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A Playboy playmate was murdered, but who is to blame? Here’s everything you need to know about Star Stowe and her untimely death.

Who killed Playboy playmate Star Stowe?

A Playboy Playmate is a model who has been featured in the centerfold of the magazine. Since 1953, Playboy has featured monthly Playmates as part of its centerfold feature. Each Playmate is chosen based on looks and charm, and may appear in various photoshoots for the magazine. Some Playmates even appear in television shows, music videos, or other media outlets related to the magazine’s brand.

A Round Rock criminal defense lawyer shares his opinion: I understand the public interest and intrigue surrounding cases like the Star Stowe murder. However, it’s important to remember that media coverage often focuses on limited information and may not present the full picture. In criminal cases, it is essential to preserve the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. This means that diligent investigation and an unbiased legal process are crucial for arriving at the truth.

Star Stowe was an American model featured in Playboy as Playmate of the month for February 1977. Tragically, the model was murdered, but who is to blame? Here’s everything you need to know about Star Stowe and her untimely death.

Who was Star Stowe?

Star Stowe was born as Ellen Lousie Stowe, born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s been said that she had big dreams and that was why she moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1970s. For reasons she knows best, she chose to reinvent herself and decided she needed a name change. This was when she gave herself Star, after the night sky she loved so much. 

Her ambition was to become a professional dancer. In the midst of working toward this dream, she worked at a local strip club. While working as an exotic dancer, she grabbed the attention of a Playboy scout. Her career started taking a different direction.

While working for Playboy, Stowe had the chance to meet multiple high-profile people like A-listers in show business. She got to make connections with these people. It didn’t take long for her to meet Gene Simmons from the band KISS. The two started dating and Stowe posed for promotional photos with KISS. 

Playmate of the Month

In the 1970s, Playboy was the most respected men’s magazine. Young women who were determined to make it big in modeling and show business believed posing in the magazine was by far the best way to achieve their dreams. They were sure it would open up doors to just greater opportunities down the road. Experience often told them they would. 

​​Star Stowe was named Playmate of the Month in the February 1977 issue. She even made history with the publication as the very first Playmate having a visible tattoo. But her fame as a playmate and relationship with Simmons didn’t last long. Her professional dancer’s dream never came true but she did marry and had a child and later divorced.

Murder & mystery

Star moved her and her son to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1986. She returned to exotic dancing to support herself and her son. Thanks to her reputation as a Playmate, she could get work whenever she wanted and made good money. 

As she got older, she found herself increasingly being replaced by the younger dancers. Clearly, bills don’t care for our changes in circumstances. By this time, she was a frequent face in the party scene and had developed a drug habit. She turned to prostitution to pay both her bills and habit. 

Stowe was last seen getting into a client’s vehicle on March 15, 1997. She was found strangled to death and almost naked behind the Eckard Pharmacy in Coral Springs, Florida, merely three days shy of her forty-first birthday. The only thing police knew about the case was that another prostitute named Sandra Kay Walters was also strangled. 

When police were studying both murders, leads were scarce. They had no idea who they were looking for or why someone seemingly targeted these women. Soon, more victims were thrown at investigators.

A few months later, two more women were found killed in and around Coral Springs, leading investigators to believe it was the work of a serial killer. All was quiet for a little while until ‘99. The bodies of two more women were found in the same area. Investigators are now certain they’re dealing with a serial killer. However, no one has been blamed for Stowe’s murder to this day.

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