The Nancy Kissel Case - Part 29

(The Standard)  Kissel laptop in searches for gay sites and Paris girls.  By Albert Wong.  July 23, 2005.

The courtroom computer trawling continued Friday as the defense in the milkshake murder trial explored and recreated the alleged erotic Web-surfing habits of Merrill Lynch banker Robert Kissel.

For the second day in a row, defense counsel pointed out Kissel's apparent exploration of Web sites for such items as ''hardcore gay bondage sex.'' The subject was first broached Thursday when it was learned that the family computer had been used to search for ''gay sex in Taiwan'' at a time when the deceased was the only member of the family in Hong Kong just a few days before he took a trip to Taiwan.

The defense also presented the court with computer evidence of domestic tensions in the Kissel household, as a snippet of a recovered file from a Sony Vaio computer belonging to his wife Nancy Kissel, who is accused of his murder, was shown on which a message accused Robert Kissel of "harsh actions'' and "blaming it all on me.''

The court heard and saw Friday how deleted files from the deceased's personal IBM laptop computer could be recovered to show how thoroughly the computer was used to search for gay sex sites, sexual services and escort agencies.

Cheung Chun-kit, a forensic scientist from the Technology Crimes Bureau, verified that computer print-outs listing the pornographic Web sites were genuine.

Nancy Kissel, 41, is accused of drugging her husband with a milkshake laced with sedatives then beating him to death on the night of Sunday, November 2, 2003.  The accused said at the time that her drunken husband assaulted her after she refused him sex and then disappeared.  She denies the charge and is out on bail.  The banker's decomposing body was found in a storeroom in the Parkview residential complex, Tai Tam, in the early hours of November 7.

Cheung received four Kissel family computers for examination on November 24, 2003, but he said he never searched for gay or pornographic Web sites.

Faced under cross-examination with the large amount of data presented by the defense team relating to the steamy Web sites, Cheung expressed "doubt'' over the defense's claim that the computer was used to search gay sites.  Cheung said it was possible that the machine had been used to search for sites that merely contained the letters, "g'' "a'' and "y.''  These letters could be in the middle of a word, Cheung said.

Defense counsel Alexander King alerted him to a list of Web sites, which included ", free black gay porn, black gay male pictures, gay black men, black males, ebony men.''

"These are all pages, are they not, that have been visited by the user of this computer?'' King asked.  "This was the result of searching,'' Cheung replied.

Calling up one such Web site on a computer, King invited Cheung to look at the bottom right-hand corner of the Web page.  

"Do the boxes on that site appear to cater to a number of different tastes?'' King asked.  "Yes,'' Cheung replied.  

"Including gay males?'' King asked.  "Yes.''

In addition, King earlier directed Cheung's attention to the message from Nancy Kissel's Sony Vaio: "You see Rob, at the end of the day it seems like I'm the only one making the effort but because of this fight and how uncontrollable you got in the car. A fight and you give out an ultimatum.

"Who should be in therapy? What ever happened to 'we'?''

Deleted files, Cheung explained at King's urging, can be recovered from a computer as "unallocated clusters'' and can be converted back into Web pages using EnCase software. But EnCase cannot determine what dates the pages were viewed from "unallocated clusters,'' Cheung said.

Using the deceased's IBM laptop, King presented Cheung with more data on words searched and Web sites viewed. Html code containing the words "gay ultra,'' became a Web site, without the pictures - but with plenty of graphic language - that was recreated on screens around the courtroom.

Cheung said there would have been pictures when the page was viewed. The page was "last updated'' on June 14, 2003. "We move to Europe now, and can you see a search for 'Paris girls for hire?''' King asked.

"Yes,'' Cheung said, and confirmed he could see searches were made for "Paris at home masseuse,'' "Massage in Paris France,'' "Paris Gay'' "Paris Gay Massage.''

(SCMP; no link)  Kissel defence pursues porn findings.  By Polly Hui.  July 23, 2005.

Allegations on Robert Peter Kissel's sexual interests - including a taste for black gay men, Taiwanese actresses and French masseurs - continued to be put before the court yesterday by the defence on day two of cross-examination of a computer forensic expert.

Alexander King, SC, displayed more porn websites searched for or browsed between April 3 and 5, 2003, on a Dell desktop computer seized in the Kissels' Parkview flat.

Using software to trace internet use, the defence team found the user of the computer had, on April 5, visited websites advertising services for female and bisexual escorts in Perth, Western Australia, and a photo gallery under the header "Male Cock Gay Sex Gay Men". Numerous searches for sites on black gay men also were identified.

Mr King argued on Thursday that only Robert Kissel, a Merrill Lynch banker allegedly killed by his wife Nancy in their flat on November 2, 2003, could have used the computer as immigration records showed the accused and her three children were in the US.  Nancy Kissel, 41, has pleaded not guilty to a count of murder.

The defence also retrieved evidence from the deceased's IBM notebook computer, that showed it had been used many times in May and June 2003 to browse or search for websites on "twinks", "actresses for hire in Taiwan", "escorts in Taiwan", "Paris girl for hire", "Paris gay massage", "Paris x-rated escorts", "gay sex" and "anal sex".

In one instance, the user was found to be accessing the Merrill Lynch network while searching for the porn sites.

Police computer expert Cheung Chun-kit said yesterday he believed that in January 2003 the deceased had installed spyware on the desktop computer and the Sony Vaio notebook computer used by the defendant and that by early October it was possible he had examined about 7,000 of his wife's emails.

Mr King read out an entry in the defendant's notebook computer captured by an activity report dated October 7, 2003: "You are still justifying your harsh action in the car with the kids by blaming it on me. You see Rob, at the end of the day it seems that I am the only one making the effort. I have shown you in many ways how I have been trying. But because of that fight and how uncontrollable you got in the car ... How you are always telling me we won't fight in front of the kids ... A fight and you give out an ultimatum ... I still can't believe it ... Is it how life is going to be? Who should be going to therapy? Whatever happens ... to us? You never use those words anymore ever."

Asked by Mr King to verify the defence findings on porn websites, Mr Cheung admitted he had not searched for materials related to "" or "gay sex" when examining the computers.  When asked why computer activity reports dated March to June, 2003 could not be retrieved Mr Cheung said he did not remember.

The case continues on Monday.

(The Standard)  Kissel murder trial focus stays on gay porn surfing.  By Albert Wong.  July 25, 2005.

As the Nancy Kissel murder trial enters its eighth week, prosecution scientist Cheung Chun-kit is expected to continue to question defense methods used to trace gay pornographic Web sites on the IBM laptop used by Kissel's murdered husband, Robert.

Over the past several weeks, the defense team has increasingly sought to impugn the late Merrill Lynch investment banker's character before Justice Michael Lunn, canvassing during cross examination possibilities of cocaine use, drinking and violence towards his children and wife.

Last Thursday, the court heard that the family computer was used to search for "gay ... sex in Taiwan'' and other Web sites offering sexual services at a time when the deceased was the only member of the family in Hong Kong, and a few days before he took a trip to Taiwan.

Friday, Cheung confirmed that Internet records found on both the family's Dell desktop and the IBM laptop could be converted back into the original Web page using the software EnCase. In a live demonstration, the defense proceeded to display on computer screens around the courtroom the type of Web pages that had been visited, without the pictures but containing pornographic text.

When Cheung expressed doubt that the user of the Dell desktop had searched for gay sites, saying only the letters "g'' "a'' and "y'' had been searched for, Mrs Kissel's lawyer, Alexander King, referred to the list of Web sites involved, which include ", free black gay porn, black gay male pictures, gay black men, black males, ebony men.''  Cheung agreed they seemed to cater to homosexual tastes.

Nancy Kissel, 41, is charged with murdering her husband, Robert, after serving him a milkshake laced with sedatives, which left him unconscious as she beat him to death with a heavy metal ornament on November 2, 2003.  The accused told a doctor and police that her drunken husband had assaulted her after she refused him sex and then disappeared. She denies the charge and is out on bail.  The banker's decomposing body was found wrapped in a carpet in a storeroom in a Parkview residential complex on November 7.

Last Monday, government forensic scientist Wong Koon-hung testified that the curved base of the suspected murder weapon, the metal ornament, could have been caused by a hard, elongated object such as a baseball bat, striking the ornament. 

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