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Kissels Of Death


The judge wasn’t swayed, especially since Hayley wasn’t fighting for the children: “Whatever’s best” had become her attitude. Soon, the kids headed west to Washington. Jane had turned her life upside down to accommodate Rob’s children. That included spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, which she hoped Rob’s estate would cover. That decision, though, depended on the consent of Ira, co-executor of Rob’s will.

By the end of March 2006, Andrew knew that the following week, he would plead guilty to all charges. He faced a minimum of eight years in prison. Creditors were piling on. After Hayley filed for divorce, Parisier, the banks, the title companies all came after Andrew. His car collection was liquidated. Even his watches were sold. His Greenwich life, the one of quick trips to Canyon Ranch and getting loaded on the boat, was gone forever. The only time Andrew left home was to drive the kids to school, and he’d had to petition the court for permission to do that. “I’m ruined,” he told a visitor.

Months earlier, Andrew had stopped paying rent, and Hayley had to go to court to settle the matter. She agreed to vacate the premises by the end of the month.

Movers showed up Saturday, April 1. Hayley had left the day before, and planned to put their possessions in storage. When the movers arrived, Andrew was still there. Hayley came, and there was an argument. Andrew didn’t have anywhere to go. Hayley had one more bit of patience. She agreed to leave a bedroom set until Monday.

On Sunday evening, April 2, Carlos Trujillo, Andrew’s driver and all-around helper, his last remaining employee, showed up at the house at about 6 p.m. The next morning, when the movers returned, Andrew’s body was discovered in the basement. He was bound and stabbed in the back, his T-shirt pulled over his head.

Andrew’s funeral was a small one near his hometown in New Jersey. He was buried with Rob. Just over a dozen people were there, including Jane and Bill, their friends and supporters. None of Andrew’s friends showed up. Hayley, at the request of the Kissels, agreed to stay away, the family feud lasting into the grave.

The Greenwich Police Department initially reported that Hayley was fully cooperating with its investigation; later, the chief said that she had stopped. The investigation, though, seemed to focus on Trujillo, a Colombian immigrant who claimed, as his lawyer put it, that Andrew was like a father to him. (Andrew was notoriously generous with employees.) The police noted that there’d been no sign of forced entry and thus suggested that Andrew knew his killer. One theory at work was that Andrew, in a final act of selflessness, had committed suicide by murder. Perhaps with Trujillo’s help.

Certainly, Andrew had been distraught. Hayley had even called Bill, left a message that last weekend. Bill had been trying to call for a week, but no one picked up. Andrew’s intent, according to the suicide-by-murder theory, was to die without killing himself. If he was murdered, then his children could inherit his insurance policy, which presumably was void if he committed suicide.

If true, it was an extraordinary act of generosity. Maybe it was a last attempt at making amends or pleasing his family. Bill, for one, doesn’t buy the suicide theory. “That’s preposterous,” he says. To him, stabbing someone in the back means one thing. “It had to be someone who was incredibly angry,” he says. Bill thought of Hayley and her side of the family. “You can’t rule it out,” he says.

Of course, many people had reason to be angry with Andrew. “He was a bad boy,” says Bill, and maybe, Bill thinks, a sick boy. Bill’s tone seems at times forgiving, at times defensive. It is a defense of Rob, who’d been so good, especially, perhaps, in retrospect, and who’d lately been tarred with the same brush as Andrew. Bill’s two sons both had wives who hated them, and both were murdered before they were 50. “You must not compare the two.” Bill bristles. “You will be doing Robert’s children a tremendous disservice.” Bill isn’t in touch with Andrew’s children.

To Bill, Andrew’s death seemed a kind of incrementalism. They’d been out of touch for so long. Occasionally, he forgot that Andrew was dead. It was for a split second but perhaps long enough for him to imagine that their troubled relationship was retrievable. “He was my son,” Bill says of Andrew. Not that he could quite forgive him his flaws. “Andrew wanted to be a winner,” he says. It sounds like an epitaph, an unhappy one.


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