What Really Happened to Bettie Page?

[Continued from The Resurgence of Bettie Page and The Mysterious Disappearance of Bettie Page]

So what REALLY happened to Bettie Page?


bettie-page-stockingsBettie Page, the Queen of Bondage and pin-up icon of the 1950 suddenly disappeared at the height of her career.  No one had any idea of what happened to her.

Why did she disappear? Because she 35 years old and wanted the world to remember her a gorgeous pin-up in her prime — to be remembered as flawless and perfect.

Yes, it seemed as if Bettie had dropped off the face of the planet. She was an icon and it is hard to believe she could so completely disappear without a trace. It seemed that she had vanished..but never underestimate the devotion of fans.

A group of fans founded a club devoted to finding Bettie called The Bettie Scouts of America.  The BSA were trying to solve what the mystery of what happened to Bettie Page. They existed for years without a solid lead. It seemed that Bettie truly had disappeared.

Then the founder of the BSA, Steve Brewster got a call from a reporter named Thomas Goatsmith (whom Steve credits with actually finding Bettie Page.)  He actually just left a very very big clue: Bettie had a living brother living in Nashville, Tennessee. So Steve wrote the Bettie’s brother and he forwarded a letter to Bettie in April 1992. Then in December 1992 Steve received a letter from back from Bettie Page.  (I read the letter and Bettie sounds like such a sweetie in it!)

She married Armon C. Walterson on November 6th, 1958.  She had called him up and he dumped his current girlfriend and immediately started dating Bettie Page. But 2 months after Bettie found that she again had made a mistake, “The only thing we had in common was movies, sex and hamburgers.” So they got officially divorced on October 10, 1963 with the reason on the certificate being ‘desertion.” You see, on New Years eve 1958 she got into a heated argument with Armon because he wanted to go out drinking with his buddies (Bettie never liked alcohol) and she wanted to go out dancing. So he left. And she went out walking.

While walking, she saw the neon light of cross on a church and heard singing and felt compelled to bettie-page-hairbrush
go inside. There, she confessed to having posed new (she never felt any guilt at all about the bondage photos but thought the Lord might judge her for posing nude.)  The priest explained that God forgives all sins and would certainly forgive her for the new photographs. That night she accepted Jesus into her heart.

She went off to bible school for 3 years at Biola College. In those 3 very strict years the only movie she saw was The 10 Commandments (and Bettie has been a huge film buff all her life.) After graduating, Bettie tried become a missionary but they would not take her as a missionary because she had been divorced. They thought divorce was worse than murder.  There was pressure on Bettie to marry her first husband Billy Neal again.

bettie-page-chair-bondageSo she did. She met up with him and thought Billy was sincere and she married him again. “One month I was in his hands. The man would not even have sex with me.”  Apparently, he accused her of both being frigid and having a venereal disease.  He said that everyone knew it! She responded, “Well, everybody is a liar because I’ve never had a venereal disease in my life.”  What was this abusive dickhead’s response? He grabbed her by the throat and choked her. Bettie fought him off and managed to get his strong hands off her throat long enough to scream, “If you kill me God will never forgive you.”   Bettie said of that incident, “That was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I almost lost my life.”

So Bettie left him. Because fuck that.

So she went off to Peabody’s Teacher’s College in 1965.[To Be Continued]

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