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Dark Details That Explain Bettie Page’s Disappearance

Bettie Page was a pin-up girl that became one of the most famous of the 1950s thanks to a series of BDSM photos that became incredibly controversial. Due to the immense controversy that those photos resulted in after their distribution. Bettie Page fled from the spotlight and remained a mysterious figure until the 1990s. And when she returned to the scene and basked in her cult following until her 2008 death. Many wondered what Bettie was up to during the decades that she went missing. And the truth behind Bettie’s disappearance is shocking! Join Facts Verse as we explore dark details that explain Bettie Page’s disappearance.

Bettie Page was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, on April 22, 1923. She was the second child of six and ended up growing up during the Great Depression. Her father was a meager mechanic that had an incredibly hard time making ends meet for his family due to his minimal wages. When Bettie Page was only 10 years old, her parents divorced. In the wake of the divorce, they decided to give their children up for the time being. Bettie and her siblings sent to an orphanage for a year before their father came back for them.

One might think that the return of Bettie’s father would have been a good thing for the young girl, but that didn’t end up being so. During her teenage years, Bettie’s father molested her repeatedly. Bettie would exhibit disturbing psychological issues later on in life. And it’s hard not to imagine that this abuse at the hands of her father played a part in her later troubles! Still, Bettie managed to keep things together on the surface during her teenage years. She proved an excellent learner while attending Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville. And becoming the school’s Homecoming Queen of her graduating year and even garnering a scholarship.

For her higher education, Bettie Page headed off to George Peabody College and graduated in 1943. During her high school years, Bettie had begun dating a fellow student by the name of Billy Neal. Bettie and Billy ended up getting married, with Billy becoming Bettie’s first of many husbands that she would claim over the course of her life. After their marriage, the two-headed out to San Francisco, California. Like many beautiful young women both before and since Bettie had dreams of becoming a Hollywood star.

Upon arriving in California, Bettie worked as a secretary in order to support herself while modeling on the side. Bettie found some minor success as a model, and this led to her being able to secure her first Hollywood screen test. Sadly, the screen test wouldn’t go quite so good. After the screen test over, the producer performing the test had apparently been a little bit too won over by the aspiring star’s immense charm. He propositioned Bettie for a date, and she took a great deal of offense to the suggestion. That kind of thing may have been the norm back then, but Bettie wasn’t having any of it! Bettie reported to have knocked down the producer’s advances a little bit too hard. Destroying her hopes of finding a career in Hollywood. However, Bettie believed it was for the best that she had stood her ground.

Bettie and her first husband ended up divorcing in 1947. And after which point the former aspiring Hollywood star decided to head back to New York City and try to find fame a different way. It was upon her return to New York City that a photographer by the name of Jerry Tibbs approached Bettie. And asked if he could photograph her nude with some of his friends. Jerry was a cop by trade, but he had an amateur nude camera club with some fellow photography enthusiasts. And he believed that Bettie would be a perfect nude model. It arguably didn’t take a genius to come up with the idea that Bettie Page would look good in the nude. But Jerry Tibbs is still the man who gets historical credit for the idea.

It was in 1949 that Jerry Tibbs approached Bettie Page while she was walking along a beach on Long Island. After she agreed to be his nude model, a whole new world opened up for her! Bettie realized that it was her destiny to become a pin-up girl, and she ended up being incredibly good at it. Once Bettie realized that her fortune lied in nude modeling, her career took off like a rocket. She could seen in such smalltime erotic publications as Flirt and Wink. But it wasn’t until her 1955 appearance in Playboy magazine that Bettie Page became a legitimate star. Bettie posed for a centerfold in the famous publication. And the issue containing it became one of the most popular issues of the magazine ever!

Playboy had only around for a couple of years at the point that Bettie Page appeared in her famous centerfold, having been created in 1953. While the magazine has gone on to flourish in the decades afterward. The same sadly can’t be said for The Notorious Bettie Page. If you’re enjoying this video, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

Soon after Bettie Page’s 1955 appearance in Playboy magazine, the pin-up girl caught the attention of an infamous photographer by the name of Irving Klaw. Irving had developed a reputation in the industry for his then-controversial BDSM photo shoots. And which depicted his models all tied up with various bits of rope and leather. While such a notion is still largely seen as taboo today, it absolutely mind-blowing during the 1950s! This is perhaps why Irving’s photos featuring the beautiful Bettie Page became such hot sellers. Irving had developed the novel idea of selling his photos via mail, and his photoshoot with Bettie proved incredibly lucrative. The photos became a hit, with many thousands of copies sent all around the country.

Sadly, the immense exposure that Bettie Page’s photoshoot with Irving Klaw received ended up coming around to bite the both of them in the butt. A senator by the name of Estes Kefauver saw the photos. And he subsequently took it upon himself to start an investigation to determine whether or not such photos were a detriment to society. The investigation ended up turning up supposed proof that the photos had inspired the suicide of a man named Clarence Grimm’s son.

The investigation occurred in 1955, and it came as a huge shock to Bettie Page. When she found herself accused of causing the suicide of a boy, she didn’t know what to do. Irving Klaw found his business essentially destroyed, and Bettie Page left the industry. Bettie decided to leave New York after this controversy and moved out to Florida. It was here that the former pin-up girl had a religious awakening while attending church on New Year’s Eve in 1957. With this, Bettie pretty much disappeared for several decades.

While one might assume that Bettie had experienced a religious awakening and went on to live a life of peace, this wasn’t the case. Although Bettie stayed out of erotic photography after her religious awakening and not seen by most of the public for many decades. And her time out of the spotlight was anything but peaceful. Instead, it plagued with periods of severe mental illness and violent outbursts.

Bettie married for a second time in 1958 to a man by the name of Armond Walterson. This marriage dissolved in 1963, and Bettie married for the third time in 1967. Bettie’s third and final husband was a man by the name of Harry Lear. They married until 1972. And Bettie started exhibiting some alarming behavioral tendencies during the years of their marriage. Some of Bettie’s strangest behaviors around the time included running through a church retreat with a pistol and forcing her third husband and his children from a previous marriage to pray at knifepoint. If Bettie had truly had a religious awakening, it wasn’t the good kind!

Following these incidents, Bettie spent a period of time confined to various institutions on suicide watch. Her third husband left her, and she never remarried. In the late 1970s, Bettie went to live in California with her brother. Sadly, her tendency for having violent outbursts continued. Bettie attacked two different landladies with a knife on two separate occasions. After the second time, the former pin-up model was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sentenced to another long period of confinement. Bettie’s second landlady attack had been incredibly severe, though the victim had thankfully survived. By reason of insanity, Bettie was given a relatively light sentence when one considers the severity of the attack.

Bettie served out her period of confinement in a hospital in California before her eventual release in 1992. The time in that California hospital seemed to have done the former pin-up girl some good, as she never again exhibited violent behaviors. The former pin-up model had become a bit of a cult celebrity in the years since her disappearance from the spotlight. Famously, Penthouse magazine had offered a reward of $1,000 to anyone that had any information about whether or not the former erotic model was still alive.

When Bettie returned to the spotlight in the 1990s, she found out that she had been the inspiration for a character in a comic book by the name of The Rocketeer. And which had been created by an artist by the name of David Stevens. The comic followed a hero named the Rocketeer, whose girlfriend’s name was Betty. The character of Betty was based upon Bettie Page’s appearance, which entitled the resurfaced former pin-up girl to some royalties! She survived off of these royalties, as well as Social Security funds, until dying from a heart attack in 2008. At the time, she was 85.

Although Bettie Page seems to have had some dark times after her disappearance from the spotlight in the late 1950s. The former pin-up model was luckily able to turn her life around by the end! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that famous pin-up model Bettie Page committed a number of violent crimes after disappearing from the spotlight in the late 1950s or did you think that she had lived a life of peace after her supposed religious awakening? As always, like this video to show your support. And subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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