Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marriage, Money and Murder: Steven and Celeste Beard

Lesbian Love's Labor

Yet Celeste apparently had to labor at sapphic love.

In July, the women had a counseling session with Barbara Grant, an Austin psychotherapist, concerning their sexual relationship.

Grant would later say that Celeste told her she doubted she was a lesbian because she needed alcohol to help work up the nerve to have sex with Tarlton.

Celeste's daughters caught the women in bed at least twice, and they began seeing books about lesbian sex around the house.

Pressed by her daughters to explain her behavior, Celeste said, "Tracey's a lesbian, and she's in love with me. Isn't that funny?"

"My mother has acknowledged to me that she is involved in a romantic relationship with Tracey Tarlton, and that she and Tracey have had sexual relations together," Kristina later stated in an affidavit. "Tracey Tarlton has openly admitted to me that she and my mother are lovers. In September of 1999, I witnessed Tracey and my mother kissing passionately."

So did Steven Beard. After witnessing the women kiss on the lips on Sept. 29, he ran Tarlton out of his house.

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