February 28, 1960 - August 14, 1980
"It's good to have a manager who shares your interest, or goals. You
can presumably trust a husband. I don't know if it's the best way to work. I
really shouldn't discuss this."
April 15, 1951 - August 14, 1980
The Murder of Dorothy Stratten
Dorothy was 20, and her husband Paul Snider was 29. She was a hot hot hot
Playboy model/actress, and he was a sleaze bag loser. They met in their native Canada, and
in Las Vegas in June of
Snider was obsessed with Dorothy and her career. He forbade her to drink
coffee, because it would stain her teeth, and he supposedly poisoned her pet dog
because he was jealous of it. It eventually caused their relationship to
deteriorate, and by August of 1980 they were separated, pending a divorce.
Dorothy took up with (Cybill Sheperd's ex) Peter Bogdonovich.
Snider hired a private investigator to follow Dorothy around, because he was
Dorothy moved into Bogdonovich's Bel Air home. Snider was
sharing an apartment with a friend, Dr. Stephen A. Cushner, M.D. Originally,
Dorothy and Paul lived in the apartment together, but she moved out. Cushner stayed upstairs
and Paul had the
suite that he and Dorothy used to share, on the ground floor next to the garage.
I honestly cannot figure this out, but there were two other women living in that
apartment as well. They probably had barbeques
Paul was a fanatical "get rich quick" kind of guy. He once took to
making weight benches, and with the scraps made a bondage bench he was hoping to
market. He was inspired when visiting The Pleasure Chest, a sex shop in LA. The
Pleasure Chest opted not to buy the bench, and it stood in a corner of his
bedroom for months. Funny that The Pleasure Chest drew the line there.
On the morning of August 14th, 1980, Dorothy agreed to meet Snider
at the apartment, and showed up just after noon.
She was wearing flats and
slacks, carrying a big zippered handbag. She had withdrawn $1000 in cash to give
to Snider, and hoped to settle her split from him, once and for all. At 12:30,
the private investigator called Paul, and Paul told him that "everything
was going fine." Whatever.
At 5 in the afternoon, the two female occupants of the apartment came home
and noticed the two vehicles (Dorothy's and Paul's) in the driveway.
that Paul's door was closed, and they heard no sounds. They assumed that Paul
and Dorothy wanted privacy. At 6:00 they watched the news, and then went out to
eat. At around 7, Dr. Cushner came home and he too decided to give them privacy.
At 8, the women returned home. At around 11, the investigator called the Doctor
on his private line (no one was answering Snider's phone, and it was continually
ringing), and suggested they take a peek into the room. Boy oh boy did they get
a surprise. They called the cops.
Cops arrived at 12:30am. They found Dorothy lying across the end of a low
waterbed. Get this: she had black ants crawling all over her. Wild, eh? They
found a bullet hole from a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun (that Snider had bought
from and ad in a local newspaper) on her cheek, blood on the walls and curtains,
and she was missing the tip of her left index finger.
No one knows for sure what transpired during their meeting, but blonde hair
was found in Snider's fists. The only scenario that makes sense, was that
Dorothy was sitting on a corner of the bed when Snider put the gun up to her
cheek. She tried to shield her face with her left hand, thus destroying her left
index finger when Snider pulled the trigger. A half an hour later, Snider turned
the gun on himself, and fell on top of the shotgun. Kinda makes you wonder what
he did for 30 minutes. No wait, I don't want to know. There were bloody
handprints on Dorothy's buttocks. Oh yeah, Paul had ants crawling all over him
Near Dorothy, was the "love seat." According to police, it was set
in a position for "possible rear entry intercourse." There was
evidence that the seat had been used, and she had been fastened to it with
Dorothy was cremated and buried on August 19th, at Westwood
Memorial Park. I thought it was Peter Bogdonovich who penned the insane epitaph for her
tombstone, but Findadeath.com friend, Todd Dale, informed me that it is from the
novel, "A Farewell To Arms," by Hemingway. As for Bogdonovich,
he married Dorothy's sister a couple of years later. Psycho.
Dorothy is buried in Westwood Cemetery.
Snider's body was handled by Malinow and Silverman
funeral home (pointed out by Findadeath.com friend, Joe Blodgett, as the funeral
home that handled 2 of the 3 Stooges) and was buried in Schara Tzedeck Cemetery, in Vancouver.
Trivia: Paul was a good pal with Max Baer Jr., better known as Jethro, from The
Beverly Hillbillies. (color me thissurprised) Max also used to date Sharon Tate.
More: There was a film made about the murder/suicide. Its called Star
80, and bizarrely it was filmed in the actual apartment on Clarkson. I'd
love to see that again. My buddy Cayley made sure I did, and
sent me the DVD. Wild movie, wild story. You couldn't make it
up. Thanks Cayley!
Interesting irony, thanks to
friend, Joe, that the Hemingway connection extends to Dorothy even further.
It was Hemingway's granddaughter, Mariel, who played Dorothy in Star 80.
Thanks, Joe! Thanks Mark Langlois for the pic of Mariel as Dorothy.
March 2002: Even more from
Findadeath.com friend, Bill Murray (no.): I remember seeing a gag-ad in Hustler magazine back around the time of the Dorothy Stratton murder. It was a making fun of the ads that ran in Playboy magazine with the tag line... "What kind of a man reads
Playboy?". The accompanying photo in the gag-ad depicted the crime scene in pretty graphic detail. I wonder if you could track this down. It would be a great addition to your page, that is of course unless there were any copyright issues. Anyway, I'd be interested in seeing that again if you happen to find it in
somebody's collection of old Hustler magazines.
OK everyone, there's your project! Thanks Bill.
May 07 Courtesy of Findadeath friend, Bryan
Johnson- Now this is gross, and if you are easily grossed out or offended by
gory stuff, please do not look at this picture. Here is the Hustler ad in all is gory glory. Thank you Bryan.
Wanna see their cheesy mailbox?
For more information on Dorothy, go to this
To discuss Dorothy and her murder, check out