The Nancy Kissel Case - Part 41(Bloomberg) Kissel Denies Using Daughter to Drug Banker Husband. By Clare Cheung. August 10, 2005.
Nancy Kissel, on trial in Hong Kong for the murder of her Merrill Lynch & Co. investment banker husband, denied using her six-year-old daughter to deliver a drug- laced milkshake to her husband before killing him.
Kissel also denied drugging her husband. She said she made the milkshakes with the younger of her two daughters, now aged eight, and the daughter of Andrew Tanzer, a neighbor who was visiting the family on the day Robert Kissel was killed.
"You used the milkshake to conceal the drugs,'' said Prosecutor Peter Chapman today in the city's High Court. "You didn't bring the milkshakes to them. You used the girls because you knew Robert Kissel wouldn't take it from you.''
The prosecution has alleged Nancy Kissel drugged her millionaire husband on Nov. 2, 2003 by lacing his milkshake with sedatives and, when he was under the influence of the drugs, she struck him with a heavy metal object. Robert Kissel, whose body was found wrapped in a carpet four days later in a storeroom near the couple's Tai Tam apartment, died of head injuries, a police statement said at the time.
Nancy Kissel -- who is pleading not guilty to one charge of murder -- was cross-examined on the details of the fight that lead to her husband's death today. She said was using a metal statue to defend herself while Robert Kissel used a baseball bat.
"It did not happen Mrs. Kissel, it just did not happen,'' Chapman said. "Those five grouped accurate fatal blows were delivered by you from above, weren't they, Mrs. Kissel?.''
Kissel replied that she was lying on the floor defending herself with the metal statue while Robert Kissel was on top of her. She claimed she had no recollection of what happened for the rest of the fight.
"You were able to deliver those accurate blows because Robert Kissel was unable to defend himself, because you had rendered him defenseless by drugging him,'' Chapman said.
"I defended myself,'' Kissel replied.
At 4.29 p.m. Chapman asked Judge Michael Lunn whether it was a convenient time to adjourn for the day. The judge was about to dismiss the jury when Kissel burst into tears and sobbed from the dock "he was going to kill me. Oh God, oh God, he was going to kill me.''
The prosecutor yesterday said Nancy Kissel shopped for drugs months before she allegedly laced the milkshake with sedatives, and gave it to her husband to drink on the day he died. Four of the six drugs found in Robert Kissel's stomach were in Nancy Kissel's possession, the prosecutor said. Robert Kissel suspected the accused trying to drug him since September 2003, Chapman said.
Nancy Kissel, 41, under cross-examination by Chapman, last week admitted she killed her husband. She said the pair had a fight about getting a divorce and she threw a metal ornament at her husband when he came at her, swinging a baseball bat and threatening to kill her.
Robert Kissel wanted a divorce because he suspected his wife of having an affair, Chapman said in his opening statement on June 7.
Nancy Kissel said today she didn't tell her father about her husband's violence, the sexual abuse and his use of drugs in the five years leading to November 2003, even though she had said she kept close contact with him.
Merrill Lynch hired Kissel from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2000 to head its distressed assets business in Asia outside Japan. He was a vice president in Goldman's Asian special situations group, helping the firm become one of the biggest investors in bad debt in the region.
The case is HKSAR v. Nancy Ann Kissel, indictment no. HCCC113/2004 in the Court of First Instance of the High Court. The hearing will continue tomorrow, its 52nd day.
(Associated Press via News24.com) 'I put on a brave face' August 10, 2005.
An American housewife on trial for allegedly drugging and murdering her husband in Hong Kong on Wednesday said she had planned to travel to the United States for breast enhancement surgery and liposuction to please her sexually demanding and abusive spouse.
Nancy Kissel said she scheduled the procedures in San Francisco in October 2003 - shortly before her wealthy banker husband, Robert, was killed - but cancelled them because they conflicted with her daughter's dance function.
"The breast surgery was very important to my husband," Kissel said.
Kissel, 41, is accused of making her husband a milkshake laced with drugs, then bludgeoning him to death during an argument on November 2 2003.
Kissel has admitted killing her 40-year-old husband, a New York native who worked at investment bank Merrill Lynch, but denies murder. She hasn't admitted drugging him.
Prosecutor Peter Chapman on Wednesday challenged Kissel's claims of abuse. Kissel has testified that her husband assaulted her and demanded oral and anal sex, leading her to consider suicide.
Chapman noted the Kissels attended public events in Hong Kong together a month before Robert Kissel's death, even posing with former US President George Bush at a dinner in his honour. Chapman showed the picture in court.
He also displayed a photograph showing what he described as a "happy, smiling, unmarked Mrs Kissel," on vacation in Canada just a day after she claimed her husband attacked her. The prosecutor also noted that the family's maid said she didn't see the black eye Kissel claims her husband gave her.
Kissel, who has claimed that her husband abused alcohol and cocaine, said she was just putting on a brave face. "Happiness on the outside has nothing to do with what you're feeling inside," Kissel testified.
The prosecution earlier portrayed Kissel as an unfaithful wife who secretly met with a lover while her spouse underwent back surgery. Kissel acknowledged the affair with an electrician in the northeastern US state of Vermont.
If convicted, Kissel, who was born in Minneapolis, faces up to life in prison.
(Times) Wife denies murder by milkshake. By Jane MacCartney. August 10, 2005.
Hong Kong's expatriate community is riveted by the daily courtroom revelations of an American woman accused of murdering her banker husband in a case involving sex, adultery, drugged milkshakes and high finance.
Nancy Kissel, 41, wept in court yesterday as she said that she had hit her husband with a metal statue only after he had threatened to kill her. “He was going to kill me,” she yelled repeatedly from the witness stand. A day earlier she had said that she still loved her husband, the father of her three children, despite what she described as his abuse and demands for anal sex.
Mrs Kissel, a member of Hong Kong’s wealthy foreign community is accused of giving her husband, Robert, an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, a strawberry milkshake spiked with sedatives before she beat him to death in their bedroom in a luxury residential complex on November 2, 2003.
She admitted last week that she had killed her 40-year-old husband, originally from New York, but denies drugging him and has pleaded not guilty to murder. Mr Kissel’s body was found four days after his death, bundled in an expensive carpet in a storage room near the apartment complex.
Mrs Kissel testified yesterday that she had tried to help her husband when his forehead was bleeding from her first defensive blow but he had picked up a baseball bat and threatened to kill her. She fended off his attacks with the statue, she said.
Peter Chapman, for the prosecution, accused Mrs Kissel of fabricating the events, saying that she had been able to strike five accurate blows to Mr Kissel’s head because he had been drugged. “You have rendered him defenceless because you have drugged him,” Mr Chapman said.
“No, no. That’s not what happened,” Mrs Kissel replied. “We had a fight and he used that bat. He was telling me he was going to kill me with that bat. He kept repeating it and I defended myself from him.”
Mrs Kissel had said earlier that her husband had regularly physically and sexually abused her, leading her to consider suicide. She said that she was so depressed that she had an affair with a television repairman during an extended stay with her children in the United States to escape a SARS epidemic in 2003.
The prosecution has argued that Mr Kissel had planned on the night that he was killed to tell her he wanted a divorce.
The prosecution repeatedly questioned why Mrs Kissel never told anyone of the abuses that she said she had suffered. She said that the expatriate life did not permit her to do so and she had done everything to hide her unhappiness. “It was something I was very ashamed of and am still ashamed of,” she said.
The couple married in the US in 1989 and arrived in Hong Kong in 1997 with the children. Mrs Kissel worked as a volunteer at the Hong Kong International School, where the children studied, and lived in the expensive Parkview residential complex on a hill overlooking the city and its harbour.
The trial is expected to last until late this month.
From the Chinese-language media:
(SCMP) Rowing Kissels missed date with George Bush Snr. By Polly Hui. August 10, 2005.
Nancy Kissel and her husband had a terrible argument at home which caused them to miss a private session with former US president George Bush before a banquet, the Court of First Instance heard yesterday. She testified that, when her husband told her he was furious they had missed the event, she went over to the former president, who was at the next table, tapped him on the shoulder and said: "My husband was a great fans of yours. Would you mind if he talks to you?" The court was shown a photo the couple had taken with Mr Bush.
The defendant, who has told of being sexually and physically assaulted night after night by Robert Peter Kissel, described the incident while being questioned about why she always wore a "happy, smiling, unmarked" face at public gatherings with her husband in the two months before she allegedly murdered him.
Prosecutor Peter Chapman asked Kissel if she sustained injuries from those assaults in September and October 2003, when, he said, she was often "out and about in public". Kissel, 41, who denies her husband's murder, said: "It's possible that something was visible. It's possible that I tried my best sometimes with cosmetics and things like tanning cream."
The prosecutor challenged the defendant on the significantly different accounts she gave two doctors of her husband's assault on her on November 2, 2003, the day of his death. He said that, two days after that, she told Annabelle Dytham that her husband, drunk, had demanded sex but she had refused. The doctor's report said they were running around the bedroom before the deceased grabbed and kicked her. She defended herself with a fork. The report, a copy of which was sent to the police when she reported the assault on November 6, also recorded a long list of injuries on her body. But the defendant told a psychiatrist in January this year that her husband was beating her with a baseball bat while she was defending herself with a metal ornament.
"On November 4, 2003, you gave an explanation to Dr Dytham and there was no suggestion that you had a problem recalling events?" asked the prosecutor. But the defendant, who said earlier she had lost much of her memory of events on November 2, said she could not remember the visit.
"Your claim here of memory loss is ... a lie, isn't Mrs Kissel?" he asked. "I was not aware at that time that I had memory loss," she said.
Mr Chapman suggested Kissel had practised "three levels of deception" on Dr Dytham, the police and her father, Ira Keeshin, who flew to Hong Kong from the US shortly after the alleged murder. He argued that the accused only told her father about the killing when the police went to the family's apartment in Parkview, Tai Tam, on November 6, which explained why he cried out, "Oh, my God. I don't believe it" when officers asked for the keys to a storeroom where, the court has heard, the body of the top Merrill Lynch banker was found rolled up in an old carpet. "I don't know," Kissel said. "There are things that I don't understand. That's a part of my life that was taken away from me."
"The person who had his life taken away by you was Mr Kissel," said Mr Chapman.
The prosecutor also argued that Kissel had served the deceased a drugged milkshake. "By November 2003, there was absolutely no way Robert Kissel was going to take a drink from you, Mrs Kissel," he said. Earlier evidence suggested that the deceased told his friends his suspicions that the defendant was drugging his whisky. "He continued eating with me. He continued drinking his scotch," she answered.
The visit of Andrew Tanzer, another Parkview resident, and his daughter that afternoon had suddenly presented an opportunity for Kissel, he said. "You didn't bring the milkshake to the men, you asked the girls to do it ... because you knew Robert Kissel would never take it from you," he said.
Kissel said she made the milkshake for the children. She was also asked why, when the deceased armed himself with a baseball bat after having told her he would divorce her and take the children, her "weapon of choice" was a dining room ornament. "In the kitchen was a far superior array of defensive weapons - Connie and Min," said Mr Chapman, referring to her domestic helpers.
"How did you get the better of Mr Kissel using the ornament?" he asked. She said she could not recall the number of blows her statue warded off. "You were able to deliver those five accurate, fatal blows because Robert Kissel was unable to defend himself. You had rendered him defenceless by drugging him," he said. "No, no," she replied.
The case continues today before Mr Justice Michael Lunn.
(The Standard) Kissel told 'plain, simple lies'. By Albert Wong. August 10, 2005.
Nancy Kissel told ''plain simple lies'' as she deceived friends and family about what happened to her spouse in the days before her arrest, the prosecutor suggested in the High Court, Wednesday.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Chapman added that her claim now of selective memory loss, ''is equally a lie.''
Kissel, 41, is accused of serving her husband Robert a pink milkshake laced with sedatives, which left him unconscious at the foot of the bed as she bludgeoned him to death with a heavy metal ornament on November 2, 2003.
The body of her husband, a high-flying banker with Merrill Lynch, was found wrapped in a rug in a storeroom at their Parkview residential complex in the early hours of November 7. She denies the murder charge and is out on bail.
The furious fight she described, in which she claimed she fought for her life against a baseball-bat wielding, abusive Robert Kissel "just didn't happen,'' said the prosecutor.
The court also heard claims that Robert Kissel would not accept a drink from his wife by November because he knew of the accused's Internet searches for drugs and had tasted something strange in his whisky.
The couple's neighbor, Andrew Tanzer, and his daughter - who helped bring out the milkshakes - were, therefore, unwittingly used to deliver the drugs into the victim's body, the prosecutor suggested.
The "problem'' with her claim of memory loss during and after the claimed fatal fight on November 2, 2003, was that she managed to recount a version of events to Dr Annabel Dythin on November 4, said Chapman.
"The account you gave to Dr Dythin is significantly different from the account you've given as evidence,'' he added.
As well as depicting a different version of events without mention of a life-or-death struggle or a dead husband, "there's not a single reference in that report to you having any difficulty recalling events,'' said Chapman.
The accused said she could not remember what she told Dr Dythin, and that she only started to "piece things together'' when she was in Siu Lam psychiatric center between the end of 2003 and 2004.
"What the [Dythin] report records is an attempt by you to embark on a process of deception, isn't it Mrs Kissel?'' asked Chapman.
"No, it's not. I don't have a memory of that day, nor the visit,'' she replied.
"You had a memory on November 4, that's your problem, isn't it, Mrs Kissel?'' said Chapman. She said she did not know what she remembered then.
On November 4, evidence suggested she went to consult Dr Dythin, who compiled an assault report based on an account given by the accused.
The report said the accused was holding a fork upside down and a glass, while her husband assaulted her using hands and feet, chasing her around the room. Chapman said that the fork was a lie used to explain the puncture wounds on her hands that she received when she used the ornament "to smash Robert Kissel's head.''
Kissel testified last week that the couple had an argument in the hallway about divorce, resulting in her husband dragging her into the bedroom and attempting to force sodomy. Resisting, she knocked him on the head, which resulted in him swinging a baseball bat at her and saying: "I'm going to kill you, you bitch.''
She later accepted that she inflicted the fatal wounds with the metal ornament, but said she could not remember any further details.
The days about which she has no recollection include "incriminating acts where you sought to cover up what you had done on November 2 to Robert Kissel,'' said Chapman.
"I don't know what happened to me after that night,'' said the accused, who added she had to accept what the prosecution claims. "I still don't know. It's a part of my life that's been taken from me.''
Chapman countered: "The person who has had a part of life taken from him is Robert Kissel, because you killed him. And in order to achieve that purpose, you had to drug him first.''
The accused said there was a "horrible fight'' with a baseball bat. "He was going to kill me, and I defended myself, because he was going to kill me. I fought for my life,'' she said. Chapman countered: "You just forgot to mention that to Dr Dythin, 36 hours later. You remember not putting drugs in the milkshake, but remember Robert Kissel threatening to kill you.''
Chapman noted the fight she described was a furious life-or-death struggle, which nobody heard. She said the helpers never knew what went on in the bedroom, and she never asked neighbors if they heard anything.
Given the five-year history of abuse, the appearance of her husband with a threatening baseball bat should have excited her into choosing from a "far superior array of weapons,'' seeking help from the helpers or simply walking out the door, said Chapman.
The accused said she wanted to have a discussion about divorce.
Chapman said she described her husband standing over her, aiming blows to her head from above.
"How did you get the better of Robert Kissel using this ornament?''
She replied: "I don't know.''
"Because it didn't happen Mrs Kissel, it just didn't happen,'' said Chapman.
As the day's proceedings ended, the accused exclaimed: "He was going to kill me, he was going to kill me, oh God, he was going to kill me.''
The cross-examination continues today.
The "problem'' with her claim of memory loss during and after the fatal fight on November 2, 2003, is that she managed to recount a version of events to Dr Annabel Dythin, on November 4, said Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Peter Chapman.
On November 4, evidence suggests she went to consult Dythin, who compiled an assault report based on an account given by Kissel. The report says she was holding a fork upside down and a glass, while her husband assaulted her using hands and feet, chasing her around the room.
Chapman said the fork was a lie used to explain the puncture wounds on her hands she received when she used the ornament "to smash Robert Kissel's head.''
The days about which she has no recollection include "incriminating acts where you sought to cover-up what you had done on November 2 to Robert Kissel,'' said Chapman.
"I don't know what happened to me after that night,'' said Kissel, who said she had to accept what the prosecution claims. "I still don't know. It's a part of my life that's been taken from me,'' she added.
"The person who as had a part of life taken from him, is Robert Kissel, because you killed him,'' said Chapman, "and in order to achieve that purpose, you had to drug him first.''
The accused said there was a "horrible fight'' with a baseball bat. "He was going to kill me, and I defended myself, because he was going to kill me. I fought for my life,'' she said.
"You just forgot to mention that to Dr Dythin, 36 hours later,'' said Chapman.
"You remember not putting drugs in the milkshake, but remember Robert Kissel threatening to kill you,'' noted Chapman.
Chapman said she described her husband standing over her, aiming blows to her head from above. "How did you get the better of Robert Kissel using this ornament?''
"I don't know,'' she replied. "Because it didn't happen Mrs Kissel, it just didn't happen,'' said Chapman.
As the day's proceedings ended, the accused, in her loudest outburst yet, exclaimed "he was going to kill me, he was going to kill me, oh God, he was going to kill me'' while lying with her face on the desk.
"Thank you Mrs Kissel, please return to the dock,'' said Justice Michael Lunn.
<< Part 40