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Entries in Miami (35)

Friday
Apr082011

Fontainebleau Murders: Victims' Relative Wants Suspect to Feel Pain

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A relative of murder victims connected to the Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel said she wants their accused killer Narcy Novack to suffer for her actions.

Novack is facing charges in the death of her wealthy hotel heir husband 53-year-old Ben Novack Jr. and conspiring to kill her 87-year-old mother-in-law, Bernice Novack.

"I want her to experience pain, I want her to experience everything that lock up and jail would give her," said Meredith Fiel, who is Ben Novack's cousin and Bernice Novack's niece.

In a new indictment issued this week, the FBI alleges that Narcy Novack murdered twice, stole, laundered money and conspired to murder again in an elaborate plot, hatched along with her brother, to gain her millionaire husband's estate.

The plot comprised seizing control of Ben Novak's millions in real estate, cars, jewelry and one of the world's largest collections of Batman memorabilia -- including the original Batmobile.

Ben Novack was the son of the founder of the landmark Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach featured in classic films like Goldfinger and Scarface.  Showbiz icons like Frank Sinatra roamed the hotel's halls, often patting the younger Novack on the head as a child.

In the indictment filed on Tuesday, Narcy Novack is charged with arranging the April 2009 attack on Ben Novack's 87-year-old mother Bernice Novack, who was found dead in her Fort Lauderdale home.

Following Bernice Novack's death, Narcy allegedly went after her husband, Ben Novack.

In July 2009, investigators say Narcy opened the door to the hotel suite she shared with her husband in Rye Brook, New York and let three assailants slipped in.  They bound Ben Novack then bludgeoned him with a dumbbell and Narcy gave them a pillow to muffle his screams.  Narcy even allegedly ordered the attackers to gouge out Ben's eyes.

She also allegedly tried to make it look like a robbery and the next day stole over $100,000 from his business.

She tried to bribe one potential witness to frame her own daughter for the killing and then tried to have a witness killed, according court papers.

However, Narcy Novack's lawyers insist she had nothing to do with the murders and that there is no evidence and that the allegations have no more weight than a traffic ticket. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan302011

Miami Man Arrested In 'Anti-Aging' Drug Scam

Photo Courtesy - Miami-Dade County Department of Corrections(MIAMI) -- When a man invented a cream, a "yogurt" he called it, to rub on your head to help regrow hair, lots of people invested money in his project; some put thousands into it. Now police are saying it was all too good to be true.

The Miami Herald reports Sunday that Joseph Fox Batista, 55, has been arrested after scamming investors for $380,000 worth of stock in his possibly worthless company, TeloGenesis Inc. Authorities say Fox spent the money on lavish furnishings, alcohol, and sometimes just gave the money away to the homeless.

This isn't the first time that Fox has been involved with a scam. He was arrested in California in 2002 for trying to sell a gold-measuring device which he took money for from clients, but never delivered on.

One man lost $2,000 investing in the hair product, while another was taken for $28,000. The Herald says that while Fox claims the money was spent on designing the product, arrest warrants show almost none of the money poured into the company between July 2007 and November 2009 was used for its intended purposes.

Fox is being held on charges of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan272011

Grand Piano Mystery Solved: Biscayne Bay Confession

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MIAMI) -- Over the past couple of days a baby grand piano, parked on a sliver of a sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay, launched a thousand ships --okay, little pleasure boats -- Twitter accounts and countless rumors.

Was it the work of a master artist like Cristo, who once covered the islands in red cloth? The magic of David Copperfield or a relic of a botched hip hop music video shoot?

Perhaps it was the work of a clever fellow at the New World Symphony conservatory, trying to promote Tuesday night's opening of a $170 million Frank Gehry-designed campus?

Nope. This little installation of junk art, as it's known, was the brainchild of a 16-year-old.

Nicholas Harrington is a junior at Mast Academy in Key Biscayne.

His accomplices were his brother, Andrew, and neighbor Julian Roots, both 18.

They'd hatched the scheme before Christmas.

Harrington's grandparents had a grand piano in their garage. They wanted to get rid of it.

Harrington pondered. Perhaps hang it on a tree? Set it on fire?

Finally the "Piano bar" idea came to him.

So, on New Year's Eve the family threw a bash.

They burned the family Christmas tree and then partially set fire to the piano.

The next morning, on New Year's day, in broad daylight, they hoisted the baby grand onto Harrington's father's boat, and motored out to the sandbar, unloaded the 300-400 pound piano - and waited.

Two weeks later, a National Geographic photographer snapped an iconic shot of pelicans perched on it. But few people noticed it until residents alerted authorities and the Miami Herald.

When ABC News hired a boat and voyaged out to the sandbar -- just 200 yards from shore, the piano had lost its bench and was trashed.

But the burning question on the minds of bloggers, Miamians and humorists, is why?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan252011

Miami Mystery: Who Dropped Piano On Florida Sandbar?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MIAMI) -- The grand piano floats like a mirage over Miami's Biscayne Bay, a testament to music and haut pranksterism.

Miami's mystery piano was parked on Biscayne Bay sometime before last week when locals spotted it and called in the strange sighting, Jorge Bino of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC News.

The 650 pound grand piano stands upright, perfectly placed on the highest point of the sandbar, just a couple hundred yards from a row of condominiums.

"We have no idea exactly when it got there," Bino said. "Our agency cannot move it unless it becomes a navigational hazard. At this point it's high enough on the sandbar so that it is not a navigational hazard. So I guess it will stay."

The Coast Guard says it has no intention to remove it.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

Two Miami Cops Shot While Making Arrest

Photo Courtesy - WPLG/ABC News(MIAMI) -- Two Miami police officers were shot and killed in a shootout Thursday when they tried to serve an arrest warrant.

The gunman was also shot and killed.

The cops were part of a U.S. marshals task force when the gunfire broke out.

Other details on the operation were not immediately available from officials.

U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Jeff Carter said in a statement, "Initial reports are two local police officers assigned to a U.S. Marshals task force in Miami were shot while executing an arrest warrant this morning."

The Miami Herald reported two schools, the Thena Crowder Elementary School and Little River Elementary School, were locked down in the wake of the shooting. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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