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Kissels Of Death


Whatever inefficiencies Hanrock experienced, a rising real-estate market bailed them out. Their first house, on 18 Burning Tree Road, brought almost $1 million in profit.

Still, Andrew’s expenses outpaced his income. To Bill, viewing it from afar, Andrew’s excessive spending was egged on by Hayley. “Andrew had had to keep up with his expectations of himself and his wife,” says Bill. At one point, Bill, often cutting in anger, called Hayley “a moneygrubbing bitch,” as one person close to Hayley recalled.

Perhaps Hayley was another of those people Andrew needed to impress. Hayley, though, told people she didn’t particularly like Andrew’s “shopping addiction,” as she called it. It was one of the things they fought about. Her main focus, she insisted, was the five kids. And she didn’t feel she deserved any grief from the Kissels. “I’ve done nothing but stand up for your family, defend your family, take care of your family,” she’d later tell Jane. She’d welcomed Rob’s children when no one else would, she said.

Rob’s estate covered the kids’ expenses, $8,000 per month, not including schools, camps, and therapists. But money wasn’t the only challenge. Andrew wasn’t much help. He’d intervened as savior, but Hayley attended the five parent-teacher conferences and the five school plays and, of course, took them to Stratton.

“It’s brutal work taking care of five kids,” Hayley told a friend. “I get impatient, stressed, frenzied, and am prone to the occasional rant.” By most accounts, she did a fine job; even Bill said so at one point. And at the end of each day, she was proud that everyone sat down to a fun family dinner. At one point, Andrew even bought a larger, $6,000 dining-room table to accommodate the new arrivals—it showed up (Andrew charged 30 percent of the cost) as part of a $171,000 bill to Rob’s estate.

For Hayley, life with five kids was manageable, but coexistence with Andrew proved impossible. By the middle of 2004, their rocky fourteen-year marriage was coming apart. Hayley’s confidante in these matters was her old friend and ski student, Jane. They’d long been close: Jane sometimes told Hayley that she loved her like the sister she never had.

In the summer of 2004, Hayley started phoning Jane to vent. Jane, apparently alarmed at the tenor of the conversations, took notes, copies of which were obtained by New York Magazine. The notes begin dramatically on July 2, 2004: “Hayley said she is leaving Andrew.” The next day, Hayley told Jane that Andrew was having an affair. “It is the last straw,” say Jane’s notes. “He has embarrassed her enough.” On June 16, 2004, at 7:15 in the morning, Hayley added in an e-mail, “I am busting my ass taking care of five kids . . . while he is off having dinner [with her] at nice restaurants and calling her all day.”

Soon Hayley confided suspicions about Andrew’s business. “She thinks his business is a Ponzi scheme,” say the notes. She thought he sold a building and didn’t tell anyone. “She does not want to have to explain to her kids why Dad is in jail.”

Maybe Hayley should have suspected something long before. She’s financially sophisticated. “How could a wife not know?” Bill later wondered. By Hayley’s account, if she ever asked, Andrew would lash out. She told a friend what Andrew said: “It’s none of your fucking business. I don’t tell you how to analyze stocks. Don’t tell me how to run my business.” Hayley told a friend she was afraid of him. “He won every fight” was how she put it.

Recently alcohol had become Andrew’s drug of choice. No doubt, it affected his moods. The catalyst to one ugly mood, Hayley e-mailed Jane, was that a friend had canceled golf with Andrew. “This was a result of [the friend] being on his boat drinking with the guys every night that his wife was in Canyon Ranch with the girls.” Apparently, Andrew was in a horrible funk because of that. “It was worsened because I was invited on the boat for girls’ night to watch a Diana Ross concert in Greenwich (across the harbor).”

Jane, like the rest of the family, had been unaware of Andrew’s financial misdeeds. Now Hayley told Jane, “I can’t take it anymore. It amazes me I let him treat me like that. I am a smart person.

I can’t believe I have stayed in this relationship this long.”

Jane might have begun as Hayley’s friend. She grew increasingly frightened for Rob’s kids. Especially when, according to the notes, she heard Hayley say this: “I hate to say it, but every time I see Rob’s kids I see Andrew, and I hate to take it out on them, but I can’t help it.”


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