Deadly Dessert: Radio Star Murders Wife With Poisoned Milkshakes -- Starts New Life With Secretary
On the verge of being outed as a cheater, one Canadian radio star resorted to drastic measures to prevent a divorce by slowly murdering his wife with repeated doses of arsenic-laced milkshakes!
According to a report by the Daily News, Esther Castellani had been married to her husband Rene for 19 years when she received an anonymous phone call telling her that he had been cheating on her in 1964. After the call, she looked through his things and discovered a love note in his wallet from a woman named "Lolly."
When Esther confronted her husband, he reassured her that nothing was going on, but took secret action to dissolve his marriage in the most sinister of ways -- gradually poisoning her by adding arsenic to one of her favorite treats.
She visited her doctor, Dr. Barney Moscovich, on nine occasions, but he remained at a loss as to what was causing her terrible abdominal cramps and eventual organ failure. Due to her stomach issues, the only food that should could tolerate at times was a vanilla milkshake from a Vancouver drive-in, and her husband delivered them dutifully -- after adding a healthy dose of poison.
While Esther was battling her mysterious illness, Rene was building quite a name for himself in Canada as the "Dizzy Dialer," known for his popular gags and prank calls. When he made time to visit her in the hospital, he reportedly seemed impatient when he asked a nurses aide how long it would be until his wife died.
Less than two weeks before Esther passed, Rene went house-hunting with the receptionist from his radio station. Her name was Adelaide Miller, and she was the Lolly that had penned the love letter that Esther had discovered in Rene's wallet. Two days after Esther died, Rene and Lolly went on vacation to Disneyland together with each of their children.
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Although an autopsy report had attributed Esther's death to heart failure and a viral infection, Dr. Moscovich refused to give up on finding out exactly what illness had plagued his patient and lead to her untimely death.
On a hunch, he ordered toxicity tests to be done on her tissue samples -- they contained lethal levels of arsenic. He then took what he found to the police, who exhumed Esther's body, confirmed the doctor's findings, and found a bottle of weed killer in the married couple's home.
Rene was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. There would be no happy ending for him and Lolly, who had moved in together and planned to get married. Weeks before he was sentenced to die, his sentence commuted to life in prison, of which he served only 12 years. He was released on parole in 1979, and was able to resume his career in radio before dying of cancer in 1982.