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The 8 Strangest Playboy Playmate Deaths of All Time

Updated May 17, 2019 2.3m views5 items

No matter who it is, the death of a Playboy Playmate is nothing short of tragic. Yet, somehow, some Playmates meet some of the most gruesome and often times mysterious fates. So here in one place, are the weirdest, strangest, and often unexplained deaths of Playboy Playmates.

From young beauties like Dorothy Stratten just taking off in their career to long-acclaimed legends like Marilyn Monroe to retired Playmate veterans like Yvette Vicker, here are the seven strangest Playmate deaths to have ever occurred in Playboy Bunny history.
  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    What Happened: Playboy Playmate Killed by Husband, Her Body Was Later Defiled.

    The Story:
    In what is easily a horrible, horrible way to go, Dorothy Stratten gets a high spot on this list because she really just ended up with the wrong guy.

    Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten was only 17 when she sent in nude photos to Playboy magazine with the help of a 26-year-old club promoter and (literal) pimp Paul Snider. Though she was underage, the two met while Stratten was working part-time at a Dairy Queen in Vancouver, and they quickly fell into a romance, much to Stratten's mother's disapproval.

    In two years' time, Stratten already moved out to Los Angeles with Snider and was working as a bunny at the Century City Playboy Club with her surname shortened to "Stratten."

    After finding success in television and filming her first (and only) major film titled They All Laughed, Stratten began an affair with the movie's director, Peter Bogdanovich. By then, several people, including Hugh Hefner himself, were warning Stratten about her relationship with Snider, saying that he was a "hustler and a pimp."

    Snider, though, wasn't going to let Stratten go without a fight. He hired a private investigator to follow her and on August 14, 1980, when the two arranged to meet at Snider's house to talk about divorce, decided to take it into his hands that no one was ever going to follow her anymore.

    He shot Stratten in the face, tied her lifeless body to a "love contraption," had sex with her body for a half hour or so, and then blew out his own brains. Snider's roommates discovered both of them lying nude on the floor with ants swarming their bodies.

    Stratten was only 20, and two movies (Death of a Centerfold and Star 80) were later made about her tragic life and death. The girl really did deserve more.


  • Jasmine Fiore

    Photo: flickr / CC0

    What Happened: Playboy Playmate Found Dead in a Suitcase, with Teeth and Fingers Missing.

    This is yet another reason not to watch reality shows. Because, frankly, reality, you know the one that's actually real, gets in the way.

    Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality shows "I Love Money" and "Megan Wants a Millionaire" as well as a suspect for the murder of Jasmine Fiore, a Playboy model and his ex-wife. Jasmine's was found on August 15, 2009 strangled and stuffed in a suitcase with her remains mutilated to prevent recognition.

    Her fingers and teeth were indeed severed and all identification was removed, except for (wait for it) the serial numbers on her breast implants. A few days after the police formally charged Jenkins with murder on August 20, 2009, Jenkins hung himself in a motel room.


  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    What Happened: Playboy Playmate Killed in Accident

    The Story:
    Jayne Mansfield was one of the original blonde bombshells of Hollywood and Broadway. She was honored as Playboy Playmate of the Month and appeared nude in the magazine many times throughout her career.

    She was also notoriously known to publicly expose parts of her anatomy "accidentally" in a series of publicity stunts, where she'd wear cleavage bearing dresses and purposefully lean or move a certain way as to expose her breasts. 

    Her career came to an end on June 28, 1967, when she, along with her boyfriend Sam Brody, driver, and children crashed into a tractor-trailer that abruptly slowed down on the road. Not only did their car hit the tractor-trailer, it also went under it, resulting in complete removal of the automobile's top as well as killing all adults riding up front.

    Police photographs were captured and, when seen by the public, spawned rumors of Jayne Mansfield's decapitation. There appeared to be a blonde-haired head tangled in the car's windshield, which was believed to be Mansfield's, but her death certification only read "crushed skull with avulsion of cranium and brain." It's believed she was either scalped, or her wig came off in the crash.


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  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    What Happened: Playboy Playmate, Reality Star, and Media Sweetheart Found Dead from Overdose.

    The Story:
    The media swarm over former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith's death was unforgettable, but that was because Anna Nicole Smith was unforgettable.

    The famously voluptuous blonde was found unresponsive in her room at the Minole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino after an accidental overdose of at least nine prescription drugs. This came a year after Smith's own 20-year-old son Daniel died in the Bahamas from drug-related causes.

    Adding more fire to the flames of media attention, Smith also gave birth to her daughter, Dannielynn, not long before she died, and questions of paternity arose right after her passing with several men pulling a reverse-Maury and stepping up to the plate claiming to be the father.

    It also did not help the frenzy that Smith was still in an ongoing lawsuit with Pierce Marshall over her $450 million inheritance from oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. The woman sure knew how to build a scandal. Like her idol Marilyn Monroe, Anna Nicole Smith lived a life full of controversy and died having it carry her off as well.

    The cause of her death was known, but the reason will always remain a mystery.


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