Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Glamorous Life and Grisly Death of Ben Novack Jr.

Marrying Well

Unlike Ben Jr., Narcisa Cira Veliz Pacheco had not been born rich. She had been born in Ecuador and had been working as a stripper under the name Sylvia when she met her future husband. Although, when they met, Sylvia had garishly dyed and permed blond hair and wore low-cut, tight tank tops which showed off her figure, later photographs show that Narcy grew into the role of the wealthy trophy wife. Her hair was died darker and was carefully coifed; she wore smart suits, and even ran her own consulting business. She often accompanied Ben on his business trips.

Ben and Narcy Novack
Ben and Narcy Novack

Narcy and Ben, though they had been married for 19 years, had a tumultuous relationship, one marked by fights and marred by accusations of cheating. Her daughter told authorities that Narcy was a practitioner of voodoo. Of particular interest is the strange 2002 incident that nearly broke up their marriage and served as an eerie precursor to the murder.

What started out as a typical domestic abuse call for the Fort Lauderdale police was revealed to be weirder than anything a Hollywood screenwriter could invent. Police turned up at the home and found Novack in a scene that would be eerily suggestive nearly a decade later. He had been bound, gagged and held hostage by several men at the direction of his wife until police arrived 24 hours later. In the process, $370,000 of cash and material goods was stolen from the house..

Charges were never filed and Narcy attributed the incident to their bizarre sex life. A few days later, they filed for divorce, but they ended up staying together. Still, their relationship continued to be a rocky one. In one of the most bizarre assertions, Narcy Novack had claimed that her husband had broken her nose, and had sent her to a plastic surgeon to get it fixed. When she woke up, she claimed, she found new breast implants, as well.

And in the months before the murder, Narcy's daughter, May Abad, has told investigators, Ben had been having an affair. Abad suspects this may have fanned Narcy's fears that Ben was gearing up for a divorce. All that money would be someone else's to inherit. Motive, indeed.


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