Dorothy Stratten & Paul Snider

February 28, 1960 – August 14, 1980


Dorothy Stratten
Dorothy Stratten


April 15, 1951 – August 14, 1980


Paul Snider
Paul Snider


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 married in Las Vegas in June of 1979.




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 insane.


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 barbecues here.


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 She had withdrawn $1000 in cash to give to Snider, and hoped to settle her split from him, once and for all.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.


They saw 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 too.

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 medical tape.


Dorothy Stratten's Death Certificate


Paul Snider's Death Certificate


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 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.

View her grave.



Snider’s body was handled by Malinow and Silverman funeral home (pointed out by friend, Joe Blodgett, as the funeral home that handled 2 of the 3 Stooges) and was buried in Schara Tzedeck Cemetery, in Vancouver.

View his grave.



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!


JUNE 2000:

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 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 Find a Death 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 website.

To discuss Dorothy and her murder, check out the Find a Death Forum.



15 thoughts on “Dorothy Stratten & Paul Snider

  • April 30, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I’d find Sniders grave just to take a shit on his headstone, the maggot.

    Everyone fed off Dorothy and she trusted everyone. She married Snider to protect herself from Hefner’s advances and bc she felt she owed Paul that. Everyone warned her not to and she always thought Paul would never hurt her ironically. LAPD seems to have pulled the crime scene photos but not sure why as they were initially released.

    Dorothy was angelic. I find it hard to believe in God when I read about stories like this. May Paul Snider rot in hell

  • March 15, 2021 at 1:05 am

    That picture of Paul in his disco costume posing like Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore is both the funniest and the saddest thing I ever saw. Too bad Dorothy couldn’t see through his act.

    • April 14, 2021 at 3:45 pm

      A picture in the dictionary next to “loser”.

  • October 22, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Dorothy had a lot of misplaced trust in older men. People place a lot of blame on Hefner and Bogdanovich. Dorothy’s death is clearly in the hands of the one who pulled the trigger.
    Paul Snider! Morally a lot of blame goes around. Really a fish out of the water surrounded by fins! If parental structure had been there maybe none of this would have happened. Dorothy was groundless and all the immoral temptations was too overwhelming! What is sad is other females have failed to see the trap before it is too late for them!

  • October 5, 2020 at 8:33 am

    That photo of her brains 🧠 (or the staged photo of the murder scene) splattered all over is in poor taste, to put it mildly. This is all presented in a tacky and callous way. Some of the comments follow suit.

  • September 5, 2020 at 6:20 am

    I agree Dorothy was very attractive but if you take that glommed makeup off she’s not someone to lose their head over. No need to get up, I’ll let myself out.

  • April 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    You used to have more pictures on your old website. Where’d they go?

    • June 24, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      Your story is conflicting…at first you say she was found laying on the foot of the bed then you say she was taped to the bondage frame…smh

      • August 17, 2020 at 1:13 pm

        No, there was evidence it was set up for “rear entry” and that she had been taped to it. Meaning there was evidence of those two things. She was found at the foot of the bed, and the evidence on the table suggested she had been taped to it earlier.

  • April 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    What a very tragic ending for such a beautiful lady. I blame Hefner and Bogdonovich for contributing to her death.
    Rest In Peace Dorothy, your presence hear on earth will last for the forever.

  • February 27, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Interesting factoid: Star 80 was directed by the one and only Bob Fosse.
    Saginaw, MI

  • November 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Damn, what a shame. Dorothy seemed like such a nice person.
    Rot in hell, Paul.

    • January 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Ah, yes, here is proof of what kind of people this slimeball came from: Snider’s family sued in court to acquire Dorothy’s assets (since she preceded Paul in death, technically) and WON. Greedy, shameless, pathetic brood- should be illegal for some animals to procreate.

      • August 14, 2020 at 11:35 am

        Bogdanovich didnt like the way he was portraited in star 80s. He was obsessed with ds and ended up marrying her sister After having being some soft of Daddylonglegs toher and paying for her School and presents since she was 12. So soon y ish ! He Also payed for some surgery cause the Sis didnt look like dor at all.


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