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Nov 8 08 12:03 AM

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Steve Beard Photo

Steve Beard worked hard for what he gained in life.

Steve served in the Navy during WWII and after his service he gave the same dedication he gave the military, to his civilian work. After moving to Austin, Texas, Steve entered a low level job in Advertising but worked his way up to the position of top Executive by 1978. He co-founded KBOV Television station and it was in this venue that he made his money, especially when the station was sold for 54 million.

Steve met Elise Adams and was married to her for 45 years until her death of cancer in 1993. When they were newlyweds, Steve made a bad investment and lost all their savings. Steve confided later "I learned my lesson. I won't ever let myself be poor again." He was not known to be "cheap" but he always wanted to get the most for his dollar.

Steve was active in the Red Cross of Austin, and he volunteered as it's director one year. He was well known, and friends with a former Mayor of Austin, with news editors, reporters and other executives as well as the owner of radio stations, Gene Bauman.

Steve cared about the people who worked for him, but he had his boundaries, keeping a respectful distance. When Steve noticed someone was in need, he was quick to quietly help them out.

His wife Elise loved golfing and she could be found on the golf course three or four times a week. She loved traveling with Steve and every year they would go on trips to Europe and even China. They also loved animals and Meagan, the yellow labrador golden retriever mix they found at a shelter, became attached to Steve. Ellen's use of cigarettes and her deeply tanned skin from being out in the sun so much took it's toll.

Elise developed a brain tumor. Doctors at first thought she'd had a stroke but it was soon apparent that was not the case. Steve arranged to have his secretary cover for him since he intended to be with Elise. He took her to appointments, sitting and waiting with her during the chemo and radiation treatments.

The doctors thought Elise was no longer in danger, that the cancer was in remission. Steve and Elise celebrated their 45th anniversary and thought that they would have many more years together. Then Elise was ill again.

The cancer had returned with a vengeance and it ravaged Elise's body. Steve was constantly at her bedside, fetching anything that she needed, massaging her head or holding compresses to it, or just holding her hand.

Their son Paul "she was pale and weak and the chemo and radiation had caused her hair to fall out. She asked Becky (sister) to bring her wig and makeup to the hospital. She wanted to look good for dad. Here she is dying, married all those years, and still she wanted to look pretty for him."

At age 67, Elise (Adams) Beard died on October 13, 1993.

Elise's death devastated Steve. They'd been together for so long, raising their three children, Steve Beard III, Becky and Paul, and traveling. Elise loved golfing, and she loved life. She had a booming laugh and wasn't afraid to give her opinion, giving as much as she got in conversation with friends. Their home was too quiet without her.

Steve asked his daughter Becky, a teacher in Dallas, if she would move in with him. Becky "I had a life and teaching career. I couldn't just leave everything I'd built there. I wanted to help, but I couldn't move."

The time he spent alone after her death depressed him and he was vulnerable to the likes of Celeste Martinez. He told a friend "I'm the type of person who needs to be married. I need someone to take care of. The saddest thing is a rich, lonely old man." He also told his son Paul that he was uncomfortable with all the attention wealthy, elderly widows who were vying for his attention. Paul "He couldn't go anywhere without some woman hitting on him."

Eventually Steve talked about hiring a housekeeper since he disliked going home to an empty, dark house. He'd asked a bus girl at the Austin Country Club if she would be willing to accept the post of housekeeper but she declined. She did tell him that she would ask around.

Celeste Martinez applied for the post. Many of the men and women at the club were familiar with her. Celeste's habit of continous flirting with the men endeared her to some of them, but not all. The women had her number.

Celeste (Johnson, Bratcher, Wolf, Martinez) and Steve Beard

Steve genuinely loved and cared for Celeste, but Celeste, saw only an easy mark. A mark with millions. Steve's children have said that although they had concerns, their father was happy in his second marriage. Steve Bead III "IHe wanted to do what he wanted to do. If I went to the top of a building and jumped off with a banner saying "don't do it," He'd do it anyway."

Steve initiated a prenuptual agreement. Celeste would receive a cash gift of $500,000 and if they remained married for 3 years, she would receive another $500,000. Celeste spent her cash gift in six months. She also received a monthly amount of $10,000 into an account, which she quickly spent on shopping or gambling.

When the father of Celeste's two twin daughters, Kristina and Jennifer committed suicide, he adopted them. Both girls called him dad and say that he was funny and made them laugh with his sense of humor. Kristina "I considered him my second dad."

When Celeste was caught stealing Elise's jewelry and other items from a safe deposit box, Steve filed for divorce. He couldn't abide her lying or stealing Elise's things. Steve reconciled with Celeste and dropped the divorce papers.

It was after this that Celeste decided she wanted his millions, but without him. Celeste tried various ways to kill Steve but although they may have made him ill, he didn't die.

Steve died as a result of the shooting Celeste had planned, and her friend Tracey Tarlton carried it out on her behalf.

Steve's cremains were placed beside Elise.

 Together in death, as they were in life.

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Celeste (Beard) Johnson - Spencer Cole Johnson

Infamous Murderers - Celeste Beard Johnson (Original entry from CMM Blog)

 Tracy Noylne Tarlton  - Celeste Beard - Kristen & Jennifer Beard - Steve Beard - Donna Goodman

Infamous Murderers - Tracy Noylne Tarlton (Original entry from CMM Blog)