Canadian Radio Announcer Kills Wife with Arsenic Milkshakes

Wow. I totally missed this one–then again, the crime dates back to 1964. From the New York Daily News:

Heartbreak and a bellyache arrived in Esther Castellani’s life at about the same moment.

In the fall of 1964, a stranger phoned to tip Castellani that Rene, her husband of 19 years, was catting around. Esther snooped and found a love note, signed “Lolly,” in his wallet.

He said it was nothing — that the tipster likely was a vindictive coworker and that the note was simply a thank you from a casual friend. You’re overreacting, Rene told her.

At the same time, the 40-year-old Vancouver woman began experiencing debilitating abdominal cramps. She eventually made nine visits to her physician about the mysterious condition, but he was stumped for a diagnosis. He prescribed pain pills and told her to watch her diet.

Esther often could tolerate only one food — a vanilla milkshake from the White Spot, a Vancouver drive-in. Rene delivered them daily.

As months passed, her symptoms grew more severe and her health deteriorated. She was hospitalized by June 1965. An internist, Dr. Barney Moscovich, determined that Esther’s organs were failing, but he was baffled as to why.

Meanwhile, Rene Castellani’s star was ascendant in Vancouver.

He had become a minor celebrity in the picturesque Canadian city, working as a promo man for CKNW, Vancouver’s “Big Dog” radio station.

Read the whole story here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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