Tuesday, July 13, 2010

True Crime

Ben Novack Jr. possessed one of the world’s largest collections of Batman objects and paraphernalia. His wife Narcisa Veliz Novack, a former stripper, is now accused of engineering his murder with the help of her brother Cristobal and two other men. Novack was found bound and gagged and bludgeoned to death in the Hilton Rye Town last summer, where he had gone for a convention. Narcisa is being accused of both leaving her husband’s suite door open and providing the pillow with which he was smothered. Novack was the son of the owner of the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, and his 86-year-old mother, Bernice Stempel Novack, had also died under suspicious circumstances. What we have here is a horrible crime, which also contains a bit of a jeremiad. After all, on the surface, Novack was a person of wealth and obsession who married into the underworld instead of taking the route more common to his class and background by marrying a nice Jewish girl of an equally well-to-do family, and having the kind of wedding Philip Roth described in Goodbye, Columbus. Looking at the surface details, it appears that Novack was a person of sensibility whose particular tastes (love of a superheroes) would fuel his desire to escape the seemingly narrow, safe world into which he was born. Emma Bovary committed suicide and Novack was murdered, but did they both suffer from overactive imaginations?

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