The discovery of the body of a wealthy Florida businessman and hotel heir has turned out to be only the beginning of what has become a multi-state investigation involving reports of kinky sex, catfights and Batman comic books.
Ben Novack Jr. was found bludgeoned to death last month in Room 453 of the Hilton Rye Brook Hotel in Rye Brook, N.Y., where he had organized a weekend convention for Amway, the direct-selling company.
Novack, 53, who owned Convention Concepts Unlimited of Fort Lauderdale, a planning company, was the son of the hotelier behind Miami Beach's posh Fontainebleau Resorts Hotel.
According to a search warrant, his wife, Narcy Novack, 52, told police that she had left the hotel room they shared around 7 a.m. July 12, but returned 40 minutes later after eating breakfast to find her husband face down, covered in blood, his hands and legs bound by duct tape.
His hands, according to the warrant, which was for Novack's Fort Lauderdale home and was executed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, were taped behind his back and his legs were bound just below the knees. Though several expensive pieces of jewelry remained in the hotel room, a gold bracelet with the letters "B-E-N" spelled out in diamonds seemed to be missing, according to the Rye Brook police.
What followed was not only an investigation that detailed possible deception by Narcy Novack during polygraph tests, but reports of an unorthodox family life.
Two days after Novack's murder, Fort Lauderdale police were called to the Novack's posh Fort Lauderdale home after an altercation between Narcy Novack and her daughter, May Abad, who was living in the house's unattached cottage.
Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. Patrick Hart told ABCNews.com that a report was not filed and that he did not have any details on what sparked the fight, saying only that "it was a simple disturbance ... and the stepdaughter agreed to pack up her stuff and leave."
But the Miami Herald reported that Abad has since challenged Novack's will, which left everything to Narcy Novack. She told the Herald that the fight on July 14 involved her and a niece getting into a slap fight and Narcy Novack hitting her with a crowbar.
When reached by ABCNews.com in Florida, Abad said she was no longer speaking about the entire saga. "I spoke to one and that was it," she said, referring to the Herald's story.
Narcy Novack's lawyer Howard Tanner did not return voicemail or e-mail messages seeking comment but has said previously that his client was not involved in her husband's murder and that she has been cooperative with police.
The Herald reported that Abad said her stepfather was having an affair, even setting the younger woman up with a place to live, and that Narcy Novack was jealous of the other woman.
Abad also told the Herald that after the murder Narcy Novack "flunked" a polygraph test in New York five times.
While the search warrant doesn't go that far, it noted that Narcy Novack was given a polygraph test by New York State Police the day after her husband's murder and the results "showed indications of deception when questioned pertaining to her knowledge of this homicide."
The search warrant also noted that hotel officials had determined that no keys were used to enter the hotel room between the time Narcy Novack left for breakfast and the time she returned.