After her husband was killed, Narcy Novack stole $105,000 from his company and laundered a good deal of it through her family members. She also emptied his bank safe deposit boxes by tricking bank officials into believing her husband was still alive. Some of the money ended up with the killers, who eventually confessed and cooperated with federal prosecutors in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.
Garcia also blew up Fort Lauderdale polices investigation into Bernice Novacks death when he admitted that he ambushed Bernice Novack in her garage and beat her with a monkey wrench. A deputy Broward County medical examiner testified during trial that he always believed the Novack matriarch was murdered, but it was never made clear why his concerns fell on deaf ears. The former chief medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Perper, has since retired.
As the killers began talking to investigators, Narcy Novacks other brother, Carlos Veliz, allegedly hired people to attack Narcy Novacks daughter, May Abad, and try to frame her for the murders. Carlos Veliz, however, was never charged in the case because prosecutors didnt believe there was enough evidence to convict him in the conspiracy.
During the trial, lead prosecutor Elliott Jacobson, assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dember, methodically laid out their case, detailing a trail of bank receipts, cell phone records and even an astonishing ATM video that tracked the killers and their accomplices in the months and weeks before and after the murders. Cristobal Veliz, the point man who did the hiring, had claimed during several courtroom outbursts that the real killer behind the scheme was Abad and that others had been using his credit cards and vehicle at the time of the murders.
Abad, who did not testify, accused her mother and uncle of turning the case into a circus. That so-called circus included testimony from a private detective hired by her mother who poked through Abads garbage.
But in the end, the jury didnt buy theories outlined by defense attorneys Howard Tanner and Larry Sheehan, who argued that the killers were lying to save their own skin and that Abad had framed her mother so that her sons would inherit the Novack estate.
The estate remains tied up as various branches of the Novack family try to rest control of it from Abad, a bartender and waitress who has three sons, one of whom she named Ben, after her step-father.
The story is slated to be made into a Lifetime movie.
Jim Fitzgerald of The Associated Press, Jonathan Bandler and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon of The Journal News and Deena Goldstein of CBS News contributed to this report.