Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sordid Central

Every once in a while there comes along a true-crime story so sordid you'd rather not see the movie. The story of the Kissel brothers--two rich financier brothers, each brutally murdered in his own unique way--is "tragic" and "sad" say the papers, above all because the two left behind five now-fatherless children.

One brother, Robert, a successful financier in Hong Kong, was sedated (with a pill-laced strawberry milkshake) and beaten to death (with a metal figurine) by his wife. The other brother, Andrew, a once phenomenally rich real estate developer, was just murdered last week, stabbed to death in his Greenwich mansion. Frankly, it all sounds like a bad Hollywood pitch, an amateurish Desperate Housewives meets Dynasty meets CSI: Connecticut.

Except it's much too distasteful even to thrill, which is exactly why I'd like to lay out a few details that are just way to unbearably and deliciously unpleasant to have been invented.

Robert's wife, Nancy, now serving a life term for murder, claimed at her trial that her husband abused alcohol and cocaine and repeatedly forced anal sex on her. Oh! right--and she was also having an affair with a Vermont TV repairman. If my husband were a coked-up butt-rapist, I'd probably do the same. Well, maybe not a Vermont TV repairman--maybe Brooklyn. Maybe a plumber.

And Andrew, who once lived in a tony Manhattan co-op, owned a multi-million dollar yacht, collected classic cars, and was renting his Greenwich mansion for a respectable $14,300 a month, was evidently also a lush who drank in front of his kids--and a big-time thief who was all set to admit in court last week that he'd defrauded financial companies out of tens of millions of dollars. And his wife was divorcing him--and he was asking her for alimony. The good news though, is that Andrew had a $15 million life insurance policy. And that there was no sign of a break-in at his house, which means his killer just walked right in, invited...

The papa of these two dead gentleman says that if Andrew actually arranged his own hit it was an incredibly unselfish thing to do. But here's what I wanna know from papa: if you spawned these creatures... what did you do to them? Not to point fingers or do any gratuitous armchair psycho-analyzing, but your two boys were sad sick fucks and it's kinda hard to see that coming out of nowhere. I'm just saying. It's possible, of course, but what are strange bunch of coincidences.

Most of the reports of the affair feel bad for the kids, fatherless and burdened with this sordid legacy, but it's important to remember there's a grandpa still in picture. Wanna sit on his knee, kids?


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