The Tragic Murder Of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten

In 1977, Dorothy Hoogstraten was a 17-year-old working at a Vancouver, B.C. Dairy Queen when in walked her future husband, Paul Snider (via Harper's Bazaar). According to Heavy, Snyder was a local pimp and hustler who took one look at the statuesque blonde and knew he had found his next meal ticket. The 26-year-old Snider began grooming Stratten. He lavished her with gifts and even took her to her senior prom (per ABC News). He eventually convinced Stratten to pose nude so that he could submit the photos to Playboy. It was a decision that would ultimately change and end her life.

Shortly after, she headed to Los Angeles and became Playmate of the month for August, 1979. With her career on the rise, and her name changed to Stratten, she was on her way to becoming a star. People reports that in 1979, Stratten and Snider got married. Her inner circle, including Hugh Hefner, opposed the marriage. They saw Snider for who he was; a sleazy opportunist who was using her for money and fame. Stratten, however, felt like she owed her success to Snider. As the marriage unraveled, All That's Interesting states that Snider became more controlling and jealous.

Dorothy Stratten was only 20 when she died

According to People, as Stratten's Playboy fame grew, she turned her focus to acting. She starred in "Galaxina" and later got the opportunity of a lifetime when director Peter Bogdanovich (above, in 1982) cast her in "They All Laughed" with Audrey Hepburn (via Harper's Bazaar). It's during this time that Stratten and Snider separated. Stratten then quietly began a relationship with Bogdanovich during filming. The pair had previously met at the Playboy Mansion and had hit it off. Although she felt guilty for leaving Snider, All That's Interesting states that Stratten was ready to divorce him. Snider, however, did not want the marriage to end. On August 14, 1980, the estranged couple met at the house they once shared to discuss details of their impending divorce.

Heavy reports that's where Snider brutally attacked and murdered Stratten. The 20-year-old had been beaten and raped; the cause of death was a shotgun blast to the face. Snider had then turned the 12-gauge shotgun on himself. Per ABC News, Bogdanovich was devastated over Stratten's death. He later wrote the book "The Killing of The Unicorn" about their relationship. In his book, Bogdanovich blames Hefner and Playboy for Stratten's death. Stratten's friends have gone on to say that her only flaw was not being able to see the evil in people.