I love mysteries. I love the character of Batman. (Hey, I just talked about him yesterday. And he gets the most entries I publish!) So it wasn’t a surprise when, about a year ago, I came across the story of a well-to-do collector of all things Batman who was found murdered in his hotel room, and I was gripped by it.  This guy had warehouses–you read that right, warehouses–full of Batman stuff, including a life-size replica of the 1960′s Batmobile.

Now, if you’ve ever watched the CBS show 48 Hours Mystery, you know that the person you should be looking at, and investigating hard, should be the spouse. I mean, it is almost always the husband or wife. But I read a story some time ago that this collector’s wife had been cleared of not only her husband’s obvious murder, but his mother’s “accidental” death as well.

Tonight, as I was feeling poorly from a cold and putting this together, I came across this story from the Associated Press:

>>Wife Accused In Slaying Of Wealthy Batman Memorabilia Collector

Written by CURT ANDERSON, AP Legal Affairs Writer

Monday, 19 July 2010 09:05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) – A woman charged with orchestrating the brutal slaying of her wealthy husband in New York was accused by a prosecutor last week of also plotting the beating death of her elderly mother-in-law in Florida, all in hopes of reaping millions of dollars from their wills.

Narcy Novack, 53, and her brother hired two men to assault her 86-year-old mother-in-law, who was beaten with a monkey wrench at her Fort Lauderdale home in April 2009, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott Jacobson said at a bail hearing for Novack involving the New York charges.

Three months later, her husband, hotel heir Ben Novack, Jr., was beaten to death at a suburban New York hotel with dumbbells carried by assailants, one of whom also gouged out his eyes with a utility knife upon her orders, Jacobson said.

“In Spanish, she urged them to cut out his eyes and finish him,” he said.

Narcy Novack’s attorney, Howard Tanner, insisted she was innocent of her husband’s killing and had nothing to do with her mother-in-law’s death.

“They want to strengthen their case by implicating her in a so-called homicide that has no basis in fact,” Tanner said.

Ben Novack’s father founded Miami Beach’s famed Fontainebleau Hotel, where the family lived in the penthouse and hobnobbed with movie stars, singers and even gangsters. Novack, whose mother left her estate to him, also owned of the world’s largest collections of Batman memorabilia, including a replica of the Batmobile from the 1960s TV show, figurines and costumes. Narcy Novack stood to inherit about $10 million after her husband’s death.

In Florida, neither Narcy Novack nor her brother, 56-year-old Cristobal Veliz, have been charged with the elderly woman’s killing. Despite a broken jaw and blood smeared on her car and on walls in the house, Bernice Novack’s death had twice been ruled an accident by the Broward County medical examiner.

Jacobson said federal investigators asked the Westchester County, New York, medical examiner to look at the evidence, and the new conclusion was reached.

“She died after she was struck several times,” Jacobson said, adding that there were also unidentified witnesses to the crime.

Westchester County officials declined Wednesday to discuss the new report or release it, citing the ongoing investigation. Fort Lauderdale police have stood by their decision that Bernice Novack’s death was accidental, and have declined comment since the charges against Narcy Novack in her husband’s death were unveiled last week.

In the New York case, Narcy Novack, her brother and two other men are charged with conspiring to commit interstate domestic violence and stalking in Ben Novack’s death. All face a potential life sentence if convicted.

An indictment accused Narcy Novack of letting the killers into the room and handing them a pillow to put over his face at the Hilton Rye Town in Rye Brook, 20 miles north of Manhattan. The Novacks were there for an Amway convention July 12, 2009.

Jacobson released other evidence in the hotel killing. He said a still-unidentified male accomplice in Ben Novack’s killing has already pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and is cooperating with investigators.

That informant, he said, implicated Narcy Novack in the deaths of both her husband and her mother-in-law.

Jacobson also said cell phone records put all the suspects at the hotel the day Ben Novack was slain, and that after her husband’s death, she attempted to access a Florida bank safe-deposit box by claiming he would come by later to authorize it.

He also said she gave police a misleading account about a piece of sunglasses found at the crime scene, saying they were hers when they belonged to the confidential informant.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Narcy Novack was ordered held without bail until trial and agreed to be transferred to New York to face charges there.

Two of the other suspects are being held in New York without bail. The third, 25-year-old Joel Gonzalez, turned himself in last week in Miami and faces a bail hearing Thursday. Jacobson said Gonzalez confessed to taking part in the Ben Novack killing and implicated Narcy Novack.<<

I don’t really know who did what to who, but I just hope Ben Novack gets some justice. I’m sorry his idol, The Dark Knight, isn’t really around to get it for him.

Here’s a video about an earlier development in the story, when Mrs. Novack was granted control over her husband’s estate:

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