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Paul Leslie SNIDER

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Angered because the victim ended their relationship
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 14, 1980
Date of birth: April 15, 1951
Victim profile: His estranged wife, Dorothy Stratten, 20 (the Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 1979 and subsequently Playmate of the Year for 1980)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Paul Leslie Snider (April 15, 1951 – August 14, 1980) was the estranged husband of Playboy model Dorothy Stratten. Snider tragically ended Stratten’s life in a murder-suicide.

Paul met Dorothy in 1977 while she was working part-time at a local Dairy Queen in Vancouver, British Columbia. He promoted her by sending photos of her to Playboy. She was accepted to do photo sessions and became “Miss August 1979”. The two were married in June of that year. Dorothy was named as Playboy’s Playmate of the Year for 1980.

The relationship they had deteriorated to the point where they were separated by the summer of 1980. Dorothy developed a relationship with film director Peter Bogdanovich. Snider murdered her and committed suicide in the west Los Angeles apartment the two had previously shared on August 14, 1980.

A film titled Star 80 was released in 1983 which portrays this tragic event.

 
 

Paul Leslie Snider (April 15, 1951–August 14, 1980) was the estranged husband of Playboy model Dorothy Stratten, whom he murdered before he himself committed suicide. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia to Jewish parents.

Early life with Stratten

Snider met Stratten in 1977 while Stratten was working part-time at a Dairy Queen in Vancouver. He promoted her by sending photos of her to Playboy. She was accepted to do photo sessions and became "Miss August 1979." The two were married in June of that year. Snider had many money-making schemes, including forming the basic idea for what would one day become the Chippendales empire. Stratten was named as Playboy’s Playmate of the Year for 1980.

Their deaths

By summer 1980 the couple had separated, and Stratten was keeping company with film director Peter Bogdanovich.

On August 14, 1980, Stratten, 20, was killed with a shotgun blast to the face in the West Los Angeles apartment the two had shared. Snider's body was found next to hers.

A coroner's report showed that Snider died after Stratten did, and so members of his family successfully petitioned a court to grant them all the assets of both Stratten and Snider, by virtue of the fact that Snider had "inherited" Stratten's estate upon her death.

A television film and a feature film were made from this incident. The television film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story had Jamie Lee Curtis portraying Stratten and Bruce Weitz as Snider. Bob Fosse's 1983 feature film Star 80 was the other film that dramatized the incident. Mariel Hemingway played Stratten, and Eric Roberts, in a highly acclaimed performance, portrayed Snider.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Dorothy Stratten (February 28, 1960 – August 14, 1980) was a Canadian model and actress. Stratten found fame as the Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 1979 and subsequently Playmate of the Year for 1980. She was the second Playmate (after Lee Ann Michelle) to be born in the 1960s. However, Stratten is remembered for the circumstances of her murder at age 20 by her estranged husband, an act that was the basis of two motion pictures.

Biography

Stratten was born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten in a Salvation Army hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Simon and Nelly Hoogstraten, Dutch immigrants. In 1961, her brother John Arthur was born, and her sister Louise Stratten followed in May 1968.

She attended Centennial High School in Coquitlam. In 1977, while working part-time in a local Dairy Queen, she met a Vancouver-area promoter and pimp named Paul Snider (then 26), who had nude photos taken of her and eventually sent them to Playboy. Because she was underage, she had to obtain her mother's signature to have the photos taken.

In 1979, after having her surname shortened to Stratten, she became Playboy's Miss August, and found work as a Bunny at the Los Angeles Playboy Club. She also played the role of Miss Cosmos in the Buck Rogers television series.

In June 1979, she married Snider in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple's relationship quickly deteriorated, as Snider became prone to fits of jealousy and controlling behavior.

In 1980, she became Playboy's Playmate of the Year. Her original pictorial was photographed by Mario Casilli.

Hugh Hefner reportedly encouraged Stratten to sever ties with Snider, calling him a "hustler and a pimp". Rosanne Katon and other friends warned Stratten about Snider's behavior. By August 1980, Snider's grandiosity gave way to obsessive jealousy as he lost control of Stratten's "rocket to the moon". Around this time Stratten began an affair with the director of her first major film, Peter Bogdanovich.

Snider hired a private detective to follow Stratten and report back to him everything she did. Snider and Stratten separated, and Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich. Stratten had also made plans to file for divorce from Snider.

Murder

On August 14, 1980 around noon, Snider and Stratten met at Snider's house, in which the couple had once lived in Los Angeles, along with their friend, Dr. Stephen Kushner. They met to discuss a financial settlement regarding the divorce.

Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Kushner entered Snider's room after receiving no response from knocking. There he discovered Stratten dead from a gunshot wound to the head and Snider from a self-inflicted gunshot. Necrophilia involving an 'exercise bench' and medical tape was ascertained to have taken place, which helped to establish her murder as a cause célèbre in the moral debate over pornography which continues to this day.

Dorothy Stratten is buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. Stratten and Carol Willis are the only two Playmates to die within a year and a half of their Playboy appearances. At 20 years of age, they were also the youngest.

Film reception

Peter Bogdanovich's movie They All Laughed (in which Stratten was cast) received poor press due to the circumstances of her death and no studio was willing to release the film. Bogdanovich personally financed the release, but the movie was a box office failure.

In popular culture

Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed Stratten and Bruce Weitz played Paul Snider in the 1981 television film Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story.

Stratten's story was portrayed in Bob Fosse's 1983 film Star 80 starring Mariel Hemingway (Stratten) and Eric Roberts (Snider). The movie was filmed in the very same house and room where the actual murder/suicide occurred.

Peter Bogdanovich wrote a book about her titled The Killing of the Unicorn that was released in the summer of 1984. Four years later, at the age of 49, he married Stratten's sister, Louise, who, at age 20, was 29 years younger than Bogdanovich, who had earlier, following her sister's death, paid for Louise's private school and modeling classes. They divorced in 2001 after 13 years of marriage.

Bryan Adams co-wrote two songs about Stratten. The first, titled "Cover Girl", became a hit for the band Prism in 1980. The second was titled "The Best Was Yet to Come" and was written with Jim Vallance; it appeared on Adams' 1983 album Cuts Like a Knife and was later covered by Laura Branigan.

Wikipedia.org

 

 

 
 
 
 
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