The Nancy Kissel Case - Part 17

(SCMP)  Kissel jurors endure bloody stench.  By Polly Hui.  June 30, 2005.

Jurors at Nancy Kissel's murder trial endured a stomach-churning day yesterday as the prosecution paraded a large number of blood-stained items seized at the alleged crime scene.  The items were taken from the master bedroom of the Parkview flat Kissel shared with her husband and included a large white pillow half soaked in blood.  A strong stench spread from the tiny court storeroom next to the public gallery as police officers removed trial exhibits for Cheung Tseung-sin, the constable tasked with collecting physical evidence from the Parkview premises, to identify. At one point, an officer had to close the door of the storeroom to stop the smell from spreading.

Prosecutor Polly Wan asked officers to show the witness contents of the four black plastic bags retrieved from the bedroom of the accused's two daughters in November 2003.  Most of the items, including two white pillows, two pillow cases, two towels, three bed sheets, a duvet, a T-shirt and nine pieces of tissue paper, were splattered with blood that had turned brown. The exhibits, examined by government chemists and stored in transparent plastic bags, are alleged to have originated from the master bedroom of the luxury apartment.

The prosecution has alleged that Kissel murdered her husband, Robert Peter Kissel, by striking him with a heavy metal ornament in a series of "powerful and fatal blows" in the bedroom on or around November 2, 2003.  The accused was also alleged to have drugged the deceased with a milkshake laced with sedatives.  Police found the body of the deceased, a senior Merrill Lynch banker, rolled up in a "heavy, stinky" carpet in a storeroom rented by the accused on November 7, 2003.

Kissel, 41, has pleaded not guilty to a count of murder.

Senior Inspector See Kwong-tak, officer-in-charge of the case, had said earlier in cross-examination that the smell in one of the bags was so bad that his colleague immediately vomited in the flat when it was first discovered.

The defendant lowered her head as most of the blood-stained objects were carried across the courtroom for the witness, counsels, the judge and the jurors to examine.  The deceased's father, William Kissel, was in apparent grief and held his head in his hands throughout the ordeal, refusing to look at any of the objects.

The stench had by this time become so intense that some police officers, members of the jury and the public gallery had to cover their mouths and noses with their hands.  Officers said they had done all they could to remove the smell before the exhibits were presented in court yesterday.

The portrayal of the alleged murder scene was continued by Senior Constable Chong Yam-hoi, following Constable Cheung's testimony in the afternoon. Constable Chong, asked yesterday to identify a series of photographs taken at the flat, told the court that the close-up shots revealed blood stains were found on the wall, floor, a cabinet and on photo frames in the master bedroom.

The court also heard that samples of the deceased's hair, stomach, penis, nails and anus were tested in a government laboratory. Government chemists and forensics officers are expected to testify in the next two weeks.

The case continues today before Mr Justice Michael Lunn.