Man sentenced for fatally beating father he claimed was a vampire

Douglas Novak, 42, of Hempfield, Pennsylvania. [Image credit: Westmoreland County Prison]


Douglas Novak, now 42, was sentenced on July 2nd to 10-30 years for the beating death of his 92-year-old father in 2018 after pleading guilty but mentally ill last November.  The charges against him included murder, arson, reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe.


Novak was accused of beating his father to death with the wooden arm of a dining room chair before dragging his body to a shower and then to a bed.  They were only discovered two days later when candles, alleged by Trib Live to have been used during a "vampire ritual" burned to the ground resulting in a fire.


During the sentencing hearing, Novak's attorney, Brian Aston stated that “He believed what he was doing was killing a vampire. He lay next to (his father) for two days (after the beating) to kill him when he wakes up — to put a stake through his heart — because we all know that’s how you kill a vampire.”


Assistant District Attorney Leo Ciaramitaro, however, asserted that “The vampire story was just one piece of his statement. He also said that he beat his father because he was hiding his phone.”


During a five month stay at the Torrance State Hospital Novak was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  He received treatment while there before being declared competent to stand trial in May, 2019.


His sister, Natalie Shannon took to Facebook to make her feelings known after the sentencing. "My brother Doug Novak, “mixing up his meds” is a lie! He always went off his meds. You can ask anybody who truly knew him. His ex-girlfriends. You know who you are. There are many people who saw the violent side of my brother. My brother was abusing my parents for a long time. He took money from them.


The reason why Doug didn't have long jury trial because the truth would come out. If he decided on a jury trial, he most definetely[sic] would've got life in prison. I have been silent for a long time, aobut[sic] what my brother was like and what went on. I will not stay silent any more. I am happy with the 10 to 30 year sentence."



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