Holly Madison Was 'Blown Away' by 'The Playboy Murders' (Exclusive)

Holly Madison couldn't believe what she was seeing when she first started to look into the cases covered in her new true-crime series The Playboy Murders. The former Girls Next Door star, who dated Playboy founder Hugh Hefner from 2001 to 2008, told PopCulture.com ahead of Monday's all-new episode of the ID series that she was initially tentative when presented with the idea of hosting and executive producing the show, which follows the horrific stories of women not so unlike herself, but was "blown away" by their stories.

Madison, who hosts her Girls Next Level rewatch podcast with Bridget Marquardt and appeared in the A&E miniseries Secrets of Playboy, said she was "up to my ears in Playboy content," but felt compelled to tell the stories of women like Stacy Arthur, an early-'90s Playmate whose work on Playboy's premium 1-900 number sadly attracted the attention of a stalker, 

"When I was in the mansion I was only presented with the positive side of Playboy history," Madison told PopCulture, noting that Hefner, who died in 2017 at age 91, was incredibly careful at presenting a curated image to the public. Looking into these cases has been "pretty emotional," she continued, "because so many of these women I can feel like I can relate to."

Madison hopes the audience for The Playboy Murders walks away "feeling like they knew the victims better," noting that even 10 years ago, telling their stories would be met with far more judgment. "I feel like luckily people are a little bit more open-minded," she added. 

Having gone deep into her own experiences with Playboy, Madison noted there's "definitely a kinship there" between her and the victims, whether it be through their experiences with abuse in relationships or through friends of friends. "It makes you realize how fragile life is," she noted. When it comes to her own time at Playboy, Madison said she's also found it fascinating "exposing all sides," noting, "I love just exploring duality and that good times can exist at the same time [as bad]." Tune in for more of Arthur's story when The Playboy Murders airs Monday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. ET on ID.