On July 12, Garcia and another hired accomplice, Joel Gonzalez, were driven to Rye Brook, N.Y., a wealthy Westchester County suburb, where Ben Novack was organizing a convention at the Hilton Rye Town hotel for his largest client, Amway International. That morning, after working most of the night, Ben Novack climbed into bed about 6:30 a.m. to get a few hours of rest. About 7 a.m., Narcy Novack opened the door to their suite, and Garcia and Gonzalez entered.
She motioned toward the bedroom where her husband was sleeping, and the two thugs began pounding him with hand weights, as he screamed and tried to fight back. Narcy Novack became alarmed by her husband’s cries and gave the killers a pillow to muffle his shouting. They then bound his arms and legs with duct tape and wrapped his mouth so tightly with the tape that he choked on his own vomit.
Garcia said that Novack then told him finish the job by gouging out her husband’s eyes with a utility knife, purportedly the last act of a wife who had endured years of her husband’s sexual perversions and infidelities.
His lover, Rebecca Bliss, a onetime porn star, claimed that she had met Novack on a website and that at the time of his murder, the two had fallen in love and that she believed he was going to leave his wife. Ben Novack had set her up in a comfortable apartment in Fort Lauderdale, bought her furniture and sound equipment, and paid for her to have lavish spa treatments. He also bought her a puppy.
Narcy Novack discovered the affair and, in January 2009, she tracked Bliss down and offered her $10,000 to stop seeing her husband. When she refused, Narcy Novack called Bliss’ landlady and informed her that Bliss’ rent would no longer be paid by Ben Novack because he was dead. The landlady didn’t buy the story.
Her husband continued the affair and Novack enlisted her brother to plan the murders.
After her husband’s death, she cleaned out his safe deposit boxes and began to liquidate some of their assets. During her initial interrogation by police, she flunked a polygraph test.
The investigation soon led New York detectives to Garcia and Gonzalez, who lived in Miami. Garcia was paid $600 to beat Bernice Novack and $15,000 to kill Ben Novack Jr. Gonzalez received $3,500. Both confessed and testified against the siblings during trial.
Prosecutors detailed for jurors a long trail of bank and credit card receipts, cellphone records, wire transfers and a damaging video from an ATM showing Veliz withdrawing cash en route to New York with the killers following him.
Novack’s and Veliz’s attorneys argued that the hit men were lying to save their own skins.
Garcia and Gonzalez will be sentenced at a later date. As part of their arrangement with prosecutors, the judge will be asked to consider their cooperation at their sentencing.