Teaching Students About Paul Snider

When it comes to crime history, there are several notable figures who have gained notoriety for their actions. One such individual is Paul Snider, a name that many might not be familiar with, but whose story is both fascinating and cautionary. Educators can use this as a teaching opportunity to address important topics such as mental health, healthy relationships, and the consequences of one’s actions. In this article, we will offer a guide on teaching students about Paul Snider – who he was, what he did, and how educators can approach these topics in an engaging and informative manner.

Who Was Paul Snider?

Paul Snider was born on February 26, 1951, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He initially aspired to be a well-regarded promoter and entrepreneur but struggled to achieve success in his ventures. His life took a dark turn when he met Dorothy Stratten in 1978. Stratten was an emerging model and actress who would go on to become Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in August 1979. They married in 1979; however, their marriage was marked by controlling behaviors and jealousy from Snider.

In 1980, when Stratten’s career started rising rapidly, the couple’s relationship worsened as she began distancing herself from him. On August 14th of the same year, Snider committed what would be known as a murder-suicide crime when he shot Stratten to death in their Los Angeles home before taking his own life with the same gun.

Teaching Tips and Strategies

1. Address sensitive topics with care

When teaching students about Paul Snider’s story, it is essential to address the sensitive nature of the story with tact and consideration with age-appropriate language. Prepare yourself for questions or concerns that students may have.

2. Discuss mental health awareness

Educators can use the story of Paul Snider as a foundation for discussing mental health issues like depression, jealousy, and self-worth. Open a dialogue on the importance of seeking help when needed and encourage students to share their thoughts and experiences.

3. Explore the concept of healthy relationships

Snider’s relationship with Dorothy Stratten was rife with controlling behavior, jealousy, and possessiveness. Use this opportunity to talk about traits of a healthy relationship and the warning signs of an unhealthy one.

4. Consequences of actions

While discussing the tragic ending of Paul Snider and Dorothy Stratten’s lives, engage students in discussions about the consequences of our actions, decision-making processes, and taking responsibility for our choices.

5. Encourage critical thinking

Help students analyze the different elements present in Paul Snider’s life and how his actions led to tragedy. Encourage them to think about both personal choices and outside influences that contribute to one’s behavior.


Teaching students about Paul Snider offers an opportunity to address critical issues relevant in today’s society while exploring a historical case. By using this story as a teaching tool, educators can create thought-provoking conversations around mental health awareness, healthy relationships, and personal consequences while engaging students in an intriguing real-life example.

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