In November 2003, Nancy Kissel went to great lengths to cover up her husband’s death after bludgeoning him, stuffing his body into a sleeping bag that belonged to their eldest daughter and rolling it up in their living room rug, Hong Kong prosecutors told the court in the fourth day of her retrial Friday.
Ms. Kissel was convicted in 2005 of murdering her husband, Merrill Lynch investment banker Robert Kissel, but won a retrial after Hong Kong’s highest court found flaws with the initial trial.
In 2003 Nancy Kissel, 41, was arrested after the decomposing body of her husband, Robert, was found bludgeoned to death and wrapped in a rug in the basement of the Parkview apartment complex in Tai Tam, Hong Kong. After initial police investigations Kissel was accused of drugging her husband with a sedative-laced strawberry milkshake, which left him unconscious, allowing her to beat him to death with a heavy metal object.
The subsequent murder trial grabbed headlines throughout the world, with expats and locals alike being captivated by the story of a very wealthy expatriate family and relishing the rare glimpse into the lives of Hong Kong’s wealthy expat community. The murder and events preceding it spawned two books and a television special.
During the initial trial Kissel admitted killing her husband but claimed that it was in self-defense after her husband threatened to kill her with a baseball bat. Her defense shocked Hong Kong with tales of marital violence and brutality at the hands of a controlling husband who had a cocaine problem and regularly hired the services of both male and female prostitutes.
The prosecution, however, refuted claims that Robert Kissel had abused his wife, claiming that Kissel had killed her husband in order to avoid a “messy divorce” and assure her access to his $18 million USD estate after he had uncovered an affair between his wife and a television repairman, whom she had met in Vermont while visiting family.