Investigation into the murder of Janet Leigh's shower scene body double in Alfred Hitchock's Psycho reveals amazing truth!
Despite late star Janet Leigh''s contention she suffered psychologically for years after being butchered onscreen in the infamous shower scene in Psycho she never actually appeared in the savage sequence except in close shots. The actual nude body in which a knife appears to cut her savagely via the screeching violins of Bernard Hermann and cinematic editing was actually that of a body double.
A Dallas born stripper, Marli Renfro, an early Playboy bunny, had doubled for Leigh in the nude shower shots had all but disappeared until a 2001 Associated Press report. The story reported a 34 year-old handyman had been sentenced for raping and strangling her in 1988 but the case had gone unsolved for over a decade.
The AP report stated that Kenneth Dean Hunt, the handyman, had been convicted of "killing two women, including an actress who was a body double for Janet Leigh in the film Psycho".
This actress was called Myra Davis; later press reports explained that this was Renfro's real name.
But journalist Robert Graysmith who wrote Zodiac, the classic account of the 1970s serial killer who terrorized San Francisco, was intrigued by the varying accounts and coincidental dynamic of cinematic fiction and supposed fact.
Probing deep in the decades old mystery Graysmith made two discoveries: Renfro and Davis were two separate people; and more importantly Renfro was still alive.
In his book The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower, Graysmith reveals that while Renfro was Leigh's body double in the shower scene, Davis was actually her lighting stand-in.
Graysmith alleged that Kenneth Dean Hunt was a Psycho obsessive who wanted to kill Leigh's body double but got the stand-in by mistake.
"Everyone confused them – – even a murderer," Graysmith revealed. "I discovered Marli was still alive.
"She's been so busy… living life to the full that she had no idea she was meant to be dead."