Next Magazine On The Nancy Kissel Case
This is a translation of a 5-page article in issue number 809 (September 8, 2005) of Next Magazine.
Last Thursday, when Nancy Kissel heard that she had been sentenced to life in prison, she appeared clam. During the trial, she had actually said "Good morning" to reporters and told them in fluent Cantonese: "I was in Siu Lam for a year" implying that she had mental problems. She told the reporters to come to court every day, because there will be "new surprises" in the testimony. The so-called surprises consisted of her defense technique of saying how her husband loved sexual torture and was a cocaine addict. She also told about her extramarital affair with her lover. As for how the murder of her husband occurred and how the body was concealed, she lost her memory.
Our reporter met the lover Michael in the United States. He was an ordinary middle-aged man. His full name is Michael J. Del Priore and he is 42-years-old. When our reporter spoke to him while he was doing some private banking business in a small Vermont bank, he was quite surprised.
Each time that the reporter brought up the name of Nancy, Michael had a beaming smile. When asked if he was paying attention to the trial, he hesitated a while, removed his smile and said tersely, "Yes." When asked if he had contacted Nancy or if he still thinks about her, Michael shook his head and said that he did not want to talk about it. When the reporter mentioned that someone people thought that he treated Nancy as a 'gold mine' and that Nancy killed her busband in order to get the hundreds of millions of dollars in the estate and then run away with him. Michael shrugged his shoulders and said, "I know this is what they are saying about me. I have nothing to say about that."
Even though he did not want to answer questions about Nancy, he kept asking for information about the reporter. He asked carefully where the reporter had come from, just so he can make an overseas call back to Hong Kong. Nancy's lawyer was informed the next day that our magazine interviewed Michael in the United States.
Michael lives in a mobile home. According to the court evidence, he lives there with his 5 year old daughter. But the reporter never saw his daughter. Instead, there is a woman who stays overnight at this house. On a weekend night, the reporter observed him and his blond girlfriend. Outside his house is the silver sports car of his girlfriend. Michael was talking to his girlfriend, rearranging stuff in the living room or going into kitchen to fix food to eat.
At around midnight, the girlfriend changed into a singlet and shorts and stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. Michael and Nancy both had tatoos on their shoulders, and the reporter saw that this girlfriend also had tatoos on her shoulders and arms. It seems that Michael likes female partners with tatoos. According to his brother Lance, the blond woman moved in with Michael a month ago. Michael is a lady's man and had many partners before.
Michael was married twice, both times to young women. The second marriage lasted six years, and he got divorced in January 2003. Less than six months later, he found Nancy Kissel who was about his own age. They got on and Michael visited Nancy at her home to have trysts. He even brought his own daughter to play with Nancy's children.
During the trial, the love e-mails between Michael and Nancy were introduced into evidence. Michael wrote numerous love emails to her, with explicit contents. During short conversation with the reporter, he was somewhat blunt but at least he was quite gentle in tone. With his attractive smile, it is easy to see why he is a lady's man.
Michael was only a repairman at his brother's telecmmunications equipment company. His brother sent him over the the Kissel home to lay down the wiring and that was when Michael hit it off with Nancy. In March, the SARS epidemic broke out in Hong Kong. Nancy brought the children back to the United States. Two months later, Michael went back to rewire the house. Nancy told him that she wanted to get tatoos of the astrological signs of her children, but her husband thought it would be inappropriate for the wife of a banker. When Michael heard that, he took her into town to get a tatoo, then they ate together and talked, and then the affair began. But Lance was close to Robert's elder brother and when he found out that Michael was interfering with Robert's marriage, he fired him.
The tatoo place in Stratton, Vermont
Without a job, Michael started his own business. He started a similar company named Amity Alarm & Security. It is a small business and only has a light grey truck with the name of the company on it. There is no office, and the business card that he gives to customers lists his home address as the business address. According to a local real estate company owner, houses cost only around US$83,000 in that area and the rent is only US$300-US$500. This is a grassroots neighborhood.
Michael will only go out when he gets a phone call from a customer. He has no fixed office hours. If there is no work, he just sits around the house, or drives out in the sports car. Nancy said that she was unhappy with a workaholic husband. So it seems that she likes a stay-at-home man who does not work. Based upon consecutive days of observation, Michael does not work a lot. He only occasoinally goes out in the morning or afternoon in the company car to work a few hours.
One afternoon, the reporter observed Michael in sunshades coming back from shopping at a supermarket, bringing bags of grocery back into the house. After about half a hour, he came back out of the house and then he used the lawnmower to mow the lawn. At the time, the sun was high in the sky and the temperature was about 30 degrees Centigrade. The sweating Michael took off his shirt and walked around with his fat belly bouncing around. He has a lizard tatoo on his left shoulder. The neighbors gawked at him. After half a hour, he lost patience and he the lawnmower aside. Then he took out his mobile phone and began to chat.
Nancy said that Michael does not want her money: "He did not care who I was. He treated me like a person. He understood me and he comforted me. When I was in the United States, he gave me true happiness and he gave me unconditional love."
But Lance disclosed that his brother had received an expensive present from Nancy: "She gave Michael a watch worth HK$40,000. I told him not to wear it, but he refused to listen. He wanted the money, and that was why he plotted to get near Nancy. He told the townspeople about this extramarital affair and boasted that he'll be rich." Lance regretted sending Michael to Nancy's house because that brought them together. Michael had confessed to Lance and promised to stop the affair, but he could not give up the gold mine. Eventually, the brothers broke off relationships with each other.
To get away with the crime, Nancy smeared Robert as a perverted husband and father with a sadistic streak. She also presented herself as a victimized mother who tried to do everything for her children. Nancy said that even though Robert was rich, he still cut down her number of credit cards from five to one and sometimes she had to ask her friends to pay for her purchases. But a detective who participated in the investigation refused to believe that: "Actually she has lots of money. When we went to her house, it was full of Tiffany, Cartier, Prada, LV, Chanel." According to a report from the American private investigative agency Alpha Group, Nancy loved to shop. Even when she goes out to the small town in Vermont, she still had to go to the jewelry store. Robert's friends point out that Nancy would spend HK$5,000 for a hairstyling session and she also loved to buy stuff from upscale furniture stores.
Robert Kissel's father William "Bill" Kissel said: "This woman (Nancy) loves money. She did not have to work and she did not take good care of the children. The two domestic helpers love the children more than she does." One time, Nancy went to see a rich friend and she kept asking people how much things cost. "I hate to call her Nancy Kissel. I will call her by her maiden name Nancy Keeshin ... she is a greedy big liar. She was jealous of her husband's success. She wants to get at that US$18 million fortune and then elope with her lover. I wanted to see her convicted of murder and then hauled away to prison."
"Robert is now buried under the ground. No one has the right to smear someone who cannot defend himself. She smeared him by saying that he took drugs, drank too much alcohol and liked to have anal sex. He is buried under the ground, but the three children will have to endure these unfounded accusations all their lives." As William spoke, he showed the photographs that Robert took to show that his son loved the children and would never mistreat them.
He sighed that his son was too loyal and never said no to his wife. "When he married Nancy, his mother had just passed away six months ago. But he did not dare object to Nancy's will to get married." In the father's eyes, his son was considerate and open. When he was young, he was very handsome and attracted the attention of many young women. But before Nancy, he had only dated three women.
[Robert Kissel when he was young. His first girlfriend Carol said that she was subjected to jealousy and boycotts because she was dating Robert. When Carol found out that Nancy smeared Robert, she got on the Internet to defend him, saying that her old boyfriend Robert was the most wonderful in the world.]
"He liked sexy and pretty girls. Nancy was like that. She was a beauty with a great figure. Robert liked that type. Nancy tried to change her image after her arrest."
Nancy Kissel during the trial
When Robert first got acquainted with Nancy, she was hardworking, pretty and sociable. Robert was proud of her, but later their marriage was on the rocks. "It was useless to talk to a marriage counselor. Nancy had mood swings. Our relationship with her was nothing extraordinary."
In the Christmas of 2002, Robert took Nancy and the children and his younger sister to ski in Canada. During this trip, the sister found that Nancy appeared to be estranged, and actually left with the son in the middle of the trip. She sensed that the couple were having emotional problems. The Kissels' domestic helper also observed that the couple were no longer sweet to each other, they didn't talk to each other even if they were both home and they didn't go out together. After giving birth to her son, Nancy only wanted to do volunteer work at the school and she did not care about the children.
Robert who was faithful to his wife, found out about the affair in July 2003, but he still hoped that she would change her mind. Before he passed away, he purchased three insurance policies totaling HK$50 million, all naming the beneficiary as Nancy. In March 1998, he drew up a will that gave his estate to Nancy. Based upon the estimate of Robert's sister, his assets including cash, stocks, properties and insurance totaled US$18 million (HK$140 million).
Even though Robert found out about his wife's extramarital affair, he did not alter the name of the beneficiary. Robert had told a good friend at Merrill Lynch: "In order to have the children stay in Hong Kong, I don't mind giving Nancy all the money and let Michael move here." No wonder the prosecutor claimed that Michael, who had such a different background from Nancy, was willing to spend a few thousand HK dollars a month to chat with Nancy. She was a gold mine, but that gold mine has now disappeared when she went to prison.
The Steps in the Murder
(1) The study where the computer was used to browse for drugs. Proceed to the clinic and complain about insomnia. Get the doctor to prescribe multiple sedatives.
(2) Make the milkshares laced with drugs
(3) Use the daughter to send the drugged milkshake to Robert in the living room
(4) While Robert is unconscious, use the metal ornament to his head five times
(5) Go to the furniture to buy bedsheets and carpet to wrap up the body
(6) Clean up the scene and place the bloodied sheets in the daughter's bedroom
(7) Use the sheets and carpet to wrap up Robert's body and ask the porters to take the body to the basement storage room
The Three Little Human Footballs
Their father is dead and their mother is in jail. But the children are stuck with the mess afterwards. Worse yet, the uncle who was taking care of them was arrested in the United States a month ago for defrauding a bank over financial loans and his wife had applied for a divorce three months ago. The three children now have to live in an incomplete home.
Robert Kissel's father William "Bill" Kissel said that the eldest daughter and the second eldest daughter now know how to get on the Internet to look for information pertaining to this case: "They can type in the words Nancy or Robert Kissel on Google and they can easily find the reports on this case. The second eldest daughter has said that she does not want to see her mother." The six-year-old son knows that his father is dead, but still firmly said: "I have Uncle Andy."
On the day after Andrew was arrested, our reporter went to his house in the upscale neighborhood. Our reporter found the mother-in-law of Andrew was walking the dog with the three children, and the sound of laughter could be heard. The mother-in-law told our reporter that since her son-in-law was arrested, she is temporarily in charge of the children.
Top: Robert Kissel's house
Middle: Andrew Kissel's house
Bottom: Michael Del Priore's trailer home
(R-L) Second daughter, son and cousin
According to people in the insurance industry, if the insurance policy holder is illegally murdered by the beneficiary, the policy payout would be transferred into the estate. As to whether Nancy can inherit Robert's estate, this is ordinarily up to the estate trustee. But Robert's father is determined to fight in the courts in the name of the three children in order to prevent Nancy from getting any share.
Relevant Link: The Complete Nancy Kissel File