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Scam Watch Fatal Photo Shoots


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#1 Jonathan Parker

Jonathan Parker

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 09:33 AM

In 1992, 21-year old model Kimberly Pandelios told her husband that she was meeting with a photographer. However the man who'd led her to believe he was a photographer was actually a registered sex offender who lured Pandelios into the Angeles National Forest where he sexually assaulted and killed her.

Kimberly was probably a lot like many young, aspiring models. She was beautiful, vibrant and eager to take on the world. She'd had some success modeling swimwear and lingerie when she'd discovered a model-wanted ad in a local weekly newspaper. She had hoped the opportunity would help her make some headway in her career. Instead, she met a tragic end.

Unfortunately, this story is not an uncommon one. And it doesn't just happen to new models. Linda Sobek, a former Raiders cheerleader and Playboy model met a similar fate when she left her home to attend a photo shoot. In her case, the photographer who killed her was at the time a reputable photographer who had actually amassed a small fortune and some fame and who's work had appeared in many automotive magazines.

We often discuss the growing number of Internet scams that constantly target aspiring models, but one Star Search Casting member recently discussed the importance of remaining aware of the dangers that face models in the real world as well. Every day people reach out to aspiring models on the street, in stores, or through newspaper or online classifieds with legitimate offers. However, there are also criminals who use these same methods to lure models with malicious intent.

To avoid becoming the victim of dangerous crime, always remember to:

- Ask for references from photographers, agents or other industry professionals before agreeing to work with them.

- Take a friend or family member with you to photo shoots and meetings with agents, photographers or other industry professionals, especially if you've not worked with them in the past and you have not secured the job through a reputable agency.

- Be cautious of applying to blind ads in newspapers or online. If you choose to apply to these ads, be sure to thoroughly research the agency or photographer that you will be meeting with.

- And last but not least, always go with your instincts. Intuition is one of the most powerful resources you have to protect you from dangerous situations. Therefore don't get involved with a project or an agency if you have a bad feeling about it.

For more information on scams and crimes affecting aspiring models, singers, actors and dancers, log on to http://www.StarSearchCasting.com daily and review our Scam Watch.

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