Peggy Nadell did what most women did in the 1960s – she stayed at home to take care of her children, Suzanne and James. But when Suzanne turned 6, Peggy went back to school to earn her MBA. She went on to break the glass ceiling at Xerox Corporation, doing very well for herself. She retired but “never slowed down.” Nadell became a well-known community activist in Valley Cottage, a suburb of New York City, where she lived alone in a big house. After her husband passed away in 2003, her estate was worth $4 million.
On morning, in January 2014, Peggy’s daughter Suzanne stopped by to visit her mother, as she often did. Suzanne found her 80-year-old mother at the bottom of her stairs with a knife in her chest. Suzanne thought she had tripped over the cat and fell down the stairs. Detectives on the scene negated that theory. Peggy had been strangled and then stabbed. But they couldn’t find anything – “no blood, no hair, nothing.” Eventually, Peggy’s daughter-in-law, Diana Nadell, who was living with Peggy’s son James Nadell in Florida, pleaded guilty to murdering Peggy. She told her husband she was going to a wedding in Washington, DC when in fact she and an accomplice met in New York. Police say Diana wanted her “marital inheritance.” Her husband, who is expected to receive half of Peggy’s estate, was not charged in the case. Diana Nadell received 23 years on first-degree murder charges. Dateline NBC will air a special on the murder of Peggy Nadell on May 28 at 8pm.