Cover image for Murder by milkshake : an astonishing true story of adultery, arsenic, and a charismatic killer / Eve Lazarus.
Murder by milkshake : an astonishing true story of adultery, arsenic, and a charismatic killer / Eve Lazarus.
Publication Information:
Vancouver, British Columbia : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2018]

Physical Description:
247 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
364.15230971133 LAZ Book Adult General Collection

On Order



When forty-year-old Esther Castellani died a slow and agonizing death in Vancouver in 1965, the official cause was at first undetermined. The day after Esther's funeral, her husband, Rene, packed up his girlfriend, Lolly; his daughter, Jeannine; and Lolly's son, Don, in the company car and took off for Disneyland. If not for the doggedness of the doctor who treated Esther, Rene, then a charismatic and handsome CKNW radio personality, would have been free to marry Lolly, who was the station's pretty twentysomething receptionist. Instead, Rene was charged with capital murder for poisoning his wife with arsenic-laced milkshakes in one of British Columbia's most sensational criminal cases of the century.

Murder by Milkshake is the compelling story of the Castellanis, and of their daughter, Jeannine, who was eleven at the time of her mother's murder and who clung to her father's innocence, even committing perjury during his trial. Rigorously researched, and based on dozens of interviews with family, friends, and co-workers, Murder by Milkshake documents the sensational case that kept Vancouver spellbound, while providing a snapshot of the city's Mad Men -esque social and political realities in the 1960s.

Author Notes

Eve Lazarus is a journalist, crime historian, and author. Her passion for non-traditional history and a fascination with murder has led to six books of non-fiction, including Blood, Sweat, and Fear: The Story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver's First Forensic Investigator and Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders .

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
The Castp. 11
Prologuep. 15
Chapter 1 Abusive Beginningsp. 17
Chapter 2 The Willowsp. 31
Chapter 3 The Maharajap. 41
Chapter 4 The Atticp. 51
Chapter 5 The Dizzy Dialler Meets Lollyp. 53
Chapter 6 The Beatlesp. 69
Chapter 7 Love, Lollyp. 77
Chapter 8 Turn for the Worsep. 87
Chapter 9 Guy in the Skyp. 99
Chapter 10 Rene and Lolly Look for a Housep. 105
Chapter 11 Seriously IIIp. 113
Chapter 12 Disneylandp. 117
Chapter 13 Ombudsman of the Deadp. 125
Chapter 14 The Police Investigatep. 133
Chapter 15 Back at the Morguep. 143
Chapter 16 The Inquestp. 151
Chapter 17 Arrestedp. 155
Chapter 18 On Trial for Lifep. 167
Chapter 19 The Summer of Lovep. 175
Chapter 20 Circumstantial Evidencep. 183
Chapter 21 Death Rowp. 193
Chapter 22 Living with Lollyp. 197
Chapter 23 Visiting Hoursp. 209
Chapter 24 Out of Jailp. 221
Chapter 25 The Perfect Murder Weaponp. 227
Epiloguep. 233
Bibliographyp. 237
Acknowledgmentsp. 240
Indexp. 242