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Nancy Grace Mysteries: The Kissel Brothers Murders

Aired January 31, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Tonight on NANCY GRACE MYSTERIES, two incredibly successful brothers living worlds apart but suffering the same tragic fate. We explore the murders of Robert and Andrew Kissel.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, we know Nancy and Robert Kissel because of the murder, the "milkshake murder." But Nancy and Robert Kissel actually started way back in 1987 when the two met in New York City. They met, they began dating, they fell in love. And just two years later, 1989, they got married.

Kissel was climbing his way up the corporate ladder, and he held a host of jobs, every one higher than the last, more money than the last, until ultimately, he was transferred to Hong Kong. He was with Goldman Sachs. And in the year 2000, he had switched over to Merrill Lynch, and he was pulling down $3 million that we know of. There may have been other bonuses.

We also know that his title was managing director of global investments. Kissel had made it to the top, the picture-perfect family that everything was going their way.

But according to Nancy Kissel, it was far from perfect. She says that once the couple and their little girl, their daughter, moved to Hong Kong, everything went south, everything went bad. She says that he, Robert Kissel, immediately became addicted to cocaine, that his second drug of choice was single malt scotch, that he would beat her mercilessly if she refused to have anal sex with him, that he became extremely controlling, that he had never been that way back in the U.S., especially financially. He took back four of their five credit cards. And their relationship began to deteriorate rapidly.

That`s not the end of the story because guess what? Robert Kissel has a brother, Andrew Kissel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes this case so bizarre is that the man`s brother was also killed on the other side of the globe from where his brother died. CNN`s Randi Kaye investigates.

RANDI KAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were brothers living worlds apart, Robert Kissel in Hong Kong, Andrew Kissel in Greenwich, Connecticut, both married with children, both with more money than they could spend in a lifetime. But soon, this family fairy tale would begin to tragically unravel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just such a cruel fate, and I wouldn`t wish this on a dog.

KAYE: Andrew Kissel, once a successful real estate developer, drove flashy cars and lived in this gated estate. But the high life hit a low point. His lawyer says he fell into drugs, and last year, he was charged with more than $25 million in fraud, including millions stolen from the owners of this New York apartment building where he served on the board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot of money.

KAYE: In fact, Andrew Kissel was broke, his marriage crumbling. He planned to plead guilty and go to prison. Then suddenly, days before meeting with prosecutors, he`s found dead in the basement of his home, many stab wounds in his chest, his hands and feet bound.

But was it what it looked like? One theory police have, he ordered the hit on himself.

(on camera): Did he plan his own murder in some type of murder for hire plot so his children could get millions in insurance money?

(voice-over): The attorney for Andrew Kissel`s driver discounts that theory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think he`s the type of person who had the degree of selflessness to have himself killed for the benefit of somebody else. So I just think that theory is a little bit silly.

KAYE: Or maybe, since Kissel was planning to cooperate with prosecutors, the killer wanted to make sure he couldn`t. Of what about this? Kissel was going to prison. Maybe someone he crossed through prison would be getting off easy and decided to kill him instead.

Police have not named a suspect, but have interviewed several people, including Andrew Kissel`s driver and wife. His wife`s attorney says Kissel had used her name to forge documents. Hayley Kissel had filed for divorce in February and moved out with the couple`s two children just a few days before the murder.

Three years ago, Robert Kissel, the successful banker in Hong Kong, discovered his wife having an affair with a TV repairman. This private investigator says Robert Kissel told him he thought she was trying to kill him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rob Kissel was worth about $15 million dead.

KAYE: Robert Kissel had offered to divorce his wife, Nancy, and divide their millions. But apparently, she wanted more. Instead, she served him a strawberry milkshake laced with drugs. And when he passed out, she bludgeoned him to death with a statue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He stayed in the bedroom for two days, and then Nancy Kissel rolled his body up in a carpet that was in the living room and had the maintenance people from the building complex take his body to a storeroom in the complex.

KAYE: Nancy Kissel will spend the rest of her life in a Hong Kong prison for what became known as the "milkshake murder."

Back in Connecticut, solving big brother Andrew Kissel`s murder may not be that simple, but the evidence does raise a lot of questions. There is a bitter wife and a raging e-mail that appears to show this Mrs. Kissel also had thoughts about killing her husband. The Associated Press obtained details of Hayley Kissel`s e-mail, written less than a year before her husband`s murder. "Last night in bed, I could actually see myself pummeling him to death and just enjoying the sensation of each and every shot."

But her attorney says that doesn`t mean what it says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a clear venting of frustration and anger at what he had done. It`s understandable that she would do it, and she did it in a, you know, private e-mail to Andrew`s sister. Nobody`s going to send e-mails to the sister if they had any serious thoughts of doing something. It would be the dumbest thing you could do.

KAYE: Then who else might have killed him?

(on camera): There was no sign of forced entry, which leads police to believe Kissel either knew his killer and let him inside, or the killer was someone with access to the home, someone like Carlos Trujillo, Kissel`s long-time driver and assistant. Police have interviewed Trujillo more than once. He`s been fingerprinted and his storage facility has been searched.

(voice-over): In an interview on Fox News, Trujillo emphatically denied any involvement.

CARLOS TRUJILLO, KISSEL`S DRIVER: We are the best friend, you know? And he treated (ph) me like his own. I love him like my father, you know? I can`t believe this, you know, how (ph) I possibly to kill (ph) him (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems to have, you know, evolved into a real murder mystery here.

KAYE: Two brothers now side by side. One had been rich and successful. One had been rich and disgraced. Yet both suffered the same terrible fate.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Greenwich, Connecticut.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tests revealed the presence of six prescription medications in Kissel`s stomach, including rohypnol, AKA the date rape drug.


GRACE: High-powered American banker living in Hong Kong bludgeoned to death with a piece of art, a statue. On trial, his wife, who claims she killed after being treated as a sex slave their whole marriage. Defense? Her affair with the TV repairman.

Fast-forward to 2003. The deadly SARS virus strikes. All the Americans in the Kissel circle, anyway, that could go home to the U.S. left Hong Kong and immediately went home. Ultimately, the Kissels decided that Nancy Kissel would take their three children and go to their Vermont vacation home. They had a sprawling home in Vermont. They thought they would be safe there while he continued to work in Hong Kong.

Things changed. There was a sea change once she got away from him and was at the Vermont vacation home. They decided that since the Kissels were going to be at the vacation home for a period of time, an extended period of time, they would install a home theater for them to use.

And wouldn`t you know, the installer sent his brother to do the work that day. He and Kissel start an affair. And it is under this guy`s encouragement that Nancy Kissel goes to a tattoo parlor and gets her three children`s names tattooed in Chinese on her shoulder.

Well, Kissel, Robert Kissel, hit the roof over the tattoos, and he realized then, if he didn`t already know, that she was getting out from under his control.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She described for the court in minute detail scenes from what she said was an abusive, perverted marriage, how at night, her husband did a Jekyll and Hyde, peeling off his conservative skin to snort coke and drink scotch until he was smashed, how he allegedly forced her into humiliating rough sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her self-esteem was probably absolutely nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liz Lacaw (ph) says her friend was crying out for help, finding some temporary solace with a lover in Vermont.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She wanted a loving husband, and she had that. Then that fell away, and then she had nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But for all her sordid testimony, Nancy Kissel`s memory of her husband`s death was spotty at best. She denied drugging his milkshake, but remembered acting in self-defense, her husband threatening her. Striking him five times with (INAUDIBLE) that statue, though -- that was a complete blur.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He tried to pick a fight by mentioning divorce. He says, supposedly, I`m taking the kids. I`m going. And he`s holding a baseball bat. And then eventually, through a lot of shouting, she gets dragged into the bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A violent fight is under way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. And she goes blank.



GRACE: Finally, SARS came to an end, and the Kissel family flew back to Hong Kong to reunite with Robert Kissel, the father, the husband. Well, she stayed in touch with the boyfriend, the boyfriend back in Vermont. And Kissel began suspecting she was having an affair.

Well, that was a day late and a dollar short because at this point, with the boyfriend in Vermont and Nancy Kissel is in Hong Kong, the PI couldn`t come up with any photos or any rendezvous, nothing.

His suspicions continued. He thought she was having an affair, albeit an affair of the heart at this point. But he would not confront her, he says, because he was afraid she would leave him. So he never confronted her about his suspicions about an affair.


GRACE: A man that was pulling down millions of dollars a year as a Merrill Lynch banker in Hong Kong has been murdered. His body was found bludgeoned to death and wrapped up in a very expensive oriental rug. Well, how did that happen?

Let`s go straight over to Richard Blake (ph), senior editor with "Justice" magazine. Richard, let`s talk about the facts for just a moment. This woman`s defense is that he abused her and that she was a sex slave for all the years they were married, right?

RICHARD BLAKE, "JUSTICE" MAGAZINE: Yes, that`s correct, which is in stark contrast to what fellow traders say about Robert Kissel, and of course, what the prosecution would have us believe.

GRACE: Well, now, wait a minute. Wait a minute, Richard. Of course, all of his friends at the bank think he`s mild-mannered, but they weren`t alone with him at night, night after night after night. I mean, police did find some crazy Web sites he was going to, all about deviant sexual practices, gay sexual practices, which, you know, that`s fine, but he`s married to a woman. That presents a tiny bit of a problem, OK?

So long story short, Richard, the reality is she came to America for a visit. This American couple living in Hong Kong, she comes all the way home to the States and sparks up an affair with the TV repairman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which, apparently, he found out about through a private investigator. And at the time of the murder, the prosecution theorizes that he had confronted her, that enough was enough, he had found out about the affair and he wanted a divorce.

GRACE: Well, you know, I think Albert Wong (ph) -- Albert Wong is with us. He is a reporter from "The Standard." She`s got a lot more of a defense to put up, other than, I was a sex slave, to get off on murder. And the reality is, Albert, not only was there the bludgeoning with the statue, the piece of art, there was the matter of the strawberry milkshake. Do you want to tell the viewers about that, Albert?

ALBERT WONG, "THE STANDARD": That`s true, Nancy. The prosecution has alleged that she served her husband and a neighbor a pink milkshake, which the neighbor found tasting strange, tasting bitter. And within 15 minutes, he was pretty much unconscious on the sofa.

However, neighbors have also testified that they then saw Robert Kissel playing with his son in the playroom in the residential complex, and he seemed absolutely fine at the time.

GRACE: Well, my question is this. What do the toxicology reports say regarding the victim`s blood? Were there all the drugs in his blood?

WONG: Yes, they -- well, they found traces of five or six antidepressants or hypnotics in his stomach. However, they do concede -- these are the government chemists. They do concede that there`s no way of knowing the quantity of those drugs. And also, the defense suggests that, well, this is a banker who travels often, has migraines.

GRACE: He`s got five different drugs in his stomach, Richard Blake? The neighbor and him both have this strawberry milkshake she makes, the neighbor passes out on the sofa, just dead to the world, and the other guy has five drugs in his bloodstream? She`s the only one that has no drugs in her bloodstream, and nobody can figure this out, Richard?

BLAKE: Well, she has said that she just served up a milkshake to her kids, and there was nothing in it. So you know, she contends...

GRACE: Well, then, how does the neighbor end up passing out after a milkshake?

BLAKE: That`s an excellent question. The prosecution is going to continue to drive home the point that she was confronted with his wishes to end the marriage.

GRACE: Richard, Richard, Richard -- the milkshake, the milkshake! The neighbor comes over, drinks a strawberry milkshake, passes out! What more...

BLAKE: And so does Robert Kissel, apparently, at the foot of the bed, the prosecution would have us believe, at which point that she bludgeoned him.



GRACE: At this juncture, now that Nancy Kissel has reunited with Robert Kissel and their family in Hong Kong, her claims of abuse began to escalate, just as they did before. She now accuses Robert Kissel of being into gay sex, that all he wants is gay sex, anal sex, that he finds gay anal sex when he travels on business trips, that he`s into gay porn on their computer.

She, on the other side of the spectrum -- you`ve got his alleged gay affair over here, and on her side, she goes and gets a new cell phone but has the bill sent to the school where she volunteers.

Now, of course, this drives Kissel insane, and he tells the PI that he is suspicious she`s trying to poison him in his scotch. Coincidentally, their computer shows searches for sleeping pills, poisons, drugs and medications that can make someone have a heart attack. Well, the PI insists that Kissel have his scotch tested. Kissel never did.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she was planning a murder, she would have done it a lot better than that.

GRACE: She wouldn`t have said, I, Debra Opri, was a sex slave, so I had to bludgeon my husband?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I wouldn`t discuss my personal life in a courtroom. No, of course not.


GRACE: You`re so right because this is altogether a bad trial strategy!


GRACE: She should have gone with self-defense, but there`s...



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can change it. She can change it. All she needs to do is say, Look, if I were planning on murdering him, I wouldn`t have done it this way. I wouldn`t have grabbed at this kind of an object. I wouldn`t have prepared a milkshake where there`s going to be traces of this with a neighbor and him.

I don`t think it happened that way. I think this guy brutalized her, and at that moment when she swung at him, the first swing -- and I`ll tell you what the problem is in a second -- when she swung that first swing and it got him, and she came after her again, she took the second swing, the question she has to answer is why the third, fourth and fifth swing.

GRACE: OK, David Foley (ph), do you really think he came after her after he had that milkshake full of drugs? And we also have her on the Internet looking up all the drugs. She says she wanted to commit suicide. Why do people always say they want to commit suicide, then other people around them drop like flies?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s understandable that you wouldn`t want to spend another day with this guy. And if she did this in self- defense, she should get a medal, not a charge for murder, because this guy was nothing but -- nothing but garbage and a monster.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert and Nancy Kissel -- very successful Americans. They met in the U.S. Robert Kissel was very involved in high finance. He worked for a big investment company. And ultimately, they were located to Hong Kong. According to Nancy Kissel, once the Kissels moved to Hong Kong, basically, their marriage began to fall apart. She said that Robert Kissel seemed to have developed a very serious cocaine problem. She said he became very demanding sexually.


GRACE: Now we`re at nearly the end of 2003. It`s November 2, 2003. One of Robert Kissel`s friends brings his daughter to the Kissel home to play with their 7-year-old girl. At some juncture, the guy is about to leave, and he asks for a drink of water. Kissel`s 7-year-old child goes to the kitchen and brings back two red-pink homemade milkshakes that Nancy Kissel has made.

And the evidence shows that they tasted like strawberries mixed with bananas and crushed cookies, that they were overly sweet, like just over- the-top sweet, like sugar had been dumped into them. And it`s interesting, when they asked what it was, Nancy Kissel says it`s a homemade Halloween recipe that`s a secret recipe.

What`s also interesting is the friend also drank the secret recipe red milkshake, and he went home. His wife noticed he was red in the face. He fell into a deep, deep sleep. She couldn`t wake him up. She shouted and shouted. He would not wake up. When he did wake up, he ate three cartons of ice cream alone. He was in a stupor, a daze. He soiled all the furniture and had no memory of what had happened.

This is the friend who drank part of a milkshake made by Nancy Kissel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The girls did sort of disappear into the other end of the apartment, and I started chatting with Robert. He was very relaxed and confident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Tanzer was about to go home, Nancy insisted the girls serve a milkshake she had made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The two girls came out with a tray with two tall glasses of milkshake, one for Robert and one for me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So these are drinks that were designed for you. These weren`t the girls` drinks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you feel obligated to drink it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did, sort of, because I was a guest. So yes. And it had some strange taste which I could not recognize.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Some time after Andrew Tanzer left the Kissel home that Sunday afternoon, Robert disappeared. When he didn`t make a conference call the following day, a colleague reported him missing. Nancy kept it secret from the children, but told others that she and Robert had a terrible fight and that he had left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said to me, Something terrible has happened. It`s a family emergency. And I said, Is there anything I can do? She said, No, don`t come over. But she sounded distraught. She sounded very upset.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After Robert was missing for four days, the police went to the Kissel apartment to investigate. When they searched the family`s storage unit, they found boxes of bloody items and a rolled-up carpet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what, in fact, was inside that carpet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rob Kissel`s body.


ANNOUNCER: That was from CBS News, "48 Hours Mystery."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know Rob Kissel spent the day with his three kids he was crazy about. At one point, his daughter gave him a pink milkshake mixed up by her mom, a secret recipe, she called it, in the spirit of Halloween. It seemed at the time a cute gesture but not that significant.

He had to have had so much on his mind that afternoon -- the impending divorce, the possible loss of his children. And on top of it all, a critical conference call at home later that evening. It was so important that a colleague phoned him to talk about strategy for the meeting. Hong Kong reporter Albert Wong says the colleague though Rob sounded as though he were on another planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just bizarre.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Groggy, out of it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not making sense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe stress was finally taking its toll on Rob Kissel, or maybe something else was afoot. Maybe the goblins of Halloween had one more trick to play.


ANNOUNCER: NBC "Dateline."


GRACE: If he had had this strawberry milkshake laced with five different drugs and he`s lying down passed out, just like the neighbor was, you really think he put up a fight? No way! She bopped him on the head and he was a goner. And plus, if this were a big accident, how did he end up wrapped up in the oriental rug in the basement?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because what happened was...

GRACE: He fell on the rug and it started rolling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice! What happened was, is that he abused cocaine. He abused drugs on a regular basis. There really -- it`s in his system, but how it got in his system, what he put in his own system himself -- and this was a vicious fight in terms of self-defense. He had a baseball bat, for heaven`s sake!

GRACE: Yes, in the closet. Hold on. Ellie, was there any evidence that there was cocaine in his system?


GRACE: OK, the judge here is saying there`s no evidence of cocaine in his system. David, did you just grab that out of thin air?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because she had testified...

GRACE: Because she said so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... that he had abused cocaine in the past. So that based on that, just because it was not in his system at this moment -- he`s a drug abuser. He`s someone who abuses substances, alcohol and drug...

GRACE: Albert Wong...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And his preppy bankers are all going to say he`s a wonderful guy. What a shock.

GRACE: Albert Wong is with us. He`s a reporter with "The Standard." Was there any evidence that this guy, this banker from Merrill Lynch, who had just found out about the TV repairman, was asking for a divorce that day -- was there any evidence he was a dope addict?

WONG: They have not made the relevant tests to test to make sure that -- whether he had cocaine or not. That is something the cross-examination, the defense in cross-examination, has questioned the police about. They never made the appropriate tests for cocaine (INAUDIBLE) otherwise they say no, there was nothing (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: So Albert, the only evidence this victim had ever used an illicit drug is coming from the defendant herself, the one who also claims she was a sex slave.

WONG: At the moment, yes.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That evening, police questioned maintenance men at the apartment complex and learned Nancy Kissel called the management office the day before to have a rug moved to a storage room in the same complex.


GRACE: So according to prosecutors, this is what happens. Robert Kissel passes out on the bed after drinking the red milkshake. He`s totally out of it. And according to them, she, Nancy Kissel, then comes up with some crystal figurine, some kind of tchotchke, bashes him on the head five times, and the blows were so severe, according to medical reports, it caused massive brain matter spillage. Think she beat his brains out? That`s really the only way to put it.

Now, to add to the weirdness of this crime, she then lets his body sit there in their apartment, their home, for three days, I guess figuring out what to do with it, until Ms. Kissel decides she needs a rug moved.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The workers who moved the rug said it was unusually heavy. It took four men to move.


GRACE: It must have been one of the big oriental rugs rolled up. Little did they know what was rolled up inside of the rug, a dead Robert Kissel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police got a search warrant to enter the room. About two hours after finding Robert Kissel`s body, police arrested Nancy Kissel at 2:41 AM Friday, November 7th, 2003.


GRACE: Well, that leaves the father, Robert Kissel, dead, bludgeoned to death after a deadly milkshake, wrapped up in an oriental rug, and mom facing murder charges.

What about the three children? Well, this is what happens with them. They come to the U.S. and they are living with Nancy Kissel`s father, their grandfather. And at some point, it becomes too much on him to raise the three children, according to Robert Kissel`s younger brother, Andrew Kissel.

So Andrew Kissel, the children`s uncle, petitions the court to wrestle custody away from Nancy Kissel`s father, the children`s maternal grandfather, and the court agrees. Now, this is over Nancy Kissel`s objections, but you know, she`s sitting in a Hong Kong jail, so she really doesn`t have a leg to stand on.

So the children, the three children of Robert and Nancy Kissel, go to Andrew Kissel, Robert`s younger brother. He already has three kids of his own. So they`re all one big happy blended family, you`d think, until July 2005.

Andrew Kissel is charged with real estate fraud by the feds, and the feds don`t play. Andrew Kissel gets out of jail after his arrest on a million-dollar bond. It`s then that his wife, Hayley Kissel, hits him with divorce papers.

Now, here`s the problem with Hayley Kissel leaving him. They have two children of their own, and they have Robert Kissel`s three children. So Hayley Kissel is taking care of all five children, and she`s set to walk on that divorce. So the whole Kissel family is being split right down the middle.

Just days before Andrew Kissel is set to enter a guilty plea on those federal fraud charges, he`s found dead. Yes, Robert Kissel has been beaten, bludgeoned five times in the head. His brother, Andrew Kissel, is found stabbed to death five times in the head, the back of the neck and the back, and he`s found in his back country mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, in the basement. And he`s bound by plastic ties, hand and foot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The body of 46-year-old Andrew Kissel leaves his home just hours after he was found brutally murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very surprising.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s so close to home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perhaps a little too close for comfort for some familiar with this quiet back country neighborhood. Police say it was movers that found Kissel`s body and that he had been stabbed several times. Kissel and his estranged wife, Hayley, were reportedly in a custody battle for his brother`s three children, said to inherit millions. Kissel`s brother, Robert, was murdered in 2003 by his wife, Nancy, who gave him a drug-filled milkshake at their Hong Kong apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s kind of like the Martha Moxley thing that happened in Belle Haven, just as unexpected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unexpected, too, for police, who spent day scouring the scene, wondering what happened behind these windowpanes. Kissel was a real estate developer who was facing federal charges of real estate fraud. Told (ph) he has two children of his own, and his wife reportedly filed for divorce last year.

We`re told that Kissel was wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet that only allowed him to travel to certain places. News 12 Connecticut spoke over the phone with Greenwich attorney Phil Russell, who once represented Kissel, telling us that this is a terrible loss for the family. However, he didn`t want to comment further. News 12 Connecticut will, of course, continue to follow this story for you. In Greenwich, Courtney Chamberlain (ph), News 12 Connecticut.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert Kissel wasn`t the only financial bigwig in the Kissel family. His brother, Andrew, was also involved in high finance. And like his brother, Andrew Kissel was murdered, too. Now, there`s no connection that anyone is aware of between the brothers` deaths, but it`s almost as if a cloud, a dark cloud, is hanging over the Kissel family.


GRACE: So you`ve got Robert Kissel dead in Hong Kong.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end, after three months of trial, the jury didn`t buy Nancy`s claims of abuse or her argument of self-defense. Its unanimous verdict, guilty. Nancy Kissel would spend the rest of her life in a Chinese prison. Rob`s friends in New York couldn`t spare her much sympathy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The legacy that she leaves her children is that she murdered their father and said he was a terrible person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those children were sent to live with their Uncle Andrew in his Connecticut mansion, where everyone hoped their healing could begin. But by then, he may have been too preoccupied with something else. There was yet another storm heading towards the Kissel family. It was Shakespearean, almost biblical, what was about to happen to the surviving brother -- surviving, but not for very long.


ANNOUNCER: NBC "Dateline."

GRACE: Now you`ve got Andrew Kissel dead in Greenwich, Connecticut.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kissel`s life was in the middle of a meltdown. He was due in a New York courtroom tomorrow on federal bank fraud charges. He was also being sued for millions by banks and creditors, and his wife was divorcing him. Monday, movers showed up to clear him out of the sprawling north Greenwich estate where he`d been living. Movers got no answer, found the door unlocked and discovered Mr. Kissel`s body in the basement. He`d reportedly been bound and stabbed several times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The preliminary findings of the autopsy indicate that Mr. Kissel`s death was the result of multiple stab wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kissel`s brother was bludgeoned in Hong Kong in 2003, a case called the "milkshake murder," Robert Kissel`s wife convicted of drugging his milkshake with sedatives and then beating him to death. Andrew Kissel`s killing now the talk of the town in this quiet community not known for notorious crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a town that`s -- that a lot of -- well, many consider rather secluded and protected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police won`t say if they have suspects, just that there was no sign of forced entry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trouble with Andrew Kissel is that he had so many enemies. Everybody disliked him. I mean, he was a totally corrupt and really awful businessman. His wife hated him. She was divorcing him. He had -- his business partner hated him, and there`d been threats back and forth to kill one another. And the focus now has been on the people who were close to him and (INAUDIBLE) and actually liked him, but who the suspicion is participated in a suicide by murder plot.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. You think a guy who never did one thing for anybody else, ever -- and in fact, when he took his own brother, dead brother -- PS, the brother was murdered, too, over in Hong Kong -- Hong Kong by his wife via a poisonous milkshake -- he took the kids in, and then charged the estate back something like $170,000? That`s quite a tab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is quite a tab, but these were very wealthy kids. Each of the three kids was worth about $5 million. And anybody who gets the kids is going to get that money. There`s, like, an allowance of about $8,000, $10,000 a month.

Andrew was a likely one to spend money. He goes to pick up the kids in a Marquis private jet and bills his brother`s estate for that. But you can`t quite fault him on wanting money to support those kids.




GRACE: To Phillip Russell (ph), Andrew Kissel`s lawyer. Your guy was about to plead guilty and go to the pen.


GRACE: Was he singing on co-conspirators?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he wasn`t cooperating with the authorities by giving testimony against anyone or incriminating any other people. He was not involved in that type of activity.

GRACE: You know what? I know you`re a veteran defense lawyer, but that doesn`t sound anything at all like the feds because they will squeeze you until you are dry. They get blood out of a turnip. So if your guy knew anything, I don`t believe that they wouldn`t squeeze him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don`t know what to say, Nancy. He wasn`t talking. He wasn`t giving up other people.

GRACE: What was his deal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was pleading guilty. He was owning up to what he had done.

GRACE: How much jail time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was probably going to be between five and ten years.

GRACE: Back to Phillip Russell, Andrew Kissel`s criminal lawyer. Now, you know you got problems when you`ve got that many lawyers working for you. Remember Simpson coming in court with a fleet of, like, 10 lawyers trailing behind him? Here we`ve got Phillip Russell, high-profile lawyer. Then you`ve got Howard Graber (ph), his divorce lawyer, no stranger to a courtroom.

Now, what type of handcuffs were on this guy`s feet and hands? Were they these plastics or the other kind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe those were the handcuffs that he had.

GRACE: And tell me his height and his weight, to the best of your knowledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say he was approximately 5-foot-11 or 6 feet, maybe 185, 190 pounds.

GRACE: But to Renee Rockwell, veteran defense attorney -- back to the wife, Hayley. If this guy was high on cocaine -- from my understanding, powdered cocaine was his thing -- she could probably get him to do anything.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, Nancy. She didn`t do it.


ROCKWELL: I like the murder for -- the suicide murder mystery. That`s fascinating. You couldn`t even write a book like this. And everybody wants to say, No way, he wouldn`t have gotten a hitman...

GRACE: Because it doesn`t make any sense. That`s why.

ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, everybody says you wouldn`t hire a hitman to stab you and just let you bleed out and leave you for dead. Unfortunately, there are no rules with hitmen. You order your own death, and you just take what you can get.

GRACE: Renee, I got a funny feeling that it`s not exactly the curb service that you`re talking about when you`re talking about a killer. If reports are true that this guy had hookers and dopers in his house, they could have just had a party that got out of control and he ends up dead. Yes, no, Anne Bremner?

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, look at this case, Nancy, as the Kissel of death. Where did it come from? Anywhere, the mob...

GRACE: OK, that`s bad.

BREMNER: I know, but I had to say it. But the mob, the hookers, the dopers, the -- everyone he swindled, his neighbors, his friends, his business associates, strangers in business. You know, every -- who did not want to kill him? Raise your hand. Everyone wanted to kill him that he knew. You know, everyone`s a suspect, nobody`s a suspect. Nancy, everyone`s a suspect and everyone`s a suspect that knows this guy.

GRACE: According to information that we have, Phillip, your client ripped off his neighbors in his own co-op to the tune of $4 million. And it was so bad, his wife, Hayley, would have to sneak down 10 flights of stairs so the neighbors wouldn`t see her, she was so embarrassed. Did you know that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know anything about Mrs. Kissel going downstairs. I know that there was an allegation against him that he took approximately $2.5 million and that he made restitution before law enforcement became involved with the case.

GRACE: Wasn`t the restitution back over $4 million?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t -- I can`t confirm that number. I don`t think it was that dramatic a figure. He did pay back the original amount that was taken, and a premium which went to the lawyers and the accountants who worked for the co-op board, recovering the loss.

GRACE: Take a listen to what police had to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven`t ruled anybody out, but I can`t speculate on any attachments or connections to organized crime. This was not a random act. We do believe that Mr. Kissel was the intentional target of this assault and that there is not someone out there in the community who may be randomly selecting residences to break into.


GRACE: I don`t know if a normal life is possible when one dad gets killed by a poisonous milkshake served by his wife, and the other one is handcuffed and stabbed to death in the basement. We`re staying on it.