“Death of a Playmate”

“The major reason that I’m … that we’re both sittin’ here,” says Hefner, “that I wanted to talk about it, is because there is still a great tendency … for this thing to fall into the classic cliché of ‘smalltown girl comes to Playboy, comes to Hollywood, life in the fast lane,’ and that was somehow related to her death. And that is not what really happened. A very sick guy saw his meal ticket and his connection to power, whatever, slipping away. And it was that that made him kill her.”

Longform has republished “Death of a Playmate,” a 1980 Village Voice cover story about Playboy model Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered by her estranged husband in August of that year. Journalist Teresa Carpenter won the 1981 Pulitzer Price for Feature Writing for the piece. [Longform, PDF]

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