Frequently when I turn on the news, I hear the anchor say, “Seriously, folks, we really don’t make this stuff up.” I was a little behind the eight ball this week and out of touch, so when I happened to walk past my television and heard, “…the body of the mutilated model found in a suitcase was identified by breast implants,” I paused. What was I hearing? A new drama series? A warped comedian? No, none of these. I was listening to the report of a brutal and vicious murder that took place days earlier. If using serial numbers on breast implants to identify the victim wasn't strange enough, the murder's other details clearly have the makings of a movie of the week.
Jasmine Fiore, 28, was an aspiring model and Playboy hostess. Early reports claimed Fiore was a former Playboy model—a claim the magazine vehemently denied. Probably the most credible gig Fiore had under her belt was a brief appearance on a late-night party-line ad.
This past March, she met aspiring reality-TV show star Ryan Alexander Jenkins, 32, marrying him just a few weeks later. Just three months after the wedding, Fiore was having an under-the-radar fling with a former boyfriend, Robert Hasman, in Los Cabos, Mexico, while Jenkins was off filming his show. Known to be violently jealous, Jenkins would have gone over the edge right then had he found out. A month prior to the murder, Jenkins was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence for punching Fiore in the arm with such force it knocked her into a swimming pool—fully clothed. He was scheduled to appear in court for that charge in December.
Understandably, Fiore was terrified of Jenkins and his violent temper. Friends say she kept a second (secret) cell phone, because Jenkins searched her phone on a nightly basis, reading all her text messages and e-mails. The day before her murder, Fiore sent a series of text messages to Hasman, stating she wanted to visit him in Las Vegas. The week of her murder, Fiore and Jenkins checked into the L’Auberge Del Mar Hotel near San Diego, CA. On Friday morning, August 14, Jenkins was caught on a hotel surveillance video leaving the hotel carrying a suitcase—alone. Later that day, Hasman received a text from Fiore’s phone that said, “suck it.” Authorities believe Fiore was already dead. The next day, Fiore’s body was found in an Orange County dumpster, stuffed into a suitcase. Her teeth and fingers had been removed, in a gruesome attempt to hide her identity.
Considering Jenkins' history, coupled with the fact he reported Fiore missing, law enforcement set their sights on him. A nationwide manhunt ensued in hopes of locating Jenkins, who'd already escaped to his native Canada. I feel certain authorities used every available resource to locate Jenkins in hopes of bringing him to justice. Murder is murder. However, anyone who goes so far as to pull the teeth and cut off fingers of a victim rises to an entirely different level of disturbed. I don't think many people realize the force required to pull 32 teeth, one by one, from someone's mouth.
Then, late last evening, Canadian officials announced that Jenkins was found dead in a hotel on the outskirts of Hope, British Columbia. He'd died by hanging in an apparent suicide. Very few details are known at the time of this posting. However, based on my experience in law enforcement, I know the investigation will continue. Authorities still have the task of processing the suicide scene with an eye toward uncovering evidence linking Jenkins to the murder scene and body dump.
The tragedy of all this is that Jasmine Fiore should have had a long life ahead of her. No matter what her lifestyle entailed, she didn't deserve to die, especially not such a horrible and gruesome death. For her surviving family members, that notion alone will haunt them for years to come.