Free Doesnt Come Cheap

Two weeks ago, we ran "Natural Causes," the story of how 28-year-old Playboy Playmate Elisa Bridges died of a drug overdose under mysterious circumstances in the house of a longtime acquaintance of Hugh Hefner. In the story, we noted that Bridges' death unleashed a bit of opportunism, with at least one of her old swimsuits auctioned off on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Now the story itself is up for auction. At press time, three separate eBay sellers were offering multiple copies of the issue. One seller pitched it as "a great collectible for admirers of the late centerfold model." The first copies went for more than $10, but the price has since stabilized around $6.

Here are two of the sellers' takes on this new macabre Elisa Bridges memorabilia catalog:

•"There are a lot of Playboy magazine collectors/readers out there. Elisa Bridges was not as 'famous' as Pamela Anderson or Anna Nicole Smith, but she died at a relatively young age, giving her that Marilyn Monroe type of mystique. Up until now, there hasn't been a lot written about her death in any national publications, so people are interested in finding out whatever new stuff they can. The OC Weeklyis only distributed in Southern California, thus making it scarce and 'collectible' to other parts of the country. On the other hand, I wasn't the first one to put this issue up on eBay, and I was initially surprised to see it getting such high bids." (Seller ID speedyg2002)

•"I'm not sure why this is getting bids on eBay. Maybe, if there's this much interest in death, it's the passing that made her more interesting. As often happens when someone passes, the fame can grow larger. I myself haven't sold any yet and only picked up a couple [of issues]. Some of the other sellers probably got a much larger quantity and will be selling them for some time." (Seller ID

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