Narcy Novack, 53, is accused of hiring killers to snuff out Ben Novack Jr. and his mother Bernice Novack in a bid to inherit their fortune.
Narcy Novack is behind bars in New York, charged with killing her husband and his mother.
The double murder case has all the makings of best-selling novel: an iconic South Florida family, huge amounts of money at stake, and two grisly deaths.
"I think she knew how to push his buttons," said Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, who is writing a book about the case.
Ben Novack was the heir to the Fontainebleau Hotel fortune, and Narcy Novack was a former stripper. Their marriage ended in deceit, treachery, and blood-curdling death.
"It involves murder, it involves money, it involves sex," Brown said.
In July 2009, Ben Novack was murdered , tied up and pummeled with barbells. His hotel room in Rye Brook, New York, was a bloody mess. Police eventually arrested Narcy, her brother, and the men she allegedly hired to kill her husband.
The New York prosecutor described it as "a diabolical plan by a woman who was intent on eliminating her husband and taking his family fortune for her own."
"Narcy was in the room when the two men who were hired to hit him were beating him, she ordered them to put a pillow over him to smother his cries, and when everything was done, she ordered that his eyes be gouged out," Brown said.
If true, it's a horribly grotesque way to end a marriage. Narcy says she's innocent, her lawyer is under a gag order so he can't comment.
But friends of the couple say there were plenty of warning signs that Ben either missed or ignored, including the death of his mother, Bernice Novack.
Bernice Novack was once a glamorous woman, meeting Frank Sinatra and even President John Kennedy at the Fontainebleau. She died three months before her son's death.
"I don't think it was anything other than greed, that she was concerned that she was not gonna get her share of his or her mother's estate," said Don Spadaro, who was Ben Novack's attorney.
Prosecutors say Narcy hatched the plots to kill her mother-in-law and her husband at her Fort Lauderdale home. It was there that in 2002, they say, she had hired men to come in here and stage a home invasion robbery. They tied Ben up and stole money from the safe. He refused to press charges, and stayed with his wife.
Spadaro said Ben Novack was still in love with his wife and didn't see the home invasion as a red flag.
"One of his closest friends had warned him, if you don't leave her, she's gonna end up killing you," said Brown.
"I told him he was crazy if he went back with her," said Jim Scarberry, Ben and Narcy Novack's friend, who is a former police chief. "
"You got to be careful, and Benji was just a little in over his head with this girl."
The next hearing in the case is expected next month.