Paul Leslie Snider (April 15, 1951 – August 14, 1980) was a Canadian who is best known for the rape and murder of his estranged wife, the Playboy model Dorothy Stratten. Following her murder, he killed himself.
Snider was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Jewish parents. By the mid-1970s, he was a night-club promoter and erstwhile pimp. In 1977, Snider met Dorothy Stratten at a Vancouver-area Dairy Queen, where she was working part-time while still attending high school, and romanced her. In 1979, he sent professionally taken nude photographs of Stratten to Playboy magazine, and she was chosen as a Playmate for the month of August that year. Snider and Stratten moved to Los Angeles and were married on June 1 in Las Vegas.
While Stratten worked as a bunny at the Century City Playboy Club and was cast in a few television and film roles, Snider had numerous get-rich-quick schemes, including building and selling exercise benches. Stratten helped support Snider financially throughout their short-lived marriage (as he was a Canadian with no working visa, and was not allowed an income within the U.S.). In 1979, Snider formed a partnership with Somen Banerjee and the attorney Bruce Nahin to form what became the male strip club format of Chippendales.
In 1980, Stratten was named Playboy's Playmate of the Year and was cast in a motion picture, They All Laughed (1981) directed by Peter Bogdanovich, with whom she began an affair. Stratten and Snider separated and he hired a private investigator to follow her.
On August 14, 1980, Stratten was shot and killed in the West Los Angeles house they had shared. Snider's body was found next to hers. Police believed he raped and murdered her, sexually abused the corpse, then killed himself with the same shotgun.
Snider's remains are buried at Schara Tzedeck Cemetery in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
In popular culture
Snider has been portrayed in two films. The first was a made-for-television movie about the murder called Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981), which starred Jamie Lee Curtis as Stratten and Bruce Weitz as Snider. Bob Fosse's feature film Star 80 (1983) dramatized Stratten's life and death. Mariel Hemingway played Stratten and Eric Roberts portrayed Snider in a highly acclaimed performance.