In 1965, Rene Castellani was working as a radio promotions manager on his show “ The Dizzy Dialer” in New Westminster, and slowly killing his wife, Esther Castellani, by poisoning her with arsenic. This had been going on for a period of several months with no one noticing, not even the doctors. Mrs. Castellani had gone to the hospital many times but doctors could not discover what was causing her illness. After having been sick for nine months Mrs. Castellani died on July, 11 1965.
The autopsy report showed that Mrs. Castellani had died from ” a viral infection and heart attack. ” Several months after her burial, a woman named Adelaide Miller, presumably Rene’s accomplice, who planned to marry him after Rene had collected the insurancemoney, contacted the Crown Attorney and said she knew how Mrs. Castellani was killed. She and Rene Castellani had been having an affair from approximately the fall 1964 to the spring of 1966. Both Adelaide Miller and Rene Castellani were poisoning Mrs. Castellani with arsenic. Authorities exhumed the body of Mrs. Castellani on August 3rd, 1965 from the cement crypt of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Municipality of Burnaby, and delivered it to a morgue in Vancouver where a post? mortem examination was conducted by Dr. Thomas Redo Harmon. Tests known as “ X-ray diffraction” procedures were done. The results showed that the arsenic levels in her body were high enough to kill her. During the trial, which took place on 26 September 1967, Dr. Moscovitch, who treated Mrs. Castellani, said he had never considered arsenic poisoning. Dr. Moscovitch said: ” The possibility of arsenic never occurred to us at all. ” Of all the 125 clinical tests that had been performed during her illness, none had identified arsenic. Subsequently, Mr. Castellani was arrested, sentenced for murder on November 12, 1966, found guilty, and sentenced to death, which was later changed to life in prison. Rene Castellani died on January 4, 1982.
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