Understanding Nancy Kissel and Why She Killed Her Husband

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.

Nancy KisselAfter reading Never Enough and having a couple of days to ponder the situation, it’s pretty simple to see where things went wrong.

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!


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53 Responses to “Understanding Nancy Kissel and Why She Killed Her Husband”

  1. anonymous says:

    How arrogant of you to think that this piece of trash book contains ALL facts in this case. The TRUTH is that Nancy Kissel worked three jobs to get her husband through school and did love him…not the money. He became physically abusive and anal rape became commonplace in her life. When she killed him, which she freely admits, it was in self defence against yet another episode of rape. Could you tolerate nightly rapes and beatings. I think not.

    • yishai says:

      Nancy is a greedy,pathological liar!! She is deservedly going to hell! Sadly you don’t have the brains to realize her ‘abuse” was just another lie.

    • Helena says:

      are you nancy kissel’s brother or her paid endorser?? Only blind stupidity and ignorance could cause you “anonymous” to write such an absurd statement. Nancy wasn’t raped or abused!! She was too busy committing adultery and shopping with her husband’s hard earned money!!.  Thankfully (TWICE)  the jury didn’t buy her lies!! Too bad she didn’t get the death penalty. Hong Kong should have her killed the way she murdered her innocent husband. Except with no sedatives in the milkshake. That evil woman needs to feel some pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Avis says:

      There is absolutely no evidence to support Nancy Kissel’s domestic abuse allegations against her murdered husband. She never told anyone about them, nor ever went to the doctor in the ten plus years she was married to Rob Kissel. This allegation was completely made up so that she would not have to answer for having cold-bloodedly killed him. She did not want a divorce because she would not get the several million in assets from her husband. She wanted to retire to Stratton Mountain, Vermont, with her electrician lover but continue to enjoy the same opulent lifestyle that she had with her husband. The whole thing came to a head when her husband told her that he wanted a divorce, after giving her ample chance to end her extramarital affair, which she promised she would do, but did not.

      If this “piece of trash book,” as you call it were untrue, then why hasn’t she sued the writer for libel? Obviously because she cannot, as everything told in it is absolutely true. She is a nasty, materialistic, sociopath and thank God she’s been unanimously convicted twice of this murder. She keeps appealing because sociopaths never acknowledge their sins, but she won’t get anywhere because the evidence against her is too strong.

  2. Kim Cantrell says:

    Did you bother to read it before you jumped in defending Nancy?

    I don’t think you did because if you had, I make it perfectly clear that I don’t believe everything that was in McGinnis’ book. If I had, I would have been sold on Rob being a great guy; and, if you’ll read, I wasn’t.

    Could I tolerate nightly rapes and beatings? No, I couldn’t. And I don’t expect anyone to, but murder is not an answer.

    • Smig says:

      Oh….so since STATISTICALLY, his job attracts aggressive human beings…..he probably DID hit her….right?? Hmmmmm….well, would you play the stats card if her husband was say……..I don’t know, ah. Black??? Cause statistically, about 50% commit crimes….so…..

      • Kim Cantrell says:

        Yes, I would. Stats are based on averages, likely probabilities. Nothing, including sarcasm or hateful words, will change my OPINION that statistically-wise, there is a likely probability her accusations of abuse were true.

        Now ask me if I think it’s okay that she murdered her husband? No. As I said, I understand how people believe it’s their only choice but it still doesn’t make it right.

        But come back and try to change MY OPINION if you wish but I must warn you… judging by your writing style and verbiage, I’m feeling confident I have more intimate knowledge of scenarios on both sides of the proverbial fence and therefore I am not so narrow-minded when it comes these type of situations. I could be wrong, it’s happened before, but I’m feeling pretty confident.

        Have a nice day.

  3. [...] >> After you’ve read the book, see my editorial:  Understanding Nancy Kissel and Why She Killed Her Husband. [...]

  4. [...] lest I be accused of being arrogant again, let me say that I do not know how I would react if one of my children was missing – [...]

  5. Mrs. Baseball says:

    This is an extremely interesting story. I am an living the life of an expat in Shanghai China. The husbands work long hours and travel constantly. Chinese girls are constantly throwing themselves at them looking for their ticket out of their nowhere lives. The wives are able to shop all day, dine out at the high end restaurants, have tailor made out fits and spa & massage every day…mostly by themselves. Once you finally make friends to do things with they are transferred. No one stays longer than 3 years. In the end its all about filling the loneliness that is left because the husband is never home. What sounded and seemed like an adventure for the whole family turns into a lonely place for everyone. The language is not easy to learn and if you aren’t using the correct dialect – then nothing is understood. All household help needs to be trained and then they quit. Most times they make more mess than anything. These are the same issues in Hong Kong. It is still a third world in many areas. The way the West does things and what is known as being polite and having manners is definetely not the same as in the East where picking your nose and cleaning your ear in public and spitting and peeing on the streets is the norm. The reason for removing your shoes before stepping into a home is because you may have stepping into someone’s mess. If you are not grounded as a person you may find yourself lost and floundering – looking for some stability. Although you live the high life so is everyone else in your expat circle. There is nothing special about you. You are all the same. It all sounds great but in the end it is still a lonely life.

    • Ms. Brizzi says:

      Mrs. Baseball,
      Where are you now, and how has your life changed since 2010? Is your marriage still strong, husband still working long hours, still living abroad? Just curious.

  6. destiny says:

    Nancy Kissel married him for money. She can see that he’ll make money in the future base on his education background. She didn’t work 3 jobs to support him. They were dating only for 2 years before they got married. Who supported Robert? He himself work and go to school to support himself.

    Everything we read bad about Robert is all from Nancy. How do we know if it’s true? Robert is already dead, he can’t defense himself.

    And even if he’s a bad guy, he’s not deserved to die. What about his children? This woman killed him because she’s greedy.

    I think he probably told her that if they divorce, she can’t get a penny from him because he got proved that she had an affair with the electrician. She probably got so angry that she planned to kill him to take all his money.

    Her action is selfish. She didn’t think about her 3 children, who now have no father nor mother. She deserve life sentence.

  7. renee says:

    This case is new to me and I haven’t read the book. My husband is a workaholic. I think that if you married for money, got it and your husband worked all the time, you’d be in Heaven, you wouldn’t have to spend anytime with the jerk. I think she must have loved him or she wouldn’t have cared that he worked all the time. He sounds like not a great time. He sealed the deal on the international move to Hong Kong without consulting his wife. Then they went back to Vermont, that was his idea, too. Just moving her all around like she was an object not a person. No wonder she had an affair. After an affair it is impossible to be kind to the cheater when you have a fight. Rob probably felt betrayed and maybe he did abuse her. I can understand the whole thing about showing up late for the Bush dinner but having a smile on her face. Any woman can do that, especially given a chance to meet the President. Even if your not a Republican.

  8. Kim says:

    Read the book. Given the evidence against her, I’m sure she’s facing a 2nd conviction. Her story of self-defense because of abuse is weak given the circumstances. I’m sure Rob was no angel, but Nancy is a bill board for self-absorbed narcissism. It’s compelling their live-in nanny and housekeeper testified that Rob was not abusive and they never witnessed any fights. Nancy, however, was universally portrayed as a terrible mother who spent excessively “to fill the void.” The evidence presented creates a compelling picture that she was willing to do what was needed to maintain her lifestyle when she realized Rob was going to divorce her. Hopefully the children are now in a loving and functional home.

    • Smig says:

      There NO CHANCE those kids end up ok. If joes book was accurate. They were already spoiled rotten, and barely cared when told of their parents fate. The fathers family scene was a bizarre mess, and the kids will be the result of this wackiness.

  9. Deirdre Daquila MA says:

    I don’t think anyone has the whole picture here or ever will. But both the Kissels endured varying degrees of neglect and certainly psychological abuse.
    Nancy with her excessive need for attention and instant gratification (shopping, sex etc) is, to use a cliche, looking for the love missing in childhood. Both endorse character traits of narcissism and borderline personality.
    Does this excuse their excessive, self indulgent and superficial lifestyle. I don’t think so. Many of us don’t get the love we need as children. But I believe we all have opportunity for change; for taking the crisis we all experience and use it to develop the best of who we can be. To practice forgiveness, tolerate anger and cultivate love where we can. It would be a fantasy to say we can do it but we all can practice. It is the process not the outcome.
    Interesting to look at impact of extreme wealth on ones character and integrity.

  10. Gloria says:

    I agree 100% with Ms. Daquila. Even at 70+, I’m not yet quite “where I should be” but if I keep trying to the end, then that effort may count the same as having arrived…I, too, ca.e from a “looking for love” home. Mom was addicted to Rx drugs, barbituates to get through the day, narcotics to sleep, and dad was an alcoholic who died of it on his early 50′s. We weren’t fed right, let or noticed, let alone shown any love. For one thing, I tried to make it about my children getting the love they needed “now,” rather than about the love I didn’t get, “then.” “Nightly beatings, abuse, etc.” ? All she had to do, especially with children needing their parents, was to LEAVE – with or without alimony and child support. Um…if it was “Rape,” was it reported to the authorities? To anyone? No. This jury got it right. She chose the wrong “D,” death for him instead of Divorce for them.

  11. I have a great deal of sympathy for Nancy and even for her husband. I think you make a great point in that Robert was not Mr. Wonderful all the time. Was he abusive? Don’t know. Did he rape her? Don’t know. Was murder justified? perhaps but either way what she committed was premeditated murder and whether it was justified or not it is against the law. She saw murder as her only way out? I don’t think so. She may have saw murder as her only way but that does not mean it was her only way out. I agree with Gloria, she chose the wrong “D”. Resorting to murder was unnecessary .

  12. Gloria says:

    And, on second thought, I don’t think “getting OUT was her real concern. Were it, she probably would have gone the Divorce route. “Getting THE MONEY” was the real concern, hence, killing him WAS thge only route. “The Want of Money…is the Root of all EVil…”

  13. not believing Nancy says:

    If Nancy was actually “raped” and “abused”…..nightly…..she would have never returned from Vermont with her children. American courts/judges could have protected her from the abuse. If Nancy was truly worried about her safety (and that of her minor children) she would not have willingly returned to Hong Kong, from the US, in 2003 after the Sars outbreak. While back in the United States, she could have filed a complaint with the police and petitioned the US Courts for a divorce based upon abuse. I am not believing that Nancy Kissel had no other way out.

    Nancy went “drug shopping” in the days leading up to Rob’ death. She planned to drug and murder Rob Kissel, period. She wasn’t the type of girl that wanted a huge payout of alimony and child support…….she wanted it all. Nancy wanted all of Rob’s money.

    I hope Rob’s children will grow up knowing that their father loved them and was not the person that Nancy tried to make him out to be. I believe that Nancy Kissel must be a very sick woman.

  14. JM says:

    Nancy Kissel is a cold blooded, greedy deadly woman. Her librarian costume and nutty act was rejected by two juries. She belongs on death row. Eventually she will face God and recieve a trip to hell, first class of course.

  15. [...] claiming she was manipulated by a man. Janeen Snyder sings the worn out line of being brainwashed. Nancy Kissell says she was abused and threatened with losing her children. Aileen Wuornos claimed that all the [...]

  16. Lord says:

    If you were well aware of the facts of the case, you would know that there was very little evidence to support the claims that her husband was abusing her. She didn’t tell anyone about the incidents of anal rape, and she was very quite about the abuse. Does this mean it didn’t happen? Well no, but it doesn’t help her case.

    Another fact is that all the evidence points to the fact that this was a cold-blooded murder, and not an act of self defense. The baseball bat that was supposedly used by her husband to attack her, didn’t have any trace of use from the Nancy or her husband, and it also didn’t have any signs of coming in contact with the statue that Nancy was supposedly using to defend herself.

    Claiming that a victim of murder isn’t worthy of justice, just because his killer claimed that he was an ass hole, is hugely unfair, especially with so much evidence in the prosecutions favor.

  17. Gloria says:

    I returned to read the latest Comment (from Lord) and have been wanting to respond to something Ms. Cantrell said originally:

    “I hope, however, one day that the Kissell 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 Kissell? Man,I’d love to have a front row seat for that show!”

    Shame, Shame, Shame! Ms. Cantrell!

    Okay. If no one minds, this doesn’t have to have an ending which makes Ms. Cantrell feel good. (Vindictively feed good. I find her personalization of Nancy’s hurt a bit odd…perhaps it’s the female psyche at work… females, I’ve found, do generally have a bigger problem with objectivity!!)

    And, this doesn’t need to be an ending which makes Bill Kissell feel bad.

    HELLOOOO!!! The CHILDREN NEED…for it to have an ending which will MOST benefit them!!

    When and why did the focus leave the children? Wasn’t it dreadful enough, that Nancy subjugated their needs to hers…do the rest of us have to add to that wreckage in their lives?! The children ARE 1/2 Kissell…let’s hope they find all the Good they can, in the Kissell family, for the children’s self-image sake! It is not their fault, that their Greedy mother (oops…Greed from BOTH sides) chose wrong, chose to marry money then found it was “counterfeit” for her needs! Worse that she then Chose to subjugate their need for parents to her need for vengeance and money.
    There’s plenty of Bad to go around! It’ll find the kids they won’t have to look for it! My Hope for them is that they find as much Good and Happiness as they can, however they can, given the hand which Destiny dealt them! This can be with or without a reunion with their mother, with whom they also share Genes! Each child needs to do that which each feels is the Right Thing To Do, again, given the hand which Destiny dealt them. Peace, and God Bless

  18. Kim Cantrell says:

    Gloria, actually I very much agree with you; hence, why I hope the children will have some sort of a relationship for their mother.

    Better left unsaid, so to speak, is the fact it would be the ultimate slap in the face to Bill Kissel – who was extremely instrumental of the all dysfunction of his sons and daughter-in-laws.

    I do personalize this case, as I do pretty much any case. I don’t accept the oh-poor-Nancy excuse but I don’t accept the perfect image of Robert either.

    And I’m not afraid to say it out loud. :)

  19. Kim Cantrell says:

    Lord, did I say anywhere that Robert’s murder wasn’t worthy of justice?

    No, I did not. Reread my post again.

    Robert was an ass. And by such, he is not as nearly a sympathetic victim as someone who is not would be. But should Nancy get away with murder? Absolutely not!

    • Helenasharp says:

      Ms. Cantrell-
      How do you know Robert was an “ass”?? The ONLY person who has bad things to say about him was his evil, murdering,LYING adultress wife!! How is she a source?? Also, TWICE, a jury found her guilty! Of course, no one is perfect, but the fact he was willing to try and work things out with that evil woman he was married to even after finding out about her adultery, speaks highly for him. Alot of men (or women) especially with lots of money, would not do that!

    • Smig says:

      Yeah…agree….WHO besides the filthy whore called rob a bad guy?? Admit tingly, you don’t make that kind of money being nice, he loved cash, he sounded like an elitist…….but his “wife” is the only one saying he was a jerk….

  20. Gloria says:

    Yes…really tough, to find a figure here who deserves any Sympathy, let alone a “perfect” figure… Still, I’ve been where most of you are…nancy made yet another bad choice, Murder was a wrong answer, period. I admit MY bias is as a mother, I EXPECT a woman to put her childrens’ interests above her own…especially since, as in most all ‘love gone wrong’ relationships, each person made a BAD choice in the other. It was clear that Nancy married, then killed Rob for, money. To me, then, as money was her Be all/End all, it was such a betrayal of the children that, as much as Bill Kissell deserves what he’ll Ultimately get in life (Greed has a way of being its own “reward” – ask the Nance…) It wouldn’t be worth it to me to have the children condone/accept/ overlook her Betrayal of them, just to “get” Bill…conflicting goals, here! I’m on the kids’ side! WhatEVER they can get from Life to Soothe their hurts, they are Welcome to!
    Again, Peace and God Bless…

  21. Angela Spencer says:

    I cannot believe this Kim Cantrell was allowed to write anything! She makes so many mistakes in English. She even says “daughter-in-laws” instead of “daughters-in-law”. And what Nancy Kissel did is EVIL. She drugged and then bludgeoned her husband to death. She had her own daughter serve the drugged milkshake. She had people carry out the body of her dead husband, wrapped in a carpet. Her own son commented on the bad smell emanating from the carpet. She is obscene. She lied about abuse. No one, NO ONE experiences such abuse without telling a single soul. And Filipino maids in Hong Kong know EVERYTHING that goes on. Why on earth would her children even WANT a relationship with such a monster? I lived in Hong Kong during the time of the murder and the original trial. I never believed her lies. Neither did the jury – TWICE!!

  22. Carla says:

    Angela, I cannot believe you are so critical of Ms. Cantrell. All you can do is point out a one (questionable, imo) typo but don’t get it that she doesn’t agree with what Nancy Kissel did but makes valid points about Rob Kissel’s role as a husband. Are you a friend of Bill Kissel? Pops feelings hurt because somebody doesn’t believe how great his son was?

  23. Gloria says:

    Angela, Hmmm. Guess I missed that, such things usually jump out at me. Was it meant to be noun, plural, i.e. “DaughterS-in-law?” Or was it a noun, singular, possessive, i.e. “Daughter-in-law’s…” What line, what page? I’d like to see it.
    I found it well-written albeit, to me, a tad pro-Nancy via being so clearly anti-Rob BECAUSE of her, Kim’s, almost-hatred of Bill…transferred hatred?! But then, I found Nancy so very Evil, amorality personified, that I guess I have a biased eye.
    Amazing!-I found your choice of words curious: “I cannot believe this Kim Cantrell was allowed to write anything.” Huh? “Allowed” by whom?
    Finally, and again…the children are, simplistically put, “half mom and half dad.” To badmouth either, is to diminish the child/ren. They need to be allowed, their space respected, to make their own choice about visiting mom and respecting their dad’s memory. Regardless of what kind of a husband he was, he was their father! I’d visit mom to see for myself, what she had to say for herself, whether she YET had developed a sense of responsibility to and for her children. And I’d remember dad was drugged, ambushed and killed by her. Those things, combined, should give each child a balanced view, realistic, of what kind of a person, each of the parents were…God’s Blessings on and Peace! to the children.

  24. expatwife says:

    I have been an expat wife in various cities in Asia including Hong Kong and have discussed both newspaper coverage of the case as well as McGinnis’ book with my circle of friends all of whom are expat wives. We would all have found her guilty of murder. It can indeed be a difficult and lonely life but most of us learn to adapt and find the positives outway the negatives.

    The problem comes when some people simply lose their perspective on reality. You cannot have lots of money and a lovely house, send your children to expensive international schools, eat in top restaurants, go on vacation to 5 star hotels etc. without someone having to work for it. In Hong Kong it is perfectly possible to work as an expat spouse if you have appropriate qualifications. It is also possible to do voluntary work as Nancy did at her childrens’ school. She went home to Vermont during SARS when we all went home for a few months. Everything about her was normal for her sort of person except that for some reason she lost the plot during her time back in the States. Her husband was also quite typical of the type of person he was. It is really very unlikely that he was abusing her as she said as the Filipina helper could not have been unaware of that. The flat she lived in was big for Hong Kong but not that big! She should have thought of her children and looked more closely at the positive aspects of her life. Unfortunately there are some people who fail to see the wood for the trees. Those poor kids!

  25. pamela berry says:

    I too just read Joe Mginnis book Never Enough about the Nancy Kissell story.I also felt myself swaying towards Robert Kissels side, but there are always two sides to every story.I feel that it was the all mighty dollar and the quest for more that ruined this story tale marriage.Sad threeto say we will never really know what really happened that night in Hong-Kong,but will it change anything? The real victims are the three innocent children who will never be raised as they should be with two loving parents.

    • Smig says:

      Ah…no. The VICTIM here is rob kissell. Period. Another other suffering is a by line. The children are NOT the “real”victim here.

  26. Jamie Restaino says:

    I’m actually watching “The Two Mr. Kissel’s” on tv right now, that’s why I’m here.  Sooooo very sad for those poor children.  I can’t believe that Nancy actually thought that she would get away with the murder of her husband and the way she did it!!!  OMG!!!!  Wrapped him in a blanket and sprinkled it with peppermint oil!!!!!!  She deserved to get caught just for being stupid and with the cableman?????  I just don’t get it.  I guess money doesn’t buy happiness, does it.  I would still like to give it one hell of a try  LOL

  27. pinkpanther says:

    I’m watching “The Two Mr. Kissel’s” on tv right now, that’s why I’m here.  Soooo very sad for those poor children. No father, their mother in jail for MURDERING their father and a crazy mixed up Uncle Andrew who also met his demise in a horrible way. How could Nancy possibly think that she was going to get away with the murder of her husband??? She wrapped him in a rug and sprinkled his body with peppermint oil!!! Did she think that no one was gonna notice??? I’m sorry, but all this for the cable guy??  Wanna help me out with that one!!! I guess money can’t buy happiness.  Same thing happened to Ted Ammon, the rich man who lived in The Hamptons.  He had a horrible divorce and his ex-wife was fooling around with the eletrician who was doing some work in her new penthouse apartment!!  Long story short, she marries this guy and he ends up killing Ted Ammon!!!  His name was Danny Pelosi.  He said in a televised interview that “I gave her with the rich man couldn’t.” I’m sure these women had the kind of lives that other women can only dream about. Money, houses,cars and the feeling of being very lonely. Still no excuse for what Nancy did.  I just hope and pray that those children are o k.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I just finished reading “Never Enough,” and Kim Cantrell is right – it’s not a story or family I’ll easily forget. 

    However, I disagree with Kim that “Robert was an ass,” stated as though it’s the definitive truth.  Did you know him personally, Kim?  If not, then you are simply projecting your opinion.  I read another blog where people who did know him well – ex-girlfriends, among others – described him as a gentle, caring, considerate man.  I came away from the book feeling so sad for him.  Was he an ass because he worked his butt off to build a nice life for himself
    and his family?  There are always trade-offs in life; the trade-off for
    all the hours of work Rob put in were the millions of dollars Nancy
    enjoyed.  Even after her affair, he still wanted to try and work on
    their marriage.  Does that make him an ass? 

    It’s too bad she decided to try and save her own pathetic hide by attacking Rob’s character with her baseless claims of abuse after she murdered him.  She did a disservice to the many women who truly are abused since there was absolutely no evidence that she was ever one of them.  There was plenty of evidence, though, that she had a bad temper and that she was having an affair.  Rather than a woman in emotional pain, my impression of Nancy is that she is a selfish, greedy, narcissistic woman.  She had the opportunity in Vermont to get away from Rob if he was so abusive.  Instead, she went back to HK because she wanted it all – the status of being a banker’s wife, the money and the boyfriend.  When she learned that Rob was going to divorce her, she was probably outraged.  How dare he?  The five powerful blows to his head seem like an act of white-hot rage, not self-defense. 

    Instead of remaining in Vermont, far away from Rob and his supposedly terrible abuse, she went back to Hong Kong and bludgeoned him to death after incapacitating him with drugs – leaving her three young children effectively orphaned.  I hope they are doing well now because they surely were dealt a terrible and unfair blow early in their lives.  What kind of mother would put her children through that? 

    Finally, I don’t understand the demonization of Bill Kissel.  What did he have to do with any of this?  He’s a father whose sons were both murdered – how does that make him a bad guy?  So what if he pushed his sons or was hyper-critical or wasn’t always very nice or didn’t like his daughter-in-law?  Even if it’s all 100% true, none of it mitigates the fact that his lying, cheating daughter-in-law murdered his son.  I hope she remains in prison for the rest of her life.

  29. [...] lest I be accused of being arrogant again, let me say that I do not know how I would react if one of my children was missing – [...]

  30. [...] >> After you’ve read the book, see my editorial:  Understanding Nancy Kissel and Why She Killed Her Husband. [...]

  31. Mary says:

    I have only read the book, and while Mr.McGinnis tried to cover all aspects of this tragedy, he was only able to present what information was provided through court transcripts and interviews with folks connected to the family and from family members themselves. Nobody wants to be portrayed badly in this family, so you get what you get. I do believe that Nancy took the wrong way out, but suspect that she felt this was the only way because even if they had divorced, Rob would never have let her exist in peace. From all appearances, the Kissel’s were all used to wealth and the power that comes with it. Rob certainly appears to want to make his marriage work, but there is a certain amount of control working here. Nancy could spend, but near the end, Rob even controlled that, which was really the only control that Nancy felt she had. Affairs? Appears that was going on with both, even though what Rob was up to was never really examined, so who really knows what went on in that marriage. The family was dysfunctional, on all sides. Nancy was wrong, regardless of what went on, she did not have the right to kill her husband and this seems to be clear, as she went catatonic when she was arrested. I don’t think she faked it, she just could not accept what she did, and even did her best to make it look like self defense because her psycho act wasn’t, working. Lastly, what about Michael, the boyfriend? Do any of you really believe that he knew nothing? Dude should be in prison too, at least as an accessory after the fact. She called him a dozen times that day! There is no doubt in my mind that he took advantage of the situation and benefitted as well.

    • Kim Cantrell says:

      Mary, I was with you all the way until you got to the part about the boyfriend. I don’t believe he had any knowledge whatsoever of any intent of and/or murder. And Rob’s death has been anything but a benefit to him, from what I understand.

  32. Marcio says:

    I knew nancy when they met. She really loved him and she was one of the kindest and sweetest people I have ever met. Nobody deserves to be killed, she must have had with all the pressure and abuse from the husband and tha asshole father in law.
    Iam really sorry it turned out this way but Nancy is not the monster she may appear to be. She was just lost,.

  33. Alex says:

    Do I think it’s right? Absolutely not.

    Do I understand Nancy’s thinking?

    Yes, she felt there was no other way.

    Your a bad joke and a borderline headcase…lol.Im glad you can empathize with a murderer who could have just drum roll please have done what most people do leave file for divorce.However i guess that doesnt qualify under your “no other way’ mode of thinking.

    • Alex says:

      p.s or her’s evidently.Who knew a retarded milk shake murderer and a juvenile whitted ” crime blogger’ could have so much in common.

      • Kim Cantrell says:

        Careful thought and consideration is an adult concept, name calling and insulting because someone disagrees with your opinion is a juvenile response.

        But, hey, whatever.

    • Songline says:

      I actually knew the kissel’s; They were my neighbors. Robert and I were on the building committee; I did make an observation than that he is OH SO controlling. In fact I liked him better when he was around Nancy.
      Yes they were love birds back then in NYC…. When it came to Nancy she was the apple of his eye, and he was softer around her.
      Nancy was a decent artist who did think a lot of herself but it was Robert who put her on that pedestal. He bought her flowers every weekend. took her to great social events with the rich and famouse, and she used to love that. they had thier first daughter here, and they loved that baby so much. I thought they were great parents too.

      His brother and father I only met once; his brother in the lobby was bouncing off the walls; I knew he was high on drugs, I optioned for the next elevator.
      His father I met at another time when we all waited for an elevator one day, I clearly understood where Robert got both his looks and his control, I was not impressed with them to say the least.

      I do feel sorry for NANCY in jail for life, while he did not deserve to die, and she should have never lost her mind to do something like that, she should have seen a shrink and a lawyer.
      Robert was not a laid back quit guy, and that is no reason to kill anyone.

  34. Mary says:

    Thank you Kim, and no, Alex, I am not a crime blogger, I merely gave my opinion on what I perceived by reading a book. I appreciate your concern, but I am not a head case, and since you laughed, I guess I am not a bad joke either. If you read my entire comment, my “no other way” mentality mentioned divorce and the fact that this guy had to stalk his wife to keep tabs on her and would not let her go in peace. Why am I explaining my comment to you anyway? Enough said.

  35. mamadukes says:

    Wow! I should have skipped this one based solely on its title. Angela, you seem to get it. Thanks for your comment. No one knows what goes on in a marriage, though there are certain facts. First, Bill Kissel had nothing to do with this murder. Rob came from money but worked from a young age for everything he had. Nancy knew this. Nancy was indeed a waitress. Nancy was uneducated, greedy, lonely, jealous and mean-spirited. Rob worked long hours. Nancy chose a fat, slovenly, poor, uneducated lover from a local trailer park in Vermont. Nancy spent Rob’s hard earned money on her lover. Rob knew of her affair. A divorce would yield far less money to Nancy than, say, being widowed. Nancy wanted Rob’s money but she no longer wanted him. Nancy killed Rob. Nancy slandered Rob in order to avoid prison. What is there to ‘understand’?

  36. Peter says:

    1 Who witnessed the abuse? The child? The Maid? The Friends?
    2 Any person like the friends, maid, child seeing any wounds on Nancy?
    Do you think it is reasonable that NO ONE saw the abuse except Nancy?
    3 Robert called after a marriage-guidance session during which Nancy had said she wanted a divorce. Around the same period, Robert began taking legal advice on his marriage, including on the possibility of divorce.
    So, why didn’t Kim just divorce with Rob if not for money???
    4 Kim had an affair.
    5 Kissel also told her friend O’Shea she would not be cancelling a trip to the US for breast enhancement surgery. :)

    A Murder PURELY for Money.

  37. anne says:

    Did Nancy kill Rob?
    Yes.

    Did she plan his death?
    Probably

    Would she have carried out her plan?
    Maybe

    Did she at on a plan to kill Rob that night?
    No

    Nancy did not marry Rob for money.
    Nancy worked several jobs to support herself and Rob while he was in school. Their very small wedding was on such a shoestring budget that the bridesmaids purchased their own dresses.
    For years, Rob refused his father’s financial support in an attempt to break from the financial control he had felt his whole life. Nancy supported that..

    Did Rob abuse drugs?
    Yes.
    From the time they met at Club Med, Rob was using cocaine . Nancy used to party with him when they first dated. . None of their NY friends will refute that. However, Rob’s addiction became worse in school, serious when he moved the family to Hong Kong. Their first arguments were about the money that was coming from her paychecks and going up his nose.

    Was Nancy abused?
    At first she was not. It began with a backhand across a surprised Nancy’s face after Rob had a bad day an one scotch too many. She dismissed it as stress. It began slowly and intermittently and became commonplace right after Rob chose to move the family to Hong Kong. He accepted a job without any consultation with his wife who had just had their second daughter in NY.
    Most abused women do not report the abuse, especially if they have children.

    Nancy did confide in one person..her father. She did not confess the extent of the abuse during a call between Hong King and the US but did say that Rob was regularly hitting her. Daddy’s reaction…”that’s the price you pay for living that lifestyle.” This was testified to at trial.

    So Nancy finds herself with three kids living in a country where abuse is not abuse at all but rather a way to keep the woman in line. Rob holds the purse strings and she fears losing her kids to his money and that of his father if she tries to leave. So she shuts up and sucks up and deals.

    One question that I have yet to see answered let alone asked is..
    If she planned to kill him and did so intentionally that night after putting so much effort into the obtaining the drugs used to supposedly sedate him so she could bash his had in….
    Why didn’t she have a plan for AFTER she killed him?.
    I would think that one who was premeditating a murder would have a general idea of how to dispose of the body. Nancy had no plan. Rolling him up in a carpet after several days??? Cmon..give me a break.
    If she planned to murder her husband the way she ended up killing him she could have at least dragged the guy out in the balcony that night and pushed his body off the balcony.

    A few other things just don’t make sense…..
    Rob’s blood was tested only for evidence of the prescription medications found in the Parkview apartment and not for anything other drugs, legal or illegal. So the police have a predetermined list of what substances to check for and that’s it?

    The prosecution blood expert who testified at the first trial had never heard of luminol.

    Nancy was incarcerated for the first year in a psychiatric facility shortly after her arrest. For weeks she was in a “trance like” state and none of the medical staff or visitors could communicate with her. One of the first coherent questions she asked was, “How is Rob?”

    This poor woman was driven to do what she did out of pure survival and in the days that followed she was in shock.
    He came at her with a baseball bat and she fought back. It was his life or hers. She had no choice. Nancy did not kill her husband that night. She loved her husband.

    Nancy killed her abuser but was not free from abuse.
    She was raped again by the Hong Kong Justice System and Culture.
    Her abuse continues daily simply because she is service a life sentence for saving her own life the only way she could.
    ,

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