Star Stowe Murder: Ex-Playboy model Star Stowe was found strangled to death in an alleyway near a pharmacy in Coral Springs. Due to the mystery surrounding her death, she has been called “The Girl with the Star Tattoo” on numerous news websites.
The unsolved death of Star Stowe will be featured in a future episode of the Investigation Discovery series “The Playboy Murders.” “The Girl with the Star Tattoo,” explores the lives of a forty-year-old former Playboy model and the aftermath of her spectacular but controversial career.
The book describes how Star, like many others, was accidentally inspired by the glitz and glamour of the Playboy world. Her death in March 1997 in Coral Springs, Florida, was shrouded in mystery, and this episode will delve deeper into this enigma.
If you are wondering whether or not the police successfully solved her murder, keep reading below to get your answers.
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Who was Star Stowe?
Stowe, whose given name at birth was Ellen Louise Stowe, entered this world on March 19, 1956, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Due to her father’s engineering work, she moved frequently during her childhood. She relocated to Las Vegas, where she worked as a stripper at a Los Angeles nightclub. She was so enamored with the night sky that she got a tattoo of a blue star just below her bikini line and named herself “Star.”
While Star was working at a Los Angeles strip club, a Playboy magazine official approached her and asked her to be a model. Pompeo Posar captured her photograph as she played a Rickenbacker bass. This appeared in the February 1977 issue, establishing her as the Playmate of the Month. She was the first Playmate to reveal an ink mark openly. Gene Simmons, the future frontman of KISS, dated Star. One of their photo discs included her.
Star and Peter Maligo had a son named Michael but later got divorced. In 1986, she moved to Fort Lauderdale to pursue a career in dance. Michael was six years old when Star placed him with his father, but the two stayed close through frequent phone conversations and visits. Before moving in with her spouse in 1991, Star struggled with substance abuse, alcoholism, and financial difficulties. In August of 1996, they fought and separated, putting Star back to her existence on the streets.
How Did Star Stowe Die?
Star Stowe’s body was discovered on the pavement near an Eckerd drugstore in Coral Springs on the afternoon of March 16, 1997. Star Stowe was last seen alive on March 15, 1997, when she entered a client’s automobile. She was discovered face-down and strangled the following day in the afternoon. Three days before her 41st birthday, her partially-clothed body was discovered on the Coral Springs sidewalk next to an Eckerd pharmacy.
Sandra Kay Walters, another s*x worker, was also found strangled to death under similar circumstances, and the authorities knew nothing further about Stowe’s murder. Neither of the probes turned up any promising leads. However, as additional women’s deaths were discovered in the area, suspicions of a serial killer rose.
Although investigators were able to link the murder of Star Stowe to the murders of other female s*x workers, their investigation stalled due to a lack of leads. Several individuals’ pasts were scrutinized, but no one was ever charged with the killings.
Who Killed Star Stowe? Did the Case Solved?
The Playboy house had stringent rules about sexuality and narcotics, and Gene disapproved of Star’s cocaine use. Star had difficulty balancing her connections with Gene and Hugh Hefner, resulting in her departure from Playboy. A friend of Star’s, Jeff Olson, stated that the Playboy company “tarnished her reputation,” making it impossible for her to find work in Los Angeles. Early in the 1980s, she married Peter Maligo and became the mother of Michael Maligo.
Star moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1986 to pursue her ambition of being an exotic dancer, as their marriage had failed. She sent her 6-year-old daughter to live with her parents in Little Rock, Arkansas, because she could not balance her busy profession with caring for her child. After meeting Star in 1991, her ex-boyfriend alleges she acquired a severe heroin addiction and began working as a prostitute to finance her habit.
During her five-year relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Star apparently avoided drugs and worked to improve her lifestyle. In August 1996, however, the couple separated following an apparent drunken confrontation, and she was once again living on the streets, abusing drugs, and working as a sex worker. According to police records, Star was last seen alive in her former neighborhood in Coral Springs, Florida, on March 15, 1997, between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Police investigating the case hypothesized that whoever murdered her pretended to be a client at the Eckerd Medical Store before picking her up and dumping her body behind the building. Authorities were able to link Star’s murder to the murders of sex workers Sandra Kay Walters, Tammy Strunk, and Theresa Kettner. Still, they were unable to identify a suspect or prosecute charges.
The police, as presented on the show, apparently had several prospective suspects and verified their records. The killings were never solved, and no one was ever arrested because there was no physical proof. About 26 years have passed since Star’s death, yet investigators continue to take suggestions in the hopes that one may finally lead them to the murderer(s).
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