Author: Kathryn Casey
Publisher: Avon Books, HarperCollins Publishers, www.avonbooks.com
Copyright: 2005, ISBN: 0060567643
Cover: Greg Hursley, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, July 20, 2015
Summary: Narcissistic personalities are in the news lately. Generally they are fodder for humor and satire. Celeste Beard is a classic narcissist and she would be Momma Dearest funny were it not for the insanity of her crimes. Her life and deeds tacks on another layer of questions about insanity, responsibility and the death penalty.
The story of Celeste Beard Johnson has been told several times. Katheryn Casey’s version remains the best.
Celeste Beard was convicted in March 2003 of killing Steve Beard, her husband. She orchestrated her the murder by convincing her lesbian lover to shoot him in the gut with a shotgun. Wife kills husband. Abuse, jealousy, insurance money, pure evil; the usual excuses for one spouse killing another. Underlying any murder is a profound ignorance; an inability to see vistas beyond the immediate now, beyond the current roiling emotions. Any human who kills another is mentally unbalanced to some degree. There is some deficit in the character makeup or brain chemistry or acquired life-coping skills of murders. Usually of course both ignorance and skewed mental outlook are the mosaic of a killer s life.