Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Andrew Kissel

A Financial Juggling Act

Kissel Mansion
Kissel Mansion

Kissel moved out of the co-op in Manhattan and relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut, where he was building his dream house, a custom-built mansion at 58 Quaker Lane.  A childhood friend told The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, that as a boy, Andrew Kissel loved model cars:  "He would put together... hundreds of them... meticulously paint them and detail them with little stripes."  Kissel never outgrew his passion for cars, and at the time of his death he owned 30 vintage automobiles, including four Ferraris and a customized Mercedes station wagon, a collection worth millions.  He also owned a 75-foot Hatteras yacht worth $2.85 million, according to  Kissel had an insatiable lust for luxury toys, and he rarely denied himself.  Of course, he didn't have the income to support his lavish wants, but that didn't stop him.  He had learned that money was always available if a person knew how to work the system.

Kissel's childhood friend remembered him as being aloof and "kind of stuck up" when he was a boy.  He was "shy" and "often avoided eye contact."  As an adult, his personality problems were compounded by drug and alcohol abuse.  Court papers revealed that he had been "diagnosed with alcohol dependence, bipolar disorder, cocaine abuse, impulse control disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and anti-social personality disorder," according to The Advocate.  Perhaps it was this combination of personal problems and addictions that led him to bilk millions of dollars from investors, family members, banks, and other lending institutions.

"Andrew took money from everyone possible," his father William Kissel, told the New York Times.  "From his father-in-law, from friends, from [his brother] Robert, from everybody, and they're all holding the bag."

William Kissel, father
William Kissel, father

Andrew had founded a real-estate development company called Hanrock with offices in Stamford.  The name Hanrock was derived from the first initials of his wife Hayley, himself, his sister-in-law Nancy, and his brother Robert.  According to New York, when a notary public who worked for Hanrock left the company, Kissel managed to get her stamp and used it to file false mortgage releases on real-estate properties in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont.  The New York Times wrote that Kissel "claimed that old lenders had relinquished claims on the properties and tricked new lenders to make fresh loans on them without proper collateral."  With fraudulently borrowed money, Kissel was able to maintain his lavish lifestyle.  But when his financial juggling act was finally exposed, his many creditors were furious, and every one of them is now a possible suspect in his murder—except for one investor, his brother Robert. 

Three years before Andrew's death, Robert Kissel had also been murdered.