terribly sad story
This is another sad story, and I don't think her murder has ever been solved...
“Star” Stowe (born Ellen Louise Maligo , March 19, 1956 in Little Rock, Arkansas - died March 16, 1997 in Coral Springs, Florida) was an American model. She was Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month for its February 1977 issue. Her centerfold was photographed by Pompeo Posar. She was an acquaintance of Gene Simmons and hung out with him and the rest of KISS. In 1977, she married Peter Maligo and had a son. She eventually divorced her husband.
Stowe moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1986 to find work as an exotic dancer. She fell out of the limelight and into drugs, alcohol and street prostitution in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. She was found murdered on March 16, 1997. Police belived her killing to be a serial murder.
Her partially clothed body was found in some bushes. Another prostitute in the area was strangled and dumped three weeks earlier.
"STAR'S FALL A DARK TALE AFTER WORLD OF GLAMOUR," Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale, FL](March 23, 1997):1B.
She called herself Star, and for a while, she lived like one: girlfriend to rocker Gene Simmons of KISS, partying with Elton John and posing in a G-string with a Rickenbacker guitar for the February 1977 centerfold of Playboy.
But Star fell far from the world of celebrities and glamour and into one of drugs, alcohol and prostitution.
On March 16, the fall of Ellen Louise "Star" Stowe, 40, ended when some boys found her half-naked body in bushes behind a Coral Springs Eckerd store. She had been strangled, possibly by the same man who strangled and discarded the body of another prostitute three weeks earlier.
"She had a problem ... she couldn't cope with her life," said a former boyfriend of Stowe, who asked not to be identified. "But there was more to this woman than meets the eye."
Detectives think there is an uncanny similarity between Stowe's death and the killing of Sandra Kay Walters, 32, of Fort Lauderdale. Walters had a history of drugs and prostitution and had physical features similar to Stowe's. Police think Walters was picked up by a customer in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 25, strangled and left, naked, behind a Palm Beach County adult movie theater.
Though there are parallels, police say they have no solid leads in the deaths.
Stowe, who was 5 feet 6 inches tall, dark-eyed with honey-colored hair, grew up in Little Rock, Ark., with ambitions of being a dancer. When she was a teen-ager, she moved to Las Vegas and later Los Angeles.
Friends say she was discovered by Playboy while dancing at an adult club in Los Angeles.
She got her nickname when she couldn't get into a nightclub because she was a minor. The man she was with quoted the title of the Rolling Stones' song: "Star, Star, can't get in the door."From there, the name stuck.
"Some people think it's egotistical to call myself Star," she told Playboy 20 years ago. "But it's not in the Hollywood sense at all."Instead, it was about her love of stars that glitter in the sky, she said.
She also was drawn to rock stars.
She met Simmons, the lizard-tongued bassist for the heavy-metal band KISS, at the elevators of Las Vegas' Hotel Sahara, where the group was playing. Simmons wasn't wearing his trademark shocking-white face paint and black bat wings around his eyes. But Stowe told Playboy that she liked his laid-back manner so much that she hung around with the band for a while.
For her Playboy spread, titled "Star-Struck," Stowe looked like an innocent teenager. Aside from the requisite nearly nude shots, there were photos of her with KISS and at a party Hugh Hefner threw for Elton John.
Life after Playboy wasn't good for Stowe. It isn't clear what happened, but the fling with Simmons was short-lived.
Sometime after 1977, Stowe met and married Peter Maligo. They had a son, Michael Maligo, now 14, and later divorced.
Stowe moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1986 with hopes of becoming a dancer at an adult club such as Pure Platinum or Solid Gold, her ex-boyfriend said.
When Michael was 6, Stowe sent the boy to live with his grandmother in Little Rock, but stayed in touch through frequent visits and weekly telephone calls.
"It was like talking to your best friend," Michael said. "I thought she was so cool. I really enjoyed being around her."
Michael's fondest memories of his mother are of playing board and video games with her and eating the beef stir-fry she made.
Stowe's hopes of becoming a dancer didn't work out, and eventually her life spiraled into an abyss of drugs and prostitution, said her former boyfriend, who met Stowe in 1991. She told him she was ready to give up drugs and walking the streets.
He told her he'd provide for her, so she wouldn't have to sell her body anymore.
During the five years they were together, Stowe's criminal record stayed clean. She cared for the couple's animals, cleaned house and tended to their garden.
They split up in August after what he described to be a drunken argument. She ended up with a nasty bump on her head. He never saw her again.
But, through friends, he heard that she was back on the streets, selling herself, doing drugs and drinking.
Stowe's path isn't particularly unusual for a former centerfold, said Bill Farley, director of communications for Playboy Enterprises in Los Angeles.
"Some girls take advantage of the lifestyle, but others drift off," Farley said. "They marry badly or get involved with the wrong man."
The last time Michael talked to his mother was almost two weeks ago. While he was aware of her lifestyle, they did not discuss it much. Instead, she told him about some new bands she'd heard and how she liked the new Nine Inch Nails album.
She last was seen in her old neighborhood, working the streets. It was between 3 and 5 p.m. March 16. Police think she was picked up, killed and dumped sometime after that.
When Playboy's Farley heard the news about the former centerfold, he said, "God, that's so sad."
Taken from: http://www.genesimmons.com/fanstorie.../index254.html
terribly sad story
Member since 10/10/07
That's really sad. It seems like several playmates have met their doom tragically.
A tragic story herd too often!
Well that's what you get for being a Kiss groupie.
She was attractive
yeah I rather get wasted and send my kid to live with the grandparents and sell myself on the streets than try to make an honest go of it....stupid girl.
i had never heard of her, thanx for posting the story~
i read about this when i happened. i looked a couple of years ago, but could not determine whether they ever caught the serial killer or not. unfortunately, there were several serial killers operating around the same time in south florida, so it is hard to search w/o getting results for all of them.
Is there a thread for doomed playmates?
"I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."
Lol there should be!!
Great post. Hoe sad though.
Will Gene be selling the rights to her story?
Sad but I guess you have to be grounded to be a playmate or else......
i noticed gene didnt respond to the story on her