News 12 Midday / Tuesday, June 14, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Betty Neumar's family says she died in a Louisiana hospital early Monday morning from an illness. Her arrest at 76 years old brought a lot of questions and media attention. Almost three years later to the day, the same can be said for her death.
For the first time, John Neumar's daughter talked about what Betty's death means to her. Kathy Neumar Scarlett says it is hard for her to believe the news, as even a death certificate could be forged.
"It wouldn't surprise me there is some finagling with this," Scarlett said.
Kathy Neumar Scarlett was a daddy's girl. Her father, an Aiken native, was Betty Gentry's fifth and last husband.
Betty then became Betty Neumar - a name years later known around the world as that of an alleged "black widow." She was arrested in Augusta in 2008 and charged with soliciting the murder of her fourth husband in 1986.
Then came the web of marriages and children, money and aliases, hidden bank accounts and mysterious deaths that was Betty Neumar's life.
Five husbands in five states all dead, at least three shot to death, along with her only son. Some were murders; others, ruled suicides; and one husband's death - No. 2 James Flynn - will forever remain a mystery. John Neumar's cause of death was ruled as a blood infection.
"She's gotten away with a lot more than people realize, and she's no sweet old lady to me," Scarlett said.
In every case, Betty collected life insurance and then moved on to the next state, the next husband and the next family.
"I hated what she did to my dad and I," Scarlett said. "He was everything to me. And she took all of that away."
Betty's murder-for-hire trail was postponed continuously, and no defense was ever given in court for her alleged involvement.
We'll never know what her side of the story was on the record. Nor will we ever know what a jury would have decided in the case of Harold Gentry, who was shot four times inside the couple's home, allegedly after Betty discovered he had been unfaithful.
Scarlett said she would have liked to see Betty one more time to tell her "how great she ruined everything for a lot of people."
"But then again, it might have given her the satisfaction that she set out to start," Scarlett said.
To her two daughters, Betty Neumar died a beloved, innocent mother and grandmother. To countless others, she was a suspected black widow - with the final chapter never written.