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Kissels Of Death

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Early in 2005, Hayley talked of moving Rob’s kids to Jane’s place in Washington. In February 2005, Hayley finally filed for divorce, and by March, it seemed to be agreed that Rob’s kids would go to Jane at the end of the school year.

At the end of March, though, Andrew called Jane. The kids, he told her, were staying with him, say Jane’s notes. He seemed resentful and furious. Andrew insisted that he intended to work through his difficulties with Hayley. Then he raged at his sister, as if in his time of need she’d decided to compete for the affection of the children. “I can’t believe you are doing this to me,” said Andrew, according to Jane’s notes. “I can’t believe you are hitting me from the flanks. I will fight you on this.”

Increasingly, Andrew was fighting on all fronts. More and more, it seemed that the legitimate side of Andrew’s businesses served only as a cover for illegal transactions. “He’d sit in his office and drink,” says one person who knew him in Greenwich. “And he’d do these crimes.”

A former employee of Hanrock, Juanita Johnson, had been a notary public. When she left, Andrew got hold of her stamp. Andrew’s scheme was brazen and simple. He typed up a form stating the mortgage on a particular property had been repaid—sometimes they were properties he didn’t legally control. He notarized the form with Johnson’s stamp and had it filed with the clerk’s office. Then he’d take out another mortgage on the same property. He took out three mortgages in one year on one parcel. He did the same on the Vermont house, though first, since it was in Hayley’s name, he forged documents, transferring it to himself. As long as he kept up with payments on each of the loans, no one was the wiser. And as one associate says, “He diligently serviced the debt.”

Andrew may have believed that he and Hayley would reconcile, but as summer approached, that prospect grew remote. In fact, one night in May, Hayley lay in bed and fantasized about killing Andrew. As usual, she confided in Jane. “God I HATE YOUR BROTHER!” she wrote in a May 22, 2005, e-mail.

“You okay?” responded Jane.

The next morning, Hayley said she was, though the rest of her e-mail suggested otherwise. “I could actually see myself pummeling him to death and just enjoying the sensation,” she wrote. To Hayley, these were the normal thoughts of a person in the midst of a poisonous divorce. Still, it was a haunting image, especially since Andrew’s brother had been pummeled to death by his wife. The next morning, Hayley pulled out of the garage, heading to spin class, and thought about crashing into his beloved Ferraris.

A few weeks later, one of Andrew’s many real-estate lawyers happened to read through the chain of title. He noticed something unusual. Why, he wondered, did several out-of-state banks use the same Stamford, Connecticut, notary, Juanita Johnson? Parisier was also getting suspicious. Refinance guys called him to talk about loans he knew nothing about. When Parisier confronted Andrew, he blew up. “How dare you! Don’t come back to the office. I’ll kill you!” said Andrew, according to a person close to Parisier. Parisier returned, but with bodyguards.

Soon, Andrew hired a criminal-defense lawyer. “You’re in a lot of trouble,” Greenwich attorney Philip Russell told Andrew.

“I know,” he said. Russell talked to the FBI, which launched its own investigation. All told, Andrew’s frauds amounted to $25 million in three states, the FBI charged.

In May 2005, as Hayley mused about the joys of killing Andrew, Nancy Kissel’s murder trial got under way. In Hong Kong, it was the splashiest scandal in years. The press labeled it the “milk-shake murder” and covered it like the O.J. case. Nancy maintained her innocence, though midway through her testimony, she shocked the court by admitting that she’d killed Rob. She said it was during a fight and that Rob was an abusive drug user. These were accusations that none of Rob’s friends, and only a few of Nancy’s, believed. For Bill, it was slander. Attending the trial all day, then reading blogs about the trial at night, Bill was distraught. He lashed out at anyone who attacked his son. (To one of Nancy’s friends who defended her on a Website, Bill e-mailed pointedly, “Keep it up and you can become the victim. You are not immune.”)

And still, there were Rob and Nancy’s kids. With Andrew’s household falling apart, the extended family had to collaborate on another decision.

By July, according to Jane’s notes, Hayley had reneged on what Jane thought was an agreement to transfer the kids to Jane. Hayley told Jane, say the notes, “I am going to do what is best for myself.” Hayley suggested that Andrew had left her financially strapped. “If I have to keep the kids it may not be the best thing for them, but at the least I will not be on the street,” say the notes. It was a strange threat. Hayley came from money; she’d always been a good earner.


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