Fact or Fiction #3: The Legend of the Screaming Funk Model

Snopes.com is great at taking all the enjoyment out of our urban legends. It's much more fun to believe that they might actually be true - reality is often so much more mundane. Here Snopes tries to totally ruin one of my favorite legends regarding the funk band, the Ohio Players.

The legend goes that the girl featured on the fold-out cover of their Honey album was brutally murdered. Her screams can be heard at the beginning of their song "Love Rollercoaster".
As to exactly how she was killed and how the screams ever got recorded depends on who's telling the story. One thing is for certain, the scream sounds completely out of place. It's blood curdling - not something you'd expect to hear in the background of a lively funk song. Snopes has an audio clip of that portion of the song for those of you who haven't heard it.

Perusing the internet, it won't take you long to find a wonderful variation on the story. For example:

A girl wanting to become a model runs
away from her family. They never hear from her. The Ohio Players see her and use her for their album "Honey". The album cover depicts the model nude and kneeling in glass while drizzling honey over herself. The glass was actually fiberglass. When it mixed with the honey, it caused a chemical reaction, causing the fiberglass to be bonded to the girl's legs. She tried tearing it off of her legs, but only succeeded in tearing the skin off. This ruined her hopes of ever becoming a professional model. Clearly she was pissed off. So she ran into the studio where the band was recording "Love Rollercoaster". She was screaming at them, claiming
she would sue them for everything theywere worth. The band's manager dragged her outside the studio, and murdered her. Her screaming was audible, evern oustide the studio and the band left the sound there as "a sick tribute".
Whether the frightening screams are from the Honey model is certainly up for debate. Supposedly, the model is Ester Cordet, who was a stewardess at the time and the October 1974 Playmate of the Month. Apparently, she is currently married to this smarmy guy, Robert Ringer.

His bio on his website says: "Ringer is the author of three #1 bestsellers, two of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time. All of his books combined have been read by more than 10 million people worldwide." Not surprisingly, there's nothing said about his oft-naked wife.

Interestingly, the Honey model was photographed by Richard Fegley, who had also photographed Sharon Tate - another model brutally killed.... you see where I'm going with this. Embellishing urban legends can be fun!

At least there's one urban legend out there that Snopes hasn't demolished yet - the freakish face under the bed at the beginning of the conjoined twins comedy, Stuck on You. Kindertrauma has a nice little post on it. Click on the image to enlarge or go here to see an enlarged image that's been lightened to see the face better.


  1. I ave heard this legend from about the time the song (a really good one at that) came out. I come form the CSICOP (Committe of the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranomal... and other related hoaxes) and skeptical corner and tend to visit sites like debunkers.com and the one from Michael Shermer's Skeptic magazine. I absolutely do not believe in any way that a model was murdered, no matter how chilling the scream was. It would be nice in a way if a model actually was murdered I guess to get that effect but I tend to find people always believe weird things to add color to their drab lives.

    I have a cultural legend/myth you may not know of since I live in Asia. check out the "fact" of fan death in South Korea. Electric fans are killing people in SK by asphixiation and hypothermia in the summer time there and the govt ow labels fans with a warning... like cigarettes.

    Now why a skeptic like me loves movies like The Blob and The Manster has yet to be answered.

  2. I must have been living in a cave or something because I had never heard any of this. I do love all those urban legends. It's a shame that they often get ruined by people who want to find out the truth. The truth isn't often as exciting as our fantasy ideas. I do love that cover though. Wow!

  3. I'm sure it's much more intellectual to say there's no bigfoot, no ghosts, no Santa, no Loch Ness Monster, no tooth fairy, no life in outer space, no afterlife,.... but what a bummer!

    I really doubt there's a monster under the bed in Stuck on You, and I really doubt this Honey LP model was brutally killed, and the Three Men and a Baby ghost is probably just a cardboard cutout.... however, life's much more interesting when you leave yourself open to possibilities. Maybe it IS a ghost under that bed in the picture - and how cool would that be?

  4. That is the ultimate 1970s couple! Robert Ringer of Winning Through Intimidation fame and an Ohio Players cover girl. I wonder if they went on double dates with Farrah and Lee Majors.