RENO, Nev. - A Reno woman says she warned her father that his fifth wife was a "black widow" long before the wife was accused of murdering him in California and looting his law practice.
Tavia Williams, one of Larry McNabney's three grown children, said she was suspicious of Laren Renee Sims Jordan's motives from the time her father met her in 1995.
Jordan, arrested last week in Destin, Fla., has confessed to poisoning and murdering her Sacramento lawyer husband with horse tranquilizer.
"I had told my dad, my brother, my husband and my mom that she was a black widow," Williams told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I always had meant that in terms of money. I just thought she was a very greedy person.
"I had no idea about her past until these last few weeks. We had no idea how horrible her past has been. All the aliases she's used and the people that she's used."
McNabney never knew the real name of his wife, a thrice-married 36-year-old with a 113-page criminal record who is wanted for credit card fraud, grand theft and parole violations, authorities said.
Jordan has been charged with killing her husband with the help of Sarah Dutra, a college student who worked along with Sims in McNabney's Sacramento office. Dutra also has confessed to her role in the case.
The criminal complaint lists the married name of Elisa McNabney and 38 aliases.
McNabney, 52, was last seen alive at a Los Angeles horse show Sept. 10. Farmworkers discovered his body Feb. 5 in a vinyard near Clements.
Until McNabney and his wife moved to California in 1998 - two years after their marriage - they had homes in both Reno and Las Vegas.
But Williams said her stepmother, who is only three years older than her, worked to cut McNabney off from friends and family.
"I would send birthday or I-miss-you cards, and she would intercept them and not give them to him," said Williams, a first-grade teacher. "I despise her. I think she is devoid of a heart. She has no conscience, she has no morals and the only person she cares about is herself. Elisa is evil to the very depths of her being."
Nancy Eklof of Reno said she was with McNabney when he first met Jordan, who was interviewing for a job with his Las Vegas law office in 1995.
"We all had dinner, and I could tell he was completely smitten with her right away," said Eklof, the advertising manager for his Reno and Las Vegas law offices from 1993 to 1997. "He told me, 'I know Elisa's got this wild side, but I don't care.' He knew she was just wild and it really appealed to him."
Williams said the attractive Jordan was a bad influence on her father.
"He was sober at the time, but Elisa got him back on drugs and alcohol," she said. "It was a party lifestyle for both of them. Every day was a party with her in Las Vegas."
In 1998, McNabney was reprimanded by the Nevada bar because Jordan had allegedly embezzled about $74,000 from his clients.
Jordan was banned from working for McNabney in Nevada, so the couple moved to Sacramento and started a new practice.
Reno lawyer Fred Atcheson, who had a 34-year friendship with McNabney, said he was suspicious about Jordan because she was reluctant to say much about her past.
"Larry called me up and talked to me about how Elisa was a thief. He said, 'I don't even know who this lady is,"' Atcheson told the Gazette-Journal. "I suggested he get rid of her, and I think that affected our relationship. Once I chimed in on that, I didn't hear from him again."
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