‘Meet, Marry, Murder: Novak’ by Peacock describes the horrifying murder of Catherine Novak, 41, who was killed in her Narrowsburg, New York, home in the middle of December 2008. Despite having only one person of interest in their sights, the case went unresolved for about four years. But when a peculiar informant came forward in April 2012 with damning testimony, the police were able to solve the crime. Here is what we know about the case, including who the murderer is and where they are right now.
How Did Catherine Novak Die?
Lee and Christina Daws welcomed Catherine Marie (née Lane) Novak into the world on June 8, 1967 in New York. She and her husband, Paul Attila Novak, an EMT, were drawn there by low-cost housing offers in the picturesque but secluded Narrowsburg town, roughly two hours outside of New York City. Paul and Catherine first crossed paths in the demanding world of EMT service years ago. He was the first responder with a forceful presence, and she was the gentle, reserved volunteer. While he was still employed in New York, she reared her two young children in a dilapidated farmhouse.
Nina Burleigh, a NYT reporter who lived next door to Catherine, stated, “She was a dedicated mother, very humble, and joyful. a mother who would volunteer her time to care other people’s children and teach in a classroom. Paul was working as a paramedic in Queens at the same time, spending three or four nights there each week. He occasionally appeared at school-related occasions sporting a uniform with FDNY and the caduceus insignia on the shoulders, Nina wrote. It was possible to assume he was a hero during the post-9/11 warfare days.
The noise of New York City was too much for Catherine, and she wanted to get away from it all, the show claims, so she advocated for the move to Narrowsburg, a rustic little refuge of just over 400 people. She was basically born to volunteer; she worked at the church and the school, according to Nina. She enjoyed volunteering her time to the neighbourhood and her kids. In spite of this, Paul preferred to spend a few nights there each week rather than endure a four-hour round-trip journey.
The conflict between the city and the country, however, quickly tore their marriage apart. By December 2008, Catherine was living in Narrowsburg and had joint custody of the couple’s children, while Paul was living in New York with her ex-girlfriend. The Novak home was on fire when a neighbour woke up at 6:30 am on December 13 to make coffee. The house was destroyed and the smouldering debris had collapsed into the basement when the firefighters arrived. They discovered Catherine’s burned body lying on the cellar floor with her arms extended.
Alongside Catherine’s body, the family dog’s body was discovered by the emergency pers onnel. The 41-year-old woman’s carbon monoxide levels in her lungs were too low to be lethal, according to an autopsy, even though the medical examiner said the dog died from smoke inhalation. However, they initially believed she perished as a result of having her chest crushed by fire-related debris. Although she died mysteriously, the primary fire investigator was unable to establish that the fire wasn’t an accident. She had been killed by being strangled with her hooded sweatshirt, it was later discovered.
Who Killed Catherine Novak?
Catherine was discovered with broken ribs, which indicated that she had been assaulted before the fire, according to forensic evidence. Steve Lungen, a retired deputy district attorney, said, “This was a highly suspicious death that needs to be investigated to its full extent because we’re probably looking at somebody killing her.” The investigators concentrated on Paul Novak, who was residing in Queens with his ex-girlfriend Michelle LaFrance, a young EMT student, after ruling out any prospect of any serial arsonist or sex offender in the neighbourhood.
Michelle was somewhat of a piece of work, Nina remarked. She was a problematic youngster who was wild and had a history of mental illness; she had also made an attempt on her life. An prolonged argument between Paul and Catherine led to the suspicion around Paul and Michelle in relation to his ex-wife, Catherine. The locals described to the detectives how Catherine changed all the locks in her home as a precaution to keep Paul out. Paul, however, asserted a solid alibi, saying that he was in New York with Michelle and his children.
The police start to doubt his guilt despite this convincing alibi. He was given a polygraph test, which he passed without displaying any evidence of lying. Even though there were no more suspects, Paul continued to be a person of interest in the case because of the important motive associated with a sizable insurance claim. He received $300,000 for the house and $500,000 for Catherine less than a year after her passing. The hefty money was sufficient to pay for his and Michelle’s relocation to Florida.
The case went unsolved for around four years due to the lack of tangible evidence linking Paul to the murder before Michelle called the police and dropped a bombshell: Paul had tricked her into thinking Catherine posed a threat to their children and that he intended to kill her. She gave a horrible account of Paul breaking into Catherine’s house, assaulting her, trying to render her unconscious with chloroform, and then suffocating her with her hooded sweatshirt. Then, to hide the crime, he set the house on fire.
What was even more shocking was Michelle’s admission that another person was involved. Scott Sherwood, an EMT like Paul, who accompanied Paul to Catherine’s house that evening and waited in the car while the murder was being committed, was also implicated. He was a big-emotional guy, about 6-foot-7, like a gentle giant, and the crew was aware of his emotional issues, according to Nina. Michelle’s account was corroborated by Sherwood, who claimed to have known about Paul’s plan to hurt Catherine and to have been present when the murder occurred.
Where is Paul Novak Now?
Paul was challenged by the police but remained silent in the absence of a lawyer. After that, he was detained and accused of first-degree murder in Catherine’s death. To the media, he continued to defend his innocence by denying any role in the crime. He placed the responsibility on Scott and Michelle throughout his 2013 trial, which was absurd as he was the only one who profited from the killing. A nearby Walmart receipt for a hat and duct tape, as well as an EZ Pass “ping” at a toll booth on the way back from the residence, were among the accusatory pieces of evidence submitted by the prosecution.
On September 27, 2013, a jury found him guilty of all charges, including first- and second-degree murder, arson, burglary, grand larceny, and insurance fraud. These pieces of evidence disproved his claim that he was in New York at the time of the crime. While Scott pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was given an 18-month prison term, the other received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Michelle, the whistleblower, got away with no jail time. The 56-year-old is still a prisoner at Stormville, New York’s Green Haven Correctional Facility.
Remember to source this article: Catherine Novak Murder Case: Updates on Paul Novak’s Whereabouts của website avec.edu.vn