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Long IslandCrime

Murder trial with breast implants, Batman

WHITE PLAINS -- Sneaky breast implants and the Batmobile.

Those are two of the bizarre elements in the murder case against Narcy Novack, 54, of Fort Lauderdale. But they're unlikely to overshadow the grisly killings of her millionaire husband and his mother, which Novack allegedly orchestrated to get the family estate.

"This was nothing short of a diabolical plan by a woman who was intent on eliminating her husband and taking his family fortune for her own," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said when Novack was indicted. Prosecutors believe Novack feared her husband was tiring of her and she'd be left with nothing.

Novack, a native of Ecuador, and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, 57, of Philadelphia, have pleaded not guilty to a long list of federal charges. Their trial opens Monday in White Plains.

The primary charge, murder in aid of racketeering, carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Novack's husband, Ben Novack Jr., was the son of the man who built the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach. Novack grew up in the hotel, which was a celebrity playpen in the 1950s and '60s and appeared in the movies "Scarface" and "Goldfinger." Novack, who had his own successful travel company, was at the Hilton hotel in Rye Brook, N.Y., at an Amway convention he'd arranged, on July 12, 2009, when he was killed.

He was found beaten to death in the suite he shared with his wife. His body had been pummeled with dumbbells, his eyes slit with a knife.

Narcy Novack told police she was downstairs having breakfast when her husband was killed. But prosecutors say she opened the door to the killers, gave them a pillow to put over Ben Novack's face and ordered them to cut out his eyes.

Two men have pleaded guilty to carrying out the killing and are expected to testify for the prosecution that they were recruited by Narcy Novack and her brother. Two other men have also pleaded guilty.

Three months earlier, Ben Novack's mother, Bernice Novack, 86, was found dead in her Fort Lauderdale home. The medical examiner originally called it an accident, but prosecutors believe one of the men involved in the death of Ben Novack was also involved in his mother's.

The prosecution is likely to allude to a 2002 Fort Lauderdale police report in which Ben Novack alleged that his wife tied him to a chair for 25 hours and left with $440,000 in cash and his corporate files. She said it was part of a sex game and told police that her husband hit her often and once broke her nose.

According to the report, she said her husband took her to a plastic surgeon to repair her nose and when she woke up after the surgery she had breast implants she hadn't asked for. It also mentions a roomful of Batman collectibles. Ben Novack's collection of Batman memorabilia, including a replica Batmobile, was estimated to be worth more than $1 million.

Novack denied any role in the killing, saying, "Only a monster can do this kind of evil thing."

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