Suspect's past holds other dead husbands

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The woman charged in a murder-for-hire plot against her husband 22 years ago has been married five times, and all of her husbands are dead, the North Carolina sheriff who's investigating the case said Friday.

Augusta resident Betty Neumar is accused of hiring someone to kill her husband in 1986.  Special
Special
Augusta resident Betty Neumar is accused of hiring someone to kill her husband in 1986.

John K. Neumar, of Grovetown, said he doubts his father, who was wed to Betty Neumar when he died in October, knew his wife had so many previous dead spouses. Stanly County Sheriff Rick Burris said he has no information about Mr. Neumar's father or the other three men.

"It's an ongoing investigation," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do."

Ms. Neumar, 76, is in the Richmond County jail awaiting extradition, charged with solicitation to commit murder. She's accused of hiring a killer to shoot a past husband, Thomas Harold Gentry, in 1986.

Relatives found Mr. Gentry, 48, dead inside the couple's home in Norwood, about 45 miles east of Charlotte, while his wife was out of town. He had been shot repeatedly.

The sheriff was vague about how the cold case became hot again. He said the case was reviewed, and investigators "stumbled across some new information."

They haven't identified who Ms. Neumar is accused of hiring to do the killing, but they're working on it, the sheriff said. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is also involved, and Mr. Neumar said investigators want to interview him next week.

In Augusta, Ms. Neumar lived on Cambridge Court off Berckmans Road, married to John E. Neumar, who died at age 79 at the Downtown Division of the Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.

Mr. Neumar's son and daughter-in-law, Janet, say they have questions about his death. They said Ms. Neumar had the body cremated before his children and grandchildren knew he had died, which they only learned of when they read his newspaper obituary. They didn't even know he was sick.

"We've got questions and we want answers," Janet Neumar said. "Every time we try to find out something, we hit a brick wall."

Before Mr. Neumar died, his wife seemed the picture of an Augusta retiree, dancing with her Navy veteran husband at American Legion functions and parking a U-Haul truck on Boy Scout Road to collect donations for Kentucky flood victims.

But her stepson and his wife said they never had a good relationship with her. Mr. Neumar met her at a beauty salon where she worked, and after they married she put a wedge between him and his children, John K. Neumar said.

She'd refuse to pass the phone to his father when he called, and when he and his wife visited, they got a cold reception, the son said.

"The last few years of his life, we hardly ever talked to him," Mr. Neumar said. "It was like she did something to him where he wasn't even the same person. It was like we didn't even exist."

In 1997, his father and stepmother were in the news when they collected goods for flood victims in Falmouth, Ky. According to The Augusta Chronicle's archives, she said she could relate to the Kentuckians because her home in Key West, Fla., was flooded by a hurricane in 1964.

The couple set out on a trip to Falmouth in a truck loaded with bottled water, canned goods, clothes and letters from A. Brian Merry Elementary School pupils.

"I not only feel their pain," Ms. Neumar said at the time, "I know their pain."

Night City Editor Preston Sparks contributed to this article.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (17) Add comment
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justputtin
1861
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justputtin 05/24/08 - 06:18 am
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What? Are you kidding

What? Are you kidding me?????? This is crazy. All 5 dead?

Itll be alright
0
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Itll be alright 05/24/08 - 08:31 am
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Go Granny Go

Go Granny Go

426Hemi
0
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426Hemi 05/24/08 - 09:41 am
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Get rid of the old bag, and

Get rid of the old bag, and keep the cameras in her face! Yeah, go granny go, straight to the injection room! Sounds like the step-son has it right, and maybe hollywood will pick this up like they did with Eileen Wuornos, or whatever the hell her name was.

pofwe
5
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pofwe 05/24/08 - 10:04 am
0
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If I had a good relationship

If I had a good relationship with my Dad & it was torpedoed by a "step-ma" I'd get power of attorney over Dad and a prostitute to replace "Ma Betty!"

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 05/24/08 - 12:35 pm
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Maybe she is just a REALLY

Maybe she is just a REALLY bad cook.....

lady_alessandra
3
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lady_alessandra 05/24/08 - 02:04 pm
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426 - this does sound like

426 - this does sound like something that would make a Lifetime network movie

LadyCisback
4
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LadyCisback 05/24/08 - 06:57 pm
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Old hag!!

Old hag!!

Dixieman
23123
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Dixieman 05/25/08 - 05:07 am
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3 or 4, well, one could

3 or 4, well, one could understand that...but 5 seems just excessively careless!

1941
4
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1941 05/25/08 - 07:19 am
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To the Neumar Children., how

To the Neumar Children., how can you all say that you did not know that your father was sick, or had died?? If you did not have so much hate for the woman that your father married, you would have stayed in touch with him. and then you would have known. Grown children need to stay out of thier parents life and live thier own. and accept whatever they decide to do with thier lifes, So it is only your fault that you were no aware of the goings on his life!!!!!!!!

toppergem
126
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toppergem 05/25/08 - 11:10 am
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Where is everyone? This board

Where is everyone? This board is lacking in the usual hateful comments made on these sites. Something wrong with this story????

gnx
8
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gnx 05/25/08 - 10:18 pm
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saywhat - you can't possibly

saywhat - you can't possibly say that. Mr. Neumar already stated that when he tried to call his father the woman would refuse to pass the phone over to his father. Even though it was obvious he and the woman didn't get along he still tried to call his father. He probably tried to call his father regularly and she intercepted those calls in order to make his father believe his family no longer cared for him. There are so many ways people like this woman can alienate a person from the rest of their family. It's really unbelievable. Until you've had it happen to you don't judge the younger Neumars.

mable8
4
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mable8 05/26/08 - 02:25 am
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The younger Newmar's can go

The younger Newmar's can go to the VA hospital and obtain information regarding the dad's illness since he died there. The elder Newmar's death does not appear to be unrelated to the illness since the VA did not contact the authorities of any suspicious circumstances. He was, after all, 79 years of age. In addition, the NC authorities are investigating the death of the husband from 22 years ago, but said they did not know about the others. Also, whose jurisdiction each case belongs to is dependant upon where Ms Neumar and her other spouses resided at the time of each man's death. If NC uncovers information regarding the other spouses and they resided elsewhere, then I am sure that information will be forwarded to the approprite agency. Wait for the facts to unfold before you bury the woman alive. I hope for those of you who have prejudged never get into trouble; you may be entirely innocent, but your community will have condemned you before the trial and you won't have a prayer for true justice. Then what will your complaint be?

1941
4
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1941 05/26/08 - 07:34 am
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gnx come on !!If what you say

gnx come on !!If what you say about the phone not beign given to the father when his children called, that would have told them something right there. Get up and go to his house, and let him tell them that he is allright, if that was your parent what would you have done? And I have been in the same situation, where I married a man and his children was the same way, he told them a million times that this was what he wanted with his life, they would not listen , so we moved on the other side of the country, let them know that they were always welcome, and got on with our lives.I am not saying that she is innoncet or guilty, but if you and I was not living with them, do not go by she say he say, let's see what happen in court.!!!!!!!!!!!

alrboettcher
0
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alrboettcher 05/26/08 - 07:40 am
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What an old bag....she looks

What an old bag....she looks evil. What do ya know, a real lifr "Black widow" in the AUG....

Equaltreatmentforall
49
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Equaltreatmentforall 05/26/08 - 10:11 am
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The only thing I can say is

The only thing I can say is she believes in marriage and burying husbands.

Lennette Hayes
0
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Lennette Hayes 05/26/08 - 11:15 am
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Hey. I was wondering did she

Hey. I was wondering did she have any motive to kill her husband? She is out of her mind. If you get a chance to read The Sting of a Black Widow, I was emotionally driven after my dad died. I can feel the children's pain. All I can say for her is that she took innocent lives and she must pay.

CC resident
0
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CC resident 05/27/08 - 05:46 pm
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There are many things that

There are many things that sometimes go unnoticed when someone 79 yrs old dies. Unless boodwork was done to look for certain chemicals, they will never know. I hope that you find out one way or the other just what happened to your father. It is important that you have closure.

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