The unsolved murder of Star Stowe: What happened to this Playboy playmate?
Some people may find sex work controversial. However you may feel about it is strictly yours to say but no matter what, our lives matter, all of our lives. We all have vivid and complex stories that took us to where and made us who we are today. We’re not saying how we personally feel about sex work. We’re not saying we’re for it nor are we saying we’re against it.
It’s easy to judge others. Anybody can judge others but not everyone can take out time to learn about others. The more we learn about others, the more we’re reminded that we share a common trait of imperfection. Once you focus on that, you feel less and less compelled to judge others. But anyways, again, no matter how you feel about sex work, everybody’s life matters. There’s right and wrong, and murder is wrong.
We’re going to talk about the unsolved murder of Star Stowe, a former Playboy Playmate who was murdered behind a pharmacy in Florida. Her death remains a mystery. What happened to this woman?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Succeeding the divorce, 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 circumstance. 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.
Walters was strangled in the same area just a few weeks prior.
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’s 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.
Interestingly, the murders ended quickly as they began.
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