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Tuesday
Apr052011

Fountainebleau Family Murders: Woman Charged in Mother-in-Law's Killing

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(RYE BROOK, N.Y.) -- The woman accused of ordering the murder of her travel executive husband two years ago was charged Tuesday with arranging the killing of her mother-in-law, whose death was considered an accident until her son was murdered.

Narcy Novack was arrested in Florida on July 8, 2010 on federal charges of conspiring to intimidate, beat and kill her husband, 53-year-old Ben Novack Jr., at a Hilton in Rye Brook, N.Y.

A new indictment filed Tuesday charges Narcy Novack and her brother with arranging an attack on her husband's 87-year-old mother, Bernice Novack, at a hotel in Florida in April 2009. Investigators at first ruled Bernice Novack's death an accident caused by a series of falls, but took another look at the case after Ben Novack was killed two months later.

According to prosecutors, Narcy Novack was trying to gain control of her husband's fortune. Ben Novack was the grandson of the founder of the famous Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The hotel has been a Miami landmark for more than 50 years. In its heyday, the 22-acre hotel was the place to be seen. It played host to entertainment legends Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Marlene Dietrich, Debbie Reynolds and many others.

It was also featured in numerous movies including Goldfinger, Midnight Cowboy, Scarface and Police Academy 5. Tony Soprano even stayed there in one episode of the HBO series The Sopranos.

To bring the hotel -- listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- back to its glory days, the owners spent $1 billion in renovations, reopening the 1,504-room property in November 2008. It once again became one of Miami's hottest hotels.

"The killing of Ben Novack was not a spur-of-the-moment crime of passion. It was the end game of considerable planning," said George Venizelos of the FBI's New York field office.

Narcy Novack claimed her husband once broke her nose, then took her to a plastic surgeon to repair it. When she woke, she said, she had breast implants she hadn't asked for, the police report said. No charges were filed.

Under her husband's will, Narcy Novack stands to inherit his entire fortune, which is at least $6 million. If she were to lose the estate, most of it would go instead to daughter May Abad and into trusts for her two teenage sons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio