Is Lifetime's 'Beautiful & Twisted' Based On A True Story? The Real Story Of The Novack Murders Is Astonishing
If Lifetime isn't careful, they're going to transition from being the guilty pleasure TV movie network to the slightly less of a guilty pleasure TV movie network that also produces Little Women: LA and Dance Moms (seriously great reality shows). With Angela Bassett's Whitney excepted, the network has generally failed when writing about true stories. So is their latest original movie, Beautiful & Twisted, based on a true story? Oh, yeah, but it's more than just a true story. It's a story that's crazier than fiction, even the fiction that Lifetime usually puts out. The real story of how Narcy and Ben Novack, Jr. fought over his hotel inheritance and ultimately were both denied would be enough for a Lifetime movie even if it had never turned violent and deadly. A sleazy millionaire who's obsessed with Batman, as played by Rob Lowe, who marries an actual stripper with violent tendencies ...
One of the reasons that the two got along so well is because they both had a passion for kinky sex... Narcy's mother-in-law was a glamorous local celebrity who immediately clashed with her beautiful young daughter-in-law...
Guys. This is so interesting.
The real story behind the murders has so many cliches that if this wasn't ripped from the headlines, there is no way we'd buy it as plausible.
She Was a Stripper Who Met a Millionaire
In a plot lifted straight outta every Pretty Woman knockoff, Narcy was a Floridian stripper whose beauty caught the attention of eccentric millionaire Ben Norvack, Jr. Norvack's father owned a very successful Miami hotel, the Fontainebleau, and the family's money was in the tens of millions back in the 1980s.
They Were Estranged for Years Before the Crime of Passion
The Lifetime trailer suggests that this all went down as soon as Narcy and Ben met. But in reality, the two were estranged by the time Narcy started planning. Ben had a mistress, a porn star, and he was considering ending his marriage with Narcy, which would have left her with just a small settlement.
Her Brother Set Up the Real Crimes
While it's accepted that the plan was Novack's idea because, as the wife, she stood to gain the money, she relied on her brother, Cristobal Veliz, to hire the actual architects of the murders. I'm sure this version will play with the idea of who was ultimately the mastermind behind it all, but in reality, it was a two-man job, not unlike other true-crime stories such as the Tonya Harding scandal.
They Got Away With One Death... Temporarily
Veliz and Narcy's first target was Bernice, Ben's mother. Veliz hired a pair of associates to bludgeon the elderly woman. Her brutal death was initially ruled an accidental death, but after her son died even more brutally three months later, the case was reopened and eventually evidence was found that Veliz and Narcy had committed both murders. Ben was found tied up with his eyes gouged, an immediate giveaway that someone had wanted him dead.
It Was All Over Such a Paltry Sum of Money
The amount that Narcy was trying to gain from the two murders? Ten million, which has since shrunk to around four million. I'm not turning up my nose at that amount, but it seems kind of small for such a huge murder conspiracy, right? But I guess Beautiful & Twisted will dive into exactly what she was thinking.
Image: Jack Zeman/Lifetime; Giphy (5)