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48 Hours Blood And Money 11.18.06 Run Dates
  11.18.06 48 Hours Blood And Money
Blood And Money
'48 Hours' Looks At The Killing Of Two Brothers Thousands Of Miles Apart

(CBS) Forty-six-year-old Andrew Kissel hoped to make his name in real estate in Greenwich, Conn., but instead, as correspondent Erin Moriarty reports, he earned the dubious distinction as the town’s sole murder victim in 2006.

Seven months after the murder, with no one yet in custody, Police Chief James Walters remains optimistic. "Everyone that was in Mr. Kissel’s circle is being is being investigated," he says.

But in this tony town, it’s not easy to get people to talk. "Within a few days after the murder everybody we wanted to talk had a lawyer," the police chief explains.

Andrew Kissel’s violent death brought to an end a life once brimming with promise. He grew up in New Jersey, the oldest of three children in an upwardly mobile family. Andrew’s brother, Robert, was four years younger and there was a baby sister, Jane.

The Kissels made an impression wherever they went: an intense passion for life permeated everything they did and it was most evident, perhaps, on the ski slopes.

"Skiing was basically everything to them and Rob was an amazing skier. It seemed that whatever Rob did, he did it well," remembers Carol Horton, who was Robert's high school sweetheart.

And Robert had no trouble keeping up with his older brother, Andrew. "They were competitive. Who could go faster, who could jump the highest moguls," Carol recalls

Both boys had to answer to their father, Bill Kissel, who had turned his hard work and smarts into his own successful business and expected no less from his sons.

"He expected them to do their homework. He expected them to be polite. He expected them to do their chores," says Carol. "He set down rules and expected them to be followed."

Danny Williams lived just around the corner, and says Robert was his best friend, almost like a brother. Back then, Danny remembers, Robert was already acting out the role he would later assume for real.

"If it was Monopoly, he had to be the banker," Danny explains. "Always, and Andy would have to be the real estate guy."

At the same time, Andrew was building an image that would become increasingly important to him. "He liked to show off what he had, you know, status, he liked to show status," Danny remembers.

There was no denying Andrew was ambitious. Just out of high school, he started his own auto parts business and hired Danny.

Eventually, Andrew went on to bigger ventures, becoming a real estate developer in New York. In 1990, he had the perfect woman at his side, Hayley Wolff, a world champion skier who became a financial analyst. Ten years later, they had it all: two children, a ski house in Vermont, and an apartment in a New York co-op, where Andrew served as treasurer.

Andrew, once outshined by his younger brother’s charisma, soon had his hand and cash in everything: horses, an olive oil business, and he even invested in a play produced by Brian Howie.

Andrew spared no expense to amuse himself and his friends and was living large. Brian says Andrew had 85-90 foot yacht, a couple of jet skis and "30-some" cars.

If Andrew was thrust into overdrive by pressure from his father and competition with his brother, Robert took a more modest and methodical approach to getting ahead.

Robert’s life began coming together in 1987, when he met Nancy Keeshin, an art student working as a waitress. They married and she continued working, putting her husband through New York University’s business school.

Elizabeth La Cause, one of Nancy’s close friends, says that at that point, the marriage looked like it was made in heaven. "Yeah, it was. It looked perfect," Nancy's husband John agrees.

By the time their first child was born, Robert was on the fast track in the high stakes world of investment banking. "Rob was a guy, if you look at, and you took to for five minutes, you would go, obviously, this guy is gonna make it," John La Cause explains.

It didn’t take long for Robert to become a star in financial circles, although he had to go half way around the world to do it. In 1997, Robert and Nancy moved their family to Hong Kong. It seemed the perfect place for Robert but in this prosperous city so far from home, his seemingly charmed life was about to take an unexpected turn.

When Robert was transferred to Hong Kong, southeast Asia was in financial turmoil, allowing the ambitious investment banker to buy up assets for a fraction of their value, earning him millions.

Robert, his wife Nancy, and their three children joined Hong Kong’s privileged community of expatriates, known as "expats."

Like the Kissels, Kazuko Oshi and her husband, business journalist Andrew Tanzer, lived in Parkview, a luxury complex overlooking the city. "If you are in Parkview, don’t really have to go out. There is a kindergarten there. There’s a big supermarket there," Oshi explains. "Two or three pools and tennis courts."

Living in Parkview was like living in a nice resort, a very expensive resort. The Kissels were paying $20,000 a month for their sprawling home. Nancy and Robert drove fancy cars and sent their kids to private school.

By 2003, Robert was one of Merrill Lynch’s top guys in southeast Asia; Nancy’s life was centered around her children. "Nancy seemed very happy. She always tried to please Rob. She was always very proud of what he achieved," remembers neighbor Trudy Samra, who became a close friend. "On the outside world it appeared she had the perfect life."

But the reality, says Trudy, can be much different. "I mean in the beginning it's all very overwhelming and it's fantastic and it's a great city. And you have a beautiful apartment. And then the husband ends up being away much more than he promised and you spend many nights alone," she says.

The isolation and stress of living in Hong Kong can be too much for some marriages. But if Nancy and Robert were struggling, they hid it from friends.

Andrew Tanzer first met the Kissels on the day he brought his daughter to their apartment for a playdate. "And the girls did sort of disappear into the other end of the apartment. And I started chatting with Robert. He was very relaxed and, you know, confident," Tanzer remembers.

As Tanzer was about to go home, Nancy insisted the girls serve a milkshake she had made. Tanzer, feeling obligated to drink it, downed his shake. "I did sort of because I was a guest. So, yes. It had some strange taste which I could not recognize, he remembers.

Sometime after Tanzer left the Kissel home that Sunday afternoon, Robert disappeared. When he didn’t make a conference call the following day, a colleague reported him missing.

Nancy kept it secret from the children, but told others that she and Robert had a terrible fight and he had left.

After Robert was missing for four days, the police went to the Kissel apartment to investigate. When they searched the family storage unit, they found boxes of bloody items and a rolled up carpet. Inside the carpet was Robert's body, bludgeoned to death.

Very quickly, police investigators focused on the only person they believe could have done it: Robert’s wife, Nancy. Within hours she was arrested and charged with murder.

As police were building their case against Nancy, the Tanzers remembered how strange Andrew felt the night he returned from the Kissels.

Tanzer had no memory of anything and wondered what was in that milkshake. "I felt like I had been drugged," he says. "I just immediately thought maybe Robert Kissel was also drugged. So I contacted the police, and I said 'Do an autopsy.'"

In fact, an autopsy would reveal five different drugs in Robert’s system, including rohypnol, known as the "date rape drug." Investigators discovered that Nancy had kept Robert’s body in her bedroom for two days.

The day after Robert was killed, security cameras caught Nancy returning home, after spending thousands of dollars on new furniture and new rugs

At the time of her arrest, Nancy was so distraught that instead of prison, she was held in the maximum security ward of a local hospital, where friend Trudy Samra was allowed to see her. Trudy says Nancy was bruised and unable to walk. "Like, almost like she was grabbed, you know, very forcibly by someone," Trudy recalls. "I thought, 'My God, she’s been in a terrible fight.'"

Nancy was in custody, Robert was dead and Andrew Kissel offered to take his brother’s son and two daughters – now worth millions – back to Connecticut. But, no one guessed the heartache that was still to come.

With their father dead, and their mother in prison in Hong Kong, Robert and Nancy’s children flew back to the U.S. and ultimately found a home with their uncle Andrew and his family but their lives were about to get turned upside down once again.

Andrew’s friend, Brian Howie says Andrew was devastated by his brother’s death and began to spend vast amounts of money. Andrew was trying to buy his happiness, like indulging in extravagant parties on his yacht.

But where was the money coming from? While Robert had played by the rules, Andrew was taking shortcuts. And he began years earlier when he and his family were living in New York City in a high rise co-op. Andrew was the building’s treasurer.

Peter Chamberlain, new to the board of directors, was puzzled by some of Andrew’s reports. "No one could account for how a hallway project could cost $2 million or a million dollars. All the receipts, all the bills, all the contracts were in Andrew Kissel’s possession," he says.

So was a lot of the building’s money. An investigation revealed that Andrew had secretly transferred funds into his own accounts. He was caught red-handed.

To avoid legal action, Andrew agreed to pay back what he owed, which was by this time nearly $4 million. Chamberlain says people wondered where Andrew would come up with the money.

For Andrew, the answer was simple: another scam in another state, Connecticut. He moved his family to Greenwich, where he had been buying and developing expensive homes as investments.

Nancy Walkley, a title search attorney, had processed some of the mortgage applications Andrew submitted to develop multi-million dollar properties. In 2005, while reviewing routine paperwork, she noticed something fishy about the signatures. "The 'A' in the Andrew looked very similar to the 'A' in the first name of the gentleman who signed that Astoria Federal Mortgage," she explains.

A quick check with the bank confirmed her fear: it appeared that Andrew had forged a bank executive’s signature, indicating a $5.5 million mortgage was paid off when it wasn’t.


Walkley stopped the deal and as it turns out, it wasn’t the first time Andrew had bilked banks with forged documents – he had been doing it for years.

The FBI was called and Special agent Steven Garfinkel led the investigation.

Garfinkel says Andrew would borrow money, file a fake release saying that he now longer owed that money and then would borrow again. The banks would think that the land was free and clear.

"And then he’d go to a third bank and do the same thing," Garfinkel explains. He says Andrew was able to obtain over $30 million by this kind of fraud.

Those stolen millions supported Andrew’s spending sprees and parties, and it allowed him to build his 10,000 square foot dream house on property he bought with fictitious documents.

And the more money he obtained through fraudulent loans, says Garfinkel, the more eager banks were to lend him more. "If you come in with all appearances that you’re a wealthy guy, you’re going to be successful in getting a loan," he explains.

Facing federal fraud charges, Andrew sought advice from attorney Phil Russell.

Granfinkel says while Andrew was upset he got caught, he had no remorse. But Russell says Andrew did feel remorse and was willing to come clean - just not completely clean.

The FBI uncovered yet another scam, this time involving apartment complexes in New Jersey. There, Andrew had ripped off his investors, by forging their signatures, secretly selling the properties and pocketing all the profits.

And unlike in Connecticut, where he defrauded banks, in New Jersey Andrew was ripping off people he knew, including his dead brother’s estate, his father-in-law and friends.

"The people in New Jersey didn't know that the property had been sold out from under them, because he continued to pay their quarterly dividends," Russell explains.

While Andrew’s material world was crumbling, his personal life was already in shambles. His wife Hayley discovered he had forged her signature to get a fraudulent loan on their ski house. He was cheating her, and cheating on her with other women. Hayley asked for a divorce and $7 million.

Andrew’s younger sister Jane also turned on him, fighting and winning a bitter custody battle for Robert’s children.

And Andrew was estranged from the father who had once pushed him so hard. "He was very clear to me that I had no authority to speak to his father, and he wanted nothing to do with the man," Russell explains.

Placed under house arrest and monitored with an electronic bracelet, Andrew agreed to take a plea. "He was looking at eight to ten years in jail, in federal jail," Garfinkel says.

One of the few people left in Andrew’s life was Carlos Trujillo, his driver and personal assistant. And Carlos was worried. "He told me, 'A lot of people hate me,'" he recalls.

While Andrew’s fraud case was making headlines in Greenwich, his brother Robert’s murder case was an even bigger sensation in Hong Kong and it was headed towards trial.

Albert Wong covered the trial for the English language daily The Standard. "We coined it the 'Milkshake Murder,'" Wong explains.


It was a trial about much more than a marriage gone bad. "I think it really hit home with a lot of people in Hong Kong," Wong explains. "It was a glimpse of a world that they’re not used to."

As the prosecution’s case unfolded before a Chinese jury, the evidence against Nancy seemed overwhelming.

The seemingly perfect Kissel marriage had actually been in trouble. In the spring of 2003, during Asia’s pneumonia-like SARS epidemic, Nancy and the children fled to Vermont. Robert, who remained in Hong Kong, became suspicious of his wife, so he hired private investigator Frank Shea to spy on her.

"About 10 o'clock, a van would arrive parked on a dark deserted road. This man would get out of the van, go through the bushes, and then enter the house," Shea says.

The man was Michael Del Priore, a local TV equipment installer. "Rob Kissel was devastated," Shea says. "All he wanted to do was get his marriage back together. He loved Nancy Kissel. And he loved his children."

Nancy returned to her husband in Hong Kong but secretly continued to communicate with her lover via e-mail; Robert found out through a spyware system he had installed on the family computer.

Shea says Robert was planning to obtain a divorce. He intended to tell her that on Nov. 2, 2003, the very night he was murdered.

Asked what he believes happened on the night Robert was killed, Shea says, "I think he was drugged. I think that he went into his bedroom. I think he passed out. I think Nancy Kissel then took a bronze statue and murdered him."

Robert's head was bashed five times. "Each time would have been fatal," says journalist Albert Wong. "The force of the blow actually left marks on her own hand."

Prosecutors said they knew Robert had been drugged because they had a witness: Andrew Tanzer. He testified at trial about the strange concoction that Nancy had made for them. "It was a very thick, sweet milkshake. It was pink, and it had ground up cookies in it. I thought it had this odd taste. And she said 'It’s a special recipe,'" Tanzer recalls.

And it may not have been the first time that Nancy doctored Robert’s drink. "When he would get home from work he enjoyed a little bit of scotch, as he called the two fingers," Shea says. "But the last few times that he had the scotch he felt totally different. Very woozy. "

Shea had become so worried that he flew to Hong Kong to warn his client. Asked if Robert believed his warnings, Shea says, "I think Rob Kissel was in denial. I don’t think he believed his wife was trying to kill him."

At trial, it was revealed that Nancy had been researching various sedatives on the Internet and stockpiling pills.

The most compelling moment came when Nancy took the stand, and the prosecutor asked the question everyone wanted to know. "And he just sort of went, 'Let’s just get this out of the way. Of course you do admit you killed your husband right?' And she said, 'Yes,'" Wong explains.

But Nancy maintains she’s innocent of murder. She claimed he attacked her first and it was self defense. She testified that behind closed doors her life was hell; that for years Robert had subjected her to the worst kind of physical and sexual abuse. On the day Robert died, Nancy claimed there was a huge argument.

"He came at her with a baseball bat. There was a struggle. He turns her around and it’s at this point that she just swings back. And he kind of sits back and looks at the blood and says, 'You bitch.' And then charges at her with the baseball bat. 'I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you.' And she said, then she just blanks out," Wong says.


Asked how credible he finds Nancy's memory blackout, Wong says, "Certainly it’s a convenient time to forget what happened next. But also, perhaps she did. The fear, the shock combined with several years of bad experience she may have blanked out."

Trudy Samra, Nancy’s close friend, believes the self defense story and remembers seeing suspicious injuries. "The first time she had a rib injury. And one time we had a girls' night here. Then she came in. And I said, 'Wow, what happened to you?' And she had a big, big blue eye."

Trudy says she doesn't know if those injuries were caused by Robert but she admits Nancy never told her that she was being abused, and Robert’s friends, like Carol Horton, don’t believe it.

"Knowing Rob as well as I did, it just wasn’t in his nature to do that or to be that," she says.

After 65 days, the mostly male jury took just eight hours to find Nancy guilty of murder. But even today not everyone is sure what to believe.

"Even now after the verdict, I don't feel I've found out what happened. Only two people know what happened. And one of them is dead," says Wong.

The other, Nancy, is now serving a life sentence in a Hong Kong prison. Earlier this fall, Moriarty went there with Nancy's mother Jean, the only television journalist to visit since her incarceration. Nancy continues to insist that she acted in self defense.

Robert Kissel’s case may be closed, but back in Connecticut, the police face a much tougher task finding the killer of Andrew Kissel. He was murdered less than three years after his brother, Robert, was killed in Hong Kong.

Andrew’s attorney, Phil Russell, says he never imagined his client’s life would end this way. FBI investigator is also unsure who committed this murder.

With the murder just days before Andrew was about to plead guilty to fraud, it appeared that the killer could have been someone who feared that Andrew was trading information for a reduced prison sentence.

But Russell says there was nobody Andrew was going to rat out.

Perhaps the most bizarre murder theory was that Andrew himself hired a hit man. He would do almost anything to avoid prison, but if he committed suicide, his children could not collect his life insurance.

"He was terribly remorseful about what he did, about the effect that it would have on his wife and children," Russell says.

Asked if he thinks Andrew may have planned his own murder, Russell says, "It’s plausible."

But FBI agent Steven Garfinkel doesn't buy that theory. "He was a narcissist. He liked himself too much," he says.

Andrew’s penchant for grandiosity has clearly complicated this case. No one truly knows the extent of everything he had his hand in, nor what deals he had made or with whom. The Greenwich police say they’re not ruling out anything.

Until there’s an arrest in the case, Chief James Walters is reluctant to release many details. In his first television interview, Walters says he believes that Andrew’s estranged wife, Hayley, may have some useful information. "I will say that we have spoken with Hayley and that we'd like to speak to her again," Walters tells Moriarty.


Walters confirms that there was a dispute between Hayley and Andrew the day before the murder. "There was a verbal dispute between them. And to get into specifics about what that is about, wouldn't be a good idea right now," Walters says.

And, while he won’t publicly name a suspect, he acknowledges his department is looking closely at Andrew’s loyal employee, Carlos Trujillo. "We believe the last person to see Andrew Kissel alive was Carlos," says Walters.

For his part, Carlos says he has done everything the police have asked, giving them fingerprints and DNA. But, he says, their questioning became more and more intense. "At this point, they treat me like a suspect. They treat me like a criminal," he says.

To convince the police of his innocence, Carlos says, he agreed to take a polygraph. But that may have backfired: Walters says every question connected to the investigation came up untruthful on the polygraph.

When asked, Chief Walters does admit that polygraphs are not always right. Sometimes people who are innocent do fail polygraphs.

Carlos says he did not kill Andrew, nor does he have any idea who did. "There’s no evidence that he had anything to do with this," says his attorney, Lindy Ursu.

Carlos is no longer talking to the police but they have searched his home, car, and storage unit. And they have questioned his family.

Carlos insists he told police the truth and, in fact, gave them a lead that Andrew was using drugs and had a prostitute come to the house the night before he died.

"If you believe that Carlos Trujillo is being dishonest, and obviously then knows more than what he's telling, why not arrest him?" Moriarty asks Walters.

"At this stage, then that would be inappropriate," the police chief replies. "We'd certainly like to give him an opportunity to explain why he may have been untruthful with us, and to actually tell us what had occurred."

Andrew's family and creditors are now fighting to get whatever they can from the financial mess he left them. Meanwhile, Walters says he’s committed to finding Andrew’s killer.

It’s little solace to the friends of the Kissel family, who struggle to understand the loss of two brothers who once had so much promise.

Carol Horton, Robert’s ex-girlfriend, still grieves for the man she loved. "He was just at the beginning. You know? There was just so much more for him," she says.

But the Kissel family tragedy may weigh most heavily on Robert and Andrew’s father Bill, who is now growing impatient with the Greenwich police.

"Mr. Kissel has been somewhat upset with us because of our declining to share information with him," Chief Walters says. "We have concerns about sharing information with Mr. Kissel that could get out into the public realm before we’re ready for that information to be released."

Asked to describe Bill today, Carol says "There's a great hole in his heart. I think he blames himself, you know. He did something wrong somewhere along the line."

"It just seems like a bad dream," she adds. "Just a bad dream."







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