While the focus of season 2, episode 2, of Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Playboy Murders’ is primarily on former Playboy model Victoria Vetri, her former husband, Bruce Rathgeb, has also piqued the interest of many. As described in the previously mentioned episode, which is also known as ‘The Playboy Murders: The Bunny and Charles Manson,’ Bruce had been shot in his home, with the prime suspect being his then-wife. The victim did recover from the wounds he sustained, and the world is now curious about what he has been up to these days.
Bruce Rathgeb Met Victoria Vetri in a Cafe
Bruce Rathgeb first met Victoria Vetri in 1981 in a cafe in Los Angeles, California, where they both worked. At that time, Bruce was a chef while also pursuing a path of being a musician. Meanwhile, Victoria had been a highly successful Playboy model who had earned worldwide fame under the name of Angela Dorian. She would apparently come to the cafe in a 1968 AMC AMX that had been gifted to her due to being the 1968 Playmate of the Year.
As described by Bruce, he and Victoria had clicked from the start and would have a banter that they both enjoyed participating in. The couple ended up marrying in 1987, with the ceremony being held at the home of one of Bruce’s father in La Jolla, California. Initially, the couple enjoyed their time together, but they soon started to have troubles. Bruce himself considers this to have been a result of Victoria’s paranoid fear against Charles Manson, who had orchestrated the murder of Sharon Tate.
Victoria herself had been quite close to Sharon and her husband, Roman Polanski. In fact, on the day that Sharon and her companions were killed, Victoria was actually supposed to be with them. Given this and the fact that she had unknowingly insulted Manson the day prior when he came to Sharon’s house, Victoria developed a fear that Manson might come after her. To alleviate some of her concerns, Polanski had given her a gun to protect herself.
On October 16, 2010, Bruce and Victoria had been having a fight in which the latter accused her husband of infidelity. This prompted Bruce to leave for his friend’s house for the night. However, when he was outside the home waiting for the elevator, he realized that Victoria had followed him with her gun in hand. She shot Bruce in the back, though the latter claimed that Victoria was not being herself and had uttered the phrase “No more Charlie, no more Charlie,” which led him to believe that Victoria had shot him thinking he was Charles Manson.
An injured and unconscious Bruce was taken to the hospital, where he woke up days later. He was told that the bullet had lodged itself near his heart and thus had to be left in. Following this, Victoria ended up pleading no contest to the charge of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years in prison on September 7, 2011. throughout the proceedings, Bruce maintained that he had never cheated on his wife.
Bruce Rathgeb Holds No Ill Will Against Victoria Vetri
Following Victoria Vetri’s sentencing, she and Bruce Rathgeb ended up getting a divorce in 2016. The latter claimed that the reason that Victoria’s fear of Charles Manson did not come out during the legal proceedings was because of her decision to plead no contest. “We used to exchange the occasional letter, and I last spoke to her in 2013,” Bruce shared with the Daily Mail. “In 2016, she sent me divorce papers completely out of the blue. I signed them because I thought it was the best thing to do.”
As a result of the injury that he sustained, Bruce now has a 4-inch scar above his left pectoral muscle. He also lost the ability to move the fingers in his left hand. As of writing, he is seemingly still based in Los Angeles and remains active in the culinary as well as the music industry. In 2018, he publically stated that while he would be open to reconnecting with Victoria, he did not think that the two would ever be more than friends. For the most part, Bruce is not very active on social media.
Read More: Where is Victoria Vetri Now?