In pursuit of the dream of a career in acting, the attractive 26-year-old blonde left the British seaside resort of Torquay for Hollywood in 1990. In Tinseltown, the Devon native landed a single appearance on a November 1990 episode of the NBC sitcom Dear John, but found steadier employment as a part-time stripper at private parties. Desperate to remain in America, Howden secured a Green Card by marrying Charles House in a Las Vegas ceremony in December 1990. House, a 40-year-old former cop from Kentucky, was in training to become a police officer with the Los Angeles Unified School District. On May 8, 1991, California Highway Patrol Officer Ronald Webb, 34, shot himself alongside a freeway in the San Fernando Valley after Howden refused to marry him. The next day, Howden went to the home of Webb's estranged wife and threatened to commit suicide. She was subsequently held for 72 hours on a psychiatric evaluation and released.
At 2:00 A.M. on June 10, 1991, neighbors heard a gunshot from the apartment Charles House and Howden shared in the 4600 block of Willis Avenue in Sherman Oaks. Howden called a friend to report House had shot himself, and when paramedics arrived they found the man dead in the dining room from a gunshot wound. In the bedroom lay the body of the actress. The .357-Magnum she used to shoot herself in the chest was recovered near a note in which she apologized for her death and asked to be buried next to her lover Ronald Webb. While police initially believed the event was a double suicide, the coroner's report and forensic evidence proved that Howden shot House in the head while he slept at the kitchen table, placed a phone call to her friend, and took her own life. Immigration authorities noted that Howden had been granted permanent resident status five days prior to the murder-suicide.