The trial of the century, again

Can it be true?  Are we going to re-live those heady days of 2005 when the whole world was gripped with the Nancy Kissel milkshake murder case?  The Court of Final Appeal has ordered a retrial, courtesy of one of those technicalities that make law such an enticing and absorbing subject.  Let’s face it, we all enjoyed it the first time round, so why not do it again?  It’ll be like having a repeat of HarbourFest, or a special extra Christmas Day in June, only even more fun.

It could be that in the retrial the prosecution will simply correct the procedural errors they made last time and get her convicted properly.  Her defence, on the other hand, could take advantage of this second chance and do a better job of claiming diminished responsibility, arguing that she had been driven temporarily crazy by her husband, or by the food colouring in milkshake, or the whole SARS/Tung Chee-hwa/Article 23 series of horrors that traumatized the entire city in the months before the killing.  There is no shortage of madness-inducing factors lying around.  I could be an expert witness: hardly anyone was left sane back then.

Then again, it could all be a big let-down.  Kissel’s defence are saying they want to get the whole thing dismissed because she won’t get a fair trial in the gossipy, prurient, grubby-minded, rumour-mongering village that is the Big Lychee.  I am sure all my seven million fellow-residents of our fair city join me in being shocked at these spoilsports’ scurrilous and insulting claim.

Before and after: the 'CSD diet'

There are two strands of thought about Nancy Kissel.  One is that she is a ruthless, sadistic she-monster and embodiment of evil on a par with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Vlad the Impaler.  The other is that she is an abused, exploited, bullied innocent victim who, after being brutalized by her investment banker spouse, was wronged by a cruel travesty of justice.

Actually, there is a third.  To quote a commentator below: “…my fascination with the young [sic] lady stems from the fact that when she’s scrubbed up (or not in the scrubs), I think she looks pretty hot. Sorry, but I can’t help it.”

This is not an unprecedented observation (eg, Tue, 2 Aug, 2005 uses the word ‘coquettish’).  Nancy Kissel does have a certain doe-eyed, slightly girlish, certainly girl-next-door, pouting, kittenish, Jacqueline Taieb/Diana Rigg-like something about her.  Or, at least, she did.  Several years of dining on Correctional Services congee, sleeping on a mat, mopping floors and just plain moping seem to have taken their toll in the hair and skin department.  Still, there is good news: in the four or so years since she was put away, Hong Kong has witnessed an explosion in the number of foot massage, facial, nail, spa treatment and similar outlets.  She will be amazed at the choice these days!

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10 Responses to The trial of the century, again

  1. Sir Crispin says:

    Yeah, she does kinda remind me of Sarah Silverman. She’s fooking Matt Damon!

  2. Dr Carpet says:

    You omit the fourth possibility – that Ms Kissel is simply banal and uninteresting.

    That she certainly is.

    I saw all the trial and all the appeals.

    The author of NEVER ENOUGH interviewed me twice. The poor man was at a loss to breathe life into the character of the alleged murderer.

    There was little I could do to help.

    Now she is sprung for a while by the bottomless coffers of her Jewish Ladies’ League (South Side) and by the pusillanimous attitude of the CFA.

    It is unclear whether the Jewish Mommas for Nancy are all widows or wannabe widows. There must be some point of empathy.

    I dozed off at the trial several times. No one blamed me.

  3. N says:

    She’s a social worker and with luck will continue reaping investment bankers when free.

  4. Jason Ali says:

    With her hair tied back she looks a bit like Posh Spice. Obviously, “banal and uninteresting” (see above) is what does it for me.


  5. Chanboy says:

    Nancy defenders should not jump for joy here. The judges are saying there were technical legal problems. They are not proclaiming her innocent. She may well be found gulity in the retrial.

  6. Plod says:

    Anyone else pertubed by the seeming arrogance of her defence lawyers in suggesting that a fair trial cannot be had in HK? I scent a tinge of ‘gweilos are different’ or am I perhaps being over sensitive?

  7. Dr Carpet says:

    Agree with Plod.

    While you’re on Plod, perhaps you can ask the defence lawyers why they hung on to the baseball bat without telling anyone for two years.

    They got off lightly on that one. In Britain they would be struck off at least.

    Not a trace of DNA or anything else on the bat in fact.

    All the nonsense about denting the ornament with that instead of Mr Kissel’s skull was embarrassing to us in the gallery.

    The jury had a good laugh though, poor souls.

    Guess they/she will have to think up some new story line.

    How someone unconscious with five different hypnotics in him can come at you beggars belief.

    How he can provoke you whilst lying down asleep is also a bit tricky to argue.

    And cold-heartedly shopping for drugs and surfing the Internet for ways to kill people might cancel out the lack of premeditation and unsound mind lines.

    Before the Kissel trial I wanted to defend people. The Kissel trial made me into a wannabe prosecutor.

    Give us justice please, Hong Kong Judiciary, not one law for the poor and another one for friends of rich Jewish Mommas.

  8. Dr Carpet says:

    Agree with you Plod.

    Disgusted at the double standards of Justice meted out to the rich and poor in Hong Kong.

    If she gets a plea bargain and walks on a manslaiughter charge I will chain myself to Parkview.

  9. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    I think she’s dumped the old defence solicitors, who were from Mallesons Stephen Jaques. I’m not sure if they’ve retained the same silk.

    MSJ had the bad luck to pick this up as a legacy case when they acquired HK firm Kwok & Yih in around 2004. K&Y was a commercial firm specialising in M&A and equity capital raising deals and I was never sure how they landed up with this criminal case. I think I recall someone who would know telling me this was a favour asked of K&Y by someone at Merrill Lynch (ie employer of the brained banker) – wheels within wheels!

  10. Jason Ali says:

    Sir Crispin

    Milkshake Nancy appeared on the famous 1990s fly-on-the-wall documentary series Seinfeld. Apparently she is affflicted with the “Jimmy Legs”. She popped up in the “The Money” episode (Season 8: 13), and appeared to give Kramer quite a hard time.


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