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Pub. Date: 2010
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Biography ~ Library Book
Read: May 23, 2016
Rating: Really liked it ♥♡
In 1988, Marli Renfro – Janet Leigh’s body double in ‘Psycho’ – was raped and murdered by a serial killer with a fetish for the classic Hitchcock shocker. But as Robert Graysmith investigated Marli’s story, a nagging doubt entered his mind. What if Marli was still alive?
If you ever saw ‘Psycho’ you will remember the shower scene. If you never saw it, you likely have heard of it. Robert Graysmith refers to it as ‘the most harrowing forty-five seconds of footage in cinema history’. He may be right, and the movie was a defining moment in Janet Leigh’s and Tony Perkins’ careers. Except it wasn’t Janet Leigh in the shower, it was Marli Renfro, a nude body double. When Graysmith started to do research to write a book about her, the information he found on her was that she was dead, murdered by a serial killer, like the character she played in Psycho.
This book is much more that the little blurb above, taken from Goodreads. It covers the filming of the shower scene exhaustively, the camera angles, the retakes, the amount of film and time. It also covers Marli’s incredible year after Psycho, she was a Playboy Bunny, she starred in some “Nudie Cuties”, one directed by Francis Ford Coppola (not that he ever admitted it), cavorted with movie stars and nudists, posed for numerous men’s magazines. It also tells us about Henry Adolph Busch Jr aka “Sonny”, a serial killer in L.A. around the time of the filming of Psycho, and another killer “The Bouncing Ball Strangler”. Sonny was arrested and confessed to killing three women, police suspected he might also be the other killer but he denied this and police were never able to link him to the killings. He was executed. After Marli’s incredible year she dropped out of site, but was she dead?
This book was a fascinating read from start to finish, with many interviews of people connected to the film and film industry. Filled with wonderful facts and quotes. I quite enjoyed it and recommend it.