Robert Kissel had told friends his spendthrift wife had become a bad mother 'prone to violent rages' and that he had considered trying to win custody of the children when he divorced her. Colleagues have also confirmed that on the Sunday he was killed by his wife he had intended to tell her the marriage was over. From September to November 2003, when the marriage had completely broken down, he repeatedly told close friends that he did not trust his wife to properly bring up his children and had asked for advice about how to win custody. Kissel, an expert in distressed debt, believed his wife was not a good mother and that her attitude was 'particularly ambivalent' towards their son and youngest child, Reis, who was 'out of control'. 'He felt helpless. From what he told me, he was worried about his son, who was acting up, and it pained him to see that Nancy did not seem to care,' the friend said. 'Reis needed discipline, and she was never there to give it to him.' Kissel told colleagues during a business trip that his wife was prone to violent rages and he 'struggled to understand' how she could put her affair with Michael Del Priore ahead of his children. He said he was disgusted at the thought that the children had spent time with the television repair man during the family's stay in Vermont during the Sars crisis. He was also upset that she had then ignored them in the months leading up to his murder by spending up to four hours at a time on the phone to her Vermont lover. 'He said Nancy was this angry, angry person and he was concerned his children would grow up like that,' one friend said. 'The money she spent, he didn't really care about that, because he felt he had gone out of his way to make up for moving to Asia.' David Noh, Kissel's workmate and close friend at Merrill Lynch, testified that there was a 'turning point' in the marriage when Robert had pushed his wife after an argument. Mr Noh testified to the court that Kissel told him that he had shoved his wife during an argument because she kept yelling at him 'you will never live that down' or 'you will pay for that'. Mr Noh also said Kissel was resigned to losing his children. Behind his wife's friendly and warm exterior, Kissel said, lay a 'dark, narcissistic woman' who was only concerned with herself. The South China Morning Post has learned Nancy often spent $5,000 on her hair at the now defunct Parkview hairdressing salon, Debut. But despite her spending habits, she was not well liked at the salon, with one customer describing her as an 'asshole'. Nancy was also one of the best customers of expensive furniture shop Tequila Kola, often spending thousands of dollars at the store and giving delivery staff huge tips. The Kissel children have been described as 'hard work' and 'undisciplined'. The youngest, Reis, was disruptive in class at Parkview International Prep School, and teachers had told the Kissels they needed to be tougher at home. Friends said Robert had been determined to make the marriage work and that he had been to weekly marriage counselling sessions with Nancy. Between August 2002 and March 2003, he spent most of his time in Taiwan, working on a big deal. 'But he would always make sure he was on the plane on Friday night back to Hong Kong to be with his family,' a friend said. In May 2003, after a long period of trouble, Nancy turned up at the office to tell him she wanted the marriage to work. 'He was so excited by that, by the thought that they could work through their differences.' But then she left with the children for Vermont and met lover Michael Del Priore.