Picture of Star Stowe
The mysterious life of Star Stowe (Image via Star Stowe)

While all the sweet bunnies of the Playhouse Mansion are tucked in safe, the unfortunate and mysterious case of Star Stowe continues to rattle the world. Former Playboy Playmate, Star Stowe shot to prominence in the 1970s, and at a certain point in time had dated renowned bassist and the founder of the band KISS, Gene Simmons.

However, Star became a sensation overnight when she was found murdered behind a pharmacy with the case remaining unsolved to this day. It was later speculated to be the doings of a serial killer since the murder saw a number of similarly patterned killings in its wake.

5 Things about Star Stowe you must know

Star Stowe might not have been as forgotten a star as the world may have taken her to be. If you are someone who is still looking to get an insight into this bunny’s life a little, then below are 5 things you must know about her!

1. Ellen Louise Stowe aka Star Stowe

Star Stowe was born Ellen Louise Stowe in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 19, 1956. Having blossomed into a rare beauty, Stowe moved from her hometown in Arkansas, Nevada, and Louisiana, where she grew up, to Las Vegas and later Los Angeles. She became a teenage stripper in an adult club and took the name “Star” for her love of the sky. She also got a tattoo of a blue star just under her bikini line.

2. Gene Simmons got her into Playboy!

Stowe had once dated Gene Simmons, founder and frontman of KISS. She was part of many publicity shots promoted for the band and had also appeared on a picture disc for it.

It was Simmons that had sent some of Star’s photographs to Playboy. Her shoot which became the centerfold in the magazine’s February 1977 issue, was shot by Pompeo Posar. This also included several photos of her with a Rickenbacker bass guitar. The centerfold eventually brought her the title of the Playmate of the Month! 

3. Marriage and a child

Following Stowe’s split with Simmons, she went on to marry Peter Maligo and later had a son, Michael Maligo with him in the 1980s. However, it was also around this time that she became addicted to cocaine. Since there were strict restrictions regarding the use of drugs and sex in the Playboy chateau, Stowe eventually left it to seek new opportunities in LA. Unfortunately, her marriage to Maligo didn’t hold up and she later divorced him, moving to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1986 with her son.

4. Star’s struggle as a sex worker

In 1986, after Stowe’s move to Florida, she managed to find work as an exotic dancer. When her son, Michael turned 6, Stowe sent him away to live with her mother, although she always stayed in contact through visits and telephone calls. Sadly, the dancing did not quite work out for her and she was forced to turn to prostitution for a living. Stowe spiraled into severe drug abuse and chronic alcoholism thereafter.

5. Stowe’s mysterious murder 

Star Stowe was found semi-clothed and strangled to death behind a Coral Springs Eckerd pharmacy. She was last seen alive on March 16, 1997, on the streets doing her job and later getting into a vehicle. This happened 3 days shy of Stowe’s 41st birthday. The police suspect that she was murdered sometime on that day after 5 pm.

The killer was never caught and the case remains a mystery to this day, although there were a number of killings of prostitutes in the area in the same pattern following Stowe’s murder. This led the police and crime experts to believe that Stowe and those with a similar pattern of deaths fell prey to a serial killer.

So, this was all about Star Stowe, a beauty amongst many in the Playboy community, that got lost on its way back home. Hope you liked the read! 

Roshni Ganguly has a post-graduate degree in English Literature and is currently pursuing a degree in French. In her spare time, Roshni is an avid reader and an incredible artist who has a masterful hand when it comes to botanical art.