Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shaking All Over (or When Expats Go Bad)
I have no idea what kind of coverage it may be getting in the US, but Hong Kong is currently the site of one of the most fascinating murder trials I've read about. It has Court TV, Vanity Fair true crime and optioned-for-cable-movie and silver screen written all over it.
Sex. Cheating Hong Kong/Vermont socialite spouse Nancy Kissel (41-year-old wife of murdered millionaire Merrill Lynch banker Robert Kissel) was cheating on hubs with a 41-year-old American cable repairman/electrician (Michael del Priore, who lived in a trailer and had two ex-wives, the last of which was 15 when he married her in Alabama) while away from Hong Kong in Vermont. Bludgeoned-to-death-with-a-mysterious-object victim Robert Kissel was crusing Internet porn sites for gay bondage sex sites in Paris and Taiwan while Nancy was away. While crusing for gay sex online he also used online spyware to monitor steamy her e-mails with the Cable Guy after presumably wondering just how many times the TV service in the US had to be fixed. He also had a PI videotape and photograph the happy couple as del Priore tweaked her reception and fine-tuned her horizontal hold.
Drugs. Robert was beaten to death after he was served a "pink colored milkshake" by his spouse. A friend of Roberts who also imbibed one of Nancy's special shakes that fateful day managed to get back to his house, but later his wife found him babbling, red-faced incoherent, partially nude and smearing himself ''like a baby''' with handfuls from three gallon tubs of ice cream he'd consumed. Mrs. Kissel had told him the strange colored shake was a "secret recipe or something like that." A post-mortem on Robert revealed five different drugs in his stomach, including Rohypnol, the infamous ``date rape'' drug for which Nancy had also been surfing the Net.
In-house we've dubbed Nancy the "Milkshake Murderess." Friends of Nancy's from Hong Kong's United Jewish Congregation described her as a devoted mother of three and talented photographer.
In her defense Nancy claims Robert was also a coke addict and alcoholic and that he was on a binge when he demanded sex and she refused. He then "disappeared" she said - that is until...
....No rock 'n' roll as such, yet. But after Robert's head was rocked his body was rolled into one of the Kissel children's sleeping bags, wrapped in plastic sheeting, duct taped and then rolled again in a large, expensive carpet that Nancy shopped for a day after he "disappeared." Worried friends and coworkers who called for him were told by Nancy that her husband was unavailable due to "health issues." The strangely heavy and bulky carpet was hauled by baffled apartment complex maintenance workers at Nancy's behest into a storage room where police later discovered "a stinky decomposing body." Chinese language papers described it as a "salty fish" smell, though it turns out that that's a translation of a Cantonese cliche for the smell of a rotting corpse.
There's more to come. Due to the strict media reporting laws here this case isn't being given the full-tilt juicy boogie treatment of say OJ. But apparently the prosecution will drop a bombshell soon after learning that the defense has been in possession of the "real" murder weapon - a baseball bat - after police failed to find it when they searched the Kissel abode. Until now there's been a lot of back-and-forth exchanges between the defense and prosecution over blood spatter patterns and skull fractures that don't exactly fit a "large metal figurine" that also came into play during the fracas.
Nancy's pleaded innocent and is free on bail, though I don't think she's doing a lot of photography, rug shopping or milkshake making.
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