U.S. man murdered by wife in Hong Kong

Thursday, September 1, 2005

A U.S. housewife was convicted on Sept. 1, 2005 of her husband's murder by a Hong Kong high court. On November 2, 2003, she apparently laced his milkshake with sedatives and beat him to death in their apartment while he was unconscious, sources say. Nancy Kissel was handed a unanimous life sentence verdict for murdering her banker husband in this infamous "Milkshake Trial", as it came to be known.

She sat expressionless and clothed in black throughout the trial, in which prosecutors painted a picture of her as a cold, calculating killer, who murdered her husband because of his desire to divorce her and take custody of their children after learning that she was having an affair with a repairman. His body was found two days after the murder in a rented storage locker, which the prosecution claimed was evidence of her trying to cover up the murder.

An autopsy found six types of sedatives in his body, which were powerful enough to knock him out, and a search of her computer brought up her Internet searches with keywords such as "drug overdose".

Prosecution lawyer Paul Chapman stated that "These were five fatal blows with murderous intent ... Self defense has no basis in this case." Relatives of Robert were relieved to finally reach a verdict on the case, with his father William saying "It's a 65-day trial and it's unanimous. That's justice."

The defendants claimed that the murder was in self defense. Kissel did admit to killing her husband, but she denied spiking his drink with a mixture of powerful drugs, and stated that she defended herself with a metal statue after he had attacked her with a baseball bat. According to Nancy, she had no recollection of the events after the night of her husband's murder.

The 65 day long trial was filled with her descriptions of how Robert Kissel, her husband and an American banker, supposedly abused her sexually and physically after using drugs and alcohol. Her lawyer, Alexander King, said that she sought refuge from her cocaine-abusing husband in an affair with the repairman.

The expatriate American community in Hong Kong is shocked by the murder.