Miami Murder Money Hunt Heats Up

Ex-Stripper Jailed But Can She Still Grab Hubby's Fortune?

Seamy Side: The brutal killing of Ben Novack Jr., whose father owned Miami Beach’s famed Fontainebleau resort, has led to a nasty family feud over his fortune.
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Seamy Side: The brutal killing of Ben Novack Jr., whose father owned Miami Beach’s famed Fontainebleau resort, has led to a nasty family feud over his fortune.

By Hannah Rubin

Published June 22, 2012, issue of June 29, 2012.
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The lurid Miami hotel heir murder tale keeps on producing headlines even after the courtoom doors have shut: Now that the convictions have been doled out, it is time to start follow the money.

Within hours of ex-stripper Narcy Novack’s conviction for setting up the murders of her husband, Ben Novack Jr., and mother-in-law, Bernice Novack, a raft of relatives are reportedly coming out of the woodwork hoping for a piece of the family fortune.

Narcy Novack
Narcy Novack

Several claims to the Novack jackpot — pegged at $10 million including a $2 million collection of Batman memorabilia — have already been filed with authorities, the Miami Herald reports.

Most of the Novacks’ money came from Ben Novack Sr., who founded Miami Beach’s opulent Fountainbleau resort in the ‘50s.

Novack Jr.’s will left the bulk of his estate to Narcy Novack, and, indeed, authorities say the inheritance was the prime motive for the brutal slayings.

The widow may still hope to collect the loot. But Florida’s so-called Slayer Statute bars people from collecting inheritances from someone they have killed. So a key question may be how a probate court interprets the fact that Narcy Novack was convicted on a string of charges related to her husband’s slaying, but was acquitted of the murder itself.

Andrea Wynn
Andrea Wynn

Frank Hollander, a Miami probate lawyer, told the Herald he believes Narcy Novack will be prevented from inheriting the loot.

“If she is guilty of participating in the murder, she would be excluded from the will,” Hollander said.

Narcy Novack’s criminal lawyer declined to comment on the issue to the paper, saying the issue of the inheritance would be handled by a civil attorney.

Under the terms of Ben Novack Jr.’s will, if the widow is denied her share of the inheritance, then her share should go to her grandsons, Patrick and Marchelo Gaffney.

But Narcy and her kin are not the only ones eyeing the gold. Hours after the trial concluded, Novack Jr.’s adopted half-brother, Ronni Marc Novack, filed a suit contesting Narcy Novack’s claim to Novack Jr.’s fortune.

The 10-figure estate, including the world’s second-largest Batman collection, is luring other wannabe relatives from all corners of the Novack dynasty: Ben Novack Sr.’s sister, Maxine Fiel; Fiel’s two daughters; Narcy Novack’s daughter from a previous relationship, May Abad; and cousins, one of whom is Andrea Danenza Wynn, who is married to Las Vegas hotel and casino magnate Steve Wynn.

Ben Novack Jr. was violently murdered in 2009 by two thugs hired by Narcy Novack and her brother, while staying at the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester Country, authorities said. His 86-year-old mother was killed months earlier in Florida.

The murder trial featured evidence of a string of made for trash TV details, like a one-eyed hitman, porn stars and a hotel manager who just happened to be the grandson of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.


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