Three-time divorcee, 30-year-old Celeste Beard hit the jackpot when she married self-made millionaire, Texan Steven Beard, who was 38 years her senior, in 1995.
But Celeste didn’t marry Steven because she was in love. Celeste was a black widow. Here is her crazy story.
Celeste Beard’s Upbringing
Adopted as a baby, Celeste had a very troubled upbringing and was sexually abused by her adoptive father. She attempted suicide as a teenager and it wasn’t long before she met a boy, fell pregnant and married. Celeste gave birth to twin girls at the age of 17. The marriage was short lived and it wasn’t long before Celeste found herself a new husband. This marriage also didn’t last and neither did her next. It was at this point in 1993 that Celeste moved to Austin, Texas with her two girls to start a new life.
Celeste found a job as a waitress at the Austin Country Club which Steven Beard and his wife Elise regularly frequented. Elise was diagnosed with cancer and passed away later that year. Steven struggled with the loss of his wife and within three weeks of her death, took Celeste out on a date.
The Marriage of Celeste and Steven
After a whirlwind romance, Steven and Celeste married in February 1995 where they met, at the Austin Country Club. Steven was no fool and had Celeste sign a prenuptial agreement. It stated that upon divorce, Celeste would receive a one-off payment of $500,000 but if Steven died, Celeste was looking at a much more substantial payday.
Celeste soon began to live an extravagant lifestyle and was far exceeding her $10,000 a month allowance. Seeing how much money she was spending, in an attempt to slow it down, Steven paid Celeste the sum of $500,000 which was outlined in the prenuptial agreement. To Steven’s horror, this did not slow her outlandish spending and within six months, the money was all but gone.
Steven threatened Celeste with a divorce and Celeste had a breakdown of sorts, saying she was going to commit suicide. One of Celeste’s daughters later reported that this was an act to ensure she continued to lead the lifestyle she had become accustomed to. It was after her “breakdown” that Celeste was admitted to a mental institution for treatment.
Celeste Beard Meets Tracey Tarlton
It was here that Celeste met Tracey Tarlton, a lesbian who had a habit of hooking up with heterosexual married women. Before long Celeste and Tracey became lovers and, after their discharge from the mental institution, their relationship continued openly for a number of months. Celeste fed Tracey with lies about her relationship with Steven, claiming he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her. Tracey and Celeste developed numerous plans to try and kill Steven everything from ecstasy laced meals and plastic bags over his head while he slept. He survived them all.
Steven caught Tracey and Celeste in a passionate embrace in the house in late September 2000 and he kicked Tracey out. This led Tracey to develop a level of animosity towards Steven unseen before because in her view, he was the only thing stopping her from being with Celeste.
The Murder of Steven Beard
A few nights later, Steven woke up in bed writhing in pain to find his stomach had “exploded” out of his body. Calling 911, Steven had no idea he had been shot in the stomach by Tracey. Although he survived the shooting, unfortunately, Steven passed away five months later from complications relating to the injuries he sustained.
Tracey was charged with murder and, after nine months behind bars, Celeste agreed with Tracey to call off their relationship. Unbeknownst to Tracey, Celeste remarried for a fifth time only a few days later. When Tracey read this in the newspaper, she revealed to detectives and prosecutors how Celeste had manipulated her to kill Steven from the outset. In exchange for her testimony, Tracey was handed a 20 year sentence with eligibility for parole. She was released in 2011 after serving ten years.
Celeste wasn’t so lucky. The testimony of one of her twin daughters along with Tracey’s, led a jury to convict her of first-degree murder.
Where is Celeste Beard Today?
Celeste was sentenced to 40 years behind bars and will not be eligible for parole until she is 80 years old. She is imprisoned at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Lane Murray Unit in Gatesville.