How The Tragic Murder Of Jasmine Fiore Changed Reality TV
On August 15, 2009, human remains found stuffed in a suitcase were identified as 28-year-old model Jasmine Fiore. Soon after, reality TV star Ryan Alexander Jenkins was charged with her murder.
On August 15, 2009, the body of 28-year-old model Jasmine Fiore was found mutilated and stuffed into a suitcase in a Buena Park, California trash bin.
The model’s life was tragically cut short when she was murdered, allegedly by her husband, former reality TV star Ryan Alexander Jenkins. The two were newlyweds at the time, having married a few months earlier in March 2009.
Fiore met Jenkins when they were both in Las Vegas at a casino, and they impulsively married days later, reported ABC News. On March 18, 2009, the couple wed at A Little White Wedding Chapel, the same Las Vegas chapel where Jennifer Lopez married Ben Affleck in July 2022.
Less than three months later, in June 2009, Jenkins was charged with “battery constituting domestic violence” in Clark County, Nevada, after he hit Fiore in the arm. Jenkins had also been charged with assaulting a previous girlfriend in 2005.
Before Jenkins allegedly murdered Fiore, he was competing on the VH1 reality show I Love Money 3, which was filming in Mexico. According to Entertainment Weekly, he was trying to win the $250,000 prize for his new wife so they could have the life that he promised her. According to his former castmates, he appeared very jealous when he would call Fiore from the set, asking her many questions like where she had been and what she was doing.
Soon after I Love Money 3 finished shooting, Fiore was found dead. Her teeth and fingers had been removed but she was identified by the serial number on her breast implants. She had been strangled to death then mutilated in what authorities believe was an attempt to impede identification.
When her body was found, Jenkins went on the run. He was charged with Fiore’s murder, and the United States Marshall’s Service offered a $25,000 reward for his capture and return.
Over a week later, Jenkins died by suicide when he hung himself in a motel room in British Columbia, according to ABC News. His body was found on August 23, 2009.
Fiore’s murder sparked a conversation about casting in reality television. How was it that Jenkins had managed to star on reality TV shows? As reality television gained popularity, questions arose about how these new kinds of stars, like Jenkins, were vetted. After all, Jenkins already had a criminal record before he was cast on any of the shows he appeared on.
Christopher Catalano, one of the casting directors who chose Jenkins, explained how charming he had been. However, deep down, Catalano had felt something was off with him. Ever since this tragedy, he is much more careful to listen to his gut instincts while casting. He told Entertainment Weekly, "I'd rather be wrong than end up with another Ryan Jenkins."
Fiore’s friends and family members remember her fondly. Back in 2009, her childhood friend, Sara Jansen, told ABC News: "Oh, God, Jasmine was just exciting. She brought a new lease on life to us up here. ... [She] was a beautiful girl, and she knew that could take her places. She wanted big things in her life, and was gonna go get them."