Former Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl was one of the witnesses this week in a strange murder-for-hire case, in which Offerdahl’s next-door neighbor was one of the victims and the neighbor’s daughter-in-law is accused of arranging the killing.
The Miami Herald reports that Offerdahl lived next door to Bernice Novack, an 86-year-old woman who was murdered in 2009. A few weeks before the murder, Offerdahl and his son saw two suspicious-looking men outside Novack’s house, and when Offerdahl and his son approached, the men ran off. The Offerdahls gave chase but couldn’t catch them. It’s believed that the Offerdahls stopped those men from murdering Novack, and that one of the men came back a few weeks later and committed the murder by beating her to death.
It’s also believed that the men were hired by Narcy Novack, who is accused of hiring hitmen to kill her husband and her husband’s mother in order to gain control of the family fortune.
The case has too many strange twists and turns to describe in full here, but the Miami Herald reports that Offerdahl’s testimony followed witnesses including “a one-eyed killer, a tattooed porn star and a hotel guest who snapped pictures of Ben Novack Jr.’s bloody corpse.”
Offerdahl filed a report with the Fort Lauderdale police when the incident took place, but officers didn’t realize there was any connection when his next-door neighbor was found dead in her home a few weeks later, and her death was originally classified as an accident from a fall. It was only when the killer confessed that the police realized that her death had been a homicide, and that the killer was one of the same men who had been chased away by Offerdahl.