Pre-killing diary records Kissel's feeling of 'worthlessness'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am

Nancy Kissel (pictured) wrote in her diary that she had fallen into 'a hole so deep' that she believed she was 'worth nothing', several months before her husband was killed, a court heard yesterday.

Kissel, 46, is facing trial at the Court of First Instance accused of bludgeoning her husband, Merrill Lynch banker Robert Kissel, 40, to death on or about November 2, 2003. She is pleading not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, which the prosecution does not accept.

Passages from Nancy Kissel's diary were read in court by Edward Fitzgerald QC, her barrister, as he cross-examined Cheung Chun-kit, a computer expert, yesterday.

In an entry on August 2, 2003, Kissel wrote on her computer: 'I got into this hole eventually, a hole so deep that I truly believed I was worth nothing. I had lost my true spirit.'

In an entry 19 days later she wrote: 'He has taken away my worthwhileness. It has been so hard to be happy. I have had a hard time defining happiness anymore. All my true friends are gone and the one thing I have left, which I have always had, is the relationship with my father.'

According to the prosecution case against the American mother of three, Robert Kissel drank a milkshake prepared by her. Nancy Kissel then allegedly placed his body in a sleeping bag and carpet, and had it removed to a storeroom in the Parkview complex, where they were living.

Cheng Kok-choi, a drug and toxicology expert witness, said a tiny fraction of normal doses of an antidepressant, some hypnotics and salycilic acid were found in the contents of Robert Kissel's stomach following his death.

Salycilic acid was produced in the presence of gastric acid when aspirin was taken with water, he said under questioning by David Perry QC, for the prosecution.

Butalbital, a hypnotic, and amytriptyline, an antidepressant, were detected in Robert Kissel's liver, Cheng said.

His tests found no other poisons or drugs, he said.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Andrew Macrae.