The Playboy Murders on ID: What happened to former Playboy Playmate Star Stowe?

Star Stowe
Former Playboy Playmate Star Stowe was found strangled to death in Coral Springs in 1997 (Image via Fanpop)

In March 1997, former Playboy model and mother-of-one Star Stowe, declared the Playmate of the month in the February issue of 1977, was found strangled to death behind a drug store in Coral Springs, Florida.

At the time of her murder, Stowe had strayed far from her glory days and was working as a s*x worker in Fort Lauderdale. She was reportedly last seen getting into the car of one of her customers. Her case remains unsolved to date. Moreover, detectives have connected her death to multiple similar cases, believing it might have been the work of a serial killer.


An upcoming episode of ID's The Playboy Murders is scheduled to revisit the decades-old unsolved case of Star Stowe on Monday, February 20, 2023, at 10 pm ET. The synopsis of the episode, titled The Girl With the Star Tattoo, states:

"Star Stowe takes the world by storm when she becomes Playmate of the Month, but everything the magazine has to offer seduces Star into a world of abuse and addiction and sends her down a tragic path."

Star Stowe's body was discovered behind Eckerd pharmacy in Coral Springs, Florida


Star Stowe was last spotted alive, getting into a client's vehicle on March 15, 1997. She was found lying face-down and strangled to death in the afternoon the following day. Her half-naked body was discovered on the street behind a Coral Springs Eckerd pharmaceutical store about three days before her 41st birthday.

The only information the authorities had on Stowe's murder case was that Sandra Kay Walters, another s*x worker, had also been strangled to death and found in similar circumstances. There were no leads in either of the investigations. But when a few other female victims were found murdered in and around the area, authorities started to believe that a serial killer may have been involved.

Although detectives were able to link Star Stowe's murder to identical killings of other female s*x workers, their investigation hit a wall due to a lack of leads. They ran background checks on multiple people but failed to charge anybody in connection with the murders. Stowe's case remains unsolved to date.

Once, Playmate of the month, Star Stowe was struggling to make ends meet at the time of her murder in Florida

Star Stowe was named Playmate in the February 1977 issue of Playboy (Image via Listal)
Star Stowe was named Playmate in the February 1977 issue of Playboy (Image via Listal)

Star Stowe was born and brought up in Little Rock, Arkansas, as Ellen Lousie Stowe, who moved to Los Angeles, California, in the 1970s to pursue her dreams.

Working towards her dream of becoming a professional dancer, she started working at a local strip club. Eventually, she caught the eye of a Playboy scout while working as an exotic dancer. Her career took off not long after.

As part of Playboy, which was the most prestigious men's magazine back in the 70s, Stowe got the chance to interact with prominent stars, including Hollywood A-listers, and was able to establish ties with them. That's when she met Gene Simmons of the band KISS, and the two started dating shortly after. Stowe posed for multiple advertisements alongside KISS.

Star Stowe pictured with band KISS (Image via Musicoholics)
Star Stowe pictured with band KISS (Image via Musicoholics)

Stowe was then made Playmate of the month in the magazine's February 1977 issue, making history as the very first Playmate to have a visible tattoo. But her relationship with Simmons was short-lived, and she ended up marrying a man named Peter Milago and had a son with him. However, the marriage didn't last long. After her divorce, she moved to Ft. Lauderdale with her son in 1986.

While in Florida, Stowe returned to exotic dancing to pay the bills. But as she got older, she was frequently replaced by younger dancers and soon developed a drug habit. She eventually turned to prostitution to make ends meet and support her addiction.

The Playboy Murders airs with a new episode on Monday, February 20, 2023, on ID.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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