Stacy Arthur, recognized as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for January 1991 and prominently featured on the cover with a pageant-style banner, faced a tragic turn in her life when her husband fell victim to an obsessed fan in a murder-suicide. Following this harrowing incident, she retreated from the public eye and, after a brief illness, passed away in 2019. Stacy Arthur’s life highlights the unfortunate dangers that fame can sometimes entail.

Stacy Arthur’s Rise to Fame

Stacy Leigh Darland, born on June 4, 1968, in Naperville, Illinois, was a beauty queen engaged in various pageants, including Mrs. Ohio for the 1990 Mrs. America contest. Additionally, she ventured into modeling and acting, featuring in numerous Playboy videos and TV programs. Her acclaim reached new heights when she was selected as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for January 1991, garnering admiration from numerous fans for her striking looks and engaging personality.

Stacy Arthur’s Husband’s Murder

Stacy Arthur was wedded to James Alan Arthur, a 36-year-old businessman with three children from a prior marriage, and they resided in Bellefontaine, Ohio, where they managed a car dealership. Tragedy struck on October 29, 1991, when James Arthur was fatally shot by a fan named James Lindberg on a street near their residence. Subsequently, Lindberg took his own life with the same firearm.

Lindberg, a 47-year-old divorced father of two, had developed an unhealthy obsession with Stacy Arthur after encountering her in Playboy. He had penned numerous letters expressing love and admiration, sent flowers and gifts (which were either returned or donated), and even attempted to visit her at the Playboy Mansion, where he was denied entry by security.

As per the police investigation, Lindberg had initially planned to abduct Stacy Arthur and transport her to his Wisconsin residence, where he had arranged a shrine in her honor. He had acquired items such as handcuffs, duct tape, and a stun gun for this purpose. However, his plan changed upon witnessing James Arthur leaving their house that morning. Lindberg trailed him in his car, firing four shots into his chest before turning the gun on himself with a fatal shot to the head.

The murder-suicide sent shockwaves through the community and drew widespread media attention. Devastated by the loss of her husband and fearing for her safety, Stacy Arthur relocated from their home and entered a period of seclusion with her family.

Stacy Arthur’s Lawsuit Against Playboy

In 1992, Stacy Arthur initiated a $70 million lawsuit against Playboy and others, contending that she had been sexually assaulted and violated by three Playboy employees at the Playboy Mansion on October 6, 1991. She alleged that, after being drugged with champagne, two security guards and a butler assaulted her while she was unconscious. Stacy Arthur further asserted that Playboy’s negligence and inaction contributed to the death of her husband, who was unaware of the alleged assault.

Playboy refuted the accusations and cut its association with Stacy Arthur, asserting that she had given consent to engage in consensual activities with the employees and that there was no evidence of drugging or rape. Additionally, they argued that they bore no responsibility for the unpredictable and irrational actions of Lindberg.

The lawsuit faced dismissal by a judge in 1993, who ruled that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate Stacy Arthur’s claims. The judge highlighted inconsistencies in her statements and noted a significant delay in reporting the alleged rape.

Although Stacy Arthur appealed the decision, the case remained unresolved.

Stacy Arthur’s Death

After the lawsuit, Stacy Arthur withdrew from the public eye, adopting different names and relocating across various states. She entered into two subsequent marriages and expanded her family with two additional children. Struggling with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Stacy Arthur faced considerable challenges.

On April 5, 2019, at the age of 50, Stacy Arthur passed away following a brief illness. The exact cause of her death remains unknown, with some sources speculating a connection to cancer or liver failure.

Confirmation of her death came from The Trading Card Database website, which updated her profile to reflect her deceased status. However, no official announcement or obituary was made.

Stacy Arthur’s demise remained largely unnoticed by the media and the public until January 2023 when it was highlighted in the second episode of “The Playboy Murders: All That Glitters,” a documentary series exploring crimes involving Playboy models and celebrities. The episode featured interviews with Stacy Arthur’s friends and family, shedding light on her life and expressing sorrow over her tragic fate.

Stacy Arthur’s passing serves as a poignant reminder of how fame can attract unwanted attention and danger. Despite her beauty, promising career, and loving family, she became a victim of obsession and violence. The final years of her life were marked by fear and isolation, concluding with her departure without much acknowledgment or closure.

Stacy Arthur deserves to be remembered not solely as a Playboy Playmate but as a human being with aspirations, dreams, joys, and sorrows—a person who fought for justice and peace.