Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Andrew Kissel

Two Brothers

On April 7, 2006, Andrew Kissel was buried in Saddle River, New Jersey, next to his mother and brother, Robert.  Andrew's father and sister attended the funeral services, but the family asked his wife, Hayley, not to come.  Hayley Kissel's attorney, Joseph W. Martini, said that she planned to make "other appropriate arrangements so that her children can say goodbye to their father."

Friends and associates remember Andrew as a difficult and troubled individual.  Michael Assael, a co-op owner at 200 E. 74th Street, remembers Kissel often pacing outside the building, "chomping on a cigar."  In conversation, Andrew would sometimes use big words incorrectly, according to Assael.  "He always seemed to try to impress you by show," Assael told The Advocate.  "He didn't seem to have a lot of depth."

Though Andrew got along well with his brother, some feel that Andrew struggled to keep up with Robert's accomplishments.  From the time they were boys, Robert seemed to excel without really trying while Andrew, who was very intelligent, just couldn't figure out how to apply himself.   Unlike Robert, Andrew was introverted and impatient.  He also believed that a person was defined by his possessions, and he always had to have the best.  When the brothers were teenagers, their father had given them both credit cards.  Robert used his to buy "a pair of cheap shoes from Sears" while Andrew bought himself an extravagant fur jacket.  An ex-girlfriend told New York, "His self-esteem came from what he had around him."

Perhaps it was this lust for status through acquisition that undid Andrew Kissel.  Cars, yachts, houses, real estate, even his brother's children—he had to have it all, no matter who got hurt.  His death might have been pay-back from someone he had wronged.    Or perhaps it was his last desperate attempt at big-ticket acquisition, a suicide concealed as a murder in order to obtain a jumbo insurance payout for his children.  The murder of Andrew Kissel remains a puzzle as the police continue to investigate. 

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