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

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Okan brings Cuban rhythm to Harrison Festival of the Arts

The Cuban band from Toronto will be performing a concert and holding a workshop

Sts’ailes drum making coming to Harrison Festival

The workshop has been happening for years, bringing Indigenous teachings to the festival

Transparency, dialogue key to UBC Dairy’s open house

The annual Agassiz event invites the public to come learn about dairy farming and research around it

Chilliwack lagging real estate sales mirrors provincial trend

Forecast for 2019 is a drop from 2018 but a bounce back predicted for 2020

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

B.C. Ferries cancels two sailings Monday due to mechanical issues

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run affected in order to repair Queen of New Westminster

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Most Read