More than 14 years after she was put behind bars for murdering her husband in cold blood, a woman dubbed a black widow killer still claims she’s innocent.
In January 2000, 70-year-old Steven Beard, a TV tycoon worth millions of dollars, was murdered as he slept.
It didn’t take long before police discovered that Beard had been shot to death by Tracey Tarlton, his wife’s secret lesbian lover.
Tarlton has always maintained that Celeste Beard, now 53, begged her to kill her multi-millionaire husband, insisting that she was in grave danger at home.
In a new episode of Channel 4's Women Who Kill, Beard proclaims her innocence once again, claiming Tarlton acted alone in her husband’s shocking murder.
“I mean it’s just crazy, how does she walk around and function knowing her lies got me put in here for life?” she asked in the documentary. “I just wish she would tell the truth, I wish she would have a conscience. That’s why I think she got breast cancer, I feel like that was her karma.”
Carlton spent 10 years in prison before being released on parole, and she has never backed away from her claim that Beard was the mastermind behind her husband’s murder.
Celeste met her husband in 1993, when she was a waitress at the Austin Country Club in Texas.
Although those close to Steven Beard thought Celeste may be nothing more than a gold digger, the pair wed in 1995.
Soon Celeste had everything she could possibly dream of—including a $35,000 a month allowance.
“That was my stipend,” Celeste explained. “I could spend it however I wanted, I would have diamonds. I had over half a million dollars in jewelry. I had 26 fur coats.”
“He didn’t care because he was enjoying his life. If he got mad at me about spending too much money, it didn’t last very long,” she added.
Ultimately, however, Beard did become concerned with his wife’s excessive spending habits, and she was given a stipend instead of a monthly allowance. The money was gone in just six months.
“She developed an insatiable thirst for more, this woman who didn’t have ten dollars to spend on anything, she was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on nothing,” said state prosecutor Gary Cobb. “She decided if he was going to put limits on it then he had to die and that was just insane.”
Celeste and Tracey met when they were both patients at St. David’s, a top psychiatric hospital in Austin.
Tracey says their friendship quickly turned romantic, and it didn’t take long before Celeste told her that she’d been abused by her husband.
According to Tracey, the pair came up with a plan to kill Beard, which ended up backfiring on both of them.
According to the documentary, Celeste with be eligible for parole in 2046, when she is 83 years old.