In 2004, I stumbled onto James Elroy’s fiction novel, The Black Dahlia. I found the story a bit “out there,” but all in all, I enjoyed the book. I had picked it up thinking it was a true crime novel, and I was admittedly disappointed when I found out otherwise… until I discovered that the book was, in fact, based on a true story. I began searching for everything I could find about the life and death of Elizabeth Short, both online and off, quickly becoming obsessed with this notorious 1947 murder case. I took notes, conducted a lot of research, asked tons of questions, and came to my own conclusions. Never have I actually written a word about the case until now.
How exactly does a young, aspiring actress travel across the country with stars in her eyes only to wind up dead and bisected in one of the most horrific crimes in US history at just 22-years-old? Why would anyone commit such a heinous crime? Who did Elizabeth Short know and associate with? Who did she piss off? And what’s with all the rumors and misconceptions that linger into the modern day? Many writers have introduced their brand of research and theories, ranging from artistic inspiration a la psychopath to serial killer to pointing the finger at their own father. While some of these theories are fascinating, few hold evidentiary water and some are downright ludicrous.
It is a shame that the Black Dahlia case has never been officially solved and justice has certainly not been served. Unfortunately, forensics was in its zygote stage in 1947, and there was rampant corruption within the LAPD… still, I think that the case could have been solved had it been correctly investigated and without the bias of hose on the take. This post begins Who Killed Elizabeth Short? The Black Dahlia Series right here on my blog. Stay tuned as I discuss many aspects of the case and offer my theories and conclusions. And, as always, comments and discussion is both encouraged and welcomed!