The Girl in Alfred Hitchock's Shower

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Marli Renfro was Janet Leigh's body double in the Hitchcock classic Psycho. When she disappeared, it was believed she was the victim of a serial killer. It was a mystery that took decades to solve-and a crime that could only have happened in Hollywood.

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The Girl in Alfred Hitchock's Shower

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Overview

Marli Renfro was Janet Leigh's body double in the Hitchcock classic Psycho. When she disappeared, it was believed she was the victim of a serial killer. It was a mystery that took decades to solve-and a crime that could only have happened in Hollywood.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Graysmith (Zodiac) mixes film history, true crime, and autobiography with disappointing results in this scattered exploration of the woman behind one of cinema’s most memorable scenes. Though his goal is ostensibly to track down Marli Renfro—Janet Leigh’s body double in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho—who some believed was raped and murdered in the 1980s, Graysmith takes too long getting there. Detailing the intricate Psycho shoot, which was painstakingly designed by Hitchcock in order to both shock the audience and pass the rigorous censor test, Graysmith introduces readers to Renfro, a gorgeous redhead who came to the film via modeling, some of it nude. Interspersed with Renfro’s experiences as an actress, Playboy model, and dancer is an account of the life and crimes of Henry “Sonny” Busch Jr., a Norman Bates–look-alike in L.A. who strangled three women and had a penchant for Psycho. Graysmith, comparing his own growing obsession with Renfro to the plot of the 1944 film Laura (where the detective also falls for a dead woman after seeing her photograph), is determined to discover what really happened to her. As sloppy as Hitchcock’s shower scene was precise, Graysmith’s jumbled account never finds its footing, despite the fascinating subject matter. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Best-selling true crime author Graysmith (Zodiac Unmasked; The Laughing Gorilla: A True Story of Police Corruption and Murder) turns his attention to the little-known murder of Marli Renfro, the actress and nude model who served as Janet Leigh's uncredited body double in Psycho. Graysmith covers a lot of ground in this ambitious work, providing detailed portraits of the making of Psycho and the ambiance of the Playboy Club where Renfro worked and ranging between the seedy Los Angeles of the killer's world and the more sophisticated terrain inhabited by Renfro. VERDICT Parallels between the repressed, voyeuristic atmosphere of the film set and the way repressed sexual urges can manifest themselves in criminal behavior are intriguingly touched upon but not fully explored. More attention to this idea might have resulted in a more singular work; as it is, Graysmith has delivered another unsettling true crime story. Of interest to true crime readers, Hitchcock fans, and film scholars.—Katherine Litwin, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425232316
  • Publisher: The Berkeley Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 307
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Graysmith resides in San Francisco, California and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sleeping Lady, Auto Focus, Unabomber, and The Bell Tower.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Horrible

    I'm usually a fan of Graysmith's work, but this was a horrible book. It is billed as a story about Marli's mysterious disappearance and possible murder. She does not go "'missing" until 10 pages left in the book. The side story of Sonny was interesting but awkwardly told and abruptly ended. This book is not true crime but rather a dry, uneventful history of filmmaking and Vegas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Hikjjjjjjjjjjjjjjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbbhbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbtttttt

    Hihi

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Real life meets somewhere between Psycho & Laura.

    Interesting read about the real life stand-in for Janet Leigh in Psycho that found herself in a real life murder mystery inspired by the film Psycho.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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