Nancy Kissel and family is not one you easily forget.
Although author Joe McGinnis appeared to have sympathy toward the victim (quite understandably) there’s just no way to hide the madness that ran rampant in the Kissel household and that of extended family.
Although Bill Kissel and other acquaintances insisted that Robert Kissel was an easy-going, personable guy, the persona just doesn’t fit.
Investment banking attracts high stress personalities. Although they can be quite charming to those they meet, it’s not uncommon for them to de-stress, sometimes rather cruelly, behind closed doors.
Typically, those in the risky, fast-paced financial business are not what-you-see-is-what-you-get individuals.
Not that I think Rob was actually physically abusive, but I just don’t buy the characterization that he was all wonderful, all the time.
Then you have Nancy Kissel. Definitely a high maintenance gal.
After her parents divorced she didn’t have a lot of familial guidance; mom was more interested in friendship and “finding herself” than raising children and Dad, living several states away, wasn’t there to fulfill the “Daddy void.”
Nancy loved Rob, no doubt, when they first wed but I think it’s pretty obvious money was the main reason she married.
Yet the love of money comes at a high price. For Nancy, it meant having a husband who worked 100 or more hours per week. And if he wasn’t at the office, he was traveling.
BUT…that wasn’t the only issue at play here.
Nancy had a father-in-law who played his boys like fine-tuned fiddles. Constantly berating or bragging, depending on how well they danced to his tunes.
Bill Kissel never hid his dislike for Nancy and wasn’t embarrassed to voice his opinion of her as “the waitress”; frequently declaring she should have married his older son, Andrew Kissel, who he all but outright called a loser.
So you’ve got the arrogant Bill telling the high maintenance Nancy quite often how unworthy she is. You’ve got a husband who prefers to chase the almighty dollar versus family life.
Is it any surprise Nancy eased those pains with a boyfriend? Truth be told, extramarital affairs are not uncommon for women in similar lifestyles.
But when the money-making machine husband couldn’t control his wife like he did bankrupt companies, he used the tool he was most familiar with: money.
Now you’ve got an emotionally pained woman with a husband keeping her under thumb.
Who didn’t see murder coming?
Do I think it’s right? Absolutely not.
Do I understand Nancy’s thinking? Yes, she felt there was no other way.
And how could she.
Following her arrest, Bill made it clear if Andrew wasn’t awarded the children, he wouldn’t hesitate to accuse Nancy’s brother of molestation to get his way. Then, when Andrew and his wife are headed for divorce, she makes it clear she wants custody of the children, whether it’s in their best interest or not, so she’s guaranteed to have money.
But there was other ways and Nancy should have taken it. Even if it meant some difficult sacrifices. Murder is just too permanent and the price too high.
I hope, however, that one day the Kissel children learn about the arrogance and greediness of their paternal family and in doing so, they have a better understanding of their mother and reunite with her – even if it’s behind bars.
Wouldn’t that be the ultimate in-your-face toward Bill Kissel? Man, I’d love to have a front row seat for that show!