - including pillows and bedcovers soaked with the victim's blood - were paraded in court, she lowered her gaze to the floor.

Outside the courtroom, Kissel, often sporting a friendly smile, chatted with expatriates and hugged supporters. In the defence team's makeshift office in court, she sometimes spoke with dramatic gestures, as if she was directing the counsels. She also chatted with guards in the dock using the Cantonese she had mastered during the year she spent in the custody ward of Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre after she was arrested.

"I learnt it from the people in Siu Lam. There was nobody speaking English there. I had to survive. I also taught them English," she told the South China Morning Post.

Her mother, Jean, had been her backbone from the start of the trial, walking with her hand in hand out of the court to brave the crowd of journalists. After the judge revoked Kissel's bail when she finished her testimony early last month, guards exercised their discretion to allow the mother to spend short moments with her daughter on several occasions.

That was not all that went on away from the gaze of jurors. Defence counsel Alexander King SC asked the judge on July 20 to recall the Kissels' maid Maximina Macaraeg, police officers and forensic scientists to testify about a baseball bat. He revealed that his instructing solicitor, Simon Clark, had found the bat in the Kissels' bedroom on November 9, 2003, a day after the police relinquished the crime scene. Mr Clark had since kept the bat in his office, he said.

Mr Chapman, arguing against the application, raised the issue of professional conduct to the judge. He questioned the defence motive in writing a letter to the prosecution in January this year asking if the police had seized a baseball bat in the master bedroom - at a time when the bat was already "sitting safely" in Mr Clark's office. But the defence claimed that it was asking about another baseball bat in the letter.

Mr Justice Lunn said he found it "astonishing" that the bat was not presented to court until then, but granted the recall of witnesses to ensure a fair trial for the defendant, saying the bat could be central to the defence case. Last night he announced that he had informed the Director of Public Prosecutions of his concerns over the matter.

Nancy Kissel would later tell the court, in tears, that it was the bat her husband had used to beat her on the evening of November 2, 2003. She recalled being in the kitchen as her husband called to her. She went out and saw him leaning on a baseball bat at the doorway of their bedroom. "I am filing for divorce and I am taking the kids. It's a done deal," her husband told her. Tapping the bat in his hand, he said it was to protect himself in case she got "mad". She went back to the dining room and grabbed the lead statue, her heirloom, in a fright.

She trembled as she told the court how her husband said to her: "I will f***ing kill you, you bitch". She said her husband smacked her face and grabbed her arm after she waved her finger in his face. She fell, dropping the statue.

"He pulled me into the room, pulled me onto the bed ... and started to have sex with me," she said. "I started kicking him. We ended up on the floor," she said. Kissel said she reached for the statue on the floor and swung her arm back. "I didn't even look and I thought I hit something," she said.

"He came down on me as I was holding the statue in front of my face," she said in a weak voice.

Unable to carry on, Kissel sat, trembling and wordless, for almost a minute, the stares of all in the court fixed on her face. Finally after trembling for almost a minute, she said: "I can't remember."

The defence case turned more intriguing as its computer forensic experts displayed in court alleged homosexual and gay porn website searches by the deceased. In their case, Robert Kissel was a "controlling" and "demanding" man who abused not only his wife, but cocaine, painkillers, alcohol and his children. Above all, he was uncertain about his sexual identity, looking for male and female prostitutes everywhere he travelled and forcing his wife into performing oral and anal sex day after day over a five-year period.

Her "dissociative amnesia" was used to explain away the series of bizarre "cover-up" she undertook after the murder.

Somehow, she managed to get her husband's body into a sleeping bag and roll it neatly in a large, old rug stuffed with towels and plastic bags.

She called her father in Chicago, saying that she had been beaten up badly by her husband. She gave her friends, her father, and a doctor four to five versions of the events of November 2.

She arranged for the delivery of cardboard boxes, some of which she used to pack away the bloody contents of the bedroom. She hired four Parkview workmen to transport the stinking rug to a storeroom. On November 6, she reported to the police an assault by her husband.

Evidence showed that she had even called her husband's mobile phone twice shortly after the killing. Meanwhile, she had not stopped talking to Del Priore until her arrest in the early hours of November 7. In court, she said she had never seen the lover again, but he was the only one in her life to whom she could open her heart.

Jurors, like the prosecution, found her web of lies too hard to believe. After more than eight hours of deliberation, they found her guilty of murder. The sentence was automatic - life in prison.

"The only person whom Nancy Kissel could not deceive is Robert Kissel. He found out, and he is dead," said Mr Chapman.

*SCMP: The popular guy surrounded by girls who met his match on a Club Med cruise

Robert Kissel dropped a chilling hint to his closest childhood friend about five months before he died that his outwardly perfect marriage was in trouble. After tracking down Daniel Williams through the internet, Kissel sent him several happy family pictures. Wife Nancy was in none of them, although Mr Williams had been at their wedding.

"Rob sent pictures of himself on the beach, one of his three kids, as well as one of his daughter on the beach," Mr Williams said. "I suspect he may have known that his marriage was in trouble then as Nancy was in none of the pictures." Friends like Mr Williams and Kissel's first girlfriend, Carol Japngie, have painted a picture of an attractive man who liked girls, displayed leadership qualities and had a tendency to be controlling. He had tried drugs but hated them, to the extent he would react angrily if he saw anyone using them.

They also told of a "fun" couple who met on a Club Med singles cruise to the Caribbean in 1987 and then started to raise a family in New York while enjoying an active social life with friends, giving no hint of the tragedy that was to follow. Nancy was remembered before their marriage as - like many of her friends - a "sexually social, flirtatious" young woman who wore her naturally brown hair in a blonde bob. As the nightmarish sequence of events unfolded in court, Ms Japngie recalled her own relationship with Robert Kissel, saying: "I remember saying to my mum afterwards that if I had married him, he wouldn't be dead now."

Years before, Robert Kissel had made it very clear to her that they would never have married, however. Even after their romance blossomed into a sexual one on the ski slopes of Vermont, he told her: "We can't be serious because you aren't Jewish," which she understood. They met as sophomores at Pascack Hills High School in New Jersey. Her family had just moved from California and it was not long before she caught the attention of one of the most popular boys in school.

"Robbie was a popular boy and all the girls in our class were attracted to him. I was new and didn't know anyone in the school and Rob and I became best friends," Ms Japngie said. So much so that, six months later at Christmas, she was invited to join him on one of his family's ski trips to Vermont. Robert asked her to be his girlfriend.

"I had a great vacation with his family skiing in Vermont. From the first time we met, his sister Jane and I became close like sisters," she said.

They had sex on the ski trip, although it was not planned. She said she got the idea after finding a condom among suitcases belonging to Robert's father. "I initiated it and it was spontaneous. I think the whole day was leading up to that," Ms Japngie said. "There was more a sense of trust that overwhelmed the apprehension. I guess there was also the thrill of getting caught."

During their two-year relationship, she revealed that Robert didn't mind smoking marijuana, although it would make him pass out. Cocaine was another story. "We both tried coke once. He said, `this is the devil'. He could not swallow and my throat choked up," Ms Japngie said. She doesn't recall exactly when or where it happened, but they were both just about 17 and had crashed a party of 19- and 20-year-olds.

They played darts and pool before someone in the room cut 15 to 20 lines of cocaine on a mirror and passed it from person to person. By the time it reached them, there were only two or three lines left. "Some guy handed the coke to us. I remember he was a big black guy and quite intimidating. Rob said no, and I was poking him, urging him to just go and leave," she said.

Fearful of being assaulted or exposed as gatecrashers, he snorted a line of cocaine. She did the same. "About 10 or 15 minutes later, we were freaking out. Our throats closed up. We looked at each other and we turned white. Our hearts were racing," Ms Japngie said.

When someone broke out lines of cocaine as they drove to the beach after their high school prom in 1981, Robert threw a fit, Ms Japngie recalled. "He stopped the car, got out and wanted to go home by bus or train. He was so pissed off. I spent two or three hours fighting with him, trying to coax him into hanging out. If ever anyone mentioned drugs, he was out of there," she said.

She rejected persistent rumours that Kissel had been expelled from Pascack because of drugs. She said his parents believed he could do better academically elsewhere and his father's ink toner business had taken off, making private school possible. He spent his senior year at the Saddle River Country Day School in New Jersey.

Mr Williams agreed his best friend had not been focused on his studies at Pascack. "He was passing his grades but his parents thought he could do better," he said. The two had known each other since they were two years old, growing up in the suburbs of Woodcliff Lake in New Jersey, but had lost touch in the 1990s. Kissel tracked down Mr Williams using www.classmates.com.

The Kissel wedding in 1989 was the last time Mr Williams saw his friend. His first meeting with Nancy Kissel did not leave much of an impression. "She did not have much to say to me," he said.

Mr Williams described Robert Kissel as a "leader type" who set up a hockey team on his street called the Avon Supersonics. At the Woodcliff middle school, he was the running back and defensive guard on the football team, even though he had been diagnosed with a weak kidney and had to wear a protective pad.

"I thought he was shy around girls," Mr Williams said. Be that as it may, Robert had a string of girlfriends after he broke up with Ms Japngie. First he dated his ex-girlfriend's best friend, Kelly Schwake, although only for a month. She was followed by Nancy Landau and then Jill Canin, a medical student he went out with during his first two years at the University of Rochester.

Nancy Keeshin did not enter his life until around September 1987. He had just got a master's degree at New York University. Nancy had dropped out of the Parsons School of Design after two years. At that time, she had already worked as the floor manager of the Caliente Cab Company, a Mexican restaurant on Waverly Place in New York City, and had switched to the El Rio Grande on 38th Street. Two of her colleagues and friends were waitress Elizabeth Cowey and bartender Bryna O'Shea. "We would often go out and bar hop," Ms Cowey said. "Bryna and Nancy shopped together. I wasn't really a shopper."

In 1989, the Kissels tied the knot at the East River Yacht Club in New York. Ms O'Shea and her husband moved to San Francisco the following year and Ms Cowey married John LaCause in March 1994.

During their New York years, the young Kissel and LaCause families would spend time together. The husbands would sometimes go out to play darts while the mothers stayed with the children.

Mr LaCause said he was aware of arguments early on in the Kissel relationship, especially about money and Nancy's spending habits. However, he believes that the tension between the couple escalated after Mr Kissel extended an initial two-year posting in Hong Kong to what would end up being about six years. "He was only supposed to be in Hong Kong for two years and I know in Nancy's mind, she was only thinking two years," he said. "By the third year, I thought there was trouble in paradise."

"We liked Rob and we had a really fun time together. Rob was a bit more aggressive and more controlling. I never saw that in Nancy," said Mrs LaCause, who was communicating with Nancy two days after her husband's death without knowing what had happened. The last time she saw Nancy was in the summer of 2001, in New York City.

Two years later, Nancy and her children and dog, Daisy, went to Vermont to escape the Sars outbreak in Hong Kong. They returned home in September or October but could not take Daisy with them because of immunisation rules.

Mrs LaCause cared for Daisy until November 3, 2003, when the dog was flown back to Hong Kong.

In an e-mail to Mrs LaCause dated November 4, 2003, Nancy wrote: "Daisy will be here by the time the girls get home from school ... [elder daughter] Elaine is the only one who knows!" Nancy also sent T-shirts for the two LaCause children with their names written in Chinese characters as a thank-you.

Mrs LaCause was unaware that Robert Kissel had been killed until Ms O'Shea phoned her. "I didn't call Nancy at the time and I will probably regret that for the rest of my life. I must have been in shock. I wish I had because I was a friend to her," Mrs LaCause said. They eventually spoke but the conversation was tearful and sad.

"She told me that I don't know how bad it is. She was talking about Rob and how horrible money is and what it does to people. And also about anal sex. She was calling from her lawyer's office so she was not totally forthcoming. She also talked about drinking whisky and cocaine a lot," Mrs LaCause said.

Mrs LaCause added: "If I had a husband who beat me, raped me and sodomised me, I would kill him too."

Update September 3rd

* The Standard: Kissel's lawyers considering appeal
* SCMP: Kissel weighs appeal against conviction

Nancy Kissel may appeal against her murder conviction and life sentence, her lawyer said yesterday.

Alexander King SC said after a post-trial hearing that an appeal was being considered.

Prosecutor Peter Chapman also said he did not expect the case to be over yet.

"It is only chapter one of the Kissel case. Chapter two will start on the third floor of this court building - the Court of Appeal," he said. "The fat lady has not started singing yet."

Kissel, 41, on Thursday was sentenced to life imprisonment for drugging her husband, senior Merrill Lynch banker Robert Peter Kissel, with a sedative-laced milk- shake and bludgeoning him to death with a lead ornament in their Parkview home on November 2, 2003.

Michigan-born Kissel was back in the dock yesterday, looking pale-faced and red-eyed, as counsel discussed the most contentious exhibit in the case, a baseball bat.

Mr Chapman argued that defence should shoulder part of the prosecution's costs as a lot of court time was wasted because Kissel's lawyers did not inform them of the existence of the bat until midway through the trial. A number of witnesses had to be recalled as a result.

During the trial, the defence alleged Robert Kissel had used the bat to beat his wife before the killing.

Mr Justice Michael Lunn ruled out the request for costs, saying the delay in producing the bat had not resulted in a trial adjournment.

The public gallery, which had been packed for weeks, looked bare yesterday as only journalists, Kissel's mother, Jean McGlothlin, and some close friends attended the hearing.

Ms McGlothlin kept looking at her daughter, weeping from time to time. But Kissel smiled after Mr King went to speak to her in the dock before she was taken away by guards.

Prosecution exhibits - including many bloody items - were returned to the Aberdeen Police Station in a van with four masked workmen.

* SCMP: The last days of a man who "had everything"
On Sunday, November 2, 2003, Robert Kissel must have felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. Only those close to the couple knew of the problems in the marriage, of wife Nancy's affair, and Robert's decision to talk to Nancy about getting a divorce that evening.

But on top of this he was preparing a bid for the biggest buyout of bad debt in Asian financial history. Since mid-September Robert had been working 14-hour days preparing to make a bid for $14 billion in non-performing loans from the Bank of China, which involved careful analysis of thousands of non-performing loans.

The competition was hot. This deal was considered a seminal moment in an industry that had blossomed in the wake of Asia's financial crisis in 1997 and 1998. And everyone wanted a slice.

"It was historic. This was truly the moment, and we all wanted to be there," said Joseph Draper, head of Asia Principal Investments with Citigroup.

Robert Kissel was portrayed in court as a debonair banker who loved the power, money and status of his job. But according to his colleagues, he was far more a humble, "jeans and T-shirt guy" who was more of a number cruncher with a sharp brain and an eye for detail than one renowned for long lunches and flashy suits. "Whether you spoke to Rob at 3am or midday, he was always sharp as a nail," one colleague said.

Robert had to be. In his line of work, one bad decision, one small factor of a loan not properly analysed, meant your company could lose millions, leaving your professional reputation in ruins.

At 9.30am that Sunday, Robert was as sharp as ever. The family was at the United Jewish Congregation. Nancy Kissel, far from the dour character slumped in the stand of the High Court during her three-month trial, was, as ever, the picture of blonde glamour and elegance - with her trademark dark sunglasses.

She was, as usual, loud and full of energy, and looking great with a $5,000 cut and colour from the Debut hair salon in the luxury Parkview estate where the family lived.

On the surface, they could have been the perfect family. But beneath the surface was the pressure of a failed marriage, disruptive children and the debt deal that would have cemented Robert at the top of his game.

Rabbi Lee Diamond led a discussion on some anti-Semitic comments made by outgoing Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad at his resignation speech, and Robert Kissel featured prominently in the discussion. His Jewish identity was important and he wanted his children to grow up proud of their heritage.

The United Jewish Congregation in Hong Kong is a powerful organisation, so it was no surprise that some of the key players in the Bank of China deal found themselves talking shop while waiting for their children to finish Sunday school.

Hong Kong's distressed-debt community is largely American, experts who developed their skills around the world and moved to Hong Kong to exploit the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and 1998, as Robert Kissel had done.

Robert and Clifford Chance lawyer Jonathan Zonis, who was working with Merrill Lynch on parts of the deal, found themselves talking to Jonathan Ross, from the Bank of China, and Ian Johnson, of Allen and Overy, who was working for another competitor.

"Rob was saying the field of distressed debt was more competitive than it had ever been and at the same time, he was perhaps more open about the transaction than I thought he would have been," Mr Zonis recalled.

The men were surprised about how frankly Robert, normally the consummate professional, discussed the deal, even outlining some of the financial detail of the bid. He gave Ross a "hard time" about the information the bank had provided him with, outlining some problems with the documentation.

Sunday school ended. Robert, always the family man, stopped talking to hug his children, whom he adored. Those children were described by family and friends as warm and lively, but also "high-maintenance".

One mother close to the family said Nancy was often oblivious to some of their faults - especially son Reis, whose behaviour was concerning teachers at Parkview International Primary School.

In the last week of October 2003, the bid for Bank of China was supposed to take place. But it had been delayed, and many of those working for Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Morgan Stanley and various legal teams found themselves in Lan Kwai Fong looking for a quiet beer. They gravitated to Stormy Weather, a bar many now choose not to visit.

It was on this occasion that Robert Kissel chose to tell many that his marriage was over, that his wife was having an affair and he was planning a divorce.

The moment he revealed the end of his marriage was described by one senior banker as "climactic", uttered quietly by a man without colour in his face, who had tried his best against insurmountable odds, but was now finally throwing in the towel.

He would not even challenge for custody of his beloved children as long as he was given access.

However, the pressure of the Bank of China bid put the revelation firmly in the backs of the minds of those who were there.

On the Sunday night, the bidders called each other, wishing the best for the following week.

Robert did not answer his phone or return calls, but they knew he would be dealing with a much more important issue - the end of his marriage.

Then, on the Tuesday of the bid, Robert Kissel was not there - only David Noh, who made excuses for him.

But again, those close knew there were serious problems at home, and accepted Nancy's version - that her husband was "very, very sick".

Nancy had been working on the World's Fair for Hong Kong International School, but e-mailed children's entertainer Scotty to cancel a meeting on the Monday.

On Monday afternoon, she visited her favourite shop, Tequila Kola, to buy rugs to replace the one she would use to wrap her husband's body.

That week, Nancy had also been in charge of preparing invitations to a formal fund-raiser for the synagogue. On Tuesday, close friend Samantha Kriegel phoned to see how the invitations were going. She sensed Nancy was not herself and said she would come over.

But Nancy declined, and said to her: "Listen, don't tell anyone, but Rob is very, very sick, but I haven't told the kids yet."

Ms Kriegel was shaken by Nancy's statements and called Robert Zonis' wife, whom she told what Nancy had said. Mrs Zonis repeated the comments to her husband.

"We were shaken by this news because we had seen Rob on Sunday and he had seemed the picture of health," Mr Zonis said.

"The rumour didn't make sense, but it would have been inappropriate to call Rob as we were right in the middle of a massive deal and I was representing a competing bidder. It might not make sense in hindsight, but that was the last I thought of it until the next day, when I heard he had been killed."

On Friday, November 7, Robert Kissel's colleague and confidant, David Noh, began making a series of phone calls that would devastate a community. "We just want to let you know that Rob is dead and the police suspect that it was a domestic incident," he said in a quavering voice to one member of the elite circle the family moved in.

There had been other hints in the lead-up to November 2 that all was not well.

A husband and wife, who barely knew the Kissels, had been invited over to a family dinner. "At the time, I thought it was really strange, because we didn't even know them," the guest said. "But now, thinking back, maybe Nancy just wanted people around the house." The Kissels spent the dinner openly quarrelling, and the wife said to her husband "if you spoke to me like that, I'd slap you across the face".

When Nancy came back to Hong Kong from Vermont, after the Sars crisis, she liked to "shock" friends by pulling down her shirt and revealing new tattoos, in Chinese characters, of the years her children were born.

"She enjoyed the shock factor. You could tell that Rob was not impressed by this," a friend said. "She said that in Vermont she had wanted to do something a little bit wild."

On Friday, November 7, a small group gathered in the Kriegel living room to try to come to terms with the shocking events. "You can't understand the devastation this has caused," Mr Zonis said.

"It is beyond shock. We were all in our late thirties to early forties, with beautiful young families, at the top of our careers with everything going right in our lives. And then this happens.

"These were people who seemingly had everything. We sat in stunned silence trying to make some sense of this. I'm not sure we have learned any more answers now than we did then."

Update September 5th

* SCMP: A trial and a show

An advertising executive retorted loudly across a Central bar that reading the daily twists, turns and salacious allegations made in the trial of Nancy Ann Kissel for the murder of her husband Robert was "the only thing that got me out of bed in the morning".

While the daily fix is over for this particular high-flyer, Nancy Kissel has now had four days to contemplate a life sentence behind bars, while the fallout from her shocking crime continues in Hong Kong and the US.

Labelled Hong Kong's trial of the decade, the revelations over the past 2-1/2 months in the Court of First Instance have had a firm grip on much of Hong Kong's expat community, with the events that led to Robert Peter Kissel's murder in the couple's luxury apartment on November 2, 2003, leading to endless innuendo, speculation and wild gossip at social gatherings across the city.

But it was a different story for those close to the family. Nancy Kissel's accusations brought a mixture of disgust and disbelief to those who knew the family. "I think many of us realise this defence she was running has never been about what really happened, but about keeping her out of jail," one close family friend said.

Another said there were times when he had to lock himself in a room and scream because he was so angry at the "unfounded" allegations Nancy Kissel was making against her husband. "This woman was clearly a bad, angry person," he said. "I would be frightened to be close to her. Even [her lover Michael] Del Priore must be thanking his lucky stars he got out of there alive."

Another colleague said: "The defence didn't help either. There seemed to be this suggestion that it was `strange' he was talking to his work colleagues about the problems in the marriage. Who else was he going to talk to?"

But most tuned in to see if Robert Kissel, whose hard work had seen him scale a very tall earnings tree with his employer Merrill Lynch, was really a drug and alcohol-fuelled sociopath who battered his wife and forced anal sex upon her. They also tuned in to see whether this sordid defence could keep Nancy Kissel, who had admitted to killing her husband, out of jail - "imagine if she walks?"

It was these grubby details early in the case which saw Nancy Kissel lose sympathy or support from most of those close to the family. They have been furious about the slandering of Robert Kissel's character by his wife - and the terrible legacy that leaves for the children.

"Kissel used cocaine and beat his wife? Well, while no-one can ever see behind closed doors, he was just not like that," said an associate who worked on numerous deals with the banker. "Sure, he was a wild child in his day, but Robert had become the most dedicated family man you would ever meet. The only boozing was maybe one or two beers at Lan Kwai Fong now and then."

Another concern has been the damage done to the Kissels' three children, who are now back in the US and likely to be subjected to a custody battle. One mother, whose children were friends with the Kissels' two daughters and son, saw the children recently and said that while they seemed to be doing well, the psychological scars were likely to be deep.

The murder also forced many parents whose kids knew the popular Kissel children - Elaine, June and Reis - to confront the prickly subject of murder with their children.

One witness in the trial said his daughter had discovered Robert Kissel's brother, Andrew, was facing trial for fraud before he did. "She was right on the ball with the case and followed every twist and turn," the witness said.

Nancy Kissel's supporters and visitors came largely from the Hong Kong International School. One, Geertruida Samra, president of the Parent Faculty Organisation, helped with her bail and regularly visited her in Siu Lam psychiatric centre after the murder.

Some of Robert Kissel's friends were also reportedly behind his wife. Jim Laurie, a distinguished former journalist and University of Hong Kong lecturer, along with a number of his students, stood firmly by Nancy Kissel's mother Jean McGlothlin.

As the tension mounted when the jury was deliberating, Mr Laurie lashed out at the police investigators, claiming the crime scene was not sealed. He became involved in a heated argument with the deceased's father over evidence and questioned whether the children would be cared for.

"What puts you in a position to judge? You are a local Hong Kong guy trying to ride the coattails of some notoriety," William Kissel said, accusing Mr Laurie of wanting to cash in on the murder with a book.

While many observers might have their own theories on whether the 41-year-old housewife was guilty or innocent, it was only the opinions of the five men and two women who made up the jury that mattered. And they had much to consider in the case now called "the milkshake murder" in headlines around the world.

By the fourth day of Nancy Kissel's testimony, the courtroom was packed, as lawyers, students and domestic helpers scrambled for the 60 available seats. They were often joined by "Parkview wives", who had come to see the downfall of one of their own.

The court was forced to impose crowd-control measures, asking the public to queue in an orderly manner before entering the courtroom. Two marshals were used to guard the entrance, and belongings used to reserve seats over lunch were removed.

By August 8, eight weeks after it opened, Nancy Ann Kissel's murder trial was the biggest show in town.

Hong Kong's English-language press, including the South China Morning Post, picked up the early interest in the case and ran extensive reports as the saga unfolded.

Coverage from news wire services has seen the case run in national papers from The Daily Telegraph in London and The Scotsman, to The New York Times, The New York Post, The Washington Times and The Boston Globe in the US.

But apart from the prosecutor's opening, the first day of the defence and some evidence, much of this international interest has not been reflected in the highly competitive Chinese-language press. Reporters from many of the city's top dailies said they were "frustrated" at the lack of interest shown in their work by their editors.

Associate professor of criminal law at the University of Hong Kong, Simon Young Ngai-man, said cultural as well as language barriers were the main reasons the trial had not attracted such a high level of interest among the Chinese community.

However, those same reasons were the prime draw for expatriates in Hong Kong.

The trial featured one of Hong Kong's best prosecutors facing one of its best defence lawyers, in English, without the hindrance of translations.

"We have a female who is accused of murdering her husband, a leading member of Hong Kong's financial community," Mr Young said. "They are members of the elite, upper crust of the expat society in Hong Kong. These are people who do not normally display any form of criminality - at least not in public, anyway.

"The community feels they are getting a glimpse inside the private world of two people, finding out intimate details of their lives, even down to what websites they surfed."

The people who regularly made their way to the packed public gallery formed an eclectic group. Among them were retirees, those with an "unnatural fascination with death", while some claimed to be writing a novel or magazine piece on the case. They are unlikely to be the only ones who will try.

What many spectators shared was a touch of embarrassment that their interest in the trial prompted them to sit through days of evidence over the past two months.

"Perhaps one of the main reasons I'm here is because I have an interest in murder," said one local observer, who asked that his name not be published. "And there has never been a trial like this in Hong Kong, at least not in my lifetime. It's like it has been scripted for a movie, but the story is one you wouldn't believe."

Another spectator, who also wanted anonymity, said her interest lay in the uniqueness of the case. Even when she left Hong Kong for her native India, she closely monitored the daily revelations on the internet. "There has never been a trial like this involving the expat community, at least not in the past 20 years," she said.

But although she watched the trial closely, she admitted that she sometimes felt sorry for the families involved, and wished the court had been closed from public view.

Nevertheless, it did not stop her returning to the court controlled by Mr Justice Michael Lunn to witness the final outcome.

Update Sept 8th

* Sign On San Diego: Kissel to appeal.
* Next magazine article (translated by ESWN)
* Eastweek magazine article (translated by ESWN)

Police have closed investigations into the murder of investment banker Robert Kissel and, contrary to reports, are not pursuing inquiries into his wife's lover, Michael Del Priore. Nancy Ann Kissel, 41, was convicted last week of murdering her husband by drugging him, then bludgeoning him to death. She rolled his body in a carpet and had it stashed in a storeroom on the Parkview estate where the couple lived, the court heard.

Prosecutor Peter Chapman suggested during Kissel's trial that she killed her husband with her lover's "tacit support" and planned to flee into his arms after the crime.

Western District police commander David Madoc-Jones yesterday dismissed as "incorrect rumours" reports that police were investigating Mr Del Priore. But he confirmed police did explore a link between Kissel and Mr Del Priore at the start of their investigation, and found no evidence suggesting any direct link between the Vermont-based TV repairman and the crime.

While police have telephone records showing Kissel talked to Mr Del Priore before and after the November 2003 murder, they have no way of knowing what passed between them.

Immigration records show Mr Del Priore was not in Hong Kong either before or after the murder. "Unless they decide to tell us what was said in those conversations, and in the absence of any direct evidence, there is nothing we can do," Mr Madoc-Jones said.

William Kissel, Robert's father, said there was no doubt in his mind that Mr Del Priore played a role. "It is all there in the evidence and in the interview in the South China Morning Post," Mr Kissel said. Mr Del Priore's brother Lance recalled telling his brother: "You must have had something to do with this."

The killing shocked Hong Kong and many found the trial enthralling.

Kissel's lurid defence - that her husband was addicted to cocaine, drank heavily, beat her and persistently demanded rough sex, and that his actions drove her to kill him - made headlines around the world. She pleaded not guilty to murder but a jury of seven found her guilty at the end of the near three-month-long trial and Mr Justice Michael Lunn imposed a mandatory life sentence.

Kissel's legal team are considering whether to file an appeal against her conviction for murder and life sentence.

Update 29th September

* Bloomberg: Nancy Kissel appeals murder conviction, lawyer says.

Nancy Kissel, jailed for life early this month for the murder of her wealthy banker husband, yesterday lodged an appeal against the High Court ruling.

It is understood the grounds of the appeal are extensive, encompassing a number of the rulings during the course of the three-month trial. It will also challenge the summing up of the evidence and the directions given to the jury by the trial's judge, Mr Justice Michael Lunn.

The High Court confirmed that the papers were yesterday filed by the firm of Kissel's solicitor, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, but there were no further details. The prosecution said Kissel, 41, drugged Robert Peter Kissel, a senior Merrill Lynch banker, with a sedatives-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him with a heavy metal ornament in their luxury Parkview flat in November 2, 2003. His body was found rolled up in an old carpet in a storeroom in the Tai Tam complex. Michigan-born Kissel admitted killing her husband but argued she acted in self-defence after he threatened to kill her and take away their three children.

A jury of seven unanimously found her guilty of murder on September 1. Mr Justice Lunn sentenced her to life, as required by law. Kissel is now imprisoned in the Tai Lam Centre for Women in Tuen Mun.

The hearing of the appeal is expected to begin in about nine months at the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, the custody hearing over the three Kissel children between Jane Clayton, the victim's sister, and Hayley Kissel, his sister-in-law, will begin later this week in New York City. The children, who are under temporary custody of Hayley Kissel, will inherit up to US$18 million from their father's estate.

October 5th


Nancy Kissel is to be consulted in her Hong Kong prison cell on the future care of her three young children. This emerged as a judge in the United States denied an application for emergency guardianship by a sister of Kissel's slain husband, Robert.

Judge Eve Preminger urged relatives to try to settle differences over custody of the children in the next two weeks. She said she also wanted input from Kissel, 41, who is serving a life sentence in Tai Lam prison for murdering her husband. Judge Preminger admitted she was likely to give custody to Robert Kissel's sister, Jane Clayton, whose lawyer had sought the emergency guardianship order.

The children - Elaine, Hannah and Reis - are now staying at the Greenwich, Connecticut, home of Ms Clayton's brother Andrew and his estranged wife, Hayley, whose once prosperous household is collapsing under the strain of fraud charges that could leave Mr Kissel unable to provide for the children.

"All things being equal I would like to have a period limited to two weeks to obtain the information from Nancy Kissel and to ensure that there is a professional psychiatric evaluation of the children," Judge Preminger said at a hearing in the Manhattan Surrogate's Court in New York.

Ms Clayton's lawyer Randy Mastro - who had earlier described the children's situation as an emergency - toned down his stance on Monday but called for a swift resolution in his client's favour.

"That household has a lot of problems and these kids have been through a lot," he said.

The input from Kissel will be decisive for the children's future.

"She has a say," said lawyer Nat Dershowitz, who acts for Hayley Kissel. "She is the natural mother - she is the only one who has a say as to who takes care of her children."

The custody battle over the children, aged five, eight and 11 - who stand to inherit their father's fortune, estimated to total US$18 million - is the latest twist in a saga that first saw them shunted from Hong Kong to stay with their maternal grandfather in Illinois.

They moved into the luxury home of Andrew and Hayley Kissel after he won temporary custody.

Eighteen months on, however, the children look set to leave the retreat which shielded them from events in Hong Kong, according to Mr Mastro and Michael Collesano, a lawyer appointed by Judge Preminger to look after the children's interests. Mr Collesano also advocates Ms Clayton be granted custody.

Andrew Kissel is confined to his home after being bailed on the fraud charges. His wife is seeking a divorce.

October 20th

* The Standard: Victim's sister appointed guardian of Kissel children.

An American judge who had sought Nancy Kissel's view on the future of her children has declared the convicted murderer's opinion worthless and ordered the two girls and a boy be moved from the custody of one aunt to another. Overruling a strong written plea from Kissel for the children to stay with Hayley Kissel, estranged wife of the brother of slain banker Robert Kissel, Surrogate Judge Eve Preminger awarded guardianship to Jane Clayton, the banker's sister.

The New York judge said Nancy Kissel - serving life in jail for killing her husband - was the "lone voice" opposing the move and "would seem to have forfeited my belief in her good judgment based on the actions she was convicted of".

After the ruling, a tearful Mrs Clayton said she was "thrilled with the result", which was in tune with a request in Robert Kissel's will that his sister be made guardian and custodian of the children. Apart from Nancy Kissel, all parties to the protracted battle for custody of the children - heirs to their father's estimated US$15-$18 million fortune - had agreed they should be cared for by Mrs Clayton.

Hayley Kissel, who had temporary custody and had been fighting to keep the children, agreed to act according to whatever was deemed to be in their best interests. The judge had earlier adjourned the case for two weeks, urging the parties to sort out their differences and asking for Nancy Kissel to be consulted.

In her letter to the court yesterday the woman convicted of drugging her husband, then bludgeoning him to death with a heavy ornament in their Parkview flat, pleaded for the children to be spared the pain of another move. "The fact of the matter is my children are not in harm's way emotionally or physically right now," she wrote. "Children understand love. They don't understand change. Loving families don't turn on each other. They support one another."

Calling the assembled lawyers into her chambers for a 35-minute consultation, Judge Preminger announced that Mrs Clayton was the only one now seeking custody and guardianship and so should be named guardian in the best interests of the children. Mrs Clayton will oversee the financial interests, property holdings and legal matters of the three children: Elaine, 11, June, eight, and Reis, five. However, she will not be able to take physical custody of the children immediately. Background checks are needed first, after which a ruling will be made. A hearing is scheduled for November 2.

Michael Collesano, a court-appointed lawyer looking after the children's interests, said: "We are very pleased with the results, which, in my opinion, are in the children's best interests." Mr Collesano had urged that Mrs Clayton be made guardian, citing the potentially damaging environment in Hayley Kissel's once prosperous household, where husband Andrew has been indicted on multimillion-dollar theft charges and she has sought a divorce.

It will be the third move for the children since their father was murdered in November 2003. They first stayed with their maternal grandfather in Illinois, before Andrew and Hayley Kissel were awarded temporary custody.

Since then, Mr Kissel has been indicted on grand larceny charges claiming that he stole US$3.9 million from the Upper East Side co-operative apartment building where he was treasurer for six years and is under house arrest.

Neither Mrs Clayton nor her lawyer would comment on how the delicate task of telling the children about the latest upheaval in their lives would be handled.

posted by Simon on 10.20.05 at 08:31 AM in the Kissel category.


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Nancy Kissel
Excerpt: Simon has managed to find in a few minutes what I could not. An update on the Kissel trial which is now held over until 2005.
Weblog: Phil
Tracked: November 10, 2004 01:50 PM

Nancy Kissel - Guilty as Charged
Excerpt: Nancy Kissel is guilty of murder.
Weblog: Flying Chair
Tracked: September 3, 2005 03:45 PM


It seems clear enough from the questions being asked by the Defence that the tack it will take is: innocent by reason of technicality. It does not seem plausible that the police were not investigating a murder when they went to the flat the night Kissel was arrested. If this is correct, they should have read Kissel her rights, and told her she was under arrest prior to questioning her.

She obviously killed her husband, but she should get off if the police did not follow procedure. The point of procedure is to prevent abuses. The fact that one or two people who are guilty might get off on technicalities is the price we have to pay for living under a system that balances individuals' rights against the State's interests.

posted by: Justice on 07.14.05 at 01:03 PM [permalink]

Firstly let's remember this case is still before the courts, so all we can do is talk about the evidence presented without speculation.

Also I'll note that "reading rights" is an American thing thanks to the Miranda ruling. The same does not necessarily apply in other places.

Your last point is right on the mark.

posted by: Simon on 07.14.05 at 03:26 PM [permalink]

I wonder if you know whether or not in Hong Kong the failure to tell a person that he is under arrest when for all intents and purposes he is, constitutes grounds for acquittal?

The odd thing about not being able to speculate online, is that in Court speculation is what the Prosecution engages in daily. A hypothesis is formed on the basis of their interpretation of the evidence. Hypotheses necessarily involve speculation.

posted by: Justice on 07.19.05 at 11:11 AM [permalink]

I don't know on the first point.

As to the second, that's the prosecution's job. The defence speculates too. They both try and find a set of facts that fit the evidence, and the jury decides if it all matches ti the required degree of certainty. We can't speculate because we don't know the evidence and because if a juror happens to read this it may influence their decisions unduly.

But I'm not a lawyer, so don't quote me on any of this.

posted by: Simon on 07.19.05 at 03:48 PM [permalink]

OK, thanks for both your comments. It would be quite wrong I see for posts to exert undue influence. Do any HK lawyers have an answer to my question?

By the way, I checked on various sites which provide stats. on the killing by women of men in the domestic setting. In many countries, the numbers almost equal sometimes exceed those for men killing women (read: wives/partners). This was a revelation to me. I had assumed that women would be far less likely to commit such acts than men. That assumption partly accounts for my initial interest in the Kissel case. I want to stress that the stats. I checked do not make clear whether self defence or battered wife syndrome were the reasons behind the high numbers re: women committing murderous acts.

posted by: Justice on 07.19.05 at 04:01 PM [permalink]

Is the trail on hold, I have not seen any updates lately. Also did any one see that the article in Globe magizine for the month of July?

posted by: lynn on 08.01.05 at 03:15 AM [permalink]

Hi Lynn,

Actually it is because Simon is away for a couple of weeks and we guest bloggers have not been updating the case! For your interest though I do recommend that you check out the free online edition of the Standard, which you can find at www.thestandard.com.hk.

Simon should be back by the end of this week, when he will no doubt resume full regular service!

posted by: HK Dave on 08.02.05 at 07:54 AM [permalink]

Type in to Google: Nancy Kissel Case, Part 35, and you will receive the latest reports.

The testimony by Nancy Kissel is sad-making. It seems implausible that Robert Kissel's work colleagues knew nothing of drug use and sexual behaviours. Let's hope that if what Nancy Kissel says is true, and if what the internet sites Robert Kiseel was looking at provide insight into his mental world, said colleagues will do the right thing and testify for the defence accordingly. So far, the picture painted of Robert Kissel is one of saintlihood. Unless Nancy Kissel is a pathological liar, that picture would seem to be deeply misleading if not downright erroneous.

posted by: Justice on 08.03.05 at 11:54 AM [permalink]

Comment deleted and banned.

posted by: Idiot on 08.04.05 at 07:04 AM [permalink]

Standards are slipping...

posted by: Justice on 08.04.05 at 09:28 AM [permalink]

All I can say as roberts best friend growing up together and skiing every weekend in vermont w him and his family he was a kind and gentle guy who always stood up for me! and I would do the same for him and his family ANYTIME!!
God Bless You Rob! Ill miss you!!

posted by: Dan Williams on 08.07.05 at 08:14 AM [permalink]

Dan expresses sentiments doubtless shared by many.

From a drier more distant perspective, the case is interesting for it shows very clearly how the legal profession operates. A reading of the dreadful details, and snippets of the testimony suggests that something went badly wrong in the marriage. People want to know why someone would do such a terrible thing. They are being invited to accept one of two views: Rob Kissel was a decent, loving husband and his wife is a cold blooded, possibly disturbed, murderer; or, Rob Kissel was a not so decent person whose own actions and words contributed in a meaningful legal way to the events that took place.

It would be quite wrong were people to know things about Rob Kissel that are suggestive of the second picture, and not go forward. Murder is wrong. Self defence resulting in a killing is rather different.

Noone who knew Rob Kissel could fail to be saddened and shocked by his death. It seems also that many are saddened by Nancy Kissel's apparent breakdown, and the charges brought against her. There is a truth to this matter. It is not clear, based on how things are going, that we shall ever quite learn what this is.

posted by: Justice on 08.07.05 at 06:32 PM [permalink]

gay sex!

heh the plot thickens...

posted by: cowboy caleb on 08.09.05 at 01:37 PM [permalink]

I have quietly read a lot of comments on this site as well as others and I am finding that the most frequently asked question is who Robert Kissel was as a person. Being that he is not here to defend his integrity and since I haven’t seen a lot of response’s by people who knew him, I feel some what obligated to respond.

I dated Robby in high school for 2 years. We split up during our senior year but always remained friends; he actually took me to my senior prom. We ended up going to different colleges but in the same city of Rochester New York. We continued our close friendship during those years in Rochester.

Rob was probably the most tenacious person I had ever known. He was bright, determined and always followed through with what he put his mind to. He had the grace of a well refined gentleman, even in his younger years and was passionate about his goals. He loved his family and treated his sister Jane and his mother Elaine with the up most respect and love. He was always patient with his sister, who, at the time, was a young little girl that most brothers in most families would not want to have much to do with due to the age difference. But Rob was noticeably different with the women in his family and I was always proud to be his sweet heart because I was also treated with the same respect.

He was always loyal to his friends, and as Dan Williams stated, he stuck up for all of us and stood behind us as if we were cut from the same cloth. In the eyes of my own father, I could never top the quality of person that Robby was. I remember my father saying that to me 10 years after we had broken up. It became a standing joke between us. “Well dad, he’s not Rob Kissel, but I hope you like him anyway”

If you can stop and think about whom you were when you were in your late teens, I think you will agree that your “core” personality hasn’t changed very much. Your career changes, your ideas and values change along with your friends, your sense of fashion, etc. But who you are as a person, your belief in things larger than yourself, your family, and your place in this world as a contributing member of the human race, your deep rooted love doesn’t change very much. (The 2 operative words in this sentence is “deep rooted”)

Rob loved his birth family way to much too ever harm his own family, especially his children. His own moral values would never allow it. Rob was an amazingly compassionate man, so much so that I if he were able to speak today, for only a second, he would probably ask all of you to be compassionate towards his wife who murdered him and understand that she acted in utter sickness.

Although I am not able to see Nancy with a heart of compassion either, I know the heart of Robert Peter Kissel would want that. Although he is gone, his spirit will always remain in those of us who knew and loved him. He was a teacher in his own right and every life his life touched was a mark left with love, respect and honor. I pray that his children will grow to learn that about their father in the years to come.

To Jane, Andrew and Mr. Kissel if you ever come across this, you haven’t lost Rob, he’s right here in his children and in your hearts and dreams.

Respectfully Carol Japngie-Horton

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 08.09.05 at 02:23 PM [permalink]

FYI, Rob Kissel has a 45-year old brother named Andrew M. Kissel who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Andrew was arrested by US federal authorities on July 28, 2005 on charges of bank fraud, possibly amounting to more than $20 million. Andrew Kissel faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

posted by: Nydeggan on 08.10.05 at 01:32 AM [permalink]

Nydeggan: So, what you're saying is that because Andrew has been arrested that must mean that Rob was a bad person and deserved to be murdered? And are you saying that because Andrew was arrested he is not allowed to have any greif about loosing his brother?

Since when is a person accountable for what their sibling do during the course of their lives?

If you get a traffic ticket does that mean your entire family earns the title of "bad driver"?

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 08.10.05 at 08:33 AM [permalink]

I doubt that Nydeggen wished to imply what Carol states.

Instead: Was the brother a real gentleman when he was young? Might he have changed over the years and lost sight of his core values? Rob's brother's lawyer has argued that he lost his grip on the investments because he was upset over the death of his brother. The lawyer also said that his client no longer knows what is fiction and what is reality. I doubt the brother was like this in his youth.

A final question: Do gentleman run around telling colleagues that they are going to tell their wives on a particular night that they have filed for divorce? Do genetlemen intend or even threaten to take away their wives children? Do gentlemen shove their wives in front of vistors? Do gentlemen surf the net for gay porn and prostitution when they are married, and supposedly committed to making things work in the marriage? Do gentlemen consult websites titled "My wife is a bit&%"? All of the preceding are facts about Rob Kissel's behaviour. Nancy Kissel goes further and claims what cannot be substantiated in fact - rape and other extreme violence within the marriage. It is now up to the jury to decide whether someone who does the things which can be substantiated, is capable of going further and inflicting the harms Nancy Kissel says he did. There is no necessary connection, of course, between the two.

No one has come forward to say they found Rob Kissel an agressive person and subject to sharp mood swings, yet I live next door to someone who says exactly this about his dealings with Rob Kissel. This is not to say people who exhibit such behaviours deserve to be killed. Only that there may be something to suggest Kissel's tenacity in youth turned into something different in later life.

If Nancy Kissel did plan to murder her husband, one still has to wonder why. It is very hard to take a woman's children from her, legally, in a divorce, and most divorce settlements involve the woman getting a hefty sum in settlement. So, why bother to murder your husband if you can exit a marriage with your children and a few million in cash? This is why I think the Prosecution's case may be overstated.

There is a tendancy to make out as saints people who are victims, and to paint perpetrators as evil. Life is not often black and white. Part of my purpose in contributing to this forum on this topic is to attempt to inject some balance into consideration of a terrible event which is likely to be viewed in black and white terms. I have no interest in seeing the guilty go free, but it is important to try to understand why bad things happen. Just labeling someone as evil, which many have done of Nancy Kissel, is understandable but it is probably not a balanced view. After all of her volunteer work (not just a few heartless hours but real commitment) is suggestive of a decent woman. So how does she move from that point to sitting in the dock?

posted by: Justice on 08.10.05 at 10:01 AM [permalink]

As i continue to read the comments of others i wonder if anyone here could help me get in touch with robs sister jane ,who was like a little sister to me..please foward an e-mail to me if possible! God Bless you Rob! Justice will prevail! Miss ya Bro!

posted by: dan williams on 08.10.05 at 03:00 PM [permalink]


During the time that I knew Rob in Hong Kong, I never saw any signs of drug use. Nancy was reported to have testified that Rob was expelled from high school for drug-dealing. Do you know whether this is true?

posted by: Interested Observer on 08.11.05 at 11:30 PM [permalink]

Rob was never suspended or expelled from high school, he was a straight A student, and he certainly never delt drugs! He left public school to go to a private all boys prep school.

posted by: Carol on 08.12.05 at 06:32 AM [permalink]

I looked again at the report of the testimony (SCMP, August 6). I guess I was a little inaccurate in saying that Nancy testified that Rob was expelled in high school for dealing drugs. More accurately, she testified that she had told a psychiatrist that Rob had been expelled from high school for using drugs.

Nevertheless, it doesn't look like that affects the gist of your response. Thanks.

posted by: Interested.Observer on 08.12.05 at 07:31 AM [permalink]

Rob Kissel was killed by Nancy Kissel. The jury will determine whether the killing was intentional or justified.

The issues surrounding Rob's character, etc. are really not relevant and frankly are unprovable and not corroborated by any evidence, other than the testimony of the accused... the person that leveled a metal ornament to this man's head numerous times while he was in a deep sleep. How freakin' awful for someone not even in the prime of his life, with everything to live for, to be taken by a person who admits of nefarious conduct and adultery. I, who knew the man well, never, ever in my life saw him abuse another person. He had a heart of gold and a smile that traversed continents.

posted by: Ole Bud on 08.12.05 at 11:21 AM [permalink]

Hi Carol,

I am a reporter in Hong Kong, covering the story of Kissel murder. Is it possible to get in touch with you?



posted by: Chris on 08.12.05 at 04:12 PM [permalink]

Now would be a good time for me to make a simple request: if members of the media use this archive and/or site to help in their research of the case, I would appreciate an email letting me know of any resulting publication or article.

Secondly a general reminder that these matters are still before the court and therefore we cannot speculate on anything. Everything that is reported is a direct recounting of testimony. Any speculation is possibly contempt of court. After the verdict there will be plenty of time for speculation, but until such time everything is only alleged and not fact unless agreed by both parties to the trial.

posted by: Simon on 08.12.05 at 04:26 PM [permalink]

I have to disagree with Ole Bud. Character is all important here. The prosecution hopes the jury will find Nancy Kissel guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The defence (such as it is) is attemting to sow seeds of doubt in the jury members' minds. The only way it can succeed is to establish that Rob Kissel was the sort of person capable of swinging at his wife with a baseball bat whilst verbally threatening to kill her. Unless Nancy Kissel's own testimony to that effect, in itself is convincing, the defence needs to show Rob Kissel could have done such a thing based on known prior behaviours. The standard of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is a stringent one. If there is some doubt, even a reasonable doubt, she must be acquitted. That is why Rob Kissel's surfing for gay porn, etc., has been highlighted by the defence.

As for Nancy Kissel's affair, she is not on trial for it, rather she is on trial for murder, which carries a stiff penalty, and that is why the jury can have no reasonable doubt as to her guilt if and when reaches a guilty verdict.

A lot of people appear not to be convinced by Nancy Kissel's testimony. What do they make of searches conducted on a computer in the home of the Kissels when Nancy Kissel was abroad, for gay sex services in countries where Rob Kissel was due to go on business? No one seems to want to talk about this. Why not? Nancy Kissel claims that her husband anally raped her during the marriage, and that he attempted this on the night she killed him. If my own husband tried this on me, after telling me he was leaving our marriage and taking the children, and started swinging at me into the bargain, I too should be tempted to reach for a family heirloom. On the other hand, if he was sleeping soundly (for whatever reason) after telling me he was taking the children, I might allow a swift kick to the nuts to suffice, and go out and hire myself a good divorce lawyer...

posted by: Justice on 08.13.05 at 12:00 AM [permalink]

the new york times has an article on saturday (august 13) by alison leigh cowan about the three kissel children. it has the details of a set of messy american court hearings that we never heard about in hong hong.

posted by: eswn on 08.13.05 at 05:19 PM [permalink]

I knew Robert when he was young. We grew up in the same neighborhood for many years and I also ran into him several times in Rochester, NY while we both attended college there. In terms of his character; he was polite, kind, intelligent, modest and somewhat shy. He was a wonderful friend to my brother, Dan. I am sad for the Kissel family and to hear Rob's adult life was so tragic. Let's hope the foreign justice system does the proper thing by putting his crazy wife away.

posted by: Theresa (Williams) Gardner on 08.15.05 at 04:08 AM [permalink]

Does anyone know why Nancy Kissel has a new senior counsel in the case?

posted by: Interested on 08.17.05 at 01:50 AM [permalink]

We knew Rob as an adult and traveled with him and his wife and children. He was kind and gentle to all of them. We never saw him drunk, despte many evenings out (and some in). Far from complaining about being sodomized, Nancy took great pride in their sexual relationship. Obviously their relationship took a sharp turn for the worse. However, only one person is dead. That person is now being portrayed as a horrible father (which he was not) and a worse husband (can't speak to that). If the toxicology reports are correct (and so far there hasn't been a real challenge to them reported in the press), then it appears quite likely he was killed in his sleep. How sad that and how sad that his character is now being desroyed when he is not here to defend himself.

posted by: hillary on 08.17.05 at 03:00 AM [permalink]

This is truly a baffling case, full of contrariness, and no wonder people are talking so much about it.

1. As to the drug use of the husband, and the anal sex the wife claims - these would be easily verifiable in a USA court. What happened here?

2. The greatest problem for the lawyers of the wife is that half her behaviour is really seeming to planned out - the drugging with that milkshake...and then also crazily careless - asking your servants to help take out the body, phoning your lover on easily traced long distance calls...?????

3. No one really knows what goes on a marriage..so there should be some more hard evidence...

4. Hidden violence and hidden sexual problems are more common in upper class marriages, where people want to rreally maintain a good public image....

5. Her whole story about the husband provoking her takes place after the knock you out milkshake...which seems like she was planning to kill him...and yet her story is so obviously something that could catch her out...it does seem really crazy...as though she was going mad....

I don't intend to provoke anyone here, it just seems really puzzling.

The doctors and lawyers must be a little different in each country?

posted by: Arielle on 08.17.05 at 06:34 PM [permalink]

Let me address a point a couple of commenters have hinted at: that somehow Hong Kong's "foreign" justice system is inferior to the American system.

The Hong Kong system is based on the English common law system. It has some similarities with American courts, but also many differences. There are strict rules on how the cases can be reported and how they are conducted. There is a rigorous appeals process as well. The whole point of the adversarial system is for the truth to emerge through two sides presenting evidence and examining it thoroughly.

There is absolutely no reason to doubt the thoroughness and professionalism of the court and lawyers involved. While we get a feel for what is happening in the court, we do NOT see and hear all the evidence. All that matters at the end of the day is what the jury thinks of it all. If you don't like the final verdict, your issue is with the jurors, not the system.

Just because it isn't American doesn't mean it is inferior. Many would argue the English system is superior to the American. I would just say they are different, each worthy of respect.

posted by: Simon on 08.17.05 at 06:51 PM [permalink]

As a lawyer in a different jurisdiction to Hong Kong, but one still based on the same common law system I can say without a doubt that it is a superior system to the American one. The evidence of Mr Kissel's behaviour is the defence's effort to prove that Mrs Kissel was provoked by a slow burning slow fuse. This is quite acceptable and admissible.

posted by: Interested on 08.18.05 at 01:29 AM [permalink]

If Rob were so perfect, then why did the person who knew him best want him dead?

posted by: Friend and supporter of Nancy on 08.18.05 at 09:13 AM [permalink]

If Nancy was so perfect, why would the person that knew her best want to beat her?

This question and the one above follow the same logic. They both attempt to shift blame to the victim. By this logic, anyone that is harmed by a loved one must surely have had it coming. But we know that isn't true.

It is as unfair to assume a man that is killed by his wife deserved it as it is to assume a woman that claims abuse deserved the abuse. In this case, one or the other of them acted heinously and irrationally.

The fact that one spouse/parent/loved one acts violently against another should NEVER be the best evidence that the victim deserved it.

posted by: also on 08.18.05 at 11:08 AM [permalink]

hmmmmm. not sure i agree with the comment from the "friend and supporter of nancy". if i read it right then if someone is nasty to you, you have the right to drug them and then beat them over the head with a statue until they are dead.

i find it hard to believe that any legal system would recognise that as a legitimate defence but if it turns out that it is an acceptable defence in HK then it will certainly make discussions with my boss come bonus time a bit more tense than usual.

posted by: giles on 08.18.05 at 11:12 AM [permalink]

and to all those americans who are questioning how good a "foreign" justice system can be and whether it is up to american standards, i would just like to ask how, if your system is so good, is Michael Jackson still a free man?

posted by: giles on 08.18.05 at 11:20 AM [permalink]

I agree that the logic is skewed in "Friend of Nancy's" comment. What I think "Friend" wants to impart is that typically these kind of events do not happen without good reason. We do of course know of cases in which people murdered with with cold blooded motives. However, I'm inclined, as perhaps "Friend" is, to see this case in shades of grey, and not in black and white.

posted by: Justice on 08.18.05 at 12:02 PM [permalink]

ok, Justice, so let's examine this statement: "typically these kind of events do not happen without good reason".

For the sake of argument, let's say Rob did try to assault Nancy with a bat. Suppose he had been successful in hitting her in the head, and she was killed by him.

What then would *his* good reason to kill her have been?

There is no good in making the assumption that because someone was murdered, there was good reason for it. It is best to go with the evidence of the case to examine the grey areas, and determine whether or not there was 'good reason'.

posted by: also on 08.18.05 at 02:06 PM [permalink]

Thank you for reinforcing my point. If Rob Kissel was swinging at his wife, what might the reason have been? He was pissed off over her affair? Angry because he could not fix the marriage? She was swinging at him? He had developed a problem with spousal abuse? These are all good reasons (as in, not implausible reasons) for why he might have done this. Of course, he may not have been doing this at all.

Why might Nancy Kissel have killed her husband? She was defending herself against attack? She wanted his money and the children, and a new life with Mr Del Priore? These are also good, in the sense of plausible, reasons for why she might have killed him.

Now, the issue is: which of these reasons is better (sounder)? I don't think the Prosecution's story is the most plausible and neither does "Friend of Nancy." However, this is not say people deserve to be killed - NOONE deserves to be killed, though killing may be warranted in certain circustances. Everyone (who is decent) must surely regret the fact that Rob Kissel was killed. I believe that even Nancy Kissel regrets this and not simply because she is on trial.

Some reasons are better than others. Facts: she killed him, and she tried to cover this up. Is she legally responsible for killing him? Not if it was in self defence. Is she legally responsible for attempting to cover up the killing? Not if she had lost her marbles over the shock of it all. What a few people, like myself, doubt is that Nancy Kissel killed her husband without any provocation. I remain agnostic on the issue of whether what provocation there was, warranted the response she gave it.

This is NOT tantamount to saying Rob Kissel was justified if he did beat Nancy, because she provoked him into doing so. We all know that in marriage there is bickering, argument and plenty of provocation. We do not think this warrants a man beating his wife. We also do not think that someone is warranted in killing someone else except in unusual circumstances like self defence. Question: is anything Nancy Kissel says plausible? Currently, people are testifying that she had visible injuries to her person as early as 1999. Are these people lying? Or is everyone else sticking their head in the sand because Rob is dead and they know she killed him, and they cannot accept that anyone could do this to their friend/colleague and not be guilty of murder?

posted by: Justice on 08.18.05 at 03:15 PM [permalink]

My grandparents are from the UK and I certainly do not think British justice is less than USA justice.

It seems to me as a layperson that some people get off in the USA that might not get off serious charges in other countries - when they are innocent that would be good, when they are not, that is not good.

Maybe some of the events alluded to happened - if they did happen - so long ago that there can be no proof of them.

With friends of both parties seemingly writing to these sites, we should try to be kind...and think of their feelings.

I can only hope the trial will bring out more objective evidence.

posted by: Arielle on 08.18.05 at 03:38 PM [permalink]

Not to be in the habit of turning questions around, but again...couldn't we just as equally ask if everyone is sticking their head in the sand about what SHE was capable of? That they could not accept that she could do this without it being self defence, that she may be guilty of murder?

So again, friends are forced to believe that one of them did something heinous that night. Either way, it is a horrible thought for friends who are forced to choose which of them was a much, much different person than they imagined. It is really too much to expect any friend to do.

Hopefully, the evidence will point an impartial jury to the right answer.

posted by: also on 08.18.05 at 03:56 PM [permalink]

Does anyone have any information about the jury (if, indeed, such information is available and can be shared)? I recall from early in the summer that there are seven members. All local HK'ers? Male? Female? Because, at the end of the day, they're the ones who will deliver the verdict that counts.

posted by: ex-HK on 08.18.05 at 04:39 PM [permalink]

I don't think Nancy kissel did it out of self defense but more out of her prescribed, planned scheme. The reason is that she has DRUGGED him beforehand, as was revealed later by a team of medical doctors..so him swinging a bat at her in that drugged state of his is quite unimaginable.
Also, her claim that he threatened to take away her children stands little chance to the truth as this is a guy who spends 15 hrs a day at work with hardly any time for his family. like she said, he's a "5 minute father" to his children. So unless he's willing to ditch his career and his job to raise his kids, he would never in his right mind demand such.
Since Rob Kissel is deceased and unable to make his defense, the court has to be careful
in taking her words for it, or any of her testimonies, unless they are backed by hard evidences.

posted by: Jena on 08.18.05 at 09:24 PM [permalink]

Who among us could stand to be abused without sight of an end? Raped, sodomized, intimidated, and defeated. This is the classic tale of an abused woman.

It's easy for us to say what should have happened, but when he turned her friends against her, threatened to take the children away (no doubt to be raised by domestic help), and destroy what was left of her life she finally found the strength to strike back. In a society as sexist as HK, this probably doesn't mean much. The best Nancy can hope for is manslaughter with 15 years hard time.

There are things she could have done, there are things he shouldn't have done. In this case, everyone is guilty and everyone is a victim.

posted by: Friend of Nancy on 08.18.05 at 09:45 PM [permalink]

the whole thing just doesnt make sense to me, IF it was premeditated, i.e as proven by the milkshake, what did she hope to achieve??? it wasn't a clever enough murder for her to get away with it, so she gets caught and loses everything, her children, her freedom, just by definition she could not have been rational, any sane and thinking person would have hired the best divorce attorney in town...

posted by: laly on 08.18.05 at 11:54 PM [permalink]

No information will come out about the jury unlike in american cases. The Hong King jusicial system offers jurors annonimity

posted by: Interested on 08.19.05 at 02:41 AM [permalink]

Rob was not angry! he was resigned to the fact that the relationship was over! He was sad,depressed and devastated. The situation is tragic, and we have lost 2 beautiful people. I just hope those kids can find peace.

posted by: friend to both on 08.19.05 at 12:11 PM [permalink]

to Friend of Nancy - you may be right to some degree that everyone is guilty and everyone is a victim in this, but only one of them is six feet under, and the other deserves to be punished for committing a premeditated murder when she could have just got on a plane and left.

posted by: giles on 08.19.05 at 03:07 PM [permalink]

Battered women don't get on planes and fly away. They endure the nightmare. Even Nancy may not know what her breaking point was, but eventually one of them was going to end up six feet under. In America, battered women syndrome is considered a basis for self defense. I hope that's true in HK.

posted by: Friend of Nancy on 08.19.05 at 09:10 PM [permalink]

Battered women syndrome is not a defence to murder

posted by: Interested on 08.20.05 at 12:00 AM [permalink]

Had the defense filed motions related to battered women's syndrome or some kind of insanity defense?

Is the jury allowed to consider the veracity of the evidence with respect to Nancy's claims that she was battered and find her not guilty? Not familiar with how it works in the HK.

posted by: observer on 08.20.05 at 12:24 AM [permalink]

How much time had they actually spent together in their last 8 months? She was in the US from April through July. Testimony says he was in the US through most of August, having back surgery. She had reservations to fly to the US later in November.

posted by: also on 08.20.05 at 09:01 AM [permalink]

It is interesting to note that deeply divergent views as to Nancy Kissel's guilt are held by people commneting on this site. Two extremes are:"Also" - clearly persuaded of her guilt - and "Friend" - clearly not.

I wonder if the Jury members are likewise inclined to disagree.

posted by: Justice on 08.20.05 at 02:20 PM [permalink]

AS i continue to read the comments posted it appauls me to think anyone would when realizing they'v been drugged not to somehow try to defend themselves with any object available like a baseball bat which he and i both learned to swing at the age of 7 or so..in his last moments after already fearing for his wifes, threats i too would try to defend myself until the drugs that were laced into my milkshake started to take effect..let us not all forget SHE is the one who murdered him!! whether its self defense, insanity, or any other lame reason the fact is she ws having an affair and when she found out he knew via robs detective he hired she didnt know what else to do but as on TV murder and Rage! it is now time for her to face the piper! GOD and JUSTICE! my only regret is that china doesnt have the death penalty! or sometimes i think that would even be to an easy out for her!!! She will be judged by god and end up in hell! unfortunatly shes so selfish she didnt even c
onsider the poor lives of her and roberts children and how now they all have to grow up without any true blood parents which both nancey and robert did as well as me...."dont worry Rob we, me and your friends will be sure that she lives a missarable life behind bars in a CHINESE prison system where cable is not fu@#ing available! and to you Nancy i hope you live for the rest of your life looking at the nice big fat chinese woman whos gonna be your bitch for life!!!!!Have a good feeling now? your poor children!! I cant think of a worse mother figure over the past 41 yrs of my life than you you c%n&t

posted by: Daniel Williams on 08.21.05 at 07:32 PM [permalink]


Are you OK? Be strong. Do not allow yourself to be consumed by hatred. Outbursts are understandable, but you are no good to any of the Kissel's in this state.

posted by: Justice on 08.21.05 at 09:40 PM [permalink]

Finally!! Daniel Williams, you spoke for a lot of us who share very much same feelings... And Carol, I admire your courage to come out and speak.

Everyone talks about Nancy's volunteer work at HKIS and keeps praising her for it. Yes, she volunteered a lot of hours and a lot of people benefited from it, but nobody talks about how that took her away from her own children and, most of the times, the children were doing things (play-dates, grocery shopping and after school activities etc.) with their two maids while she was busy doing her own things, photography and school volunteer. I have tons of respect for those who share their time to help others, but there is a point that breaks the balance... If Rob ever asked her not to volunteer for the school any more, I can clearly see why. Instead of volunteering to be near her children as someone on the witness stand testified, she was spending A LOT of time away from her family because of it. It was excess.

Another very important point here (I hope someone will stress this to Mr. Chapman, the prosecutor) is that if any kind of abuse ever did happen for so long, there simply is no possible way for their two maids not to know it. It's not as if they live in another building. The maids have their room right next to the kitchen which is in the middle of their apartment. And they live there for 24 hours a day. Nancy told at the cross examination that by 7 p.m. they were off duty, but that doesn't mean they left the apartment by 7 p.m. They were still in the apartment for the most of time. The maids have got to be the best witnesses. As an expat wife in Hong Kong myself, with the way we live with our maids here, they even know how many times a week we make love!

They have 3 beautiful children. June, the second one, was quite handful and always needed extra attention. I remember Rob coming down to the schoolbus-stop with June whenever he was in town. I still remember every movement he made trying to make sure to have eye contact with June as the bus departed. He was doing what he could to give the extra attention she needed.

A lot of us here asked... Why would she do such a thing? They had everything and they looked so normal. It just doesn't add up... But guess what? It does add up. It WASN'T perfect marriage. Rob did love his family (It seemed that, to him, family and work were all he cared about and all he talked about), but he travelled a lot. It's never easy for the wives when the husbands are away for so long and so often. Some suffer low self-esteem and some suffer depression. Many make it, but many don't. There are loneliness, boredom, blames, anger AND extra marital affairs.

Whatever argument they had that night, only Nancy and Rob know. Nancy was a very likable person, but also known to have a hot temper. Who knows? She might have been giving him drugs, as he suspected, regularly, hoping for his heart attack someday. We all know by now that Rob was going to mention 'divorce' with her that night. It's very easy to imagine him mentioning private detectives, spywares and her affairs during arguments. Can you imagine her rage?

Talking about abuse... Witnesses talked about a couple of isolated incidents with bruises, yet nobody, not even her best friends who bailed her out, could say anything about years of abuse. People talk about her dark sunglasses. She did often wear them... They were small (tinted, or dark) glasses, not those huge ones that could cover your black eyes. Everyone who knows Rob and Nancy knows, if anything, it would be the other way around. Nancy isn't a woman who sits there and takes it. Otherwise, if there was any sign of abuse any of us ever detected, trust me, Hong Kong would have witnessed hundreds of expat wives petitioning for her and I would definitely have been one of them.

Hopefully, this isn't going to be another OJ Simpson trial. People who harm other people have to pay. It has got to be the world that wouldn't permit murderers fool those with good intentions and manipulate the system.

posted by: catchmeifyoucan on 08.22.05 at 01:15 AM [permalink]

is she still out on bail?
if so.that is unbeleivable.
fact,she tried to hide the evidence.
enough said.

posted by: pete on 08.22.05 at 01:44 AM [permalink]

Well said catchmeifyoucan!

I think the general public who has no idea who Rob was, has a tendency of jumping to some pretty uneducated conclusions from information given solely by Nancy.

Everything that is being said about Rob's “supposed behavior” of abuse is coming from the person who murdered him. Do any of you think this woman is going to stand in court for her own murder trial and say "I murdered my husband because I'm one sandwich short of a picnic, that's why I'm on every anti-depressant known to man"?

Of course not! She is going to lie and say anything she can to get out from under herself. What bothers me the most about this case is that not one of Rob's ex-girl friends was ever called to defend his integrity and serve as a character witness. Not one was asked to talk about their years with him.

Rob was a quiet guy, he never EVER dated casually, ALL his relationship where long term. He didn't take advantage of his good looks ever. God know's the man could have had any woman on a one night stand any time he wanted. He was so handsome and he never knew it.

As one of Rob's ex-girl friends I will say that Nancy was not the only woman who knew Rob behind closed doors. This case has brought some of us ex-girl friends together and we have been talking amongst ourselves. We are ALL in agreement that Rob was a kind gentle man. If he were abusive IN ANY WAY it would have come out prior to his marriage through one of us PERIOD

Excuse my mouth but Nancy is full of shit. She's a pathological liar, she has said things in this trial that are outright lies!

She has gotten away with convincing people that she's a “nice Jewish girl" for most of her life now and figured she could get off easy. Well her acting sucks, she needs to find a day job scrubbing the inside of a toilet while in jail.

The world is round Nancy and it's finally come around to bite you in the ass.

No matter what the out-come of this trial, this woman has to face herself every day and you can count on the fact that she will never see a pretty face in the mirror again.

She's a monster who destroyed the life of her husband, her children, her family, his family and everyone else that knew and loved Rob. This isn't just about the death of one person, it's about the death of one man and three children who have a lot of years ahead of them to face, alone, confused, abandoned, hurt, and god only knows what else.

There is no excuse that can explain this away. She say’s she would never hurt her children. Well hello people, I don’t know what planet she’s living on and for that matter any of you out there who defend her but in my world she has managed to abuse her children in more ways than I care to try and imagine!

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 08.22.05 at 05:14 AM [permalink]

Carol, did you and Rob's other old girlfriends ever think about contacting Mr. Chapman, the prosecutor, to help out with Rob's case? As you said, facing life in prison, she will do and say anything for ANY POSSIBILITY of getting off. Rob needs help from his friends and colleagues to defend him from this incredible character distortion and assassination. His friends and family should not let her murder him twice!

posted by: catchmeifyoucan on 08.22.05 at 06:41 AM [permalink]

I wonder if they will bring Del Priore in to give evidence. Surely he would be able to shed some light on what was going through Nancy's mind in the months prior to, and after the crime. They seem to be receiving evidence from lots of others in Nancy's life, yet the person whom she seemed closest to, has not been put on the stand.

posted by: LS on 08.22.05 at 09:41 AM [permalink]

No.The prosecution feels their
case is strong enough without him.The defense certainly does not want to hear from a guy who could only benefit from her inheritance should she go free.If he has not been called in by now it is not gonna happen.It would be
very interesting to know his involvement in this whole thing she talked to him before and immediately after the murder maybe he even instructed her to whack the poor guy a few more times to make sure he was dead.That would explain the vicious beating she gave him.

posted by: Steven on 08.23.05 at 06:20 AM [permalink]

I agree with catchmeifyoucan. I lived in Parkview and knew Nancy and she was completely self-absorbed. She was always having her amahs take the kids to activities because she was so busy with other things. That poor June was always being dragged about by the amahs and begging for playdates with other kids. The son was at Pips with my boy and he was in the class without moms at age 2 and would cry himself silly missing his mom or maid. In fact the school eventually told Nancy he was not ready to be at preschool by himself and should be in the "Mommy & Me Class". Nancy simply pulled him out as she was too busy with her things to devote any time to him. Rob was great and he was always at the Parkview playground with the kids on weekends, Sundays in particular and Nancy was never with him. Most the mothers I knew at Parkview and HKIS saw right through Nancy and felt she was self-centered and fake. She is now simply telling lies about Rob to save herself. I don not beleive for one minute that Rob ever hurt or abused her.

posted by: Jane on 08.23.05 at 01:29 PM [permalink]

I am not sure we can say whether or not her bail had been revoked because the final disposition of the continued bail had been decided in closed hearings at end of the week before last, but it would seem that the Judge may not have felt that her bail application had been truthful (that she posed no threat to herself, when herown testimony is that she has been suicidal). What is clear is that she is led into the dock before the jury arrives and then removed after they leave so that it would not have an influence on their decision.

posted by: so? on 08.23.05 at 02:29 PM [permalink]

Why such an interest in this case?

posted by: dave on 08.23.05 at 02:56 PM [permalink]

It is good that HK community members like Catchme and Jane have come forward and giving some insight into the kind of parent and person Nancy had been. I suppose I had been like many others and prepared to believe (as I have since the day we heard she had been arrested) that the murder was a horrible accident and occured when they fought over the disposition of the children when he confronted her with the divorce/affair. And I suppose there is still a part of me that wants to believe that. But there are a couple things that don't fit or have not been explained.

If a victim of a violent death is found with "an exotic cocktail of drugs" in them, it suggests to me that the death (or at least the drugging) had been planned. She went about acquiring the separate drugs immediately proceding the death. Her doctors said she did not speak to either physician about the other drugs she had been recently given or the possible effects on her if taken in such close proximity. Nor did it appear that she had used any of them herself for long enough to determine if they had the respective sought-after affects on herself before seeking more and different drugs. Did they work? or would a combination of them have had negative side effects on her? She did not ask. But she did do the research on them and then went about acquiring them. And they all were found in his body.

The defense has said that he may not have ingested a sufficient quantity of the drugs to render him incapacitated, and the amount ingested was ambiguous as determined via forensics, but the neighbor, who is a large man himself, and his wife, both of whom did not know Rob and Nancy, have testified that he had been incoherent after drinking the same milkshake. Was he conscious? Don't know (the neighbor certainly was sufficiently conscious to finish off three tubs of ice cream and soil himself and his living room). Diminished capacity? It would seem likely.

She went to her physician unable to move normally and in "total body pain" after being beaten, but the doctor's initial recollection was that she was "frustrated" and that the pain seemed exaggerated for the injuries presented. Then the security cameras have her carrying carpeting and other heavy items, moving in and out of her apartment many times, all during the period she was in total pain. And her own father mentioned nothing about her pain or being injured when he arrived. Was she injured? maybe. Incapacitated? apparently not.

Her claims of self defense aren't consistent. She told the doctor she used a fork (held upside down-presumes fork tines in palm) to defend herself, and that he used his hands and feet to assault her. The doctor was preparing a document (and giving her a copy) specifically for the use of filing a police report and future divorce procedings, but there is no mention of a baseball bat in that report. Now the testimony is that he was trying to kill her with a bat.

The bat itself was not taken by the police at the crime scene, but was later introduced as evidence by the defense. They took the bat from the apartment and it remained in their custody until they introduced it at the trial. Should the bat not have been given into evidence immediately and subjected to forensic examination? What about chain of custody of a key piece of evidence?

Her father's testimony didn't corroborate Nancy's testimony at all, contradicted what he himself had reported to the police about what he knew and when he knew it, and cast more doubt on what she testified. He said he travelled to HKG for fear for her safety and that of the kids, that he told her to dead bolt the door. Then he testified that he arrived, went to his hotel room, and then went to their apartment and let himself in, that she had told him the door would be open. And he never asked where Rob was, or whether they had spoken since, or where he could speak to him to either hear his side of it, seek them to reconcile or to tell him to sod off.

In my opinion there has not been a convincing parade of her peers, neighbors, friends, parents, co-workers, teachers of their kids, parents of kids' friends, tennis partners, attending doctors who corrobrate that she had been abused. I would be very apt to believe a member of the community, a person who knew her everyday or a family member, who stepped forward and stated unequivocally that they were aware of the abuse, they were concerned for her safety because she and the kids showed signs of abuse. That hasn't happened, nor does it look likely.

The testimony of the domestic helpers has been mentioned, but has not been focused upon. These women were in their home, and they had been with the family for many years. They had travelled with the family on holidays in Asia and to the US. They directly contradict her claims of abuse of the children, alcohol abuse, et c. And they never heard or saw him abuse her. On the day it occurred, if she was fearful for her life, and went to the dining room to get the stature to defend herself, then the helper was a room away. No cry for help? or a scream as the fight happened?

But the biggest problem for me is her claim of not recalling what she had done, and her actions following the murder. She was able to tell her doctor that she had been abused, that version was changed at trial, now fits the self defense argument. She was able to tell her father something and get him to come out. She was able to go to several different locations to replace bloodied houseware items. She was able to carry carpeting. She was able to instruct the helpers to go and purchase ropes and other items, and to instruct them not to enter the bedroom for several days. She was able to instruct and pay the Parkview maintenance workers to move the carpet before her father arrived. There are a lot of parts there, and they all form part of a plan.

Was it a good plan? Obviously not. But a bad plan or a poorly thought-out is a plan nonetheless, and would indicate some degree of pre-meditation. There are other inconsistencies that other people will no doubt highlight. But these are the ones that have struck me as most telling.

So where does this lead me? I am still keeping an open mind, and am hoping the jury is as well, and we will see what other evidence is introduced in the coming days. But it would seem to me that her actions (and the reasons therefor) before and after have not been accounted for, and that her testimony has been less than genuine. I had started the summer thinking that it had been an argument between spouses that escalated out of control, but now my opinion is not so certain.

And I wonder if we should have somehow detected that there was this kind of problem under the surface before we entrusted her with our children.

posted by: now what? on 08.23.05 at 03:45 PM [permalink]

Just to clarify... When Rob was killed on Sunday, One maid was on a weekly holiday and the other was out with the children. Whether they were sent out, I do not know.

The prosecution showed that Nancy made over 60 calls to her lover in September, and over 100 to him in October before she murdered her husband... Obviously she was either in love with this young guy or infatuated with him. A little attention from a much younger man goes a long way for a woman whose husband is always on the road, therefore feeling neglected, empty, unattractive and depressed. We all know what that can bring... some of us excersize reasons and stay where we are, some of us let go, face the storm, but return to where they used to be, then there are the unfortunate some who end up distroying all before they realize what they were getting into...

This certainly makes us reflect on our own marriages and lives.

posted by: catchmeifyoucan on 08.23.05 at 06:25 PM [permalink]

Daniel Williams' language (see 8/21/05)has no place in a public forum among civilized people. His use of "God" and the B- and C- words in the same thought is beyond the pale and suggests the need for professional help. I would also like to remind all of us that Rob and Nancy's oldest daughter is 11 and knows how to use a computer. Daniel's feigning of concern for the Kissel children while using them for fodder in his hate-filled screed against women does not do Rob's memory justice. To quote Shakespeare, "me thinks he doth protest too much."

For the record, Nancy's court proceedings have been going on for 12 weeks+. The prosecution has been free to make its case for most of that time, including the year leading up to trial, in public. Apparently the tradition in HK is one where the defense sits quietly until its moment in court. Despite that considerable advantage, the defense has done a stellar job in raising doubts and poking holes in the prosecution's case. It has only been this past week or so that Nancy and the people who believe in her have had their say and it's beginning to appear that the prosecution may have overstated its case. For example, Nancy's black eyes, broken ribs, and deep tissue bruising are facts. Rob's raping and sodomizing of Nancy now seems likely. His effort to force her into early labor for their son's birth so as not to interfere with a business trip to Korea is sick. His surfing gay web sites, drug use and drinking are symptoms of someone whose sadly lost his way. In truth, neither are the people we thought them to be.

Until now, I feared that the best Nan could hope for was manslaughter. Now that her side of the story is emerging, I am hopeful for the possibility of a hung jury. If there is one woman on that jury that's been abused, or one person whose mother was abused, or one man who is guilty of abuse, then maybe one courageous hold out will carry the day.

posted by: Friend and supporter of Nancy on 08.23.05 at 09:26 PM [permalink]

What are B- and C- words?

posted by: ex-HK on 08.23.05 at 09:40 PM [permalink]

And please clarify, what does "I would also like to remind all of us that Rob and Nancy's oldest daughter is 11 and knows how to use a computer." mean? That the girl would surf porn? I don't get it.

posted by: ex-HK on 08.23.05 at 09:43 PM [permalink]

do you think the woman juror in the back who laughed outloud when she said she still loved him is going to be that hold out?

posted by: I seriously doubt it on 08.23.05 at 09:47 PM [permalink]

Catchme: Thank you, that is a good ...er...catch. I stand corrected. And yes, it certainly does.

I also do not condone Mr. Williams' use of language, but I do understand how frustrated and angry he appears to be to have lost a close and life long friend so needlessly.

posted by: now what? on 08.23.05 at 09:54 PM [permalink]

I knew Rob and Nancy as neighbors in our Co-Op in lower Manhattan. Rob was the treasurer of the Co-Op when I was on the Board. He was terrific--helped the Co-OP refinance--great dad--all of the qualities previously recalled by many bloggers. We missed him when they moved to HK. I also spent 7 years at the New York Legal Aid Society (the Public Defender) where many of our clients, unfortunately , were male abusers.
Additonally, I worked with women offenders who killed their husbands
-women severely abused by their husbands/partners.

It is ridiculous to consider Rob as an abuser--there were no signs then (and there are signs) and from what I gather from his HK friends no sign during the HK period. Women who have been abused do not ocassionally have a black-eye--they are barely able to get out of bed--their kids generally are eye witnesses to the beatings--and as far as the evening of Rob's death even if one of the nanny's was out of the building the nanny's on prior ocassions would have had to see evidence of prior abuse. I once took the older child (when she was 5 or so) out for pizza wiith another child in our building. The only complaint she had then was there was basil on the pizza slice which she made me remove.

Please let us know how the children are doing. Did Ellie go to camp?--are they in Greenwich?


posted by: observer on 08.23.05 at 10:07 PM [permalink]

She did, they are. Hayley (Rob's sister-in-law) is doing a great job of caring for the kids, has given much of herself and taken time and resources away from her own two children to make Rob and Nancy's kids feel as safe and settled and part of a family as possible. She's dedicated herself to their welfare: bringing them to their psychologists, speaking to their teachers, parents of schoolmates about the circumstances, attending recitals, fieldtrips, etc. and trying to protect them from the cruelty and curiousity of other people. It may be the only thing that both Rob and Nancy's families agreed on: that Hayley is best possible choice (and chance) for those three kids to resume some kind of normal childhood, education, family life and upbringing. Ideal? Probably not, but much better than anyone had thought possible. We should all hope that the three children continue to stay with her.

posted by: Now what? on 08.23.05 at 11:17 PM [permalink]

To. Friend and supporter of Nancy

We lived with the Kissels in the same complex ever since they had arrived in Hong Kong until this tragedy happened and not on a single occasion I saw her with a black eye. That doesn't mean she never had one. Myself had a pretty bad black eye once by getting hit by a tennis ball and the other time by my own clumsiness, banging my eye on the corner of a chest in darkness.

How about Rob's injured pinky finger... Rob told the doctor at that time that he got it from hitting the wall, and Nancy claims that he aimed to hit her, but she ducted, and he ended up hitting the wall. My own husband hit the wall once when he was really angry and had to go to hospital with a injured pinky too, but he surely didn't try to hit me.

About the broken rib... I do not even know if there is any evidence, but didn't their maid already testify that Nancy told her the injured rib was from playing tennis?

Then there's Rob's forcing early labor... Who is the witness? Nancy, and Nancy only?

Rape and sodomy, COME ON! Do you live in Hong Kong with maids? I do. How can all this happen without getting detected by any of the two maids living with them for 24 hours a day. You know that the maids in Hong Kong hardly leave their employers' home all day. That's their home too. They only get to leave once a week, on Sunday. On Kissel's case, one maid took a Saturday off and the other, Sunday. That means one of them was ALWAYS with them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for years.

Let's face it. When this happened 2 years ago, none of us knew what to make of it. Nothing made sense. Confused, we all try to put the puzzles together. The only cause we could think of that made sense was 'abuse'.

But we can't let the innocent get killed twice. The dead man still has a right to remain as who he really was. He still has a right to be remembered by his children as a good man he always was.

posted by: catchme on 08.24.05 at 12:00 AM [permalink]

Yes, Ellie can certainly use a computer. Apparently that doesn't mean much to Nan who is spewing vicious horrible things about Rob in order to escape responsibility for her actions. All of the terrible things she's said will be available out there in cyberspace for all of her kids to read. When we knew them (well into the period she claimed to be abused), she was pampered, tended to, treated kindly by Rob and waited on by Amahs (without whom she never traveled). She certainly appeared to love her kids then (and Rob), but she certainly lost her way. She loved the glamor and money of the life she lived as a result of Rob's hard work. She had nice clothes, painted nails, expensive highlights and a body toned by tennis. He told her before they moved that if she ever wanted the family to return to the US they would, as the family was more important to him than his work. Rather than ask, she continued to spend the money he made and sleep with the tv repairman in the house that his money paid for while her dear children slept nearby.

posted by: knew em both on 08.24.05 at 12:08 AM [permalink]

I was Rob Kissel’s girlfriend for the first two years of college and I knew him as well as anyone could have. We spent all of our time together during our freshman and sophomore years. These were stressful years as we both had very competitive and difficult majors. A person’s true personality would come out in times of stress and Rob maintained an even keel throughout. He was always a gentle and sweet person who treated people with the utmost respect. He was generous and a very good friend. I spent time with Rob and his family frequently and he with mine. His treatment of the people in his life, particularly the women, was kind and loving. He had the utmost respect for his mother, Elaine, and an endearing love for his sister Jane. Rob was always courteous to my mother and she remembers him as “a wonderful young man” who always had her trust. Rob treated me like a princess and was always compassionate and empathetic. He NEVER hurt me, struck me, and knowing him as I did, I am sure he could never become a violent person.
There are people in one’s life that contribute to their success and growth. Rob Kissel was one of those important people in my life. He helped me to realize my potential and was a calming influence. I frequently wonder if I had not had his companionship during that difficult and transitional part of my life, whether I would have made it to medical school at all. Even 16 years later, when I started working at a hospital near his home town, I would think of him and wonder where he was. I used to fantasize that he’d come into the Emergency Room with acute appendicitis and I’d be the surgeon on call. I wanted him to see how successful I had become and thank him for helping me stay on the straight and narrow and achieve my dreams. That can never happen now.
I am a better person for having known Rob. Simon’s website has connected me with another who is one of the few people in Rob’s life who knew him as I did. Talking with Carol, who has exactly the same feelings as I do about who Robert Kissel was, has helped me realize several things. I wasn’t able to do anything to help him avoid such a violent death. I couldn’t help to put away the monster who has robbed us all. But lastly, I can help his father, brother, sister and children let the world know who this man was and what a difference he made in the lives of others.

Jill Endres, MD, FACS

posted by: Jill Endres on 08.24.05 at 06:43 AM [permalink]

I was Rob Kissel’s girlfriend for the first two years of college and I knew him as well as anyone could have. We spent all of our time together during our freshman and sophomore years. These were stressful years as we both had very competitive and difficult majors. A person’s true personality would come out in times of stress and Rob maintained an even keel throughout. He was always a gentle and sweet person who treated people with the utmost respect. He was generous and a very good friend. I spent time with Rob and his family frequently and he with mine. His treatment of the people in his life, particularly the women, was kind and loving. He had the utmost respect for his mother, Elaine, and an endearing love for his sister Jane. Rob was always courteous to my mother and she remembers him as “a wonderful young man” who always had her trust. Rob treated me like a princess and was always compassionate and empathetic. He NEVER hurt me, struck me, and knowing him as I did, I am sure he could never become a violent person.
There are people in one’s life that contribute to their success and growth. Rob Kissel was one of those important people in my life. He helped me to realize my potential and was a calming influence. I frequently wonder if I had not had his companionship during that difficult and transitional part of my life, whether I would have made it to medical school at all. Even 16 years later, when I started working at a hospital near his home town, I would think of him and wonder where he was. I used to fantasize that he’d come into the Emergency Room with acute appendicitis and I’d be the surgeon on call. I wanted him to see how successful I had become and thank him for helping me stay on the straight and narrow and achieve my dreams. That can never happen now.
I am a better person for having known Rob. Simon’s website has connected me with another who is one of the few people in Rob’s life who knew him as I did. Talking with Carol, who has exactly the same feelings as I do about who Robert Kissel was, has helped me realize several things. I wasn’t able to do anything to help him avoid such a violent death. I couldn’t help to put away the monster who has robbed us all. But lastly, I can help his father, brother, sister and children let the world know who this man was and what a difference he made in the lives of others.

Jill (Canin) Endres, MD, FACS

posted by: Jill on 08.24.05 at 07:13 AM [permalink]

To Friend and Supporter of Nancy:

Danny Williams can say whatever he want, whenever he wants! He was Robby's oldest and dearest friend, he knew Rob better than all of put together!

You, on the other hand, support an admitted murderer who can't keep her story straight from one minute to the next. If you are uneducated and can't understand the words you are reading than may be you should consider asking someone to interpret the updated testimony clearly stated at the top of this site!

The mere fact that you support a murder discredits anything you have to say in the first place!

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 08.24.05 at 07:56 AM [permalink]

'Abuse' element not being so convincing, it seems that defense is also trying their luck on 'porn site'.

The prosecution already presented the evidence showing that Rob was out of town when the porn site was installed. Besides, from January 2002 until November 2003, it was searched for 3 hours over 2 days, the DEFENSE WITNESS testified. There are a number of people who could have installed it. House guests, maids, maids' friend or their boyfriends... Whoever had an access to their home while the Kissels were in town or out of town. The defense also mentions about porn sites on Rob's laptop. Let's say Rob really did view the porn sites that they claim. Does that make him a wife beater? How many of us never, ever wonder what's going on the other side of our supposedly 'normal' sex lives? And how many of us actally come as close as to actually visiting one of those sites a couple of times before our senses divert us back?

And then, let's say Rob did search for sex services in Taiwan as the defense claims. How many decent men out there may try sex services when their marriages are crumbling and their wives no longer give them the security of love any more? Nancy wrote in her computer diary, "He wants kissing, sex, sex, sex...". It's not hard to imagine that Rob, feeling insecure about Nancy's love toward him, wanted her affection.

I am definitely not condoning neither pornsites nor sex services, but the murdered deserves AT LEAST as much benefit-of-the-doubt as the murderer for none of these should have led him to such a cruel death. Otherwise, we would see thosands of men get killed in front of our very own eyes.

posted by: catchme on 08.24.05 at 09:59 AM [permalink]

I lived at Parkview also & I remember Nancy's ribs broken. I also lived in the flat underneath theirs & heard Rob's tirades.
Jane, I think you say ugly things about Nancy because she chose not to be your friend & you suffered ego damage. We all know your story so don't point any fingers.

posted by: Susan on 08.24.05 at 10:27 AM [permalink]

A reminder: so far the comments on this topic have been civil and respectful. I trust we can maintain such an atmosphere and avoid personal attacks. We may all differ on how we view this case and naturally feelings are running high, but please avoid directing personal comments at those commenting here.

Another reminder: I take no responsibility for comments made by others.

posted by: Simon on 08.25.05 at 03:26 AM [permalink]

Thank you, Simon!

The comments here made me want to stress that there are two sides to this story and each party brings its own supporters and sympathizers, all of whom are hurt, saddened and angered by the tragedy of this hideous turn of events. I never knew Nancy, but I did know Rob back in high school (it was a co-ed private school, not an all boys prep school). What baffled me then continues to confuse me as I read the comments on this and other blogs- people either adored Rob and consistently described him as a "great guy" or there were probably as many others who saw instead his aggressiveness and his unpredictable temper. True, he clearly adored his little sister which contradicted the tough guy swagger I think that he otherwise cultivated. Still, I was saddened to hear of his untimely death, and all the more so once I'd heard that it was alleged to have been at the hands of his own wife.

Now that Nancy has admitted to killing him, I also am sad for her family and friends, and most of all for the children. Not everyone who knows Nancy appears to like her (and does that really distinguish her from billions of others?), but her family and devoted friends have to come to terms with the grotesque fact that an otherwise normal person committed a horrible, irreversible crime that leaves many victims in its wake. And her detractors may contend that she'd say anything to stay out of prison, but does anyone really believe that if she could turn back the clock that she would repeat her actions even if she weren't facing a prison sentence now?

There are alot of people in pain because of this tragedy, and Rob's loved ones may suffer the additional withering effects of anger. But to deny the sadness of anyone who loves or once loved Nancy seems unfair. No one will ever see Rob again and that is cruel and foul and ultimately at Nancy's own hand. But I would guess no one who loved Nancy will ever see that person again either. I imagine that the biting pain of Rob's loss sucks more than the dull, disorienting ache of still having access to some incarnation of Nancy, but aren't all these people still suffering, even if to acutely varying degrees? Tragic effects are still tragic, regardless of the cause.

posted by: classmate on 08.25.05 at 04:26 AM [permalink]

I met Nancy in the mid 80s. We became fast friends and had great fun together as single women in NYC. When we married our husbands became friends, our oldest daughters played together, our bar hopping and late nights were replaced by our children’s birthday parties, quiet dinners together and picnics in the parks. We really, really liked them and now they are forever lost to us.

Despite how well we knew them though, apparently I am at a disadvantage to those many friends of Rob’s whose comments on this blog indicate some sort of behind closed-door access. A witnessing, if you will, of Nancy’s and Rob’s most private moments, an intimate knowledge of their most private thoughts; because it is only this kind of access that can lend the kind of certainty I see here to Rob’s legion of supporters, the kind of certainty that shows little tolerance for the occasional opposing view. Is this why I have been accused of not being very educated? Because of my view that people who truly believe in something aren’t easily shaken, hostile to opposing views, or threatened by my desire to question the conventional wisdom of the herd? Look up the word misology.

My husband and I spoke with both Rob and Nancy the day before he was killed and sensed nothing to indicate the disaster that was about to happen. Sad to say, his girlfriends from high school, and his misogynist “best and oldest” friend, you know, the ones that claim to know every intimate detail of their marriage couldn’t have warned him of his impending doom. Though I always suspected that all wasn’t well in paradise, I, like most of you, didn’t see this coming, and was of no help and failed them as a friend.

Now all I have are my memories, my observations and suspicions and am trying to sort it all out. Oddly, it was at Rob’s funeral where I first began to doubt him. The stories his friends and family endearingly told about his obsessive need to win, his insistence to always be the banker in Monopoly as a child, or the incredible story his father told about an outing to a Yankees game where he brought along his oldest daughter were revealing. How, as she grew restless at the game, as any child would at such a long event, he fed her hot dogs non-stop to keep her quiet until she got sick, then took her to the hotel to the nanny, throwing up and crying, while he left her to have drinks with grandpa dearest. I would like to know from his omniscient friends if he looked deep into her tear-filled eyes that night as he slipped smoothly out the door for more “man’s fun” while the paid help nursed his daughter back to health.

Then there is his family. For example, I haven’t heard much lately from his supporters about Rob’s brother Andrew, the loving uncle who petitioned to take the children from Nancy. You know, the one that is under house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet because he is accused of stealing multi-millions of dollars from partners, neighbors and friends. That doesn’t include the $100,000 he stole from the funds he raised to help care for his deceased brother’s children. And what about their children so many of you feign such concern for? Well let’s see, the 11-year-old has just spent the summer at a sleepover camp and her brother and sister are living full time with the nanny in Vermont. Safe to say the Kissel’s won’t be writing the definitive book on child-rearing anytime soon. Grandpa dearest? Well, he’s the guy who was estranged from his sons for most of their adult lives because of some of the same insidious actions for which Nancy is now accusing Rob. Guess the apples don’t fall far from the tree. None of us come from perfect families any more than Nancy did with her own set of broken family problems, estrangements, and even suicide in her background, but it’s the Kissel’s that put the “d” in dysfunctional, and that life experience formed Rob.

We all bring our own set of values to this tragic affair. Is it possible that Rob could have amassed just 8 million dollars and put a higher priority on his responsibility to be a loving and attentive husband and father? Sad to say, in Rob’s world, enough is never enough, until it’s too late. When it came to his family he may have talked the talk but I know first hand, close up, he never walked the walk. Children only want one thing, and it’s the hardest thing to give them … your time. In Rob’s world time was something that is never given to the family. Would Rob have been a lesser man had he instead invested the same dedication and energy into his family as he did in his dauntless pursuit of money and power? Had he done so, he could have been the first Kissel to write the book, and in my eyes he would have been a greater man, a true man’s man.

posted by: Friend and supporter of Nancy on 08.25.05 at 04:34 AM [permalink]

If anyone knew Nancy they would be surprised by her sudden sheepishness at broadcasting any alleged abuse. Nancy had a hot temper, a loud mouth and spoke her mind at any chance. There are a myriad of stories, my own included, of her irrational behavior and response to minor issues and problems in a relationship. This being perhaps the most irrational.

posted by: Former Friend on 08.25.05 at 07:19 AM [permalink]

Dear Friend of Nancy:

So you kill him?

posted by: Observer on 08.25.05 at 07:24 AM [permalink]

Well said "now what?" (08.23.05 at 03:45 PM above)

You seem to have summarised extremely well all the questions and inconsistencies, most of us have. Let’s hope the courts see through all of Nancy's lies and sum it up the same logical way.

I guess we can't expect more (the lies) from a person who has beaten her husband to death after drugging him, who shops and replies to friends emails chats with her secret lover the very day after, and who is so heartless as to move (well pay others to move! god forbid her getting her hands dirty) her dead husbands body right past their very own son's nose.

And for those of you who tell me I don't know Nancy (as irrelevant as it is) I do, I use work at HKIS and I found her totally up herself.

I cannot believe those who support a cold blooded murderer, what ever the situation. I don't think "real friends" would be reading through forums such as this, I think it's more a matter of being a part of the "action" that they stick by her.

She had all the money in the world to be able to remove herself from a supposedly bad situation. I hope she gets what she deserves and the children are able to recover in a loving environment.

posted by: LS on 08.25.05 at 08:51 AM [permalink]

I am appalled by what friend of Nancy writes about the Kissel family. How dare you attack them in this time of need. Who are you to say what you say about Mr. Kissel, Andy and Rob. Which of his friends do you refer to who claim to have had "closed door access". I wasn't at the funeral, but are you suggesting that anyone actually shared the story of his daughter being left with the Nanny, vomiting because of Rob force feeding hot dogs. Or is this a story you heard elsewhere and feel a need to disparage a dead man? You should be ashamed of yourself for what you write, poking fun at Andy and Mr. Kissel. Do you think your comments make anyone believe that anything you say has validity? Do us all a favor and keep your comments to yourself.

posted by: Jill on 08.25.05 at 08:58 AM [permalink]

To. Friend and supporter of Nancy:

'Children only want one thing, and it's the hardest thing to give them... your time.' you wrote. If you were such a good friend of hers, how can you not know that, while Rob was busy working to provide for the family, Nancy, who was a 'stay-at-home-mom' hardly ever stayed with their 3 children? They were ALWAYS with their maids! Ever since they came to Hong Kong, we never saw Nancy at the playground with the children even ONCE! They came down to the playgound EVERYDAY with the maids. Preschool called 'PIPS' is the one the Kissels sent their children to and, despite they lived right next to the school (They lived in Tower 17 and the school was in Tower 18), rarely Nancy brought the children down to the classes in the morning or picked them up in the afternoon. Every single day it was either the maids or Rob, if he was in town.

You blame on Rob for his hard work. My own husband works and travels the way Rob did. Although it hasn't always been easy for me, I never, even for a minute, think his priorities are mixed up. We made the decision together and I have options. That's the same option Nancy had. We are in it together,as a 'husband and wife' team. Majority of the expat husbands here in Hong Kong work and travel the way Rob did and do you really think that all they are after is power and money? Don't you ever think that these men have plans and the plans include their wives and children?

My jaw just dropped at the very minute I saw your comments attacking Rob's family. Nobody managed to so viciously attack either Rob's or Nancy's family so far, knowing, by common sense, the unimaginable seffering both families must be going through. What have the families got to do with this murder? You are not saying that the fact Rob's brother got himself into trouble makes Rob to become a possible wife beater, therefore deserved to be killed, I hope? We have a theory on Nancy's wrecked family background too, but IT'S IRRELAVANT!! She murdered him and she did it alone as a 40 year old adult knowing what she was doing. And I am not going to even discuss on your second paragraph of attacking his friends, for it seems to me as a useless blame game.

'It was at Rob’s funeral where I first began to doubt him.', you wrote. You can doubt as much as you want, but the doubt has to be based on the COMBINED facts! It simply does not make a case when you pick isolated pieces from here and there to force the story to form.


To Susan (8/24):

Nancy told me her rib was broken and that was from playing tennis as she told her maids. There was no black eye, no bruises any where. Rob had to be so skillful to break just a bone and not to leave any other sign. Were you there when that happened? I don't understand it, if she had a broken bone (To tell the truth, I don't even know if there is any x-ray or any other evidence to support Nancy's claim.), why is Rob automatically responsible for it?

About Rob's tirades... Do you and your husband ever argue? People call my husband 'a big teddy bear' and he sure can raise his voice, but does that make him a possible candidate for a wife beater?

posted by: catchme on 08.25.05 at 09:40 AM [permalink]

Friend and Supporter of Nancy:

Well you certainly give new meaning to the saying “Birds of the feather all flock together”! You and Nancy are cut from the same blood stained cloth to be sure!
It amazes me that you have the audacity to be as cold hearted as you are. Is that why you don’t have the nerve to reveal your true identity? Are you embarrassed about who you are as a person? Afraid that Mr. Kissel may read this posting and find out who you are?

No one has ever said that they knew what went on between Rob and Nancy behind closed doors. What “I” said about closed doors is that as his girl friend “I” knew that Rob was a gentle, compassionate and kind man. But “I” can come forward and reveal myself by name because “I” don’t have a cruel heart and “I” speak the truth.

You are a poor excuse for a human being, an embarrassment to all of us. Of course you hide your true identity because you, like your dear friend Nancy, are always hiding behind your self serving, narcissistic TRUE identity! You’re a match made in hell and I hope you both rot there.

How does it feel to be a supporter of a murderer? Did you help her plan it? Well you might as well have because what you write about the Kissel family is an attempt to murder what’s left of Rob’s family.

You attempt to display compassion for Rob’s elder daughter but instead you have inflicted more hurt and more damage to an already horrible situation. Did it ever cross your self serving, small mind that she may read this some day? Of course not, you’re to busy defending an evil person, but at least you’re keeping true to your own “lovely” nature!

The reason why you hide behind an alias is because if your husband, children, friends, mother and father were to read your cruel statement they would all be ashamed to admit they have anything to do with you.

You are an ugly human being but I rest assured in knowing that the world is round and you will get what you deserve in life which is a lot of unhappiness and spiritual unrest.

No moral, god serving, compassionate person on this planet supports murder. No moral, god serving, compassionate person on this planet rips into a family that has just endured the violent death of a loved one. You are menus to society! Vermin that doesn’t deserve any of the joy and love that life has to offer.

I would hate to be you!

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 08.25.05 at 10:11 AM [permalink]

To friend and supporter of Nancy..You are and always will be a stupid country bumpkin..How disrespectful you are... I still don't understand why you went to the funeral.Some sick curiosity? I agree with everyone elses comments..I would also hate to be you! You never tried to be in touch with Nancy for years, you never even liked her or Rob for that matter..Just took advantage of them having a home in Vermont and inviting you there..then stabbing them in the back after you left...You both do really suck!

posted by: sickened on 08.25.05 at 10:23 AM [permalink]

I cannot believe this "Friend of Nancy." She obviously has a distorted view of life, which explains her misplaced fidelity for this admitted killer who it seems is futilely attempting to lie her way out of it.

The fact is that Nancy Keeshin (she is not worthy of the Kissel name) decided that she would act out paramount selfishness and punish not only her husband, but her children, Rob's biological family, his friends, his co-workers and everyone that knew him as a decent, selfless soul. I don't want to get into it, but there are more people out there who have remained silent and who know and have experienced the true Nancy Keeshin. Eventually, those people will share their views. May the truth prevail and may justice be done.

posted by: Incredulous on 08.25.05 at 10:38 AM [permalink]

I have read these pages everyday (as I am sure many people have) looking for answers to why this terrible thing has happened. I do not think any of us will ever truly know. The one thing I know for sure is that there are 3 great kid's who through no fault of their own have been left with no parents. They are the only ones that can be helped now. I ask that everyone contributing to this forum remember that these children will grow up looking for answers and they will read everything that has been written here. Please remember them when expressing your "opinion".

posted by: Forrest on 08.25.05 at 11:43 AM [permalink]

I wholeheartily agree with you Forest..Those kids are smarter then anyone knows..

posted by: sickened on 08.25.05 at 01:53 PM [permalink]

remember the kids?


give us more dirt!

it's the only reason I go to work these days - free use of a computer to get the latest news in all it's salacious glory.

posted by: voyeur on 08.25.05 at 04:08 PM [permalink]

If I understand the most recent forensic testimony, then her primary self defense claim of him attacking her with a bat doesn't seem to have panned out: No blood or other DNA from him or her on the bat, no impact marks, no lead smears, no wood grain impressions on the lead figurine, and the curves on the base could not have been created by the bat. So if he was not swinging the bat at her, then the statue was not a self defense instrument used to protect herself?

The report says the presentation of evidence is now over. Summations are next. But I feel that the full story has not been told. I just wish there was some objective evidence which would support her story.

I would suggest that as the trial reaches completion that no one should be too harsh here.

While people may be correct in questioning the rationale of Friend and Supporter's steadfast commitment to Nancy, we must be respectful of her right to believe in what she wants, and her motivations therefor. She will, as each of us will, examine the evidence and the testimony in her own/our own time. People will draw conclusions, will judge the fairness of the outcome for themselves, and I suspect that many will engage in some introspection of their own lives. I have been, and will continue to do so.

It is interesting to note that in speaking over the last week with several of her supporting group of friends that several have or have started to back off in their degree of support as the trial has progressed, with one even saying on Saturday that "Boy, she really had me fooled." I suppose it is natural that some would have 'bought-in' irrevocably (they had posted the bond for the bail, no?), but what I wonder now is this: Do those persons who continue their steadfast support of her do so because they entirely believe her testimony ignoring what has been presented as facts to the contrary? or rather that they somehow need to believe some version of it in order to maintain a degree of perspective and acceptance of their own (our own) circumstances (as ex-pats, and as spouses, mothers and fathers)?

Sorry, it's too circumspective a thought. I suppose what I am saying is that Friend and Supporter is entitled to believe what she wants, and for the reasons that she wants, just as Mr. Williams, Carol, and others are. She may change her view over time, and she may not, but I, for one, am not in a position to judge her or her motivations, whether I agree with her or not.

One final word from me:

For what its worth, Mr. Bill Kissel has impressed me in the past several months as a reasonable man who is suffering through not only the loss of his son but also enduring the daily testimony which ultimatly attacks his son's character, values and upbringing. He is not irrational, he poses no threat to anyone. He is a proud grandfather (carries photos of all the grandchildren) and I am pleased to have spent time speaking with him. He certainly does not deserve to be questioned or criticised on his own character or behavior, and I would not condone any such character attacks on him or the other surviving members of the family. He has spoken about steps that he will take to ensure the best possible environment for his granchildren in the future and I hope that he is able to find some measure of peace once the trial is completed.

posted by: now what? on 08.25.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

Ultimately, our opinions don’t mean much, it’s what the High Court decides that counts and when it passes judgment, vengeance, or otherwise will carry the day. Had Nancy been tried in America her chances would be a lot better, but that’s not to be and I don’t hold out much hope for her. She’s being judged on what she did, not why she did it. The truth isn’t hard to defend, but it’s her actions that are being judged.

If Rob’s supporters allowed themselves one moment of objectivity then one could begin to understand that the money and a boyfriend in Vermont by themselves aren’t really enough to bludgeon someone to death over. She had options and resources and could have walked away in pretty good shape. But if, and none of us know for sure, she was abused, raped, and sodomized then what happened begins to make sense. If Rob was a closet homosexual then the self loathing that typically occurs and often leads to the abuse Nancy claims she endured, makes what she says plausible. Then you add in his plan to destroy her, to take her children away, to turn her friends against her and you have a woman who may have thought she had nothing to lose. That’s when you become dangerous. Unlike his supporters, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I now know a lot more about where they came from, the kind of friends they had, and the kind of people they were.

This blog has served a valuable purpose. It’s helping us to come to terms with what’s happened and has given us insight to the personalities that moved in and out of Rob and Nancy’s lives. If there were errors in the facts as I have been stating them, then of course I will stand corrected. Jumping up and down and calling me names only lessens the credibility of the opposing view and makes his supporters seem mean-spirited and vicious. The very traits Nancy attributes to Rob.

posted by: Friend of Nancy's on 08.26.05 at 12:05 AM [permalink]

Regarding “Friend and Supporter of Nancy” comments earlier, I felt compelled to comment,as some of the things you talked about were taken too far out of context.
I’ve seen different sides to Nancy, including kindness and caring. Something inside her mind combined with a certain set of circumstances pushed her over the edge. Its okay for you to want to continue to support her and be her friend, but the way you take stories about Rob in your writings and twist them around to make him out to be an inconsiderate, uncaring father are way off base.
First of all, I also live in Parkview with a husband that is gone on business trips ALOT, like so many other husbands here. The fact that Rob traveled, which took him away from his family, didn’t make him a lousy father. Many husbands here travel a lot, are bright and work hard, and are financially rewarded for it, but that doesn’t mean they are all money, power hungry jerks. They do what they do FOR their families.
Secondly, you talk about the story of Rob and Elaine going to the baseball game and make him out to be an uncaring father who dumps his sick kid off on the nanny to go out partying. Have you ever been to a baseball game with kids? That’s part of the fun; eating junk food; hotdogs, snowcones ,peanuts, cottoncandy…. So she eats too much and throws up, big deal. Any parent knows the difference between a kid that’s throwing up from a flu and throwing up from junk food. With junk food, they throw up and 5 min later feel better. You make it sound like Elaine was on her deathbed and Rob leaves her to go out partying with his dad. Maybe he knew she’d be okay and wanted to spend some time with his aging father who won’t be around forever.
You’re taking a lot of flack from people here mainly because you’re twisting things around only to fit into your own views. Keep to the facts.

posted by: cff on 08.26.05 at 12:25 AM [permalink]

She will be judged on what she did and also in a separate way, on why she did it.
As a lawyer, the evidence against her is very compelling and from what I have seen her story is not credible. What should be kept in mind is that the jury have the ultimate decision, although juries too are falliable and can make mistakes, especially where there is a mountain of conflicting expert evidence

posted by: Interested on 08.26.05 at 12:39 AM [permalink]

To Susan. If you think my describing Nancy as self-centered was ugly I'll simply describe her by what has been shown in the trial: adulterer, schemer, liar and murderer. I wasn't in her inner circle of friends, never wanted to be, and now I'm feeling especially good about that.

Was wondering if she did kill Rob in self-denfence as she claims, then wouldn't she have realized her hitting him in the head accidentally killed or hurt him and she should then have called 999 for help? Why roll him up in a rug and hide him in the storeroom? Doesn't sound like self-defence.

Does anyone know if she'll move back to US, get the kids and Rob's estate if she gets off?

posted by: Jane on 08.26.05 at 12:46 AM [permalink]

I also used to live in HK as an expat and I would like to say that it is complete nonsense to say that Nancy would have had no-one to turn to. Also not all expat husbands who travel for work are bad husbands. the fact that the deceased did this is a credit to him as he was working to support his family. clearly the defendant enjoyed the benefits of him doing this

posted by: Interested on 08.26.05 at 01:00 AM [permalink]

funny thing is that some of us here who knew Nan and Rob as a couple, including those of us who were friendlier with Nan (although we liked Rob very much), when hearing all of this have had a similar reaction: We can believe that Nan was capable of drugging and murdering Rob but can't believe that Rob was capable of abusing or forcibly sodomizing Nan. Wonder why that is? Maybe we saw something in her, something bad, that we never saw in him.

Also, it seems patently unbelievable that Rob would take the kids away from her. Didn't the lawyer he consulted say that Rob told him precisely the opposite? Namely, that Rob wanted to make sure that Nan had enough money so she could live comfortably and stay there so he could be near the kids. As for his threats to take away her friends, again while I've certainly witnessed her doing that to him, it seems unbelievable that he would threaten something like that. I watched her detonate a close friendship with another couple over a trivial disagreement that she had with the female in the couple. Despite how close the male in the couple was to Rob, he too got cut off completely. If anyone bullied anyone in that relationship, from what I saw, it was her bossing him around and never the other way around.

posted by: knew em both on 08.26.05 at 02:16 AM [permalink]

For the Friend of Nancy>

I don't recall if you have cited evidence of abuse or whether Nancy confided to you pre murder of instances of abuse. Could you clarify?

posted by: observer on 08.26.05 at 04:11 AM [permalink]

As much as people liked Nancy for her vibrant, charismatic personalities, those who knew her and Rob knew very well that she wouldn't tolerate any kind of unfavorable situation quietly. She spoke her mind and acted her mind.

Whereas Rob, as his old girlfriend discribed, was rather shy. I too saw Nancy boss him around and he just seemed so embarrassed. He would run away and hide somewhere if he hears all the stories going around now.

As much as the stories of abuse, rape, sodomy, power and money all seem to fascinate people, they need to know that this sickening story, possibly, is nothing but a story which was completely fabricated in the sick mind of a person who committed a murder.

This whole thing affected me so much that I already started teaching my young daughter about the importance of picking a right person to date and marry.

posted by: catchme on 08.26.05 at 06:28 AM [permalink]

Catch me...that was very well said and so true.People tend to invent mind boggling stories when they've fallen into a hole that they can't get out of..Rob would never of stooped so low.. I remember when Rob was all Nancy could talk about in the best possible ways..

posted by: sickened on 08.26.05 at 08:29 AM [permalink]

To Friend and Supporter of Nancy,
Once again you've managed to misconstrue what Friends of Rob have said in response to your comments. You attacked Mr. Kissel and Andy, completely unnecessary and downright mean. You relay stories of Rob that you clearly got from your dear friend and continue to bash a dead man based on what, Nancy's testimony or can you corroborate what she's said. Did you know of the abuse and if so why weren't you put on the stand? Why do you keep hiding behind your alias?

posted by: Jill on 08.26.05 at 09:19 AM [permalink]

To Jill...She couldnt of been put on the stand because she knows nothing of the Kissels situation at all in the last years in HK..All she knows is time spent years before...she is full of smoke and sees only the story she wants to believe...She spoke to them a day or so before only becuse she helped Nancy out by taking her care of her dog for a month..That does not give you insight into what had been happening...she should just shut up!

posted by: sickened on 08.26.05 at 09:24 AM [permalink]

Carol points that Friend and supporter of Nancy and Friend of Nancy's may be two different people. If so, my previous remarks are responding to the wrong person.

posted by: Jill on 08.26.05 at 09:26 AM [permalink]

To Catchme. If anyone knew Nancy they would come to the same conclusion as you and I. She spoke her mind. She would have been braodcasting the alleged abuse. This is the disconnect for me and it is based on Nancy's personality not Rob's. While I could not believe that Rob could ever commit the acts that she accused him of, I think what is important to note is that if he did Nancy would have announced via magaphone. I find it hard to swallow that she was too embarassed to do so.

posted by: Former Friend on 08.26.05 at 10:07 AM [permalink]

friend and supporter of Nancy are one in the same person..

posted by: sickened on 08.26.05 at 10:30 AM [permalink]


I have re-read the thread.

What I said earlier about Friend of Nancy's being entitled to her opinion for whatever her reason may be and for others to be tolerant:

I take it all back.

posted by: now what? on 08.26.05 at 11:39 AM [permalink]

Friend of Nancy...I understand you completely. I know what you're saying & feel what you're feeling.
BTW y'all....it would be very, VERY easy to have pushed him off the balcony at Parkview and it would never have looked like murder if that is what she intended to do.

posted by: Susan on 08.26.05 at 11:50 AM [permalink]

Friend of Nancy...I understand you completely. I know what you're saying & feel what you're feeling.
BTW y'all....it would be very, VERY easy to have pushed him off the balcony at Parkview and it would never have looked like murder if that is what she intended to do.

posted by: susan on 08.26.05 at 11:50 AM [permalink]

To Susan:

But that wouldn't have warranted his death, would it? He might have been crippled, but not dead. Five big blows on the head after drugging him was what it needed to finish him off, wasn't it?

When one of my maids told me the news of the tragidy on November 2003, I cried for Nancy asking, "Why, Nancy..." I wanted to believe that there had to be a very good reason for her to do this. So many of us were ready to help her with whatever she needed.

But when the initial shock was over and there simply wasn't any convincing evidence, people started thinking otherwise.

Show us the evidence. Nancy's accusation alone without evidence isn't good enough. You can fool some people sometimes, but you cannot fool everybody all the time.

posted by: catchme on 08.26.05 at 12:34 PM [permalink]

Careful. That 'wouldn't even look like murder' line of thinking will get you in trouble every time. Kind of like thinking you could drug him and it would look like a heart attack. Or hide his body and make it look like he walked out on you. It never turns out to be quite as easy to get away with it as you thought.

Don't you watch CSI?

posted by: hmmm on 08.26.05 at 12:53 PM [permalink]

I knew both Rob and Nancy; they lived in my building prior to their move overseas. They seemed to be the ideal couple. In some of my dealings with him he seemed to be very controlling, but that is just my experience, Nancy did adore him very much as he adored her, they were very loving and nice together and it was adorable to watch them be in love. As an observer I would say she seemed to wear the pants but how do we know how it was behind closed doors? We don’t and we won’t. I remember when she was pregnant with her first daughter and then when she was born how attentive he was, and as she grew into a toddler how friendly and sweet that baby was. They loved that baby and were fantastic parents, and a stunning couple. I am sorry to say they do not look like the beautiful people I once knew on the news on the web.

What is even more shocking then when I heard the story about the kissel’s is that Nancy is no dummy, if she was so abused that she could not think straight and if she was so abused that she felt imprisoned in her marriage? If she had to drug him to be free of him, why did she not get on a plain with the kids and head back to the U.S.? Why kill the guy? Why put him in a storage bin? Again…Nancy is no dummy, she had to know that she would get caught; she had to know she can lose the children; she had to know this is not the way. What happened to Nancy, and how could that happen? While it looked like she was wearing the pants, He was always in control. Did he take her pass port away? Did she feel like there is no way out? What happened? We may never know….
ALSO: Those of you who have said things about Robs Brother…who was arrested for defrauding a bank of 25 Million and he is being sued by his partners, that too is understandable judgment, Rob did want the same success his Real Estate Developer brother has had, and while they were both successful, they both put their values and family on the back burner for power and money. The saddest part of all is the Children will have to be moved again, they have been staying with Robs brother since this horrible story started. I am not here to give my opinion… I know less then many of you do, I did know them and it is shocking, but please stop putting all this negative shit on the web about either one of them, it does not help.

posted by: Old Neighbor on 08.26.05 at 02:22 PM [permalink]

Why would she have done all the things that you question? Read the thread and listen to other people, then you will get a better picture. 'Why' stage passed a long time ago.

posted by: catchme on 08.26.05 at 05:12 PM [permalink]

As a relatively recently arrived ex-pat in HK, I wonder if there is anything redeeming in white ex-pat lifestyles here (excluding Saturday morning breakfast at Flying Fish). Lots of money, lots of maids, karoake dungeons and a general absence of reminders of many moral/ethical taboos seem to lead to very poor behaviour and, on the odd occasion, a milkshake-related murder.

posted by: Recent ex-pat on 08.26.05 at 05:32 PM [permalink]

argh... Flying Pan, not Flying Fish.

posted by: Recent ex-pat on 08.26.05 at 05:41 PM [permalink]

I was in HK last week and became very interested in the trial. At first I felt for Mrs Kissel but as the week has gone by it would appear the Mr Kissel was not such a bad chap after all and I do think she is very, very guilty - as charged. Even though it appears the whole terrible business was premeditated I am sure Mrs Kissel is more than sorry for her actions ever since that horrible night in Nov 2003. I do not think her actions were done in self defence. How can a baseball bat above one come off second best to a lead statue (heavy) which has to be raised from below - she said in her evidence "he was standing over me with a baseball bat"

posted by: ginnylyn on 08.26.05 at 09:03 PM [permalink]

This is my last entry because I have to let this go.

Back in the late 1900’s any person of wealth and class was never considered to be criminals, let alone murderers. Why? Because if you had money and stature, that meant you were highly educated. Highly educated people don’t commit murder. Well that was the general consensus during that error anyway.

I don’t think that this attitude has changed very much in the last 100 years.

So may be, just may be this woman has some kind of chemical imbalance that has never been properly treated. That would explain all the anti-depressants she was on. May be she just snapped for no logical reason at all.

I think that the reason we are all having such a hard time with this, is that we are trying to rationalize an imbalanced mind coming from our own balanced mind. May be we all have a weird ingrained belief system that says “if you are rich you are also mentally and physically healthy”.

If Nancy and Rob were average Joe’s would this trial be as sensational as it has been? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.

When I found out about this murder and got past the initial shock, I actually felt a little sorry for Nancy, but I came to discover from all that I have read, as we all have, that everything she states has no circumstantial evidence to back her up. Think about it, not one person who knew her, including the maids, has come forward to say that they saw her with bruises on a consistent basis.

I cannot believe that any person who is of sound mind could murder their spouse like she did, with no circumstantial evidence to back her story up. I do not believe that any mother (of sound mind) would consciously choose to destroy her children’s life! I’m a mother and what she did to her children is unthinkable. As a parent we all quickly discover that life isn’t about us anymore, it’s about our children.

People say that Rob was money hungry because he traveled all the time due to his job. Well I grew up in Japan for 13 years and my parents were expats for 25 years, and I know, first hand, that part of living over seas as an executive is that you travel.

My father traveled all the time, he made good money and provided for his family just as Rob and other expats living over seas do, but that doesn’t mean they are money hungry and they don’t care about their families!

Because of my father I was able to have a rich, culturally diverse childhood with the best education available, better than any kid growing up in the U.S public school system!

Although it was hard growing up in Asia at the time I am forever thankful for the experience that my parents provide for myself and my siblings.

So, in conclusion, all I can come up with is that Nancy is a mentally sick person, but not sick enough to know right from wrong. If she truly were defending herself she would have called the maids, her father, or her best friend, someone, anyone for help. She would not have taken great pains to conceal her actions as she did.

At this point I’m not even going to try and figure out why she did what she did because I don’t operated from a clinically sick mind. Coming from a healthy mindset there is no way for me to even begin to understand what she did or why.

I just want to know that the justice system works all over the civilized world and that she will pay for her crime in the harshest possible way. But you know, that won’t bring Rob back, and as stupid as it sounds, I just want to know that he is alive and well, but that will never be………..

Carol J Horton

posted by: Carol Horton on 08.26.05 at 09:20 PM [permalink]

Dunno, I think "Friend" is just a wee bit biased. First off, if she were tried in the U.S. she'd still have to prove abuse. The same is true in Hong Kong. Saying something did/did not happen does not make it so.

If I were on the jury and Nancy were the shy retiring type I might give a bit of credence to her abuse story and why SHE. TOLD. NO. ONE. Then there is no record of police being called to the flat or her being seen by a doctor at any point in time for abuse. There is nothing but her word against testimony that she was assertive and demanding and what not.

I don't doubt that it was a crime of passion, and that she brained him with the metal stand after drugging him. I also don't doubt that she's unstable and should be treated for that. I think the thought of losing all of that money in a possible divorce is what pushed her over the edge. It reminds me of that San Diego murder case a few years back where the wife shot her ex- and his new wife and then tried to pin an abuse charge on him.

posted by: Jay on 08.26.05 at 10:04 PM [permalink]

Actually I take the money comment back. I think it was the LOSS OF FACE that a divorce would entail that pushed her over the edge. Face may be an Asian concept but it's not unique to Asians.

posted by: Jay on 08.26.05 at 10:08 PM [permalink]

Firstly, don't believe everything that you read and make judgements on people you really don't know.
Secondly, Rob was not rich, it's all point of view.

posted by: Franklin on 08.27.05 at 05:15 AM [permalink]

just wondering does anyone know if she is still out on bail?
now would be a good time for her to get out of dodge so to speak.lol

posted by: pete on 08.27.05 at 06:54 AM [permalink]

'Susan' and 'Fraklin' are one in the same person (Check out the email addresses). What does this tell us? Not only the suspect is scheming, but her friend also? As shallow as the plans might be...

posted by: catchme on 08.27.05 at 10:46 AM [permalink]

And this is the person who talked about pushing Rob off the balcony. I would be terrified to be this person's spouse.

posted by: catchme on 08.27.05 at 10:54 AM [permalink]

Agree, but I would still rather be the spouse to Susan /Franklin than to Friend and Supporter...

posted by: now what? on 08.27.05 at 11:01 AM [permalink]

It's interesting, because susan's thinking that it would have been very very easy to push him off the balcony is very likely the kind of thinking that caused Nancy's problems.

It seems like it would be easy to push him off the balcony, but how would it be? How do you get him out there? Drug him or lure him? How do you get him close to the edge? How do you get him off balance enough that the force of his weight will pull him down? How do you know he won't scream and someone wouldn't look up and see you? How do you ensure he wouldn't pull you down? If you drug him, they'll find the drugs in his system.

They investigate apparent suicides, and the friends of Rob's that knew, unbeknownst to Nancy, that they were having problems- would still know that. They would tell the police, just like they did this time.

So you can see how she, herself, might have gotten caught in the trap of thinking her way would have been so easy. Maybe she didn't imagine there would be so much blood to clean up. Maybe she didn't think his body would be so heavy to move. Maybe she imagined she could just get him in the trunk of the car and throw him in the ocean, but he was too heavy and then she didn't know what to do with him.

You think things are going to be easy. As I said, that's what gets people in trouble.

posted by: hmmm on 08.27.05 at 11:51 AM [permalink]

I don't know the answer to this, but if she did this as a result of being mentally ill wouldn't the defense have used insanity or temporary insanity rather than the current argument?

posted by: jill on 08.27.05 at 03:57 PM [permalink]

same as who?

posted by: Franklin on 08.27.05 at 10:07 PM [permalink]

Sadly, no one on this blog has pretended that Nancy is innocent until proven guilty, and the people who are hearing this case are no jury of her peers, so guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is her best hope in a country were women are treated as property. Only a miracle will save her. And despite all our personifications we are no closer to understanding why she chose to kill Rob in such a vicious way. In life, you don’t beat someone to death because you’re after his/her money; you beat them to death because you hate them to the very core of your being.

It’s obvious Nancy didn’t have an exit plan and besides, Rob had already confiscated her passport and blocked her access to cash and credit. Arguably, she was already a prisoner, just in better digs. She could have shot him, had him killed, pushed him over the balcony, stabbed him in the heart as he slept; instead he pushed her over the edge and she dug deep into her most base self and struck out with a primal force that ended the life of the person she knew better than all of us put together. And that’s where you begin.

For some, the easy answer is that she’s crazy. But if that’s true, then she’s not responsible for her actions, and I don’t have the impression very many of you want to entertain that line of thinking. Despite the evidence and testimony, there are those here that keep denying there was abuse. There are also serious questions about Rob’s sexual orientation and its ramifications, but no one seems to want to touch that one, either. His supporters want to make him out to be father of the year, when we really all know better. His upbringing, where he was taught the basic values that he carried through life, happened within a deeply troubled family who treated Nancy badly from the first days of their marriage. I’d also like to add that I’ve been maligned for my observations into the Kissel family psyche, while the Keeshin family has been treated in the most abhorrent way. They are decent people who have also lost a child and have feelings, too. Double standard?

Someone described Rob as shy and subordinate to Nancy. But at his level in the corporate jungle there are no shrinking violets. Nancy may have complained, but he pulled all the strings and was always in control. The most obvious fact of all is that no one knows what went on behind their closed door and only Nancy is here to tell that story. From what I know through my years as their friend and from what I’ve learned of his family and friends this past year, I have a very reasonable doubt that Nancy premeditated Rob’s murder. I think the milkshake was used to keep him off her, as had been done in the past and what really happened in that room that night we will never know. Rob was the sum of his parts and Nancy had her problems. To repeat myself from an earlier message, everyone is guilty and everyone is a victim.

To cff: I’d like to say that there is no occasion where it’s ok for children or adults to eat themselves sick and there is never an excuse to leave a sick child. Sounds like a rationalization of your own bad parenting skills.

To Carol, who defended Rob’s woman-hating best and oldest friend’s right to use the “B” and “C” words: I must say that that was one of the saddest examples of low self-esteem I’ve ever witnessed.

But I have a special message for “sickened”, aka the Judas that sold Nancy out for a bag of silver: I will always hold you in contempt in the deepest regions of my being.

When the jury reaches its verdict and the usual suspects circle the fire and bay at the moon, I will count my blessings that I had the good fortune to marry a man that knows the balance between hard work and the priority of family.

posted by: Friend and supporter of Nancy on 08.27.05 at 10:15 PM [permalink]

HERE HERE, Friend and Supporter of Nancy!
Thank you for saying it so succinctly. Bless you.

posted by: Heartbroken on 08.27.05 at 10:39 PM [permalink]

I think it truer a fact that it is Friend of Nancys who sold out and put this story on TV in NYC where the people we are most trying to protect will be exposed...Enough mudslinging from someone who knows no facts and has hurt numerous people by she and her husbands actions..

posted by: sickened on 08.28.05 at 05:08 AM [permalink]

To "Sick": How much would you like my husband and I to put on this blog about you? Keep up the lies you "uneducated dolt" and the gloves will be off.

posted by: Friend and supporter of Nancy's on 08.28.05 at 05:59 AM [permalink]

I have a funny feeling that susan/franklyn/Heartbroken are one in the same person. It should be easy for Simon to check that out.

The question is, do these two ('susan' and 'Friend and supporter of Nancy') who are putting up the last struggle before the verdict, deserve any more comment back from us? There is something evil about this team...

posted by: catchme on 08.28.05 at 07:43 AM [permalink]

Just a few points and my personal theory as the case comes to a close.

Nancy couldn't push him off the balcony and make it look like suicide as life insurance will not pay up if it is suspected suicide and she would have known all of this.

Perhaps she hoped the drug cocktail was enough to give him a heart attack, but perhaps she realised half way through that he wasn't going to die from the drugs, therefore she had to finish him off by battering his scull with 5 precise hits to the head. I am sure this wasn't in the initial plans.

She had to make the drug cocktail and serve it the neighbour as well to avoid Rob's suspicions, as Rob had already admitted he was concerned about the possibility of Nancy drugging his drinks previously.

I think she then intended on saying that he went "missing" after an argument. I don't think she planned on how hard it actually was to remove his body and all the evidence.

Apparently the bat in question doesn't even have either of their DNA on it, and the fact that her lawyers were able to keep hold of it in their office is all very strange thing? If Rob had been swinging it around as she had said he was, it would have DNA on it from him.

I think she may have been very concerned about her ability to take the kids back to US in a divorce situation without Rob stopping her. I myself looked into this when my marriage broke up in HK and spoke with the very same Lawyer as I believe Rob did. I was told very clearly, as I had lived in HK for 5 years and the kids had lived a large portion of their life there, that if I took the kids back home without my ex-husbands permission to Australia, my ex-husband could very easily ask for them to be brought straight back to Hong Kong to him. I think the U.S has the same reciprocal rights with HK as does Australia for custody rights. So perhaps it was Robs wishes to keep the children in HK, meaning it would stop Nancy from going back to the US, to perhaps Del Priore.

I think the rest explains itself. I don't believe any of the abuse happened, it was merely a last ditch effort to try and reduce her sentence and to distract the jury away from the evil murder that took place.

She would have pleaded insanity except for the fact that if she had of early on in the piece she would not have gotten bail, catch 22!

posted by: LS on 08.28.05 at 03:56 PM [permalink]

To Friend and Supporter: Ouch! You are sooo right. No more junk food for my family. Well, I'm off to sign up for some parenting classes.
Over and out.

posted by: cff on 08.28.05 at 06:22 PM [permalink]

To All,In November of 2003 Robert P. KIssel was murdered by his wife of 14 years. As his best friend from age 2 to 30, i just want to say, we are all so very sorry for roberts children and there great loss, and the long road they have ahead of them. Robert was one of the kindest, most emotionaly balanced persons ive ever met, he WAS my best friend and i am proud to forever call him that.To try to prove that he was not a good person in general, just shows how pathetic nancy's STORY really is! To attack the Kissel family, as friends of nancy did, it also shows how much they dont know about them too!! in all my time going to the kissel house in nj( i was there almost everyday from age 5-18) never once did i see mr. kissel even yelling at mrs. kissel(elaine) who was such a great person! She was like a second mom to me, and always was there if i needed her! If there is justice ( and there is) Nancy will be put away for the rest of her life! as sad as that is, lets all just say a little prayer for robs children! REST IN PEACE ROB! ill miss you so much BRO!!!

posted by: Dan Williams on 08.29.05 at 02:59 AM [permalink]

I am the attorney in Conn. who discovered Andrew Kissel's fraud - would appreciate any information on the Kissel family background, where they grew up, education, etc. I can be contacted at nwalkley@fnf.com.

posted by: N Walkley on 08.29.05 at 04:21 AM [permalink]

The constant battle between good vs. evil...

I have to believe that the system we live in works to reward the good and punish the evil. We all know that it isn't always visible right away, but then again, life is a marathon, not a short distance.

Whatever the outcome the trial might be, if for some reason, Nancy does't get what she deserves, there are the 3 children that will punish her as long as she is alive, for no reason was good enough for her to take away their beloved father from their young lives the way she did, therefore depriving them from a solid, secure rock they once had and forever they will miss.

I have to make a few points to you, 'Friends and supporter of Nancy':

--- 'you beat them to death because you hate them to the very core of your being', you wrote. We all know too many cases where murderers beat, poison, slash, shoot, drown victims to death to get what they want or out of sickness. Victims often being strangers.

---'Rob had already confiscated her passport and blocked her access to cash and credit': After finding out about her affairs, he might have done that for all the right reasons. But the fact the defence didn't bring it up, which would serve as strong evidence for her, says otherwise.

--- 'serious questions about Rob’s sexual orientation and its ramifications, but no one seems to want to touch that one': Did you ever sleep with him? How do you know? Through Nancy only? Two of his former girlfriends who possibly knew him better discribe him other wise. And read my comment on 8/24.

--- 'Someone described Rob as shy and subordinate to Nancy. But at his level in the corporate jungle there are no shrinking violets.': You can't be further from the truth. I have a big circle of friends whose husbands work at the similar as, or higher than, the level Rob was at and many of them, including my own husband, as tenacious as they may be at work or at sports etc., tend to be a bit shy and not as aggressive as people think they would be at the personal level. And as successful as they are, their wives' wishes are regarded in such a way to spoil them endlessly. That includes me and Nancy.

---'I think the milkshake was used to keep him off her, as had been done in the past': Rob was worried as early as August as he told Frank Shea (the detective) of being poisoned. She might have regularly given him drugs by then hoping for his heart attack as she learnt from internet. Obviously drugs weren't strong enough to kill him, so she switched to priscription-only, strong ones. She might have continued the plan until Rob got heart attack, but something snapped during their argument about divorce on that tragic night and ended up killing him.

--- 'I will count my blessings that I had the good fortune to marry a man that knows the balance between hard work and the priority of family': Hope you continue to feel that way. We (not just men) all should know the balance between hard work (or valunteering for the school, etc.) and family, but I'd rather not be a woman who tries to clip the husband' wings to keep him closer to her. I want mine to fly as far as he wants to fly, but I know his love always brings him back to me, not his fear of an angry wife monitoring his movement. I appreciate my husband's hard work emensely, I teach my young children the value of hard work and the fact that you can do it all if you're diligent enough. And never for a single minute we doubt his love toward us, knowing he is doing it for us and for that we have so many options in our lives.

Despite my friends' telling me that I give too much credit to some of the comments posted here to even respond, I have had an unstoppable need to help reveal the truth as a person who have known them.

posted by: catchme on 08.29.05 at 01:45 PM [permalink]

If I was a part of the jury I would like to know:
1. Was Nancy examined to see if she had been repeatedly raped anally? Personally, if it has happened as she has stated over long period of time wouldn't there be some scarring?
2. Could it have been Nancy who looked at the pornographic sites, not Robert? Not out of pervous interest but to set Robert up a little more.
3. In regard to the passport/s. Do we know for certain that he had hidden them from her? I can understand the symptoms and erratic behaviour both of Robert and her when they are going through such a trying time in their marriage BUT .. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OUT!!! and that doesn't mean taking his life!!
4. Like others, I am of the belief that the maids would have heard something or seen something. Whether it was the night or another night. I am also very surprised that she had not confided in someone else. Women talk. Whether it is to one special person or a group we do tend to pour our souls out, unlike men. Hence, another reason I do not believe her.
5. But the one that would catch me, as a jury member, is the research Nancy did on drugs etc. This was not a crime of passion but a pre-meditated murder.
Can anyone give me insight in to the jury. Are they all local Chinese and what age would you place them? Education?
I believe this woman is very sick and very strong! The way she has characterised herself (ie. nun's wardrobe) has been for the sake of the jury - give me your sympathy. No one dresses like that and I believe that she was far from 'nunlike' in her appearance prior to this event.
God bless her children!

posted by: Sam D on 08.29.05 at 02:31 PM [permalink]

Did anyone attend the defense closing arguements today in court?

posted by: LS on 08.29.05 at 04:24 PM [permalink]

For anyone interested in the inner workings of a Hong Kong jury, please check http://www.judiciary.gov.hk/en/crt_services/pphlt/html/jury.htm#3

posted by: Chris on 08.29.05 at 05:51 PM [permalink]

I find this whole thing quite intersting. Let us assume for a second that the claims of both side are totally true.
1.) Nancy was cheating
2.) robert was a anal raping coke head; who may have had a flexible sexual orentation.

What does this really tell us beyond what anyone who knows the cliches behind these type of family situations didn't already know before the story even started.

so much of what has been reported in this story has been irrelevent, and the motivies of so many that have commented can so easily be called into question.

To all the friend of Nancy. With all due respect, Nancys problems were in a large part DUE to the gossipy closed expat bubble. That can be a lonly lonly place. I dont trust any of these comments because besides talking about the kissal trial you are all defending your way of life at the same time.

To all the friends of rob. Much the same can be said of you. Besides, someone that high up on the corprate world is farily adapt to maintaining double facaces, so I don't buy any claims that you 'knew him well'. The only person who knew him well was nancy and her comments can be trusted obviously.

So what do we know. She had tried to drug him in the past. She did kill him; in a way that suggests 'spur of the moment' and not necessarly 'calculated'. He probably was a bit of a bastard - quite how much we will probably never know for sure.

What the legal implications of that are is up to the jury to decide... but most of the comments on this blog; and what I have heard more generally don't seem to take much of this into account.

posted by: intersted observer on 08.30.05 at 07:46 PM [permalink]

I don't know Nancy's friends, but I do know Hong Kong. And it is not a 'lonly lonly' place. There are wonderful friends available, and people are willing to help anybody- even relative strangers.

If we are to believe Nancy's own story, Rob put her pregnancy in danger, broke her toddler girls' arm, and was violent with the kids. She never told anybody, never sought help for the sake of the kids.

If she kept her kids in harm's way because she was afraid of gossip, it says much more about her than about her friends or the community. Actually, I think it tells the most about the veracity of her story.

posted by: hmmm on 08.31.05 at 10:19 AM [permalink]

Not to say what is been said already, but i would like to add my 2 cents: When i read about what nancy suffered (forced sodomy, beatings, etc.) i felt that maybe she was right after all to defend herself the way she did, but, i came to realize that all the stories she told, are only one version of the facts. A story that was never confirmed by anyone, not even the closest people to the family, the maids, could confirm it.
I find the story of her fending off blows of a baseball bat with a lead figurine as ridiculous, try and see what i mean. Also the "search" for pills the days before the fact are very suspicious.
That's all, i wish the children of the kissel family all the best for the future and i wish that the friends and supporter of both sides come to realize that both people had contribute to escalate an already fragile situatiion. The lack of dialogue might have destroyed what could have still been savaged.
Thank you

posted by: Chris on 08.31.05 at 12:52 PM [permalink]

this is disgusting she is guilty as sin
and if someone finds me with my skull bashed in
plz realize i am human too.
there is no proof he did anything to her.there is proof this poor guy's skull was crushed.
lord have mercy.

posted by: sic on 08.31.05 at 02:30 PM [permalink]

The facts are facts, no-one should be able to get away with murder. It makes me sick to the stomach that she would get anything less than life in prison. Her false stories are a vain attempt to wriggle out of an extremely bad mistake she made two years ago. What loving mother kills her children’s Father?

I ask a few questions:

She supposedly had no access to money to get herself out of a "violent" situation, yet she went out the day after she killed him and purchase a new expensive Persian rug, and other pillows etc, from shops that I personally know as being highly expensive.

She denies drugging him, yet she made the milkshake with her very own hands that had 5 different highly potent drugs in it. Then she gets her very own daughter to serve it to her husband and their neighbour (what if the daughter had drunk the drink… she was prepared to risk this with her own daughter for gods sake it could have killed a child) The drugs were found in his system, and caused the neighbour who also drank the milkshake she served them to become very sick and pass out himself.

She conveniently remembers the "supposed” attack by Rob with a baseball bat, but doesn't remember her shopping trip, her phone calls to her secret lover, her instructions to her maid to purchase string to tie her dead husbands body up with, pack away incriminating evidence into boxes to be stored. She then has no qualms about removing his body from the apartment while her son stands by and watches.

She talks of him swinging a bat at her, yet there is no DNA on the bat from neither Nancy nor Rob. The statue she used to defend herself wasn’t even in the bedroom but in another room… what did she do, ask Rob to “hold it right there while I grab a statue from the other room?”

I just can’t imagine how a man is supposedly swinging a bat and at the same time trying to have anal sex with her??? How does she lean up and swing a statue precisely 5 times in the same part of a mans head, a tall large man, and a petite lady at that. If he wasn't drugged, then he would have been able to sort her out after her first swing at him. The fact was, he was out cold on the floor drugged to the eye balls a sitting target.

No-one hears any yelling, screaming or anything to indicate what is going on. Maids know everything that is going on in your house, they would have seen or heard this going on if it really happened at any time. Everything echo’s through those Hong Kong flats with parquetry floored apartments, ( I have been in her apartment and yes it is parquetry flooring)

Surely if you have accidentally knocked the living daylights out of your own husband and you realize you have killed him accidentally, the first thing you would do is call a friend, and then the police to tell them of the terrible crime, you don’t go about shopping for rugs, emailing friends, speaking with her lover and speaking with security men to move a rug to a store room.

She turns up in court every day in black, when I saw in the years prior her she was always in bright normal clothing, her hair bleach blonde. If you have nothing to hide why would you change your image for the sake of the jurors and judge? I will tell you why, simply because you want to come across as a sad, in mourning wife, who would never commit such an atrocity.

I could go on and on, I can’t believe half of what has be brought up about this poor man, gay sex, violence, drugs… crap crap crap... It’s not enough for this evil women to kill her children’s father, but then to bring up such demeaning, probably untrue statements, which her children will eventually find out about. And all to save her own skin, and at the cost of her children’s own beliefs about their Father. It is so unfair to them.

It is irrelevant, and is being presented as a reason for Nancy to kill her husband.

You know what, lets just imagine for a moment that he was a closet gay, looking for sex in Taiwan, with a facination for anal sex and he was aggressive with the financial side of Nancy’s spending habit, and was never home, as he was out being the high flyer...SO WHAT? this is so meanial in the big picture EVEN IF IT WERE ALL TRUE...

NOTHING gives a human being the right to take another human being’s life, and to so distastefully try to hide it away in a rolled up carpet. The whole thing is disgusting, and even if she gets off with manslaughter, she will pay for the nasty unforgivable thing that she did in other ways, what go’s around comes around.

posted by: totally disgusted on 09.01.05 at 10:23 AM [permalink]

amen! I couldn't have said it better myself

posted by: Totally disgusted too on 09.01.05 at 10:34 AM [permalink]

A couple of questions:

If you are disgusted now, what will you feel when the verdict is returned?

If she is convicted of premeditated murder, will you feel less so?

If she is aquitted, will you become outraged, angry, acquire an automatic weapon and kill your co-workers? (more likely if you are a US Postal worker).

If a reduced conviction is returned, what then? Say "I told you so but she should have gotten the book thrown at her"?

And what in heavens would you feel if she is aquitted, gets all the money and is restored custody of her children? (Do we all immediately go shopping for drugs and lead statuary?)


I agree with your points: there are far too many inconsistencies in her explanation, seemingly convenient omissions of memory, and uncorroborated accusations and allegations for her version to be credible. (Not too mention holes in her explanation: how did the drugs get in him? She never did say.) But as ridiculous as they may sound, there may be that fractional and infintismal possibility that her version is accurate. Do I think this to be the case? As a mater of fact, I do not; however, what I am ranting about is thatever it is that I (we) say and think does not matter. I am neither a jury member nor a family member, and I would argue that all of us -- whether they had been involved and testified or declined to testify, contributed to her defense fund, or had at one time been family friends -- are now merely curious onlookers.

But, the question remains: what are we to feel when the verdict is returned?

Is there any relief, or closure to be had? And if not for us, then how can any be had for the family members? Will any of them go a single day without thoughts of this?

Any responses?

posted by: Parquetry is a good word on 09.01.05 at 11:17 AM [permalink]

A better question:

Do her friends and supporters think that she will remember their names in six months time?

posted by: I still seriously doubt it on 09.01.05 at 11:24 AM [permalink]

A blog is just that, a forum that allows people who feel strongly about a certain subject to be able to vent their feelings, thoughts and listen to others with a similar interest or concern. There is obviously an interest there for all people who read this message, as their curiosity, concern or anger about the situation has lead you to source this page out, just as I did many months ago.

To answer your question, none of us can do anything, which ever way the courts decide. All we can do is spare a thought for the poor families and friends who have been dragged unwittingly through a horrendous situation.

I wasn't a friend of Nancy's but I did know Nancy and her children, and I feel for the life changing events that have occurred to those poor innocent children.

It still doesn't stop me however from feeling the need to vent my feelings of frustrations at the way the court case seems to be going, and think how this event in my life, even as an outsider, has consumed many hours of my thoughts. When it's close to home I guess you get like that. It's only human nature after all. It then leads me to thinking of how if you times that by a million, you get some sort of idea of how family members, friends, work colleagues cope with it all. Very sad, all for one moment of extremely bad judgment on Nancy's behalf. I have no sorrow for her. Just the others left behind to sort it all out.

To "seriously doubt it", Yes your right, I am sure they will long be forgotten, but I think the feeling will be mutual as they won't be interested in visiting Nancy in a cold dirty prison in Hong Kong.

We will eventually forget, go on with our lives as if nothing has happened, but I truly hope justice prevails and Rob's family can at least feel some closure to the whole sorry event and THEY feel that justice has been done. That's the LEAST they deserve.

posted by: totally disgusted on 09.01.05 at 02:53 PM [permalink]


What I seriously doubt right now is that you comprehend my meaning. Allow me to expand:

I suspect it is precisely Nancy's Friend and Supporter who is now quietly praying for a guilty verdict.

What would this Friend and Supporter do if a not guilty verdict is returned? She would have nothing to do and no injustice to rant about. She would no longer have any reason to be so thankful about her own dull existance. And she would certainly be long forgotten by her Friend (oh: I am so sorry to point out that in the real world, the concept of 'friendship' implies reciprocity. What Friend and Supporter is doing is more akin to sponsoring a doomed animal in a petting zoo.)

No, I suspect Friend and Supporter desparately wants a guilty verdict: She will then be able to continue her crusade, extolling herown altruism by taking time away from her family to visit her friend each week, bringing her tissues and crackers and drawing paper. She would be able to continue to transpose all the perceived injustices onto her own meaningless life, while bearing none of the actual pain. And in so doing, giving some twisted meaning to her own pathetic life.

And in her heart of hearts, I wonder: does she really think I am wrong?

posted by: I seriously doubt it on 09.01.05 at 03:43 PM [permalink]

To I Seriously doubt it - O.k I understand your meaning. I get the feeling you know this person "quite well" so you are able to come to this conclusion!

On another note, I have read two newspaper articles today that have two comments I am interested in anyone who may be able to shed some more light on.

One being from a Russian newspaper stating:
Lunn (the judge) reminded the jury: "Have regard to the fact that Robert Kissel was well-built ... and the defendant is a relatively slightly built female."
What are your feelings on this, what do you think he is "indicating" here??

Also from another:
When King rested, the judge summarized the arguments and delivered instructions to the jury, explaining that it had the option to find that Nancy Kissel had committed manslaughter "by reason of provocation," instead of murder, killing him during a "temporary and sudden loss of self control."
Does anyone have any ideas on what is meant by this statement?

Also I have read that for either of these charges quote "The maximum penalty on that charge is also life in jail. There is no minimum."

I live overseas now and rely on newspaper reports to keep in touch with what is going on.

posted by: TD on 09.01.05 at 06:39 PM [permalink]

To Parquetry is a good word and to Totally disgusted:
One point you are overlooking, and the only reason why you overlook this point is because the prosecution didn’t elaborate on it as they should have.

The prosecutions discovered after further investigation that there was a porn search program that was installed and then uninstalled in Rob’s computer on two different occasions.

On both occasions Rob was out of town and could not have installed this program. Since it was a porn search program that explains the excessive amount of hits the computer got on that two day period.

None of the porn sites were hit again outside of those two dates when Rob was out of town. So what does that tell us? First, that someone came to visit and installed the programs during their stay with Nancy, which is unlikely, or that Nancy had the whole story pre-planned and installed these search programs to back up her story of forced anal sex.

The fact that she claims anal sex is here-say, it’s her word only and that is not backed up by any medical proof!

Why wasn’t she examined for scar tissue? She says he didn’t use any lubricant. If he had in fact forced her, she would have ripped anal tissue and would have been able to prove it through a simple exam, but that never happened either. Why? Because IT NEVER HAPPENED!

There is no evidence to back up anything she has claimed yet the defense attorney still insists that Rob assulted her with a bat, DNA evidence or not. And as we all know, there was no DNA evidence on the bat which, by the way, the defense hid for 2 years!

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that she is guilty as sin, I just hope the jury is smart enough to figure that out!

And what will we think if she gets off? I have no idea. Shock, dismay, let down by the justice system?

What did we think when OJ got off? Guilty, with a lot of money to pay for his defense? In her case, to get one of the best lawyers in town on Rob’s dime no less.

No matter what happens she will always be guilty in some of our eyes and all we can do is trust that if she gets off, her conscious will eventually do her in.
As I have said before, the world is round!

But not matter what the verdict is, it won’t ease the pain for those of us who have lost someone we loved, respected and cared deeply about. No matter what the verdict, Rob is dead and those of us who knew him and liked him or loved him have to come to terms with that.

Frankly, I still can’t wrap my brain around what happened and I don’t know that I ever will!

Carol Horton

posted by: Carol Japngie-Horton on 09.01.05 at 07:53 PM [permalink]

Just in from AP: "Hong Kong jury Thursday convicted an American of murdering her wealthy investment banker husband by drugging him with a milkshake laced with sedatives and beating him to death in the couple's luxury apartment.

Nancy Kissel was expressionless as the seven-member jury returned the verdict in the November 2003 death of her husband, Robert, of New York."

posted by: ex-HK on 09.01.05 at 09:57 PM [permalink]

Also AP: "The judge sentenced her to life in prison."

posted by: ex-HK on 09.01.05 at 10:01 PM [permalink]

Verdict is in. Guilty, guilty, guilty to murder. Rest of her miserable life in a Hong Kong prison.

posted by: Peter on 09.01.05 at 10:12 PM [permalink]

God watch over the children. I hope they find peace.

Thank you, Simon, for providing us with updates all this time.

posted by: hmm on 09.01.05 at 10:17 PM [permalink]

thank god.

posted by: hillary on 09.01.05 at 11:32 PM [permalink]

It may be over, and it may be a little too early to bring up this topic: we should be helping each other to find peace and closure, but am I the only one to continue to have some serious questions about the conduct, competence and seeming inadequacies of the HK Police Department and their investigative methodology?

posted by: I seriously doubt it on 09.02.05 at 01:03 AM [permalink]


I hope her new cell mates give her the *love* and attention she deserves.

posted by: John on 09.02.05 at 01:21 AM [permalink]

May Nancy rot in hell for what she did to her husband, her kids and to her in-laws. Nancy is a true sociopath and her lies have completely disgusted me. As the years go by she will realize that, if she was so unhappy in her marriage she would have been better off leaving with neither the children nor a dime in her pocket. She will realize that a life of poverty, even the trailer with the white trash T.V. repairman would have been better than a Chinese prison.

Unfortunately, the Kissel family members are also prisoners. Imprisoned by their grief and their loss. Please, don't forget that they were also Nancy's victims as were her three children. I pray daily that the Kissel's can eventually heal and find happiness and that Rob's children can find comfort, hope and happiness in their lives despite how they and their father were betrayed and victimized by their "loving" mother.

posted by: R.G. on 09.02.05 at 01:39 AM [permalink]

Justice has been served!, But that will NEVER bring my good friend back to me! Nancy now has the rest of her life to re-live what she has done every day! Her friends and relatives may forget about her after some time, but I will NEVER forget Robert for what he truely was a caring, Intelligent, outgoing, loyal friend and father! I hope you all do too!! God Bless you Rob! Now you can rest in peace! I will miss you so much!
Your friend forever,

posted by: Daniel Williams on 09.02.05 at 03:01 AM [permalink]

fyi: This is from The Taipei Times -- June 2005
■ Hong Kong
Jails close to breaking point
A prison service boss warned yesterday that riots could break out in Hong Kong's jails because of acute overcrowding and a shortage of guards. The situation is particularly acute in women's prisons, which are filled to more than double their normal capacity, said Sunny Leung, head of the territory's Lai Chi Kok reception center. Leung said overcrowding threatened to set off riots like those seen in Hong Kong's Stanley Prison in 1973. He also warned there were not enough guards to cope with the rapid increase in prisoner numbers. Lai Chi Kok reception center was built for 960 inmates but now holds 1,500, while the Tai Lam women's prison was built for 245 inmates but currently holds 610.

posted by: hillary on 09.02.05 at 03:09 AM [permalink]

The arguments in this entire web site from those of you who were supporters were outrageous. No one in their right mind could have looked at all the evidence and thought anything other than guilty. Those who supported her obviously were oblivious to much. GET A LIFE NOW, it's over and let justice rein.

posted by: From a far on 09.02.05 at 03:44 AM [permalink]

Truth and justice have prevailed!!!

However, no one should be happy about this, as it is a true human tragedy. Sure, Nancy Keeshin gets to spend the rest of her life in a Chinese prison, and will have plenty of time to relive her miserable past and to deal with the tsunami of destruction that she has caused.

Given that murder was a foregone conclusion, she has further buried herself and whatever reputation she had left by concocting the most bizarre explanation for why she murdered the man to whom she walked down the aisle with and pledged allegiance and fidelity. It appears that she gave no thought to "coming clean" and dealing with her murderous act by properly admitting what she did. Had she done that, she could have avoided this circus and protected her CHILDREN!!!


None of this will bring Robert back. None of this will soothe the souls of his bereaved family members, friends, acquaintences and fellow human beings that Rob shone his light on.

Are there any human lessons to be learned? I think so.

1. Know your partner.
2. Know your partner.
3. Know your partner.

Too often, people jump into relationships and are smitten by passion and are blinded to the truth of another person's inner self.

As easy as it is to marry someone, separation and divorce are hard and divorce is a painful, expensive, emotionally exhausting process.

Nancy perpetrated the most venal fraud on her family and society as a whole; but fortunately, the judicial system has prevailed.


posted by: ITB on 09.02.05 at 04:20 AM [permalink]

I have been reading this thread (daily) and I believe that justice is served.

However, everyone suffers (in this case).

A moment (or more) of thoughtless action(s), has resulted in a life full of regrets and repentance.

I think it is time for us to wish Robert Kissel, his kids, his family, and even Nancy's (I won't write her last name) family all the best.

Even Nancy's parents and friends are innocent or misinformed victims and let us not forget that. Yes?


posted by: NK on 09.02.05 at 06:02 AM [permalink]

The victim’s father, William Kissel, expressed delight. He said: “That’s justice. All the allegations made in the court [about Robert] are false, untrue. And Robert, I pray, can now rest in peace and his children can go on with their lives in peace knowing their father loved them and they are his dear children.”

posted by: from disgusted to relieved on 09.02.05 at 09:01 AM [permalink]

just a shoutout to all the wonderfull people who bailed her out and gave her a place to stay while she lied and squirmed in the court rm and gave her the nourishment she needed to countinue her crime.and a sorry note to the repairguy that feed the fire to murder.

posted by: buck on 09.02.05 at 10:44 AM [permalink]

'Delighted' may not be the right word to describe what Mr. Bill Kissel is feeling at present. I have spoken to him this morning and it was my impression would be more that he is 'relieved' that the trial is over, 'pleased' with the result and that the jury did not believe any of the allegations made about Robert. However, I could hear the edge of 'sadness' in his voice when he said that nothing the court could impose upon Nancy would bring his son back to him, but equally he is now 'hopeful' that the three grandchildren will be able to grow and retain the memory of how much their father loved them.

He has expressed concern and thanks for those here who came forward to tell of what they knew of Robert's charachter, and he also expressed the hope that all could find peace and closure.

I know that I speak for many others here in Hong Kong who will join me when I say that we wish peace for Mr. Kissel and for the families involved, that we offer our prayers for the safety and well-being of all his grandchildren, and that we will remember warmly the happier times that we shared together.

posted by: what now? on 09.02.05 at 01:25 PM [permalink]

As a lawyer in Hong Kong it is difficult not to follow this tragic circus and my heart goes out to all who are suffering as a result.

Unfortunately I do not think this case has shown the Hong Kong legal system in a very good light. The investigation by the police was a shambles from the initial interview of Nancy onwards. For instance why only conduct a forensic investigation of part of a room. If they had done their job properly from the beginning I doubt there would have been room for debate over her guilt or innocence. Certainly not to the extent of the debate on this site.

Two other points concern me. It seems that Lunn J has adopted a very pro prosecution approach, which is dangerous as it may render a conviction unsafe.

My second concern is that is seems to me the premeditation theory does not stand up. If you plan to murder a person you would also plan to dispose of the body not sleep with it for 2 nights.

I know the jury appear not to have been concerned about this but this may be because the point was not given any degree of prominence in directions which lasted two days.

Almost certainly there will be an appeal but it remains to be seen if it will be partly or wholly successful.

I am not saying nancy is innocent. As far as I am concerned large parts of her case made little or no sense. For instance forced sex while holding or threatening with a baseball bat. I am just concerned that the same could be said for parts of the prosecution case.

Both the victim's and (now) convicted families are entitled to expect the judicial system to provide them with some form of closure. I am just sorry for both of them that the matter will almost certainly be resurrected in the Court of Appeal.

Finally regarding the comments re "a Chinese jail" Hong Kong jails are about the best run in the world. If I had to choose between being incarcarated in a UK or US or HK jail given that unhappy choice I would choose a HK jail by a mile. HK jail overcrowding problems are trifling compared with overcrowding in the UK and US.

posted by: troubled on 09.02.05 at 03:48 PM [permalink]

The evidence clearly leads to the jury's verdict.

I don't have the full transcript of the judge's directions to jury. Perhaps our lawyer friend does.

I agree with his point about the jails in Hong Kong. No picnic, but certainly no worse than those in the US and UK.

For American readers, the judicial system here in Hong Kong is open and transparent, and conducted in this case throughout in the language of the accused, with Tagalog translation into English when required.

The police investigation may have been botched. But the facts were before the court.

Nancy Kissel should have gone with a plea of guilty with diminished responsibilty and this whole hurtful, ugly case would have attracted 20 column inches, and none of the above diatribe I've read this morning would have been written.

posted by: rational on 09.02.05 at 04:45 PM [permalink]

I agree with 'troubled'. That is the one point I have concern for - I believe she was intending to kill him but I'm not sure that it was suppose to happen the evening that it did. Something happened to trigger her off as she was ill-prepared for the disposal of the body. She had researched drugs etc but for sure, she wld have had a plan in mind for afterwards. This is the most troubling point and had I been on the jury I probably wld not have been able to find her guilty of murder for that reason (though I would have liked to) but instead wld have suggested manslaughter.
By the way, can anyone tell me what life imprisonment means in Hong Kong - 20 years? 10 years?
As with everyone, it is the children that I am the most sorry for.

posted by: Sam D on 09.02.05 at 04:49 PM [permalink]

She made the milkshake for him with the drugs in probably because she found the email through to Rob with divorce lawyers names on. It would have enraged her and she decided to do the deed and work out the details later I would say. I think she planned to get rid of his body by driving it somewhere, but she didn't plan on it being so hard. The rental of the storeroom was probably just a temporary arrangement in her plans.

posted by: maybe on 09.02.05 at 05:06 PM [permalink]

About Premediatation....she administered the drugs, did she not? Mixing up the concoction requires both time and presence of mind; it is not the "panic reaction" required by manslaughter. But I take your point if she did, in fact, panic when she saw that the drugs were not going to do the trick. Still, it is unprovoked.

posted by: ex-HK on 09.02.05 at 05:09 PM [permalink]

'Do the deed'? (quote from Maybe) The forensic of brain damage is on the record.

There are tough but negoitable ways out of marriage, and a life of luxury.
This was the worst.

posted by: rational on 09.02.05 at 05:26 PM [permalink]

Yes, the problem with saying she would have planned differently assumes that she did not plan differently. We don't know what she planned to do because she didn't say when she testified.

Either case mentioned by 'ex-HK' or 'maybe' here is possible. Perhaps she planned that the drugs would kill him. Perhaps she thought she'd be able to get his body in her car (she did go down to the car park at 2 am), but he was just too heavy.
Or perhaps the person that can hit someone's skull until their brain matter comes out just isn't that grossed out by the thought of his dead body being in the room for a while.

Why assume she would have had a GOOD plan? If she is capable of planning murder, doesn't that prove she's capable of some very bad judgement?

posted by: hmmm on 09.02.05 at 05:47 PM [permalink]

Most criminals are stupid. They don't think through or are incapable of thinking through the ramifications or outcomes of their actions. In this respect, Nancy is no different than a common hood. The fact that Nancy could murder her husband and sleep soundly with Rob's body below her bed, while she planned her next move, demonstrates that she had criminal intent and is a complete sociopath. The fact that she spun lie after lie on the stand shows the same thing. She had absolutely no feeling for her husband or her children. All she cared about were her own selfish needs. That is the text book definition of a sociopath (FYI, sociopaths used to be refered to as psychopaths). Nancy is where she belongs for the rest of her life. She is a danger to everyone around her, not just her immediate family. She will never be a fully functional member of society because there is no cure for a person born without a conscience. She is that kind of person.

Years ago, I spent an evening with Rob and Nancy having drinks at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. They had just started dating. As I look back on that evening and that first meeting, it is hard for me to comprehend that I was sitting across the table from someone capable of such EVIL. I met Rob when I was a teenager. He was always a gentleman and he deserved so much better than this. I will always hurt for his children and his family. I pray that in the years to come that his children find peace and happiness and that they are raised in a stable, loving and nurturing family structure. Rob, may you rest in peace.

posted by: R.G. on 09.03.05 at 03:24 AM [permalink]

R.G you are totally right, the right decision was made to imprison her for life, how she planned or didn't plan, is irrelevant, if it wasn't for her actions Rob would be alive today.

I just hope any talk of appeal does not further affect either families in the future. She is now where she was meant to be a long time ago. She had the luxury that most murderers do not have and that is to walk around freely for a year, after beating someones skull in - unbelievable!
I just wish now that her lies and deceit have been proven, that she actually uses those longs hours of incarceration to do the right thing by her children and Rob’s legacy and tell them the truth. But then again, she had many options to do that right from the start and never did. You can't teach an old dog new tricks can you??!

posted by: Maybe on 09.03.05 at 08:45 AM [permalink]

I know exactly what will happen.

Nancy will get herself transferred to a US jail to do her time. The lawyers over there will have her case reopened, retried with American lawyers, heard by an American liberal judge and tried by an American liberal Jury! (I don't know how, but I'm sure the lawyers will find a way!)

There will be new expert testimony, new expert evidence from eminent experts explaining how and why it is Nancy who really is the victim. They will explain why the whole handling of the case was botched by incompetent Hongkong police! And how Nancy was victimised again by the incompetent Hongkong justice system! etc etc etc....

Basically it will be the defence case - but this time heard by an American court.

After a few years of appeals and more appeals, Nancy will be found innocent and walk free.

Then she will write a book all about it. It will be titled :-

"Nancy Kissel : My Story. They said I killed my husband."

[Otherwise I'm really sorry for the kids that they will have to go through this.]

posted by: anotherhkguy on 09.03.05 at 09:47 AM [permalink]

"Nancy Kissel : My Story.How aliens invaded my bedroom anally raped me and
did a examination of my hubbys brain.

posted by: ray on 09.03.05 at 10:59 AM [permalink]

It is reported that Nancy's lawyers are planning to appeal.

Appeal? If she appeals and keeps repeating her (alleged) lies, she will only destroy what remains of her children's (normal) future.

How can this woman be so horribly selfish? It is really Robert's bad luck that in this whole wide world he would select such a person to be his lifetime partner. "Lifetime," yes, ironically true.

posted by: Shocked! on 09.03.05 at 11:02 AM [permalink]

APPEAL....Yes and the sad thing is that I am sure the lawyers will be eating into every last dollar of the rest of what Rob would have left for his children's future.

When will this selfish, nasty woman ever leave what is left of her children's lives alone, for them to finally have a chance to be normal loved children? It's going to be bad enough for them to have to come to terms with what she has done to all their lives already.

It's disgusting, she made her bed, she should now lie in it! Gives us all a bloody break!??

posted by: Leave it be you silly cow! on 09.03.05 at 12:39 PM [permalink]

What convinces me that there wouldn't be any closure, and that it is just beginning, is because Nancy hasn't shown even the slightest iota of remorse in anything she has said. It has been : "Me Victim!" all the way.

Maybe if she hadn't drugged Robert, maybe if had called the police immediately after she hit him on the head; it might be believable that they had a fight and that it was somehow accidental. Manslaughter cases are often like that.

King SC called the prosecution case "beyond belief." He was really talking about the defense case!! I wonder if that wasn't a bit of "British style" tongue in cheek for him.

The past two years have just been the tip of the iceberg. Now the "real" saga will start.


We all will soon wish we never ever heard of Nancy.....

posted by: anotherhkguy on 09.03.05 at 12:59 PM [permalink]

to John 09.02.05

I think you are transfering the US jail culture to Hongkong. It just isn't like that in jails here. Nancy is rich, has lawyers, and most importantly, is white and an American. Nobody will hurt her, nobody will dare touch her.

posted by: anotherhkguy on 09.03.05 at 01:20 PM [permalink]

Link to the The Standard on the possible appeal:

posted by: Letters from China on 09.03.05 at 01:43 PM [permalink]

Suppose, just suppose, that Nancy Kissel was, in fact, abused as she claimed. Would the people who have been baying for blood on this site, think differently of her? If the appeal were to show actual (not made up) incompetence on the part of the police, would the attitudes expressed above change?

I think it is important to separate out grief over Rob Kissel's demise, and the facts. If the facts are as the Prosecution has argued, then she merits the sentence of life. If they are not, and there were facts inadvertently ignored or deliberately omitted then these should be heard. It is wrong to suggest that an Appeal would be selfish of her, if her conviction is wrongful.

It does seem from everything I have read in the press that no sane jury really could have acquitted her. But, coming from a country (UK) where there have been gross miscarriages of justice I have to say we should respect the right of Nancy Kissel to appeal - just in case. I realise this causes more pain and impedes closure, but it is all the same imperative that we be sure when we send someone to prison for life.

BTW can someone please clarify the issue of the two installations and then deletions of porn search software when Rob Kissel was out of town? I missed this, was it reported?

Also, did the person who says s/he lived beneath the Kissels and heard rows, etc., testify at the trial? If not, why not?

Finally, why did not the Defence ask Del Priore to testify? What she said to him during all of those phone calls, surely was relevant. Did anyone consider charging him for being complicit in the murder? Could they have so charged him?

posted by: Justice on 09.03.05 at 02:34 PM [permalink]


You claim to be in legal profession yourself (if I remember correctly from your posts above).

And you still harbor an element of doubt? I pity everyone you represent or defend in courts, and that's just my observation from what I seem to remember from your initial comments stating you are interested in this case as you yourself are in legal profession or what have you (forgive me if I am wrong).

I will go one step further to what I think:

I allege that Robert Kissel passed out on the bed, as in unconscious. He was probably (and allegedly) dragged (down) to the foot of the bed. And hit, so that the stains wouldn't be obvious.

Anyway, just a speculative thought.

Now, show me a woman who can avoid a baseball bat in the hands of a man (as fit as Robert) towering on top of her. And then, hit that man five bloody times on the (right side of his face and) head.

I am a man and I challenge you, try to (violently) bring an object near my head or face or body, and if you are a svelte woman (like Nancy), I can assure you that you would be in a hospital with your arm in a sling.

Geddit? Or do you need a coffee before you really wake up?

posted by: Shocked! on 09.03.05 at 02:53 PM [permalink]

And to answer your question, it is reported that Michael Del Priore is in hiding since all this happened. His own brother supposedly said that to "The Standard," one of Hong Kong's (tabloid) newspaper.

He can and should be questioned. If it seems that he was involved, he could be charged with "accessory to murder."

And hey, I am not a lawyer, but I am not insane to suggest that an appeal against a unanimous judgment of 7-0 is giving a "chance" to someone who has been lying outright.

And I know that she has a right to appeal, but she should be thinking about her children's future, rather than try to save her sorry a*s.

She has done enough damage already. And she surely doesn't look like an angel if she was bonking (she admitted to that) a trailer-trash handyman, yes?

posted by: Shocked! on 09.03.05 at 03:06 PM [permalink]

I feel there is still a mixed bag of questions, and mysteries, and from a neutral perspective, believe this story will be going on a little longer.

I am writing a magazine article, and am in Hong Kong presently, and would like to talk to friends of this marriage for any personal insights into this unhappy marriage.

As I was in the courtroom for a few days sequentially, I would like also to answer questions from North American reader.

1. The jurors were five men, two women - youthful, wholesome looking Chinese people.

2. I felt all the legal professionals were good, and had to work with the information they had, which was insufficient in many areas.

3. The jury had no avenue open to them except to do what they did.

I think life setences in UK law are not flexible for good time off as in the USA. I think it might mean forever and ever.

4. Not one word in court - of real evidence, facts, photos, etc. - could prove that the husband had a malignant thread in him.

5. My own mind was and is confused by the contradictions in this story.

I have never known of such suicidal carelessness in a premeditated murder.

Nancy knew that she was under a detective's scrutiny, the divorce had been hovering about for months, and yet her phone calls
to her lover, her drug purchasing, and her drugging of the husband's friend - right when the kids are around - do all seem to be a different type of Coldly Premeditated Murder than I have ever read about.

It seems as another writer on these blogs has pointed out that, she just wanted to be premeditated enough to kill her husband, and at that point the premeditation stopped.

Nancy may as well have hung out neon signs saying Come And Get Me, if she was thinking for one second that she could walk off with a big fortune and a new husband.

It is just this level of non-intelligence that is hard to accept, unless she was crazy.

I also do not think those commit heinous crimes should walk on the insanity plea.

There were no tests for alleged anal rape.

There were no photos of the alleged violence done to her either.

The pornographic searches on computer only yielded a few days of kinky sex searches.

Not one lover of the husband, either gay or heterosexual, was ever found anywhere, which was remarkable, considering his wealth, status, mobility, and miserable marriage.

The two household servants spoke well of the husband, and mentioned that the wife had declined in mood during the last year of the marriage. Rob had generously aided one of these helpers in purchasing real estate in her home country.

The local police, while not behaving as the police in America, were generous to allow Nancy time to partially repair herself before facing court, and as native Chinese, have to work within two systems, and bridge The Cultural Gap.

Finally, the mother of Nancy too deserves some compassion, for both spouses" families were tragically struck suddenly by destruction of their grandchildren's joy and security, that they did not seem to see coming.

One day I saw several children, only nine or ten, with hairstyles professionally coiffed at an upscale salon, sit unknowingly in the front row of the visitors section beside the mother of Nancy.

The dignified and friendly woman was overcome with emotion, and rose quietly and sat out the rest of that session. Some of us were very sensitive to her suffering.

Nancy and Rob would not have risen so high, and enjoyed a good reputation as a family for some time, had there not been some supportiveness and concern from both sides of their family.

Please contact me if you wish to talk to me about your personal thoughts and memories concerning this marriage.

I am not an abrasive writer, or a much-raker, and don't intend more than a poignant human-interest article.

posted by: Arielle Gabriel on 09.03.05 at 05:02 PM [permalink]

A.G, there is a simple way of looking at Nancy's apparent "suicidal carelessness" : she planned to do this thing, gave it her best shot, found that it was much harder than it looked; and finally freaked out and made a big mess of it.

This happens when you are doing something you are not good at.

posted by: anotherhkguy on 09.03.05 at 05:38 PM [permalink]

There is an even simpler way of looking at her "suicidal carelesness". She is, like our dear "Nancy supporter", an American woman well schooled in the American "me-victim" school of feminism, the school that inevitably assumes that if a woman does evil a man must have made her do it. That assumption, feminism mixed with misguided chivalry, is enough to get a lot of women off in US courts. Far from being, as Nancy supporter, said, "sexist", Hong Kong's courts don't so easily fall for that claptrap. They expect women to be as responsible for their own actions as men. That's what TRUE feminism means.

I think she's a total sociopath. She has no sense of remorse at all, whether in terms of blackening a dead man's name, harming her children, asking her daughter to serve a drugged milkshake, murdering her husband.

The irony is that part of that attempt to blacken her husband, the "anal sex" searches on the computer, not only exonerate him as he was out of town, but strongly suggest premeditation not only of the crime, but of the defence strategy.

She was going for the "battered wife syndrome" get-out-of-jail free card, but apparently even her defence lawyers didn't think it would wash.

I don't see an appeal getting her off. And I don't see how a crime in Hong Kong jurisdiction can be retried in the US. I do see those who only believe "women are always victims" trying. I do see strings being pulled. That's exactly what she hopes for.

As for the person who spoke of her being a "victim" in prison. No way. A person with no conscience is probably the meanest fish in the whole pool. Even now she's not crying out of anything more than sympathy for herself. No remorse for Robert, none for the children. It's chilling.

posted by: Doc_Ock on 09.03.05 at 08:19 PM [permalink]

Dear "Shocked",
No, I am not a lawyer. And, no it was not me "above". I never said this about myself.

It is as if you are simply hitting out.

Importantly, I am sorry you are so upset by what I posted.

I really wanted to challenge the view that an appeal would be wrong "in principle". This suggestion is not wild. It was also accompanied by caveats (please reread in case they were missed).

Perhaps, Simon wants to insist again on the tone that people posting should adhere to when responding? Why cannot we not have a discussion instead of a slanging match? I felt/feel for people like Danny Williams (to name one among many), but do not wish to be bullied for suggesting that all have a right to appeal, within the law.

posted by: Justice on 09.04.05 at 12:50 AM [permalink]

In that case Justice, please accept my sincere apologies.

I didn't mean to suggest you were insane or what have you, I think I was writing my thoughts as in the lawyers or Nancy or both are insane to appeal.

Hope that confusion is cleared. I repeat that despite her chance to appeal, and she has every right to do so, I think dragging this any further cannot be good for her children.

And at this stage, they are all that matter.

posted by: Shocked! on 09.04.05 at 02:02 AM [permalink]

Someone asked what does a life sentence in Hong Kong mean - allow me to answer.

It means until you die but after a period of time a lifer can apply to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong for a fixed sentence. They are then eligable to apply for release on license after serving two thirds of the sentence. This is not a guaranteed route.

She can also apply for her sentence to be served in her home country although a Hong Kong prison is probably a lot safer for her.

posted by: Phil on 09.04.05 at 06:59 AM [permalink]

SCMP reports Ira Keeshin, Nancy's father had to borrow US$1.5 million to pay lawyers and stuff. That shows she wasn't defending herself on Robert's money.

Does anyone know if HK lawyers charge more for an appeal? Will Keeshin have to borrow more? Or would lawyers include appeal charges in earlier fees?

Also, what are the rules for appeal in HK? Can the case be retried without further evidence?

Many questions. Why did the judge send the baseball bat and transcripts to director of public prosecutions? Does that mean there is something fishy?

Whoever said above was right. The "real" saga has just started. No end in sight.

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.04.05 at 12:22 PM [permalink]


Noted, with thanks.

You are of course absolutely right to insist that even if there is additional "evidence" or if there has been "impropriety" on the part of officials, which support an appeal, Nancy Kissel should, from a moral standpoint, think of the effects of an appeal on her children. If she is guilty, and she knows it (she may not know this, even if it is true) then it would be deeply immoral to proceed with an appeal.

posted by: Justice on 09.04.05 at 12:44 PM [permalink]


The tesimony and court transcripts about the bat were sent to the Director of Prosecutions to address the prospective impropriety of the Defense Attorney removing a piece of critical evidence from the crime scene days after the arrest and not producing it to the police, the court or giving notice of its existance or their possession until the third week of July this summer when it was brought to court and the self-defense testimony was introduced. At the time, the Judge stated to the Defense attorneys that there could be action taken against them. The bat was taken from the apartment when the defense attorneys, accompanied by her father, went to the apartment three/four days after her arrest.

I.e.: Fishy? Like a week old sardine sandwich left in your gym bag. Another oversight by the police? Seemingly so. Will the forensic tests on the bat be a possible topic of the appeal? Probably. But will anything be done to the attorneys?

posted by: I seriously doubt it on 09.04.05 at 12:50 PM [permalink]

Those legal costs posted above make me feel so sick.

I read in the papers that Nancy Kissel stood to be the main beneficiary of Robert's estate. She would have automatically lost this legal right on a court verdict of guilty of murder. But she would have retained her inheritance rights if she had gotten off either scot free, which she wanted, or at least manslaughter on account of self defense.

That was why Nancy Kissel had to plead innocent and had to accuse Robert of this and that.

That is why it has cost her father so much in legal fees. How is the poor guy going to pay it off? He's going to lose everything he has.

Has anyone raised this point?

posted by: ifeelsick on 09.04.05 at 01:11 PM [permalink]

Here is what I read on the EastSouthWestNorth page. It's a translation of something in the Chinese papers.

"(Apple Daily, September 2, 2005) Robert Kissel was the Managing Director of the global principal investments group at Merrill Lynch. He was receiving HK$ 1.36 million per year with bonuses and incentives. DUring the past three years, he received bonuses and rewards totalling HK$46 million. He had purchased five insurance contracts worth HK$50 million with the Nancy Ann Kissel as the beneficiary. With the conviction of Nancy Ann Kissel, it is believed that she will lose the right of inheritance.

According to barrister Luk Wei-hung, if the accused is convicted of murder or even manslaughter, then no matter whether the deceased had established a will, or whether the accused was designated as an inheritor, she will legally have lost all rights to inherit the estate. Furthermore, if the court accepts that the accused acted in self-defense, then even if she openly admitted to killing her husband, she will be entitled to the estate if there is a will that lists her as a beneficiary. Even if there is no way, she will still be entitled to the estate as the spouse of the deceased. In this case, as of now, the self-defense clause does not operate and that is why it is believed that she will lose the right of inheritance.

As for the insurance money, Luk Wei-hung pointed out that the accused was found guilty of murder and she is the sole beneficiary of the insurance policies and therefore the insurance companies will not pay out. Conversely, if she had been found not guilty, then the insurance companies will have to pay according to what the policies say. Each insurance company has its own unique rules, so the final decision will depend on what the policy says. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Insurance Industry Association, the rule is that if the insured is murdered by the beneficiary, then the beneficiary shall lose the right to be paid. Ordinarily, the insurance company will still forward the payout to the estate of the insured."

Now note carefully the words "spouse of deceased"

Robert was going to divorce her. She couldn't allow that.

posted by: ifeelsick on 09.04.05 at 01:24 PM [permalink]

what on earth is the headline on SCMP website "Kissel may have planned to ship husband's body to US" about? As I am not a subscriber to SCMP (and have no intentions to be!) could someone enlighten me on this develoment please!

posted by: overseas reader on 09.04.05 at 01:25 PM [permalink]

Where can we read the transcript of the ruling? Is it available on internet? Will someone post the link here?

posted by: anxious on 09.04.05 at 01:39 PM [permalink]

A bit of interesting official HK data on conversion of mandatory life sentences to determinate length sentences (fixed length sentences). From mid-2000 to mid-2004, 446 mandatory life sentences were reviwed, of which 13 were converted to determinate sentences. This process is undertaken by the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Board. Follow the link to the pdf file from the bottom of the following page for the details.


posted by: fyi on 09.04.05 at 02:02 PM [permalink]

Overseas Reader:

The SCMP story is about Nancy contacting a relocation company on Nov. 5. It seems she asked for quotes for shipping property back to US. Other reports elsewhere talk about 20 bottles of peppermint oil and some boxes and tape.

Rug, storeroom, peppermint oil, boxes, ship overseas, missing persons report...WHOA! Not premeditated? Don't look like "mental meltdown" anymore.

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.04.05 at 03:23 PM [permalink]

I seriously doubt it:

Thanks for the info. For two years "they" didn't think nothing about such a critical evidence - the bat?

Let the old sardine sandwich be unwrapped ;-)

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.04.05 at 03:37 PM [permalink]

A few things:

1. For the most part comments have remained civil, despite the intensity of feelings on all sides. Let's keep it that way.

2. I repeat a request that any mainstream media account that relies on comments or contacts found via this site please make a reference to this site as the location where that source was found.

3. Many places retain a right of appeal in criminal trials. These appeals cannot review facts already determined in the original trial. They can address errors in law or potentially consider new evidence. There may be grounds for appeal over the judge's directions to the jury, for example. We can argue about the quality of the prosecution and defence, but the HK court system has worked exactly as it should. As for the costs of the case, this is a murder tial with big shot lawyers being engaged. I'm not aware of American lawyer costs, but I imagine a top lawyer defending in a similar case would also cost significant amounts of money. Justice ain't cheap, rightly or wrongly.

posted by: Simon on 09.04.05 at 04:10 PM [permalink]

Well said Simon. I hope you can post the transcript of today's SCMP story like your other transcripts as that provides important info. and angle of premeditation in my opinion.

I think people with "mental meltdown" don't go shopping, talking on phone, writing emails, and canceling or arranging appointments. They would probably be sitting next to the body and dumbfounded. They might not even have the mental presence to stop children or maids coming near the body.

Let Ira Keeshin not get any poorer than he already is.

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.04.05 at 04:37 PM [permalink]

Dear AncorTV thanks for updating me on the SCMP story regarding Nancy looking into shipping property back to the U.S. Is anyone able to cut and paste it into this site??

This is UNBELIEVABLE, to me (and I have watched and read over every piece of information on the case I can get hold of) this is a big puzzle piece that was missing, FOUND! Why wasn't this reported to the court? Or was it?

For me I always wondered what she thought she was going to do with the body, yet this is BRILLIANT! Take him down to the store room, wrap him up in further plastic, douse him in 20 bottles of peppermint oil, ship him back to the empty garage in Vermount!!!

I guess she had two nights to think this one out, while the poor man rotted at the bottom of her bed.

As an ex expat of HK I know it would be near impossible to hide a body, let alone dump it without being seen, so having someone else back their truck up to the storeroom, send off 10 boxes (or whatever she intended to send along with poor old Rob) and wave goodbye!

O.k we all know there is customs. But I know personally from moving my stuff to HK in 1999 and back to Oz in 2004 that nothing was gone through. There is too much going in and out of HK and US, the chances would have been slim that they would have been checked, and lets face it, her options were limited. Then to make it even better, the nice removals guys would move the "inconvenience" nicely into the empty garage in Vermont, DONE, with no-one the wiser!

The only problem here of course would have been that she would not have been able to claim on the life insurance policy for quite some years (with no "missing" body found), but eventually, she would have it, and there was enough money there for her I am sure to keep her going until such time....not to mention the greedy young toy boy waiting for her and egging her on back in Vermont!

This, and the fact that nothing was said about the bat being held by HER lawyers for so long, is UNBELIEVABLE. How was that even permissible evidence after such a long time, and in the hands of the very same person who was using it to defend their case...

This was SO PREMEDITATED, I must say I always thought that way, and even so, finding that the jury was unanimous in their guilty of murder decision quite shocked me, but perhaps all these pieces of evidence where all given to them, and we didn't hear everything that came out.

The thought of APPEAL now REALLY makes me MAD, but then again as I have always said, any woman that can kill her hubby in cold blood, the father of her own 3 children, who can email friends the very next day, chat with her boyfriend, probably can't do anything more to surprise us! Nancy Kissel is PURE EVIL, and still, able to take our breath away with her antics.

It's a shame she didn't use her plotting, scheming and original ideas for good use, a plot for a "fictitious novel" and make billions, I have no doubt hollywood is working on it right now!

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.04.05 at 05:01 PM [permalink]

Ex-HK expat:

Two thoughts:

1. Multiple boxes for *separating objects*.

2. Customs.

Think deeper. Are we on same wavelength?

The probable terrifying thought came to me as I read that SCMP story.

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.04.05 at 06:09 PM [permalink]

Talking about fictitious novel... Check these reports on the newspapers last Friday, Sept. 2nd after verdict:

'During the afternoon, a minor confrontation broke out between well- known former American television reporter, Jim Laurie, whose wife was a potential witness for the defense, and William Kissel.

Laurie wondered aloud whether Kissel thought the children had a right to see their mother, Nancy, again.

"What do you think?" replied Kissel. "She's killed her husband and now she's condemned her children" to an unhappy life.


As William Kissel was telling reporters about what he termed the "terrible legacy" his daughter-in-law had left for her children, Nancy Kissel's adviser, former journalist Jim Laurie, said she should be allowed to see her children.

Mr Laurie, a lecturer in journalism at the University of Hong Kong, suggested the children's financial security would be threatened if Robert's brother Andrew, who is facing embezzlement charges in the US, won custody of the children.

Mr Kissel lashed out at the defence's tactic of portraying his son as a sodomist, cocaine addict and alcoholic. "You don't know him [just] because you lived in the same building," he said to Mr Laurie.

"What puts you in a position to judge?" Mr Laurie replied it was "impossible to know what happened" in the relationship.

Mr Kissel shot back: "Are you going to write a book now ... and say Nancy is innocent?" '


Jim Laurie used to live in T.15 where Rob and Nancy lived until he lost his job as a reporter. His wife, a former vietnamese refugee, has been glued to Nancy ever since this tragedy happened and there has been a rumor in the Parkview complex that they have been planning to write a book on this case.

There are always vultures where dead bodies are, and hopefully people will not try to cash on other's tragedy, especially when the whole story was created upon dead man's corpse by his very creative wife, Nancy.

It amazes me that he mentioned the children's right to see their mother. What is she going to tell them? That their father was a coke-headed, alchololic, porn-site surfing, anal and oral sex forcing rapist, 5-minute father, wife beater, his own children abuser? Basically, scum of the earth? His family, friends, colleagues and neighbours know otherwise and now the court proved otherwise. It's time for the Kissels to be left alone to pick up the pieces and move on. I wish a long, healthy life for Mr. William Kissel to guide Rob's children in their less-than-perfect lives ahead.

Now to change the topic, check this article:

'Only three days after bludgeoning her husband Robert to death, Kissel contacted Links Relocations to organise a quote for shipping the contents of her Tai Tam flat and the storeroom where she had the body of her husband stashed.'

So, she wasn't just planning to ship the body. She had planned to relocate back! As Ex-HK expat said, this was the missing puzzle piece. This is why she vacuum-packed Rob with bubble wrap and rolled him with a carpet. He was going to be shipped as a carpet together with all their other belongings! And why is her lover in hiding now as his own brother described? Was he a part of this dumb plan? Why is police not looking into this further?

She and the defense team can appeal as many times as they want, but it seems that the more time goes by, the more evidences seem to surface. After all this pain she has caused to so many people around her, there is one thing she can do for her children ... That is to let them move on with their lives.

posted by: catchme on 09.04.05 at 07:37 PM [permalink]

I feel strongly about the legal costs of the case not because of the fact that good lawyers are expensive but because of Nancy Kissel's motives for pleading not guilty, having done what she did. She just wanted to claim the life insurance and inherit Robert's estate after killing him. And she couldn't do that if she was found guilty of murder nor could she get his money if Robert divorced her, which he was just about to do.

I guess that Ira, as her father, has to believe in her and stand by her. What I feel sick at is what Nancy Kissel has done to her own father. She is so selfish. The trial brought the whole truth of Robert Kissel's death out in the open. Even the kids know she killed their dad. The daughter says she doesn't want to see her anymore. If Nancy had pled guilty, she could have saved both families a whole lot of pain and there wouldn't have been the long trial.

But I wonder if, ironically, a guilty plea might have gained her less than a life sentence? Any HK lawyers here care to comment on what might have happened if Nancy Kissel had pled guilty?

posted by: ifeelsick on 09.04.05 at 09:45 PM [permalink]

If she was going to 'relocate', does anyone know if Nancy had booked flights out of Hong Kong for herself and the children...??

posted by: sophia on 09.04.05 at 11:50 PM [permalink]

In all the press coverage after the judgment, I find it very curious that there has been nothing on Nancy Kissel's biography, at least nothing of substance. She is almost a complete cipher, despite testimony by Hong Kong friends and the participants on this list. I tend to think she was an ordinary person whose world view became twisted with the extreme of self indulgence afforded the life of a Hong Kong taitai, where it doesn't take a lot of wealth to live roughly like billionaires back home, and where there is virtually no pressure to do anything but party. On behalf of your husband's career, of course. I think many otherwise sane women might flip out on this regime. Be that as it may, I'm still surprised that reporters haven't done more to fill out the blanks in her life.

posted by: Fascinated on 09.05.05 at 01:07 AM [permalink]

Hold on! Think about it!

We really need to thank Alexander King SC for all he has done. Who else could have been so professional in exposing the mired facts?

Doesn't he deserve credit? He does! But wait, was he a defense attorney or attorney for the prosecution? I really don't know. It is all so confusing!

It seems I am having a mental meltdown. Oh Lord!

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.05.05 at 01:36 AM [permalink]

Either she played the music and he danced or they both played the music in tune... who knows.

posted by: catchme on 09.05.05 at 04:52 AM [permalink]

I keep looking through the archived accounts and laughing at some of the stupid comments the defense put forward. Such as King's statement re Nancy's meltdown. The reason she "slept" with his dead body for two days was that she was trying to work out how to get it out of her bedroom without being caught! Then he comments on how she rang Rob's mobile phone twice. Of course she did!! She was trying to leave records to suggest that she was trying to find him when he supposedly "walked out of the apartment and disappeared". The funny thing is King, in giving the jury a lot of this information has again reinforced PREMEDITATION in my mind, rather than making me think she was shaken and remorseful!

P.S Thank you Simon for hosting this website to enable us to work through our thoughts, concerns and frustrations! Long live freedom of speech!

posted by: will it ever end? on 09.05.05 at 08:54 AM [permalink]

Calling his mobile phone makes me think she was probably just looking for his phone. When most people I know can't find their mobiles, they ring them and then follow the sound of the ringing. She wouldn't want the maids or the kids to come home and see his mobile sitting on the dining room table after he supposedly left.

Someone else asked if she had booked tickets out of Hong Kong. According to testimony, she had tickets booked for Nov 16.

posted by: hmm on 09.05.05 at 10:02 AM [permalink]

Guess Anchor, catchme and exHKexpat have pretty much hit what nancy kissel was gonna do with Rob but never had the chance to do. Nobody thought to ask her in court what she was going to do if Rob hadn't been found on Nov 5th. She was going to ship him back to the US, maybe in the carpet and bubble wrap or maybe even in 10 or more separate cartons, each body part bubble wrapped and doused with peppermint oil!

Come to think of it, it's a good plan for disposing of the body, if only nancy kissel could get Rob back to the States, nobody would ever be able to trace this. In Hongkong, Robert Kissel would be a missing person nobody ever heard of again. In US, even if his body or body parts were found in some river or landfill some place, his remains would just be an unidentifiable corpse with no clues no leads! Nobody will know that he is the banker who disappered in Hongkong because he is not listed as missing in the States!

And I guess those gay site searches that Nancy did were amongst her preparations for dealing with the police as the "sobbing bereaved wife" whose cheating husband ran off some place. If she can convince the convince the police, she would basically be home free and sitting on Rob's money. She would have been all set!

If true, this was an audacious plan. WHO gave Nancy those ideas?

posted by: Nancy's plan? on 09.05.05 at 11:12 AM [permalink]

I think her original plan was to drug Robert until he got heart attack and dead. Everything would seem natural. Somehow that night, Robert was aware that she attempted to murder him through milkshake/drugs and may tell her that before he went unconscious. Then she panicked and execute the dumb plan, using the status to hit his head.
That is why everything seems to be so badly planned. This evil woman belongs to jail for the rest of her life.

posted by: koala on 09.05.05 at 12:05 PM [permalink]

She would have had everything on a container ship for a couple of months.

And then it would have been trucked and delivered to Vermont. But then what would she have done?

Oh: once there she would have had help, wouldn't she?

If this had played out for a couple of more months, I wonder what would have been the fate of the guy in Vermont: Could she afford to have that potential loose end unravel her plan?

(And do you think the guy realizes what he may have avoided?)

posted by: I seriously doubt it on 09.05.05 at 12:43 PM [permalink]

as stated she was to come to the US for surgery Nov.16...thus the airplane ticket

posted by: enough already on 09.05.05 at 03:53 PM [permalink]

I just cant wait to hear whats going to happen to her solicitor who witheld evidence! that is a criminal offence!

posted by: Interested on 09.05.05 at 08:02 PM [permalink]

Such a shame to think she missed out on the breast enhancement surgury she had scheduled.And now they will just sag the rest of her life.
I wonder if she ever will go blonde again?

posted by: suchashame on 09.05.05 at 08:09 PM [permalink]

There are a couple of things to go over on today's SCMP covering this case. This is the part of the article by Barclay Crawford on page A13:

'Nancy Kissel's supporters and visitors came largely from the Hong Kong International School. One, Geertruida Samra, president of the Parent Faculty Organisation, helped with her bail and regularly visited her in Siu Lam psychiatric centre after the murder.

Some of Robert Kissel's friends were also reportedly behind his wife. Jim Laurie, a distinguished former journalist and University of Hong Kong lecturer, along with a number of his students, stood firmly by Nancy Kissel's mother Jean McGlothlin.

As the tension mounted when the jury was deliberating, Mr Laurie lashed out at the police investigators, claiming the crime scene was not sealed. He became involved in a heated argument with the deceased's father over evidence and questioned whether the children would be cared for.

"What puts you in a position to judge? You are a local Hong Kong guy trying to ride the coattails of some notoriety," William Kissel said, accusing Mr Laurie of wanting to cash in on the murder with a book.'


1. Nancy's supporters largely came from the HK International School until they realized what was going on. Only the hard core, Geertruida Samra and Renee Tanaka, seems to remain.

2. JIM LAURIE WAS NOT ROB'S FRIEND. They happened to live in the same building and Jim Laurie's wife attatched herself to the case from the beginning. That's all there was. Nobody knows why he is so upset and demanding to know about the children's welfare. I believe that's Mr. William Kissel's business, not his. We haven't heard any of Rob's friends supporting Nancy at any point of this trial, but correct me if I am wrong.

posted by: catchme on 09.05.05 at 09:13 PM [permalink]

o.k, Am I really playing devils advocate here OR....

I still come back to the question of why Del Priore wasn't brought in as a key witness to be questioned in court? Couldn't they have brought him in as part of Nancy's "Defense" by saying that they were no longer planning to be together?

Or, did Del Priore have something to hide? So much so, that he is now figuratively “in hiding"?

Has anybody checked that this man was not in Hong Kong around November 2003?Bizzare hu?? But Mr. Kissel Senior, seems to be intimating that perhaps there was a lot more to Mr. Del Priore than we originally though.

I am by no means suggesting that Nancy didn't commit the crime, but is she perhaps harbouring, or protecting somebody else? Where is Del Priore now... and is this man even alive today?

I read that Del Priore's brother had a confrontational call from Rob Kissel's brother with the message, quote "your brother killed my brother". What type of connections does this man have? Why hasn't Del Priore surfaced yet?

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.05.05 at 10:45 PM [permalink]

This case gives me the creeps. Why? I live in Hong Kong and I am married to a woman just like Nancy Kissel. A woman who bled my bank account dry. A woman who spent a fortune on $3000 haircuts (including blonde highlights) at the Ritz, and more designer sunglasses than you could wear in a month. A woman who verbally and physically abused me for years, and whose abuse only increased as the money ran out. A woman who seemed to all the world to be a loving mother and wife, but whose entire identity was based on lies and deceptions.

After she put me in the hospital (with a blow to the head no less....) I finally left, knowing it was worse for my child to witness such a life than to grow up in a broken family. Since then the lies and abuse have only gotten worse. Now that we are in divorce proceedings, the most heinous lies are coming out about me in her deperate attempt to make herself look like the abandoned victim.

Watching this case unfold, I feel incredibly fortunate that I got out before what happened to Robert Kissel happened to me. She certainly had it in her.

If I hadn't been through it myself, I might have believed some of Nancy Kissel's lies. I might have believed that somehow she was the victim. However, having learned the profile of a sociopath and pathological liar, I can now understand how a woman who seems normal one minute can be a ruthless and violent criminal the next, and then justify it all in her own mind, even believing her own fabricated version of history !!

It's a shame that she might be transfered to a US prison and be released in 10 years. This was a cold blooded murder and society needs to be protected from people like her.

posted by: Benjamin Dover on 09.05.05 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

ex-HK expat: There are reports about DelPriore in the SCMP, EWSN blog, and even the NYPost. They go over his story in pretty fair detail, including current pictures and his current state of affairs.

I'm sure Andrew Kissel was speaking figuratively. And I think Mr. Kissel meant DelPriore was the reason and perhaps the inspiration for the murder. It is possible he believes DelPriore gave her instruction. But it is an international case, and that complicates matters when it comes to investigation and charges of him.

The defence can't bring someone in to court knowing that they would be commit perjury. Nancy knew what he knew, and one can only assume it wasn't helpful to the current storyline.

posted by: hmm on 09.06.05 at 08:00 AM [permalink]

Dear Mr Dover
Perhaps our fascination with this case! I too got out of a very emotionally abusive marriage - but it was the other way around. Watching Nancy's case constantly makes me think 'there but the grace of God go I'. I am not a murderess but after years of abuse this person only had to take me a bit further and I would have grabbed the nearest thing, who knows it could have been a knife. I had even thought of 'how I could kill him'. I can be honest, I went a bit mad. But it took a long time of his constant 'put-downs', name calling etc. I cried for years. He was very good at not displaying his put down's in front of friends instead he would make out that I was wonderful. We tried to make it work, not just for the children but also because I truly did love him. After a while, you know there is no possibility and that is when the best thing is to move on. He moved very reluctantly. It took a solicitor's letter. Then a friend told me to go to the drs and I was put on anti-depressants - which I should have done a long time before then.
How sad is it the meltdown of a marriage. Now, I don't know whether I would ever marry again nor if I could trust someone again.
I hope that other's who are looking at this forum will not hesitate and get out before it does go to far .. and this is what can happen .. it doesn't surprise me!

posted by: Tory on 09.06.05 at 12:14 PM [permalink]

Mr Dover and Tory,

Did you, on the basis of your experience of abuse, find NK's account plausible? Did it seem real or made up?

posted by: Justice on 09.06.05 at 01:29 PM [permalink]

To bring this blog to a proper end, would someone upload the transcript of the court's judgement here?

posted by: anxious on 09.06.05 at 05:10 PM [permalink]

Catch Me
Sorry to bring this up, you have been extremely vocal, but your spelling/vocab is atrocious.

posted by: Sam D on 09.07.05 at 02:41 AM [permalink]

'Tory' and 'Sam D' are one in the same person (Check out the email addresses).

posted by: catchme on 09.07.05 at 06:51 AM [permalink]

I am going to try and wean myself off this site and "move on". However if someone can submit the court transcripts for us that would be great!

I guess I will be interested to see if Nancy appeals, and if this happens I guess we could all be back on this very same site again, however, I REALLY hope that’s not the case.

I truly wish that she would just see the utter devastation, and pain that she has caused both herself and Rob’s family and friends. She has been totally self absorbed in getting the best for herself for so long now, but now she really needs to think about the fact that she could well send her own mother and father bankrupt in their vain attempt to further assist her. And I don't mean bankrupt, only financially, but also emotionally. It’s time for her to start to realise that as her parents, they will go to the ends of the earth to support her. If she appeals it means so much more heartache for them, that it will no doubt send them to an early grave. Deep in their hearts, they know what she did.

It is so unfortunate that Nancy as a mother obviously didn't have the same "values" in going to the end of the earth to protect and support her own children. Killing their beloved father is very "unsupportive".

I don't have any problems with her appealing that her sentence be in America, her home country, but REALLY, she needs to give everyone a rest now and back off and face the music. All her actions have been totally SELFISH, she needs to try a little "selfless" living for a while.

As for all those that support Nancy in a "fellow abused" sort of way, I guess that’s their prerogative, although please, if you read through the facts, and really be honest with yourselves it is VERY VERY likely that none of it even happened, AND as I repeatedly have said, It doesn't matter if that was the case anyway, NO-ONE deserves DEATH.

To Tory and Benjamin, I am by no means understating what you have gone through, and hope that you move on to true happiness and gain the trust back by having a loving relationship with someone.

The guilty verdict gives the Kissel family some satisfaction in feeling that justice has been done, I hope that is not "undone" by further selfish actions on Nancy’s behalf. To "Justice" you will retort with a "but what if she really was battered" I still say, NO-ONE deserves death. She would have had medical evidence of rape as she suggested, this never appeared as evidence, because nothing would have been found.

The Milkshake was her downfall, no-one else could have placed the drugs in this, she stupidly gave it to another witness, and the facts are undeniable that she did this. This being the case, "PREMEDITATION" was the key to the unanimous guilty of Murder verdict. This is why she could NEVER admit to doing it, it would have been an open and shut case if she had done so. She would never have then been able to “create” a supposed “fight scene” in an attempt to lighten her sentence.

It still amazes me that this women could say such rot about her children’s father, who she has “eradicated” out of their lives forever.

The talk of her being such a helpful citizen with school calendars, school fetes was only for one reason, for her own self image, to “be seen”. She was bored! She had two maids that did everything for her, she had plenty of time on her hands. She was never down Central assisting with preparation of meals for the poor. She was never out assisting the elderly. It was always “appearance” that was important to Nancy. Being handcuffed and in a Prison uniform will no doubt devastate such a person.

Nancy, the game is up, perhaps it is impossible for you to stop thinking of yourself, so perhaps these words of wisdom may be more to your liking “Nancy think of yourself, your number one priority is to stop lying to yourself! You could gain so much more with your life if you stop the lies, and now help whoever you have left in life as support. Give them something back, let them pick up the pieces and move on too.”

Why do I have the feeling I might be talking to deaf ears?

posted by: Ex expat on 09.07.05 at 08:51 AM [permalink]

A man without a life, three children without parents to bring them up, a woman with no freedom, a father with no more money, and a whole bunch of friends and family with nothing more than memories. This whole thing is a tragedy with a capital "T".
What a waste of life, love and human potential ...

posted by: Will it ever end on 09.07.05 at 08:58 AM [permalink]

I detect that people are minded to sign off and move on. This presents an opportunity for a confession of sorts. I have been asking myself why I was so reluctant to condemn Nancy Kissel outright along with the rest of the people on this site. Was it bleeding heart feminism? Was it a determination to disagree with the commonly held view? As the case drew on and the evidence piled up, the conclusion she was guilty was inescapable. Even then I experienced feelings of regret. Even now I find the calling of Nancy Kissel a monster somehow unpleasant. Yet, I accept that the act was premeditated, and that one life has been lost and many have been ruined. I wonder to myself why I feel and think what I do. I am paid to be highly rational/a sound thinker. I can't really get to the bottom of why from the beginning I was secretly "rooting" for Nancy. Perhaps it is better to be skeptical at first, and then brought round by the facts, I'm not sure. On the other hand, one should not start out with a preconceived view as I did.
Finally, on at least two occasions I was deeply mortified by the offence that was taken at my comments. It seemed as if I was adding to the devastation people felt. That's all.

posted by: Justice on 09.07.05 at 09:45 AM [permalink]

I would like to personally thank you "Justice" for your comments and honesty. I must say I suspected that perhaps this was the case with you anyway! Even so everyone is entitled to their opinions, questions and thoughts, you included!

The human mind processes things differently in all individuals, and there are so many variations in our lives that can dramatically alter our individual view on any situation.

You can always make good out of a bad situation. Perhaps we were all shaken into the fact that anyone can be affected at anytime by a tragedy as such. The lesson is we need to be thankful for what we have, and mindful of the tragedies that can occur through extremely bad decisions.

I wouldn't feel mortified for too long regarding others opinions on your posts, if people can't accept other differing opinions, then they shouldn't subject themselves to a blog that is discussing some real issues!

Being protective, cautious and asking others not to be too judgemental of another human being isn't a crime, however murdering your husband is!

posted by: Ex- expat on 09.07.05 at 10:28 AM [permalink]

to Justice :

-> " Perhaps it is better to be skeptical at first, and then brought round by the facts"

I agree w/ you. That is my position too, on this case or other matters in general. I never commented on Nancy Kissel's trial to anyone whether on this blog or anywhere else until the trial was over with verdict reached. I felt that would be fair to Nancy.

The fact was that Nancy Kissel was given a fair, open trial and that the court heard all the evidence and was the in best position to judge the case. And the fact was that Nancy Kissel was found guilty based upon the facts heard in court.

Based on that fact, I drew my own conclusions about why Nancy, knowing full well what she herself had done, pleaded not guilty and pleaded the defense she did.

On another note, I was reading about some comments made by local lawyers and barristers about Nancy's defense that were reported in The Standard. Basically, Nancy's defense was an "American style" defense and that local juries just weren't going to buy her story of "self-defense."

But I now wonder if such an outrageous claim, made in light of all the overwhelming evidence seen at the trial, would have gotten Nancy off even in the United States. Maybe we shouldn't underestimate the American justice system. Maybe, the trial would have been much longer, more raucous and more painful for the families on both sides. But the eventual outcome would have been the same. Depending on which state Nancy committed the crime, she might even have received the death penalty.

Of course, if the jury was a bunch of "New York neurotics" or "Connecticut cuckoos" like barrister Egan suggested......

Yes it is time to move on.

posted by: ifeelsick on 09.07.05 at 12:55 PM [permalink]

btw, lets all remember that this blog is going to be around in cyberspace for a long time. Robert's kids are going to read what we say here and probably already have.

posted by: ifeelsick on 09.07.05 at 01:18 PM [permalink]

Catch me if you can. No, Sam D is actually my son and in our household we all share the same email. Sorry to disappoint.

Justice, you asked through my experience, whether I thought NK actions were justifiable. Yes, they could have been had she suffered from all the things she purports to have suffered though I don't believe it all occurred. Particularly the forced sodomy - I would have thought that if this had happened I would be the first one at the drs to get a report to verify. I still wouldn't say she wld have been justified but after many years of abuse anything is possible, the answer there is to get out!!

I read somewhere that a couple had dinner at their home and when they left the wife said to her husband 'if you ever spoke to me like that I would smack you' or something to that effect. Therefore it appears the marriage was at breaking point and you do tend to do and say things that are not a part of your normal nature. An adrenalin sets in as a way of protection.

What I find hard to fathom is that Nancy has hardly anyone coming forth to say a nice word about her. Not even a school friend. I find that hard to believe. Was she really so disliked by all but a very few. I find it hard to believe that no one has come forward in her defence as a person before Nov 2003. It makes me think that she was never a nice person. Rob on the other hand, has many admirers. .. just thoughts and musing.

posted by: Tory on 09.07.05 at 03:35 PM [permalink]

As a HK ex-pat myself, and having lived with a Filipino amah at close quarters, I too find it very hard to fathom that no-one was aware of Nancy's alleged ill-treatment in the household. Even if it was as she makes out, largely sexual, and one probably would be reluctant to discuss this in a domestic situation, there would have been cries of help, or of pain, surely.
One thing that disturbs me is the evidence found on the pc to indicate that porn searches had been made, especially to mainly gay sites. Someone else's sexuality is their own business, and what has been described here as a "flexible sexual orientation" is nothing particularly unusual. However, it has been alleged that N tried to set up her husband by making it look like he had been searching the web for gay sites, (incidentally, how could she know this, as presumably if he HAD been, he would not have been sharing the info with his wife). And it has also been reported that the pc was used when only Mr Kissel was in HK. I cannot believe that an amah or one of her visiting friends would dare to touch their bosses pc, especially to do a pornsearch, they would have been risking their/their friend's job. It cannot be both ways, either it was him, or it was her. This may seem like a detail, but it does change things, since in my mind, a man who is even partially fascinated by the homosexual side of his nature (let's not be coy, here, we know that it exists) may be more likely to request certain "favours" from his wife. If their marriage was at breaking point, and he was sexually frustrated, it is not possible that his manner of requesting such became more forceful? Just speculation, I have no wish to villify a dead man's reputation, just to understand what happened.
Also, I have a problem with some of the evidence regarding the blows to the head. Was Nancy right-handed? If so, then five heavy blows to the right-hand side of her husbands head (with a large wieldy object) cannot have been delivered from underneath while defending herself as she has alleged. It can only have happened if she was kneeling by his head on the floor, either slightly to the right side or above his head (away from his arms and legs) which would correspond to the theory of him being drugged and lying at the foot of the bed.
I have read extensively on the crime, and I would like to say that this was not a cold-blooded one, to my way of thinking. Pre-meditation is clear, and has been proven (her searches of the web for drugs). However, I believe she was angry and that the force of the blows indicate that she scared of not achieving her aim (killing him completely). I think her justification to herself probably was that there had been some measure of ill-treatment (though as many have said, if it was anywhere near as dramatic as she alleges, others would have been aware of it, due to bruises, etc).
Did this woman have a gynaecologist? Presumably, as having had three children, she would have been on some form of contraception, and would there not have been signs of abuse? Would she not have mentioned it to her doctor?
Just speculation, but I cannot help but feel that this will go to appeal, however much one would like for there to be closure at this point, if nothing else for the sake of the children.

posted by: Will it ever end on 09.07.05 at 06:20 PM [permalink]

Two points. First, on domestic helpers and lack of evidence. While in HK, I brought charges against a Western male who was exposing himself to the helpers and our children in our estate. The police went door to door and posted signs seeking witnesses, and even brought in special local dialect interpreters to take evidence from the helpers. Only a handful stepped forward and getting them to testify against a Western male was like pulling teeth, to put it mildly. So it does not surprise me in the least that few illimuinating facts emerged from their testimony. This sould not, however, be taken against them as culturally You Just Don't Speak Out.

Secondly, again about helpers, this time re internet porn. A few years ago, before Norton got as good as it is now about filtering, while away I gave out helper access to our computer to check email, send us photos etc. Upon my return, surprise, were porn screensavers. Seems she had been searching for cheap IDD and free email and those pesky pop-ups appearedand glued themselves in. When confronted, the poor girl almost jumped out the window. She saw what came up, but was unable to block it. While I am sure that the computer forensics guy was looking for sites actually searched, buzz words, I just want to point out that there may be an innocent explanation as porn does tend to attach itself to innocent sites.

posted by: ex-HK on 09.07.05 at 07:42 PM [permalink]

I agree with ex-HK that in the Filipino culture You Don't Speak Out. However, when pressed, both amahs seem to have come down on the side of their former male employer (Rob) rather than Nancy. This cannot be merely explained away by the fact that he was the breadwinner, or that Mrs Kissler might have been an irascible woman to be around during the day. Mr Kissler helped one of the amahs purchase a small property in her homeland, and the other amah was her sister-in-law. When under questioning, neither women were able to corroborate the allegations against Rob (alcoholism, ill-treatment of Nancy). But reading between the lines, it seems apparent that their respect/affection for him was not matched by their feelings for her.
So be it.
I go back to what I posted above, since re-reading it, I realize I have not been very clear. If the porn trawl were conducted when only Rob was in HK, then it must have been him who was looking for sexual sites. The explanation of porn sites attaching themselves to innocent sites is not satisfactory. Searches were made for "Paris girls" and other specific requests. This is not a problem in itself, but it lends weight to her allegations that his sexual profile was not as clear as his friends/co-workers may have thought. Who cares? It's just that you don't murder your husband for being a closet homosexual (which I doubt that he was) or even for having a bisexual penchant - you just get a divorce. However, if he was "turned off by his wife's body" as she has alleged (he urged her to have her breasts re-done) might he not have turned to a different sexual approach in his relations with her (which she seemingly objected to)? This might lend credence to some of her allegations.
Many men feel alienated from their wives during pregnancy or after the birth of their children. The wife's body undergoes changes that may dismay the husband, and this may lead to a breakdown in sexual relations. However, perhaps a psychologist's insight would be helpful here - if a man was drifting towards an increasing homosexual form of sexuality (seeking anal sex with his wife, and looking for gay porn sites) would he at the same time encourage her to re-shape her body in a more feminine way (by insisting she have larger breasts, for example)?
Again, just speculation, but now the verdict has been given, I guess we're free to turn tis case every which way to try to make sense of it.
P.S. One last thing that has been bugging me - how is it that a police cordon was not properly installed straight away. How were friends able to congregate in the Kissel's living room, potentially destroying evidence. How was a close friend of Nancy's allowed to remove a camera from the appt. ? Did no-one think to look to see what pictures were on film/in memory beforehand? Weird - I can't imagine that happening either in the UK nor in the US.
P.P.S. IHT reported Nancy as having "pummeled" Rob's unconscious body. Bludgeoning someone with a heavy object is not quite the same as "pummeling" them, is it?

posted by: Will it ever end on 09.08.05 at 12:45 AM [permalink]

Kissel to appeal!

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.08.05 at 01:33 AM [permalink]

Will it ever end:

The porn site was installed while Rob was away and that was proven at the court.

'he urged her to have her breasts re-done': That is straight from Nancy's mouth. Rob loved her! There was not a single doubt about that for people who knew them. She flipped for Michael, the trailer, and the new breasts were going to be for him!


At some point, people will have to stop talking about the things that were all discussed over and over, proved over and over. I guess it's okay to bring up something new, but what's the point of revisiting the whole thing we all went through over and over, again and again?

posted by: catchme on 09.08.05 at 11:53 AM [permalink]

Just to put the cat among the pigeons.... it is interesting to note that there have been no additions to this page from Nancy's "Friends and supporters" for quite some time. In fact I have to wonder to myself if they have stopped since a certain person went to prison, no longer having access to a computer herself??!!?

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.08.05 at 01:17 PM [permalink]

I have been reading the comments on this blog for quite sometime now and have been troubled by much of the stuff said on it. So here goes ...

Friend and supporter or Nancy said at some point early in the proceedings that Nancy was not being judged by her peers. What did she mean by that? Was it the race issue or the fact that the jury may not have been as well educated as Nancy Kissel. I have no idea who the jury were but I agree on one point. Nancy was not being judged by her peers because those would be murderers. She was being judged by her superiors and I have to say they did a wonderful job.

I was a psychology major in college, and let me tell you that battered women syndrome has pretty much been discredited. It appears it is nothing more than a defence strategy for getting people off charges. If a woman is abused, there is nothing stopping her from leaving especially in this case where we are dealing with well-to-do, educated people. Some comments seem to suggest that HK is some third-world country where there are not avenues to deal with these issues. It is not! And worse case scenario, Nancy could have gone to her own consulate ... especially, as she claims, if Rob had taken her passport. They could have probably issued her another one.

Ira Keershin said in the SCMP that the battering only had to happen once. I feel sorry for the man. It must be very hard to have a murderess for a daughter but I have to say, he is wrong. If a woman is battered, she should go straight to the police, file an assault charge and get her injuries documented for evidence in the divorce trial that should immediately follow.

Also in answer to "will it ever end." People don't change sexual orientations. If Rob was turned off my Nancy's post pregnancy body, he was more likely to get himself a young girlfriend on the side,(a very easy thing to do in HK especially for rich men with Porsches) than to start demanding anal sex as part of a supposed new or suppressed interest in homosexuality.

The press keeps commenting that the interest in this trial is because of the lifestyle it is exposing. To some degree this is true, but I think more importantly, interest has been phenomenal because of the evil it exposed. What Nancy did was evil ... pure and simple. She killed a man. A man who loved her(at least in the beginning), who had children with her, who supported her and who shared almost 20 years of life with her. And though motivations are hard to pin point, she seems to have done it for the money. Again, pure and simple. She could have divorced him and gotten a reasonable settlement and had custody or at worst access to her children. She could have lived with her lover and had a happy life. But she didn't. She killed him instead so she could have all the money, and no inconvenience with the children issue.

What is chilling also, is the fact that she hit him so hard and furiously that his brain came out of his skull. True, she probably did want to make sure he was dead but this was one of the aspects of the crime that made my blood run cold. Because it also seems to indicate that she really hated him.

The terms narcissist and sociopath/psychopath have surfaced on this blog. The main difference between the 2 seems to be that the sociopath will hurt others to get what they want. For all those people wondering how Nancy could do this, I suggest you google narcissist and have a good read. Rob called Nancy a dark narcissist. Sadly, he seems to have got that right. And sadder still, she then crossed over into sociopath. Narcissists are frightening people ... in some ways they are the wickedest people in the world because they can justify whatever they are doing to themselves. They want their way at all costs and they have no empathy for others or consideration for their interests. Killing a husband, bankrupting your parents ... all par for the course because they are getting Nancy what Nancy wants. And in her world that is all that matters.

This has been a terrible case because it is so inhumane. My heart goes out to the children and the parents of both Rob and Nancy. I hope they will one day find peace.

posted by: Horrified on 09.08.05 at 06:27 PM [permalink]

To Horrified.

Thank you for your additions. We needs some real answers here!!

Personally, I feel that most of us may have felt that this was the case, but could not so to speak, "verbalise it" we felt it, but didn't understand it.

What you say about the current discreditation re battered women is very interesting. I hate the thought of this being able to be used at the whim of any woman should circumstances not going well.

I personally feel the same way, and in reading all that there is on this case, I feel no guilt in suggesting that this was just a poor excuse to try and get yourself out of a difficult situation. By the way I am a fellow female!

This woman walked the streets for almost two years, I think that she has been able to fool the authorities into feeling that she is not a concern to Society.

As part of Society, I don't want that appeal to work in her favour, I don't want her walking the streets with the people that I love!

I don't want the people around her that have been forced into her support network to have to continue down this track when they know in their hearts that it's a bunch of lies..but as her parents, they have no options...

I am starting to feel more sorrow for Nancy's parents than for Robs, at least it has reached a unanimous verdict in their minds, for Nancy's parents.. the pain has only just begun. She is a selfish piece of work...

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.08.05 at 07:43 PM [permalink]

Thank you 'horrified' for your enlightening comments.

An interesting point .. her stepbrother, a medical student who also works for a 'battered women's shelter' (or so I believe by this blog). I feel for him and wonder what he thinks by all of this. He was the person who encouraged her father to go to her when she called him after the murder citing that she had been abused by Rob.

Once again, still amazed at the little to none friends, past and present, coming forth with favorable comments regarding Nancy .. very sad.

posted by: Tory on 09.08.05 at 10:00 PM [permalink]

I meant to add something to comments made by “Horrified” regarding the press and their hype regarding expat lifestyle in Hong Kong.

Anyone who says that it is bad, and makes inferences that the loneliness can lead people to do strange things, is crazy themselves.

The expat lifestyle for a wife, particularly in Hong Kong is fantastic.

I must admit my husband wasn't away from me when I was there, but the fact of the matter is, we all had amah's (live-in maids who do EVERYTHING, wash your cars, drop your kids to school, cook, clean etc) leaving you a lot of free time.

In some ways it can be wonderful for a your relationship as you have much more time for each other. Lets face it, besides the loneliness when a partner goes away on business, it's the handling of the house chores, and looking after the kids by yourself that is a strain. This is not the case for expat wives, they have that undivided assistance on tap.

So it only leaves the problem of loneliness for company. This too in Hong Kong is not true, as live in maids allow you to be able to go out and visit with girlfriends, go out to dinner to the many fantastic restaurants and events there. O.k nothing makes up for missing cuddles from your partner, but hey, there are worse things to have to put up with from time to time. He’s out there building the families future, sacrifices are necessary at some stages in life to “bring the bacon home”. Most wives I spoke to thought it was great, they got a break and were able to rekindle and have romantic dinners on his return!

I think any accusations that the expat lifestyle has helped lead Nancy down this path is so untrue.

You do not have the regular strains for worries about money, or trying to do a million things in one day that you do have in normal life.

I would say without question the average working mother in normal every day suburbia has more strains and pressures than an expat wife by far.

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.09.05 at 08:41 AM [permalink]

After I posted the link to proposed appeal, not many discussed the future possibilities. Just the same merry-go-around, as catchme pointed out, about what happened in the past.

Forget past, we all know and have our own assumptions from what the jury seems to have surmised/concluded.

What about what is yet to come?

More evidence that wasn't, for some strange reasons, brought forward to the court? Judge's directions to the jury? Jury being unanimous therefore they are biased? Or whatever one can *imagine*?

In my opinion, in case of an appeal, Michael del Priore should be a part of the appeal case. I believe that US and HK have an agreement of extradictions or whatever they call it, sorry I am not a lawyer. Or at least, they could invite him as a state witness, etc. His brother, reportedly, did know about all this and so I think it shouldn't be tough inviting Michael to Hong Kong.

Let's see how it goes then. Really. However at this stage, apart from that Reuters piece, no other newspaper is discussing the possible appeal. Strange.

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.09.05 at 12:01 PM [permalink]

It's unbearably sad to know that my best friend of 18 years, Nan, who had so much to give, in so many ways, did such an awful thing. I did love her with all my heart.
Who really knows what made this happen. I thought I knew her well, she was closer to me then some of my own family.
There is always help available, there is always someone to listen, to lend an ear. I tried, she was closed. It's something else to take matters into your own hands, and take away a good man, a good father and a good husband. No marriage is perfect, behind closed doors..thank god we all don't take care of things the way Nancy did.
Nancy was my closest friend, a sweet, beautiful, sparkling, fun to be with caring person that I shared many laughs with and had much joy with. I miss my friend terribly, every second of the day, the Nan that I knew years ago is in my thoughts. I really have no idea how to move on and put this in a place that doesn't hurt so much.
A couple of people feel that Robs death was justified. MURDER IS NEVER JUSTIFIED. There was never a thought of the next day, what will it bring, what will this do to my children, my parents, my friends..
When I gave the deposition for the prosecution, it wasn't about attacking nancy (as some might think) it was about telling the truth and presenting facts. Most of what I gave was not spoken, they were facts.
This tragedy had also taken another life that could have been spared. Stevek Kenney didnt have to die 2 years ago...he had so much on his mind due to the loss of his dear friend Rob that he wasn't really paying attention when he was hit by a car that night. That was another death that didn't have to happen. This was a crime of such enormity I can't really to this day grasp it. All I do know is, that there were other options and other solutions...Murder was not one of them!
In the months before the incident, Rob was desparate, he believed his wife was being unfaithful, found out it was true, forgave her, only wanting to have his wife back the way it was, have his family together.
His heartstrings were pulled up and down one day to the next, all according to Nancys whims. He approached me in April and asked if I would allow him to call me. I was apprehensive at first (being Nancys friend) but he was part of Nancy and my friendship, he was her husband. He was so down so sad, I couldn't say no. I believe he felt closer to Nan talking to me and I felt closer to her speaking to him...
From April on through the summer, Nancy was not available...we spent our few days together in NYC as we always did in the summer, which she had to cut short to take care of a kid's camp issue back in Vermont. I know now ,that wasn't the case, she was running back to be with Mike. She was very preoccupied,troubled, very stressed out, our conversaions minimal, superficial.
People have said that Rob was an absentee father, that he was always traveling. His work did take him away occasionally, but the truth is that Nancy didn't want him home alot, she was used to having her way, the easy way, her own routine with the kids and he would interrupt it. I don't call a father coming home at the end of the day wanting to spend time with his children reason enough to get rid of him.
I believe Mike led Nan into believing that he really needed her, that he was in the middle of a divorce, he might loose his child. I think Nan could control him. She also bought his story. How high she must have been on this new relationship. So high, to be able to forget everything near and dear.
I spoke to Rob 2-3 times a day from early in the morning to late at night from April until October 28th. Never was his speech impaired, never drunk never wired on cocaine. Just sad, concerned, concerned for his wife who he believed was ill. She wouldn't accept any help even when offered. I keep hearing his voice saying "if anything ever happens to me, make sure my children are taken care of."
That is why I gave my deposition...
The abuse that she so easily spoke of, never happened. This was a well thought out plan, one that would kill Rob a second time, in the eyes of family and friends. Thank you to the jurors who saw through all the bullshit. Thats why the defense gets the big bucks..They create incredible scenerios. A much as I loved Nan, this was not right!
My heart goes out to The McGlothlin family, Jean and Michael I can't imagine how you are dealing with this, to the Keeshin family , Ryan and Laura their lives as my own will never be the same again. As hard as this is for me to think about and relive day to day I can't imagine standing in any of the family's shoes.
To the Kissel family ,Robs dad who has fought so hard that justice be served and so it has..to Robs brother and sister in law and to Janie and Rich ,my heart breaks that such a precious life has been taken away from you all.
I says thanks everyday to Connie, that she has stayed by the childrens side to hold their hands and to soothe them when a warm heart is needed. She is a godsend, I only hope that she can stay on as long as possible to help with the healing process.
My dear friend Nan as I knew her is long gone. I just don't know how she can live with what shes done.

posted by: Bryna O'Shea on 09.09.05 at 12:41 PM [permalink]

Thanks Bryna.

Newspapers tend to report "a glimpse into expat life". Is that a sick joke?

We have been here since British administration, and really, nothing has changed (much) since China tookover Hong Kong.

Like someone said above, expat life in Hong Kong is not all shit and sadness. In fact it is a privilige to live here and enjoy.

I reiterate what I said (long) above: Nancy has a known and admitted adultery (that her spouse didn't allow or felt sad about) with a philanderer guy.

Being a mother, did she even for a single moment realize how she was insulting her kids' feelings and heritage, and the womb that gave birth to them by bonking with a known philanderer (as Michael's own brother admits)?

Especially when she was bonking while her kids slept in nearby rooms? I believe she admitted she had sex with Michael for (at least) three times.

And then the claims of Robert Kissel being abusive, drug addict, porn-surfer, etc.? Get out of here, yes?

And yes, what about the baseball bat? I am still awaiting more news on that. I hope Hong Kong justice doesn't get intimidated just because she is/was an American with some ultra-smart law support.

No one is above the law, yes?

posted by: AnchorTV on 09.09.05 at 01:50 PM [permalink]

I have a feeling, reading Bryna's post above, that if Bryna could so sincerely love Nancy for so many years, Nancy must have had some real good personal qualities of her own.

I'm also amazed at the outpouring of warm, positive testimonies to Robert's character by everybody who knew him or knew both him and Nancy. The only bad things said about him are by his murderer who was trying to get herself off or by people who don't know either him or Nancy and were just speculating for the sake of speculation.

I wouldn't call Nancy "a monster" despite her terrible crime. She fell for the insincere flattery of a philanderer, whose own brother rejects him, and she abandoned a guy, who with his wealth and power, could just take any woman he wanted but chose to stay faithful to her. The defence lawyers just couldn't dig up any dirt on Robert's life or even any adulterous lover of his and that is remarkable for a guy in his position. All that Nancy's lawyers had to work with were Nancy's own lies. Of course they had to make up an "incredible scenario", they simply had no case to defend Nancy with!

But if Robert could be so devoted to his wife and try so hard to save their marriage even after he found out about her unfaithfulness to him, that fact, other than saying a lot about him as a person, indirectly seems to say that he also thought there was something good and worthwhile in her.

The Court may have surmised the facts of the case based on the evidence, but only Nancy know what she truly did. If she could show remorse for her crime, freely admit what she did, and that she lied about, give up her appeal, and quietly serve her sentence, that would all go a long way towards rehabilitation of her as a human being, even though she must accept the consequences of what she did. I really hope that Nancy can see that it is still not too late for her in that respect.

But as someone said above, Nancy will just get herself transferred to a US jail, serve 10 (or even less) years and be out.

posted by: F.C on 09.09.05 at 03:08 PM [permalink]

I think that Bryna really put it quite beautifully. And, for the years I was friends with Nan, she spoke very lovingly of Bryna. Indeed, Bryna was really the one friend that nan spoke about from the US (at least to me) during her time in Hong Kong. There were good things in Nancy. For me, the thing that stood out was how much she loved her children. She was incredibly proud of them and thoguhtful towards them. She also treated my children with love and kindness. She was the kind of mom who thought ahead and when going on a long car trip, for example, packed a personalized box with our children's names on each, filled with markers and stickers and activites for the long ride. She was also incredibly generous. When she came back to nyc in the summer or to our house in Fire Island, she always brought tons of stuff -- for us, for the kids, etc... For us, that is a large part of why this is so shocking. The first thought I had when I heard the news was how could she do something that would result in her children being taken away? It is hard to remember any of the good things because she did something so horrible. Like many others, we are filled with anger. Rob was a beautiful, kind, gentle man. He too loved those kids. I thought he was a very good father to them -- patient, warm, and loving. She took him away so that no one, not his family or his friends or, most important, his children, could have him. And, the effects on those kids. I can't even imagine. So, yes, there was good. But it is so very greatly outweighed by the horrible horrible thing that she did. And then did again at the trial.

posted by: hillary on 09.10.05 at 12:44 AM [permalink]

Sorry FC, I hadn't realized that this was a private forum where only people who personally knew either Nancy, or Rob (or both) were allowed to comment. I thought the whole point was that this is a place where collectively, we can all examine the facts, report on hearsay, and generally try to reach some kind of understanding about what happened. I feel close to this case for a number of reasons, not all of which I am able to discuss, but let's say that as a married woman and an ex-HK expat, I can identify with a certain number of the issues at stake here. I too have 3 young children, and I like to think I consider their future above my own. I would hate to think that after 10 years Nancy could be free again and walking the streets, because my gut feeling, and I imagine the jurors all felt the same, is that she is guilty as hell. Even if she convinced herself in some sick way that Rob had it coming to him, cause he didn't treat her like the princess she obviously thinks she is, NOTHING JUSTIFIES MURDER.
Get on a plane, get a good lawyer, go stay with a girlfriend, go to a hotel, she could have done one of a number of things. And yet she chose to trawl the net, research a way of killing Rob silently, and then lost the plot and bludgeoned him to death. I think she was angry as only a crazy woman can be.
Bryna's touching testimony above, proves that she had love and esteem from people around her, that perhaps she didn't deserve. But the things she has dragged in front of the court and the press, if indeed she has made them all up, are truly scandalous. Why rake up all that muck just to fling it all over her children, friends and family. It didn't get her off during the main trial, and I hope to God she doesn't get off on appeal, especially due to some daft technicality like not having her rights read to her.

posted by: Will it ever end on 09.10.05 at 01:01 AM [permalink]

Do you ever wonder what you would think if Rob hadn't been confiding in you?
I think it is fascinating that Rob had actually told people of his worries, problems, and plans and Nancy told no one. She didn't tell them about the supposed abuse, didn't tell them about her affair, her slipping stillnox in his whiskey, her doctors visits. His friends knew they were breaking up, most of her friends believed they were very happy.
Yet many of her friends believe her still because they 'trust her'.
What if Rob had confided in another friend? Do you ever imagine that it would be one of them in your position now and that friend would be the one writing a deposition used by the prosecution?

posted by: hmmm on 09.10.05 at 08:47 AM [permalink]

"Sorry FC, I hadn't realized that this was a private forum where only people who personally knew either Nancy, or Rob (or both) were allowed to comment."

No, I didn't say that.

posted by: F.C on 09.10.05 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

I wish that I was never in the middle of these two people....That I listened to my husband when he said enough was enough, hearing Robs voice days before this happened and hearing Nans voice days after is a nightmare that I have to deal with....I learned a huge lesson from this. I wish it had been someone else that was a confidente... These last two years have not been pleasant in any way... I just hope that time heals all wounds

posted by: Bryna OShea on 09.10.05 at 10:45 AM [permalink]

What you did was unbearably hard, incredibly brave, showed more integrity than anyone I have ever met in my life, and I know it broke your heart and left a hole that will take a long time to heal. At this point I think that there are a lot of us out there that are walking around with gaping holes in our hearts with no real way to fix it.

It’s really important that you understand that your contribution in this case helped to console a lot of broken hearts. You reached out through the either, out of no-where and gave all of Rob’s family, friends, and children a breath of fresh air. I don’t think people realize what an important roll you played in the healing process of Rob’s murder!

You and I have spoken personally and I know that I could e-mail you or even call you, but I wanted to post this to let everyone know what an amazingly special person you are. You gave Rob his voice from beyond and for that I, as I am sure I speak for all of us who loved Rob, am truly thankful. Hell, “thankful” just doesn’t cut it, but I don’t think there is a word to describe my/our gratitude to you.

God bless you Bryna and may you always see Rob smiling at you when you close your eyes.

Carol Horton

posted by: Carol Horton on 09.10.05 at 10:50 AM [permalink]

There were those who didn't step forward, only because they didn't want to be inconvenienced, knowing the information they were holding was hugely crucial to the case... Cowards.

Bryna, the world needs more brave souls like you who are not afraid to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. Thank you!

posted by: catchme on 09.10.05 at 03:13 PM [permalink]

I really thank the few people that have spoken a bit on my behalf..I am very surprised.. I know there is alot of negative as well that hasnt come forward... All I know is that it was a tough tough time for alot of people close to this case. I am trying to move on in whatever way I can find... This has been very cathartic, voicing an honest opinion, I hope only positive things can come as a result. This was the most sad of circumstances for all involved. I wish there was a way to put this to rest .

posted by: Bryna Oshea on 09.10.05 at 03:35 PM [permalink]


What I meant by 'regardless of the consequences' is that all the inconveniences you had to go through as a result... Being attacked negatively by your (ex)friend, having to go public to give deposition etc.

Those who hide from the justice shall remain in the dark hole of guilt that they dug for themselves, but those who stand up for the truth, such as you, shall be able to walk tall in the bright light.

posted by: catchme on 09.10.05 at 08:04 PM [permalink]

Since many of you appear to be concerned about the “fate” of the Kissel children and have expressed views of their current situation, here is an attempt to clarify things.

Yes the three children have been through a tremendous amount of trauma but they are doing well, all things considered. They have made many new friends in the community, participate in soccer, tennis, softball, take cello and violin lessons, have sleepovers with their friends, go skiing on the weekends (where they get “kidnapped by their {new} grandparents) and taken for waffles and ice cream sundaes. They are in a wonderful academic environment, attend Hebrew school, observe the Jewish holidays, and have forged a beautiful relationship with their cousins. They have been embraced by friends of the family and extended family. They get assistance at night with their homework and get constructive help dealing with the overwhelming sadness and anger that they must now carry around for the rest of their lives. They wake up to a full breakfast (cooked not by a maid), lunches for five are packed in the morning, and we sit down to a family dinner almost every night.

It is far from a perfect situation, but the children feel secure and loved. The logistics of organizing the lives of five kids is difficult on a good day (Friday’s schedule included two school parties, two birthday parties, two play dates and a sleepover). So yes, there may be some continued criticism for employing the help of maids and babysitters and I am certain that, at times, somebody is jealous and feels they are getting treated unfairly. In an effort to portray a balanced view, I get impatient, stressed, frenzied and am prone the occasional rant. It is heads and tails the most difficult challenge that has ever come my way and my children’s way, but also the most gratifying and important. I respect my children for opening their home, hearts, sharing their parents, their dog, their childhood, giving up their bedrooms to try and help right a humongous wrong. May these lessons of compassion stay with them for eternity.

We recognize that there are many challenges ahead for Rob and Nancy’s children and it will be a Herculean task to overcome the trauma they have suffered and secure their mental health and well being. They are very angry, shocked and feel as if the rug can be pulled out from them instantly. We can only encourage them to draw strength from their awful experiences, grow into the young adults that would have made their parents proud and, most importantly, feel good about themselves.

And to the person posting the comments about Elaine at the Yankees game and at camp, I offer the following: Being at summer camp while the family is in Vermont for the summer? Elaine has been attending summer camp for three years and looks forward to it every year. Rather than being perceived as being cast off, it truly is a wonderful experience. She is missed greatly by her siblings and her cousins (and me). The other four that were stuck home (two of whom are begging to go to sleep away camp next summer), well, we swam in fresh mountain springs, jumped off rocks into beautiful lakes, learned how to knit (sort of), made macramé necklaces and went blazing down the Alpine Slide. There also were days when they hung out at home complaining of boredom and I wasn’t very sensitive. (Admittedly, I did leave them and play some golf and tennis and have some adult sanity time.) Also, there was no $100,000 taken from the kids as was alluded to. And lastly, I am surprised by the debate over the “ill-fated” Yankee game (pun intended). Please, any parent who has taken their child to a game must realize that the dining experience transcends the actual viewing of the game. Elaine fondly recounts the story of stuffing herself with hot dogs while at the Yankee game with her father and getting sick; we laugh about it almost every time we watch a game. In fact, she attended a Yankee game the other night with her sister and cousin and she was reminded no to eat too many hot dogs. Actually, in all of my conversations, there appear to be only the warmest and most loving thoughts about their father. In June’s words, “I had the best daddy in the world.”

Be well all. It gets a bit frustrating occasionally reading the various blogs. I recognize that, by participating, I am opening myself up to a world of criticism and opinions. I hope I have satisfied the curiosity of many of you as it relates to the children. And to the person who warned that someday the children will see what has been written, I applaud you for your sensitivity because that time is sooner rather than later. It is now time to reflect on our own lives to understand how we can become better citizens, parents, and friends, so as to prevent such tragedies from happening. To those reading this who knew Steve Kenney, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

posted by: H on 09.11.05 at 11:31 AM [permalink]

Just picked up on this case on my arrival to HK...I am not and never have been an expat, but given the time I spend in HK, I might as well be one...I have been always intrigued by a sense that expats see themselves as better and therefore above the law of just not HK but wherever they may be for that matter. In one way I envy their lavish lifestyle...as one client once said to me...I can sometimes be a prince...and ask the maid to get me a glass of water while she is washing the floor...just because I can. It seems to me that this superiority attitude often prevails in all manners of daily life..both for males and females, and I am just wondering if that attitude sometimes can lead the person to think that there is nothing they can do that they cannot get away with. I for one am very interested in a book...I will be the first one in line to buy it.

This is my first posting to a blog...adn I am not sure of the procedures...so please just bear with me if I do not do it right.

posted by: candy on 09.11.05 at 11:36 AM [permalink]

Just a suggestion : H's post above about how the kids are starting a new life is the best ending to this current thread, which has been fairly constructive; but I think has run it's course for the topic. I am definitely turning over the page.

posted by: F.C on 09.11.05 at 01:43 PM [permalink]

We are a Cantonese-English writing team researching the Kissel Marriage for an article on a larger Hong Kong theme: women in Hong Kong of all types.

Variety of lifestyle of women in comtemporary Hong Kong: servants, teachers, bar hostesses, corporate wives, school administrators, beauticians, and retail store owners.

We would like to talk to those who knew this couple in any capacity whatsoever, and we can conduct interviews in either Cantonese or English.

We are unemotional and unbiased, and believe the jury had no other choice than to convict on the case presented.

Thanks for any help. Our email is: toplineconsulting@yahoo.ca.

Joe Wong and Arielle Gabriel.

posted by: Joe Wong and Arielle Gabriel on 09.11.05 at 02:01 PM [permalink]

Thank you.
I wish I could offer you some answers, but I do believe that in the end, you will find peace that you were honest. The most we can ask of ourselves, I think, is to do our part and be truthful about it. It may be of little consolation now, but perhaps in the future you will know that you did what you were supposed to do, and you will be able to live with yourself and the choice you've made. Sometimes, that is the best reward.

Thank you. You, too, are someone who has made wonderful, selfless, and difficult choices. If we all took such good care in a horrible situation, the world would have very few problems.

posted by: hmm on 09.11.05 at 08:20 PM [permalink]

Dear Bryna and H,

Thank you so much for sharing your information.

I think the fact that you were both so honest in your opinions and feelings, this blog has almost come to a standstill for the first time in months! You have stopped us in our tracks!!

We were all grappling for answers for so long. Why? being the number one question, but then the concerns we had as to the safety and wellbeing of the Kissel children.

Bryna your accounts of who Nancy and Rob were helped us to understand the past,
and H, your accounts have helped us most importantly…. to understand the future..…and that is that it appears that the Kissel kids have a wonderful future in a loving and caring environment!

May Rob finally rest in piece in the knowledge that two, strong and courageous ladies have stepped forward and made a huge difference to the possible outcome for all concerned.

Its times like these that actually make up for the pain and disbelief that people felt, and hopefully bring, love, understanding and hope for the future....

posted by: Ex-HK expat on 09.12.05 at 08:57 PM [permalink]

Bryna, you are trying to absolve your guilt because you sold Nan down the river! Stevek didn't die because Rob died, he was hit by a wacko driver in NYC. The place is full of them. I had another friend killed by a driver in the city, it happens all too often. You may need strangers to tell you that you did a good thing, but you know in your heart of hearts exactly what you did.

posted by: Min on 09.17.05 at 10:45 AM [permalink]

Min, who condones murder!!! -your'e not clever and its obvious to some of us exactly who you are. You know the facts and so does the rest of the world and yet you still insist on harrassing. My thoughts are that this is about something else. OBVIOUSLY! go find some help and GIVE IT A REST!!!

posted by: loosy on 09.17.05 at 05:32 PM [permalink]

itz because all these rich expat's are all self absorbed lowlife's and family is only a front.

posted by: rent on 09.21.05 at 05:27 AM [permalink]

Has Nancy filed an appeal application? Seems that the court drama has shifted to the states over custodial rights.

posted by: anxious on 09.29.05 at 05:22 PM [permalink]

Anxious, if you read the latest article (9/29) from the SCMP, Nancy's lawyers have filed an appeal AND there is a custody battle over the kids.

posted by: Simon on 09.29.05 at 05:26 PM [permalink]

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