Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marriage, Money and Murder: Steven and Celeste Beard

The Sunday Service

The first months of marriage did not work out to Beard's satisfaction, perhaps due to Celeste's reticence to wield the sex needle.

Beard got so desperate that he filed for divorce just four months after the wedding. He withdrew the petition after the couple came up with what Celeste later called "the oral sex solution." Sunday mornings at the Beard mini-mansion were reserved just for that.

"I gotta go make some money," she would tell her daughtersand anyone else within earshotas she plodded dourly toward her husband's den for his weekly sexual service.

She made certain there were no distractionspets locked up, doors secured, phones disconnectedbecause she wanted Steven to reach his happy ending as quickly as possible, according to an account in Suzy Spencer's book "The Fortune Hunter." She loathed having to stop and begin again once she got started.

The Fortune Hunter, by Suzy Spencer
The Fortune Hunter, by Suzy Spencer

Once they worked out this sexual kink in the relationship, money became their primary source of conflict.

The $500,000 of the prenuptial agreement was a contentious issue for Celeste, and one day Beard decided to simply give her the money and get it over with. He may have reasoned she would spend less of his money if she had some of her own.

He was wrong.

The half-million was gone in six months.

After that spending binge, Celeste became increasingly vocal about her distaste for her older, overweight husband.

Dominic Dunne's Power, Priviledge and Justice

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