Daughter of ‘milkshake murderer’ makes rare public appearance

True crime author Eve Lazarus stops by Indigo Langley with book’s subject Jeannine Castellani

Murdering a spouse via arsenic-laced White Spot milkshakes may sound like an imaginative fiction plot, but Vancouver author Eve Lazarus’ new true-crime book details events that really took place in the Lower Mainland.

Murder by Milkshake explores the life of CKNW radio personality Rene Castellani, his affair with the station’s receptionist, and the poisoned ice-cream treats that lead to his wife Esther’s death in 1965.

In the middle of the plot so Castellani could to rid himself of Esther and wed his mistress, was the couple’s daughter Jeannine – only 11-years-old at the time.

Fifty years later, Lazarus worked with Castellani to compile her non-fiction account, resulting in a friendship between the two and several public appearances to finally discuss what happened all those years ago.

“Jeannine [Castellani] has been talking about this publicly for only a couple of months,” Lazarus said. “She only spoke about it at the book release at the Vancouver Police Museum. She is just warm and smart and just working through it all.”

Lazarus, born in Australia, has been in Vancouver for 30 years and said her fascination with true crime grew over time.

“I was a business reporter and sort of stumbled into it by accident,” Lazarus explained. “I started researching and found stories of bootleggers and corrupt cops that took place right here in Vancouver.”

At Home With History was Lazarus’ first book published in 2007 – a non-fiction story collection that detailed the history of Vancouver heritage homes. Sensational Victoria, Sensational Vancouver, and Cold Case Vancouver explored the city’s darker side while 2017’s Blood, Sweat, and Fear presented the life of Inspector J.F.C.B. Vance, Vancouver’s first forensic investigator. Lazarus also hosts and produces her own true-crime podcast.

Lazarus says Murder by Milkshake has taken on a life of its over the past six months, as touring engagements have taken her all over the Lower Mainland.

“People are connecting with the story because they may have known someone in it or really connected with Jeannine [Castellani],” Lazarus said. “I’ve even gotten messages on Facebook from people saying ‘you’ve mentioned me in your book’.”

Read More: Local author Margaret Calwaladr explores Surrey garden in new book

Lazarus will be signing copies of Murder by Milkshake at Indigo Bookstore, 20015 Langley Bypass, Saturday July 6 from 12 to 3 p.m.

Castellani, now a Surrey resident, will be joining Lazarus for the signing for the first hour. This will be the first time she has joined the author at an event since the release.

“We’ll be there to answer questions. I’m thrilled Jeannine will be there with me. She [Castellani] had a bigger line than me at the Police Museum,” Lazarus said.

For more information on the book or Eve Lazarus’ work, people can visit her website www.evelazarus.com.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Another 250 units proposed for booming block in Clayton neighbourhood

New developments join list of projects popping up near new Salish Secondary, future community centre

VIDEO: Gone Country success means so much to cancer patient

Mother of three, recovering from breast cancer treatment, makes it to seventh annual charity concert

PHOTOS: High-flying fun at 2019 Boundary Bay Airshow

Thousands came out for the free annual event on Saturday, July 20

Police ask for help locating missing men who were last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

‘You don’t want to miss’ the fresh fruit, vegetables at upcoming Cloverdale Market Days

First-of-the-season corn, microgreens, honey, freshly baked goods and much more

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read

l -->