To the outside world, Betty Neumar was a diminutive Georgia grandmother with a shock of white hair who operated beauty shops, attended church, and raised money for charity. It wasn't until North Carolina investigators in 2008 reopened a 25-year-old murder case that the dark secrets of her past began to unravel. Police discovered that Neumar had left behind a decades-long trail of five dead husbands in five states. Any hope of answering lingering questions of her husbands' deaths faded yesterday upon word that the 79-year-old died of an illness in a Louisiana hospital.
North Carolina authorities said they planned to look into her death. She was free on $300,000 bond on three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in the 1986 death of Harold Gentry. Her trial was postponed numerous times since her arrest in 2008. "She took all those secrets to the grave," said Al Gentry, who spent 25 years pressing North Carolina authorities to re-examine the death of his brother, Neumar's fourth husband. "I'm numb," said Gentry. "I wanted justice and we're not going to get it." (Read more Betty Neumar stories.)