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Original Knight Rider car up for sale

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'Knight Rider' Car Being Sold On eBay

Last Owned By Slain Real Estate Developer

By DAVE ALTIMARI | Courant Staff Writer

December 20, 2007

In the 18 months since Andrew Kissel was slain, creditors have been circling what remained of the Greenwich real estate developer's financial empire.

Now, after banks and other creditors have laid claim to more than $30 million they say Kissel owed them, the last of his possessions is ready to be sold: an original KITT, a computer-driven Pontiac Trans-Am used in the "Knight Rider" television series starring David Hasselhoff.

Always a car aficionado, Kissel had purchased one of a handful of the specially designed Trans Ams that were used on the mid-'80s show, which launched Hasselhoff's career and a legion of KITT lovers.

KITT was the computer brain of the jet black car that talked to Hasselhoff in the series and got him out of many scrapes with bad guys. The car was extremely fast, and bullet-proof.

"It's the last thing he ever owned," Greenwich attorney Patrick R. Gil said of Kissel.

Gil has been the administer of Kissel's estate, charged with selling off his few remaining assets and trying to satisfy creditors who were out millions when Kissel was killed in his home on April 3, 2006. The crime is still unsolved.

Gil thought he had finally sold off the boats, cars and other "toys" that Kissel accumulated, until he discovered the "Knight Rider" car. Kissel apparently purchased it in 2005 for $69,000 through an auction house in California, Gil said.

Kissel, 46 when he died, either forgot about the car when some of his legal troubles started or decided not to bring it back to Connecticut.

Gil is now trying to sell the car on eBay. It has been listed for a couple of days, and although Gil set the minimum bid at only $20,000, no one had bid as of Tuesday afternoon, he said.

"I'm a little surprised because it is a unique car," Gil said. "My understanding is that there were only four of them made specifically for the television series. I expected some 'Knight Rider' lovers to jump on it."

Kissel was days from starting a 10-year federal prison sentence — for forging documents to obtain more than $16 million in loans from banks and mortgage companies — when furniture movers discovered his body in the basement of his Dairy Road home in Greenwich. He had been stabbed four or five times in the back. His hands and feet were bound in Flex Cuffs and his T-shirt had been pulled over his head.

Police have yet to make an arrest. Because the house was protected by a gated security system, police have speculated that either Kissel knew his killer and let him in or that the killer was familiar with the home and knew the code to unlock the security gate.

Police have interviewed Kissel's handyman, Carlos Trujillo, who may have been the last person to see Kissel alive when he stopped by the home about 6 p.m. the night before.

Trujillo's attorney, Lindy Urso, has acknowledged that one police theory has Kissel hiring Trujillo to kill him. Urso has denied that Trujillo was involved in the slaying.

According to that police theory, Kissel hired Trujillo because he couldn't bring himself to commit suicide. If he had killed himself, his ex-wife Hayley Wolff Kissel, and their two children might not have been eligible for a $15 million life insurance policy.

The insurance company has refused to pay Hayley Wolff Kissel the $15 million, and a federal lawsuit is pending.

Andrew Kissel was the second member of his family to die a high-profile, violent death. His brother, Robert Kissel, a wealthy banker, was killed by his wife, Nancy, in Hong Kong in 2003. She poisoned his milkshake.

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These brothers really knew how to make enemies.


The car itself is nothing more than a mutilated example of a Trans Am.

Only slightly better than "Travolta Fever"

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