Narcy Novack to cops: 'I don't know what happened'
Narcy Novack -- who was convicted of slaying her millionaire husband whose father founded Miami Beach's legendary Fontainebleau Hotel -- initially told police she believed her husband had killed himself, despite having said earlier that he was found bound and gagged.
In a taped police interview released by NBC's Dateline on Friday, Narcy Novack contended she thought her husband, Ben Novack Jr., was suicidal.
"[My daughter] May [Abad] and I were thinking that he killed himself," she told investigators, alluding to conversations she had with her daughter. "Because when the cat died, he said he was going to kill himself."
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The investigators shot back, saying they told her the night before that Novack Jr. had been tied up.
"I remember talking to a lot of people," a visibly nervous Novack said. "This process, it's too much," she said in the interview as she ran her fingers through her hair.
Narcy Novack, 55, and her brother Cristobal Veliz, 59, were convicted in June of staging the brutal 2009 attacks on Ben Novack Jr. and his 86-year-old mother so they could cash in on an $8 million fortune.
In the police interview dated July 13, 2009, Narcy Novack denied knowing anything about what happened or how the double door to the hotel room in Rye Brook where Novack Jr. was found had been opened.
"I don't know and that's why I said I'll feel guilty that maybe the door was not closed and shut. Or maybe my husband opened the door or something happened," Narcy Novack said. "I don't know, I don't know how they got in. I don't know who got in and I don't know what happened."
Abad, 36, told Dateline her mother called her a traitor after discovering she was speaking to authorities about her suspicions.
"I knew what she had done was wrong," Abad said. "Even though she was my mother I knew she was wrong."
During the trial in White Plains federal court, defense lawyers tried to cast Abad as the driving force behind the slayings, hinting of a sexual relationship with her stepfather.
Abad claims she knew something was amiss after her mother emerged from the room at the Rye Brook Hilton where Novack Jr. was slain in July 2009.
"I'm lookin' at her and there is no blood on her," Abad told Dateline. "I don't see any evidence on her . . . My suspicions are growing by the minute. And then I'm thinking that I am this horrible human being for even thinking that my mother could do something like that."
Narcy Novack and Veliz were convicted on all but one of 15 counts in the federal indictment in the murder of Novack Jr. Sentencing has been set for Nov. 1.
Prosecutors say Novack and Veliz enlisted two hit men to beat Novack Jr. with barbells and slit his eyes with a utility knife.
Three months before the attack, hit men hired by Novack and Veliz pummeled Bernice Novack to death with a wrench in her Fort Lauderdale home.
A month after the jury verdict, U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains turned back attempts by Novack and Veliz to get their convictions tossed out.