NBC News’ ‘Dateline: The Evil to Come’ chronicles how the authorities worked towards catching Peggy Nadell’s killers. In January 2014, she was murdered at her home in Valley Cottage, New York, leading the police on an intensive investigation. Ultimately, all roads led to Peggy’s daughter-in-law, Diana Nadell. The authorities learned that Diana was behind a disturbing murder-for-hire plot and was aided by Andrea Benson. So, if you’re curious to find out what happened to them, we’ve got you covered.
Who Are Diana Nadell and Andrea Benson?
Diana Nadell was married to James Nadell, a neuropsychologist, and they lived in Florida. Diana also had two sons from a previous relationship, apart from having two children with James. But the incident from January 25, 2014, would forever change the lives of the Nadell family. James’ sister, Susanne, found Peggy brutally murdered in her home on that morning.
Once the authorities got there, they initially suspected Susanne since she had taken the knife out of Peggy’s chest and had said during the 911 call that her mother might have fallen on the knife. However, the case took a turn when a call from a prepaid phone on Peggy’s phone led the police to Florida. A woman named Karen Hamm-Samuel had bought it for Diana. Then, through witness statements, the authorities learned of a terrifying plot to have Peggy killed for financial gain.
Diana asked her relative, Otis Grant, to help her with a plan to kill Peggy. The night before the murder, Diana flew down to Washington DC, where she met Andrea Benson, then 25 years old. Andrea was offered $10,000 to help kill Peggy. To back up her alibi, Diana left her phone with Tanisha Joyner in Washington DC and drove down to Valley Cottage. Later, Andrea told the police that as she and Diana walked down the stairs with Peggy, she used a pocketbook strap to choke Peggy.
Andrea further stated that Diana threw something at Peggy, hit her about the head with another object, and stabbed her mother-in-law “more than twice.” Tanisha and Eltia Grant, another relative of Diana’s who helped plan the alibi, took deals with the prosecution just like Andrea. All of them agreed to testify against Diana. But even after her arrest, Diana’s scheming didn’t stop.
The authorities later learned that she wrote a letter to her brother in Jamaica, asking him for help with killing two witnesses who were to testify against her. Diana gave the letter to another inmate she believed was being deported to Jamaica. On August 11, 2014, she even asked whether her brother got the message in a phone call with her husband. Diana wanted Tanisha Joyner and Karen Hamm-Samuel to be killed.
Where Are Diana Nadell and Andrea Benson Now?
In June 2014, Andrea pled guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a lesser sentence of 20 years to life. It was stated in the court that Andrea had an abusive childhood with her mother being a crack cocaine addict. Furthermore, the father of her child was in prison for robbery, and the judge believed Andrea was looking for easy money when she got involved in the scheme. Prison records indicate that she remains incarcerated at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Westchester County, New York. Andrea will be eligible for parole in May 2034.
In March 2015, Diana, then 51 years old, pled guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree attempted tampering with a witness. In May the same year, she was sentenced to 23 years to life for the murder and a concurrent five to 15 years in prison for the attempted tampering. Diana was apologetic in court, saying, “I am very sorry for my actions. I am extremely sorry for any pain I may have caused, especially to my husband.” Like Andrea, Diana is serving her sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. She will be eligible for parole in May 2037.
Read More: How Did Peggy Nadell Die?