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Denise Michele's Tribute

Denise Michele the April 1976 Playboy Playmate has this great Dorothy story to share, Thank you Denise!

I always think of Dorothy especially around this time of year. I met her in Las Vegas during the car/motorcycle magazine photo shoot. I can't remember if her centerfold had been published yet.  (I'm the girl in the photo with her next to the chopper...)

I don't know if you ever had the chance to meet Dorothy, but she WAS one of the sweetest and most genuine playmates I had ever met. 

During the shoot, Dorothy and I became friends and she told me how Her "fiance" discovered her. Having been married right in the midst of shooting with Playboy..and then a divorce that happened within 14 months after I got married - I told Dorothy I thought she was much TOO young to get married. She felt obligated to marry Paul because he discovered her. 

She was anxious to have me meet him when we returned to the hotel and when I met him; something happened that I had never experienced before. When we were in the casino/hotel - within 5 feet of him approaching me I had a chill go up my spine. It was very strange; I've never had that happen to me since.

The last time I spent time with Dorothy was when we were in Colorado for one of the playmate signing's. We went to one of the shopping malls and the two of us were shopping for Christmas presents for our younger sisters. I recall she was also looking for a free standing chopping block for Paul...I knew she really wasn't happy with him but still felt obligated to him.

A funny story is that Dorothy and I went swimming at the hotel after that car mag. shoot. The photographer was probably middle-aged but he was really fun to be with. We were fooling around and swimming under water and the two of us would pop up to tease him. I was so horribly embarrassed because I swam between what I thought was his legs and came up to say hi...and it wasn't him. He and Dorothy were cracking up.

The two of us kept in contact with letters. I was in Hawaii at the time of her tragedy. I had just broken up with my boyfriend who I moved to Arizona for, and then returned to the islands after our relationship ended. It was my ex-boyfriend who called to tell me that my wonderful friend, Dorothy was murdered. I was in shock. She really was an amazing young woman and had a heart of gold.

I did look at a few different sections of your website dedicated to Dorothy. You really have an amazing tribute to her and I know she would've been touched and also humbled by your admiration for her.

I had a sudden jolt when I randomly clicked on five different pages of her diary on your site; on the very last page, on the right side of her diary ... she had written my name. It was very strange to see my name there: Denise Michele Kraesig, with my AZ. address...

I loved Dorothy because her beauty exuded way beyond her exterior and she sincerely cared about her friends. As my mother always told me..."beauty is short lived, so be sure you're as beautiful on the inside as well as the outside..." I knew a number of playmates during "those" days and she was by far, one of the few that I considered a friend.

It saddens me to know that Dorothy's life was short changed, but it also makes me appreciate how wonderful my life is. I met my husband twenty-eight years ago on a photo shoot in Hawaii  - a day after I heard about Dorothy's death. The month of August is rather bittersweet because of that.

I now live in California...and I sometimes think that I should visit her grave but it is much too sad to think of what happened and what could have been.

Warmest aloha,
Denise Michele
Miss April 1976