The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower (2010) by Robert Graysmith
The New York Times bestselling author who investigated the Zodiac case now uncovers a real-life mystery of murder, body doubles, and obsession Marli Renfro was a model who played a part in one of the most iconic scenes in American movies - as Janet Leigh's nude body double in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho - only to fade into obscurity, a footnote in Hollywood history. It wasn't until 1988 that Marli Renfro made news again - raped and murdered by a serial killer with a fetish for the classic Hitchcock shocker. But as Graysmith investigated Marli's story, a nagging doubt entered his mind. What if Marli was still alive? What if another woman had been murdered in her place? And if Marli was still alive, would he ever find her? The line between art and reality is blurred in this astonishing coda to one of the most memorable screen murders of all time, and to a real- life crime that one man was determined to solve.
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.
— (c) Reed Business Information