Albert Haber Murder: Where is Betty Lou Haber Now?

Albert Haber was well-respected and successful in his Tampa, Florida, community. He inherited a well-established department store from his father and lived a life of hard work and care for those around him. In January 1975, his housekeeper found his house locked, which was unusual. She went to the back and discovered Albert dead in the middle of a room. Discovery+’s ‘Evil Stepmothers’ episode, ‘The Price of Greed,’ delves into Albert’s life, the circumstances surrounding his murder, and the investigative work that went into catching them.

Albert Haber’s Housekeeper Found Him Dead

Albert Haber was born to Leon and Consuelo Haber on May 29, 1921, in Tampa, Florida. His father established a department store called Haber’s Department Store, which quickly gained recognition in the area. Albert inherited the business from his father and expanded it, becoming deeply dedicated to its success. Known as a “workaholic” by his friends and family, Albert rarely spent time away from his work. Despite his busy schedule, he found fulfillment in his personal life, being married with two children, Lee and Alison Haber, whom he loved deeply.

In the early 1960s, Albert Haber’s marriage encountered difficulties as his wife battled alcohol dependency, ultimately leading to their divorce. Despite the challenges, Albert remained a steadfast pillar of support for his children. Sadly, not long after their divorce, Albert’s ex-wife passed away in 1965. Approximately a year later, Albert crossed paths with Betty Lou Lazzara while she was shopping at his department store. Betty Lou, who had been divorced twice, formed a close bond with Albert, and the two married in June of 1968.

Albert and Betty Lou experienced their fair share of ups and downs in the following years. Despite financial difficulties in the early 1970s, the couple persevered and remained together. On January 24, 1975, Betty Lou informed her husband that she would go to a hotel slumber party, which she had arranged for her daughter and her friends. She invited Albert to join, but he opted to stay home. The following day, January 25, around 9 a.m., the housekeeper arrived at the Haber residence but received no response upon ringing the bell.

Upon attempting to unlock the door with her key, she discovered the chain was secured from the inside, a sight she had never encountered before. Accessing the house through the back door, she made a grim discovery – Albert’s lifeless body lying in what the family referred to as the TV room. Promptly contacting the authorities, forensic examinations later revealed that Albert had sustained a gunshot wound into the mouth, alongside significant blunt trauma to the head and face, which had caused his death.

Activity on Albert Haber’s Credit Card Helped in Catching His Killers

The state of the residence suggested a botched robbery attempt. Albert Haber’s credit cards, cash kept in the house, and certain jewelry items were absent, and the entire household appeared ransacked. Law enforcement initially surmised that Albert had encountered the intruders, becoming a victim upon returning home. To pursue leads, authorities focused on monitoring credit card activity, which eventually yielded their initial breakthrough in the investigation. Marian Brandt emerged as a person of interest when it was discovered that one of Albert’s cards had been utilized by her in Indiana. Upon being questioned by the authorities, she cooperated fully.

Marian admitted that while she and her husband were in Florida, he had engaged in a theft spree, returning with cash, jewelry, and credit cards. She confessed to using one of the cards herself. Law enforcement urged her to bring her husband in for further questioning, a request to which she consented. James Brandt wasted no time in revealing damning information to authorities, stating that he had been recruited by Albert’s wife, Betty Lou Haber, to carry out the murder. According to his account, Betty Lou had met with him three times, once in the presence of her son from a previous relationship, Jay McEver.

During these meetings, she outlined the plan, specifying what items to steal and how to orchestrate the robbery but emphasizing that the primary objective was eliminating Albert. On the night of January 24, James and Jay executed the plan, entering the residence to steal belongings and wreak havoc. When Albert returned home from work, James lay in wait, concealed in a shadowy corner, and struck him on the head with the barrel of his firearm. As Albert crumpled to the ground, Jay and James kicked and punched him.

According to James, he knelt beside Albert, pressed the revolver to his mouth, and fired the shot. Betty Lou’s swift arrest came as a shock to the family, but as the investigation progressed, disturbing details emerged. Albert’s loved ones revealed that cracks had begun to surface in the couple’s relationship during the 1970s, mainly as financial strains took their toll on Albert. By 1972, Betty Lou had transitioned to working as a real estate agent, but Albert uncovered her extramarital affair. Despite this breach of trust, Betty Lou was bound by a prenuptial agreement that Albert had ensured she signed, preventing her from seeking a divorce.

She attempted several times to alter the prenup’s terms, but Albert’s steadfast refusal thwarted her efforts. By 1974, their marital discord had escalated, with Albert pushing for divorce. Shortly after Albert’s murder, Betty Lou attempted to submit a forged will that granted her a disproportionate share of his assets, including their home and department store shares. James corroborated her involvement, revealing that she had compensated him and Jay $12,000 for the crime and company shares.

Betty Lou Haber is No Longer Alive

Betty Lou Haber’s trial commenced in September 1975, with James Brandt testifying against her to avoid facing the electric chair himself. She was convicted of first-degree murder and received a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years. In 1999, the Florida Parole Commission deemed her an exemplary inmate and announced her scheduled release for 2005. However, in 2001, her release date was advanced to 2004 due to her advancing age. Upon release, she relocated to Live Oak, Florida, where she resided with some cousins and family members and passed away in 2009.

Read More: Danyna Gibson Murder: Where is Tanaya Lewis Now?