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She Wanted It All: A True Story of Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire
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She Wanted It All: A True Story of Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire

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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  1,711 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Trophy wife Celeste Beard wasn't satisfied with a luxurious lifestyle and her rich Austin media mogul husband's devotion -- so she took his life!

The wife:
She wanted everything, but her husband stood in the way.

The lesbian lover:
A love-struck, middle-aged woman with a history of mental illness, she would do anything to set Celeste free.

The beauty salon receptionist:
Celeste
...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published March 29th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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FrankieReads
Jan 01, 2013 FrankieReads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read. It's tempting to compare Kathryn Casey to Ann Rule because they are both true crime authors that focus on female killers/victims. However, I saw some major differences between the two writers (I'm a big fan of both). First, Kathryn's writing is less flowery than Ann's.
She writes in clear, concise sentences that put me in the frame of mind of hardboiled mystery writing. Her research is impecable, and she definitely gives the full story from all angles, but she leaves
...more
Lynda Kelly
Jun 04, 2015 Lynda Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Another fascinating true story about yet another terrible Texan !! I found it one of the author's better ones for sure . What a piece of work Celeste was/is !!
I've mentioned before Simon & Schuster's cover art never transfers across to e-devices which is annoying. Why can't they sort this out ?? I was surprised there are no photos as well. I'll need to go to Google to look at her and her family.
She gave her daughters rotten lives, all of them-it's little wonder they severed all ties. You cou
...more
Marie
Not going to rate this book as for now going to put it on my did not finish shelf. It is just dragging along and I cannot seem to get into the story. For me, I think it is just too much information and background on the growing up years of the woman who had her husband killed. Sometimes there is just too much detail and when there is "too much" then it makes the book way longer than what it should be.
Rebecca McNutt
Creepy book, but a gripping story... it's hard to believe that this sort of thing can happen.
Dennis Littrell
Apr 28, 2010 Dennis Littrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Casey, Kathryn. She Wanted It All (2005) *****
Monster Mom meets No Fool Like an Old Fool

In this charming tale of Texans just having fun--all right, all right! I've read too many true crime tales from the state of Texas to be objective, I admit. Here are three good ones, just to prove my point:

Poisoned Dreams: A True Story of Murder, Money, and Family Secrets (1993) by A. W. Gray;
Final Justice: The True Story of the Richest Man Ever Tried for Murder (1993) by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
...more
Shelly
Apr 14, 2012 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I don't give much merit to anything in the true crime genre if it isn't written by Ann Rule. Call me a snob, but i've been disappointed so often by authors who tell a poor story. I've been fascinated by this case for sometime. I've watched many hour long documentary style programs on the Beard case but there's only so much you can cram into an hour. I decided to give this book a try despite my reservations trying yet another true crime author. When I got the book from my local library ...more
Angela James
I don't read a lot of true crime, it's not my normal genre, but it's something I do enjoy on the random one-off and fairly infrequently. I've read only perhaps 4 or 5 before this, including Mindhunter and Helter Skelter.

But recently I was in the mood for a true crime story, and downloaded 7 or 8 samples of books to try. After reading the samples, I was sucked into this story almost from the first page.

I'm not going to go into the story itself, since it's a bit self-explanatory, but rather tell
...more
Lady♥Belleza★✰
This is the true story of trophy wife Celeste Beard who wanted everything, but her husband stood in the way, so she enlists her lesbian lover, a love-struck, middle-aged woman with a history of mental illness to get rid of her husband, then when Celeste begins to doubt the reliability of her lover she tries to hire a hit man to take care of her.

This is an excellent book. Kathryn Casey has a journalism background and it shows in her attention to detail and the amount of research that goes into he
...more
Irene
Aug 08, 2009 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most disturbing books of this genre I have read, and I've read quite a few. Celeste Beard is one of the most despicable people I can imagine, with abolsutely no redeeming qualities. A truly scary person, and I can't even imagine the hell her daughters are still going through. I'd heard of this case on television, but only a book can delve into the myriad people and facts behind the scene. Kathryn Casey surely does a fine job of that. This woman is the worst of the worst and a ...more
Carie
Feb 12, 2015 Carie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kathryn Casey did a phenomenal job writing this book... I was emotionally connected the entire read. She made this book very difficult to put down!

I can easily say that I hated Celeste from the very first chapter & found myself speaking out loud as I read this story with "OMGs" & "What a B!&ch!" The mental & emotional abuse she put her daughters through was easily bad enough but the way Celeste treated Steve, her wealthy husband was despicable & disgusting. Several attempts
...more
J.H. Moncrieff
Aug 25, 2016 J.H. Moncrieff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathryn Casey is one of the best true crime writers out there. One major difference between her and others who publish not-so-stellar efforts is Casey really knows how to tell a story. This is an extremely long book for true crime, especially when it only involves the death of one person. But Casey makes it work by telling an extremely interesting story. We get to know the killers, the victim, and the bereaved. It only slows down a bit at the end, when she gets into the trial. (Anyone who reads ...more
Jane
May 30, 2010 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
No matter how often I read true crime accounts, I continue to be amazed at the passive nature of some people. The outlandish behavior that relatives, friends and others tolerate from bullies simply staggers me.

At every turn, this woman was showing signs of psychopathy which was resistant to treatment. She possessed, however, an incredible magnetism and a sense of excitement that people were loathe to miss out on.

This is well written and gripping.
Ruth Turner
Jan 26, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
"Trophy wife Celeste Beard wasn't satisfied with a luxurious lifestyle and her rich Austin media mogul husband's devotion -- so she took his life!

The wife:
She wanted everything, but her husband stood in the way.

The lesbian lover:
A love-struck, middle-aged woman with a history of mental illness, she would do anything to set Celeste free."

This is a well written, compelling read.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jessica
Feb 24, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It fills me with comfort to know that Celeste Beard will most likely spend every day for the rest of her life rotting in a prison cell. I hope if not for the sake of justice, but for the sake of her daughters she never gets released. I hope her daughters have been able to heal and have happy, safe lives.
SouthWestZippy
WOW Celeste is one deranged woman. I read in disbelief that she was able to get away with she did and no one tried to step in and help this family.
Casey did a wonderful research good. She did not go over board with details. Casey had the right amount to keep the stories interesting and for the stories integrity.
Melissa Hickey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eileenjp
Dec 15, 2016 Eileenjp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting story of a sociopath and her victims. I would recommend this book, but need to say at times I felt it would have been improved with a read over by a good editor. Little mistakes through out, but the story made it well worth overlooking.
Myrna
Dec 15, 2016 Myrna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mother is evil

This sorry excuse for a mother, Celeste Beard, is the epitome of a narcissistic evil and vile woman. Hopefully her teen daughters haven't been scarred for the rest of their lives as a result of the harm their mother inflicted upon them.
Stacy
Jan 07, 2017 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This woman was a textbook narcissist and whirling dervish who created chaos wherever she went.
Dana
Jan 09, 2017 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved It

Couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to get to the next page. It was a great read and the author did an amazing job.
Jeanine
Such an evil woman who loved nothing but money.. I hope the twins are able to get past this woman and live happy, fulfilled lives.
carol deminie
Dec 23, 2016 carol deminie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very well told

I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was well written for such a complicated story with so many unbelievable characters. truth IS stranger!
Mary Mattis
Feb 11, 2017 Mary Mattis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
okay, so this book was one that I could not put down!!!!!!!!!!!! Kathryn casey is a fab writer and she is right up there with ann rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Diane Waddington
Jan 27, 2017 Diane Waddington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Sokol
Jan 11, 2017 Carol Sokol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One twist after another

What a hateful, conniving woman. No end to evil. Just desserts all around. Good page turner and you can't put the book down.

Prescottl
Dec 28, 2016 Prescottl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally well written account of how Celeste Beard had her elderly husband killed for his money. The author wrote a compelling narrative of the characters and events in chronological order, making sense out of a complicated story.
Anthony Whitt
Sep 14, 2016 Anthony Whitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually like true crime books but this one was a tough read. It caught my interest because it happened in my home town of Austin and I toughed it out. Mothers are supposed to be caring and loving, but that is not the case in this account of deplorable mothers that leads to widespread and unwarranted pain.
Janelle Nunez
Dec 23, 2016 Janelle Nunez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed account of a monster of a mother and wife, So much so that reading it gave me anxiety.
Ashley Lanigan
Dec 07, 2016 Ashley Lanigan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sad story of a family's grief, a scorned lover and malicious greedy gold digger. The reason for a 4 is that I found some glaring errors in reading it, I'll blame this on the editors and publishers but as a book that's purchased and not in draft form it should have been more crisp.
Lissa
Celeste Beard, a mentally unstable trophy wife, believes that she will gain more once her husband is out of the way. Enlisting the aid of her troubled lover, a woman named Tracey whom Celeste met in a psychiatric ward, Celeste convinces Tracey to shoot him one night. Ultimately, Steve Beard dies of a pulmonary embolism four months after the shooting, ratcheting the charges up to murder. But Celeste thinks she can get away with her role in the death of her husband, especially once she starts look ...more
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A novelist and an award-winning journalist, Kathryn Casey is the creator of the Sarah Armstrong mystery series and the author of eight highly acclaimed true crime books. Her first novel, SINGULARITY, was one of Booklist’s best crime novel debuts of 2009, and Library Journal chose the third, THE KILLING STORM, as one of the best books of 2010. In both books Casey’s protagonist is a Texas Ranger/pro ...more
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