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March 2, 2023 34 mins

20-year-old Dorothy Stratten was a model and actress who was killed by her estranged husband in 1980. The case revealed a relationship rife with power imbalance, manipulation, and domestic abuse. We sit down to discuss the issue of intimate partner violence with Dr. Joe Hyunkag Cho, an Associate Professor at Michigan State University’s College of Social Science.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
You're listening to Facing Evil, a production of iHeartRadio and
Tenderfoot TV. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast
are solely those of the individuals participating in the show
and do not represent those of iHeartRadio or Tenderfoot TV.
This podcast contains subject matter which may not be suitable
for everyone. Listener discretion is advised. Hi, everyone, welcome back

to Facing Evil. I'm Rasha Peccarero and I'm Yvette Ginteeley,
and today we're talking about the case of Dorothy Stratton.
Y'all might know about this one because it was a
big story when it happened back in the eighties. Yes,
I remember this case. Dorothy's case even inspired multiple movies,
including the nineteen eighty one movie Death of a Centerfold

The Dorothy Stratton Story, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and there
were also numerous songs that were written about the case,
including Californication by the ad Hot Chili Pepper's personal favorite
of mine and the Best was Yet to Come by
Brian Adams. Yeah. I so remember all those songs. But
we also have to remember that Dorothy, she was an

actress and a playboy motto who dealt with abuse at
the hands of her controlling husband, who she was estranged
from at the time, and sadly, the story ends in
her tragic murder. Yeah, heartbreaking. And today we want to
use Dorothy's story as a jumping off point to talk
about intimate partner violence and why it's so prevalent. But first,

our producer Trevor is going to take us through today's case.
After catching the eye of iconic mogul Hugh Hefner, she
was ground nineteen eighty Playmate of the Year. She never
felt that there was any danger anything with Paul Snyder.
He pushed her to marry him. I don't think really
wanted to. She was the meal ticket, but he was

fraid that he could lose her. She did. Dorothy Stratton
was a twenty year old actress and playboy model who
was killed by her husband in nineteen eighty in Los Angeles.
Dorothy grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and while in
high school, she met a man named Paul Snyder. Snyder
was a successful promoter for car shows, but he soon

took to less than legitimate ways to make money, namely pimping.
In the summer of nineteen seventy eight, Snyder had a
professional photographer take nude photos of then eighteen year old
Dorothy and send them to Playboy for the Great Playmate
Hunt of nineteen seventy eight. Dorothy was chosen as a finalist,
and so she and Paul Snyder moved together to Los Angeles, California.

The following year, they got married in Las Vegas. At
the time, she was nineteen and he was twenty eight.
Dorothy eventually became Playboy's Miss August nineteen seventy nine and
started to work as a Playboy bunny. Hugh Hefner decided
that Dorothy should act and got her roles in episodes
of Fantasy Island and Buck Rogers. Meanwhile, Snyder became her chauffeur, manager,

and acting coach. The two reportedly argued daily, often leading
to verbal and physical escalation. Rosanne Kayton, a fellow playmate,
warned Dorothy to leave Snyder. Heffner also tried to get
Dorothy away from Snyder, calling him quote a hustler and
a pimp. In March of nineteen eighty, Dorothy landed a

role in the film They All Laughed, a romantic comedy
written and directed by Peter Bogdanovitch, and then Dorothy began
an affair with Bogdanovitch while filming in New York. She
wrote to Snyder asking him for more freedom in their marriage,
but Snyder called her and flew into a rage. And
then when Dorothy was on a tour stop in Vancouver,

Snyder flew into town and convinced Dorothy to make nightclub
appearances instead of fulfilling her playboy duties. Snyder then pocketed
all the money she made from the appearances and disappeared.
In June of nineteen eighty, Dorothy sent Snyder a letter
announcing they were separating. In response, Snyder emptied their bank
account and started an affair with an old girlfriend. He

also sold off Dorothy's Playmate of the Year prizes. In July,
Snyder obtained a gun and he camped outside Bogdanovitch's house
with the goal of confronting Dorothy and the director when
they came home, But after hours of waiting, he finally
gave up and left. And then on August fourteenth, Dorothy

told Snyder she would come by his house to give
him some settlement money. Her business manager had told her
she should let her lawyer deal with Snyder, but Dorothy
refused the advice and insisted that she'd deal with him personally,
saying quote, I'd like to remain his friend. When Dorothy
arrived at Snyder's house, his roommates had left for the day.

The two spent some time in the living room before
they went back to the bedroom. About an hour Snyder
shot Dorothy, and an hour after that he shot himself.
The story was a major tabloid sensation. When interviewed, Heffner said, quote,
a very sick guy saw his meal ticket and his
connection to power or whatever slipping away, and it was

that that made him kill her. And so, how does
the case of Dorothy Stratton reveal a bigger issue of
intimate partner violence and its prevalence in American culture. Well,
welcome back to Facing Evil. So the issue of intimate

partner abuse, of course, is a huge issue that we've
talked about many times on our podcast, and Dorothy Stratton
is just one of millions of people who have dealt
with violence at the hands of a partner. So today
we are so honored and humbled to welcome an amazing

expert on this issue, and that is doctor Junko Cho
and Doctor Cho is an associate professor at Michigan State
University's College of Social Science. He's published numerous studies and
journals on the issues of intimate partner violence. So, doctor Cho,
welcome a Komo to Facing Evil. Thanks for having me.

It's my great pleasure. We're honored. Thank you so much,
doctor Choe for being here. We're going to start. First
of all, if you could tell us how you got
into this work, you know, and in particularly what brought
you to the issue of intimate partner violence. Yes, I
can share some of my stories. So probably the my

first memory of witnessing pattern of violence was when I
was very leader in Korea, so where I came from.
So probably I was like five years old or six,
and at the time it's nineteen sixties or the seventies,
so it was not that uncommon in Korea at the time,

Like seeing like a drunken, angry man dragging around seeming
me their wives on street and beating them and yelling
at them. So I felt very bad, But I don't
remember like any person actually stepped in to stop it.
Either they were afraid of being harassed themselves or I

don't know, but that's remote the memory, but a little
more recent one is like them. A couple of my friends,
female friend from my college shared with me their experiences
of they're like hit by their patterners or actually their husbands.
So they are highly educated and intelligent and very capable, bustier,

they were victimized. So I was very perplexed and I
wanted to know more. So it's about the same time
I plan to go into a PhD program in the
social work, so it's kind of the good natch for
me to be interested in the top Again, I wrote
my disstation about it. Wow, so it was very personal

to you, starting from the time you were a child
and then as you started to grow up. Yes, yes
it is. I'm thankful for you because I've never had
the opportunity to speak to an expert on intimate partner
violence or expert of any kind on abuse. And I

know that intimate partner violence doesn't only happen between couples,
right like it happens whether you know a parent is
abusing a child or even adults you know sadly abusing
their elderly parents. But can you tell us a little
bit more like how diverse this issue really is like

it's not you know, between a man and a woman, right, right, right,
So you are correct when you mentioned like a lot
of different types of violence happening between family members as
well as like the caregivers even for like elderly abuse,
or even children can be abused or mill treated by

their teachers like they're right, So it's very diverse, and
the many research consistently shows that ITV is observed from
every group, every community, every place of imaginable, so legal
lists of gender or sexual orientation or age or race
and ethnicity and community types. Also, like the pattern of

viruns doesn't happen only against women, so men also suffer
from pattern of viruns. But the numbers and the characteristics
of virnce experience are so much different between men and women. So,
for instance, like the Russia you just mentioned, are of
different forms of violence including physical abuse, emotional abuse or

psychological aggression or maniperation, controlling behaviors obsessively limiting where you
are and whom to talk to, and of course sexual
assault and ray. All different types of violence are out there,
and among those types of violence, women are deported more

like sexual assault and severe levels of physical violence. For instance,
like beating up or like the lipidd hit by weapons
like that, and sexual assault is prettydominantly against women. Men
deported a little bit comparable number and percentages of psychological aggressions,

so it can be called like emotional abuse or maniperation,
controlling behaviors. They seem to be comparable between men and women.
And one significant difference between men and women is the
negative of consquences of viruns on their health. So women

reported away severe revels of injury like broken bones or
fracture or heavy bruises compared to men. So they are
like certain differences between men and women. But still we
cannot argue against that. So they are out there right,

can't just count it right? So you know another question,

doctor Choe, I mean, what are the most common stories
that you hear about um? You know, for instance, we
are talking about Dorothy Stratton who was a very famous model,
you know, playbook model in the eighties and she was
killed by her controlling, abusive husband. Um, do you think

there's a difference between fame and power money? What are
the most common stories that you hear about these behaviors? Yeah,
I believe that's the hart accassion to answer discuss the
how diverse ipds, so like picking up very common story

among all those diversities, Hart accassion. But at this time
we can share like a couple of different types of
stories that we are consistently watch. So we are talking
about server groups of all different types of experience. So
like that, there are many scholars try hard to create

some manageable number of server groups. Two or three types
of all IPD based on their similarities. So one of
them was created by doctor Johnson. I believe he was
a sociology professor at Penn State. So he created like
three different types of pattern of violence. First one is

probably similar to the case you just deliffered. He called
it as a domestic terrorism. So one patterner having or
a more power and resources compared to other patterner, and
they use their enormous advantage in terms of a power
to control another patterner, including violence. So he observed like

that kind of violence predominantly committed by men against the
women I see. So about according to his observation, about
fifteen to twenty percent of pattern of violence may be
classified into that form of domestic terrorism. Okay, okay, there

might be one story maybe very close to the case
we are talking about today. Yeah, another form is he
called it like a situational pattern of violence or situation
or a couple of violence. So in terms of severity
or frequency or consequences, it's a reader. Let's the SBA

compared to domestic terrorism we just discussed, So let's severe
levels of physical violence, like so instead of like a
using knife for a weapon, or beating like a pushing
like it's frequently used, or like a throwing pillow against
your patterner or or some disagreement or dispute or some conflict,

less severe. So men and women can use such violence occasionally,
not frequently. So that's why it's called the situational. So
if they are intoxicated or under like the some heavy
stress from like childcare or like employment or COVID, then

under the high pressure, they might rely on violence to
reserve or express their discomfort or frustration. So they called
like a situation a couple of violence. So in terms
of a number, about half or more of a pattern
of violence may be built as that type. So embolving

less a CEV of violence of still very serious in
terms of consequences, but men and women may embolve in
a little pretty even percentages. And another line the tithe
of a violence conjured by doctor Johnson is called violent resistance,

which means like involved in self defense. So, for instance,
police was called into the domestic violence scene and they
found both partners embarked in some kind of physical confrontation
and use of violence, so they urested the both of them.
But later on they found actually one patterner reacted against

like the violence physical force prepictured by another patterner, but
police didn't have much time to tell difference between whomever
like initiate the violence and whom defend themselves against the violence.
So they are the types of violence, and in terms
of number about twenty percent twenty five percent or patterner

violence probably classified them, but still legali solve forms of
a patterna virnsgative of consequences in terms of health and
social function onto survivors or victims very severe, very serious.
So we have to treat all forms of patterna virns
very seriously. Yeah, it's all trauma, right, like it's yeah,

it's all trauma, yeah, in whatever form. Speaking along those
lines with psychology, this is something it's interesting, right, Like
I think hurt people. Hurt people, right, and that's the
term you know we've been told and here at facing
evil more much more about the like how do you
heal from that? And like I thankfully have never repeated

any of the abuse that has been done to me.
You know, our mom never repeated it to us. And
you know, but that didn't happen for my dad in particular.
Or I don't know what Dorothy Stratton's estranged husband, what
he went through before he you know, did horrible things
to Dorothy or anyone. But why do you think sociologically

or psychologically, like why do these people feel the need
these abusers, Like why do they need to control, manipulate
or harm these people that they love? Like I know again,
I'm sure it's a wide variety of answers, But from
a scientific standpoint, what do you think if I can

be overly simpilistic. Answer is because they can, right, they
can use violence without any destriction either like the pattern
not being abused didn't have much power then then so
they feel free to do whatever they want, right, and
society or neighbors or even authorities didn't see them as

a serious right or even like you use some form
of virnce and conceive that as some kind of expression
of love or another form of some loving relationship, different
but private matter, we don't have it to stab in.
So because of such like a little bit leniency in

terms of a social acceptance of a violence. Also like
the victim shaming culture. So when when we are in pain,
then it's natural for us to talk to somebody to
feel better and to seek for some health. And but
if we share something, then what if my friend or

parents or teachers say no, no, no, no, so what
did you do? Where were you there? And if they
have a repeated experience like that, then we internalize the
process of shaming as if we actually involve being very
shamed for activities, so we just never seek help ever. Again,

so because of such a social environment, perpetrator may feel free. Wow,
that's like one interpretation and explanation. Another one is a
like the little like a feminist take is like a
power and control mechanism, that what they call. So it's

very similar to again the case we are talking about. Right,
So if one patterner have enormous fame and power not
comparable to the other patterner, then this pattern used their
power to control another patterner's behavior perception for their gain
to their advantage. Yeah, historically, like a man seemed to

possess much more power compared to women. So that's why
like the most of a very severe level of violence
actually perpictured by men because they had a more power
over women. Right at the same time, we cannot egnore
like the presence of other types of pattern of viruns. Yes,

men also suffered from pattern of violence and some famous
like a male egg actually sexually authorty or other male
actor or actors allegedly, So it can happen to whatever
a relationship, not only for men and women or a
heterosexual or same sex it can happen there. Then probably

like power and control can be or cannot be applied.
I feel like this is a therapy session, doctor Joe,
I love it. Or another theory may be based on
like the some group people and they don't have like
a good conflicted resolution skills, right, So conflict is a
natural so it can happen between any patterns because we

are different from each other. But some persons or some
group people do not have a good exposure to the
healthy way of conflicted resolution. So either they were raised
in very violent the community, then the only buyo or
option for them to achieve something is use of violence, right,

and when they observe the dad like kind of gang affiliation,
like some motivation for youth in empowered community as a
very few way to go up to the hierarchical social structure.
So there might be another theory. So it's very hard
to choose one or two. But I'm just giving you

some choices of theory, right, which we appreciate. Yeah, we're learning, yeah,
very much. So, I mean, we know how prevalent, you know,
intimate partner violence is, especially here in America, and we
know the numbers are quite high. Do you know is
it higher in other countries compared to here? May or

may not? So it depends on which country we are
comparing us. We so like a United Nations released like
the formal import about a pattern of violence prevalence across
the glove. And according to listen to report, United States
showed like comparable numbers across like the developed countries. So

I mentioned I came from Korea, so I know the
numbers are pretty pretty similar between Korea and United States,
but compared to like the like underdeveloped countries or far
remote countries, like for instance, you and identify the ten

countries that show the highest prevalence of a pattern of violence.
So a couple of African countries, for instance a Congo
or Liberia included in the RIST and a couple of
Pacific island nations including Papua New Guinea or Solomon Islands
also showed like about half of a population deported some

form of a violence. Wow. So we don't know for
sure why. It may be because like the veil patriarchy,
maybe shunger there, or there may be some religious influence
if any religion or social loans or community values, socialized
community members into certain expectations, a certain group of people

can use violence while it has another groups of people
just have to suffer for some something. The United States
not the worst, or we cannot say worse then most
of our countries, but very severe in terms of number
and percentage. So let me give you a number. Okay,
So annually we know that about six percent of or

other two women, So in terms of numbers, about seven
million lipoti the experienced some form of sexual violence phishicalor
views and starking. Wow. And a little smaller number for men,
but still about six million adult man eighteen or over

also reported a physical violence and starking victimization again, So
we depoted the more sexual violence and starking why it
has men depoted the similar levels of psychological abuse but
still very high. Yeah, doctor child, like you you spoke

earlier about shame, right, like and just sharing from my
own experience, Like I didn't tell a soul that I
was physically, verbally and emotionally abused until I was twenty
one years old, and that was because that last time
I almost died, and I think I kind of like
flipped and I'm like, oh, I can't not tell everyone,
you know, But I didn't press charges. I didn't report

it out of shame. Just by you saying all that, Like,
I can only imagine what it's like in all these
other countries where culturally maybe they're not supposed to report it, right,
and probably there they don't have the resources as well. Right,
I think this is probably the most important question. How

do we break the cycle? I believe like making our
society egalitarian and moret diverse and inclusive and equitable is
the probably the most important thing we have to pursue.
But it's a wrong term, gore right, we cannot expect
like our society. It's a change over night. Okay, all

women are like an equal to and we have to
pay equal amount of money to the sexual orientation. We
cannot expect that, but still we have to try hard.
So and another area that we can make it for
this education, yes, so let them know. So it's much
better if we can start early because the norms values

about healthy relationship or like the how bad it is
to rely on violence. It can be educated or it
can be socialized at the very early on. Then we
can keep that resting and valuus all our lifetime. So
like the about the nature of violence or what what

would it be the healthy relationship look like? And what
can be done if you witness something going on or
your friend share this thing is going on, or your
friend said nothing but you felt something different. Not not
questioning them or not intimidating them that overly charged way,

so that that kind of education training can be done
very ly on, because like a repetition is the key.
Also education because we can be forgetful and as we
live on we are exposed to all different types of
environment and probably one lesson we took from earlier education

may not be suitable for another situation like workplace harassment.
It's very different from like dating violence at school or campus.
So we need like a continuous education of a training
and of course we need the resource to keep that
education going on. Yes, some of you mentioned like the

nobody did there anything or I mentioned that right, So
I wittiness the patterner of violence. Most of us that
don't know how to embarve in that situation. Either we
are very afraid of we can be another victim, or
we know both patterners so we don't know how to
tell them. So I stand the intervention is one of

the most effective way to combat evergoing present pattern of violence.
We shouldn't know how to intervene into a pattern of violence,
either share the one or happening in front of us,
So that kind of education training also the key. And

probably like the every of us shouldn't know something about
pattern of violence. How to talk to or if for
your friend to share, then how to listen to, how
to respect and that question not challenging, just to trust
and believe, and how to supporting, yeah, not shaming and
let them feel supported. So so beautiful you have laid

it all out for us, Doctor Chow. We so appreciate
your expertise. Your knowledge, your wisdom. Thank you for sharing
your story, you know, from when you were younger, because
a lot of times it's so personal to us. You know,
why we end up where we are and Russia and
I you know here on facing evil, it's very personal

story of how we got here, and we just want
to share with people, you know, resources on how you
can overcome and move onward and upward. Mahalo nuiloa from
the bottom of our heart. Yeah, it is my honor
and pleasure to be here. So and I'm really thankful
for Lusia for sharing at the painful story and let

us let us the part of your story and listen
to some of you are the podcast. So I really
appreciate your effort to make this kind of like a
violence victimization, like insightful stories about it, so let us know,
let the public know about the stories about it, the sufferings,

and some potential wage to fight against it. So I'm
really grateful for you to do this job. Oh exactly
why we're doing this. Yes, Oh my gosh, thank you
so much, thank you so much. It's my great pleasure.
I hope to see you again for today's message of

hope and healing. Our emoi goes out to the right
shining light of a human that Dorothy Stratton was. Dorothy
was kind, talented, loving, and a self proclaimed curious soul.
We never got to see Dorothy blossom into her full potential,
but the beauty and the raw talent she shared with
the world will linger on forever. The light in the

darkness of Dorothy's story has inspired so many other survivors
of domestic violence to finally break free. We want all
who are suffering to be heard. We should all follow
the advice of the National Domestic Violence hot If you
see something, say something. Domestic violence thrives in silence, and

if you or someone you know needs help, please call
them at one eight hundred seven ninety nine seven two
three three, Onward and upward. Ima, Ima, Well, that's our

show for today. We'd love to hear what you thought
about today's discussion and if there's a case you'd like
for us to cover, find us on social media or
email us at Facing Evil Pod at Tenderfoot dot tv.
And one small request if you haven't already, please find
us on iTunes and give us a good rating and
a good review. If you like what we do, your

support is always cherished until next time ah Loha. Facing

Evil is a production of iHeartRadio and tenderfoot TV. The
show is hosted by Rasha Peccarero and Avechantile. Matt Frederick
and Alex Williams our executive producers on behalf of iHeartRadio,
with producers Trevor Young and Jesse Funk, Donald Albright and
Payne Lindsay our executive producers on behalf of Tenderfoot TV,

alongside producer Tracy Kaplan. Our researcher is Carolyn Talmidge. Original
music by Makeup and Vanity Set. Find us on social
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