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Celebrity Morgue
Celebrity Morgue - August 3, 2005

Dorothy Stratten

Okay, first and foremost, right up front, we all know that Paul Snider was a sleaze bag but you've just got to give the guy a break. You've just got to.

And here our story begins ....... in walks our slick loser, 26 year old Paul Snider, into the local Dairy Queen in Vancouver, Canada, to eat - oh boy, just to eat, for God's sakes! Well, lookie who his server is, just the most gorgeous young creature you could ever lay your eyes on! Little, fresh 16 year old Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten (Stratten). Our Paul is struck quite literally dumb - a lot dumber than he already is! Dorothy goes way beyond the norm and unknowingly totally screws this guy up. He MUST have her. He not only has an eye for beauty but he's got an eye for the almighty dollar as well. Dorothy means money, plain and simple. She's the ticket. The trick now is to break her in, get close to her, gain her trust. Paul does this in a big way, after all, she's green, she doesn't know he's a sleaze looking for the latest scam. She just thinks he's this great "worldly" kind of guy who knows everything and he's going to be her prom date! I mean look who we're dealing with here, this guy is THE GUY who created the WET TEE SHIRT contests - now how much more class can you get than that?! But Paul makes one big mistake, he falls in love and learns in the hardest of ways that love and business do not mix especially when you love one of the most beautiful and SWEET women in the world. Here's our beautiful Dorothy. Wow.

Dorothy Stratten

And here's Paul with his whore-ish taste in clothes. Hey, he thought this outfit was the coolest of the cool ...... and Dorothy paid for it. And he probably had a big d**k too - proud of that!

Paul Snider

Now moving forward, the next natural step when you consider Dorothy's fresh, "wholesome" beauty was Playboy. Of course! Paul somehow actually pulled some strings and managed to make this happen. He got her a meeting and they liked what they saw. Hugh Hefner, THE Hugh Hefner liked Dorothy a lot. He lined her out to be the August Playmate for 1979 and she became a regular at the Playboy mansion. As for Paul, no, not welcome. Hefner did not like Paul, period, and no one else did either. Dorothy, yes, Paul, no. Paul was out, an undesirable. Well, Dorothy, as you can imagine got all caught up in the whole thing. She was in demand and not only became the Playmate of the Year for 1980 but she was making movies as well!

Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten

The curious thing is while all this was happening for Dorothy, she decided to marry Paul and did. She apparently did care for him and felt responsible for him. Here is one of their wedding pictures taken in Las Vegas. Ouch! Those wedding clothes! Also too, I always get the creeps when I see pictures of newlyweds cutting the cake with those big ol' knives. Shudder! Anyway, I digress - onward .....

Dorothy Stratten and Paul Snider

And Dorothy as Star 80.

Dorothy Stratten

Now as things progressed, Paul was being treated as the outsider at every turn. Then when Dorothy started making movies, she met the Director, Peter Bogdanovich, and over the course of filming "They All Laughed," the two fell in love. At this point, Paul was at his wits’ end suspecting an affair between Dorothy and the Director. He hired a private detective to follow Dorothy around after she moved into Bogdanovich's Bel Air home. Bad mistake. Paul was devastated finding out the truth.

Dorothy Stratten

Now Dorothy and Bogdanovich were planning to marry and she wanted to divorce Paul. On August 14, 1980, Dorothy agreed to meet with Snider at their home in West Los Angeles to discuss divorce proceedings. Snider wasn't willing to let her go and bought a 12 gauge shotgun to back up his feelings. Paul murdered Dorothy by shooting her in the face with the shotgun before turning the gun on himself.

The actual police report states the following about the scene found by the police:

“LAPD (detective) observed both decedents in a first floor bedroom. Both were unclothed, both in full rigor. Decedent Hoogstraten was cool to the touch, lying semi-crouched across the end of a low bed. There were live black ants on the body, no maggots or flys. She was lying with both legs on the carpet, and right shoulder on the carpet with her buttocks raised. She had blood stains, possible hand prints, to her buttocks and left leg. She had trauma to both knees. She had an entrance close to contact shotgun wound to her left cheek, with much blood loss. She had lividity consistent with her position, set plus 4. She had non-consistent blood stains to her left shoulder and left arm. There was blood splatter on the east wall and curtains, next to her head. She had lost the tip of her left index finger, possible gunshot wound. Beneath her was a towel, with a hole and bloodstains.

Near decedent Hoogstraten’s head, but at an angle away from her, a “Love Seat” sexual appliance was on the floor. It was set into a position for possible rear entry intercourse.

Decedent was identified at the scene to LAPD by Dr. Cushner (owner of apartment), and verified by California driver’s license for general physical description. Decedent’s fingernail scrapings and hair samples were done at FSC. A sexual assault test was requested by LAPD. Decedent’s apparent clothing was brought to the scene from lying near the bed. Note: The left slack leg was turned inside out, and the blouse was turned inside out. The clothing was taken to FSC by coroner. Strips of tape, both used and unused, were recovered from the room.

Decedent Snider was cool to the touch, lying prone on the rug, lying head to the east in line with the end of the bed. Live black ants were on the body, no maggots or flys. He was lying with both hands beneath him, at lower chest level. A shotgun was observed under him, lying under decedent, stock toward his neck, barrel toward the right knee. He had an entrance shotgun wound to the right side of his head, with open wound between his eyes, and drain from the wound behind his left ear. The left eye was bulging from the socket. His right hand had long blonde hair in it. The wound to the right side of his head had a blackened portion about it. Decedent’s right index finger was extended, with the rest of the right fingers curled. The fingers of the left hand were curled. Lividity matched his position to include an outline of the shotgun. He had trauma to his right thumb.

There was blood splatter on the west (closet) wall of the apartment. Note: when the GSR test was done on decedent there was same blood staining on both hands.

At this time, no notes were found. A tape recorder was checked at the scene, with negative results. At this point, no one has come forth with statements of intent of action or frame of mind of violent action by either decedent, toward the other decedent.

Decedent’s room was sealed with a P.A. seal. Decedent Hoogstraten’s vehicle, a 1967 Mercury, California license “GALXINA” was left locked and legally parked at the scene on the street."

Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten

Sort of strange message on the tombstone don’t you think? Here’s a few interesting facts I found out on the E! True Hollywood Story site about this whole sordid affair:

The 1983 film "Star 80," which is based on Stratten and Snider's deadly relationship, was filmed in the actual apartment in which Stratten died.

On Stratten's Playmate data sheet, she listed her major turnoff as "jealous people."

Bogdanovich married Stratten's younger sister, Louise, who was born in 1968, a year after Bogdanovich's own daughter. The couple divorced in 2001. Whew!


E! True Hollywood Story web site.

“Death Log” Compiled by James Romenesko


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